Video Frequently Asked Qu…

Video Frequently Asked Questions

In this series of videos we answer some of the most commonly asked questions we receive from clients.

Video Topics

 

Can I raise ineffective assistance of counsel on appeal?

's Profile Image In a criminal matter, you can raise ineffective assistance of counsel on an appeal. However, there are specific procedures that come into place before you can do that. In a civil matter, you cannot raise ineffective assistance of counsel as a ground for your appeal. In a civil context, there are other ways that you’ll have to deal with that. You should consult with an appellate attorney if you have more questions about the appeal process. Read More

Will I be required to testify at the appeal or be present during any of the appellate proceedings in Florida?

's Profile Image You are not required to testify as part of any appellate proceedings, and in fact, testimony is normally not taken. Likewise, you do not have to attend any appellate procedures as well. Your appellate attorney can handle everything. Read More

Who may attend an oral argument?

's Profile Image Generally, oral arguments are open to the public. Some clients want to attend the oral argument to get a better understanding of the process. Other times, they’re happy to let their appellate attorney handle the matter and have the attorney report back to them what happened. You’re not required to attend an oral argument. Read More

Where can I find the rules that govern appeal?

's Profile Image Every court system has their own rules that govern appeals. For example, in Florida State Courts, those rules are found in the Florida Rules of Appellate Procedure. In the federal system, they’re found in the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure. These rules can be found in book form but now many times they can be found online. An experienced Appellate Attorney would be able to explain the rules in your court system. Read More

What possible outcomes can I expect in my civil matter?

's Profile Image Possible outcomes in a civil matter really depends on what you are appealing or what side you are on. For example, if you were the winner of a money judgment in the lower court and your adversary appealed that decision, if the appellate court affirmed, your judgment would be affirmed. Read More

What makes a strong appellate attorney?

's Profile Image A strong appellate attorney is an attorney who possesses excellent writing skills, researching skills, and analytical skills. In addition, a strong appellate attorney should be able to call through a tremendous amount of information and be able to distill that information down to arguments that are succinct and make sense. Read More

What is the purpose of a special education due process hearing?

's Profile Image The purpose of a special education due process hearing is to get a resolution of whatever issue exists. For example, the issue could be the school is not following your child’s IEP, or they haven’t evaluated your child properly, or some other issue surrounding the special education process. You should consult with an Education and School Law Attorney if you think your child was not properly evaluated. Read More

What is the effect of denying certiorari by the U.S. Supreme Court?

's Profile Image If the U.S. Supreme Court denies certiorari, that means that the decision of the Court of Appeals is final. It doesn’t necessarily mean that the U.S. Supreme Court agree or disagreed with the Court of Appeals, but it does mean that the Court will not hear your case. Read More

What is the difference between a trial attorney and an appellate attorney in Florida?

's Profile Image The job of a trial attorney and an appellate attorney are two different things, and both require two different skill sets. For an example, a trial attorney needs to be able to think on their feet, needs to be able to cross-examine witnesses very effectively. An appellate lawyer needs to be an excellent writer and needs to possess analytical skills. So the skill sets involved to conduct a trial and to conduct an appeal are very different. Read More

What is the difference between a petition for writ of habeas corpus and an appeal?

's Profile Image Generally, a writ of habeas corpus is a judicial mandate questioning whether or not somebody has been lawfully detained or improperly imprisoned. An appeal, on the other hand, is normally a petition to an appellate court seeking to overturn either a lawsuit judgment or a criminal conviction. Read More

What is the deadline for filing a 3.850 motion in Florida?

's Profile Image The deadline for filing a 3.850 motion in Florida is two years from the date the conviction became final. That date is usually either the day that the Appellate Division affirmed the lower court’s mandate, or if no appeal was taken, the last date in which the appeal could have been filed. You should consult with an Appellate Attorney as soon as possible if you are nearing your deadline. Read More

What is FERPA?

's Profile Image FERPA stands for the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. It’s a federal law designed to do two things. Number one, it protects student’s education records. Number two, it gives students access to their education records. Read More

What is due process in a school setting?

's Profile Image Due process in a school setting means a few different things. It means you’re innocent until proven guilty, you have to have notice of what you did wrong, and an opportunity to be heard. The United States Supreme Court has said that due process does extend to students in public schools. For suspensions less than ten days, you have an opportunity to an informal hearing. For suspensions ten days or greater, you do get a formal hearing, normally before the local school board. You should consult with an Education and School Law attorney if you have more questions about due process. Read More

What is an emotional support animal?

's Profile Image An emotional support animal is a companion animal that provides emotional support for somebody that has either a mental or psychiatric disability. An emotional support animal is a companion animal, it’s not a pet. Read More

What is a 3.850 motion in Florida?

's Profile Image A 3.850 motion in Florida refers to the Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.850. There are several grounds that can be asserted, however, the most typical one is ineffective assistance of council. If you have this issue, it’s very important to consult with an appellate attorney who has experience dealing with these motions as sometimes they can be a little tricky and difficult to understand. Read More

What is a 504 plan?

's Profile Image If your child does not qualify for an IEP plan, he or she may qualify for a 504 Plan. 504 refers to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. It’s a federal law that prohibits discrimination based on a disability. Your child has to be treated just like every other child. There are some major differences between an IEP Plan and a 504 Plan. So you should consult an education attorney who can better explain those differences. Read More

What if my trial attorney says there are no good appellate issues?

's Profile Image While the opinion of your trial attorney is certainly important, you should consult with an appellate lawyer. Appellate lawyers are trained and are used to going through the record and spotting issues. They can give you a better understanding  of what issues you may have for an appeal and what your chances of success might be. Read More

What if I have no objection to the facts, but feel I should have won a motion to suppress or dismiss? What should I do?

's Profile Image Even if you don’t have any objection to the facts, that doesn’t mean you still can’t appeal. It’s important to understand that, in most cases, an appellate court is not scrutinizing or weighing facts. They’re looking at whether or not the law was correctly applied to those facts. So, if you believe that the judge misinterpreted the law or misapplied it, you have grounds for an appeal and should contact an Appellate Attorney. Read More

What does filing an appeal mean?

's Profile Image Filing an appeal means two different things. The first step in the appellate process is filing what’s called a notice of appeal. This is a document that’s filed in the lower court. After that, you then file your initial brief. That’s filed in the actual appellate division. Read More

What documentation do I need to provide to have an emotional support animal/assistance animal in Florida?

's Profile Image To have an emotional support animal, the first thing you should do is make a request to your landlord or housing provider. The request should be in writing, and you should explain why the animal will mitigate or help reduce the symptoms of your disability. You’ll also need to provide a doctor’s note. Read More

What can I do if a Florida breeder sold me a sick puppy?

's Profile Image Florida has what’s called a “Pet Lemon Law.” So, for an example, if you have a sick puppy, you would have 14 days from the date of purchase to return the dog for either illness, infectious or contagious disease. If you have been sold an unhealthy animal you should consult with an experienced Animal and Pet law attorney before 14 days have passed. Read More

What are my chances at a success in an appeal?

's Profile Image Your chances for a success on an appeal depends on many different things. It depends on which side were you on, were you the winner or the loser in the lower court? It depends on the issue that you’re appealing, the specific facts of your case, and what the law says regarding the issue that you’re appealing from. You should consult with an experienced appellate lawyer who can go through the information and give you a good assessment of what your chances are for an appeal. Read More

If the school district is not following my child’s IEP or the IEP is not working, what can I do?

's Profile Image If a school district is not following your child’s IEP or it’s not working, the first thing you should do is request an IEP meeting. This can be done through either the district’s special education coordinator or the school’s principal. If that doesn’t work, a more serious option to consider is what’s called a “due process hearing.” You should consult with an education law attorney who can explain to you the benefits of each procedure. Read More

If my child has special needs or is in special education, what rights do I have with the school district?

's Profile Image Your child has a right to a free and appropriate public education. They also have the right to be educated in the least restrictive environment. That means if your child has special needs, he or she has the right to be educated with students who do not have a disability. Read More

If my child brings a backpack to school in Florida, can it be searched?

's Profile Image In 1985, the United States Supreme Court ruled that schools can conduct searches so long as there is a reasonable suspicion that a crime either has been committed, is in the process of being committed, or some school rule has been violated. That search would extend to your person, your desk, your car, and yes, your backpack. Read More

If I win on appeal, will I be freed from prison?

's Profile Image If you win on appeal, you will not necessarily be freed from prison. The more likely scenario is if you win on appeal, your case will go back to the lower court to be retried, or sometimes that the issue is whether or not your sentence was proper. So you may be remanded back to the lower court for a new sentencing. Read More

If I think my child has special needs and he is not in special education, what rights do I have with the school district?

's Profile Image If you think your child has special needs, the first thing you should do is contact the district’s special ed coordinator or the school’s principal, and request that your child be evaluated under the IDEA. Read More

If a college or graduate school files academic or disciplinary charges against a student, does that student need an attorney?

's Profile Image A student is not required to have an attorney if academic or disciplinary charges have been filed against them. However, having an experienced Education and School Law Attorney is recommended. The reason being is that because many times these policies are not clearly written, and the administrators themselves don’t understand the policy. Having an attorney can help guide you through the process, protect your rights, and make sure that the procedures are followed correctly. Read More

If a college graduate or doctoral student is dismissed from school, what legal options do they have?

's Profile Image There may be several legal options available depending upon whether or not the school is a public school or a private school. Most schools have some sort of internal appeal process. That process should be exhausted. If it is a public school, you also then have a right to file what’s called a writ of certiorari to a circuit court. If it is a private school, one option that you have is always to sue the school if you believe that the school failed to do something or did something improper.  Read More

I lost my direct appeal in the lower court. I want to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. Do I have that right?

's Profile Image Not every case can be appealed to the United States Supreme Court. Generally, cases have to deal with either a Federal issue or involve some sort of Federal law. The Supreme Court will then read the petitions, if you meet certain requirements, and decide whether or not to take your case. There’s no guarantee or absolute right to appeal to the United States Supreme Court. You should consult with an appellate attorney if you think your case can be appealed. Read More

I have always had a clearly posted no pets policy at my establishment. Do I still have to allow service animals in?

's Profile Image Yes, you do and the reason is because a service animal is not a pet. So while you don’t have to completely abandon your no pets policy, you do have to make exceptions for service animals. Read More

How much time do I have to file a notice of appeal in Florida?

's Profile Image In Florida, you have 30 days from the date that the lower court issues the order which you’re appealing from to file what’s called a Notice of Appeal in a lower tribunal. Read More

How do I know whether I have a good appeal?

's Profile Image Whether or not you have a good appeal or a good chance on appeal really depends on several things. It depends on the issue in which you’re appealing from. It depends on whether or not you were the winner or loser in the lower court. It depends on your facts and it depends on what the law says. You should consult with an experienced appellate attorney, he or she can be able to go through your record and give you a better understanding of what chances you have on success for your appeal. Read More

Does the Fair Housing Act FHA apply to all housing?

's Profile Image The Fair Housing Act does apply to most housing including condominiums, apartments, and homes for rent. There are some major exceptions, so you should consult with an attorney who can advise you specifically of what those exceptions are. Read More

Does it matter for appellate purposes whether my case was tried in state or federal court?

's Profile Image Yes, it does matter for appellate purposes whether or not your case was tried in state or federal court. The reason is because each of those two court systems have different rules. While the rules may be similar, there are major differences. So you should consult with an experienced appellate lawyer to understand what those differences are to safeguard your appellate rights. Read More

Does an emotional support animal need specialized training in Florida?

's Profile Image Emotional support animals do not need specialized training. Neither the Fair Housing Act, nor Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act requires any specialized training for an emotional support animal. Read More

Does an appellate court in Florida hear witnesses to testify?

's Profile Image An appellate court does not hear witnesses testifying. All witness testimony comes from the record. In the case of testimony, that’s usually in the form of transcripts. Read More

Does a Florida tenant have to pay for damage done by his or her emotional support animal/assistance animal?

's Profile Image If it’s the policy of the landlord or housing provider to charge the tenants for more than reasonable wear and tear, then, yes. The person would be responsible to pay for damages for the emotional support animal. The key is that that individual is treated just as every other tenant. Read More

Do I have to retain the trial attorney as part of the appellate team?

's Profile Image You do not have to retain your trial attorney’s part of the appellate team in Florida. The reason is is because in the appeal, we have a full record of what happened in the lower court, including a transcript which includes everything that your trial attorney said. Read More

Do all Florida attorneys handle appeals?

's Profile Image While all attorneys have the ability to handle appeals, not all lawyers do that. A Florida Appeals Attorney really is a specialized area of the law and many times requires a specialized set of skills that are different from, let’s say, a trial attorney. Read More

Can the landlord charge me a pet/security deposit for my emotional support animal/assistance animal?

's Profile Image Based on statements from HUD, it appears that a Florida landlord cannot charge a pet fee or a pet deposit for an emotional support animal, the reason being is because an emotional support animal is not considered a pet. Read More

Can new evidence be heard at my appellate hearing in Florida?

's Profile Image Generally, new evidence will not be heard or considered as part of your appellate process. The appellate court in Florida is bound by something called “the record.” The record is exactly that, a record of everything that occurred at the lower court level. That is what they’ll be reading from. That’s what they’ll consider in determining your appeal. Read More

Can my child’s conversations at home on the phone or computer with friends lead to discipline at a Florida school?

's Profile Image Whether or not your child’s conversations at home, whether on a telephone or a computer, can lead to disciplinary action at school, really depends on the facts. For example, if a child is having a conversation about bullying or harming another student, or creating some sort of disruption in the school, the school has a good argument for the discipline. If something like that occurs, you should consult with an education attorney, tell him or her the facts, and let them advise you as to how to proceed.  Read More

Can my child pray at a public school in Florida?

's Profile Image Your child can individually pray at a Florida public school so long as the prayer is not coercive or doesn’t disrupt the school. For example, your child can say a blessing before his or her meal at lunch, however, the school cannot sponsor or be seen to sponsor the prayer. Read More

Can my child be suspended from a Florida public school without a hearing?

's Profile Image Whether or not your child could be suspended from a public school in the State of Florida without a hearing depends on the nature of the suspension. If the suspension is for less than 10 days then the child has a right to be heard, but not necessarily has a right to a formal hearing. If the suspension is more than 10 days then the law requires that a formal hearing be held, normally before the local school board. Read More

Can I sue a school in Florida for violating FERPA?

's Profile Image Unfortunately, the United States Supreme Court has ruled that students do not have a private action under FERPA. However, you may have an action under Florida state law. For instance, there could be privacy violations or perhaps a negligence claim that can be asserted. You should consult with an education attorney, tell him or her the circumstances of your case, and have them advise you. Read More

Can I speak at Florida school board meetings?

's Profile Image Generally, yes, you can speak at school board meetings in the State of Florida. In accordance with Florida’s Sunshine Law, school board meetings are open to the public except for some contract negotiations. You should consult with your local school board to make sure you understand the policies and procedures and what you have to do to get on the agenda to speak. Read More

Can civil cases be appealed in Florida?

's Profile Image Yes, civil cases, just like criminal cases, can be appealed in Florida. Read More

Can any attorney argue a case before the U.S. Supreme Court?

's Profile Image Not every attorney can argue a case before the U.S. Supreme Court. You have to be a member of the Supreme Court Bar Association, and there are specific requirements to be admitted as a member of the U.S. Supreme Court Bar. Read More

Can animals besides cats and dogs act as emotional support animals/assistance animals in Florida?

's Profile Image Yes, animals, besides cats and dogs, can act as emotional support animals in the State of Florida. There actually have been cases that have dealt with the question of whether an miniature horse can be an emotional support animal, and even a guinea pig. Learn more about Animal and Pet Law in our practice areas. Read More

Can a teacher lead a prayer at a Florida public school?

's Profile Image It is unconstitutional for a teacher to pray with or pray in the presence of students at a public school in Florida. Due to the unique nature of a public school teacher, they’re considered government employees and any prayer by such an employee would be considered an endorsement of religion by the school which violates the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution. Read More

Can a person have more than one service or emotional support animal in Florida?

's Profile Image There’s no rule or case law that says a person cannot have more than one emotional support animal in Florida. The criteria would be the same. You would have to show that you have a disability in which the emotional support animal mitigates or helps you deal with that disability. Read More

Can a Florida landlord or housing provider delay granting my request for an emotional support animal/assistance animal?

's Profile Image HUD says that a Florida landlord or a housing provider cannot unreasonably delay your request for an emotional support animal. Unfortunately, reasonable delay has not been defined. But the answer is no, that they cannot delay it. You can learn more in our Animal and Pet Law practice area. Read More

Can a Florida landlord or housing provider ban my emotional animal/assistance animal based on breed?

's Profile Image According to the Office of Housing and Urban Development, a Florida landlord cannot ban your specific animal based on breed, size, weight, or other factors. The only thing they can do is limit your specific animal if your animal has specific tendencies to be dangerous or has been dangerous in the past. Read More

Can a Florida landlord or housing provider ask details about my disability?

's Profile Image A Florida landlord or a housing provider cannot ask you details about your disability. They may, however, ask you questions about the nature of your disability and why you need the animal. But they cannot ask you specific questions related to the disability. Read More

As a teacher in Florida, what can I do if my principal does not like me and gives me an unsatisfactory evaluation?

's Profile Image In Florida, teacher evaluations are based on a specific rubric. Therefore, your principal’s personal opinion of you should have nothing to do with your evaluation. If you receive a bad evaluation, and if you believe it’s due to your principal’s personal opinion, you should consult an education law attorney. Read More

As a Florida school district employee, how should I respond to a negative evaluation?

's Profile Image As a Florida school district employee, if you receive a negative evaluation, you should respond in writing as it will become part of your personnel file. You also have the right to request a certain amount of designated reviews. You should consult your specific school district’s handbook to understand what that process is. Read More

Are there appeals in Florida arbitration?

's Profile Image There are appeals in Florida arbitration. The first step in the process is you would file an action in the Circuit Court. If you’re not happy with that decision, you then can take an appeal to the appellate division. However, the circumstances of appealing and arbitration are very limited, so you should consult with an experienced appellate attorney who can better explain these circumstances and limitations to you. Read More

Are Florida animal cases done on contingency?

's Profile Image Florida animal law cases are normally not handled on contingency. The reason being is because damages in these cases are usually limited. They’re limited to things like veterinary care, possibly ongoing care of the animal. So because your damages are rather finite and limited, normally these cases are handled on either a flat fee basis or hourly. Read More

Am I required to have a lawyer for an appeal in the State of Florida?

's Profile Image You’re not required to have a lawyer to file your appeal in Florida. However, you should understand that if you do represent yourself, the court is going to hold you to the same standards and professionalism as an attorney would be held. Read More

Am I entitled to due process in a Florida private school?

's Profile Image Generally, you are not entitled to due process in a Florida private school. The reason being is because private schools do not have to follow the Constitution. That being said, most private schools have a handbook that contains policies and procedures which they’re required to follow. If those policies and procedures have not been followed in regards to you or your child, then you may have an action. You can learn more in our Education and School law practice area. Read More

For More Information

Fill out our online form

Twitter Feed