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Schifino in line for Bar presidency

Bill Schifino, Jr.Tampa attorney Bill Schifino, Jr., has become President-elect designate of The Florida Bar after West Palm Beach attorney David C. Prather withdrew from the race. Schifino will become the Bar's 2015-16 president-elect when he is sworn in at the Bar's annual convention in June.

The future looks bright

Survey finds Florida lawyers are upbeat about the economy and increasing their use of technology

Optimism about future business and profitability in a recovering economy outweighs dwelling on past financial losses, according to lawyers participating in The Florida Bar’s 2014 Economics and Law Office Management Survey.

A new scam: Public records shakedown
Sen. Wilton SimpsonStrapping a video camera around his neck, Jeffrey Marcus Gray entered the offices of Lutheran Social Services of Northeast Florida on June 16, and secretly recorded conversations with employees. The room was where people in need of housing or mental health services or those suffering from AIDS waited for help.

If 'friends' can see Facebook photos, so can opposing counsel
Just because you set your Facebook privacy setting to allow only “friends” to see your photos doesn’t mean they won’t wind up as Exhibit A in court. In Nucci v. Target Corp., a case that “stands at the intersection of a litigant’s privacy interests in social media postings and the broad discovery allowed in Florida in a civil case,” the Fourth District Court of Appeal said the “relevance of the photographs overwhelms Nucci’s minimal privacy interest in them.”

How should judicial candidates raise money?
Barry RichardCan the integrity of Florida’s elected judges be protected by recusals and campaign contribution limits or is the judicial canon banning direct contribution solicitation by candidates still needed? That’s one of the arguments the U.S. Supreme Court was set to consider on January 20 (after this News went to press) when it had scheduled oral arguments on an appeal from a Florida Bar grievance case where a lawyer who ran for a county judgeship received a public reprimand after she directly solicited campaign contributions.

Judicial branch sets public hearings
The Florida judicial branch is currently developing its long-range strategic plan for 2016-2022 that will articulate the major issues facing the judicial system and outline priority goals and strategies to address those issues. To help under-standing local conditions, the branch is inviting citizens to provide comments at public meetings being held across the state.

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    Refining Comparative Fault in Florida: A Causation Theory for Apportioning Fault
    The Florida Bar JournalUnder Florida’s comparative fault law, a negligent tortfeasor’s degree of liability is generally limited to his or her own degree of fault. The Florida Supreme Court has explained that comparative fault is intended to avoid unfairly burdening defendants in negligence cases with liability that they did not cause. A crucial element of this liability regime in negligence cases is a defendant tortfeasor’s ability to plead and prove that a codefendant or nonparty caused and, therefore, should be apportioned some or all of the fault for a plaintiff’s injuries, reducing the defendant tortfeasor’s liability accordingly. In the context of relatively simple cases, such as those arising from many typical automobile accidents, this is a straightforward inquiry into each party’s (and possibly nonparty’s) role in causing the plaintiff’s damages. However, in more complex commercial cases, the analysis of comparative fault can get bogged down by the complicated relationships between the parties, the likelihood that at least some of the parties are in contractual privity, and the often difficult process of discerning duties owed by parties to one another across a web of relationships. Florida courts’ repeated assertions in dicta that a party or nonparty must be “negligent” in order to be apportioned fault have only further muddied this analysis...

    February 1, 2015

    Greg ColemanPRI website now available
    A new section of the Bar’s website designed to help Florida lawyers with law office operations and to assist members’ use of technology is now available at

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    Most Read News Stories
    -Classifieds 1-15-15
    -Technology rapidly transforms the legal services marketplace
    -Disciplinary Actions
    -Foreclosure deficiencies less than expected, but still raise questions
    -Schifino in line for Bar presidency
    -If ‘friends’ can see Facebook photos, so can opposing counsel
    -On the Move
    -News and Notes
    -Amendment clarifies the duties associated with leaving a firm
    -A new scam: Public records shakedown
    -Bar OKs ‘PowerLegal’ as a firm name
    -Access is bipartisan
    -Civil procedure rule amendments dealing with foreclosure actions
    -Survey reveals need for balance

    Clothing drive
    MORE THAN 10,000 GARMENTS were donated to a recent clothing drive conducted by Ninth Circuit Public Defender Robert Wesley. “Many of our clients often don’t have anything better than jeans and T-shirts, and that’s not acceptable dress for the courtroom,” Wesley said.

    On the Move

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    Click here for Bar CLE offerings

    Practicing Before the Third District Court of Appeal
    Course Classification: Intermediate Level, Live Presentation: Friday, February 6, Third District Court of Appeal, in Miami.

    Advanced Construction Law Certification Review Course
    Course Classification: ADVANCED LEVEL, Live Presentation: Thursday, March 12-14, JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes.

    8th Annual Construction Law Institute
    Course Classification: Advanced Level, March 12-14, Orlando.

    Litigation and Trust Law Symposium
    Course Classification: Advanced Level, Live Presentation and Webcast: Friday, February 20, Fort Lauderdale.

    Sunshine Law Public Records & Ethics for Public Officers and Public Employees 2015
    Course Classification: Intermediate Level, Friday, February 20, University Center Club, Doak Campbell Stadium, Tallahassee.

    15th Labor and Employment Law Annual Update and Certification Review
    Course Classification: Advanced Level, January 29 - 30, 2015, Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, Orlando.

    What You Need to Know About Current Environmental and Land Use Law Issues
    Course Classification: Intermediate Level, January 30, 2015, Double Tree Hotel, 10100 International Dr., 

    Environmental and Land Use Law Audio Webcast Series 2015
    Course Classification: Intermediate Level, Dates January 22, 2015, February 26, 2015, March 26, 2015, June 11, 2015, 12:00 noon - 1:00pm est

    Basic Trial Practice 2015
    Course Classification: Basic Level, Live Presentation: Friday, February 27, Tampa Airport Marriott.

    Advanced Construction Law Certification Review Course
    Course Classification: ADVANCED LEVEL, Live Presentation: Thursday, March 12-14, JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes, 4040 Central Florida Parkway, Orlando.

    8th Annual Construction Law Institute
    Course Classification: ADVANCED LEVEL, Live Presentation: Thursday, March 12-14, JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes, 4040 Central Florida Parkway, Orlando.

    Annual Civil Trial Update and Certification Review - 2015
    Course Classification: Advanced Level, Live Presentation: February 26-27, Tampa Airport Marriott.

    Advanced Real Estate and Certification Review Course
    Course Classification: Advanced Level, Live and Webcast Presentation: Friday, February 6 - Saturday, February 7,
    Hyatt Regency Orlando Airport.

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    [Revised: 01-21-2015]