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Judges at Nuremberg: Stetson’s Connection to the War Crimes Trials

While serving on the judicial panel for two of the most prominent cases of the trials at Nuremberg, Justices Harold Sebring and James Brand displayed an unfailing dedication to the law and public service, qualities that each man exhibited throughout his professional life. The two former state supreme court justices, who became friends during the Nuremburg proceedings, joined the faculty at Stetson University College of Law in the 19505, Justice Sebring serving as dean and Justice Brand as a professor. Each man brought with him remarkable experience as a jurist, a superb legal mind, and an endearing personal warmth. The Author, a former student and friend of both men, reconstructs the justices” lives and experiences, highlighting the path that led each of the men to the halls of Stetson University College of Law.

This Article Provides a wealth of information about the lives of Justice Brand and Justice Sebring, presenting intimate portrayals of both men. Knowing that no biography would be complete without a detailed telling of the meh’s roles in the subsequent Nuremberg trials,
the Author supplies an account of J ustice Sebrings involvement in the Medical Case, known for its establishment of human experimentation principles, as well as an account of Justice Brand’s involvement in the Justice Case, widely known for being the basis of the play and movie Judgment at Nuremberg. The Article contributes more than biographical facts about Justices Sebring and Brand, though, proceeding further into their lives by giving first-hand accounts of the men as beloved professors and genuine mentors, The Author, by recounting
the justices’ lives, emphasizes their extraordinary achievements and remarkable contributions to Stetson University College of Law and heralds them as two unforgettable members of the legal profession and the Stetson community.

Does Florida Need a Statutory Driving Under the Influence (DUI/DWI) Pretrial Intervention Diversion Program?

This Article analyzes the strengths and weaknesses of four of Florida’s DUI diversion programs and promotes statutory changes to avoid treating repeat offenders as first-time offenders after subsequent violations. The Author begins by categorizing DUI diversion programs into two general types: statutory and non-statutory (de facto). The Author then focuses on Florida’s four largest DUI diversion programs, all of which are de facto programs. The Author moves into a brief discussion of five statutory diversion programs from other states. Finally, the Author compares Florida’s four de facto diversion programs with those five out-of-state statutory diversion programs.

The Author advocates that Florida should enact a uniform, statewide DUI diversion program that allows judges to consider whether an offender has previously had a DUI charge dropped to a lesser offense or had adjudication withheld entirely by way of a diversion program. A statewide program, according to the Author, would increase revenue to the State and decrease the probability of repeat offenders dodging increased penalties and supervision. The Author also argues that a statewide program would better align with a proper legislative process than the diversion programs unilaterally created and directed by state attorneys, who are quasi-judicial officers applying executive branch power. Finally, the Author concludes with a brief discussion of the most appropriate means to pursue this change in Florida law.

Get It Right, Florida: Why the Florida Supreme Court Should Rule that Equal Protection Claims of Sexual Orientation Discrimination Receive Intermediate Scrutiny

In the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Windsor, state and federal courts are grappling with challenges to same-sex marriage bans. Most courts have held in favor of marriage equality, but not through the same legal reasoning. Some courts have applied heightened scrutiny, while others have applied a rational basis review, This Article discusses the split of authority in Florida and argues that the Florida Supreme Count should take up the issue.

The Author begins by discussing current equal protection jurisprudence and a specific Florida Supreme Court case, D.M.T. v. T.M.H., where the court applied rational basis review to an equal protection claim rooted in discrimination based on sexual orientation. The Author argues that this type of discrimination should be subject to intermediate scrutiny. The Article cites federal caselaw to illustrate that even courts applying rational basis review actually apply a heightened form of review and that several courts have found that sexual orientation is a protected class. The Article notes that the D.M.T. case failed to consider whether sexual orientation is a protected class; then it offers its own analysis of that issue, answering that question in the affirmative. The Author argues that state constitutions may not limit the freedoms and liberties that the federal constitution guarantees its citizens and that the modern version of the Florida Constitution prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

The Author concludes that the Florida Supreme Court should not avoid the issue, should find that sexual orientation is a protected class, and should subject laws targeting sexual orientation to intermediate scrutiny.

What’s Your Problem?

Legal education in the United States does not fully prepare graduates to easily transition from students to practicing attorneys. Several prominent organizations, including the American Bar Association, have called for reform in legal curriculum to include greater practical training. Primarily, reformers argue for an increased focus on recognizing and solving client problems and less of a reliance on case dialogue classes. Despite these criticisms, law schools have been slow to implement changes to their syllabii.

This Article argues that law schools should incorporate problem-solving classes and practical training into their curricula. First, it examines the problem-solving methodology developed by Joseph William Singer. Next, this Article demonstrates how problem-solving training can be incorporated into legal education, including integrating this methodology into current classes and creating new problem-solving courses, and provides further guidance for constructing a curriculum around problem solving. This Article then illustrates the need for problem-solving methodology to be taught in law schools. Finally, this Article discusses both the benefits and the practical challenges to incorporating problem solving into the law school curriculum. Ultimately, the Author argues that including problem solving in legal education better prepares students to resolve client problems and bridges the gap between legal theory and practice.

Rethinking Contractual Choice of Law: An Analysis of Relation Syndrome

This Article analyzes the concept of choice of law by contractual parties with a focus on the relational requirement: that a transaction be reasonably related to the jurisdiction selected in the parties’ governing law provision. The Author discusses the doctrine of party autonomy, its development throughout the world, and its relationship to the concept of choice of law. The Author explains a majority of states’ recent rejection of proposals to remove the relational requirement in favor of the relation-based alternative that is still dominant in the United States. Included in this discussion are the proffered reasons behind and the consequences of this rejection. The Author proposes a more liberal approach in the United States to choice of law while explaining how the relational requirement creates problems as far as contractual choice of law.

The Author discusses the constitutional restrictions on adopting a more liberal approach With respect to choice of law in the United States, as well as the concerns about parties circumventing the mandatory rule, selecting an odd law, and forum shopping. The Author advances the idea that the relational requirement in the United States is unnecessary and an overreaction to the possible exploitation of the freedom to choose a contract’s governing body of law. The Article proposes that removing the relational requirement would lead to greater certainty, predictability, and uniformity, which are fundamental principles in contract law.

A Return to Balance: Federal Sentencing Reform After the “Tough-on-Crime” Era

The United States criminal justice system has reached a breaking point. Following a nationwide war on drugs, our prison population has grown at an unsustainable rate. Now, with the world’s highest incarceration rate, the billions of dollars spent each year to incarcerate prisoners have become economically infeasible. Further, with nearly half of the United States’ prisoners sentenced for drug crimes, the continuing racial disparities, revolving door of poverty and criminality, and destruction of American families are socially undesirable. Lastly, mandatory minimum sentences have largely stripped discretion from the judiciary and placed it squarely in the hands of the executive branch. It is time for our system to reflect a more balanced, stable, and fair structure of justice by embracing a smart-on-crime approach, rather than a tough-on-crime mentality.

This Article first explores the history of criminal sentencing in the United States, including the driving forces behind the mandatory minimum drug sentences. Following a discussion of the impacts that mandatory minimum drug sentences have had on families, the judicial system, and communities of color, this Article discusses two recent legislative proposals: the Smarter Sentencing Act and the Justice Safety Valve Act. First, the Smarter Sentencing Act, legislation aimed at remedying the harsh mandatory minimum sentences imposed on low-level drug offenders, is discussed, including its potential implications should it pass. Possible implications include a shift of power from the prosecutor back to the judge, a decrease in the number of incarcerated individuals nationwide, and desirable economic outcomes for our system. Next, the Article turns to the Justice Safety Valve Act, discussing its potential to lead to a more balanced system and recommending that it be amended to include criteria to be considered by judges to prevent the disparate sentencing that contributed to the minimums in the first place.

This Article proposes reformation of our current system, Viewing the recent legislative proposals as a step in the right direction, and arguing these proposals will save money, increase judicial discretion, and return a sense of fairness to the criminal justice system.

Florida’s Implied Warranty of Habitability: How Far Does a Homebuyer’s Protection from a Developer’s Ticky Tacky Construction Extend?

State law protecting Florida homeowners from shoddy home construction has been in flux since Florida followed other jurisdictions in abandoning the doctrine of caveat emptor—under which buyers purchased at their own risk, generally without recourse for defects—and adopting the doctrine of implied warranties, under which builders may be liable for damages caused by defects in a new home. Initially, Florida’s District Courts of Appeal disagreed over which home defects should be covered under the doctrine of implied warranties. The Florida Supreme Court granted certiorari on the issue in Maronda Homes and approved the Fifth District’s “essential services” test, thereby furthering the buyers’ protections by expanding the scope of damages for which developers may be liable. Complicating the matter, however, was the Florida Legislature’s disagreement with the essential services test and passage of Section 553.835 while Maronda Homes was pending appeal.

This Article asserts that Section 553.835, now controlling authority for future new home defect cases, does not answer the key question of when Florida homebuyers are protected from new home defects and how far that protection reaches. After explaining the history of the implied warranties doctrine in Florida and its expansion, the Author explains how Section 553.835 limits the doctrine. The Author argues Section 553.835 is poorly drafted and misses the mark by failing to create a bright—line rule. The Author then proposes an amended version of the Statute by rejecting part of the current language and modeling new language after other jurisdictions’ implied warranties provisions.

To Analyze or Not to Analyze: A Practical Solution to the Love—Hate Relationship Between Daubert and Certification in Class Action Proceedings

This Article discusses whether and to what extent a Daubert analysis, which examines the admissibility of expert testimony, should be performed during class certification proceedings. In Daubert, the United States Supreme Court held that in a merits phase of litigation, the Federal Rules of Evidence govern the admissibility of scientific evidence based on expert testimony; yet, the Court did not articulate whether that standard also applies during class certification. After explaining the Court’s ruling in Daubert, this Article examines the subsequent circuit split and differing interpretations of whether and to what extent Daubert should be applied at the class certification stage, with some circuits reasoning that a full Daubert analysis is necessary due to the significance of class certification and others preferring a more flexible approach that allows courts the discretion to apply a limited Daubert analysis when appropriate.

Proponents of performing a full Daubert analysis during class certification argue that if anything less than a full Daubert analysis is applied, a district court will more readily certify a putative class, which, in turn, will lead to increased settlement pressure, Proponents of a tailored Daubert analysis argue that such a system is much more appropriate when a court bifurcates discovery—a process that greatly increases judicial efficiency. In response to this circuit split, the Author proposes that courts utilize a sliding Daubert scale, with the type of case at issue determining the extent of the Daubert analysis. Using three hypotheticals of different types of cases, the Author illustrates how such a sliding scale would allow a court to apply the level of analysis most appropriate for the case at hand and thereby mitigate settlement pressure in appropriate circumstances, increase settlement pressure where necessary, decrease the chance of desertification on interlocutory appeal, and promote efficiency devices during certification.

Litigating the Negligent Security Case: Who’s in Control Here?

Negligent security cases are cases in which a landowner is exposed to liability resulting from criminal acts on the landowner’s property, regardless of whether the landowner is present. In this Article, the Author discusses the different types and sources of landowner duties, including statutory and common law, and the role that “control” plays in litigating these cases. Generally, there is no duty for a landowner to protect entrants from third-party criminal acts. However, a duty will arise when an individual responsible for the status of land maintains control over the tcrtfeasor, the instrumentality that the tortfeasor uses to commit the harm, or the land itself. If such a duty exists, that person or entity must take sufficient steps to protect visitors on the
hand If the landowner fails to take reasonable measures to satisfy that duty, and a jury determines that the lack of security caused injury or death to a visitor, the landowner may be exposed to significant liability.

Lead, Follow, or Be Lefi Behind: The Case for Comprehensive Ocean Policy and Planning for Florida

Oceans are rich with opportunity for coastal communities. Whether those opportunities are commercial or recreational, realizable today or preserved for generations to come, the sea holds assets which must be protected. This Article discusses the need for comprehensive ocean
policy in the state With more exposure to the sea than any other in the contiguous United States: Florida. By discussing the historical development of the federal government’s coastal management and ocean policy, the Article highlights and compares modern measures with
traditional single-sector solutions. Explaining the relationship between state and federal government action provides a background for why states must take the lead in protecting the ocean’s precious resources. The Article explains several state ocean management programs to provide the reader with a base to compare Florida’s ocean policy efforts. Outlining the challenges that Florida faces in the use of its waters—such as offshore oil and gas development, alternative energy development, and the effects of climate change—the Author argues that now is the time to implement policies to preserve the sea’s natural resources. The Article then discusses the results of current national ocean policy planning, the essence of which is that states may work together regionally and only voluntarily. Finally, the Author concludes that a comprehensive state policy on the ocean and coastal marine spatial planning is essential to Florida. Because there are many interests involved, Florida needs a clear Vision with which it may govern its oceans. By taking the lead in its own waters, Florida could influence the plans and priorities of national ocean policy.

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