Florida Criminal Appeals Attorney Law

Appellate Law, Criminal Defense and Appeals and Post Conviction Relief in Florida Courts, Federal District Courts and the 11th Circuit

Tag: Palm Beach County

After Winning a New Trial, Goodman Loses a Lawyer, and Death Row Inmate William Van Poyck Wins A Team of Lawyers

Well, after winning a new trial (while the case is on appeal, no less) John Goodman lost a key member of his criminal defense team, Robert Black.  For the articles in the Palm Beach Post and Sun Sentinel, click here and here.  Maybe this means that Goodman and the State have reached a plea agreement?

Meanwhile, the Palm Beach Post also reports that there’s quite a bit of legal havoc in the William Van Poyck death penalty case.  Although I have not yet been able to locate the order issued by the Florida Supreme Court, the Court has apparently pulled a surprise move.  Even as Van Poyck’s June execution date approaches, the Court appears to have appointed a team of lawyers from Palm Beach County to represent Van Poyck.  For the article in the Palm Beach Post, click here.

To me, the Van Poyck case highlights just a fraction of what is wrong with Florida’s death penalty.  If the case is still important enough for the court to appoint new lawyers, even at this late stage, why should the Governor be signing the warrant for Van Poyck’s execution?  And why is it that after years of being unable to reach any sort of agreement with regard to amending the death penalty statute so as to render it constitutional, (why bother with that?), the Florida legislature is able to enact legislation that limits the appeals process, thereby actually speeding up the death penalty executions?

Palm Beach County News: John Goodman Gets a New Trial and Lindsay Lohan Comes to Town for Rehab

Palm Beach polo magnate John Goodman caught a lucky break- it looks like on Friday, May 3, 2013, Palm Beach Circuit Court Judge Jeffrey Colbath granted Goodman’s motion for new trial based on juror misconduct.  Criminal defense and criminal appeals lawyers know that such a break is extremely rare indeed.  To read of an article about the defense victory, click here.  To read my previous post on Goodman’s motion, click here.  I wonder if the State will prosecute the juror for perjury based on his statements given during voir dire . . .

On another note, who knew that Palm Beach County was home to a rehab facility for Hollywood’s rich and famous?   According to reports on CNN and WPTV. com, Lindsay Lohan is going to complete her rehab at the Lukens Institute in Palm Beach Gardens.  If anyone sees Lindsay around town, be sure to give her a friendly wave!

Two Palm Beach County Cases Touch on Issues of Juror Misconduct

As I was scrolling through the news this morning, I came across two articles in the Palm Beach Post that I wanted to pass along to the local criminal defense and criminal appeals attorneys out there.

The first article reports that Palm Beach County Circuit Court Judge Karen Miller has stated that she will call back jurors to inquire into allegations that the jurors discussed a criminal case before the evidence was closed, in violation of the court’s instructions.  Although the Court has not set a date for the hearing, according to the article, the Judge decided to call the jurors back after a local criminal defense attorney filed an affidavit executed by one of the jurors, wherein the juror indicated that she had a “terrible concern that the verdict that the jury reached was not fair.”  The individuals were both found guilty of the 2011 shooting death of a 15-year-old South Bay youth.  They have not yet been sentenced.

In the next article (an op-ed piece), the Palm Beach Post notes that one of the jurors from the John Goodman trial recently admitted in a self-published book that his wife had once been arrested on a charge of DUI.  Obviously, Goodman’s defense team says it asked all potential jurors if any family members had ever been charged with DUI, and that if they had known of his ex-wife’s arrest they would not have selected him.  Armed with that information, John Goodman’s criminal appeals lawyers filed a motion in the Fourth District Court of Appeal case, seeking to have the Court relinquish jurisdiction so as to allow the trial court to consider the issue.  The Fourth DCA initially denied Goodman’s motion on March 22, 2013.  However, after Goodman filed a Motion for Reconsideration, the Fourth DCA granted the motion, and on April 1, 2013, the Court granted the Motion to Relinquish based on the newly discovered evidence of juror misconduct.  The Court’s April 1, 2013, order which can be found on the Fourth DCA docket for case number 4D12-1930, reads as follows:

The motion to reconsider the order denying stay dated March 22, 2013, is denied.  The motion for relinquishment based on newly discovered juror misconduct is granted for the defendant to file and present to the trial court a motion based upon the alleged juror misconduct and for the court to allow a juror interview and then to rule on the issue.  Such relief is not procedurally barred. See e.g. Marshall v. State, 854 So. 2d 1235, 1242 (Fla. 2003); Davis v. State, 778 So. 2d 1096 (Fla. 4th DCA 2001).  Relinquishment is for a period of forty-five days.  ORDERED that appellant’s motion filed March 28, 2013, for permission to file a reply to State’s response is hereby granted.

I don’t know about you, but I am glad to see that both Courts have taken the courageous step of inquiring into the serious issue of juror misconduct.  Job well done.

Florida Supreme Court News for the Week of November 5, 2012: Election Ballot Challenge to Justices Quince, Lewis and Pariente; Court Accepts Jurisdiction in Red Light Camera Cases, and JQC Charges Filed Against Palm Beach County Judge

This has been a busy week for the Florida Supreme Court.  The day before the election, on November 5, 2012, a Petition for Quo Warranto was filed seeking to have Justices Quince, Lewis, and Pariente disqualified from the ballot.  To read the petition in Jones v. Dentzner, No. SC12-2297, click here.  On November 8, 2012, the Supreme Court transferred the matter to the Circuit Court of the Second Judicial Circuit (Leon County).  For the docket, click here.

On November 6, 2012, the Supreme Court accepted jurisdiction in two cases challenging the constitutionality of red light cameras.  See Masone v. City of Aventura, No. SC12-644 and City of Orlando v. Udowychenko, No. SC12-1471.  This case may have implications for criminal defense attorneys who handle DUI cases, and for criminal appeals attorneys as well.

Finally, Palm Beach County criminal defense attorneys and prosecutors alike may be interested to know that the JQC has filed formal charges against County Court Judge Barry M. Cohen.  To read the petition, click here.

Who Will Be The Next Palm Beach County State Attorney?

Election day is approaching fast.  Palm Beach County criminal defense and criminal appeals attorneys may want to pay close attention to 1 race in particular: the race for Palm Beach County State Attorney.  The Palm Beach Post recently published a short article outlining the three candidates, Dave Aronberg (D), Robert Gershman (non-party affiliate), and Dina Keever (R), here.

Recently, I went to a local bar function to hear the 3 candidates speak.  Dina Keever actually pulled a no-show.  Not very impressive.  Dave Aronberg was a good speaker, as always.    But I was most surprised by Robert Gershman.  He had a lot of good things to say about returning prosecutorial discretion back to the line prosecutors, and he has many years of experience as both a serious criminal defense lawyer and prosecutor here in Palm Beach County.  For more information about Robert Gershman, you can visit his campaign website by clicking here.  Dave Aronberg’s website can be seen here.  Dina Keever’s website can be seen here.


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