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TFB - Daily News Summary - Jan. 22, 2018

Monday, January 22, 2018  

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.

 

Jan. 22, 2018

 

Judiciary

RICK SCOTT APPOINTS NEW JUDGES

Florida Politics | Article | January 22, 2018

Gov. Rick Scott on Friday [Jan. 19] announced the appointment of four new trial court and appellate judges: J. Andrew “Drew” Atkinson to the Second District Court of Appeal in Lakeland; Christopher LaBruzzo and Frederick Pollack to the Sixth Judicial Circuit Court; and Judge Spencer J. Multack to the 11th Judicial Circuit Court.

ALSO READ:

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY JUDGE MULTACK ELEVATED TO CIRCUIT BENCH

Daily Business Review | Article | January 19, 2018

FLA. GOV. APPOINTS STATE AGENCY'S GC TO APPEALS COURT

Law360 | Article | January 19, 2018

 

Constitution Revision Commission

GUEST COLUMN: PUT PROPOSAL 40 ON THE BALLOT TO PROTECT FLORIDA’S ABUSED, NEGLECTED CHILDREN

Florida Times-Union | Column | January 19, 2018

Jake Schickel, a founding partner of Coker, Schickel, Sorenson, Posgay & Iracki in Jacksonville, writes: “Parents who are accused of abuse and neglect are able to get lawyers. Why not their children? . . . Florida’s Constitution Revision Commission can fix that justice gap by placing Proposal 40 on the ballot. Proposal 40 will provide children removed from their parents due to abuse and neglect the right to legal counsel to help protect their interests.”

 

Judiciary

SUZANNE BASS IS BOTH JUDGE AND LIBRARIAN

Jacksonville Daily Record | Article | January 22, 2018

About a year ago, Circuit Judge Suzanne Bass began adding an assignment to read a book and deliver an oral or written report to some children she sentenced to community service and probation. Bass has installed a bookshelf in a small conference room adjacent to her court and stocked it with books donated by Friends of the Jacksonville Public Library. Bass sees handing down reading assignments as an integral part of the mission of the court — helping children who break the law to avoid more serious crimes.

 

Constitution Revision Commission

THEIR LOVE ON HOLD WITH NOWHERE TO GO

The Villages Daily Sun | Article | January 21, 2018

Barbara Spurlock from Ormond Beach hoped a proposed change to the state Constitution that seeks to give stronger rights to grandparents and help her reunite with the three children she misses dearly. She and other grandparents traveled to the Capitol on Friday [Jan. 19] to ask a committee of the state Constitution Revision Commission to consider letting Florida residents vote this year on changing a privacy provision that limits a grandparent’s right to seek visitation of his or her grandchildren. The committee rejected the idea by unanimous vote.

 

Constitution Revision Commission

PROPOSALS TO RESTORE FELONS’ RIGHTS MOVE FORWARD

Naples Herald | Article | January 21, 2018

Two proposals that would automatically restore voting rights to felons who have served their sentences were approved Thursday [Jan. 18] by a Florida Constitution Revision Commission panel. In a 6-2 vote, the commission’s Ethics and Elections Committee approved a measure (Proposal 7) that would automatically restore voting rights to felons who have served their prison time and completed any probation or parole requirements. Felons convicted of murder or sexual offenses would be excluded. In another 6-2 vote, the panel endorsed a measure (Proposal 21) that would also automatically restore felons’ voting rights after sentences are completed. The proposals next head to the commission’s Declaration of Rights Committee.

 

Judiciary

JUDGE ADMITS RUNNING UNETHICAL RACE. IS SHE FIT TO KEEP JOB?

South Florida Sun-Sentinel | Article | January 19, 2018

Palm Beach County Judge Dana Santino argues that her ethical lapses while running for office don’t mean she’s unfit for the job, but the state’s Judicial Qualifications Commission disagrees and now the Florida Supreme Court will decide Santino’s fate. Santino admitted she crossed the line while campaigning by calling her 2016 election opponent, a criminal lawyer, a defender of “murderers, rapists, (and) child molesters.” The JQC argued Santino’s misconduct shows she can’t be fair and impartial and needs to be removed. A lawyer for Santino has asked the Supreme Court to reject the commission’s recommendation and instead impose a fine of at least $50,000 and a public reprimand.

 

Legal Profession

THE MARBUT REPORT: ‘SCALIA SPEAKS’ AT FEDERALIST SOCIETY

Jacksonville Daily Record | Article | January 21, 2018

At its meeting last week, the Jacksonville Lawyers Chapter of the Federalist Society welcomed attorney Edward Whelan, president of the Washington, D.C.-based Ethics and Public Policy Center and co-editor of “Scalia Speaks: Reflections on Law, Faith and Life Well Lived,” a collection of speeches made by the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Whelan, a former Scalia law clerk, said he and Scalia’s son, Christopher, spent months selecting the speeches on various topics.

 

Legal Discipline

FLORIDA ETHICS PANEL DISMISSES CASE VS. NAPLES COUNCILMAN SAM SAAD

Naples Daily News | Article | January 19, 2018

The Florida Commission on Ethics on Friday [Jan. 19] dismissed a complaint against Naples Councilman Sam Saad, finding there was no probable cause to move the case forward, lawyers said. Naples Councilwoman Linda Penniman alleged in a complaint against Saad in March 2017 that he violated state ethics laws by voting to approve a controversial real estate development involving Saad’s business associates. In May 2017, the NAACP of Collier County also filed a complaint with The Florida Bar, alleging Saad violated Bar ethics rules with his vote. That complaint is still pending, said Vincent Keyes, president of the NAACP chapter.

 

Civil Justice Issues

CFO PATRONIS: ATTORNEY FEE LIMITS ‘GOOD DEBATE TO HAVE’

Daily Business Review | Article | January 19, 2018

The Legislature should consider restricting how much insurance companies can spend on attorney fees when fighting workers’ compensation claims, state Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis told The News Service of Florida. The House two weeks ago passed a bill that would limit plaintiffs’ attorney fees to $150 an hour and reduce amounts paid to hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers for treating injured patients. While the House bill (HB 7009) would restrict attorney fees for injured workers, it does not impose the same limits on insurance companies that hire lawyers to fight the claims. When asked whether the restrictions should apply to insurers, Patronis said, “I think two-way attorney fees [restrictions] is a good debate to have.”

 

Civil Justice Issues

THIS FLORIDA NEWSPAPER SUED FOR A CITY MANAGER’S TEXT MESSAGES AND WON A BIGGER PUBLIC RECORDS VICTORY

Poynter | Article | January 18, 2018

Early this month, Tallahassee’s City Commission approved a settlement with The Tallahassee Democrat as a result of a lawsuit filed by the newspaper after obtaining text messages it had requested from the city manager. The city denied that the texts even existed, and said it wasn’t preserving text messages from public officials, even though Florida’s Sunshine Law requires that it does just that. When Democrat reporters got hold of the messages, the newspaper pushed ahead with the story and the suit. The city settled, paid the Democrat’s legal fees and has created new policies for preserving text messages.

 

Civil Justice Issues

PADI THE DOG ACCUSED OF THIRD ATTACK. THE VICTIM IS SUING THE OWNER

Bradenton Herald | Article | January 19, 2018

A lawsuit claims a 17-year-old girl was attacked by Padi, a well-known Manatee County dog that inspired a change in state law. She is suing the dog’s owner, a local veterinarian. Padi, owned by Paul Gartenberg, has been known in the community for years, and became more widely known after a she was saved from being euthanized. The dog has been accused of two prior separate attacks but also served as a face for animal rights after it inspired legislation that allows discretion on whether to put to death dogs that cause severe injuries to humans. The lawsuit claims Gartenberg did not do his duty to make sure Padi would not attack another person after a documented previous attack.

 

Criminal Justice Issues

LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS COURTS SUPPORT FOR JUVENILE JUSTICE REFORM

Pensacola News Journal | Article | January 21, 2018

The League of Women Voters of the Pensacola Bay Area is asking area governments to support giving judges more influence in deciding when juvenile offenders are prosecuted as adults. The group is urging both the Escambia County commissioners and the Pensacola City Council members to approve non-binding resolutions in support of reforming “direct file,” the process that allows state prosecutors to charge a child as an adult. The proposed adjustments to direct file would allow juvenile offenders to request that a judge review their case and rule whether it merits a transfer to the adult system. In addition, the Florida Constitution Revision Commission is also considering a proposal that would mandate a judicial review of direct file transfers.

 


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