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TFB - Daily News Summary - Nov. 8, 2017

Wednesday, November 8, 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.

 

November 8, 2017

 

Constitution Revision Commission

GUEST COLUMN: REVISE THE CONSTITUTION WITH CAUTION

Walton Sun | Column | November 07, 2017

Michael J. Higer, president of The Florida Bar, writes: “Every 20 years, Florida’s core governing document, the Florida Constitution, is opened up for a top-to-bottom review. Through this process, the Constitution Revision Commission (CRC) carefully examines and determines what, if any, amendments to propose directly to the citizens of our state. . . . Right now, the CRC is reviewing our Florida Constitution. In order to inform, educate and engage both our lawyers and our citizens, The Florida Bar recently launched the education program ‘Protect Florida Democracy: Our Constitution, Our Rights, Our Courts.’ . . . We should pay careful attention to the proposals and only revise our constitution with caution.”

ALSO READ:

GUEST COLUMN: REVISE THE CONSTITUTION WITH CAUTION

Santa Rosa Press Gazette | Column | November 07, 2017

GUEST COLUMN: REVISE THE CONSTITUTION WITH CAUTION

Crestview News Bulletin | Column | November 07, 2017

 

Legal Profession

FROM POST-IT NOTES TO ALGORITHMS: HOW AUTOMATION IS CHANGING LEGAL WORK

WJCT | Article | November 07, 2017

Like many routine tasks, document review with human hands is disappearing. Lawyers at top firms only spend about 4 percent of their time on document review, according to Frank Levy, a longtime MIT labor economist and co-author of the paper “Can Robots Be Lawyers?” Levy’s research found that current technology is replacing roughly 2 percent of a lawyer’s total workload each year. The next evolutionary frontier is automated contracts, says Gabe Teninbaum, a professor at Suffolk Law School.

 

Civil Justice Issues

‘JUSTICE ON THE BLOCK’ TAKES LEGAL AID TO PEOPLE

WUWF | Article | November 07, 2017

An effort is underway to make it easier for Escambia County residents who can’t afford an attorney to access to legal help on various civil matters. The Escambia Project is taking “justice to the people” through a series of legal aid pilot programs, including Justice on the Block. On a recent Tuesday afternoon, the Support Services Center at Community Action Program Committee (CAP) headquarters served as the hub for volunteers, volunteer attorneys, and local residents seeking legal assistance. Justice on the Block is one of three legal aid services being modeled for the state as part of a new initiative supported by The Florida Bar Foundation.

 

Civil Justice Issues

SUPREME COURT ASKED TO DECIDE IF CAR CAN BE ‘WEAPON’

WUSF | Article | November 07, 2017

The Florida Supreme Court could decide whether a car can be considered a weapon in criminal cases. A notice was filed asking the Supreme Court to take up the issue in a Duval County manslaughter case stemming from the death of a man who was fatally struck by a car after an altercation at a bar. The First District Court of Appeal last month upheld the conviction of the driver of the car. Under state law, the use of a weapon bumped up the manslaughter charge from a second-degree felony to a first-degree felony. The driver challenged the reclassification of the crime to a first-degree felony based on the car being considered a “weapon.” While the First DCA rejected Shepard’s argument, it acknowledged that its conclusion differed from a ruling in a case in the Second District Court of Appeal.

 

Judiciary

FLORIDA GOV. RAISES QUESTIONS ABOUT SUPREME COURT JUSTICES

South Florida Sun-Sentinel | Article | November 07, 2017

Gov. Rick Scott’s general counsel this week asked the Florida Supreme Court to hand over a document that Justice Barbara Pariente was seen discussing with Chief Justice Jorge Labarga during a court hearing. The Scott administration also asked for all raw audio recordings of the two hours justices were in court. The discussion came right after a hearing over a lawsuit that deals with whether Scott can appoint three new justices on his final day in office in 2019. Part of the conversation between the two justices was caught by the Florida Channel.

ALSO READ:

SCOTT RECORDS QUERY ADDS INTRIGUE TO SUPREME COURT BATTLE

Orlando Sentinel | Article | November 07, 2017

 

Legal Discipline

PARTNER IN STUART LAW FIRM REPRIMANDED BY FLORIDA BAR, FOUND TO HAVE CONFLICT OF INTEREST IN ESTATE PLANNING CASE

TC Palm | Article | November 07, 2017

Stewart McGough, a partner in a New York-based law firm who also works in its Stuart office, will be given a public reprimand by The Florida Bar’s Board of Governors following a Sept. 14 court order. McGough engaged in a conflict of interest representing both a Sarasota husband and wife in drafting revised estate planning documents without a written waiver of conflict. He also failed to advise the couple, who had a prenuptial agreement when they married in 1998 in Missouri before retiring to Florida, to seek advice from independent counsel concerning the proposed changes.

 

Criminal Justice Issues

FLORIDA TO EXECUTE MAN CONVICTED OF 2 DECADES-OLD MURDERS

South Florida Sun-Sentinel | Article | November 08, 2017

Florida is scheduled to execute an inmate on Wednesday [Nov. 8] who was convicted of slashing one man’s throat and fatally shooting another six times in 1991. Patrick Hannon, 53, is scheduled to die by lethal injection at the Florida State Prison at 6 p.m. He would be the third Florida inmate to be executed since August. The state resumed executions in August following changes made to its death penalty sentencing law, which now requires a unanimous jury vote for a death sentence.


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