Legal Updates

SENTENCING RULING The 1st District Court of Appeal has ruled in favor of an inmate who challenged his four-year sentence for fleeing from a law enforcement officer and driving without a license.   The inmate said the trial judge who issued the sentence did not follow sentencing guidelines which would have given the inmate a maximum one-year sentence.   The appeals court ruled that only juries, not the judge, could have required a sentence beyond the guideline recommendation.

STAND YOUR GROUND The 3rd District Court of Appeal overturned a circuit court judge ruling that the 2007 law shifting the burden of proof in Stand Your Ground cases from the defendant to the prosecutor was unconstitutional. However, part of their decision created a legal conflict with a 2nd District Court of Appeal ruling. The 3rd District ruled that the law could not be applied retroactively, meaning  cases occurring prior to the 2007 adoption, while the 2nd District ruled it could be.

BUSINESS LITIGATION The chief judge for the Ninth Judicial Circuit Court has shut down a special complex business litigation division citing lack of resources and a greater need in the family court division. Corporate litigants will now be assigned to the general civil division.

LITIGATION END Citing the need that “at some point litigation must end,” an appeals court has ruled that a woman seeking damages for medical malpractice may not further amend her eleven-year-old complaint.