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.
Feb. 5, 2014
WEST PALM BEACH CITY ATTORNEY TO RETIRE IN APRIL -- Palm Beach Post, http://www.pbpost.com, Feb. 4, 2014.
City Attorney Claudia McKenna will retire in April after 18 years, Mayor Jeri Muoio announced at the start of Monday’s [Feb. 3] city commission meeting. Muoio said the city will begin searching for a replacement immediately. McKenna joined the city in September 1996 and became deputy city attorney in 1999 and city attorney in 2002. She oversees eight attorneys and five support staff and handles about 2,000 matters a year.
--LAWYER ETHICS/LEGAL DISCIPLINE--
PONZI SCHEMER SCOTT ROTHSTEIN TAKES WITNESS STAND IN WEST PALM BEACH -- South Florida Busines Journal, http://www.bizjournals.com, Feb. 5, 2014. [Also: ROTHSTEIN'S TOP ASSISTANT TESTIFIES THAT OTHERS KNEW OF PONZI SCHEME -- Daily Business Review (requires subscription), http://www.dailybusinessreview.com, Feb. 5, 2014.]
Ponzi schemer Scott Rothstein appeared at the federal courthouse in West Palm Beach on Wednesday [Feb. 5] morning, his first public appearance in years, as a witness in a federal criminal trial. Attorney Christina Kitterman is charged with three counts of fraud for allegedly impersonating a Florida Bar official to help Rothstein dupe investors. Rothstein was chairman of law firm Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler, and he eventually hired Kitterman to work at his law firm. U.S. District Judge Daniel Hurley allowed Kitterman's attorney wide latitude in questioning about Rothstein's political influence, and corruption of bank executives, in addition to his relationship with Kitterman. Debra Villegas, the former chief operating officer of Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler, testified Tuesday [Feb. 4] that the head of a South Florida hedge fund knew Rothstein was running a financial scam.
LOCAL ATTORNEY GETS HIGH COURT REPRIMAND -- Gainesville Sun, http://www.gainesville.com, Feb. 4, 2014.
Gainesville attorney John Alvin Ramsey Jr. has been reprimanded by the Florida Supreme Court for making inappropriate comments to clients, particularly indigent women clients in jail. The court admonished Ramsey for making improper sexual propositions to five of his female clients at the Alachua County jail, according to a news release from The Florida Bar. Ramsey never touched any of the women, but they were concerned that a rejection might hurt their cases, according to disciplinary documents filed by a Bar committee.
--Criminal Justice Issues--
JUVENILE JUSTICE PROSECUTORS IN FLORIDA GAINED INCREDIBLE POWER OVER THE FATE OF JUVENILES -- Florida Times-Union, http://www.jacksonville.com, Feb. 4, 2014.
The Times-Union reported Sunday [Feb. 2] that Public Defender Matt Shirk and private lawyers say State Attorney Angela Corey, whose circuit includes Jacksonville, has used her power to unfairly threaten juveniles with being sent to adult court if they don’t accept record-staining direct commitments to juvenile-incarceration facilities. Corey’s office said juvenile cases are handled no differently than adult cases, according to a statement released Friday [Jan. 31]. Shirk said state law needs to be changed to provide checks and balances. Shirk’s office estimates that more than 800 juveniles in the past five years were first threatened with adult charges before accepting pleas. The Times-Union’s analysis also found a disproportionate number of low-risk youth from the Jacksonville area are being incarcerated, compared to other Florida judicial circuits.
ORLANDO LAWYER BELOVED FOR LEADING MANY -- Orlando Sentinel, http://www.orlandosentinel.com, Feb. 5, 2014.
George T. Eidson Jr., an Orlando lawyer by training but a storyteller in his own right, died Wednesday [Jan. 29] of congestive heart failure. He was 87. Eidson went to law school at the University of Florida. Upon returning to Orlando in 1953, he became the fifth member of the firm now known as Akerman LLP. His love of the law and brilliance in civil litigation elevated Eidson to a partner, representing clients as influential as the Walt Disney Company and the Deseret Ranches. He helped expand the firm throughout the state, and it expanded into one of the largest practices in the country with more than 600 lawyers.
MAKE SURE YOU KNOW HOW TO CREATE GOOD PASSWORDS -- The Florida Bar, http://www.
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