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Daily News Summary

Wednesday, February 15, 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.

FEBRUARY 14, 2017

The Florida Bar

PRACTICING WITH PROFESSIONALISM NOW OFFERED ONLINE

The Florida Bar | Article | February 15, 2017

This week, FloridaBarNews.TV highlights a big move by The Florida Bar's Young Lawyers Division, which is -- for the first time -- offering its Practicing With Professionalism course online. All new Bar members are required to take the PWP course within one year after being admitted to the Bar, and this course provides instruction on ethical and professional issues and fulfills a Basic Skills Requirement.

Legislature

BILL WOULD LET HOUSE IMPEACH PROSECUTORS, PUBLIC DEFENDERS

Florida Politics | Article | February 13, 2017

A measure filed Monday [Feb. 13] by Sen. Greg Steube, R-Sarasota, would add prosecutors and public defenders to the list of officials that the state's House of Representatives can impeach. The proposal would require a constitutional amendment that has to be passed by 60 percent of voters statewide. The state constitution now authorizes the House to impeach the "governor, lieutenant governor, members of the cabinet, justices of the supreme court, judges of district courts of appeal, judges of circuit courts, and judges of county courts for any misdemeanor in office." Steube's proposal would add "state attorneys and public defenders."

Civil Justice Issues

FORECLOSURE LITIGATION STRATEGY TAKES AIM AT SENIORS, ATTORNEYS SAY

Daily Business Review | Article | February 13, 2017

Defense attorneys describe a new strategy by lenders and plaintiffs lawyers: sue to foreclose on government-guaranteed home loans under various defaults, then fast-track these suits by filing motions for orders to show cause. These motions shift the burden of proof to the borrower, requiring them to appear in court and explain why a judge shouldn't grant final judgment against them. Florida is ground zero for seniors' issues, but as the strategy has often proved effective, it's likely to spread, according to defense attorneys. About a dozen similar cases reached attorneys at South Florida's Coast to Coast Legal Aid, who have helped a growing number of low-income seniors fight and win dismissals despite aggressive lender litigation.

Legal Profession

STARTUP HELPS CONSUMERS EVALUATE LAWYERS BY COMPILING WIN RECORDS

ABA Journal | Article | February 10, 2017

A startup company aims to help consumers choose lawyers through a free website that compiles the lawyers' approximate win rates in state courts. The startup, Justice Toolbox, currently offers data only for Washington, D.C., and Maryland. Additional cities are expected to be added by June. The websites creator is Bryant Lee, who is a computer scientist as well as a lawyer. He was inspired to create the website when he was at Covington & Burling and lawyers at the firm would send out emails asking for recommendations on lawyers who could handle everyday issues. Justice Toolkit uses artificial intelligence software to collect information from state court dockets about case types, case outcome and the lawyers involved.

Criminal Justice Issues

FLORIDA SUPREME COURT CHIEF JUSTICE DROPS INQUIRY AFTER LAWYER RESIGNS FROM DEATH PENALTY CASES

Jacksonville Daily Record | Article | February 13, 2017

Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Jorge Labarga last week dropped an investigation into a lawyer who repeatedly missed critical deadlines in death penalty cases, after she resigned from a statewide registry that made her eligible to represent defendants in capital cases. Labarga in November ordered a highly unusual inquiry into lawyer Mary Catherine Bonner, "pursuant to the (Supreme) Court's authority to monitor the representation of capital defendants to ensure that the defendants receive quality representation." On Jan. 25, Bonner submitted her resignation from the registry of lawyers who can be assigned to represent capital defendants. She also said she intended to withdraw from any cases on which she was currently counsel.

Criminal Justice Issues

ORANGE COUNTY MOLESTATION CONVICTIONS OVERTURNED AFTER PROSECUTORIAL MISCONDUCT

Florida Politics | Article | February 13, 2017

In a 2-1 opinion, a three-judge panel of the Fifth District Court of Appeal last week vacated the molestation convictions of Orlando-area man Marco Antonio Rodriguez, saying he was the victim of "egregious prosecutorial misconduct." The appeals court remanded the case back to the Orange County Circuit court for retrial. Rodriguez is now serving an 18-year sentence, records show. Judges James A. Edwards and Richard B. Orfinger also said Rodriguez's case was compounded by his defense attorney's "unexplained failure to object." They admitted "the jury may have reached the proper verdict, given the evidence in this case," but nonetheless found Rodriguez was "denied a fair trial."

Other

ARE DUAL MONITORS THE ANSWER TO INCREASED OFFICE PRODUCTIVITY?

The Florida Bar | Tech Tip | February 14, 2017

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

 

more Calendar

2/23/2017
Real Property Section Meeting

3/3/2017
South County Division Sporting Clays Event

Featured Members
E. K. DuBose Esq.Keith is President of SCBA
Chip Gaylor Esq.Chip is President-elect of the SCBA

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