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.
Aug. 1, 2006
BAR MAILS MERIT RETENTION BALLOTS-- The Florida Bar News, http://www.flabar.org, Aug. 1, 2006.
Supreme Court Chief Justice Fred Lewis, Justice Barbara Pariente and Justice Peggy Quince lead the list of 20 appellate judges who will be on the merit retention ballot this fall. Voters will be asked whether the justices and the DCA judges should be retained for six-year terms. The Florida Bar will poll its membership about the judges and justices standing for merit retention this year, as it has in the past, to assist the public with the merit retention process. Ballots are scheduled to be mailed today [Aug. 1].
COURT APPROVES TWO NEW CERTIFICATION AREAS-- The Florida Bar News, http://www.floridabar.org, Aug. 1, 2006. [Also: FLA. BAR APPROVES IP FOR SPECIALITY CERTIFICATION-- Law.com, http://www.law.com, Aug. 1, 2006].
The Florida Supreme Court recently established intellectual property law and state and federal government and administrative practice as the 21st and 22nd substantive areas of law now available to attorneys for board certification. Attorneys interested in the two new board certification areas will soon be able to apply through The Florida Bar Web site at floridabar.org. “We are very happy and view the court’s approval as essentially another indication that the court is in full support of the certification program for Florida lawyers,” said Chris Knopik, chair of the Bar’s Board of Legal Specialization and Education.
JUDICIAL ELECTIONS: QUESTIONS OF VALUE-- Daily Business Review, http://www.dailybusinessreview.com, Aug. 1, 2006.
Christian conservative group headed by a member of the Organge County Judicial Nominating Commision is asking every Florida judicial candidate whether they agree with social-policy decisions by the Florida Supreme Court and other courts. The survey asks about rulings that deal with abortion, gay adoption, school vouchers, assisted suicide and gay marriage. Some South Florida judicial candidates say they plan to complete the council’s survey. Others say they aren’t sure yet and are awaiting guidance from the state Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee. Judges who were elected this year without opposition, as well as appellate judges up for merit retention, also are being asked to respond. But Kelly Overstreet Johnson, a former Florida Bar president, said judicial candidates should not answer such questions. “People may be in front of them on similar issues and it’s not fair to the litigants,” she said.
JUDGE POLL IS DOWN TO WIRE-- The Miami Herald, http://www.herald.com, Aug. 1, 2006.
A poll about judicial candidates that Broward voters use to help them with their picks will be pulled together quickly this year -- if at all. Filled out by Broward lawyers, the poll is particularly important this year because there are a mind-boggling 23 judicial candidates on the ballot this fall. Lawyers are running to fill one open seat and six new positions. Broward County Bar President Victor DeBianchi Jr. said he wants to conduct the poll -- perhaps by e-mail -- but the board will have to make that decision at its Aug. 8 meeting. For years, the poll has rated candidates on temperament and ability. Results are publicized in the weeks leading up to the primary.
MOVING UP-- Daily Business Review, http://www.dailybusinessreview.com, Aug. 1, 2006.
Roger A. Silver has been sworn in as a Miami-Dade Circuit Court judge Friday [July 28]. Silver will serve in the court’s juvenile division. He was appointed by Gov. Jeb Bush on April 20 to fill the seat left by the death of Judge Manuel Crespo.
COLLIER COULD SEE EFFECTS OF CHANGES TO PROCESS SERVER APPOINTMENTS PROPOSED BY LEE COUNTY-- Naples Daily News, http://www.naplesnews.com, Aug. 1, 2006.
The only time residents normally see process servers are when they open their front doors to see a person handing them some papers. But this little-discussed profession is making some big waves in Lee County, and Collier County residents soon may experience a ripple effect. The Lee County Sheriff's Office sent an e-mail stating it no longer would appoint private process servers to serve court documents on residents. That would leave staff with the Sheriff's Office Civil Division to serve criminal and civil court records, unless lawyers in these cases gained permission from Lee County judges to appoint servers for that task. Some private process servers, lawyers and court officials say that this added layer of requests will delay cases, backlog the already crammed justice system and cost more money for everyone involved.
ABDONEY RUNS FOR CIRCUIT JUDGESHIP-- The Lakeland Ledger, http://www.theledger.com, Aug. 1, 2006.
Kevin Abdoney of Lakeland is running to become a circuit judge for the 10th Judicial Circuit. Abdoney is in a three-way race along with David Carmichael and Ernest M. Jones. The nonpartisan election is Sept. 5. If none of the candidates receives more than 50 percent of the vote, the two top vote-getters will face off in the general election Nov. 7.
SOUTHEAST GRAD HONORED FOR SERVICE TO TEEN COURT-- The Bradenton Herald, http://www.bradenton.com, Aug. 1, 2006.
Southeast High School graduate Rebecca Sarver, who has volunteered thousands of hours as a teen attorney at Teen Court and other Teen Court events since June 2004, was recently honored for her loyalty and dedication to the Teen Court Program. Teen Court is a peer review system for first-time juvenile offenders. Students serve in all areas of the courtroom.