The Florida Bar

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.

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March 11, 2014

--The Florida Bar--

ADD-ON FEE FOR LEGAL AID SOUGHT -- The Florida Bar News,, March 15, 2014.
One hundred and eighty-two Bar members submitted a petition prepared by former Justice Raoul Cantero to The Florida Bar, in preparation for filing it with the Supreme Court, seeking to raise Bar membership fees by up to $100 to help legal aid agencies. It asks to raise the “annual membership fee cap by $100 to provide greater availability of civil legal services to the poor and to provide greater access to the courts.” With about 98,000 Bar members, the petition, if adopted, could raise almost $10 million for legal aid. The petition argues action on membership fees is necessary because The Florida Bar Foundation’s income from its Interest on Trust Accounts Program has fallen 88 percent. The Foundation has gone through its reserves and is now making drastic grant cuts to already stretched legal aid programs.

Focusing on how Florida can bolster diversity among its judges and the commissions that nominate judicial candidates is the mission of a new task force appointed by Bar President Eugene Pettis. The President’s Task Force to Study the Enhancement of Diversity on the Bench and the Judicial Nominating Commissions will work to determine why diverse candidates are not applying for appointment to the JNCs or for judgeships. Under state law, the governor directly appoints five members to each JNC and selects four members from slates nominated by the Bar, with the appointments staggered over four years. This year, the Bar is nominating candidates for two seats on each of the 26 JNCs. Pettis said the Bar extended its original Feb. 11 application deadline to March 21 to allow for additional recruitment of JNC applicants from the Bar membership.

--Legal Profession--

YOU'LL NEVER BELIEVE WHAT LAWYERS' BIGGEST FEARS ARE -- Daily Business Review (requires subscription),, March 10, 2014.
The Florida Bar conducts a random survey of lawyers every two years to gauge their views on everything from their pressing concerns to their salaries to their use of software and social media. When asked about the three most serious problems facing the legal profession, 49 percent of respondents cited "too many attorneys," while 31 percent blamed difficult economic times and 26 percent, poor public perception. More respondents—39 percent—cited "oversaturation of attorneys" as the issue that will have the greatest impact on the legal profession in the next five years. For 34 percent of individuals, balancing family and work was the biggest challenge they face. The next biggest individual concern—for 30 percent of respondents—was stress.

SKATING INTO THE FUTURE OF THE LEGAL PROFESSION -- Jacksonville Daily Record,, March 10, 2014.
Column by Giselle Carson and Fraz Ahmed, members of the Jacksonville Bar Association Board of Governors. "In a thought-provoking and motivating speech, Florida Bar President Eugene Pettis outlined The Florida Bar Vision 2016 initiative to address challenges faced by our profession. And, he charged Jacksonville Bar Association members to be a part of the solution, to help lift someone else, to reach out and plant a seed to create a better day for our community."


TUESDAY'S LETTERS: CASE POINTS TO NEED FOR IMMIGRATION REFORM -- Tampa Bay Times, Letters to Editor,, March 10, 2014.
Ramon Carrion from Clearwater writes, "The recent decision of the Florida Supreme Court denying Jose Godinez-Samperio admission to The Florida Bar should be required reading for all people who are interested in the issue of comprehensive immigration reform — whether pro or con . . . It is time for our nation to face up to the reality that our immigration law needs a complete overhaul." Marilyn Calora from Oldsmar writes, "[Jose] Godinez-Samperio seems to be a perfect case of a person who wants to live and work in the United States but does not want to follow the laws. The exact laws that he wants to practice to help other residents who left their birthplaces to work hard and seek better lives here are the ones he is not willing to follow. Why should the rules be bent for him or others?"


FORT MYERS DEFENSE ATTORNEY KAREN MILLER DIES AT 53 -- Fort Myers News-Press,, March 11, 2014.
Karen Elizabeth Miller-Maness, 53, was found dead at her home in Fort Myers. The cause of Miller-Maness' death should be determined next week after a medical examiner autopsy. Miller-Maness had run a private Fort Myers practice since 2010. She defended clients in more than 100 jury trials in Lee County since 2001. In an editorial sent to the News-Press in June 2012, Miller-Maness said she took pride in representing low-income people.

--Tech Tip Tuesday--

GO BACK TO YOUR LAST EDIT IN WORD -- The Florida Bar,, March 11, 2014.
Ever been working on a long Microsoft Word document and decided to call it a day? Then, the next day, you reopen your document and have to page down, page down, page down… to try and find the spot you were at when you stopped editing? If so, page down no more. For additional information on this tip and others, visit the Tech Tips page.

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[Revised: 03-12-2014]