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. 14, 2012
REVISITING THE TERMS OF APPOINTED FLORIDA APPELLATE JUDGES-- Florida Voices, column, http://www.floridavoices.com, Nov. 14, 2012.
The guest column by Martin Dyckman states: "There's a lot about American government that strikes people elsewhere as strange. . . . But nothing is stranger in foreign eyes than how we choose judges. Only two other nations — Switzerland and Japan — elect any of theirs, and Japan's Supreme Court retention elections are a formality. Here, however, Florida and 38 other states elect all or some of their judges. And, as Florida has just seen, even the merit retention process — in which appointed judges of the appeals courts ask for voter approval every six years — can become bitterly politicized."
JUDGE TURNER: COLLEAGUES PRAISE HIS WORK AS DECADES ON BENCH END-- Naples Daily News, http://www.naplesnews.com, Nov. 10, 2012.
Sit up straight. Articulate more. The remonstrations are more suited to an etiquette class than a courtroom. "I'm not going to be telling you how to do it in the future," veteran Collier County Judge Eugene Turner told prosecutors and their witnesses in court last week, nearly two months before he will step down as the longest standing county judge. Turner alternated between making the courtroom chuckle and snap to attention, just 36 hours after learning of his defeat in a runoff election Tuesday [Nov. 6] that ended his nearly 30-year term as a county judge. Judge-elect Jim McGarity's win with 55 percent of the vote comes as Turner, 68, made his last possible bid for re-election; the Florida Constitution forces judges to retire at 70. It was the first time since he was appointed to the county judgeship in 1983 that Collier voters didn't re-elect him.
CIRCUIT JUDGE MCARTHY "MACK" CRENSHAW JR. RETIRES-- Jacksonville Daily Record, http://www.jaxdailyrecord.com, Nov. 12, 2012.
Fourth Circuit Judge McCarthy "Mack" Crenshaw Jr. and his wife, Connie, unveiled his portrait that will hang in the Clay County Courthouse, where his retirement ceremony took place Thursday [Nov. 8]. Crenshaw will officially retire Dec. 31. On Jan. 3, he will turn 70, the mandatory retirement age for judges set by the Florida Constitution. Crenshaw was appointed to the bench in 1992. He was recognized Thursday for his contributions to the juvenile court program, which include the development of a mandatory class called "Character and Self-Control," created to decrease the number of repeat offenders.
ACCUSED KILLER'S TRIAL WILL GO ON WITH NEW JUDGE-- Daily Business Review, http://www.dailybusinessreview.com, Nov. 14, 2012.
The changing of the judges in a Miami-Dade murder case is complete. Circuit Judge Milton Hirsch took no action Tuesday [Nov. 13] on a defense motion to alter bail for accused killer Emin Rosales Ramirez. The bond hearing will resume today before Judge Victoria Brennan. The Third District Court of Appeal ordered Hirsch off the case Friday [Nov. 9] after he said at an earlier bond hearing that the family of the dead man showed "great disrespect" for him and the justice system by talking about the case on the Spanish-language network Telemundo. Assistant State Attorney Christina Johnson asked him to recuse himself and appealed to the Third District when he did not. [Subscription required.]
--Civil Justice Issues--
GOV. SCOTT DROPPING HIS OPPOSITION TO OBAMA'S HEALTH CARE OVERHAUL-- The Florida Times-Union, http://www.jacksonville.com, Nov. 14, 2012. [Also: GETTING BEYOND 'NO'-- The Miami Herald, editorial, http://www.miamiherald.com, Nov. 13, 2012; IT'S THE LAW. MAKE IT HAPPEN.-- Sun-Sentinel, editorial, http://www.sun-sentinel.com, Nov. 14, 2012].
Gov. Rick Scott, one of the most vocal critics of the federal health care overhaul, is dropping his staunch opposition to the law. Scott said in an interview Tuesday [Nov. 13] with The Associated Press that he now wants to negotiate with the federal government. "The election is over and President Obama won," Scott said. "I'm responsible for the families of Florida." Scott had previously stated that he would not go along with any parts of the health care overhaul that the state controls. States have until Friday [Nov. 16] to notify federal authorities whether they plan to set up health insurance exchanges, a marketplace where individuals and smalls businesses can shop for the most affordable coverage and where many will get help from the government to pay their premiums. Scott's willingness to discuss the issue with federal officials in Washington aligns him closer to some other Republican leaders in Florida. Incoming Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford, for example, said the state may be willing to set up an exchange if it gets some better answers from Washington about how they will work.
--Criminal Justice Issues--
'STAND YOUR GROUND' PANEL SUGGESTS FEW CHANGES TO FLORIDA'S SELF-DEFENSE LAW-- The Miami Herald, http://www.miamiherald.com, Nov. 14, 2012. [Also: SUPPORT OF SELF-DEFENSE PROTECTIONS LED PANEL TO RECOMMEND NO OVERHAUL-- Northwest Florida Daily News, http://www.nwfdailynews.com, Nov. 14, 2012].
From The Miami Herald: Created in the wake of national uproar over Trayvon Martin’s shooting death, a 19-member task force spent six months traveling the state and taking public testimony about Florida's most controversial self-defense law. The result? Little, if anything, will change. The task force commissioned by Gov. Rick Scott to review the Stand Your Ground law prepared its final report Tuesday [Nov. 13], indicating that the law is mostly fine as it is.