Wednesday, August 2, 2017

New certified conflicts

I overlooked three new certified conflict cases in last week's case announcements.

State v. Murray has been held for decision pending the outcome of State v. Brown. The certified question is whether a trial court imposing post-release control must notify the offender that the commission of a new felony while on post-release control allows the court to impose a sentence for the violation that must be conserved consecutively with any sentence for the new felony. Brown was argued in June and a decision is likely later this year.

Elliott-Thomas v. Smith is an interesting case asking whether a claim for tortious interference with or destruction of evidence requires that evidence be physically altered or destroyed, or merely concealed or hidden such that it disrupts the plaintiff's case. The Eleventh District held that physical destruction or alteration was not necessary, disagreeing with the Fourth, Fifth, and Eighth Districts.

Finally, Portage County Board of Developmental Disabilities v. Portage County Educators' Association for Developmental Disabilities relates to the proper standard of review an appellate court should exercise when reviewing a trial court's decision to confirm, modify, vacate, or correct an arbitration award. While all parties agree that the trial court employs a very deferential standard of review of an arbitrator's award, there is now a district split on what the court of appeals should do when reviewing the trial court's judgment vacating an award. In this case the Eleventh District held that it must conduct a de novo review regarding whether any of the enumerated grounds for vacation exist. The Eighth and Twelfth Districts have held that their review is simply for whether the trial court abused its discretion in determining whether such grounds exist.

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