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TFB - Daily News Summary - Jan 24, 2018

Wednesday, January 24, 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. 24, 2018

 

Judiciary

FLORIDA SUPREME COURT TO BROADCAST ARGUMENTS ON FACEBOOK LIVE

Orlando Sentinel | Article | January 23, 2018

Starting next month, Facebook users across the globe will be able to watch attorneys argue their cases before Florida’s high court. The Florida Supreme Court announced Tuesday [Jan. 23] that its oral arguments will be streamed on Facebook Live starting with February’s docket. It’s the court’s latest effort to embrace social media, after joining Twitter in 2009 and Facebook in the fall of 2016. The Florida Supreme Court first allowed TV news cameras in 1975, and began producing coverage with its own cameras in 1997.

ALSO READ:

FLORIDA SUPREME COURT TO AIR HEARINGS ON FACEBOOK LIVE

Palm Beach Post | Article | January 23, 2018

FLORIDA SUPREME COURT GOING LIVE ON FACEBOOK

Tallahassee Democrat | Article | January 23, 2018

FLORIDA SUPREME COURT TO LIVESTREAM ARGUMENTS ON FACEBOOK

Daily Business Review | Article | January 23, 2018

 

The Florida Bar

AKERMAN’S ALLISON STOCKER RECOGNIZED FOR VOLUNTEER SERVICE

Jacksonville Daily Record | Article | January 23, 2018

Allison Stocker, an associate attorney in Akerman’s Jacksonville office, went far beyond the annual aspirational goal of at least 20 hours of service at no charge or $350 in contributions to legal aid agencies. She was on the team that sued the city of Jacksonville in federal court on behalf of Ability Housing of Northeast Florida Inc. Fighting City Hall in federal court – and winning – took 14 months and more than 2,000 pro bono hours, about 600 of which were logged by Stocker. She will receive The Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division Pro Bono Service Award for 2018 Thursday [Jan. 25] at the state Supreme Court in Tallahassee.

ALSO READ:

GAINESVILLE LAWYER RECEIVES AWARD FOR CREATING PRO BONO COLLABORATION

Gainesville Sun | Article | January 23, 2018

 

Civil Justice Issues

FLORIDIANS WILL VOTE THIS FALL ON RESTORING VOTING RIGHTS TO 1.5 MILLION FELONS

Orlando Sentinel | Article | January 23, 2018

The group Floridians for Fair Democracy successfully gathered more than 799,000 certified signatures in its years-long petition drive to give 1.5 million felons their voting rights back, just a week before the deadline to reach the required total of about 766,000. Because of that, the state on Tuesday [Jan. 23] certified the initiative for the Nov. 6 ballot. If approved by 60 percent of voters, the amendment would restore voting rights to Floridians with felony convictions after they fully complete their sentences, including parole or probation. Those convicted of murder or sexual offenses would continue to be barred from voting.

 

Legal Profession

JUDGE CHARLES WILLIAMS AND ATTORNEY CHARLIE ANN SYPRETT STAND UP FOR DIVERSITY

Sarasota Magazine | Article | January 23, 2018

Ten years ago, 12th Judicial Circuit Court Chief Judge Charles Williams surveyed the local community and found that the area’s major law firms had few female and minority attorneys. Williams and his longtime friend, attorney Charlie Ann Syprett, helped launch the Sarasota County Bar Association Diversity Committee. The committee offered $5,000 scholarships to bring law students to intern at local firms, with the hope that after graduation they might be inspired to return to practice here. Between 30 and 40 young attorneys have gone through the program, and at least six have made Sarasota their home.

 

Legislature

CLAIMS ABUSE BILL ADVANCES, BUT SENATORS WANT ATTORNEYS, INSURERS TO COMPROMISE

South Florida Sun-Sentinel | Article | January 23, 2018

The state Senate Banking and Insurance Committee rejected a proposal favored by insurers and OK’d a bill supported by plaintiffs’ attorneys and water damage restoration contractors on Tuesday [Jan. 23]. Several committee members said they expected changes to the attorney-friendly bill in upcoming hearings and called for negotiations by lawmakers to continue. Sen. Anitere Flores, R-Miami, called for insurers to guarantee that rates would go down if changes they seek are enacted. Insurers have blamed several years of rate increases on claims abuses. Next, the bill faces consideration by the Judiciary and Rules committees.

 

Civil Justice Issues

FLORIDA QUIETLY CUT DEAL TO CAP FEES IN WATER WARS

Tampa Bay Times | Article | January 23, 2018

Florida has worked out a deal to cap the amount of money that will be paid to law firms hired to help the state in its long-running water war with Georgia. Last fall, the Florida Legislature quietly signed off on a proposal paring back the cost owed to one of the law firms by about $4 million. Their action will bring the total spent since 2014 on fees and expenses to more than $57 million. That includes a final payment for the hearing held earlier this month before U.S. Supreme Court justices. The legal battle over water in the Apalachicola, Chattahoochee and Flint river basin has been going on for nearly three decades.

ALSO READ:

OPINION: THOUGHTS TOWARD ENDING AMERICA’S ‘WATER WARS’

Atlanta Journal-Constitution | Article | January 19, 2018

 

Criminal Justice Issues

MILITARY JUDGE TO LONE USS COLE LAWYER: ‘ENGAGE IN SELF-HELP’ TO LEARN CAPITAL DEFENSE

Miami Herald | Article | January 23, 2018

The resignation of the capital defense lawyer in the USS Cole death penalty trial loomed over this week’s hearing at the Guantanamo Bay Navy Base — with prosecutors authenticating signatures on packages of evidence from the 2000 bombing site, and a defense attorney refusing to participate. The judge, Air Force Col. Vance Spath, repeatedly rejected an argument by the lone defense lawyer, former Navy SEAL Lt. Alaric Piette, that the hearings should cease until an experienced capital defense attorney reaches court. The judge scolded Piette for mounting no defense in a pretrial hearing and urged him to “engage in self-help” by attending special training for capital cases.

 

Criminal Justice Issues

WOMAN, 60, FOUND GUILTY OF FILING FALSE LIENS AGAINST PINELLAS JUDGE

Tampa Bay Times | Article | January 23, 2018

Sixth Circuit Judge Thomas Minkoff testified from the witness stand on Tuesday [Jan. 23] in the trial of a Clearwater woman charged with filing fraudulent documents against the Pinellas-Pasco circuit judge after he presided over her foreclosure. The charges against Leslie Armstrong included two counts of criminal use through simulated legal process and two counts of criminal use under color of law. The jury found her guilty of all counts. Minkoff was the victim in a case highlighting an increasingly common form of retaliation against public officials: They are the targets of fraudulent liens filed against them that can harm their reputations and credit scores.

 

Judiciary

ONE-THIRD OF BROWARD JUDGES HAVE LESS THAN 3 YEARS’ EXPERIENCE

Daily Business Review | Article | January 23, 2018

Thirty of Broward County’s 90 judges are relatively new to the bench. Seventeen circuit judges and 13 of their counterparts in County Court have less than three years’ experience, according to Chief Circuit Judge Jack Tuter. Beginning in 2019, at least nine new judges will be filling open seats and upcoming vacancies creating by expected retirements and departures. Tuter spoke before judges, attorneys, courthouse staff, elected officials and other guests Friday [Jan. 19] at the 2018 Judicial Procession and State of the Circuit Address. Since taking over as chief judge, Tuter updated the court’s administrative orders and issued new ones. On Friday, he signed an anti-sexual harassment policy to govern the circuit.

 

 


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