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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.

Dec. 13, 2013

--Legal Profession--

AVE MARIA SCHOOL OF LAW CHRISTMAS GALA A GREAT SUCCESS -- Naples Daily News, http://www.naplesnews.com, Dec. 13, 2013.
Ave Maria School of Law held a celebration of the blessings of the season at its 2013 Christmas Gala on Friday [Dec. 6] evening. Guests enjoyed cocktails, dinner and an auction at the Port Royal Club. The highlight of the evening was the surprise announcement of a scholarship named in honor of Thomas S. Monaghan, chairman of the Board of Governors and founder. More than $70,000 was raised at the event, with proceeds from the evening benefitting the Ave Maria School of Law scholarship fund.

--Judiciary--

SCOTT REVIEWING FIVE APPLICANTS FOR HERNANDO CIRCUIT SEAT -- Hernando Today, http://www.hernandotoday.com, Dec. 12, 2013.
Gov. Rick Scott is considering five nominees to fill a vacant Hernando County seat with the Fifth Judicial Circuit. The seat opened when Circuit Judge Lisa Herndon, who splits her time between Hernando and Citrus counties, announced she would be transferring to Marion County. The five nominees, sent to Scott for approval last Thursday [Dec. 5], are: Christine N. Bird of Ocala, Thomas R. Eineman of Spring Hill, Paul L. Militello of Inverness, John E. Napolitano of Spring Hill and Jeffrey Mark Pfister of Tavares. 

TWO BLACKS ON LIST FOR GRIMES' CIRCUIT SEAT -- Daytona Times, http://daytonatimes.com, Dec. 12, 2013.
Two black women are among the six nominees for the Seventh Judicial Circuit Court judge. The position opened due to the retirement of Judge Hubert L. Grimes, the first black judge in Volusia County. He was elected in 1988 and his resignation is effective Jan. 30, 2014. Along with Regina Nunnally and Alicia Washington, four other names submitted by the Judicial Nominating Commission to Gov. Rick Scott are David P. Gillespie, Howard O. McGillin Jr., Dawn D. Nichols and Michael S. Orfinger. Scott has until Feb. 3 to pick a replacement for Grimes. This week, the Daytona Times profiles Washington, a graduate of Louisiana State University A&M in Baton Rouge. She received her Juris Doctorate degree from Texas Southern University Law School in Houston and began her legal career in 1995 drafting legal briefs and motions in criminal and civil cases in Houston.

--Civil Justice Issues--

SUPREME COURT WON'T ADOPT MEDICAL MALPRACTICE RULE -- The Ledger, http://www.theledger.com, Dec. 13, 2013. [Also: FLORIDA SUPREME COURT REJECTS RULE ON EXPERT WITNESSES -- Daily Business Review, http://www.dailybusinessreview.com, Dec. 13, 2013.]
By The Associated Press. The Supreme Court refused Thursday [Dec. 12]to adopt a state rule reflected in a law that creates restrictions on doctors who can testify during medical malpractice trials, agreeing it would have a chilling effect on the ability to find expert witnesses. The law was designed to help doctors defend themselves in malpractice cases. Critics said it would make it more difficult for victims to seek compensation for injuries caused by doctors' mistakes. In part, the law requires expert witnesses who are called to testify against a defendant doctor to practice the exact same kind of medicine and not just be in similar fields. It also limits judges' ability to use their discretion to qualify or disqualify expert witnesses in malpractice cases. The Florida Bar Board of Governor's voted 34-5 to recommend the court not amend the Florida Evidence Code to reflect the new law, saying that it was unconstitutional. The court agreed.

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[Revised: 12-16-2013]