Protecting Victims’ Rights: The Practical Effects of Florida’s Adoption of Amendment 6 on Criminal Practice
Discussing the 2018 adoption of Amendment 6, known as the Marsy’s Law Crime Victims Rights, Judicial Retirement Age, and Judicial Interpretation of Laws and Rules Amendment. It will primarily consider the practical effects and potential impact of the victims’ rights provisions in that amendment on the criminal trial and appellate process. The program should also address the source of the amendment, its intended purpose, any debate surrounding victims’ rights laws, any pending legal challenges to Amendment 6, and the status of any legislation implementing Marcy’s law.
Competency and Mental Illness in the Criminal Justice System
Examining the practical and legal challenges that arise in handling cases where the defendant suffers from mental illness. Topics addressed may include the relationship between insanity as a legal defense, competency to proceed, competency for self-representation, and mental illness as a consideration at sentencing. Related topics may include the challenges associated with competency evaluations, competency determinations, and the restoration of competency. Lastly, the pupillage may consider what post-sentencing mental health programs are available to inmates within the Department of Corrections.
Blood Draw Nuances
Exprloring the evolving nuances of implied consent laws. Issues addressed may include whether blood draws are available (and admissible) when a suspect is unconscious; the implications of Birchfield v. North Carolina on Florida’s implied consent warning for a second refusal; exigent circumstances and the implications of Missouri v. McNeely; whether a warrant is needed for a blood draw when there is death or serious bodily injury; and the application of the inevitable discovery rule to blood draws.
Law, Science, and Experts
Many cases benefit from or require testimony in areas of special scientific expertise. Discussion of the relationship between science, technology, and the law, with a focus on the admissibility of scientific evidence and expert testimony. This pupillage will examine the different kinds of experts commonly retained in criminal cases (i.e., ballistics experts, eyewitness identification experts, DNA experts, drug dogs and their handlers) and the lawyer’s ethical duties related to developing a familiarity with scientific terms and concepts. The pupillage should also address what impact the Florida Supreme Court’s recent adoption of the Daubert standard will have on the admission of scientific evidence. This pupillage may consider having an expert come and speak during their presentation.
Search and Seizure in the Electronic Age
Examining issues that arise in the increasingly connected and self-monitoring era of iPhones, Fitbits, Google Home, Amazon’s Alexa, and social media check-ins. The pupillage will examine the recent cases addressing Fourth Amendment search and seizures as they relate to electronic devices and information and will discuss the future possible implications of those cases, i.e., privacy concerns, Internet of Things (IoT) data, cell-site location information (CSLI) as business records, the third-party doctrine, and when a warrant is required.
Research and Writing in the Digital Age
Providing practical guidance on how to best use technology to perform computer-aided research and prepare briefs and opinions. Topics addressed may include features and tools available within Westlaw (such as Drafting Assistant, WestCheck, or “copy with reference”), Microsoft Office, and Adobe PDF (such as bookmarking, tabbing, highlighting, and removal of metadata). The pupillage may also address technology-related practices for reviewing the record, performing advanced research, and preparing a brief or opinion. The pupillage should aim to identify those technological tools that appellate practitioners frequently rely on and also those newer tools that practitioners may be unaware of.