Tom Appeals Blog

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"As long as I have any choice, I will stay only in a country where political liberty, toleration, and equality of all citizens before the law are the rule." - Albert Einstein

Reminder to Trial Lawyers: Details Matter

Posted: February 13, 2010 Filed under: Uncategorized

In R.T. v. Department of Children and Families,a case decided by Florida’s Fifth District Court of Appeal on February 8, 2010, a trial court’s judgment permanently placing a child in the custody of his half-sibling was reversed even though “sufficient evidence to support the trial court’s ruling” existed. The court of appeals based its decision on the requirement found in Florida Statutes that the trial court “set forth written findings to support” its decision. The lesson to be learned from this case transcends juvenile cases, and the lesson is this: trial lawyers must take care not only in presenting evidence at trial but also in preparing and reviewing written orders following the close of evidence.

Admitted: Florida, Kansas, New Mexico (inactive)