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.
Nov. 19, 2013
--The Florida Bar--
LAWYERS GET MORE LEEWAY IN TV ADS -- Orlando Sentinel, Column, http://www.orlandosentinel.com, Nov. 19, 2013.
By local news columnist Beth Kassab. The law firm KEL is the subject of a complaint by The Florida Bar, which alleges KEL hired a sales staff of people who are not attorneys to "sell" potential clients on the "idea of relief," among other concerns. Kassab writes, "In the meantime, it's never a bad time to remind consumers that shopping for a lawyer requires the same level of discernment as shopping for a new car or booking a week's vacation . . . Lawyers, including KEL and others that advertise so often they've become household names, must have their ads reviewed by The Florida Bar before they air. That's still the case, but now the rules about what lawyers can say are looser than ever . . . The rules walk a delicate line between enforcing professional standards and treading on the free-speech rights of lawyers looking to advertise their services. This year, the Bar made some of the biggest changes to its ad rules in recent history."
GOV. SCOTT APPOINTS EDUARDO RAMOS-ALMEYDA AND REAPPOINTS DIANE BECK, DAVID LANGHAM, JOHN LAZZARA, AND NEAL PITTS AS JUDGES OF COMPENSATION CLAIMS -- Governor's Press Release, http://www.flgov.com, Nov. 18, 2013.
Gov. Rick Scott announced the appointment of Eduardo Almeyda, and reappointments of Diane Beck, David Langham, John Lazzara and Neal Pitts, as judges of Compensation Claims. Almeyda, 67, has served as a mediator with the Office of the Judges of Compensation Claims in Miami since 2007. Langham, 49, of Pensacola, has been a judge of Compensation Claims since 2001 and serves as deputy chief judge of Compensation Claims. Beck, 59, of Bradenton, has been a judge of Compensation Claims since 1995. Pitts, 59, of Orlando, has been a judge of Compensation Claims since 2009. Lazzara, 70, of Tallahassee, has been a judge of Compensation Claims since 1990.
YOUNG LAWYERS SECTION 'TEE IT UP' GOLF TOURNAMENT BENEFITS GIRLS INC. -- Jacksonville Daily Record, http://www.jaxdailyrecord.com, Nov. 18, 2013.
Approximately 90 golfers took to the course on Oct. 17 for the Young Lawyers Section of the Jacksonville Bar Association's annual "Tee it Up" golf tournament. Thanks to the support of the golfers and sponsors, the YLS raised more than $14,000 for this year's recipient, Girls Inc. of Jacksonville. The organization coordinates after-school programs for young women and girls from elementary school to high school.
--Lawyer Ethics/Legal Discipline--
FLORIDA'S FORECLOSURE KING SURRENDERS -- Palm Beach Post (requires subscription), http://www.pbpost.com, Nov. 19, 2013. [Also: FORECLOSURE ATTORNEY DAVID STERN WON'T APPEAL DISBARMENT -- Daily Business Review (requires subscription), http://www.dailybusinessreview.com, Nov. 19, 2013; MAJOR FORECLOSURE LAWYER WILL ACCEPT DISBARMENT -- Tampa Bay Times, http://www.tampabay.com, Nov. 19, 2013.]
David J. Stern, the so-called foreclosure king of Florida, decided against appealing an October report and recommendation that he be disbarred for causing “massive injury” to the state’s judicial system. The decision, a short note to the Florida Supreme Court, was made public late Monday [Nov. 18]. Stern’s Plantation-based firm once handled hundreds of thousands of foreclosures statewide, a bulk that a judge acting as referee for the Bar said caused a variety of problems that included shoddy legal work and fraudulent documents. The Florida Supreme Court must still approve the disbarment, but attorneys said it is rare for the court to go against such a recommendation.
--Criminal Justice Issues--
FLORIDA HIGH COURT DELAYS EXECUTION OF MIAMI KILLER -- Miami Herald, http://www.miamiherald.com, Nov. 19, 2013. [Also: FLORIDA DEATH ROW INMATE WINS STAY, HEARING ON NEW EXECUTION DRUG -- Orlando Sentinel, http://www.orlandosentinel.com, Nov. 19, 2013.]
The Florida Supreme Court on Monday [Nov. 18] delayed the execution of Miami killer Thomas Knight after his lawyers raised concerns about a new drug being used to lethally inject inmates. Knight had been scheduled to die Dec. 3 for the 1980 fatal stabbing of state corrections officer Richard Burke. The state's high court ordered a Bradford County judge to hold a hearing on whether the Valium-like sedative midazolam hydrochloride is safe and effective in ensuring an inmate won't feel pain before two other drugs are used to induce paralysis and cardiac arrest. Two federal judges earlier this month dismissed lawsuits by a group of Death Row inmates who maintain the use of the drug constitutes cruel and unusual punishment, but the dismissal was based on legal technicalities. So far, two inmates have been executed since Oct. 15 using the new drug.
REFORMING JUVENILE JUSTICE -- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Column, http://www.heraldtribune.com, Nov. 19, 2013
By columnist Dale White. Community leaders in North Port are talking about taking juvenile justice into their own hands. They want locals to take the lead role in reforming children who commit minor crimes. The program that City Commissioner Vanessa Carusone and others are considering would be modeled after one in Charlotte County. It would provide police officers with an option other than making an arrest. Panels of trained citizens, not judges or caseworkers, would decide how a juvenile offender should make amends. The citation recipient, the juvenile's parents and the victim appear before a Neighborhood Accountability Board, composed of three volunteers who have undergone background checks and training. The volunteer board creates a contract with the juvenile and parents outlining what must be accomplished during the next three months.