Invoking “the Rule” in Administrative Proceedings: Florida Industrial Power Users Group v. Art Graham
The article focuses on the applicability of the rule of witness sequestration in administrative proceedings and in particular, follows the case of Florida Industrial Power Users Group v. Art Graham, from its inception to its conclusion in the Florida Supreme Court. The article explains the history of the rule of witness sequestration in the trial courts of Florida, and its historical applicability in administrative proceedings. The article outlines the arguments of the parties, which center on whether the Florida Evidence Code or the Administrative Procedure Act sets the standard for admissibility of evidence in administrative proceedings.
The Florida Supreme Court, in its 2017 decision, ultimately ruled that the Commission had discretion in whether to deny witness sequestration, due to the relaxed standards of evidence in administrative proceedings, as further explained in the article. The article concludes with a brief statement concerning the increasing discretion in applying evidentiary standards in administrative proceedings and what this will bring for the future.
The Authors Virginia Dailey and Samantha Evans are attorneys with Panza, Maurer & Maynard, P.A. in the Tallahassee and Fort Lauderdale offices, respectively. Mrs. Dailey has been practicing for almost twenty years, with a focus in the regulatory and administrative arena over the last ten years, where she has received several recognitions. Mrs. Dailey has represented international companies and foreign governments in contractual and legal disputes, as well as regulated companies, such as electric utilities, and through this has gained extensive knowledge regarding Florida administrative law. Ms. Evans graduated magna cum laude in 2016 from Shepard Broad College of Law and currently practices in the areas of administrative and corporate law. Prior to joining Panza, Maurer, & Maynard, Ms. Evans clerked for two years at a law firm specializing in personal injury and mass torts and continues to use the knowledge gained from her prior employment in her work here at Panza Maurer.