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.
Sept. 17, 2013
LAWYERS AD LITEM HELP MEDICALLY FRAGILE KIDS LEAVE NURSING HOMES -- The Florida Bar News, http://www.flabar.org, Sept. 15, 2013.
Paolo Annino, the Glass Professor of Public Interest Law at Florida State University’s College of Law, praised Guardian ad Litem Executive Director Alan Abramowitz for his efforts at receiving funding from the Legislature to hire attorneys ad litem for medically fragile children and coordinating their legal representation. Because of a $325,000 legislative appropriation, the number of medically fragile foster children in DCF’s custody has been winnowed down from 35, before the law was passed, to the current 11 living in skilled nursing homes. Abramowitz wants to place the children in medical foster homes, but there aren’t enough of them. He said it takes a “special, caring person willing to commit to a child who is so fragile, and needs a lot of time." Abramowitz is on a passionate mission to reduce the medically fragile foster children in nursing homes, by enlisting the expertise of attorneys ad litem.
PRO BONO ATTORNEYS TEACH TRIAL PRACTICE FOR LEGAL SERVICES ATTORNEY -- Jacksonville Daily Record, http://www.jaxdailyrecord.com, Sept. 17, 2013.
Pro bono attorneys from the American College of Trial Lawyers presented a trial practice training seminar for 16 staff attorneys from Jacksonville Area Legal Aid and Three Rivers Legal Services on Sept. 4 and 5 at the Duval County Courthouse. Ten accomplished and highly respected trial attorneys presented information on procedural topics and provided individual coaching and guidance to the participants. "This team of pro bono attorneys has made us better advocates for those who can't afford to pay for representation," said Jim Kowalski, executive director of JALA.
JUDICIAL PROFILE: JUDGE RUIZ PACKS LOT OF EXPERIENCE IN FEW YEARS -- Daily Business Review (requires subscription), http://www.dailybusinessreview.com, Sept. 16, 2013.
Miami-Dade County Court Judge Rodolfo Ruiz is profiled. Ruiz faced two preconceptions when he stepped into his county seat. Some groused that he was too young at 32 with just six years of practice. Others wondered whether a former White & Case associate, former assistant county attorney and former clerk to Chief U.S. District Judge Federico Moreno would get bored handling county court matters. Ruiz sees county court as the front line of the judicial system and a place where he can build invaluable experience, no matter what he does later.
BARRETT IS RUNNING IN 2014 FOR JUDGE'S SEAT -- Florida Keys News, http://keysnews.com, Sept. 17, 2013.
Former Monroe County Chief Assistant State Attorney Donald Barrett announced Monday [Sept. 16] he is running in 2014 for the circuit judge's seat currently held by Mark Jones. Barrett cited his extensive criminal legal background as a reason for filing for Jones' seat. Barrett has 15 years trial experience and has tried 50 jury cases.
--Civil Justice Issues--
BROWARD LAND TRUST FIRM FIGHTS FLORIDA ATTORNEY GENERAL LAWSUIT -- South Florida Sun-Sentinel, http://www.sun-sentinel.com, Sept. 17, 2013.
Whitestone Capital Trust is fighting Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi's attempt to prevent the Coral Springs company from collecting fees to put homes in land trusts to avoid foreclosure. The company is asking Circuit Court Judge Eileen M. O'Conner to throw out the lawsuit filed last month by the Attorney General's Office. The suit accuses Whitestone of charging homeowners illegal upfront fees and falsely misrepresenting that it could cancel or void the homeowners' mortgages. An attorney for Whitestone said the Attorney General's Office had not shown "one instance of actual damages" inflicted by Whitestone in its attempts to put homes in a land trust to prevent foreclosure. Bondi has called the land trust proposal a "mortgage relief scam."