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 30, 2014
REPLACEMENT SEAT ON BROWARD COUNTY COURT BENCH SOUGHT -- Daily Business Review (requires subscription), http://www.dailybusinessreview.com, April 30, 2014.
Applications are being requested by the Seventeenth Circuit Judicial Nominating Commission to replace retiring County Court Judge Joseph A. Murphy III. Murphy, a member of The Florida Bar since 1975, was appointed to the bench by Gov. Lawton Chiles in 1995. He presides in criminal court. Murphy was last elected unopposed in 2012. He turns 70 in July and is leaving July 31. The deadline for applications for the county court seat is 5 p.m. May 12.
FLA. SUPREME COURT: 'SAD DAY FOR YOU' AS PALM BEACH COUNTY JUDGE COHEN GETS STERN REPRIMAND -- Palm Beach Post (requires subscription), http://www.pbpost.com, April 30, 2014. [Also: FLORIDA SUPREME COURT REPRIMANDS PALM BEACH COUNTY JUDGE BARRY COHEN -- South Florida Sun-Sentinel, http://www.sun-sentinel.com, April 29, 2014.]
Palm Beach County Judge Barry Cohen got a verbal reprimand from the Florida Supreme Court Tuesday [April 29] morning for using his bench as a pulpit for his political views and improperly becoming involved in a partisan political race. The first two rows of the courtroom were filled with Palm Beach County judges, attorneys and families who made the seven-hour trip to Tallahassee to support Cohen. Chief Justice Ricky Polston said that Cohen was spared from a more severe punishment because the Judicial Qualifications Commission found no evidence that he ignored state laws that he railed against, but Polston said that Cohen’s screeds were inappropriate.
LYONS: NO NEED TO PUNISH CHILDREN BROUGHT HERE BY PARENTS -- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Column, http://www.heraldtribune.com, April 29, 2014.
Columnist Tom Lyons writes about the treatment given to children of illegal immigrants. "Slapping children with sanctions based on the sins of their parents would seem terribly wrong to just about anyone. And yet, some would make an exception for children brought here by parents without U.S. government permission. It is as if that legal violation alone is so bad as to stand apart from all others . . . I was glad to learn that even some Florida lawmakers who talk much about their opposition to illegal immigration may well support a bill that would let Jose Godinez-Samperio practice law in Florida . . . Godinez-Samperio was brought here from Mexico when he was 9, without the permission of the U.S. government. If that is a crime, it is not his crime. Judge his parents as you will, but the boy was not at fault and by all accounts he has lived an exemplary life."
--Criminal Justice Issues--
HELP IN TIMES OF TRIAL: VICTIM ADVOCATES NAVIGATE THE SYSTEM -- Ocala Star Banner, http://www.ocala.com, April 29, 2014.
Victim/witness advocates are available through different agencies within the criminal justice system to offer guidance and assistance to those in need. According to State Attorney Brad King, his office employs at least one victim advocate in each county in the 5th Judicial Circuit. The Marion County Sheriff's Office has four crisis intervention specialists and recently hired a victim advocate. According to Public Defender Michael Graves, budget constraints do not afford the option of having such staff members, so assistant public defenders counsel and console defendants and their families. At the State Attorney's Office, the advocates are involved in cases ranging from misdemeanor domestic violence to homicide, felony sex abuse and juvenile cases. A main pillar of the advocate's job is to develop a relationship with the victim to facilitate the process as the case travels through the system.