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 30, 2014
--The Florida Bar--
FLORIDA BAR SWEARS IN NEW LEADERS, DOLES OUT AWARDS -- Daily Business Review (requires subscription), http://www.dailybusinessreview.com, June 27, 2014. [Also: LAWYER LESSONS 101: HOW TO STAY OUT OF TROUBLE -- Daily Business Review (requires subscription), http://www.dailybusinessreview.com, June 27, 2014.]
West Palm Beach litigator Gregory Coleman was sworn in as the 66th president of The Florida Bar on Friday [June 27], vowing to serve as the Bar's technology president while working to improve civility in the legal profession. Coleman was sworn in at the annual Bar convention by Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Ricky Polston as his last official act as chief justice. Ramon Abadin, a Miami litigator with Sedgwick, was sworn in as president-elect, giving South Florida a three-year run in Bar leadership. Before the handoff, outgoing Bar president Eugene Pettis gave out merit awards to several lawyers. The Master's Seminar on Ethics also took place Friday. Much of the seminar dealt with the pitfalls of social media for judges and lawyers.
LAWYERS CAN PEEK AT JURORS' SOCIAL MEDIA -- Tampa Tribune, http://www.tbo.com, June 30, 2014.
Picking jurors can be a complicated task for lawyers, who have only a short time to decide if strangers can be fair to their clients. In the old days, lawyers could only scrutinize jury candidates on their appearance. With the explosion of social media, though, many people now carry virtual signs signaling to the world their political beliefs and personality traits. Although the courts and The Florida Bar have not yet weighed in on rules for lawyers who want to mine social media for tidbits about jurors, the American Bar Association in April issued guidelines saying public posts are fair game.
CLOTHING FOR COURT: LAWYERS HUNT FOR TRIAL ATTIRE -- Orlando Sentinel, http://www.orlandosentinel.com, June 29, 2014.
The office of the public defender for Orange and Osceola counties had its 12th annual clothing drive in December. Public Defender Robert Wesley and his lawyers rely on donations to make sure the thousands of indigent defendants they represent every year have clothes for trial. Florida courts have long established that defendants have a right to wear civilian clothes at trial, but lawyers who represent clients who can't afford nice clothes often have to get them through other ways. Wesley accepts donations year-round, hoping to keep his closet stocked. Anyone with clothes to spare can call his office. Court-appropriate clothes are preferable.
SENATE CONFIRMS MIAMI-DADE CIRCUIT JUDGE BETH BLOOM -- Daily Business Review (requires subscription), http://www.dailybusinessreview.com, June 24, 2014.
On Monday [June 23], the U.S. Senate confirmed U.S. District Judge Beth Bloom's nomination by President Barack Obama on a 95-0 vote. She fills the seat vacated in December by U.S. District Judge Donald Graham, who took senior status. She had the support of both of Florida's U.S. senators. She is the second federal judge confirmed for the Southern District of Florida in as many weeks. Bloom attended Broward Community College and the University of Florida before getting her law degree at the University of Miami. She went to work for the law firm of Floyd, Pearson, Richman, Greer, Weil, Brumbaugh & Russomanno, now Richman Greer in Miami. Bloom started on the bench as a traffic magistrate in 1992 and was appointed to county court in 1995 and circuit court in 2010. The Federal Judicial Nominating Commission is also taking applicants to replace U.S. District Judge Robin Rosenbaum, who was confirmed in May to the appeals court.
--Criminal Justice Issues--
ROTHSTEIN LAW PARTNER RUSSELL ADLER GETS 30 MONTHS -- Daily Business Review (required subscription), http://www.dailybusinessreview.com, June 27, 2014.
U.S. District Judge James Cohn sentenced disbarred attorney Russell Adler to 30 months in prison for making illegal campaign contributions at Scott Rothstein's behest. Cohn opted for the high-end of the advisory guidelines after expressing doubts about whether Adler was completely in the dark about the $1.2 billion Ponzi scheme built on bogus court settlements under the law firm Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler. Adler pleaded guilty to conspiracy to violate U.S. campaign finance laws but not to any crimes directly tied to the scam. He was reimbursed by Rothstein for about $200,000 in contributions to the presidential campaign of U.S. Sen. John McCain in 2008 and another $5,000 to former Gov. Charlie Crist, according to the criminal information. The other partner in the RRA name, Stuart Rosenfeldt, is scheduled to be sentenced on a fraud conspiracy plea on Sept. 24.
JUDGE BLASTS LAWYER IN RASHEEM DUBOSE DEATH PENALTY CASE AS STATUS OF APPEAL BECOMES MUDDIED -- Florida Times-Union (requires subscription), http://www.jacksonville.com, June 29, 2014.
The high-profile murder case of 8-year-old DreShawna Davis has devolved into a death penalty appeal with the trial judge accusing the defense lawyer of misleading him and the Florida Supreme Court in an effort to get his client off Death Row. Circuit Judge Lawrence P. Haddock accused attorney Richard Kuritz of hiding the fact that he simultaneously represented Rasheem Dubose and one of the jurors in the case after that jury convicted Dubose and recommended he be sentenced to death for Davis' murder. Haddock forwarded his allegations to The Florida Bar, which has now opened an investigation into Kuritz.
JAMES ELLIS WILLIAMS -- Florida Times-Union, http://www.jacksonville.com, June 28, 2014.
James Ellis Williams, 88, passed away Thursday, June 26, at the Mayo Hospital in Jacksonville. Williams attended Wake Forest University in 1949, then Wake Forest Law School in 1951. Williams was an active member of The Florida Bar, the National Association of Trial Lawyers, the Association of American Railroads and the Railroad Trial Council.
CHARLES D. MCLURE (1935-2014) -- Tallahassee Democrat, http://www.tallahassee.com, June 28, 2014.
Charles Davis McClure Sr. passed away on Tuesday, June 24, in Tallahassee. He attended Stetson Law School and began his career as a general counsel to the state comptroller. Following that position, McClure practiced law in private practice with McClure, Wigginton and McClure for six years and was then appointed by Gov. Reuben Askew to be a Leon County judge in August 1973. McClure was then elected as circuit judge in 1984 for the Second Judicial Circuit and served as chief judge from 1989-1991. He was a presiding judge for more than 28 years.