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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.

Nov. 15, 2012

--Judiciary--


PRESIDENT OBAMA NOMINATES SEVEN TO THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTS-- White House Press Office. news release, http://www.whitehouse.gov, Nov. 14, 2012. [Also: CIRCUIT JUDGE WILLIAM L. THOMAS NOMINATED TO FEDERAL BENCH-- Daily Business Review, http://www.dailybusinessreview.com, Nov. 14, 2012 {Subscription required.}].
Eleventh Circuit Judge William L. Thomas has been nominated by President Barack Obama to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, based in Miami. Thomas, who began his legal career as an assistant state public defender in Miami-Dade County, was as an assistant federal public defender in South Florida from 1997 to 2005. Thomas is one of seven people nominated for district court judgeships in several states, according to the White House news release.

--Civil Justice Issues--

MICHELLE PARKER CASE RESULTS IN PETITION-- Oviedo Seminole Chronicle, http://www.seminolechronicle.com, Nov. 15, 2012.
When Justin Lee sees photos of the smiling faces of the children of missing mother, Michelle Parker, he thinks of his grandparents. He is hoping others see grandparents in the same light that he does. Nearly a year after Parker disappeared under mysterious circumstances, Lee made himself part of a movement to grant visitation rights to grandparents when a child's parent goes missing or is murdered. In the wake of Parker's disappearance, her ex-fiance, Dale Smith Jr., the prime suspect in the case, received custody of the couple's preschool-age twins. Lee signed a petition titled, Michelle's Law, on www.change.org. The petition, established by Parker's mother, Yvonne Stewart, is asking for signatures supporting a request for the Florida Legislature to pass a law allowing the family of a missing person to be awarded legal visitation. Stewart, who said that her minimal visitation rights with Parker's 4-year-old twins are entirely up to Smith, is hoping that Michelle's Law will motivate Florida legislators to pass a law enabling legal visitation rights for grandparents. She said the petition has been earmarked for Florida Rep. Darryl Rouson.

BP IN ADVANCED TALKS OVER DEEPWATER HORIZON SETTLEMENTS-- Orlando Sentinel, http://www.orlandosentinel.com, Nov. 15, 2012. [Also: TIMELINE: GULF OF MEXICO OIL SPILL-- Orlando Sentinel, http://www.orlandosentinel.com, Nov. 15, 2012].
The articles are by Reuters. Oil giant BP said it was in advanced discussions with the U.S. Department of Justice and the Securities & Exchange Commission about "proposed resolutions" in connection with the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. BP said the talks covered proposed resolutions to all U.S. federal government criminal and SEC claims against BP in connection with the 2010 disaster. Sources told Reuters that BP was expected to pay a record criminal penalty and plead guilty to criminal misconduct in the disaster through a plea agreement it has reached with the DOJ. The deal could resolve a significant share of the liability that BP faces after the explosion in April 2010, which killed 11 workers and fouled the shorelines of four Gulf Coast states in the worst offshore spill in U.S. history.

FLORIDA KEEPS TOP FORECLOSURE RANKING-- The Palm Beach Post, http://www.palmbeachpost.com, Nov. 15, 2012.
Florida maintained its leading spot nationally for foreclosure activity last month with a filing rate more than twice the national average. It's the second month in a row the Sunshine State ranked first for foreclosures, a disheartening designation it hadn't held previous to September since 2005, according to the Irvine, Calif.-based company RealtyTrac, which measures foreclosures nationwide. Following Florida in the top five foreclosure rankings are Nevada, Illinois, California and Arizona.

CIRCUIT COURT JUDGE HAS SCHEDULED FRIDAY HEARING FOR WEST'S ST. LUCIE ELECTION RECOUNT CHALLENGE-- Treasure Coast Newspapers, http://www.tcpalm.com, Nov. 15, 2012. [Also: RECOUNT EARLY VOTES IN PATRICK MURPHY-ALLEN WEST RACE-- The Palm Beach Post, editorial, http://www.palmbeachpost.com, Nov. 15, 2012; JEFFREY SCOTT SHAPIRO: RECOUNT NEEDED IN WEST RACE-- Sun-Sentinel, column, http://www.sun-sentinel.com, Nov. 15, 2012].
From Treasure Coast Newspapers: A hearing before Ninteenth Circuit Court Judge Dan Vaughn has been scheduled a hearing Friday [Nov. 16] for U.S. Rep. Allen West's latest St. Lucie County challenge for an election recount. Meanwhile, David Drury, Florida Division of Elections Bureau Chief of Voting Systems Certification, arrived Wednesday afternoon to start auditing how the county's canvassing board ran the election. Two more state officials are slated to show up, and the group could stay until Saturday. West, who narrowly lost his District 18 bid to Democrat Patrick Murphy in unofficial results, filed a lawsuit Tuesday evening [Nov. 13] demanding the canvassing board recount all early votes before certifying the results. The West campaign expressed concern when Supervisor of Elections Gertrude Walker on Sunday [Nov. 11] performed a partial recount of ballots only cast Nov. 1 through 3.

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[Revised: 11-16-2012]