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.
Jan. 24, 2014
--The Florida Bar--
21 FLORIDA LAWYERS WILL RECEIVE PRO BONO AWARDS IN SUPREME COURT CEREMONY JAN. 30 -- The Florida Bar, http://www.flabar.org, Jan. 23, 2014. [Also: LAKE WALES LAWYER HONORED BY FLORIDA BAR FOR PRO BONO WORK -- The Ledger, http://www.theledger.com, Jan. 24, 2014; TAMPA LAWYER KAREN BUESING RECEIVES TOP PRO BONO AWARD -- Tampa Bay Business Journal, http://www.bizjournals.com, Jan. 24, 2014.]
The Florida Bar will recognize 21 lawyers for their work on behalf of poor and indigent clients at a Jan. 30 ceremony at the Supreme Court of Florida. The awards recognize pro bono service in each of Florida's 20 judicial circuits and one Florida Bar member practicing outside the state of Florida. They are presented annually in conjunction with the Tobias Simon Pro Bono Service Award, which is given by the chief justice of the Florida Supreme Court. Awards recognizing pro bono contributions will also be presented for Distinguished Judicial Service, Law Firm Commendation, Voluntary Bar Association and by The Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division for a young lawyer. This year's awards, which also honors individual, young lawyer, law firm, voluntary bar and judicial pro bono efforts, ceremony is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 30, at 3:30 p.m. at the Supreme Court of Florida.
--Lawyer Ethics/Legal Discipline--
FLORIDA BAR FILES COMPLAINT AGAINST FORMER MIAMI PARTNERS JEREMY ALTERS, KIMBERLY BOLDT -- Daily Business Review, http://www.dailybusinessreview.com, Jan. 24, 2014.
For a second time, The Florida Bar has filed a formal complaint against prominent Miami attorney Jeremy Alters alleging trust fund irregularities. At the same time, the Bar filed a complaint against Alters' former law partner, Kimberly Boldt. After a grievance committee found probable cause, the Bar filed the complaints with the Florida Supreme Court late Wednesday [Jan. 22]. According to the complaints, dozens of improper transfers totaling millions of dollars were made from the firm's trust account to the firm's operating account to cover negative balances in 2009 and 2010.
ESCAMBIA TEEN COURT DELIVERS LAW AND ORDER -- Pensacola News Journal, http://www.pnj.com, Jan. 24, 2014.
In the juvenile justice system, some first time offenses can be adjudicated by peers. In Escambia County, the volunteer teenagers who prosecute and sentence these minor infractions are members of a volunteer squad known as the Teen Court. Program coordinator Mary Ann Johansen said that despite participants having to admit guilt to their crimes to be eligible for Teen Court, the State Attorney dismisses their cases and expunges their charges after completing the program. If the teen fails to complete the court's sanctions, or is arrested for another violation, the State Attorney may file formal charges and bring the case to court. But that doesn't happen very often. In 2012, the program saw a 90 percent success rate of the total 226 juveniles who completed it. All sentences require community service, restitution and an additional requirement, ranging from apology letters to civic projects.
MARTIN FINE, PROMINENT LAWYER, CIVIC ACTIVIST AND A VOICE FOR THE DISENFRANCHISED, DIES AT 86 -- Miami Herald, http://www.miamiherald.com, Jan. 24, 2014.
Martin Fine, prominent lawyer, business leader and unabashed civic booster who helped reshape Miami-Dade County, died Thursday [Jan. 23]. He was 86. Fine’s health had been failing since November, but his passion for the city he helped build never dimmed, his son said. Fine was a senior partner in Fine Jacobson Schwartz Nash Block and England. His work on the New World Center Action Committee helped redraw the map of downtown Miami, a move that eventually led to the emergence of an arts district. Fine’s civic involvement began in 1955 after graduation from the University of Miami Law School, when he joined the Miami Housing Authority and served as its chair for eight years. It was Fine’s work with state Sen. Carrie Meek in 1988 on the Documentary Benevolent Aid (DBA) surtax program that he felt was his greatest professional achievement. The program helped provide zero-interest home loans to poor working families.
GREG COSTAS -- Tallahassee Democrat, http://www.tallahassee.com, Jan. 24, 2014.
Gregory George Costas, 62, of Tallahassee, passed away on Monday, Jan. 20. Costas received a B.S.B.A. from Florida State University in 1973 and a J.D. from the University of Miami in 1976. Upon graduation from law school and admission to The Florida Bar, he worked with an uncle on a marine construction project in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. After his father's death in 1983, he and his mother relocated to Tallahassee, and he accepted a position in the Criminal Appeals Division of the Attorney General's Office. In 1987, he became the chief appellate attorney for the Florida Department of Transportation, a position he held at the time of his death.