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 7, 2013
--The Florida Bar--
FLORIDA'S E-FILING PORTAL IS UP AND RUNNING -- The Florida Bar News, http://www.floridabar.org, Feb. 15, 2013.
By April 1 all attorneys and all clerks will be required to use Florida’s e-filing portal for the filing of civil trial cases. To prepare for the deadline, there have been a number of questions already answered in a report compiled by the Florida Court Clerks & Comptrollers that may be helpful as attorneys gear up to e-file.
FIRST, REVIEW FLAWED DEATH ROW SYSTEM -- Tampa Bay Times, http://www.tampabay.com, Feb. 7, 2013. [Also: EDITORIAL: LIMITING DEATH ROW APPEALS WOULD MEAN EXECUTING THE INNOCENT -- Palm Beach Post, http://www.palmbeachpost.com, Feb. 7, 2013; REVISIT FLORIDA'S DEATH PENALTY -- Tampa Bay Tribune, http://www.tbo.com, Feb. 7, 2013.]
These opinion pieces support reforming Florida's death penalty system, consistent with last week's resolution by The Florida Bar's Board of Governors that called for a comprehensive review by all three branches of government.
FLA. AGREES TO PAY $7M TO AVOID LAWSUIT -- Miami Herald, http://www.miamiherald.com, Feb. 7, 2013.
Florida is offering to pay a business technology company $7 million to avoid a potentially costly lawsuit over plans to consolidate the state's email systems. The company, a subsidiary of Xerox, signed a seven-year contract in 2011. State legislators back in 2010 ordered the project, but then last year they cut off funding. The company warned state officials last August that it had already spent roughly $30 million on the project and it was prepared to sue to recover its investment. The company agreed to the settlement in order to avoid a long battle in court.
FLORIDA SENATE PANEL MASSAGES ETHICS LEGISLATION -- Florida Times-Union, http://www.jacksonville.com, Feb. 7, 2013.
In a move intended to assuage the concerns of local governments, a Senate panel has amended wide-ranging ethics legislation to loosen restrictions on public officials holding two taxpayer-funded positions. Overhauling the state’s ethics standards is a top priority of Senate President Don Gaetz. The dual-employment provision is aimed at stopping public officials from leveraging their clout to snag a second taxpayer-funded job.
GOV. RICK SCOTT'S PROPOSED BUDGET HAS MORE MONEY FOR COURTS -- Ocala Star Banner, http://www.ocala.com, Feb. 7, 2013.
Among . . . budget proposals that came from Gov. Rick Scott last week, the state’s judiciary received a little publicized boost. Scott’s $74.2 billion budget plan calls for additional funding to add about 20 circuit judge positions and other support staff statewide, as well as funds for court clerks to address the growing foreclosure backlog. Those proposals, however, are contingent upon budget approval by the Legislature.
JACKSONVILLE PAYING FOR PUSH-BUTTON DOORS IN DUVAL COURTHOUSE -- Florida Times-Union, http://www.jacksonville.com, Feb. 7, 2013.
Jacksonville is prepared to spend more than $300,000 installing door-opening equipment at the Duval County Courthouse to improve disabled access at the new building. Satisfying ADA requirements is part of a remaining list of issues to be cleared up before the city issues a final approval for use of the courthouse, which has operated under a series of temporary permits.
--Criminal Justice Issues--
MIAMI U.S. ATTORNEY ISSUES WARNING AND CRACKDOWN ON ID THEFT, TAX-REFUND FRAUD -- Miami Herald, http://www.miamiherald.com, Feb. 7, 2013.
U.S. Attorney Wifredo Ferrer says the double whammy of ID theft and tax-refund scams are the new Medicare fraud, picking the pockets of hard-working people and the federal government every year for billions of dollars. Identity theft is the fastest-growing and most insidious crime in South Florida, he said in an interview last week. One of the best ways to protect yourself is to file your tax returns as early as possible to beat the criminals to the punch.