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 10, 2014
--The Florida Bar--
THE FLORIDA BAR GIVES LAWYERS STARTING MEDICAL MARIJUANA CONSULTING BUSINESS GREEN LIGHT -- Daily Business Review (requires subscription), http://www.dailybusinessreview.com, June 9, 2014.
The Florida Bar will not discipline lawyers for advising clients seeking to set up medical marijuana businesses under a policy approved by the Board of Governors and recommended by the Bar's Disciplinary Procedures Committee. The rule change was offered in response to a growing number of lawyers establishing medical marijuana consulting businesses and seeking guidance. Florida voters are expected to approve a ballot initiative in November legalizing medical marijuana following similar initiatives in other states, prompting dozens of Florida lawyers to launch marijuana-related consulting practices in the last year. The rule change states the Bar will not file ethics complaints against members "solely for advising a client regarding the validity, scope and meaning of Florida statutes regarding medical marijuana or for assisting a client in conduct the lawyer reasonably believes is permitted by Florida statutes, regulations, orders and other state or local provisions implementing them, as long as the lawyer also advises the client regarding related federal law and policy."
QUENTIN MORGAN: DIVERSITY ENRICHES OUR LEGAL SYSTEM -- South Florida Sun-Sentinel, http://www.sun-sentinel.com, June 10, 2014.
Column by Quentin Morgan, an attorney with Brinkley Morgan. The firm sponsored the recently formed South Palm Beach County Bar Association's Diversity & Inclusion Committee's inaugural event. Morgan adds that "the newly formed South Palm Beach County Bar Association's Diversity & Inclusion Committee now provides another forum where lawyers with different perspectives and life experiences can learn from one another, close the gaps in the difference in those life experiences and how to interpret them to effectuate meaningful conversation and thrive professionally . . . . The new Diversity Committee can help facilitate the training and mentorship necessary to improve retention of minorities, including women, at law firms and increase their representation in the upper echelons of firm management . . . The law is a social construct comprised of people's thoughts about society's norms and morals. Within that construct, diverse genders, races and ethnic groups represent different life experiences and views of society. Social barriers should not be barriers to justice."
THE PRO BONO CASE SUCCESS OF CHRISTOPHER AND BRUCE PAGE -- Jacksonville Daily Record, http://www.jaxdailyrecord.com, June 9, 2014.
Attorney Christopher Page, admitted to practice in 2013, and his father Bruce, a lawyer since 1987, were interested in assisting a pro bono client, so they joined forces on a landlord/tenant matter to achieve a favorable outcome. Their client was a tenant who had his electricity shut off due to a clerical error in the landlord's management office. After several phone conversations with the office, a settlement was reached and the company's attorney informed them the tenant's demands would be met. They encourage attorneys considering pro bono involvement to find ways to share their legal skills.
A HOW-TO GUIDE FOR WINNING TRIALS -- Daily Business Review (requires subscription), http://www.dailybusinessreview.com, June 6, 2014.
Some of Miami's most celebrated plaintiffs and defense attorneys shared their tips at a View From the Bench seminar Friday [June 6] in Miami. A sold-out crowd of nearly 500 lawyers attended the Legends of the Courtroom seminar on openings, closings and jury selection. Speakers exploring ethical issues in opening statements and closing arguments in commercial and personal injury cases included Sedgwick partner and Florida Bar President-Elect designate Ramon Abadin; H.T. Smith, director of the trial advocacy program at the Florida International University College of Law; Herman Russomanno of Russomanno & Borrello and Miami-Dade Circuit Judges Ronald Dresnick, Jacqueline Hogan Scola and Lisa Walsh. Jennifer Altman, partner at Boies Schiller & Flexner in Miami; Ed Blumberg, partner at Deutsch Blumberg in Miami; Aaron Podhurst of Podhurst Orseck in Miami and Miami-Dade Circuit Judges Jorge Cueto, Norma Lindsey and Peter Lopez participated in a panel on jury selection in personal injury and commercial cases.
--Civil Justice Issues--
COURT LEAVES INTACT FLORIDA JURY VERDICTS AGAINST TOBACCO COMPANIES -- Orlando Sentinel, http://www.orlandosentinel.com, June 9, 2014. [Also: U.S. SUPREME COURT SIDES AGAINST BIG TOBACCO IN FLORIDA LITIGATION -- Tampa Bay Times, http://www.tampabay.com, June 9, 2014.]
By Reuters. The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday [June 9] declined to hear a series of appeals filed by tobacco companies seeking to overturn Florida court rulings worth more than $70 million in favor of customers who sued over injuries associated with smoking. The cases are among thousands that arose from a class action filed in 1994 against major tobacco companies. The group consisted of all Florida residents who said they or family members had been killed or injured as a result of tobacco-related medical conditions by 1996. In 2000, a jury awarded the plaintiffs $145 billion in damages. The Florida Supreme Court in 2006 overturned the award and ruled that plaintiffs had too many individual issues to proceed as a class, but it said that plaintiffs could bring individual lawsuits based on findings from earlier in the litigation. That ruling prompted thousands of individual lawsuits from smokers and their family members in Florida's state and federal courts against major tobacco companies.
--Tech Tip Tuesday--
LEARN HOW TO CHARGE YOUR IPHONE TWICE AS FAST AND HOW TO QUICKLY HIDE A BANNER NOTIFICATION -- The Florida Bar, http://www.floridabar.org, June 10, 2014.
For additional information on this tip and others, visit the Tech Tips page.