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United States — Florida
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Reviewed 15 September 2013 E-mail: Administrator@LawSource.com

Florida Court Decisions

A diagram of the state court system (called a “Court Structure Chart” and including a summary of each court’s jurisdiction) is available on the web site of the National Center for State Courts.

    Additional Resources
    Supreme court opinions and briefs … [Florida State Univ. Coll. of Law] — Opinions in this database start in April 1993 (but there is sporadic coverage of earlier cases). The database includes briefs filed in the cases.
    “Gavel to Gavel”—The Florida Supreme Court: Oral Arguments On-line … [WFSU-TV, Tallahassee (Fla.)]
    Florida court opinions … [James H. Wyman, Esq. (Fla.)]


Florida Constitution and Legislation

See also a database of statewide ballot measures maintained by the National Conference of State Legislatures.
  1. Constitution (Fla. Const.)

    Additional Resources
    Florida Constitution Revision Commission … [Florida State Univ., Coll. of Law]

  2. Bills

  3. See also the Florida Legislature web site and links to current and past initiative measures back to 1994.

  4. Laws of Florida (Fla. Laws)
    These are “pamphlet laws,” (chaptered laws presented monograph-style) back to 1997, in PDF files (one law per file).

  5. Florida Statutes (Fla. Stat.)
    For statutes prior to 2010, see the drop-down list under “Superseded Florida Statutes,” below. See also uniform laws and interstate compacts.
  6. Additional Resources
    ¶ Superseded Florida Statutes


Florida Rules of Procedure and Practice

  1. Florida Rules of Procedure
    1. Approved Rules … These are rules promulgated by the Florida Supreme Court. The rules linked here are in PDF files that can take a relatively long time to be displayed.

      Rules in Numerical Order: 
      Note: If a link in either drop-down list above returns a not-found (404) error, try the rules page on the Florida Bar web site (where the rules page is linked on the left-side menu under “Professional Practice | Rules of Procedure”).
    2. Rules of Evidence … The rules of evidence are contained in chapter 90 of the Florida Statutes (see above).

  2. Local Court Rules

    Note: Local rules for state courts are promulgated in administrative orders as well as in denominated rules (and in other forms, such as practice manuals).
  3. U.S. Court Rules
  4. Rules of Practice • Professional Ethics Decisions
  5. Additional Resources
    Amendments to Florida rules … [Florida State Courts]
    ¶ Sentencing Guidelines
  6. Criminal Punishment Code Scoresheet Preparation Manual (2003) … [Florida Dep't of Corrections / Office of the State Courts Administrator] — This manual was prepared to assist in the completion of criminal code scoresheets under the 1998 Florida Criminal Punishment Code [see Fla. Stat. § 921.002 et seq.]. A criminal code scoresheet is required for all felonies subject to the criminal punishment code, which applies to sentencing for all felonies, except capital felonies, committed on or after October 1, 1998.
  7. ¶ Professional Ethics Resources — sunEthics.com … [Timothy P. Chinaris, Esq. / Thomas Goode Jones Sch. of Law (Ala.)] — This web site covers legal ethics, judicial ethics, and bar-admission issues, featuring Florida (but including links to other-state ethics resources and national ethics resources).
    ¶ Legal Citation Rules
  8. Appellate Procedure Rule 9.800, “Uniform Citation System” … (The link is to the Adobe Acrobat file containing all of the appellate procedure rules. Browser-search for “RULE 9.800.”) “This rule applies to all legal documents, including court opinions… . All other citations shall be in the form prescribed by the latest edition of The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation, The Harvard Law Review Association, Gannett House, Cambridge, Mass. 02138. Citations not covered in this rule or in The Bluebook shall be in the form prescribed by the Florida Style Manual published by the Florida State University Law Review, Tallahassee, Fla. 32306.”
  9. Florida Style Manual (4th ed. 1997) … [Florida State Univ. Law Review] — “This Manual is designed to be a user friendly resource for practitioners and scholars, providing proper citation form for Florida materials. It supplements the uniform citation system for Florida legal documents, Rule 9.800, Florida Rules of Appellate Procedure (1995), and the standard citation authority for American legal journals, The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation (16th ed.).”


Florida Administrative Law Sources

See also a page of links to sources of rules, maintained by the Administrative Codes and Registers Section of the National Association of Secretaries of State.
  1. Regulations
  2. Opinions • Decisions • Orders • Rulings
  3. Attorney General Opinions (Ops. Fla. Att’y Gen.)


Florida Ordinances and Home-Rule Charters

Ordinances are local laws, commonly organized into codes, that have been enacted by municipalities — cities, towns, etc. — and counties. Charters are organic laws (similar in function to a constitution) of those local government entities for which “home rule” is authorized by state law. For local laws not found through the links given here, try the county web sites and municipality web sites at “State and Local Government on the Net” by Piper Resources, or a publisher’s web site:
  • American Legal Publishing Corp.
  • Coded Systems Corp.
  • General Code, LLC
  • Municipal Code Corp.
    1. Charters
      Note that a charter could be included in a collection of ordinances (see below) instead of being separately accessible.
    2. County Ordinances
      Click on the button keyed to the name of the county. NOTE: On some web sites, selecting the state is necessary for access to the ordinances link.
    3. Municipal Ordinances
      Click on the button keyed to the name of the municipality. NOTE: On some web sites, selecting the state is necessary for access to the ordinances link.


    Florida Law-Related Periodicals

    Periodicals providing on-line articles are linked here. See also links to all Florida law-review web sites as well as links to web sites of all U.S.-published law reviews and periodicals.

    1. Earth Jurisprudence and Environmental Justice Journal (Earth Juris. & Evtl. Just. J.) … [Barry Univ., Dwayne O. Andreas Sch. of Law]
    2. Florida Bar Journal (Fla. B.J.) … Selected articles with a text search function (from Jan. 1993).
    3. Florida Coastal Law Review (Fla. Coastal L. Rev.)
    4. Florida Law Review (Fla. L. Rev.)
    5. Florida State University Law Review (Florida St. U. L. Rev.) … Both hypertext versions and PDF files of all articles.
    6. Journal of Land Use and Environmental Law (J. Land Use & Evtl. L.) … [Florida St. Univ. Coll. of Law]
    7. Journal of Technology Law & Policy (J. Tech. L. & Pol'y) … [Univ. of Fla. Coll. of Law]
    8. Journal of Transnational Law and Policy (J. Transnat'l L. & Pol'y) … [Florida St. Univ. Coll. of Law]
    9. Stetson Law Review (Stetson L. Rev.)
    10. University of Miami Law Review (U. Miami L. Rev.)


    Other Florida Commentary

    1. Annual Eleventh Circuit Survey … [Mercer Univ. Sch. of Law] — The Mercer Law Review publishes the Eleventh Circuit survey as the summer issue each year. The most-recent survey issue usually is available on-line.

    2. Reporter’s Handbook … [Florida Bar] — This handbook provides an overview of selected legal matters, for the information and guidance of news reporters.

    3. Guidelines for Professional Conduct … [Trial Lawyers Section of the Florida Bar; Conference of Circuit Court Judges; Conference of County Court Judges] — From the preamble: “Although we do not expect every lawyer to agree with every guideline, these standards reflect our best effort to encourage decency and courtesy in our professional lives without intruding unreasonably on each lawyer’s choice of style or tactics.”

    4. Handbook on Discovery Practice (13th ed. 2010) … [Joint Committee of the Trial Lawyers Section of the Florida Bar, the Conference of Circuit Court Judges, and the Conference of County Court Judges] — “This handbook is … intended to be a quick reference for lawyers and judges on many recurring discovery problems. It does not profess to be the dispositive legal authority on any particular issue. It is designed to help busy lawyers and judges quickly access legal authority for the covered topics. The ultimate objective is to help curtail perceived abuses in discovery so that the search for truth is not thwarted by the discovery process itself.”

    5. Monographs on Agricultural and Environmental Laws … [Univ. of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences] — Web versions of publications related to law and agriculture: for example, “Florida Fence and Property Law” (also in Spanish), “Florida Solid and Hazardous Waste Regulation” (also in Spanish), and “Handbook of Florida Agricultural Laws” (also in Spanish).


    Florida Law-Related Topical Web Sites


    Florida Court Information

    See also links to state court web sites, maintained by the National Center for State Courts. Additionally, the Ballotpedia.org web site presents information about courts and judges in the state, covering both state courts and federal courts, in a Wikipedia-style format.
    1. Appellate Court Web Sites
    2. Judicial Circuit Court and U.S. District Court Web Sites
    3. Addresses • Names • Numbers
      See also court web sites, above.
    4. District Courts of Appeal
    5. County Court Clerks
    6. Additional Resources

      NOTE—Florida has 67 counties that are grouped into 20 judicial circuits. The judicial circuits are grouped into five appellate-court districts. Each county has a circuit court (the court of general jurisdiction) and a county court.

      ¶ District Courts of Appeal … See a state map showing generally what counties compose each of the five districts. See a listing of judicial circuits composing each district.
      ¶ Circuit Courts … See a state map showing generally what counties compose each of the 20 judicial circuits.
      County Clerks Directory … This includes links to web sites maintained by county clerks.


    Florida Forms

    1. Family Law Forms … [Florida State Courts] — Forms in PDF files can be completed on-line. Forms are available also in zipped files for downloading for use in a word processor.

    2. Business Entity Forms …[Paracorp, Inc. (Cal.)] — Convenient interface to view and print in-blank official state forms (in PDF files) for filing by business entities. A JavaScript-enabled browser is required.


    Other Florida Resources

    1. Government-Related Web Sites

      See also the Florida Piper Resources list of sites.
    2. Additional Resources
      ¶ Vital Records — Contact Information … [Elizabeth Orsay (Ind.)]
      ¶ Workers’ Compensation — Agency Contact Information … [Robert W. McDowell / N.C. Indus. Comm’n]

    3. Florida Bar

      These units of the Florida Bar have their own web sites, separate from the Florida Bar’s web site.
    4. Bar Associations • Law-Related Organizations
      See also listings for voluntary bar associations on the Florida Bar web site.
      1. Practice-Area Associations (Statewide and Regional)
      2. Special-Interest Bar Associations (Statewide and Regional)
      3. Law-Related Organizations (Statewide and Regional)

        See the National Federation of Paralegal Associations for links to websites of member organizations.
      4. Local Bar Associations • Local Law-Related Organizations

    5. Law Schools • Admission to Practice • Continuing Legal Education
      1. Consulate General of Mexico in Miami • Consulado General de México en Miami
      2. Consulate General of Mexico in Orlando • Consulado General de México en Orlando


    Legal Research and Assistance

    1. Law Libraries

      See also links to web sites of public law libraries and catalogs of academic law libraries, maintained by the library at Washburn University School of Law; and the LibrarySites.Info database of library web sites (“Libcat”).
    2. State Bar Consumer Pamphlets • Folletos para el Consumidor
      Some pamphlets are available also in Spanish. Many pamphlets are available as PDF files, which can be downloaded from the linked page.

    3. Bankruptcy Law and Procedures for Florida Residents … [Calicchia & Kinast LLP (Ohio)] — This web site, presented by a Cleveland bankruptcy law firm, covers basic information about the bankruptcy process, describes debt consolidation and credit counseling as alternatives to bankruptcy, lists the property that an individual is allowed to keep (with citations to governing provisions of Florida law), and gives information about the bankruptcy courts and how to contact bankruptcy attorneys in Florida.

    4. Low-Cost Legal Aid … See also the web site for LawHelp.org and the web site for SelfHelpSupport.org.
      1. FloridaLawHelp.org … [Pro Bono Net (N.Y.)] — This is “a guide to free legal information and legal services in Florida. What can you find here? Legal educational materials, sample forms, and information about the courts, community resources and free and low-cost legal aid programs to help you with your legal problem.”
      2. Florida Legal Help for the Poor … [Am. Bar Ass’n] — Contact information for statewide and local legal-aid programs, from the ABA’s Directory of Pro Bono Programs. The ABA also provides a page of links to pro bono programs’ web sites.
      3. WomensLaw.org — Sources of Legal Help … [WomensLaw.org (N.Y.)] — Sources of legal help (not limited to legal help for women) include statewide domestic-violence resources, local domestic-violence resources listed by city or town, free or low-cost legal services, and lawyer referral services.



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    Revised 15 September 2013
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