Logourl black
From our private database of 14,100+ case briefs...

Florida v. Nixon

United States Supreme Court
543 U.S. 175 (2004)


Joe Elton Nixon (defendant) brutally murdered Jeanne Bickner and made a full confession to police. Nixon’s appointed counsel, Michael Corin, conducted an investigation before determining that there was no question as to Nixon’s guilt. Corin attempted to negotiate a plea agreement, but the prosecution would not drop the death penalty. Corin then made a tactical decision to concede guilt at trial so that his request for mercy during sentencing would be more effective. Corin tried to consult with Nixon about this plan three times, but Nixon did not participate or consent to the strategy. At trial, Nixon became so unmanageable that the judge had to remove him. Nixon then waived his right to be present. Corin conceded guilt as planned and presented extensive mitigating evidence related to Nixon’s mental state and capacity in hopes of avoiding a death sentence. The jury convicted Nixon and sentenced him to death. The Florida State Supreme Court overturned the conviction and ordered a new trial.

Rule of Law

The rule of law is the black letter law upon which the court rested its decision.

To access this section, please start your free trial or log in.


The issue section includes the dispositive legal issue in the case phrased as a question.

To access this section, please start your free trial or log in.

Holding and Reasoning (Ginsburg, J.)

The holding and reasoning section includes:

  • A "yes" or "no" answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

To access this section, please start your free trial or log in.

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.

  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.

Here's why 221,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,100 briefs, keyed to 189 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.