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.
July 17, 2013
FLORIDA SEEKS FOUR NEW U.S. DISTRICT JUDGES -- Tampa Bay Times, http://www.tampabay.com, July 17, 2013.
Florida's two U.S. senators have expanded a search to fill two federal judicial vacancies and prepare for two anticipated vacancies in the state's Middle and Southern Districts. U.S. District Judge James S. Moody Jr. is expected to attain senior status on March 14, creating a vacancy in the Tampa Bay area. With the addition of two jobs, the application deadline for all four judicial positions — including one in Orlando and two in the Southern District — has been extended to Aug. 19. Interviews will now take place in September instead of August.
MELROSE PROSECUTOR NAMED TO 8TH CIRCUIT BENCH -- Gainesville Sun, http://www.gainesville.com, July 17, 2013.
Gov. Rick Scott has named longtime prosecutor James Matthew Colaw from Melrose to the 8th Circuit bench. Colaw, an assistant state attorney since 1998 in the 4th and 8th circuits, has been assigned to the Alachua Family “DR2” division, as well as all family pro se and simplified dissolution cases in Alachua County. His appointment fills the vacancy left by Judge Martha Ann Lott; a vacancy still remains following the recent retirement of Judge David A. Glant, and court officials said they expect the new judge to be named by mid-October.
OBER AIDE RESIGNS TO SEEK JUDICIAL SEAT -- Tampa Tribune, http://www.tampatrib.com, July 17, 2013. [Also: FORMER CHIEF ASSISTANT STATE ATTORNEY RUNNING FOR HILLSBOROUGH JUDGE -- Tampa Bay Times, http://www.tampabay.com, July 17, 2013.]
Karen Stanley, chief assistant to Hillsborough County State Attorney Mark Ober, has left her post to run for a circuit judgeship, a seat being vacated by Judge Sam Pendino, who is retiring. Stanley's announcement included an endorsement from Ober. Stanley will run against Laura Ward, who specializes in commercial litigation and has been active in charitable legal work. Ward, also a Tampa native, is the daughter of former Circuit Judge Edward Ward.
--Lawyer Ethics/Legal Discipline--
ATTORNEY FOR ANA GARDINER SEEKS ONE-YEAR SUSPENSION -- Daily Business Review (requires subscription), http://www.dailybusinessreview.com, July 17, 2013.
An attorney for former Broward Circuit Judge Ana I. Gardiner has asked the Florida Supreme Court to accept the referee's recommended one-year suspension rather than The Florida Bar's request for disbarment. Gardiner, who voluntarily stopped practicing law more than a year ago, was found guilty of ethical misconduct for misrepresenting her relationship with Howard Scheinberg in 2007 during a capital murder trial handled by Scheinberg when he was the lead prosecutor in her court. In a brief filed Friday [July 12], Gardiner's attorney emphasized that the testimony of a forensic psychologist established she was suffering severe depression, which impaired her judgment.
--Civil Justice Issues--
FORECLOSURE BACKLOGS PERSIST, DESPITE EFFORTS TO WHITTLE -- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, http://www.heraldtribune.com, July 17, 2013.
Courts across Florida face massive foreclosure backlogs. In the 12th Judicial Circuit, more than 1,000 foreclosure cases were expedited in the past two months alone — more than the previous 10 months of the current fiscal year combined, a new report shows, but the process continues to lag behind what state lawmakers had in mind when they allocated more than $5 million to alleviate the situation and created a new law aimed at further expediting the process. At the current rate, it would take a local task force charged with clearing cases nearly seven more years to fully catch up from the foreclosure crisis that began in 2007.
--Criminal Justice Issues--
FIRED EMPLOYEE TO FILE LAWSUIT AGAINST ZIMMERMAN PROSECUTORS -- Orlando Sentinel, http://www.orlandosentinel.com, July 17, 2013. [Also: ATTORNEY CALLS FOR ZIMMERMAN PROSECUTORS TO RESIGN -- Miami Herald, http://www.miamiherald.com, July 17, 2013.]
Ben Kruidbos, former director of information technology for Florida State Attorney Angela Corey's office, plans to file a whistleblower lawsuit against George Zimmerman's prosecutors, his attorney told Reuters on Tuesday [July 16]. The action will put pressure on Corey, who already faces criticism from some legal experts for the unsuccessful prosecution of the case. Kruidbos was fired after testifying at a pre-trial hearing on June 6 that prosecutors failed to turn over potentially embarrassing evidence extracted from Trayvon Martin's cell phone to the defense, as required by evidence-sharing laws.