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. 23, 2014
--The Florida Bar--
RPPTL FELLOWSHIPS DESIGNED TO INTEREST YOUNG LAWYERS IN THE WORK OF THE SECTION -- The Florida Bar News, http://www.floridabar.org, Feb. 1, 2014.
The Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section of The Florida Bar is now accepting applications to its fellowship program aimed at recruiting young practitioners to the Bar’s largest and oldest section. The fellowship program allows individuals to be substantially involved in the section’s work, receive leadership training and work closely with leading attorneys in their field. The mission of the Fellowship Program is to attract and retain young lawyers to the section. Each fellow will also be assigned mentors, members of the executive council, to assist the fellow in maximizing his or her experience and attending RPPTL events. In return for section commitments, a fellow is required to attend a minimum of three executive council meetings per year, serve as an active member of the membership and inclusion committee, and be an active member of at least one substantive committee.
NEW JUDGE APPOINTED TO FEDERAL COURTHOUSE IN FORT MYERS -- Fort Myers News-Press, http://www.news-press.com, Jan. 23, 2014.
A new magistrate judge has been appointed to the federal courthouse in downtown Fort Myers. Carol Mirando was appointed Tuesday [Jan. 21], according to a release from the U.S. District Court Middle District of Florida. Mirando, who will preside over civil and criminal cases, graduated from Stetson University College of Law. She served as a judicial law clerk for a U.S. district judge in the Middle District of Florida and two circuit judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.
BROWARD JNC SENDS GOVERNOR SIX FINALISTS FOR CIRCUIT BENCH -- Daily Business Review (requires subscription), http://www.dailybusinessreview.com, Jan. 22, 2014.
The Broward Circuit Judicial Nominating Commission submitted the names of six candidates for Gov. Rick Scott's consideration to replace Circuit Judge Eileen O'Connor. The finalists for the seat include Broward County Court Judges John D. Fry and Edward Merrigan Jr. Merrigan, who served on the criminal bench, was appointed by Gov. Charlie Crist in 2009. Fry was elected in 2010 and presides over civil cases. Three prosecutors made the cut. From Broward, there are Assistant State Attorneys Anthony Loe and Stephen Zaccor. From Miami-Dade, there is Abbe Rifkin. The sixth candidate is Daniel Kanner, a partner at the Plantation firm of Bauman, Bauman & Kanner. Kanner is a former prosecutor who does criminal defense work. O'Connor, 64, retires April 30.
--Lawyer Ethics/Legal Discipline--
FLORIDA BAR SETS ITS SIGHTS ON 1-800-ASK-GARY , 411-PAIN AND OTHER LAWYER-REFERRAL SERVICES -- Orlando Weekly, http://orlandoweekly.com, Jan. 22, 2014.
The Florida Bar is considering a series of rule amendments that may affect third-party lawyer referral services operating in the state, including Ask Gary and 1-800-411-PAIN, two of the largest. These services are designed to help people find an attorney but some, including Ask Gary, also refer prospective clients to medical clinics. Over the years, there have been numerous allegations of illegal fee-sharing agreements, in which the referral services and their partners collude to drive up medical costs, in effect benefiting the lawyer more than the client. Proposed amendments to the Florida Bar’s rules of professional conduct would ban attorneys from accepting referrals from a service if the client is also referred to another entity. Attorneys will also be “prohibited from referring clients to another person, entity, association, organization or service that the lawyer knows or reasonably should know is owned by the lawyer-referral service or a beneficial owner of the lawyer-referral service.”
--Civil Justice Issues--
GAY MARRIAGE CASE ASSIGNED TO MIAMI-DADE CIRCUIT JUDGE SARAH ZABEL, A VETERAN FAMILY LAW SPECIALIST -- Miami Herald, http://www.miamiherald.com, Jan. 23, 2014.
A lawsuit by six couples demanding they be allowed to marry their same-sex partners in the state of Florida has been assigned to Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Sarah Zabel. Zabel, who as a litigator specialized in family law, is married to former North Miami Beach Mayor Myron Rosner. She has been a circuit judge since 2003. According to a 21-page filing on Tuesday [Jan. 21], which names Miami-Dade County Clerk Harvey Ruvin as defendant, the plaintiffs “allege that Florida’s categorical exclusion of all same-sex couples from marriage deny same-sex couples, including the plaintiff couples, and their families the fundamental rights, dignity, and equality guaranteed to all persons by the United States Constitution.” No court dates or hearings have been set.