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 22, 2013
COLLEGE OF LAW STUDENT BECOMES FIRST FROM FAMU TO CLERK AT THE FLORIDA SUPREME COURT -- Florida Courier, http://flcourier.com, April 21, 2013.
Ta’Ronce Stowes, a third-year Florida A&M University (FAMU) College of Law student from Severn, Md., has accepted a position as a Law Clerk for the Honorable Justice James E.C. Perry of the Florida Supreme Court in Tallahassee, becoming the first College of Law student to clerk at the Florida Supreme Court. He will begin the clerkship in August.
EDITORIAL: BIG SHOES TO FILL AS TOP PROSECUTOR -- Tampa Bay Times, Editorial, http://www.tampabay.com, April 20, 2013.
The editorial discusses Robert E. O'Neill's announcement that he will step down this summer from the position of top federal prosecutor for the Middle District of Florida to join a private risk management firm. The editorial urges the White House to seek a candidate who "similarly understands the criminal and consumer issues facing Floridians and who appreciates the office's obligation to be active, fair and transparent." It states that "O'Neill personally prosecuted public corruption cases over the years, raising the profile of his office's anticorruption practice . . . His investigations into housing fraud and bribery have cleaned up local government and strengthened public confidence in the political process.. . . The next U.S. attorney needs to devote the same attention and resources to these types of cases."
ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGE COMING FOR STATE ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, ASHTON SAYS -- Orlando Sentinel, http://www.orlandosentinel.com, April 20, 2013.
Orange-Osceola State Attorney Jeff Ashton on Friday [April 19] announced that a major shift in organizational structure will be implemented in July in the prosecutors' office. Ashton will switch to a 'vertical' model of prosecution, in which the same assistant state attorney who approves a case for prosecution would oversee it to its conclusion. It differs from the previous system practiced by Ashton's predecessor, Lawson Lamar, where an "intake" team of attorneys chose which cases to pursue, and then handed them off to trial prosecutors, who would argue them in court. Among the changes is the creation of five new "trial units" comprised of 18 prosecutors and a team of support staff, each unit overseen by a director.
COMPLAINTS BEGIN TO EMERGE AS COURTS SWITCH TO E-FILING SYSTEMS -- Daily Business Review, (requires subscription), http://www.dailybusinessreview.com, April 22, 2013
Just three weeks into a Florida Supreme Court-mandated conversion from paper to electronic filing for civil cases statewide, all indications are the transition is going smoothly. A few gliches have been reported. Among those, hearings scheduled online not showing up on a judge's calendar and weeks-long wait to obtain certified copies of judgments that attorneys used to get the same day. But according to the Clerk and Comptroller of Palm Beach County, Sharon Bock, the judicial system's march to the future is unstoppable. "If you look at where we were one year ago or two years ago, we are light-years ahead," Bock said. "We're moving into paperless courts."
--Civil Justice Issues--
BONDI HIRES LEGAL TEAM TO HELP WITH STATE'S CLAIM AGAINST BP FOR OIL SPILL DAMAGES -- Tampa Bay Times, http://www.tampabay.com, April 20, 2013.
Attorney General Pam Bondi has hired reinforcement in the state's impending legal battle with BP over economic damages from the oil spill. The legal team consists of the following firms: Nix Patterson & Roach, LLP; Harrison, Rivard, Duncan & Buzzett; Fowler White Boggs P.A.; and Harrison Sale McCloy. These firms have represented local governments and private clients in claims against BP through the Gulf Coast Claims Facility process, Bondi said.
WELL-KNOWN SOUTHWEST FLORIDA ATTORNEY RAY GOLDSTEIN DIES AT 81 -- Fort Myers News-Press, http://www.news-press.com, April 21, 2013.
Attorney Ray Goldstein, 81, died Thursday [April 18] after a two-week illness. He was a senior partner of Goldstein, Buckley, Cechman, Rice and Purtz, one of Southwest Florida's oldest law firms.
JAMES ALBAUGH LENFESTEY -- Tampa Tribune, http://www.tbo.com, April 21, 2013.
Hon. James Albaugh Lenfestey, 94, passed away on April 17. He was a longtime circuit court judge, U.S. Army Colonel, mediator, and professor of constitutional and business law. After 16 years of general law practice in Tampa with the firm he established, he was elected to the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit Court in 1966.