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.
May 15, 2014
--The Florida Bar--
EDITORIAL: IN DUI CASE, BAR ACTS TO RESTORE CONFIDENCE IN JUSTICE SYSTEM -- Tampa Bay Times, Editorial, http://www.tampabay.com, May 15, 2014.
The Florida Bar's grievance committee found probable cause last week that attorneys Robert Adams, Stephen Diaco and Adam Filthaut committed misconduct in a case involving the arrest of rival attorney C. Philip Campbell. The editorial states, "The Bar has fulfilled its public duty by taking the case seriously, and it should proceed to the next step by seeking the appointment of a judge to act as a referee to determine any guilt and recommended disciplinary action. Though the final say on the case rests with the Florida Supreme Court, the Bar deserves credit for recognizing the public interests at play in maintaining the ethical standards of the legal profession. Federal investigators should work to bring their inquiry to a conclusion, too, to give the attorneys the fairest and fullest opportunity possible to defend themselves and to help restore public confidence in the criminal justice system."
2,600 DEGREES + SHOES = GRADSHOEATION -- South Florida Times, http://www.sfltimes.com, May 14, 2014.
Broward College celebrated its 81st commencement ceremony by encouraging students to show off their fanciest footwear and individuality at their third annual GradSHOEation on May 7. Broward College President J. David Armstrong Jr., conferred nearly 2,527 associate’s degrees, 159 bachelor’s degrees and more than 900 technical certificates to students. The keynote address was delivered by Fort Lauderdale lawyer Eugene K. Pettis, current president of The Florida Bar and co-founder of Haliczer Pettis & Schwamm. In 2013, Pettis became the first African-American president in the Bar’s history. This year’s event was accompanied by a shoe drive. Collected shoes were donated to In Jacob’s Shoes, a local organization that provides new and gently used shoes, school supplies and athletic equipment to economically disadvantaged youth.
REPRODUCTIVE TECHNOLOGY OFFERS NICHE PRACTICE FOR LAWYERS -- Daily Business Review (requires subscription), http://www.dailybusinessreview.com, May 14, 2014.
Assisted reproductive technology issues—including surrogacies, egg and sperm donor agreements, and pre- and post-birth orders, among both straight and gay couples as well as single people—have become commonplace, and a crop of lawyers around the country has developed practice areas in this field. The American Bar Association launched an assisted reproductive technology, or ART, practice section about 15 years ago. There are now 200 to 300 members and a popular online service where members share stories and advice.
36 APPLY TO FILL TWO BROWARD COUNTY JUDGESHIPS -- Daily Business Review (requires subscription), http://www.dailybusinessreview.com, May 14, 2014.
Two Broward County general magistrates and five South Florida prosecutors are among 36 applicants vying to fill the two county court seats vacated by Judges Joseph A. Murphy and Edward Merrigan Jr. Murphy is retiring, and Merrigan was appointed to the circuit bench. The applicant list was released by the Broward Circuit Judicial Nominating Commission on Tuesday [May 13].
--Civil Justice Issues--
SUIT ASKS COURT TO STOP POLITICIANS' USE OF 'BLIND TRUSTS' -- Tampa Tribune, http://www.tbo.com, May 15, 2014. [Also: FLORIDA OPEN RECORDS ADVOCATES SUE OVER GOVERNOR'S BLIND TRUST -- Palm Beach Post (requires subscription), http://www.pbpost.com, May 15, 2014; SUIT SEEKS TO REMOVE CLOAK OF BLIND TRUSTS, COMPEL GOV. SCOTT AND OTHER CANDIDATES TO DIVULGE ALL FINANCES -- Florida Times-Union (requires subscription), http://www.jacksonville.com, May 15, 2014.]
The former chief of staff to the late Gov. Reubin Askew asked the Florida Supreme Court to invalidate politicians' use of "blind trusts" rather than fully disclosing sources of income. Gov. Rick Scott, a former for-profit hospital chain CEO who’s worth more than $80 million, has a blind trust. Jim Apthorp filed an emergency petition Wednesday with the high court, asking it to declare the use of blind trusts unconstitutional. The Florida Constitution says a “public office is a public trust.” Apthorp argues that the trusts violate the state Constitution, specifically the “Sunshine Amendment,” a reaction to then-government corruption at the federal and state level, including the Watergate scandal. “All elected constitutional officers and candidates for such offices and … other public officers, candidates, and employees shall file full and public disclosure of their financial interests,” the constitutional provision says.