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.
May 1, 2014
LAW DAY 2014 - AMERICAN DEMOCRACY AND THE RULE OF LAW: WHY EVERY VOTE MATTERS -- The Florida Bar, http://www.floridabar.org, April 28, 2014. [Also: PEG O'CONNOR: RIGHT TO VOTE IS FAR FROM SECURE -- Gainesville Sun, Column, http://www.gainesville.com, May 1, 2014; LAW DAY 2014 HIGHLIGHTS VOTER RIGHTS, ENGAGEMENT -- Sanford Herald, Column, http://mysanfordherald.com, May 1, 2014.]
Florida attorneys will join bar associations and other legal groups throughout the country to celebrate Law Day. Each May, The Florida Bar observes Law Day to commemorate the rule of law, the judiciary and its place in American society. The idea of a national Law Day was conceived in 1957 by American Bar Association President Charles Rhynes. In 1958, President Dwight D. Eisenhower established the first Law Day and in 1961 the U.S. Congress issued a joint resolution making May 1 the official Law Day. Various educational programs, community functions and public ceremonies will take place throughout the week of April 28 – May 2, 2014. This year’s Law Day theme, “American Democracy and the Rule of Law: Why Every Vote Matters,” calls on every American to reflect on the importance of a citizen’s right to vote and the challenges we still face in ensuring that all Americans have the opportunity to participate in our democracy.
--Lawyer Ethics/Legal Discipline--
SUPREME COURT DISCIPLINES 27 ATTORNEYS -- The Florida Bar, http://www.floridabar.org, April 30, 2014. [Also: TALLAHASSEE ATTORNEY HOBBS RECEIVES 30-DAY SUSPENSION -- Tallahassee Democrat, http://www.tallahassee.com, April 30, 2014. NINE SOUTH FLORIDA LAWYERS FACE DISCIPLINE -- Daily Business Review (requires subscription), http://www.dailybusinessreview.com, April 30, 2014; GAINESVILLE ATTORNEY DISBARRED -- Gainesville Sun, http://www.gainesville.com, May 1, 2014; STUART ATTORNEY SUSPENDED BY FLORIDA BAR FOR 91 DAYS -- Stuart News, http://www.tcpalm.com, May 1, 2014.]
The Florida Bar announces that the Florida Supreme Court in recent court orders disciplined 27 attorneys; disbarring five and revoking the license of one. Seventeen attorneys were suspended and four attorneys were publicly reprimanded. Four attorneys received more than one form of discipline. Two were placed on probation and three were ordered to pay restitution.
HOUSE PASSES BALLOT MEASURE ON COURT APPOINTMENTS -- The Ledger, http://www.theledger.com, May 1, 2014. [Also: VOTERS COULD HAVE SAY ON CLARIFYING SUPREME COURT PICKS -- The Florida Current, http://www.thefloridacurrent.com, May 1, 2014.]
By The Associated Press. Voters will have a chance to decide whether an outgoing governor should appoint vacancies on the Florida Supreme Court that open at the same time a new governor is sworn in. The House voted 73-45 to place a proposed constitutional amendment on the ballot to give outgoing governors power to appoint justices during the transition to a new governor. Democrats opposed the bill, arguing that if people elect a governor in November, that governor should be the one to appoint the Supreme Court justices for vacancies that begin on inauguration day two months later.
BOB SPARKS: JUDGES MUST RELY FIRST ON THE CONSTITUTION -- Tallahassee Democrat, Column, http://www.tallahassee.com, May 1, 2014.
Column by Bob Sparks, a Tallahassee-based business and political consultant. From 2003 to 2006, he was director of external affairs for the Florida attorney general. Sparks praises jurists who, despite personal misgivings of the policy involved, stay true to the Constitution. He writes, "It is beyond argument that our nation has become polarized between right and left, Republican and Democrat. It is refreshing to see examples of the judicial branch showing restraint despite personal views . . . In any civil case, one side will win and one will lose. All we can hope for are thoughtful judges who make decisions based on the law and the Constitution. The judicial branch is our best hope to leave the politics at the door."
EDITORIAL: IMMIGRANT AND ARMWOOD HIGH VALEDICTORIAN DESERVES RIGHT TO PRACTICE LAW -- Tampa Tribune, Editorial, http://www.tbo.com, May 1, 2014.
"Florida lawmakers have an opportunity to reward the hard work and determination it takes for someone to become an Eagle Scout, be a high school valedictorian, obtain a law degree and pass the bar exam. Jose Godinez-Samperio has achieved all of those lofty goals but is being denied a chance to practice law because his parents brought him to the United States when he was 9 years old and remained in the country illegally. A bill passed by the Senate and now being considered by the House would allow immigrants who meet certain residency requirements to obtain the license needed to practice law in Florida. House members should rise above the charged rhetoric surrounding the immigration debate and vote to give Godinez-Samperio and others like him the chance they deserve . . . Lawmakers should clear a path that allows him to give back to the country and the state that allowed him to pursue his dreams. And Scott should sign the measure into law."