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.
April 10, 2013
ORLANDO LAWYER AND UCF PROFESSOR BUILDS SCHOOL IN CAMBODIA -- UCF Today, http://today.ucf.edu, April 10, 2013.
Kay Wolf, a local attorney and professor in the Executive and Professional Program at UCF, raised over $86,000 to build and equip a school in a rural village in Cambodia. With her law firm, FordHarrison, fully supporting the initiative and providing a $20,000 donation, she was able to complete construction of the school in less than a year. “I grew up believing that education is the key to financial independence and stability—both of which are desperately in need of in Cambodia,” she said. Wolf has practiced law in the Orlando area in both private and public sectors since 1976.
LEGISLATURE SHOULD REJECT SWEEPING , UNCONSTITUTIONAL CHANGE TO FLORIDA'S ALIMONY SYSTEM -- Palm Beach Post, Editorial, http://www.palmbeachpost.com, April 10, 2013.
The editorial disagrees with the Legislature's attempt to modernize Florida's alimony laws. It states that "the proposal makes a touchy issue untenable by blending reasonable changes with others that are overly broad and potentially unconstitutional." The bill, which has passed two committees in the House, would impose stricter guidelines for how many years divorcees could receive alimony and effectively would shorten the length of time it is paid out in most cases. Opponents include divorce lawyers, [the Family Law Section of] The Florida Bar and divorcees who say the changes could hurt their ability to support themselves. As supporters of the bill conceded that it “isn’t perfect,” the editorial urges them to "fix the bill now, before recklessly shaking up the state’s alimony system."
LAWMAKERS RE-DIRECT MONEY DEDICATED TO LOW-INCOME HOUSING -- Orlando Sentinel, http://www.orlandosentinel.com, April 10, 2013.
As Florida lawmakers are raiding the Sadowski Trust Fund, which was created in 1991 to help fund low-income housing programs, housing advocates are concerned that Florida's multibillion-dollar foreclosure settlement, which is being used in part to fund housing programs this year, is masking that cash raid. Lawmakers routinely drained the fund over the last four years, arguing they had to in order to close billion-dollar holes in the state budget. Senate Democrats plan to offer an amendment this week to target those foreclosure dollars specifically toward people whose homes have been foreclosed or are near it, including money for legal aid, foreclosure counseling, cash for local governments to aid foreclosed homeowners, and beefing up court and clerk funding.
DOZENS OF IMMIGRANTS FROM FLORIDA TO JOIN RALLY IN D.C. TOMORROW -- Tampa Bay Times, http://www.tampabay.com, April 10, 2013.
Nearly six dozen immigrants and their advocates are arriving in Washington for a rally tomorrow that is drawing people from across the country in a push for comprehensive immigration reform. "Immigrant families will be the centerpiece of the rally. They will share their stories about how our broken system has devastated their families," an organizer said. Lawmakers crafting the immigration bill say it could be ready this week, though some, including Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, would like to wait and work out some sticking points.
--Lawyer Ethics/Legal Discipline--
LAW FIRMS CHALLENGE DORAN TO BE SCHOOL BOARD ATTORNEY -- Daytona Beach News-Journal, http://www.news-journalonline.com,
Smith Hood Bigman and Cobb Cole, two widely known Daytona Beach law firms, have teamed up on a proposal to replace Ted Doran as the longtime Volusia County School Board attorney, saying they could save the financially strapped district money. Doran, who has been the School Board attorney since 2002, lost a heated race for county chair last year in which opponents funded a mail campaign detailing how much he had charged tax-funded agencies for his legal services. A complaint has been filed with The Florida Bar accusing Doran of misconduct, conflict of interest and other violations. The Bar found probable cause to draft formal complaints with the Florida Supreme Court, though Doran has denied the charges.
DONALD F. CASTOR, RETIRED JUDGE AND FATHER OF U.S. REP. KATHY CASTOR, DIES -- Tampa Bay Business Journal, http://www.bizjournals.com, April 10, 2013.
Donald F. Castor, a retired Hillsborough County judge and U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor’s father, died Tuesday [April 9]. He was 81. A Stetson University College of Law graduate, Castor was Bay Area Legal Services’ first executive director. The organization named its resource center for nonprofits and community groups after Castor. He was admitted to The Florida Bar in 1956 and served as a Hillsborough County judge for 20 years after working at BALS.