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.
June 5, 2014
MENTORING YOUNG LAWYERS RESULTS IN AWARD -- South Florida Times, http://www.sfltimes.com, June 5, 2014.
Attorney David C. Prather of Clark, Fountain, La Vista, Prather, Keen & Littky-Rubin has been given the 2014 Friend of the Year award by the Palm Beach County Bar Association’s Young Lawyer Section. Prather was presented with the award during the Young Lawyers Section annual awards luncheon last month. The award is presented annually to an individual who exemplifies leadership and support for the Young Lawyers Section. The YLS offers members of the Palm Beach County Bar Association opportunities for networking, judiciary interaction and civic engagement. Prather currently serves on The Florida Bar Board of Governors and is also past president of the Palm Beach County Trial Lawyers Association.
FORUM REVEALS THE LIMITS PLACED ON JUDICIAL CANDIDATES -- Tampa Bay Times, http://www.tampabay.com, June 5, 2014.
On Tuesday [June 3] night, 10 of the candidates running for judicial seats in Hillsborough County joined a panel at Thomas Cooley Law School to introduce themselves to voters and generate interest in the Aug. 26 elections, when residents will have the opportunity to select four judges who will preside on the 13th Circuit Court and one who will serve on the county court. Because virtually all judicial candidates are running on similar platforms -- by law, they are not allowed to promise much beyond fair and impartial arbitration for each individual who walks into their courtroom -- their backgrounds are among the few campaign tools they can use. After a round of introductions, the candidates answered questions prepared by The Florida Bar and audience members. Tuesday's event was hosted by the Brandon Bar Association.
--Lawyer Ethics/Legal Discipline--
FLORIDA BAR FILES COMPLAINT AGAINST LAWYERS IN TAMPA DUI SCANDAL -- Tampa Bay Times, http://www.tampabay.com, June 4, 2014. [Also: FLORIDA BAR FILES COMPLAINT AGAINST LAWYERS IN SHOCK JOCK TRIAL -- Tampa Tribune, http://www.tbo.com, June 4, 2014.]
The Florida Bar has filed formal complaints with the Florida Supreme Court against three Tampa lawyers accused of setting up opposing counsel for a DUI arrest in a notorious legal scandal. The Bar has accused Robert Adams, Stephen Diaco and Adam Filthaut of Tampa's Adams Diaco firm of various violations of Florida Bar rules. All three face charges of misconduct, unfairness to opposing counsel and disrupting court, stemming from a defamation trial between warring radio shock jocks Todd Schnitt and Bubba the Love Sponge Clem. As the Bar moves forward against the three lawyers, an FBI investigation of the matter remains ongoing.
--Unlicensed Practice of Law--
FORMER SARASOTA BANKRUPTCY ATTORNEY ARRESTED -- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, http://www.heraldtribune.com, June 4, 2014.
Former Sarasota bankruptcy attorney Paul A. Pysczynski has been arrested on seven felony charges related to an alleged loan modification scheme, and local authorities said more charges are coming. Pysczynski has been charged with three counts of practicing law with a suspended license, two counts of scheming to defraud $20,000 to $50,000, and two counts of grand theft. The lawyer had his law license suspended in August 2012 for failing to complete continuing education requirements. An order by the Florida Supreme Court that year alleged Pysczynski caused “great public harm” by obtaining more than $100,000 from six clients, then failing to repay that money after no legitimate legal services were rendered. Pysczynski was arrested on a warrant in early May and transported to the Sarasota County Jail, where he remains on $210,000 bond.
SUSAN SPENCER-WENDEL, FORMER PALM BEACH POST REPORTER AND AUTHOR, DIES -- Palm Beach Post (requires subscription), http://www.palmbeachpost.com, June 4, 2014.
Susan Spencer-Wendel, a journalist who managed to tap out her life story with one thumb and turn it into a best-selling book, "Until I Say Good-bye: My Year of Living With Joy," died Wednesday [June 4] of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease. She was 47. Spencer-Wendel became a staff writer for the Palm Beach Post in 1997, covering courts. She reported on dense legal issues, poking holes in the reliability of eyewitness testimony. In September 2012, the Media and Communications Law Committee of The Florida Bar presented her with its lifetime achievement award, lauding her “willingness to look beyond the bare facts to understand the lesson behind the story.”