There is a difference in opinion when it comes to intra-district precedent in Florida. Most lawyers believe — and some judicial opinions hold — that a district court’s three-judge panel is bound by a prior panel opinion until the district court sitting en banc or the Florida Supreme Court overrules it. Surprisingly, some district court opinions hold (or at least instruct) that when two panel opinions conflict, the later opinion controls. Thus, there are two approaches to reconciling intra-district precedent in Florida: “older is better” versus “later is greater.”
Robert Scavone Jr. co-authored “A Not-So-Little Problem with Precedent: Intra-District Conflict in Florida District Courts of Appeal.” The article explores the jurisprudential underpinning related to the conflict and offers advice for lawyers who encounter intra-district conflict.