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TFB - Daily News Summary - July 31, 2017

Monday, July 31, 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.

 

July 31, 2017

 

The Florida Bar

COMMENTARY: FLORIDA LAWYERS TAKE STEPS TO BETTER SERVE PUBLIC

Naples Daily News | Column | July 30, 2017

Michael J. Higer, president of The Florida Bar, writes: “Being a lawyer is much more than filing documents and billing hours. It’s about giving a voice to those who would otherwise not be heard, protecting our court system, defending our constitutional rights and seeking justice even when it seems out of reach. With this duty to justice in mind, The Florida Bar has laid out an ambitious agenda for the next 12 months. . . . Justice is at the heart of what we do as lawyers and by reconnecting with this fundamental understanding, it is our hope that we can do even more to protect, preserve and achieve it.”

 

Legal Profession

NEW LEGAL FELLOW HOPES TO HELP AREA IMMIGRANTS

Gai | Article | July 28, 2017

Reina Saco, 26, was led to pursue a career in law fighting for those less fortunate after watching her parents not get the help they needed when they arrived in South Florida after fleeing Cuba in 1994. Saco graduated from the University of Florida College Levin of Law in May, and received a 2017 Equal Justice Works Florida Community Economic Development Fellowship this month. The mission of Equal Justice Works is to create a just society by mobilizing the next generation of lawyers. The fellowship, from September until August 2019, will allow Saco to help migrant and seasonal farm workers in Florida gain access to affordable, safe and sanitary housing. “My spirit to help others comes from what I saw my parents go through,” Saco said. “Sometimes just a small amount of help can make a world of difference in someone’s life.”

 

Legal Profession

SUNDAY EDITORIAL: NELSON HAS ALREADY MADE AN IMPACT AS STATE ATTONEY

Florida Times-Union | Editorial | July 28, 2017

“State Attorney Melissa Nelson has focused on meeting four goals since taking office in January: keep the community safe; explore and adopt reasonable strategies to ensure the legal system equally serves all citizens; increase the level of openness shown by the State Attorney’s Office; and dramatically transform the culture within the State Attorney’s Office. . . . Those are high standards, but Nelson’s office has admirably met them so far. . . . There is enough evidence to reach this early verdict on Nelson’s performance: the State Attorney’s Office operates in a far more fair and transparent way than it did before she arrived.”

 

Judiciary

MANATEE COUNTY JUDGE SNIFFEN APPOINTED TO FILL VACANCY

Bradenton Herald | Article | July 28, 2017

Manatee County Judge Charles Sniffen has been appointed by Gov. Rick Scott to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Circuit Judge Janette Dunnigan. The governor’s office revealed Sniffen’s appointment in a news release Friday [July 28]. Sniffen, who presides over one of the Manatee County court’s civil and criminal divisions, has served on the bench since March 2013.

 

Judiciary

GOODMAN SELECTED TO SERVE AS CIRCUIT JUDGE

Washington County News | Article | July 28, 2017

Holmes and Washington County Attorney Jeff Goodman has been selected as the newest judge for the 14th Judicial Circuit. Goodman will fill the seat that will be vacated when 14th Judicial Circuit Court Judge Hentz McClellan retires later this month. Goodman was selected Friday [July 28] out of six names submitted to Gov. Rick Scott by the 14th Circuit Judicial Circuit Nominating Commission.

 

Judiciary

JUDGE GUILTY OF CAMPAIGN MISCONDUCT FACES DISCIPLINARY HEARING, LEANS ON ‘CHARACTER’ WITNESSES

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

At a hearing Wednesday [Aug. 2], Palm Beach County Judge Dana Santino will be in the spotlight over her admitted campaign misconduct last year. The judge says she’s “deeply remorseful” for making derogatory remarks about her opponent. She repeatedly criticized him for being a defense attorney and choosing to represent ‘murderers, rapists, pedophiles.’ The Judicial Qualifications Commission has accused Santino of breaching the standards for ethical behavior of judges, finding her “actions strike at the heart of judicial integrity.” Ahead of the hearing, Santino presented the panel with several letters attesting to the judge’s character. After the hearing, a panel of two judges, two lawyers and two citizens will make a disciplinary recommendation to the Florida Supreme Court.

 

Civil Justice Issues

LAWSUIT CHALLENGING FLORIDA’S THIRD-GRADE RETENTION LAW QUIETLY ENDS

Tampa Bay Times | Article | July 28, 2017

The Florida Supreme Court has refused to hear parents’ complaint against the state’s third-grade retention law, leaving intact an appellate court ruling against the parents’ position. The high court denied a request for review of the appellate ruling without explanation. It did not leave open the option of a rehearing. The parents filed suit in Leon County, but the school districts argued that they should be sued in their home counties. The DCA agreed with the districts. The DCA also praised the “laudable purpose” of testing as a way to determine whether a student requires more reading instruction. The parents had contended their children need not sit for the state test, and that their report cards and other course work should suffice for purposes of gaining promotion.

 

Civil Justice Issues

MORE THAN 1,300 CUBAN MIGRANTS ARE BEING HELD IN DETENTION CENTERS ACROSS THE U.S.

Miami Herald | Article | July 28, 2017

After an unexpected policy change and an end to special treatment that allowed the majority of Cuban migrants to remain legally in the United States, more than 1,300 are now being held at detention centers across the country waiting for their fate to be decided by immigration judges. The Cuban American Bar Association, through its pro bono foundation, has been offering support to Cubans detained at the Krome Detention Center in Miami who have no legal representation. Likewise, the Immigration Partnership & Coalition is committed to raising funds to support other organizations such as the Americans for Immigrant Justice. But with 1,355 detainees in custody so far, these efforts may not be sufficient.

 

Other

87-YEAR-OLD ST. PETE JUDGE SETS RECORD AS OLDEST PERSON TO SWIM FROM ALCATRAZ TO SAN FRANCISCO

ABC Action News | Article | July 27, 2017

Retired St. Petersburg Circuit Court Judge Robert E. Beach completed a record-setting swim from Alcatraz to San Francisco to celebrate his 87th birthday. Beach is the oldest person to complete swim. Beach is still a part-time judge in the Tampa Bay area. After traveling to 125 countries and all 50 states, raising four children, enjoying four grandchildren and two great grandchildren, he says this Alcatraz swim is one of his greatest accomplishments.


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