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.
February 18, 2013
WEST PALM BEACH LAWYER LEADS FEDERAL EFFORT TO REVAMP CRIMINAL LAWS -- Palm Beach Post, http://www.palmbeachpost.com, Feb. 17, 2013.
West Palm Beach attorney Bill Shepherd, formerly Florida’s statewide prosecutor, is the man who led the investigation and ultimate 2010 indictment of former Republican party chairman Jim Greer for theft and money laundering. His work as both a prosecutor and defense attorney has earned him the honor of serving as chairman of the American Bar Association’s 20,000-member Criminal Justice Section. Leading the Criminal Justice Section means working with Congress on legislative issues, such as retooling federal laws, Shepherd said.
FAMU COLLEGE OF LAW REMAINS ACCREDITED -- Florida A&M Famuan, http://www.thefamuanonline.com, Feb. 18, 2013.
After a routine accreditation process conducted by the American Bar Association on Thursday [Feb. 14], Florida A&M University College of Law learned that it will remain accredited. According to a preliminary report released in September 2012 after a site visit in March 2012, the association’s concerns included students of the school receiving effective professional development and appropriate financial resources, among others issues.
GUEST: LEGAL AID ADDS VITAL HELP -- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, http://www.heraldtribune.com, Feb. 17, 2013.
Guest column by Charlie Ann Syprett, a Sarasota attorney who oversees development of philanthropy for Legal Aid of Manasota Inc. Legal Aid is a nonprofit civil law firm that provides free legal services to low-income individuals and families in Sarasota and Manatee counties. They are the designated pro bono service provider for the 12th Judicial Circuit. They are able to provide access to our judicial system to those who cannot afford a lawyer, through financial support from the public and the volunteerism of the local Bar Associations.
FLORIDA OFFICIAL: STATE CONTRACTS NEED MORE OVERSIGHT -- Bradenton Herald, http://www.bradenton.com, Feb. 18, 2013.
In the last two years, Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater has agreed to let the state lose $48 million. That's the amount of taxpayer money Atwater spent to settle dozens of bad contracts and grants that he said could have been avoided had the state done a better job cutting the deals. In each case, the state concluded it was not going to get what it paid for and rather than taking the company to court, the state agreed to settle the contract at a loss. Atwater is asking the Legislature for "pre-audit" authority to review contracts before they are completed to make sure the state is getting its money's worth.
--Criminal Justice Issues--
FLORIDA GRAPPLES WITH WHAT TO DO WITH UNDERAGE KILLERS -- Florida Times-Union, http://www.jacksonville.com, Feb. 17, 2013.
Florida law requires sentences of life in prison without the possibility of parole for everyone convicted of first-degree murder who aren’t sentenced to death, and that applies to juveniles who are tried as adults. While Florida law appears to be in conflict with the Supreme Court, state appellate judges also are in conflict with each other.
--Civil Justice Issues--
FEDERAL SUIT AGAINST CARNIVAL ALREADY FILED IN MIAMI -- Daily Business Review (requires subscription), http://www.dailybusinessreview.com, Feb. 18, 2013.
A lawsuit on behalf of Cassie Terry, a Texas passenger from the disabled Triumph cruise ship, was filed against Miami-based Carnival in Miami federal court Friday [Feb. 15]. It came just hours after the vessel arrived in Mobile, Alabama, on Thursday [Feb. 14] after five extra days at sea without power. The suit filed by Gilman & Allison of Pearland, Texas, listed counts of fraud, negligence and breach of maritime contract.