Thursday, December 8, 2011

Florida Supreme Court to Litigants: I've Got the Power!



Just because pesky litigants conclusively settle a matter pending before the Florida Supreme Court and prior to briefing being completed on the issue, don't think the Court can't hear and rule on the case anyway:
In the present case, it is true that the parties have filed a notice of stipulated dismissal pursuant to rule 9.350 notifying this Court that this matter has been settled. Although the issues underlying this litigation may be moot as to the parties involved, our precedent clearly establishes that mootness does not defeat appellate jurisdiction, and a reviewing court has the discretion to retain jurisdiction over a case to decide the merits notwithstanding a notice of dismissal filed by the parties denoting a settlement of their dispute.
Not so fast says Justice Canady, occupying his usual role as dissenting gadfly:
Although the issues underlying this litigation may be issues of great importance, it is no more proper for the Court to compel the parties to litigate those issues after they have jointly filed a notice of dismissal than it would be for the Court to compel a party to file a petition for discretionary review. The parties to this proceeding have rights. They should not be dragooned into litigating a matter that is no longer in controversy between them simply because this Court determines that an issue needs to be decided.
"Dragooned"?

Very nice -- the Judge could have also went with "conscripted" or my personal favorite, "impressment."

7 comments:

  1. "I've Got the Power" by Snap. Great song.

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  2. Since you seem to be the 3rd DCA maven, I was wondering if it was possible to photograph the judges while they are in session.

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  3. Great word. While "forced" or "coerced" or "compelled" would have worked fine, "dragooned" has a frightening air to it. It is medieval in origin and brings to mind a knighted tin man being dragged by horse through a field to the enemy's castle to be fed to a swarm of starving rats. Impressment has too much of an aura of efficiency about it. Makes me think of some snot nosed low level bureaucratic ass kisser.

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  4. They just started livestreaming OAs in November, so if nothing else you might be able to grab a screen cap

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  5. They just started livestreaming OAs in November, so if nothing else you might be able to grab a screen cap

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  6. I actually want to be there taking pics of the justices and attorneys during arguments. Live feeds are great but they can be and frequently are boring.

    Several months ago I was sitting next to two attorneys at "counsel table", watching them argue their case. It was pretty interesting stuff so I began to wonder if 35 mm film or digital cameras would be allowed in the courtroom. The Feds permit photographers with long lenses in hearing rooms, as do others.

    A more behind the scenes story - watching the judges debate the cases after the arguments - would be more interesting but I doubt I would be permitted to take photos of that.

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