posted 2015 | W.H. v. State (appeal)
Mr. Forman was hired to handle an appeal for a driver in Orange County, Florida whose drivers license was suspended for speeding on a motorcycle. The particular judge who imposed the suspension frequently imposed suspensions to drivers over the objection of the lawyers in that county. Mr. Forman was hired to fight on behalf of the driver and won! As a matter of first impression, Mr. Forman was able to convince a 3 judge appellate panel that it was unlawful for the trial judge to suspend a person’s license merely because the person committed a traffic infraction where there was no accident. The Client’s suspension was overturned. Not only was the client obviously happy, but Mr. Forman actually received a congratulatory and appreciative phone call from an Orange County attorney who regularly appeared before this judge. Mr. Forman was advised that no local attorney had the “guts” to appeal this particular judge.
posted 2015 | State vs. S.O. (Appeal/Motion for New Trial)
The client was a local police officer who was charged in a high publicity case with sexual battery. He was represented by another attorney who is now a judge in Broward County. After a jury trial, the police officer was convicted of a very serious charge and was facing 15 yeas in prison. His trial attorney contacted Mr. Forman in order to file a Motion for New Trial based upon juror misconduct. Mr. Forman filed the motion and after an evidentiary hearing, the trial court granted the motion for new trial. Of course, the client was thrilled that his sentence and conviction were vacated!
posted 2015 | State v. J.J. (Appeal/3.850)
The defendant was charged with trafficking in oxycodone. After a jury trial, the defendant was sentenced to 36 years in Florida State Prison. Mr. Forman was referred this appeal by his client’s trial attorney, who advised Mr. Forman that he did not believe that there was a chance to win on appeal. Mr. Forman handled the direct appeal and found numerous issues that he believed warranted a new trial. However, the trial attorney failed to object during the course of the trial, which precludes winning on appeal.
Due to trial counsel’s failure to object, Mr. Forman sought to have the trafficking conviction vacated due to ineffective assistance of counsel on the face of the record, which is extremely rare. The appellate court issued an opinion indicating that it was concerned about trial counsel’s failure to object, as well as other instances raised by Mr. Forman. This paved the way for a motion for post-conviction relief (3850 motion) under Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.850. The Broward County State Attorney’s Office decided that it was best to negotiate a plea offer and agreed to a 12 year sentence with the defendant’s new attorney. The client was pleased with the result and will be released in less than 2.5 years!