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.
April 26, 2013
LAW WEEK EXPLORES THEME OF 'EQUALITY FOR ALL' -- Daily Business Review, (requires subscription), http://www.dailybusinessreview.com, April 26, 2013.
The American Bar Association is commemorating both American icons through the "Realizing the Dream: Equality for All" theme of this year's national Law Week events. South Florida organizations like the Greater Miami chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida and South Florida voluntary bar associations are educating lawyers and young people about the importance of equality through luncheons, contests and other events. "More than anything we are seeking to revitalize the Law Day project, which engages young people into thinking about how they can promote equal justice as students and as citizens," said Coral Gables Bar Association President Jane Muir.
FIVE HONORED AT LAW DAY CEREMONY -- Sebring Highlands Today, http://www2.highlandstoday.com, April 26, 2013.
Law Day in Highlands County was an opportunity to present awards and give recognition to members of the community. Attorney Linda Nagel was presented with the Judge Clifton Kelly Award for her pro bono contributions. The Law Day Award, for contributions to the community well being, went to Don Applequist, the executive director of the South Florida State College Foundation who oversees the Take Stock in Children Program, which mentors at-risk students. The Jani Branham Scholarship went to student Kelly Carpenter. Also recognized were recently deceased attorney Andrew Jackson and Judge David Langford, who is set to retire June 30. The keynote address was delivered by Gwynne Young, president of the Florida Bar, who discussed issues regarding equality in the legal profession.
JACKSONVILLE'S OLDEST LAW FIRM BEGUN IN 1865 BY A UNION OFFICER -- Jacksonville Business Journal, http://www.bizjournals.com, April 25, 2013.
The article profiles Col. Horatio Bisbee, who after serving as a Union officer during the Civil War chose Jacksonville, where he was stationed briefly during the war, to open his own law firm in 1865. One hundred and forty-eight years after his arrival the firm - Bedell, Dittmar, DeVault, Pillans & Coxe PA, as it is now known - is the oldest in the state. Three other Jacksonville-based firms that have been practicing law continuously for more than 100 years are also featured.
JACKSONVILLE CLOSE TO START REMODELING OF OLD FEDERAL COURTHOUSE -- Florida Times-Union, http://www.jacksonville.com, April 25, 2013.
Work to renovate the former federal courthouse in downtown Jacksonville to house the State Attorney’s Office could start in about two months, said a city official overseeing building plans. Converting the landmark building, which opened in 1933, is the last major component of the $350 million Duval County Courthouse complex construction. The county courthouse opened last year. Renovations to the former courthouse should be finished by late 2014. Prosecutors and contractors have completed “value-engineering” exercises designed to find small ways to trim building costs, which are expected to total about $25 million.
SENATE MOVES CLOSER TO HOUSE ON FORECLOSURE SETTLEMENT SPENDING -- Florida Current, http://www.thefloridacurrent.com, April 26, 2013.
The Senate moved closer to House preferences on how to spend $200 million in foreclosure settlement funds Thursday [April 25] as it advanced its own spending plan, SB 1852, ahead of a vote Friday [April 26]. Amendments to the bill include giving funds to Habitat for Humanity and to a program to provide two years of college dorm residence to students, two components of the House’s spending plan. Under the amendment, SB 1852 would divvy up the $200 million by giving $16 million for additional retired judges to help relieve the foreclosure backlog, $9.7 million to the clerks of the court to expedite foreclosure cases and $10 million in legal aid services for low- and middle-income homeowners facing foreclosure.
--Civil Justice Issues--
FEDS BLAST FLORIDA FOR DISCRIMINATORY UNEMPLOYMENT AID PROGRAM -- Tampa Bay Times, http://www.tampabay.com, April 26, 2013.
The U.S. Department of Labor has rapped the state of Florida for making it difficult for some unemployed people to get jobless benefits, particularly for the disabled and those who speak Spanish or Creole. Florida's decision in 2011 to make people who apply for benefits do so online and take a 45-question "assessment" to gauge their skills before getting a check are a violation of civil rights, DOL found. The Department of Economic Opportunity has agreed to enter negotiations with DOL to make appropriate changes, according to a press release from the National Employment Law Center, Florida Legal Services, the Miami Workers Center and other groups.