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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 29, 2013

--Legal Profession--

CARLTON FIELDS' PAGE: ELECTRONIC INFORMATION BIGGEST CHANGE IN LAW IN 25 YEARS -- Tampa Bay Business Journal, (requires subscription), http://www.bizjournals.com, April 27, 2013.
The Business Journal interviews Edward Page, a shareholder at Carlton Fields celebrating his 25th year of continuous board certification in criminal trial law by The Florida Bar and by the National Board of Trial Advocacy, who discusses various changes in law over the course of 25 years and how the advent of mandatory e-filing for state civil court documents this month is the latest frontier in the evolution of the practice of law. “Electronically stored information has changed everything,” Page said. “We’ve gone from paper to paperless to email. You prove and defend a lot of cases through email or social media now.”

PERRY MASON WOULD NOT RECOGNIZE TODAY'S LAW OFFICE -- Jacksonville Business Journal, (requires subscription), http://www.bizjournals.com, April 27, 2013.
The Business Journal asked the managing partners and shareholders from the firms that made the List of Litigation Practices how technology has affected their practices over the past five years. The changes they shared are as transformative as those in any industry.

GREENBERG TRAURIG LAWYER HONORED FOR PHILANTHROPIC WORK -- Miami Herald, http://www.miamiherald.com, April 28, 2013.
Attorney Alan T. Dimond was recently honored for his outstanding leadership in the legal profession and his dedication to philanthropic and community endeavors by the American Jewish Committee. He was awarded the AJC's prestigious Judge Learned Hand Award, considered the highest given by the AJC in the legal profession. It is presented in recognition of lifetime achievement and dedication to individual rights and democratic values.

--Judiciary--

RETIRED JUSTICE O'CONNOR: BUSH V. GORE 'STIRRED UP THE PUBLIC' -- Chicago Tribune, http://www.chicagotribune.com, April 27, 2013.
Retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor discusses the most controversial case she helped decide during her 25 years on the bench, Bush v. Gore, which ended the Florida recount and decided the 2000 presidential election. The high court “took the case and decided it at a time when it was still a big election issue,” O’Connor said during a talk with the Chicago Tribune’s Editorial Board on Friday [April 26]. “Maybe the court should have said, ‘We’re not going to take it, good bye." O’Connor was in Chicago to promote one of her projects, “iCivics,” an online curriculum set up in a video game format, with the goal of promoting civics education for children to increase their participation in the election process as adults.

JURY OUT ON MOVING COURT TO RELIEVE OVERCROWDING -- Tampa Tribune, http://www.tbo.com, April 28, 2013.
A Hillsborough County courthouse in downtown Tampa may have to relocate, depending on the results of a $50,000 study commissioned by court administrators that will look at relocating criminal, juvenile and traffic courts to a new complex 10 miles east on Falkenburg Road. Court officials say they are seriously considering the move because the courthouse annex -- three buildings adjoining the George E. Edgecomb Courthouse on Twiggs Street -- is out of space, with little room to grow. Opponents of the idea argue that it would be a terrible blow to the downtown area, impacting nearby restaurants and other businesses.

--Legislature--

CATHERINE HUGHES: STATE NEEDS TO INVEST IN STRUGGLING HOMEOWNERS -- Tallahassee Democrat, http://www.tallahassee.com, April 26, 2013.
Opinion column by Catherine Hughes, a former constituent caseworker who lives in Lee County. Hughes states that "we must ensure citizens investing in Florida real estate are protected from scams and predatory lending . . . But currently, Florida House Bill 87 and Senate Bill 1666 would undermine homeowners’ rights in the court system and give the banks more power, doing the opposite." She urges that the $334 million fund obtained through a state lawsuit against the banks should be used to help homeowners affected by fraudulent mortgages during the foreclosure crisis.

EDITORIAL: REJECT PARANOIA -- Gainesville Sun, Editorial, http://www.gainesville.com, April 28, 2013.
The editorial is critical of a bill that would prohibit the application of foreign law in Florida courts, stating that "the bill doesn’t specifically cite Sharia law, but fear of the Islamic moral code is behind it. Despite the absence of any known efforts to implement Sharia law in the U.S. judicial system, some tea party supporters are obsessed with the idea that Muslims are taking over the courts." It suggests that lawmakers "should deal with real problems rather than manufactured controversies. If it comes to a vote, the Senate should reject the bill and the paranoia fueling it."

--Lawyer Ethics/Legal Discipline--

VANISHED: BOCA LAWYER'S TROUBLING TALE -- South Florida Sun-Sentinel, http://www.sun-sentinel.com, April 28, 2013.
The article chronicles the events surrounding the disappearance of Boca Raton attorney Timothy McCabe, who went missing one day after The Florida Bar filed a complaint with the Florida Supreme Court accusing him of unethical legal conduct in his attempt to stave off the foreclosure of one of his investment properties. It was later discovered that funds from his law firm account were misappropriated. Documents obtained by the Sun Sentinel show that while McCabe projected an air of stability, his professional life the past few years had become a juggling act.

--Civil Justice Issues--

NEW COUNTY FORECLOSURE HOTLINE WITH CASH INCREASE FOR LEGAL AID -- Palm Beach Post, http://www.pbpost.com, April 27, 2013.
Palm Beach County's Legal Aid Society got an infusion of $364,000 last month from the National Mortgage Settlement, allowing it to hire additional attorneys and establish a new foreclosure hotline. The increase in funds allowed the hiring of four additional foreclosure attorneys to the former team of just two. Legal Aid is also now offering help with homeowners association foreclosures, something they were not able to do when staff time was limited. The funds come from a $25 billion settlement, finalized last year, between the nation's attorneys general and the five largest banks to atone for foreclosure-related wrongdoing, and was designated for legal aid by Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi.

BEWARE OF UP-FRONT FEES IN FORECLOSURE RESCUE -- Florida Times-Union, http://www.jacksonville.com, April 27, 2013.
The article features tips shared by The Florida Bar to help customers avoid foreclosure scams. They remind the public that the Foreclosure Rescue Fraud Prevention Act passed in 2008 dictates that no fees are to be paid by the borrower until the rescue services are fully rendered, and that a written contract with terms and conditions has to be signed by both parties before services begin. Also, anyone performing foreclosure rescue services had to have an active license from the Florida Office of Financial Regulation. 

--Other--

WAYNE ELLIS -- Florida Times-Union, http://www.jacksonville.com, April 27, 2013.
Wayne Morris Ellis, 69, a native of Jacksonville, passed away April 24. He received both his undergraduate and law degrees from Stetson University. Ellis was admitted to The Florida Bar on Nov. 1, 1969 and for the next 43 years he practiced law in Clay, Duval and Nassau counties.

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[Revised: 04-30-2013]