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TFB Daily News Summary - May 24, 2017

Wednesday, May 24, 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.

 

MAY 24, 2017

 

The Florida Bar

COURT DISMISSES BAR’S OVERHAUL OF LAWYER REFERRAL SERVICE RULES

Florida Bar News| Article | June 01, 2017

The Supreme Court has dismissed without prejudice The Florida Bar’s proposed massive rewriting of lawyer referral service rules and instead said it wants to have “informed discussions” with the Bar and other interested parties. The court heard oral arguments on April 5 on the Bar’s amendments seeking to broaden the definition of lawyer referral services to “qualifying providers,” which would include any for-profit entity that seeks to link consumers with lawyers for legal services. The Bar had not included in its submission a rule requiring that all for-profit referral services be owned or managed by Bar members, something the court had ordered the Bar to do in September 2015 when it rejected an earlier rewrite of referral service rules.

 

The Florida Bar

SPECIAL ELECTION FOR SEAT ON FLA. BAR’S BOARD OF GOVERNORS HAS BEGUN

Daily Business Review| Article | May 25, 2017

The special election to determine who will fill The Florida Bar’s Board of Governors Palm Beach Circuit seat that was vacated by Florida Bar President-elect Michelle Suskauer began Monday [May 22] and runs through June 12. Boca Raton appellate attorney Robin Bresky and West Palm Beach real estate and mediation lawyer Michael Gelfand are running to complete the remaining year of the two-year term for Seat 3, in what is officially the 15th Circuit. The winner will be sworn in at the Bar’s annual convention in June in Boca Raton.

 

Other

OUR VIEW: DON’T SHUT THE PUBLIC OUT OF REVISIONS

Daily Business Review| Editorial | May 24, 2017

The editorial said: “The Constitution Revision Commission’s proposals go directly to the ballot, and its recommendations typically carry great weight. In 1998, voters approved eight of the nine amendments proposed by the commission. … Floridians will barely notice that the next cycle of constitution revision is underway. But the 37-member panel was appointed earlier this year and has been meeting since March — and already, there are troublesome clouds over what should be a thoughtful and open process. … One of the most alarming provisions would allow two members of the commission to confer privately about their work. … The draft rules devote a considerable amount of discussion to means by which the public can be shut down from contributing input, and shut out of the process altogether. … Floridians deserve better.”

 

Criminal Justice Issues

PAM BONDI ON SUNSHINE EXEMPTION SEALING CRIMINAL RECORDS: WHAT ABOUT SEX OFFENDERS?

Tampa Bay Times| Article | May 23, 2017

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi is worried about a new exemption to the state’s Sunshine Law. Approved unanimously by lawmakers last month, SB 118 would require clerks to seal more than 2.7 million criminal records and hundreds of thousands of arrest records for individuals who were found not guilty, acquitted at trial, had charges against them dropped or dismissed, or weren’t charged after being arrested. “What concerns me about this — just as a career prosecutor: Sex offenders … We all know how difficult it is to convict a sex offender, and if they have a case again in the future, I think it’s important for people to be able to know about that,” Bondi said. Once SB 118 is sent to Gov. Rick Scott, he will have 15 days to decide whether to approve it, veto it or allow it to become law without his signature.

 

Legal Profession

LONGTIME VERO BEACH LAWYER TAPPED TO LEAD STATEWIDE CRIMINAL DEFENSE ASSOCIATION

TCPalm| Article | May 23, 2017

Longtime Vero Beach lawyer Andrew Metcalf will be the next president of the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Inc., the state’s top nonprofit group that promotes excellence in the practice of criminal law and supports legislative policies that foster judicial reform. For 20 years, Metcalf has represented clients in criminal cases, including drug and sex offenses, murder and fraud charges, in addition to DUI and vehicular homicide. It’s the first time in the association’s 30-year history that a Treasure Coast attorney has been voted in as president, Metcalf said. He’ll serve as president for one year after an induction ceremony during the group’s annual meeting June 9.

 

Judiciary

JUDGE TROWBRIDGE, A ‘REDWOOD STANDING TALL,’ DIES IN STUART

TCPalm| Article | May 23, 2017

Longtime Circuit Judge C. Pfeiffer Trowbridge, who retired from the bench in 1988 but continued to hear cases as a senior judge for 20 more years, died early Sunday [May 21]. He was 88. Trowbridge was a towering figure in Martin County for many years, well-known in the legal community for his sharp legal mind. “He had a statewide reputation, and was viewed as a redwood standing tall among trees of lesser height on the legal landscape,” said Stuart attorney Richard Kibbey.

Legal Profession

THIS FLORIDA ATTORNEY WILL RUN 6 MARATHONS IN 6 DAYS TO RAISE MONEY FOR LEGAL AID

ABA Journal| Article | May 23, 2017

Mike Freed, a business attorney with the law firm Gunster, will run six marathons in six days to support Jacksonville Area Legal Aid (JALA). He’s had a long-term connection to JALA, for which he does pro bono work. JALA estimates that 48 percent of Jacksonville residents qualify for civil legal aid. Meanwhile, Florida is one of three states that provide no state funding for legal services. Freed hopes to pull in $50,000 for the agency, and he had raised more than $40,000 in donations as of Monday afternoon [May 22]. He mused, “If just 10 percent of ABA members” were able to contribute time or funds to improving access to justice, “imagine the difference we could make.”


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