THE FLORIDA BAR
Daily News Summary
An electronic digest of media coverage of interest to members of The Florida Bar compiled each workday by the Public Information and Bar Services Department and distributed to the Board of Governors, section and committee chairs, voluntary bar presidents, members of the judiciary and others.
FEBRUARY 6, 2017
Civil Justice Issues
Florida Supreme Court | Article | February 6, 2017
Florida Chief Justice Jorge Labarga on Monday [Feb. 6] announced his three appointments to the Constitution Revision Commission. Labarga's appointments are former Florida Bar President Henry "Hank" Coxe of Jacksonville, Arthenia Joyner of Tampa and Roberto Martinez of Coral Gables. "I looked not only for people skilled in the law, but also for those who have a breadth of knowledge about all the functions of government and its impact upon the everyday lives of everyday people," the chief justice said. More than 70 people contacted the Court to request appointment to the CRC. Under the Florida Constitution, the chief justice appoints three of the 37 commissioners.
Civil Justice Issues
Orlando Sentinel | Editorial | February 3, 2017
Gov. Rick Scott unveiled his budget proposal for the year that begins July 1, but it did not include funds for legal assistance for Floridians who can't afford to hire lawyers in civil court. From the editorial: "A recent study makes a convincing case for the Legislature to include funding again in this category -- and for the governor to break with his pattern and sign off on it. . . . Legal assistance reduces the financial burden on government agencies, businesses and nonprofits by helping more Floridians avoid foreclosures, evictions, domestic violence and other personal and family crises. . . . When people can work through their legal problems and stabilize their lives, they're more likely to be assets for their families, their employers and their communities. . . . Scott often cites the return on investment when evaluating state spending. If he applies that standard to civil legal assistance, he'll urge legislators to fill this gap in his budget."
ABA Journal | Article | February 2, 2017
WCTV | Article | February 3, 2017
Florida Politics | Article | February 3, 2017
Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Jorge Labarga told reporters on Friday [Feb. 6] that he is open to the idea of law schools converting at least part of their third year from being classroom-based to more experiential learning. He also wondered whether the amount of subjects tested on the bar exam can be pared down, so third-year students can pursue more hands-on experience. Labarga made his remarks during a media availability before a meeting of the state's Commission on Access to Civil Justice in Tallahassee. Labarga spearheaded the creation of the commission, which is seeking answers to providing civil legal help to those who can't afford it.
The Florida Bar
WTXL-TV | Article | February 2, 2017
The Florida Bar is seeking approval of a proposal that would make it easier for military spouses to practice law in the state. The proposal, filed this week at the state Supreme Court, would apply to attorneys who are married to members of the military stationed in Florida. It would allow those attorneys, who are licensed in other states, to practice law without first being required to pass The Florida Bar exam. The admission to the Florida Bar would only last as long as the military member remains stationed in the state, under the Bar petition seeking approval from the Supreme Court.
ABA Journal | Article | February 3, 2017
A panel discussion titled "Changing Tides: How Law Schools are Riding the Wave of an Evolving Legal Market " was held on Friday [Feb. 3] as part of the ABA Midyear Meeting in Miami. Joann Grages Burnett, associate director of career development at the Stetson University College of Law, moderated the discussion with two other deans from Florida law schools: Laura Rosenbury, at the University of Florida's Levin College of Law; and Patricia D. White, at the University of Miami School of Law. The speakers addressed two key topics: diversity and inclusion, and adapting to the legal landscape of today and tomorrow. They focused particularly on technology education and training for students.
Orlando Sentinel | Article | February 3, 2017
The Ninth Circuit Judicial Nominating Commission has announced the finalists to fill the job left open by the death of Scott Polodna, a circuit judge in Osceola County. The nominees are Linda Drane-Burdick, a former executive with the State Attorney's Office in Orlando and one of the prosecutors in the Casey Anthony case; Orange County Judge Tanya Wilson, who's been on the bench since 2014; Orlando attorney Thomas Sommerville; and Windermere lawyer Thomas Tukdarian. Gov. Rick Scott will make the final decision on who will succeed Polodna, who died in December. The commission narrowed the list from 15 applicants.
Criminal Justice Issues
Panama City News Herald | Article | February 3, 2017
The 14th Judicial Circuit of the State Attorney's Office on Feb. 1 implemented a Juvenile Sexting Diversion Program, according to an announcement. The program applies to any child younger than 18 who sends a sexually explicit photograph to another minor. For a first offense, the child or his parent or legal guardian will be required to pay $65 to the Clerk of Court, or the child must perform eight hours of community service at any nonprofit organization, officials said. Failure to complete one of the sanctions within 30 days will require a court appearance. This program is the result of a cooperative effort between the various law enforcement agencies, the Clerk of Court and the SAO to teach minors about the dangers of sending out such explicit photographs to others, without punishing them criminally for a first offense.