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Daily News Summary - March 28, 2017

Tuesday, March 28, 2017  

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.

 

MARCH 28, 2017

The Florida Bar

MIAMI LAWYER USES HIS ART TO BENEFIT ABANDONED PETS

The Florida Bar | Article | April 1, 2017

This week, FloridaBarNews.TV highlights Miami lawyer Marcos Javier Garcia and his efforts to photograph and publicize shelter dogs who are available for adoption at the Miami-Dade Animal Services Adoption and Protection Center. Garcia, a personal injury lawyer at Rubenstein Law P.A., recently had a collection of 40 of his black-and-white shelter photos published in Lens, a New York Times photography blog, and says his mission is to save the lives of unwanted dogs by volunteering at the shelter and photographing their environment.

Civil Justice Issues

KIMBERLY SANCHEZ: LEGAL AID KEEPS COURTS ACCESSIBLE

Daytona Beach News-Journal | Column | March 26, 2017

By Kimberly Sanchez, executive director of Community Legal Services of Mid Florida. She writes: "Justice for all is a founding principle of our democracy. Unfortunately, for many Americans justice comes with a price tag they cannot afford. Community Legal Services of Mid Florida is a nonprofit law firm serving vulnerable communities across 12 Central Florida counties, including Volusia and Flagler. . . . On March 30, CLSMF celebrates its 50th anniversary of providing legal services to Central Florida. Despite CLSMF's successes, many people are left unserved as the needs far outweigh the resources available. . . . Accessing justice is difficult and sometimes impossible, especially for vulnerable communities. Civil legal aid ensures that all individuals can access justice regardless of its price tag."

Judiciary

TERM LIMITS WILL HURT THE QUALITY OF FLORIDA JUDGES

Miami Herald | Column | March 27, 2017

By Ervin A. Gonzalez, former president of the Dade County Bar Association. He writes: "For the second consecutive year, the Florida Legislature is attempting to place an amendment to the state Constitution before voters to enact term limits for the state's highest ranking members of the judiciary. . . . Life terms for jurists are designed to help ensure their independence from political and economic pressures. . . . Limiting [judges'] terms to only 12 years would open the door to greater legislative and gubernatorial influence over the judiciary. . . . The state's lawmakers should rise above the politics and do what is right for the Florida court system."

Civil Justice Issues

PENSACOLA PRO-BONO ATTORNEYS MAY LOSE $1.4 MILLION

Pensacola News Journal | Article | March 24, 2017

A budget proposed by the Trump administration would eliminate funding for the Legal Services Corporation, a national non-profit organization that provides free civil legal aid to low-income and elderly citizens. The Pensacola-area branch of the organization, Legal Services of North Florida, serves 16 Florida counties, with the Pensacola office handling the cases of about 6,000 everyday families who otherwise couldn't afford an attorney. The organization receives grant funding and does private fundraising, but Leslie Powell, executive director of LSNF, estimated the cut amounts to roughly $1.4 million each year, about a third of the non-profit's annual budget. In a written statement, Florida Bar President William Schifino, Jr., said he found the president's call to defund the Legal Services Corporation "distressing."

Judiciary

SANTINO SAYS SHE BROKE RULES IN ELECTION BUT STILL FIT TO BE JUDGE

Pensacola News Journal | Article | March 24, 2017

Palm Beach County Judge Dana Santino on Friday [March 24] admitted she violated two judicial canons during the November election by blasting her opponent for representing criminals, but insisted she is qualified to remain on the bench. In a response to formal charges the Judicial Qualifications Commission filed against her with the Florida Supreme Court this month, the newly elected judge acknowledges her comments about her opponent, defense attorney Gregg Lerman, were inappropriate and that she "deeply regrets them." In her answer to the complaint filed by the JQC, Santino admitted to two of the commission's claims, but balked at two others.

Legal Discipline

KELLY MATHIS SEEKING REINSTATEMENT OF LICENSE, EXPUNGEMENT OF FLORIDA BAR DISPLINARY RECORD

Jacksonville Daily Record | Article | March 27, 2017

Kelly Mathis' record on The Florida Bar website shows his four-year legal battle. He remains suspended from practice as the result of his October 2013 conviction in the Allied Veterans of the World case. Mathis' conviction was overturned three years later by the Fifth District Court of Appeal. This month, the Attorney General's Office decided not to pursue a second trial. Brian Tannebaum, Mathis' Bar attorney, filed documents last week to get his client's law license back and his record expunged. The Bar and Mathis sought a joint stipulation for dismissal. Fourth Judicial Circuit Chief Judge Mark Mahon, who serves as the referee in the disciplinary matter, accepted the joint request and asked the Florida Supreme Court to dismiss the case against Mathis "with all deliberate speed" and reinstate his law license.

Civil Justice Issues

FLA. AMONG 13 STATES URGING APPEALS COURT TO OK TRUMP TRAVEL BAN

TC Palm | Article | March 27, 2017

A group of 12 state attorneys general, including Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, and one governor is backing President Donald Trump's revised travel ban targeting six predominantly Muslim countries, telling a federal appeals court Monday [March 27] that the president acted lawfully in the interest of national security. The states are urging the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn a lower court judge's ruling that blocked part of the president's revised executive order. "The Executive Order's temporary pause in entry by nationals from six countries and in the refugee program neither mentions any religion nor depends on whether affected aliens are Muslim," the states wrote in the brief.

Legislature

FLORIDA LEGISLATORS PROPOSE CUTTING BUDGET OF PROSECUTOR

South Florida Sun-Sentinel | Article | March 28, 2017

House Republicans on Monday [March 27] proposed to cut the budget of State Attorney Aramis Ayala, the Orlando prosecutor who is pledging to not seek the death penalty in cases handled by her office. Legislators released spending recommendations that proposed slashing $1.3 million and 21 jobs from the budget. Ayala has come under fire after she said she would not seek the death penalty in the case of Markeith Loyd, who is charged with murdering an Orlando police lieutenant and Loyd's pregnant ex-girlfriend. Gov. Rick Scott took the case away from Ayala and reassigned it to another prosecutor. The House budget proposal would shift money away from Ayala and save it for prosecutors who are reassigned death penalty cases.

Other

HOW TO USE FASTCASE’S 'EXPLORE CASE RELATIONSHIPS' FEATURE

The Florida Bar | Tech Tip | March 28, 2017

For more information on this tip and others, visit the Tech Tips page.

 

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