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.
March 10, 2014
PROPOSED CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT WOULD GIVE FLORIDA'S NEXT ELECTED GOVERNOR POWER TO PACK STATE SUPREME COURT -- Miami Herald, http://www.miamiherald.com, March 8, 2014. [Also: LEE PROPOSES PLAN THAT WOULD ALLOW NEXT GOVERNOR TO PICK COURT MAJORITY -- Tampa Bay Times, http://www.tampabay.com, March 8, 2014.]
Sen. Tom Lee, R-Brandon, proposed a constitutional amendment that would give Florida’s governor new powers to pack the state’s Supreme Court. The proposal would allow the governor to make prospective appointments to the bench even if a vacancy occurs the day the governor is leaving office. Under the proposal, the next governor could appoint the successors to three justices of the Florida Supreme Court who would have to retire on the same day the governor’s term ends, on Jan. 8, 2019. Justices are required to retire at age 70, but can continue to serve on the bench until the end of their six-year term. Justices R. Fred Lewis, Barbara Pariente and Peggy Quince will all turn 70 some time during the next governor’s term, and their six-year terms will all end on the same day as the new governor is inaugurated. The state constitution is unclear about whether the incoming or outgoing governor should make the appointment when the vacancy occurs on inauguration day.
UCF, FSU TEAM UP TO LOWER COST OF LAW DEGREE -- UCF Today, http://today.ucf.edu, March 8, 2014.
Under a recently approved 3+3 program, Florida State University College of Law will begin accepting applications for fall 2015 admission from college juniors at the University of Central Florida. Students who meet certain admission requirements can complete a bachelor’s degree and a law degree in six years rather than the traditional seven, saving time and costs. Florida State has a similar arrangement for its own students, but this is the first 3+3 program between the FSU College of Law and another university.
FABIOLA SANTIAGO: FLORIDA COULD EXEMPT NON-CITIZEN LAWYER -- Miami Herald, http://www.miamiherald.com, March 8, 2014.
Columnist Fabiola Santiago writes, "As unfair decisions go, the Florida Supreme Court’s ruling that a meritorious law school graduate who aced The Florida Bar [exam] cannot practice law because he’s not a U.S. citizen was at least delivered with dignity and empathy. It’s not everyday that a high court recognizes its decision as “an injustice” — and calls on lawmakers to change the law that forced its hand . . . The California Legislature exempted an immigrant in the same circumstances as [Jose] Godinez-Samperio. But while Florida licenses other professionals like doctors and nurses who aren’t citizens, it doesn’t lawyers. A circumstance that could be readily fixed by the Legislature in session, if only lawmakers had a heart to feel what Justice [Jorge] Labarga felt, and to see this young man for what he is — an exemplary Floridian."
--Lawyer Ethics/Legal Discipline--
ATTORNEY RUSSELL ADLER CHARGED IN ROTHSTEIN PONZI FRAUD -- South Florida Business Journal, http://www.bizjournals.com, March 8, 2014. [Also: EX-PARTNER OF FLA. PONZI SCHEMER CHARGED -- Miami Herald, http://www.miamiherald.com, March 8, 2014; FORMER SCOTT ROTHSTEIN ATTORNEY CHARGED; MORE LIKELY TO FACE CHARGES -- South Florida Sun-Sentinel, http://www.sun-sentinel.com, March 8, 2014.]
Attorney Russell Adler, former law partner of Ponzi schemer Scott Rothstein, was charged Friday [March 7] on federal offenses of violating federal campaign finance laws, according to charges filed with the federal court in Fort Lauderdale through an information document, usually used when a defendant has struck a plea agreement with authorities. Adler's attorney said his client pleaded partly because Rothstein just testified on the stand in a case against fellow RRA attorney Christina Kitterman and other co-defendants have agreed to cooperate. Adler was previously suspended by The Florida Bar for 30 days for falsifying information about his financing to purchase an apartment.
--Criminal Justice Issues--
LETHAL JUSTICE: STATE ATTORNEY COREY FAR OUTPACES FLORIDA'S PROSECUTORS IN SENDING PEOPLE TO DEATH ROW -- Florida Times-Union (requires subscription), http://www.jacksonville.com, March 10, 2014.
State Attorney Angela Corey's office has sent 21 people to Death Row, and 18 of them are still there with the other three getting off Death Row on appeal. No other current prosecutor in the state has put more than seven people on Death Row since the start of 2009. Supporters of Corey say it’s an example of how tough she is on crime in an area that has the highest per-capita murder rate in the state. But critics say the high number of death cases coming from the 4th Judicial Circuit, which covers Duval, Clay and Nassau counties, puts the area outside the mainstream when it comes to how the death penalty is being used.
JOHN CYRIL MALLOY, PATENT AND INTELLECTUAL LAWYER, DIES AT 83 -- Miami Herald, http://www.miamiherald.com, March 8, 2014.
John Cyril Malloy, 83, a fixture in patent and intellectual property law in South Florida for more than five decades and an avid environmentalist, died on March 2. He left behind a legacy of political, social and legal activism. Two years after arriving in South Florida, he established his firm as one of the only registered patent attorneys in Florida. His passion for law was matched only by his passion for politics and social change.