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. Electronic links are only active in today's edition. For information on previous articles, please contact the publishing newspaper directly.

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Nov. 19, 2012


THREE CANDIDATES RECOMMENDED TO FILL MANATEE JUDGE VACANCY-- The Bradenton Herald,, Nov. 17, 2012. [Also: PANEL RECOMMENDS THREE TO FILL JUDGE POST-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune,, Nov. 17, 2012].
From Bradenton Herald: Three candidates have been recommended to Gov. Rick Scott to fill the void left by retiring Judge George Brown in Manatee County. The nine-person 12th Circuit Judicial Nominating Commission made the following recommendations Friday [Nov. 16]: Erika Quartermaine, Charles P. Sniffen and Stephen Mathew Whyte. Brown, who has recently experienced some medical issues, will step down Feb. 28 after nearly three decades on the bench. The judge appointed by Scott will be sworn in on March 1.

Battling illness, 16th Circuit Court Judge Tegan Slaton has been off the bench for the past three weeks, prompting his colleagues in the circuit judiciary to cover his caseload. Slaton, elected to a six-year term in 2008, declined to comment on the specifics of his illness. Circuit Court Administrator Holly Elomina made clear that Slaton's cases are not being reassigned but temporarily covered by other judges.

--Lawyer Ethics/Legal Discipline--

DEPO CONTRADICTS FRAUD CLAIM AGAINST FIRM-- Daily Business Review,, Nov. 19, 2012.
In a deposition, the Miccosukee Tribe's second in command has testified that a Miami law firm being sued by the tribe committed no wrong in its five-year representation. The Nov. 1 deposition of vice chairman Jasper Nelson appears to contradict claims made by the tribe in lawsuits that accuse the firm of LewisTein of fleecing it of millions of dollars in fees. Nelson, in the deposition, said he saw no evidence of fraud committed by Miami attorneys Guy Lewis and Michael Tein during their representation over a five-year span. The Miccosukees have accused its former chairman, Billy Cypress of fleecing the tribe of $26 million to pay for gambling junkets. A lawsuit filed in Miami federal court accuses the Lewis Tein firm, as well as another former tribal attorney, Dexter Lehtinen, of protecting Cypress while being paid millions of dollars in legal fees. [Subscription required.]

--Civil Justice Issues--

The article is by the Associated Press. The way the FBI responded to Jill Kelley's complaint about receiving harassing emails, which ultimately unraveled or scarred the careers of ex-CIA director David Petraeus and Marine Gen. John Allen, is the exception, not the rule. The FBI commonly declines to pursue cyberstalking cases without compelling evidence of serious or imminent harm to an individual, say advocacy groups and computer crime experts. However, in this case, the FBI's cyberdivision devoted months of tedious investigative work to uncover who had sent insulting and anonymous messages about Kelley, the Tampa socialite who was friendly with Petraeus and Allen — and friends with a veteran FBI counterterrorism agent. The bureau probably would have ignored Kelley's complaint had it not been for information in the emails that indicated the sender was aware of the travel schedules of Petraeus and Allen, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan. The FBI's cybersquads, like the one in Tampa that investigated the Petraeus case, are primarily focused on blocking criminals and terrorists from using the Internet to threaten national security or steal valuable information stored in government and corporate computers.

--Criminal Justice Issues--

St. Lucie County could get back about $200,000 in juvenile detention costs — maybe much more — and save a bundle in the future if recent rulings that the state improperly billed counties hold. Judges in the two cases ruled in Florida counties' favor, saying the Department of Juvenile Justice unfairly billed them in fiscal years 2008-09 and 2009-10. The state is appealing. County commissioners requested "intervenor" status in the cases brought by 14 other counties and the Florida Association of Counties, according to County Attorney Daniel McIntyre. That means the others counties may benefit from this ruling. Counties currently pay for detaining youth offenders until the accused is "committed" and the state picks up the tab after that. The state estimates counties' yearly costs and bills them monthly.


 KEVIN EDWARD LEARY-- The Gainesville Sun,, Nov. 18, 2012.
The obituary is for attorney Kevin Edward Leary, who died unexpectedly at home on Wednesday [Nov. 14]. He was 56. A North Carolina native, he received an undergraduate degree in sociology from the University of Florida and received his J.D. from UF's law school in 1986. He was a Gator at heart, and lived in Gainesville for the remainder of his life. He focused his practice on intellectual property and entertainment law. He was a member of the Business Law and Entertainment Arts and Sports Law sections of The Florida Bar.

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[Revised: 11-20-2012]