The Florida Bar

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.

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June 9, 2014

--The Florida Bar--

BAR PRESIDENT, GOV. SCOTT WANT DO-OVER ON JUDICIAL NOMINEES -- Daily Business Review (requires subscription),, June 6, 2014.
Gov. Rick Scott asked the Broward Circuit Judicial Nominating Commission to provide an additional six names to fill two judicial openings, and Florida Bar president Eugene Pettis of Fort Lauderdale said Friday [June 6] he wants the same thing. The commission submitted one list of six candidates to fill two county court positions. By law, the JNC is required to send no less than three and no more than six nominees for each vacancy. "Fulfilling the governor's request may increase the diversity in the nominee pool and provide the governor with more opportunities to increase the diversity on the Broward County bench," Pettis said. The six names submitted to the governor included one African-American male and two women. A recent Bar poll found a heated difference of opinion among JNC members across the state about their role in promoting diversity.

--Legal Profession--

TAMPA SEMINAR OFFERS LEGAL KNOW-HOW -- Tampa Tribune,, June 8, 2014.
Personal injury law, civil rights restoration and the Fair Housing Program were on the class schedule for participants at a legal seminar hosted by the George Edgecomb Bar Association on Saturday [June 7]. The group hosted its annual workshop at the University Area Community Development Center. The seminar included sessions on topics such as IRS disputes, code enforcement, Social Security and disability policies. Classes on foreclosure and bankruptcy issues and criminal law are typically the most popular, and organizers said they were held twice.


The state’s 4th District Court of Appeal will give the west end of downtown West Palm Beach a boost when it moves to a new office building that will be built on state-owned land. Property along Tamarind Avenue is slated to be the site of the new courthouse, according to Appellate Court Judge Jonathan Gerber. Palm Beach County just landed $7.1 million in the state’s budget to begin moving the 4th District Court of Appeal from an outmoded and moldy building on Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard. When completed, roughly in early 2018, the building will be 36,000 square feet, the same size as the current Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard courthouse, Gerber said. Gregory Coleman, president-elect of The Florida Bar and a West Palm Beach lawyer, said the 4th DCA judges “deserve a lot of credit” for making the new courthouse possible.

This week, judges of Pinellas and Pasco counties came under scrutiny thanks to a survey of local lawyers that is stirring comments and controversy. A newly formed legal group recently polled lawyers to ask about the demeanor, professionalism and fairness of local judges. It posted the results on a blog, Lawyer Haydee Oropesa, who started the survey with help from some of her well-known peers, said the results could provide a good way to let the public know how each judge is viewed by attorneys who are familiar with their work. But Pinellas-Pasco Chief Judge Thomas McGrady doesn't think the survey is valid. He points to the blog, which says that just 115 of 3,200 lawyers who were contacted by email actually returned surveys — less than 4 percent. The new group behind the survey calls itself the Association of Lawyers Promoting Judicial Excellence.

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[Revised: 06-10-2014]