TORTS: WRONGFUL DEATH: DAMAGES: SURVIVORS: HUSBAND, WHO MURDERED HIS WIFE, SHOULD BE TREATED AS HAVING PREDECEASED HER, AND DECEDENT’S ADULT DAUGHTER SHOULD BE TREATED AS A SURVIVOR; EVIDENCE: TRIAL COURT ABUSED ITS DISCRETION BY PREVENTING PLAINTIFF FROM CONDUCTING VOIR DIRE EXAMINATION OF HUSBAND’S SON,WHO WAS DISABLED IN A WAY THAT PLACED HIS COMPETENCE TO TESTIFY IN QUESTION: SON’S TESTIMONY WAS LARGELY UNINTELLIGIBLE AND IRRELEVANT, AND HE WAS CALLED AS A WITNESS SOLELY TO ELICIT SYMPATHY AND CONFUSE THE JURY

Cosman v. Rodriguez, ___ So. 3d ___, 40 Fla. L. Weekly D10 (Fla. 2d DCA December 17, 2014)

The personal representative sued her stepfather for the wrongful death of her mother. The trial court ruled that the daughter could not recover damages as a survivor because she was an adult, and her stepfather was a surviving spouse. The appellate court … Click To Read Full Case Law Review...

CRIMINAL LAW: VOIR DIRE: PEREMPTORY CHALLENGE: RACE NEUTRALITY: TRIAL COURT ERRED BY FAILING TO CONDUCT GENUINENESS INQUIRY: CONSIDERATION OF ONE, INAPPLICABLE SLAPPY FACTOR WAS INSUFFICIENT

Ellis v. State, ___ So. 3d ___, 39 Fla. L. Weekly D2427 (Fla. 3d DCA November 19, 2014)

The appellate court reversed the defendant’s conviction for first degree murder because the trial court failed to conduct a genuineness inquiry when the State peremptorily challenged two African American jurors.  The trial court considered only one, inapplicable Slappy factor, whether the challenges … Click To Read Full Case Law Review...

CRIMINAL LAW: VOIR DIRE: DEFENSE COUNSEL WAIVED HIS OBJECTION TO JUROR BY ACCEPTING PANEL WITHOUT RENEWING PRIOR OBJECTION: ATTEMPT TO RENEW OBJECTION THE NEXT MORNING WAS INEFFECTUAL  

Baccari v. State, ___ So. 3d ___, 39 Fla. L. Weekly D1803 (Fla. 4th DCA August 27, 2014)

When a criminal defendant attempted to use a peremptory challenge during voir dire, the State requested a race and gender neutral reason for the proposed challenge, defense counsel provided an explanation, the trial court found that the explanation was not genuine, … Click To Read Full Case Law Review...

CRIMINAL LAW: VOIR DIRE: PEREMPTORY CHALLENGE OF AFRICAN-AMERICAN VENIRE MEMEBER: FAILURE TO CONDUCT IMPLICIT OR EXPLICIT GENUINENESS INQUIRY; APPEALS: PRESERVATION: UNNECESSARY TO RENEW OBJECTION BEFORE AFFIRMATIVELY ACCEPTING JURY BECAUSE JURY WAS SWORN MINUTES AFTER OBJECTION WAS MADE  

Smith v. State, ___ So. 3d ___, 39 Fla. L. Weekly D1723 (Fla. 1st DCA August 14, 2014)

The appellate court reversed the defendant’s conviction because the trial court failed to conduct a genuineness inquiry after the State provided what the trial court regarded as a race neutral reason for exercising a peremptory challenge of an African-American venire member; … Click To Read Full Case Law Review...