Author Archives: Florida Coastal School of Law

Jacksonville attorney first to go on trial in Allied Veterans case

Rod Sullivan, professor at the Florida Coastal School of Law, said he is confused by what the Attorney General’s Office is doing.

A few weeks ago, Sullivan said the gambling case appeared to be weak because of the way gambling laws were written by the Legislature. But the money laundering case was probably strong.

But Sullivan changed his mind as more plea deals occurred.

“I was shocked that they took a plea deal from Chase Burns,” Sullivan said. “He seemed to be the key to the money laundering case.”


Judge reverses decision to restrict media in reporting on confession in child’s attack at Best Buy

Rod Sullivan, professor at the Florida Coastal School of Law, had said it’s the responsibility of Duval County Clerk of Courts Ronnie Fussell’s office to ensure the documents are redacted, not the responsibility of the media to withhold information.

“When something happens like this, you can’t just say, ‘Oh, well,’ ” Fussell said. He said he has warned the deputy clerk responsible, and “it’ll be in the forefront of everyone’s mind going forward.”


Landlord, tenants could face legal action after balcony collapse

“If I were representing one of these victims, I would look at suing both the landlord and the tenant,” said Florida Costal School Of Law Professor, Rod Sullivan.

Sullivan said if the tenants don’t have renter’s insurance, victims can go after any assets they may have.

“The tenants’ potential liability comes in because the tenant apparently complained about it in the past that the deck was weak, but let 15 to 20 people go on the deck at one time,” said Sullivan. “They certainly bare some responsibility for the loss, but the primary responsibility seems to rest with the landlord if the deck was not maintained, in good condition or not built correctly in the first place.”

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Times-Union sues mayor, city, fire and pension pension board

An attorney at the Florida Coastal School of Law who specializes in open records and the Sunshine law says the newspaper’s lawsuit is well founded.

“The city did violate the collective bargaining practice by doing these in private,” said Rod Sullivan. “I think the entire process of file, the civil rights complaint in federal court, is a sham.”

… read the entire story at

Maurice Jones-Drew investigation close to concluding

Nick Martino, a defense attorney and adjunct professor at Florida Coastal School of Law, cautioned that the videotape doesn’t guarantee an easy understanding of what happened.

“I can tell you that the picture quality of these tapes is very poor,” Martino said. “They may not even be able to tell if it’s Maurice Jones-Drew.”


Court throws out conviction over cell phone search by Jacksonville police

The Florida Supreme Court has thrown out the armed-robbery conviction and 50-year prison sentence of Cedric Tyrone Smallwood after ruling that Jacksonville police illegally looked at photos on his cell phone.

The case, decided by a 5-2 vote, has statewide implications because the court ruled that police cannot look at information on a cell phone without getting a search warrant first.

“It’s a huge decision,” said Rod Sullivan, a professor of constitutional law at Florida Coastal School of Law. “Police have been looking through the cell phones of people they arrest for years.”


Attorneys embarrassed and disgusted over peer’s actions

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The case against a local attorney accused of grand theft and exploitation is alarming members of the local legal community.

“It’s never a good thing when you’re moving money from one place to another,” say Sarah Sullivan, Associate Professor of Professional Skills at the Florida Coastal School of Law.

Sullivan says local attorneys are embarrassed and disgusted that their peer, Cynthia Nichols, is accused of scamming her elderly client, Mary Vest, out of $100,000.

Action News went to Sullivan to find out how this could happen.  She says guardians are court appointed, and must follow strict rules.

“Every year, [guardians] have to go back to the court and do a fairly detailed record of accounting that talks about everything that’s come in, and everything that’s gone out of their clients accounts.”

But in this case, Sullivan says something looks wrong.

… read the entire story at Action News Jax.

Lawmakers differ on how to fix juvenile sentencing laws

J.D. Moorehead, a professor at Florida Coastal School of Law, said Bradley’s legislation would likely survive a court challenge because it addresses the major concern the Supreme Court had.

Soto’s plan to bring back the parole system might be more problematic, although it does make a certain amount of sense to bring back parole for juveniles, Moorehead said.

The most logical step might be to take a hybrid of both bills, give judges the option of life without parole but allow them to impose a lighter sentence, and also let judges decide whether the defendant should be eligible for parole at some point, Moorehead said.

“Judges know the people in front of them best,” he said.


Denial Of Worker Compensation Claim May Work In Children’s Favor

Florida Coastal School of Law professor Rod Sullivan says not having that insurance puts Rosado’s employer at huge legal and financial risk.

“In exchange for purchasing workers compensation insurance, the employer gets immunity from suit by the employees. So that, at the end of the day, if this employer actually has money, the employee would actually get more money because they didn’t have workers comp. But, they’d have to go through litigation to get that money.”

read more at WJCT.

Florida grapples with what to do with underage killers

That ruling appears to be in conflict with Florida law, and judges are caught in the middle, said J.D. Moorehead, a professor at Florida Coastal School of Law.

“There is no longer any penalty available for juveniles convicted of first-degree murder,” Moorehead said. “We now have all of these cases in limbo.”