Legal Updates

SEMINOLE GAMING COMPACT The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida has dismissed one of the lawsuits challenging Florida’s new Gaming Compact with the Seminole Tribe of Florida. The Court ruled that the pari-mutuel operations who filed the litigation did not have standing. However, other lawsuits are pending that have not yet been heard.

HORSE CLONING An Argentine polo star is seeking to have a South Florida federal judge block a geneticist’s work. The player sought to clone his horse, but he subsequently learned the scientist planned to sell more of the clones. 

OCKLAWAHA RIVER DAM A federal appeals court has ruled in favor of the U.S. Forest Service regarding the removal of a dam built along the Ocklawaha River as part of the long defunct cross Florida barge canal. An environmental group sought to have the dam removed and the river restored due to an expired federal permit. While determining that the U.S. Forest Service had no obligation to remove the dam for that cause, the case was sent back to the lower court for further consideration on other issues.

TRAFFIC TICKET REPRESENTATION The Florida Supreme Court has ordered a Florida company to stop its business practices of reviewing traffic tickets, collecting fees and linking motorists to outside attorneys for representation. The Florida Bar sought the action as they considered it as an unauthorized practice of law. The Court agreed.

PARKLAND SETTLEMENT The families of the 52 people killed, wounded and traumatized by the Parkland shooting have reached a settlement with the Broward School District. The settlement calls for a $25 million payment, with most of the money earmarked to the families of those killed. 

NIKOLAS CRUZ Nikolas Cruz has pled guilty to 17 counts of murder for his mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High. The case now moves to a sentencing phase where a penalty trial will be convened. Both sides will be presenting evidence to the 12 jurors who will decide whether to impose the death penalty or life in prison without parole. The death penalty will require a unanimous decision.