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TFB - Daily News Summary - Mar. 12, 2018

Monday, March 12, 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.

 

March 12, 2018

 

Constitution Revision Commission

WATCH THESE PROPOSALS TO CHANGE THE STATE CONSTITUTION

Florida Today | Column | March 09, 2018

Isadora Rangel, Florida Today’s public affairs and engagement editor, writes: “Currently, 37 active proposals are before the Constitution Revision Commission. . . . Commissioners must submit a final report to the secretary of state by May 10. Below are some of the proposals you should get under your radar. You can learn about the others at www.flcrc.gov.” Rangel highlights proposals related to open primaries, public funding for religious organizations, greyhound racing, charter schools and others.

ALSO READ:

CAROLE FERNANDEZ: BE PREPARED FOR A MONSTER BALLOT IN NOVEMBER

Gainesville Sun | Column | March 11, 2018

CRC WEIGHS FELON VOTING RIGHTS PROPOSAL

WFSU | Article | March 08, 2018

 

Judiciary

SCOTT APPOINTS STATE REP. LARRY METZ JUDGE FOR 5TH CIRCUIT

Orlando Sentinel | Article | March 11, 2018

Gov. Rick Scott announced from the dais of the Florida House Sunday [March 11] that he had appointed Rep. Larry Metz, R-Yalaha, to be a judge in the Fifth Judicial Circuit. Metz said he expects to fill the position sometime after June 30, when Judge William G. Law is set to retire after 28 years on the bench. A practicing attorney and former Marine, Metz said, “I’m grateful for the opportunity to continue to serve the public. It’s a different and new capacity.”

 

Other

HE LIKED SOMETHING ON FACEBOOK. THEN HE WENT TO JAIL.

Tampa Bay Times | Article | March 10, 2018

From warning jurors not to check Facebook or Twitter during a trial to an upcoming Florida Supreme Court decision that will define what a Facebook “friend” really is, lawyers and judges are confronted with navigating the legal complexities of social media. In divorce cases, St. Petersburg lawyer Charles Hinton has seen such an increase in the number of people who attack their former spouses online that he now makes sure court orders include language that specifies former partners will not insult each other on the web. This summer, the Florida Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in a Miami case that could define what a Facebook friendship legally means. The case stems from a request to disqualify a judge because she is Facebook friends with a lawyer representing the defendant.

 

Legal Profession

FORMER PALM BEACH PROSECUTOR JOINS COHEN MILSTEIN TO FIGHT SEXUAL ABUSE NATIONWIDE

Daily Business Review | Article | March 10, 2018

Profile of Takisha Richardson, former chief of the special victims unit of the Palm Beach County State Attorney’s Office. Helping sexual abuse survivors find strength is what drove Richardson to move into private practice last month. She joined the Palm Beach Gardens office of Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll, a 90-attorney plaintiffs firm with a team focused on sexual violence litigation, to make a difference beyond county lines and to help families win often much-needed financial remedies.

 

Criminal Justice Issues

WHAT MAKES A GOOD PROSECUTOR? A NEW STUDY OF MELISSA NELSON’S OFFICE HOPES TO FIND OUT

Florida Times-Union | Article | March 09, 2018

A new, two-year research project aims to analyze prosecutor data by taking deep dives into the offices of four elected prosecutors, including State Attorney Melissa Nelson, creating new measures to track equity, efficiency and justice in Jacksonville and three other major cities. The $1.7 million research project is headed up by Besiki Luka Kutateladze, a Florida International University professor with experience analyzing prosecutor’s offices. He plans to deploy a team of researchers to offices in Jacksonville, Tampa, Milwaukee and Chicago. The researchers will comb individual case files and implement new data-tracking tools that will detect racial bias, explain how plea deals work and see if policies are increasing the community’s trust in the justice system.

 

Civil Justice Issues

DRUG EPIDEMIC STRESSES COURT, SUPPORT SYSTEMS

Ocala Star Banner | Article | March 11, 2018

In 2017, 860 children in Marion County entered the foster care system, according to data from the Florida Department of Children and Families. Reasons for entry range from abandonment to a child’s behavior problem to inadequate housing. But the largest contributor, accounting for 32 percent of all cases in the county, is drug abuse. The prevalence of opioid and drug abuse in Marion County has continuously increased the number of children in dependency court since 2010. The court and its support systems, such as the Guardian Ad Litem program, are burdened with the increased caseloads and are stressed from being understaffed and overworked.

 

Legal Discipline

LAWYER ACCUSED OF VIDEO VOYEURISM PERMANENTLY DISBARRED

Tampa Bay Times | Article | March 10, 2018

The Florida Supreme Court has permanently banned Tampa Bay attorney James Patrick Stanton Jr. from practicing law in the state. Stanton, who in January signed a consent to disbarment, was accused of secretly videotaping nude and partially undressed female employees of a Tampa company where he worked. Although he was arrested in 2014 on more than 100 felony counts of video voyeurism, a judge dismissed the case against him after his lawyers argued that the statutes of limitations had expired.

 

Legal Discipline

ATTORNEY THEFTS FROM CLIENTS SPIKED IN GREAT RECESSION

Daily Business Review | Article | March 10, 2018

The Great Recession left a wake of disbarred attorneys in Florida who lost their licenses after dipping into client trust funds in order to keep their practices afloat. Florida Bar data reviewed by the Daily Business Review showed client theft-related disbarments after the recession increased by nearly 88 percent, peaking at 47 disbarments in 2010. Following the Bar’s client trust account rules is sacrosanct and any violations cut to the heart of the profession, said Florida Bar Board of Governors member Dennis Kainen.

 

Legislature

LAWMAKERS PASS CRIMINAL REFORMS AIMED AT RACIAL INJUSTICE

Sarasota Herald-Tribune | Article | March 09, 2018

The Florida Legislature approved a bill late Friday [March 9] to bolster transparency in the criminal justice system, a reform experts hope will address racial disparities in sentencing. House leaders agreed to a plan pushed by Senate President Joe Negron aimed at increasing the use of civil citations and pre-arrest diversion programs for juveniles who commit minor crimes. Senate leaders agreed to the data-collection proposal, which had cleared the House last month. Under the proposal, various records stored by court clerks, state attorneys, public defenders, jail operators and law enforcement will be centralized, and the results will be published through a new database updated weekly. The legislation now goes to Gov. Rick Scott for approval.

 

Legislature

FLORIDA LEGISLATURE OKS $88.7 BILLION BUDGET TO END 2018 SESSION

Palm Beach Post | Article | March 11, 2018

The Florida Legislature wrapped up the end of an extended 2018 session Sunday [March 11] with the passing of a budget that pushes hundreds of millions of dollars toward spending on K-12 and higher education, improving school safety and battling the opioid crisis. The $88.7 billion budget also includes $100 million for the Florida Forever program, which allows the state to purchase environmentally critical land.

ALSO READ:

LEGISLATURE APPROVES $89 BILLION BUDGET IN RARE SUNDAY SESSION

Tampa Bay Times | Article | March 11, 2018


more Calendar

7/12/2018
Real Property Section Meeting

8/22/2018
Labor & Employment Section Meeting

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