There's a popular misconception that the law is boring. It can't be. The law is about our lives and our problems. Your life isn't boring. Your business isn't boring. Your relationships aren't boring. Your problems aren't boring. Your CASE is not boring.
If your brief is boring, the problem is not the law. The problem is not your case. The problem is your lawyer.
REPRESENTATIVE CRIMINAL CASES
Initial Brief in Sexual Battery case - the state conceded error on appeal in this case, and the client walked free, with no possibility of retrial. He is one of about twenty defendants in Florida's Fifth District Court of Appeal to enjoy that outcome on appeal in 2016. A more typical successful outcome is a new trial.
Petition for Writ of Certiorari - The Petition is the first step in review by the Supreme Court of the United States. This petition involves federal habeas review under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 of a life sentence.
Motion for executive clemency - the governor's office appointed me to file this petition requesting a pardon and commutation for death row inmate George Trepal, a convicted poisoner.
Appeal of a Rule 3.850 postconviction motion - the defendant here had just been convicted of a crime. He was sentenced as a prison releasee reoffender to a fifteen-year mandatory sentence based on earlier juvenile cases, where he was tried and convicted as an adult. I was able to convince Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and Southern Juvenile Defender Center) to appear in support of his case. INITIAL BRIEF REPLY BRIEF AMICUS BRIEF
Rule 9.141 petition - ineffective assistance of appellate counsel on a serious error that resulted in a 15-year mandatory minimum.
Motion for certificate of appealability - this is a request for permission to appeal, and based primarily on the lower court filing for Mr. Lenz.
Clemency application for a nonviolent offender. Volunteer work as part of the Obama-era initiatives.
REPRESENTATIVE CIVIL CASES
I was appointed by the 11th Circuit to represent Mr. Ealy, a blind Florida inmate, in his law suit against the private prison that left him to fall repeatedly. I won for him. INITIAL BRIEF REPLY BRIEF
Francis v. Tower Hill - In this case, the insurance company tried to use a loophole to keep Ms. Francis from using her funds to fix her roof before she fixed her interior. Yes, you read that right: Tower Hill argued that Ms. Francis had to take whatever they paid, because she used the insurance that covered the interior to fix the exterior leak before she fixed the interior damage from the leak. I did the initial brief and reply brief. Ms. Francis got the big win.
dWooten v. Baker County Property Appraiser - This was a federal civil rights case charging Baker County with discrimination in applying its greenbelt tax exemption for agricultural lands. The opposition to the motion to dismiss is here.
Restoration 1 a/a/o Marilyn Sidney v. Tower Hill - the insurance company tried to use an unqualified 'expert' who performed a substandard inspection to show that a roof leak was the homeowner's fault. INITIAL BRIEF
In 911 Restoration a/a/o Coleman v. St. Johns Insurance Company, the insurance company argued that its policy did not create coverage for water back up because the policy did not mean what it said. INITIAL BRIEF REPLY BRIEF
FLORIDA ASSIGNMENT OF BENEFITS ("AOB") CASES:
Insurance companies in Florida are currently executing a full court press against assignments of benefits, trying to accomplish in the courts what they cannot get done in the legislature. I am proud to have handed them a long series of defeats.
In Restoration 1 a/a/o Alex Tchekmeian vs. ASI Preferred Insurance Corporation, I successfully argued that ASI included illegal clauses in its insurance policy, and that Mr. Tchekmeian had the right to use his insurance benefits to pay for emergency repairs to his home. As counsel for the appellant (Restoration 1, who lost below), I was responsible for the initial brief and reply brief. Former Florida Supreme Court justice Kenneth Bell filed the answer brief, but I beat him.
I also represented the Florida Justice Association as amicus curiae in Security First Insurance Company v. Florida Office of Insurance Regulation. It was great to help give Security First a big loss.
AllStar Animal Removal was a nice win in what appears to be the next frontier of AOB fights: whether another person can sign an AOB when the emergency repair company arrives while the homeowner is absent. Insurance companies are really trying to make their customers take the strangest positions. INITIAL BRIEF REPLY BRIEF
And in JD Restoration v. Universal Property and Casualty Company, the insurance company tried to undo the AOB by arguing that the homeowners should have brought a notary when they executed the AOB. Universal "won," but the unreasoned PCA opinion is not precedential in any other case. It's just a matter of time until they lose, and I hope I get another chance to beat them. You be the judge - is it my fault or the judges'? INITIAL BRIEF REPLY BRIEF
In United Reconstruction Group v. Citizens, the insurance company is arguing that it's not responsible for theft of benefits when it paid the wrong person, who cashed the check. INITIAL BRIEF REPLY BRIEF
Gray Proctor, “Old Rule, Partially Retroactive, and No Remedy: Why Hurst Won’t Help Many on Florida’s Death Row.” 28 FED. SENT. R. 5 (2016).
Gray Proctor, “Ngo Excuses: Proving, Rebutting, and Excusing Exhaustion in Prisoner Suits after Woodford v. Ngo and Jones v. Bock,” 31 HAMLINE L. REV. 471 (2008).
Gray Proctor, “The New Role of Federal Habeas Courts in Guaranteeing the Right to Effective Assistance of Counsel,” Florida Bar Journal June 2015.
Gray Proctor, “What State Criminal Practitioners Should Know About Federal Habeas Corpus,” The Record (Journal of the Appellate Practice Section Summer 2014).
Gray Proctor, “Hurst v. Florida: Retroactivity Doctrine Allows Florida to Ignore the Constiutiton,” Bloomberg BNA Criminal Law Reporter (February 10, 2016)
Gray Proctor, “Retroactivity and the Uncertain Application of Johnson v. United States: Is the Rule ‘Constitutional’ on Post-Conviction Review?” Bloomberg BNA Criminal Law Reporter (July 1, 2015).
Gray Proctor, “Whiteside v. United States: Using 28 U.S.C. § 2255 to Correct Serious Guidelines Errors Based on New Law,” BNA Bloomberg Criminal Law Reporter (April 30, 2014).
Gray Proctor, “Christmas Comes Early in the Eleventh Circuit: Using Bryant and 28 U.S.C. § 2241 When Section 2255 is Inadequate to Challenge Illegally Enhanced Sentences,” BNA Bloomberg Criminal Law Reporter (January 22, 2014).
Gray Proctor, “Attacking Aggravating Prior Convictions in Federal Habeas: Using Lackawanna and Daniels for . . . Practically Anything?,” BNA Bloomberg Criminal Law Reporter (December 4, 2013).
Gray Proctor, “Habeas Review under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 after Martinez v. Ryan,”: Federalization and Forum Shopping for Ineffective Assistance of Counsel Claims BNA Bloomberg Criminal Law Reporter (December 5, 2012).
Speaker and Panelist, “The ‘Solo Practitioner:’ Pro Se Litigants and Their Obstacles to Justice,” Fordham Law School, January 25, 2011.