Creed & Gowdy successfully overturned a trial court's ruling that denied a paternal grandmother the ability to adopt her grandchild. The Fifth District Court of Appeal held that the trial court applied the wrong standard when it dismissed the grandmother's petition for adoption and remanded for the trial court to appropriately consider the petition. Briefing was handled by Jessie Harrell and Bryan Gowdy. Bryan Gowdy conducted the oral argument. The opinion can be found here.
Creed & Gowdy succeeded in overturning summary judgment in a trip-and-fall case. The Fifth District Court of Appeal held that the trial court erred in finding that a raised wooden plank on a busy deck during a Mardi Gras festival was an open and obvious condition. Briefing was done by Jennifer Shoaf Richardson. Oral argument was done by shareholder, Bryan Gowdy. The opinion can be found here.
The Florida Justice Association has recognized Rebecca Bowen Creed for her superior legal writing by honoring her with this year's S. Victor Tipton Award.
U.S. News and World Report issued its annual rankings of Best Law Firms and Best Lawyers this month. Partners Rebecca Creed and Bryan Gowdy are both ranked in the First Tier of appellate practice lawyers. Of special note, Bryan Gowdy was recognized as Lawyer of the Year in the appellate practice section of the Jacksonville metro market. D. Gray Thomas, of counsel, is also included in the First Tier of white collar criminal defense lawyers, as well as appellate practice.
Gray Thomas, of counsel to Creed & Gowdy, successfully challenged a criminal conviction on charges of child sexual abuse. After the jury was selected but before the trial, bikers wearing leather jackets labeled "Bikers Against Child Abuse" were in courthouse hallways where some jurors were waiting. After the trial judge ordered them to not to wear the jackets in the courthouse, they sat in the spectator area of the courtroom closest to the jury throughout the trial. The First District Court of Appeal found that the circumstances created an unacceptable risk that the jury's verdict was influenced by factors other than the evidence in violation of the defendant's constitutional right to a fair trial. The court ordered a new trial. The opinion can be found here.