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. 8, 2012
JUSTICE IS SERVED-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, editorial, http://www.heraldtribune.com, Nov. 8, 2012.
The editorial states: "An overwhelming majority of Florida voters rejected a proposed constitutional amendment intruding on state courts and supported the retention of three qualified Supreme Court justices — affirming the value of an independent, apolitical judiciary. . . .Voters approved the retention of Florida Supreme Court Justices R. Fred Lewis, Barbara J. Pariente and Peggy A. Quince. In each case, 67 percent voted to retain them. . . . By comparison, four judges on the Second District Court of Appeal, which includes our region, received merit-retention endorsements from voters ranging between 74 percent and 73 percent. Nevertheless, Lewis, Pariente and Quince received support on par with, or greater than, their colleagues in 2010. Combined with the results of Amendments 5 and 6, the general election outcomes provided an encouraging affirmation of a judiciary free from unnecessary political interference."
REPUBLICANS PREVAIL IN COURT ELECTIONS, BUT NOT IN FLORIDA-- National Law Journal, http://www.nlj.com, Nov. 7, 2012. [Also: 3 FLORIDA SUPREME COURT JUSTICES EASILY WIN THEIR RETENTION BIDS OVER GOP OPPOSITION-- http://staugustine.com, Nov. 8, 2012].
The article details judicial elections around the country. The politics of judicial elections was fierce on Nov. 6 as Democrats and Republicans fought hard to gain the advantage in key states. The results, however, were mixed. In Florida, a Republican-led effort to oust three Florida Supreme Court justices and give the Florida Senate confirmation power over high court appointments failed. Retaining their seats were Fred Lewis, Barbara Pariente and Peggy Quince, justices whom the state GOP's executive committee had voted to oppose. Meanwhile, in Alabama, the state's former chief justice, Roy Moore, was voted back in. In Michigan, the votes were still being counted, but Republican appointees appeared to retain control of the state Supreme Court. In Texas, Sharon Keller, a Court of Criminal Appeals judge who refused to allow an after-hours appeal for a Texas Death-Row inmate before his execution, won re-election.
PALM BEACH ATTORNEY GETS NOD FOR PALM BEACH ATLANTIC AWARD-- The Palm Beach Post, http://www.palmbeachpost.com, Nov. 8, 2012.
Brian P. Burns is sitting behind a large mahogany desk in his Palm Beach office doing something he enjoys most — talking about his father. Burns' dad, John J. Burns, was the kind of man who left Paul Bunyan-sized shoes to fill. Consider: He was the youngest professor in Harvard Law School's history. He helped found the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission with Joe Kennedy. He was William Randolph Hearst's personal attorney. The senior Burns, who died in 1957 of a cerebral hemorrhage at age 56, left a profound impact on his seven children — especially Brian, who was 19 when his father passed away. "He always taught me to be confident in what you do. And he said if you're going to do something, work really hard to do it well," Burns said of his father. And that's what the 76-year-old Burns — attorney, entrepreneur, philanthropist — has done his entire life. Which is why Palm Beach Atlantic University chose to present its American Free Enterprise Medal to him. He will receive the award at a ceremony today.
LAWYER KEMP BRINSON KEEPS BUSY IN MANY AREAS OF THE COMMUNITY-- The Ledger, http://www.theledger.com, Nov. 5, 2012.
The article profiles Lakeland attorney J. Kemp Brinson, one of the six men and women honored with Emerging Leader Awards by the Winter Haven Chamber of Commerce. He doesn't mow his grass. He doesn't wash his car. He doesn't watch television and is not interested in sports. While the rest of the world busies itself with these worldly pleasures and chores, Brinson, 33, is juggling several roles, including volunteering as a guardian ad litem, writing his Polk Law blog and working as a commercial litigation lawyer with Clark, Campbell & Lancaster P.A. in Lakeland. He also plays bass in productions at Theater Winter Haven, and until recently was a contributor to the defunct Lakeland Local, a local news site.
--Civil Justice Issues--
FIRST COURT HEARING ON ALLEN WEST'S DEMAND FOR RECOUNT 5 P.M. THURSDAY-- Treasure Coast Newspapers, http://www.tcpalm.com, Nov. 8, 2012. [Also: WEST STILL FIGHTING LOSS TO MURPHY AS PALM BEACH COUNTY CONTINUES TO COUNT-- The Palm Beach Post, http://www.palmbeachpost.com, Nov. 8, 2012].
From Treasure Coast Newspapers: U.S. Rep. Allen West is demanding a full hand recount in St. Lucie County after blasting its supervisor of elections for "disturbing irregularities" at polls and a late-night “recount” of votes that favored Patrick Murphy by a thin margin. He also filed injunctions against the supervisors of elections in Palm Beach and St. Lucie counties to impound their voting machines and paper ballots used in the District 18 election. The lawsuits were filed in Palm Beach and St. Lucie county circuit courts. A hearing on West's Palm Beach County motion is scheduled for today at 5 p.m. His St. Lucie County motion is scheduled for a hearing Friday [Nov. 9]. West announced the legal action 10 hours after Murphy declared himself the District 18 winner. Florida law only allows for recounts when a race is decided by a half percentage point or less. The margin in the West-Murphy matchup was razor thin, by about 2,500 votes.
--Criminal Justice Issues--
ACCUSED HIALEAH BALLOT BROKER WANTS COUNTY ORDINANCE DECLARED UNCONSTITUTIONAL-- The Miami Herald, http://www.miamiherald.com, Nov. 8, 2012.
A Miami-Dade ordinance outlawing the collection of more than two absentee ballots is unconstitutional, claims a Hialeah man accused of voter fraud. In court documents filed Wednesday [Nov. 7], Sergio "El Tio" Robaina is asking a Miami-Dade judge to throw out two misdemeanor counts of violating the ordinance. Prosecutors say Robaina illegally collected ballots, and filled out two against the wishes of two voters, one of them a woman with dementia. Robaina insists he was just helping elderly citizens who could not deliver their absentee ballots themselves. In an effort to crack down on perceived election fraud, The Miami-Dade County Commission passed the ordinance in 2011, making the possession of more than two absentees ballots a misdemeanor punishable by up to 60 days in jail or a fine of up to $1,000. Robaina's lawyers say the ordinance violates Robaina’s right to political expression and deprives well-meaning voters of their right to vote.