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.
July 9, 2012
JUDGE CANDIDATE BIOS NOW AVAILABLE TO VOTERS-- Daytona Beach News-Journal, http://www.news-journalonline.com, July 9, 2012. [Also: VOLUNTARY DISCLOSURE FORM GIVES PUBLIC A WAY TO LEARN ABOUT JUDICIAL CANDIDATES-- Wakulla.com, http://www.wakulla.com, July 8, 2012].
Voters now have access to more information about the candidates who can say the least about themselves. The law bars judicial candidates from saying what decisions they'd make as judges, what political party they belong to or where they stand on issues. On Friday [July 6] The Florida Bar published the voluntary disclosure forms, which include bios and 100-word statements, for judicial candidates on its website, www.floridabar.org. The Bar published information only from those who voluntarily responded to the disclosure questionnaire. [Florida Bar news release]
IMMIGRANT LAWYER: OBAMA POLICY CLEARS HIM FOR THE BAR-- The Gainesville Sun, http://www.gainesville.com, July 8, 2012.
The article is by The Associated Press. An illegal immigrant says an Obama administration change to U.S. immigration policy means there are no grounds to deny him a Florida law license. President Barack Obama announced last month that illegal immigrants no older than 30 who arrived as children, have no criminal history, and have high school degrees or military service could stay and work in this country. In a motion filed Thursday [July 5], Jose Godinez-Samperio told the state Supreme Court that the administration's order makes him eligible for legal immigration status and work authorization in the United States. The motion asks the court to order the Florida Board of Bar Examiners to either conclude its investigation into Godinez-Samperio's application or admit him to The Florida Bar.
SCOTT STILL PUSHING FOR INQUIRY INTO THREE FLORIDA SUPREME COURT JUSTICES-- The Ledger, http://www.theledger.com, July 7, 2012.
The article is by The Associated Press. Gov. Rick Scott is still pushing for an investigation into possible wrongdoing by three Florida Supreme Court justices even after a veteran prosecutor dismissed it as "trifle." State Attorney Willie Meggs, based in Tallahassee, said Thursday [July 5] there was no reason to continue the investigation ordered by Scott, who called on the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to see whether justices Fred Lewis, Barbara Pariente and Peggy Quince broke the law when they had campaign papers notarized by office help just before the April filing deadline. Scott could replace the justices with his own picks if they are removed from the ballot or fail to win their retention elections.
JUSTICE IN YOUR HANDS-- The News-Press, editorial, http://www.news-press.com, July 8, 2012.
The editorial discusses the eight candidates for 20th Circuit Court judgeships, including biographical and professional information provided by the candidates. The editorial states: "Voters benefit when there is competition, so they can have a say in their judicial system and the men and women who lead it. . . . In the Aug. 14 primary election there are four contested circuit judgeships in the 20th Circuit, representing Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades counties. These are nonpartisan races, so all registered voters have a say and should vote."
FLAGLER JUDGE MOVING AS PART OF CIRCUIT CHANGES-- Daytona Beach News-Journal, http://www.news-journalonline.com, July 7, 2012.
Circuit Judge Raul Zambrano will be leaving Flagler County and heading to DeLand early next year as part of a judicial shuffling in the 7th Circuit. In January, Judge Zambrano will be moving to a circuit civil division in DeLand currently assigned to Circuit Judge Terence R. Perkins, according to Molly Justice, court communications officer for the 7th Circuit. Zambrano's division of criminal, juvenile delinquency and juvenile dependency in Flagler County will be taken over by Circuit Judge J. David Walsh and Walsh's criminal division in Daytona Beach will be taken over by Circuit Judge Leah R. Case. Perkins will go from DeLand to a circuit civil division in Daytona Beach currently assigned to Circuit Judge Richard S. Graham, who will retire in October.
--Civil Justice Issues--
STOP THE WRITE-IN SHENANIGANS-- The Miami Herald, editorials, http://www.miamiherald.com, July 8, 2012.
The editorial states: ". . . A constitutional amendment that voters overwhelmingly approved in 1998 was meant to open access to primaries to all voters, regardless of political affiliation, if there was no opposing party candidate in the general election. Year after year, partisans in Tallahassee had blocked such a law — until voters spoke up. Then came a lamebrain opinion by then-Secretary of State Katherine Harris in 2000. In response to a request by Marion County officials, Ms. Harris effectively shut down Florida voters’ constitutional right to vote when there's a write-in candidate on the ballot. . . . In effect, the write-ins have become a poison pill to close primaries and disenfranchise most voters in a city or county or district. Both parties have abused the write-in rule statewide. Before Ms. Harris’ opinion, there were only three instances since 1978 in which the winner of a primary faced only write-in candidates in the general election. But from 2000 to 2010 there were 58 such instances — a whopping 1,800-percent increase. Now there's a legal challenge to the write-in shenanigans involving the Miami-Dade state attorney's race."
LEGAL COMMUNITY SADDENED AFTER ATTORNEY FOUND DEAD ON BEACH-- Daytona Beach News-Journal, http://www.news-journalonline.com, July 7, 2012.
Members of the legal community were stunned Friday [July 6] after learning a longtime Daytona Beach defense attorney died. Judges and attorneys described Robert Eddington, 56, as a "lawyer's lawyer" who did his best to fight for clients accused of crimes. Eddington was found dead on the beach in Ormond-by-the-Sea about 10 a.m. Thursday [July 5], the Volusia County Sheriff's Office reported. His death was probably from a gunshot wound to the head, and deputies are investigating.
GROUP FUNDS INTERNSHIPS FOR THE DISABLED-- The Miami Herald,http://www.miamiherald.com, July 8, 2012.
A handful of young adults with physical and developmental disabilities have been given the opportunity to work through the Miami-Dade EmployAbility Network. Formerly known as the Miami-Dade Business Leadership Network, the volunteer group has established an internship program that reimburses business partners 100 percent of an intern's earnings, up to a maximum of 240 hours. The only requirement? The intern must be a disabled person. The intent is to educate businesses on the employability of the disabled while also providing an avenue of employment for interns. The network is made up of human resource executives and labor lawyers.