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1st District Court of Appeal

Court to DirecTV, Dish: Pay up in taxing case

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An appellate court on Wednesday ordered satellite-television companies to pay legal and other costs in a long-standing tax case they lost earlier this year. After DirecTV and Dish Network sued, the Florida Supreme Court in April decided satellite TV can be taxed at a higher rate than cable TV.

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Court overrules regulators regarding ‘flag drop’ races

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An appellate court on Tuesday unanimously reversed state regulators in favor of a ragtag north Florida horse track looking to become a “first-class (gambling) facility.” The Department of Business and Professional Regulation’s Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering last year rejected an administrative law judge’s tossing out of the state’s complaint that Hamilton Downs ran “flag drop” races contrary to its license. But a three-judge panel of the 1st District Court of Appeal ruled in favor of the track, which it described as “an L-shaped…

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Sides seek more time in $700M Lottery lawsuit

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The Florida Lottery and the House of Representatives are seeking an extension in which to settle a pending lawsuit over a $700 million contract for new equipment, court records show. Lottery outside counsel Barry Richard and House general counsel Adam Tanenbaum asked the 1st District Court of Appeal that they “be permitted to provide another status report to the court by Oct. 31.” Last Thursday was the previous deadline for a status report.

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Court asks why it shouldn’t dismiss ‘pre-reveal’ appeal

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An appellate court was on the verge of rejecting an appeal of a lower court’s decision that entertainment devices known as “pre-reveal” games are in fact illegal slot machines. Dockets at the 1st District Court of Appeal show that Gator Coin II—the Jacksonville company that distributes the games—was ordered to show “why this appeal should not be dismissed” because its filings weren’t in order. An attorney for the company, Bryan E. DeMaggio, responded in a 21-page court filing—including exhibits—that lawyers “inadvertently neglected”…

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Clock ticks toward deadline to resolve Lottery lawsuit

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An Aug. 31 deadline looms for the House of Representatives and Florida Lottery to turn in a “status report” on their efforts to settle a lawsuit over a $700 million contract for new equipment. House spokesman Fred Piccolo on Friday said there had been no resolution, and that “negotiations continue.” Barry Richard, outside counsel for the Lottery, only said the case was still on hold. The 1st District Court of Appeal last month agreed to suspend the case while the sides…

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Appeals judge: 20-year sentence for firing gun an injustice

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An appeals court judge criticized Florida’s mandatory minimum gun laws Tuesday while regretfully upholding the 20-year-sentence of a man who fired a gun at the ground. A three-judge panel of the 1st District Court of Appeal agreed that Eric Patrick Wright’s sentence cannot be reduced, but Judge James Wolf took the extra step of writing an opinion that calls the case an injustice.

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Workers’ comp judge ordered to reconsider $20K attorney fee agreement

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A state appeals court criticized a judge of compensation claims for denying a $20,000 attorney fee award because of unsubstantiated claims that the parties had colluded. The 1st District Court of Appeal ordered Judge John Lazzara of Tallahassee to conduct a proper evidentiary hearing in the matter. “Given the JCC’s failure to provide the parties with proper notice and the opportunity to be heard on the issues that the JCC found determinative in his ruling, we find the JCC violated…

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