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.
January 25, 2013
ATTORNEY: LAW SCHOOL NOT COMING TO DAYTONA -- Daytona Times, http://www.daytonatimes.com, Jan. 25, 2013.
Jacksonville attorney Eric Smith said “plans are still full steam ahead” to start a law school, but it will not be in Daytona Beach. Smith said he was shocked when he learned last month that the old Daytona Beach Police Department building on the corner of Orange Avenue and Nova Road did not meet the size qualifications for a law school. Plans also call for the school to keep costs low by focusing on attracting practicing attorneys to teach. Those involved say the school, which will be called the Florida Space Coast School of Law, would emphasize public service and pro bono work, and foster a cooperative, rather than competitive, atmosphere.
BLAIR PAYNE: A PASSION TO DEFEND -- Suwannee Democrat, http://www.suwanneedemocrat.com, Jan. 25, 2013.
This story profiles Blair Payne, recently elected to serve as the public defender for the Third Judicial Circuit, replacing Dennis Roberts who left office for retirement. Payne served as an assistant to Roberts for the past two years prior to running for the office.
STETSON STUDENTS SWEEP FLORIDA BAR CHESTER BEDELL MOCK TRIAL COMPETITION -- Gulfport Patch, http://gulfport.patch.com, Jan. 25, 2013.
Stetson University College of Law students won The Florida Bar Chester Bedell Mock Trial Competition on Jan. 18 in Orlando. Stetson has won the competition 20 out of 30 times, including last year. A total of 22 teams from 11 Florida law schools competed. Two teams of four Stetson Law students advanced to compete against each other in the final round of the competition. The Stetson team of Brandon Blake, Claudette Goyanes, Diego Novaes and Adriane Ovcharenko won the competition, and Stetson student William Gower III was named Best Advocate.
BIG TIME LAWYERS CHOOSE SMALL-TOWN CHARM OF SAFETY HARBOR -- Dunedin Patch, http://safetyharbor.patch.com, Jan. 25, 2013.
This story profiles Joel Ewusiak and Chris Roberts, who chose quaint, quiet downtown Safety Harbor as the home base for their firm, Ewusiak & Roberts Litigators. They handle three types of cases: product defects, consumer rights protection and general commercial disputes. And although they travel for many cases, they do work with local clients as well. Roberts recently obtained one of the largest verdicts in the history of Pasco County when a jury returned a $5.6 million verdict for his clients against the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company in 2010.
FLA. JUSTICES DROP COMPLAINT AGAINST FORMER JUDGE -- Lakeland Ledger, http://www.theledger.com, Jan. 25, 2013.
The Florida Supreme Court on Thursday [Jan. 24] dismissed the complaint against Ana M. Pando, a former Miami-Dade County judge. Misconduct allegations are being dropped because she has resigned. She had been accused of sending a letter on her county judge letterhead to the state Division of Corporations urging the agency to reinstate a corporation owned or controlled by a friend and campaign contributor. Pando resigned in November. She also has promised not to seek further judicial office.
FLORIDA JUSTICES REJECT EQUAL WRONGDOER DEFENSE -- Miami Herald, http://www.miamiherald.com, Jan. 25, 2013.
The Florida Supreme Court says defendants in contracting cases cannot claim plaintiffs are equal wrongdoers as a common law defense. The justices Thursday [Jan. 24] unanimously approved a ruling by the Daytona Beach-based 5th District Court of Appeal in an Orange County case, which conflicted with another appellate decision. It was a victory for T&G Corp., a general contractor.
LETTER: GOVERNOR MUST SELECT JUDGES ON MERIT, NOT POLITICS -- Jupiter Courier, http://www.tcpalm.com, Jan. 25, 2013.
This letter to the editor by Walter "Skip" Campbell addresses issues regarding politics and the judiciary system. Campbell served 10 years in the Florida Senate and eight years as a member of the Board of Governors of The Florida Bar.
--Lawyer Ethics/Legal Discipline--
ELLIS: EMAILS APPEAR TO CONTRADICT NEEDELMAN ATTORNEY'S TESTIMONY -- Brevard Times, http://cpnews.brevardtimes.com, Jan. 25, 2013.
Emails released by Brevard County Clerk of the Court Scott Ellis indicate that Merrily Longacre, an attorney for former Clerk Mitch Needelman may have been mistaken in a court hearing last summer regarding contracts between Needelman’s office and BlueGem, L.L.C. for scanning operations. During those proceedings, Longacre . . . denied knowledge of a contract prior to the one officially released on June 29. The Florida Bar said in an email that there is not an open Florida Bar investigation against Longacre in the matter. Beyond the issues with the court, the dates are also important politically because Needelman claimed at the time - during his campaign against Ellis - that a vendor for the scanning operation had not been chosen until June.
ALIMONY REFORM -- Lakeland Ledger, http://www.theledger.com, Jan. 25, 2013.
This letter to the editor in response to the article "Stargel Proposes Alimony Reform Away From Lifetime Payments," Jan. 19, from Carin M. Porras, chair of the Family Law Section of The Florida Bar, addresses the misconception surrounding "lifetime" or "permanent" alimony.