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. 18, 2013
EDITORIAL: FLORIDA SHOULD CHECK GOVERNOR'S POWER TO PICK JUDGES -- Palm Beach Post (requires subscription), Editorial, http://www.pbpost.com, Nov. 17, 2013.
The editorial discusses Florida's system to appoint members to judicial nominating commissions. Until 2001, Florida had a system where although the governor got to make the pick for each court opening — no Senate confirmation — the governor did not get to pick all nine members of the nominating commissions. The governor picked three members, The Florida Bar picked three members and those six chose the other three. Twelve years ago, however, the Legislature allowed the governor five picks — a majority — while the Bar only could recommend the other four to the governor. "According to a report in the Tampa Bay Times, Gov. Scott has broken with his Republican predecessors, Jeb Bush and Charlie Crist, and often rejects the Bar’s list of potential commissioners . . . Based on the results of the 2012 election, Floridians do not want a court system that runs on political ideology. Voters rejected a constitutional amendment that would have given the Legislature more control over court rules . . . The Legislature should reinstate the old system no matter who wins. The executive branch should not have that much control over the judicial branch."
GOVERNOR APPOINTS MIRANDA TO BROWARD COUNTY COURT -- South Florida Sun-Sentinel, http://www.sun-sentinel.com, Nov. 16, 2013.
Giuseppina Miranda, a general magistrate since 2007, was appointed by Gov. Rick Scott to serve as a judge in Broward County Court. Miranda, 51, replaces Stacy Ross, who was appointed in July to the Broward Circuit Court. Circuit judges handle felonies, large civil suits and some family, juvenile and probate cases. Ross replaced Susan Aramony, who died in April. County judges handle misdemeanors and smaller civil cases.
GOV. SCOTT APPOINTS HERNANDO COUNTY JUDGE DONALD SCAGLIONE OF BROOKSVILLE TO 5TH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT COURT -- New Smyrna Beach News, http://headlinesurfer.com, Nov. 16, 2013.
Gov. Rick Scott today [Nov. 15] announced his appointment of Hernando County Judge Donald E. Scaglione to the 5th Judicial Circuit Court. Scaglione, 54, of Brooksville, has been a Hernando County judge since 2005. He fills a vacancy created by the retirement Circuit Judge Sandra Edwards-Stephens. The 5th Judicial Circuit covers Citrus, Hernando, Lake, Marion and Sumter counties, with main administrative offices in Tavares.
QUARTERMAINE APPOINTED JUDGE FOR SARASOTA COUNTY -- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, http://www.heraldtribune.com, Nov. 16, 2013.
Gov. Rick Scott announced the appointment of Sarasota attorney Erika Quartermaine as a Sarasota County judge late Friday [Nov. 15]. She fills a vacancy created by the appointment of Judge Kimberly Bonner to the circuit court. Quartermaine, 35, has been an assistant state attorney in the Twelfth Judicial Circuit since 2009.
JUDGE HENRY DAVIS SPEAKS ON HIS CAMPAIGN AGAINST SCHOOL VIOLENCE: "I JUST COULDN'T SLEEP AT NIGHT" -- Florida Times-Union (requires subscription), http://www.jacksonville.com, Nov. 16, 2013.
Interview with Circuit Court Judge Henry Davis, who last month emailed separate letters — one to the Times-Union and the other to Nikolai Vitti, superintendent of Duval County Public Schools — demanding action for the growing number of cases in Juvenile Delinquency Court. In a follow-up story that provoked swift reactions, he said that public schools should not be a right, but a privilege that families, through some sort of screening process, have to prove they deserve. Davis, during a later interview at the courthouse said he felt had to act. The problem, Davis says, is bigger than the schools. And it goes far beyond Duval County. He’s frustrated at a society that, crossing all color lines, tolerates what he called in his letter to the Times-Union “the violence and disorder and criminal and immoral behavior that exist throughout our community.”
UM ALUMNI DONATE MONEY FOR LAW STUDENT LOUNGE -- Daily Business Review (requires subscription), http://www.dailybusinessreview.com, Nov. 15, 2013.
University of Miami alumni Scott Kornspan and Susan Fleischner donated an undisclosed amount of money to create the Scott and Susan Fleischner Kornspan Study Lounge, a 24/7 academic space on the first floor of the new Student Activities Center. Modeled after Ivy League study halls, the Kornspan lounge features natural wood tables, soft upholstered chairs, private cubicles and display cases for student artwork. It can accommodate up to 80 students. "We've always given money to the University of Miami," said Scott Kornspan, who attended both undergraduate and law school at the private Coral Gables university. Kornspan also has created a student scholarship that will bear the family name. The $50 million Student Activities Center opened Aug. 30, 2013.
ATTORNEY BULLISH ON AREA'S FUTURE -- Daytona Beach News-Journal, http://www.news-journalonline.com, Nov. 16, 2013.
Attorney David Vedder believes that the local economy is finally recovering from the Great Recession. His Daytona Beach practice — David F. Vedder, P.A. — saw its staff shrink from three attorneys and eight support staffers prior to the recession down to just himself and three support staffers back in 2010. He is happy to report that he recently added two associate attorneys and an additional support staffer to bring his firm’s ranks back up to seven full-time staffers. Vedder credits the rebound of his business to the improving national and local economy as well as an increase in foreign investors looking to purchase commercial properties and businesses in the area.
BLUMNER: YES, HE SHOULD BE A LAWYER - Tampa Bay Times, Column, http://www.tampabay.com, Nov. 16, 2013.
Columnist and editorial writer Robyn E. Blumner writes about Jose Godinez-Samperio, the 27-year-old man brought to the United States from Mexico by his parents when he was 9 years old. Godinez-Samperio has no license to practice law, despite passing the state Bar exam in 2011. He awaits an advisory opinion by the Florida Supreme Court on whether an undocumented alien is eligible for admission to The Florida Bar. "Godinez-Samperio is being represented by one of his former law professors, Talbot "Sandy" D'Alemberte, also a former American Bar Association president, Florida State University president and FSU law school dean. I have no doubt that D'Alemberte will win Godinez-Samperio admission in the long run. In the meantime, this young man's future is arrested and the state's return on its investment in him is deferred."
--Criminal Justice Issues--
EDITORIAL: SENSIBLE SAFEGUARD -- Gainesville Sun, http://www.gainesville.com, Editorial, Nov. 16, 2013.
"There are numerous problems with Florida’s death penalty, with no better evidence than the fact there’s been about one exoneration for every three executions since they resumed here in 1976. Florida leads the nation in exonerations over that period. It’s no coincidence that Florida also is the only state that allows a majority jury vote to recommend the death penalty . . . The American Bar Association objects to the lack of unanimity. In addition, it recommends not allowing judges to override jury recommendation and order executions . . . Requiring unanimous verdicts would at least be a sensible safeguard to help prevent mistakes with the state’s ultimate punishment. Lawmakers should make the change rather than waiting for the courts to force the issue."
REGGIE GARCIA: FLORIDA MUST LOOK AT PAROLE IN NEW WAYS -- Tallahassee Democrat, http://www.tallahassee.com, Nov. 16, 2013.
Column by lawyer and lobbyist Reggie Garcia. He represents clients in parole, executive clemency and other criminal justice matters before Florida’s executive and legislative branches. "Though parole once was a prominent feature of Florida’s criminal justice system, its phaseout began in 1983, when the state Supreme Court established sentencing guidelines that applied to all felonies, except capital felonies . . . Of the 5,107 Florida inmates eligible for parole, many are serving life sentences and were required to serve a minimum of 25 years before becoming parole-eligible . . . Parole sentencing now is re-emerging as a key legal and policy issue in Florida, triggered by questions surrounding sentencing for juvenile felony offenders and their constitutional rights under the Eighth Amendment."
EDITORIAL: LEGISLATURE SHOULD DO ITS DUTY ON JUVENILE JUSTICE -- Tampa Bay Times, Editorial, http://www.tampabay.com, Nov. 16, 2013.
"The Florida Supreme Court has extra work these days because the Florida Legislature is refusing to do its job. The U.S. Supreme Court has put new limits on juvenile sentencing in recognition that children are not as culpable as adults, but Florida lawmakers have failed to make the needed adjustments in state law. This leaves it to Florida courts to reconcile the court rulings, wasting judicial resources and harming both victims and defendants . . . By refusing to address the discrepancies between state law and U.S. Supreme Court precedent, the Legislature is pushing its work onto the courts and adding unnecessary expense to the system. Florida lawmakers should not ignore their responsibility another year."
JUVENILE SENTENCES REVISITED -- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, http://www.heraldtribune.com, Nov. 17, 2013.
Sen. Rob Bradley, a former state prosecutor now in the state Senate, has proposed legislation intended to address the difficult issue of sentencing for juveniles who commit serious crimes. Bradley, R-Fleming Island, has filed Senate Bill 384 for the Florida Legislature’s session next spring, which calls for a review of juveniles’ sentences after 25 years for those convicted of non-homicide crimes. Lawmakers are confronted with crafting a measure that will pass muster with recent state and U.S. Supreme Court decisions, while also balancing the viewpoints of state prosecutors, law enforcement, defense lawyers and juvenile advocates. Currently, the Florida Supreme Court is deciding two cases in which juveniles received 90- and 70-year sentences for non-homicide crimes.
ROBERT KIRK ADIKES -- Tampa Bay Times, http://www.tampabay.com, Nov. 15, 2013.
Robert Kirk Adikes, 73, passed away on Nov. 13. Adikes received his law degree from Columbia Law School in 1964. He spent the last 15 years of his career as vice president and general counsel of Spalding Sports Worldwide. After his retirement, he spent six years as a research analyst in the Pinellas County Attorney's office, trained as a business mediator and served occasionally as a guest lecturer at Stetson Law School.