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.
February 5, 2013
--The Florida Bar--
THE FLORIDA BAR PRESIDENT RECOGNIZES EMERSON LOTZIA -- Jacksonville Daily Record, http://www.jaxdailyrecord.com, Feb. 5, 2013.
Pro bono attorneys from across the state were recognized and thanked Thursday [Jan. 31] for their extraordinary pro bono service at the Florida Supreme Court. The honoree of The Florida Bar President's Pro Bono Service Award for the 4th Judicial Circuit was Emerson Lotzia of Foley & Lardner. Since 2006, Lotzia has assisted Jacksonville Area Legal Aid's Community Counsel to represent nonprofit organizations that benefit people with low incomes.
CAMPAIGNING FOR JUSTICE: BARS SUPPORT JUDICIARY, TACKLE TOUGH ISSUES IN ELECTION 2012 - Bar Leader, http://www.americanbar.org, January/February 2013.
Missouri, Florida and Arizona turned into judicial battlegrounds on Election Day 2012, as they dealt with ballot initiatives aimed at altering the selection of judges, while a high-profile judicial retention race in Iowa brought in a presidential candidate, an out-of-state governor, and lots of campaign cash. The ballot proposal also brought out bar associations that took active roles in the campaigns. For The Florida Bar, taking a position in opposition to Amendment 5, which sought to give the state Legislature more sway in high court appointments, was fairly straightforward, according to bar President Gwynne Young.
FOUR NAMES SENT TO GOVERNOR FOR NASSAU COUNTY JUDGESHIP -- Jacksonville Daily Record, http://www.jaxdailyrecord.com, Feb. 5, 2013.
Gov. Rick Scott will have a choice of four candidates to fill a county court judicial vacancy in Nassau County after the 4th Circuit Judicial Nominating Commission completed interviews Thursday [Jan. 31] of 11 applicants. Attorneys Steven Fahlgren of Hilliard, David Hallman of Yulee, Wesley Poole of Fernandina Beach and Thomas Townsend Jr. of Yulee were the commission's recommended candidates after the interviews.
AFTER RECENT REVIEW, CLAY TO TIGHTEN COURTHOUSE SECURITY -- Florida Times-Union, http://www.jacksonville.com, Feb. 5, 2013.
A recent evaluation by Sheriff’s Office Lt. M.W. Gaden, who oversees courthouse security, revealed some areas that could be improved to align Clay with the best practices recommended by the National Center for State Courts. Lawyers, like the general public, now are screened for weapons upon entering the building. Sheriff Rick Beseler is looking for the best way to implement Chief Judge Donald Moran Jr.’s requirement that everyone entering the Clay courthouse be screened for weapons.
STATE PONDERING WHETHER TO HEAR CASE OF WHO JUDGES CAN 'FRIEND' -- South Florida Sun-Sentinel, http://www.sun-sentinel.com, Feb. 5, 2013.
A Broward criminal case could set the stage for state law that will dictate who a judge can "friend" on Facebook. Stemming from a defendant who argued the judge assigned to his case was friends with the prosecutor, the Florida Supreme Court on Monday [Feb. 4] "began its process of determining whether it has jurisdiction over the case and, if so, should exercise it," a spokesman said. If the case is heard, it has massive implications statewide because lawyers and judges "need some guidance from the court," said Eugene Pettis, president-elect of The Florida Bar.
--Lawyer Ethics/Legal Discipline--
FLORIDA BAR PURSUES DISCIPLINE AGAINST FORECLOSURE-MILL BOSS DAVID J. STERN -- Palm Beach Post, http://www.palmbeachpost.com, Feb. 5, 2013.
The Florida Bar is seeking disciplinary action against Florida foreclosure baron David J. Stern, whose massive law firm collapsed in 2011 amid allegations that it mishandled the cases of the nation’s largest mortgage holders by filing forged and fraudulent court documents. Grievance committees found probable cause to pursue punishment in 17 cases stemming from formal complaints made by homeowners, defense attorneys, judges and a bank representative.
FLORIDA BAR INVESTIGATES LAWYERS ACCUSED OF SHOCK JOCK TRIAL SETUP -- Tampa Bay Times, http://www.tampabay.com, Feb. 5, 2013. [Also: FOCUS OF BUBBA-MJ CASE SHIFTS TO ATTORNEY'S ARREST -- Tampa Tribune, http://www.tbo.com, Feb. 5, 2013.]
From the Tampa Bay Times: The Florida Bar said Monday [Feb. 4] it has opened an investigation into three attorneys accused of participating in a DUI setup during last month's shock jock defamation trial. Todd "MJ" Schnitt's attorney C. Philip Campbell was arrested Jan. 23 and faces a DUI charge after drinking and chatting . . . with a paralegal for Adams & Diaco, the law firm representing Bubba the Love Sponge Clem. Police say they had been tipped off by a lawyer at Adams & Diaco. The Florida Bar is investigating that lawyer, Adam Filthaut, as well as Stephen Diaco and Robert Adams, both partners at the firm. The Bar would not disclose who filed the complaint. Discipline for lawyers found guilty ranges from an admonishment to disbarment.
LETTER: FLORIDA MUST REFORM ALIMONY SO IT'S NOT PERMANENT CONDITION -- Jupiter Courier, http://www.tcpalm.com, Feb. 5, 2013.
This letter to the editor, by Cynthia Laufer from Stuart, addresses issues regarding permanent alimony in Florida.