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.
June 27, 2014
--The Florida Bar--
WEST PALM BEACH ATTORNEY TO BECOME FLORIDA BAR'S 66TH PRESIDENT -- The Florida Bar, http://www.floridabar.org.
West Palm Beach attorney Gregory W. Coleman will become president of The Florida Bar when he is sworn in during the General Assembly at the Annual Convention in Orlando today [June 27]. A partner with Critton, Luttier & Coleman, Coleman focuses his practice on commercial litigation, professional malpractice defense, personal injury, wrongful death and employment litigation. A member of The Florida Bar Board of Governors for eight years, Coleman is known for his ability to bring people to consensus and for being a technology trend-setter, urging lawyers to embrace the changes that are rapidly affecting the practice of law.
MIAMI ATTORNEY TO BECOME FLORIDA BAR'S PRESIDENT ELECT -- The Florida Bar, http://www.floridabar.org.
Miami attorney Ramón A. Abadin will become president-elect of The Florida Bar at its Annual Convention in Orlando at the Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center. Abadin, who joined the Bar's governing board in 2006, will be sworn in at the General Assembly on today (June 27). West Palm Beach attorney Gregory W. Coleman will become the Bar's 66th president. Abadin will take the leadership reins in June 2015.
FLORIDA BAR HONORS 203 ATTORNEYS FOR 50 YEARS OF SERVICE -- The Florida Bar, http://www.floridabar.org.
The Florida Bar will honor 203 attorneys for 50 years of dedication to the practice of law during a luncheon at The Florida Bar's Annual Convention at the Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center in Kissimmee. To be recognized, attorneys must be members in good standing of The Florida Bar and attain their 50th anniversary of admittance to the practice of law in 2014. The luncheon is sponsored by The Florida Bar's Young Lawyers Division and will be held today [June 27] at 12:30 p.m. Former Florida Supreme Court Justice Harry Lee Anstead, a 50-year honoree, will be the featured speaker.
BUTTERWORTH TO RECEIVE FLORIDA BAR FOUNDATION'S HIGHEST AWARD -- Tampa Bay Times, http://www.tampabay.com, June 26, 2014.
Bob Butterworth, Florida's longest-serving attorney general, received the prestigious Medal of Honor Award from The Florida Bar Foundation Thursday [June 26] in conjunction with The Florida Bar's annual convention in Orlando. During his time as attorney general, Butterworth helped to lead Florida's legal assault against the tobacco industry. A Bar Foundation news release described his game-changing leadership as secretary of the Department of Children and Families, where he professionalized DCF's legal staff, improved transparency and gave a stronger voice to foster children.
EDITORIAL: A $100 INVESTMENT -- Pensacola News Journal, http://www.pnj.com, June 25, 2014.
The editorial states: "We're encouraged to see hundreds of members of The Florida Bar ask the state Supreme Court to raise membership fees to help pay for legal services for the poor . . . However, the plan runs counter to the Florida Bar's leadership. The group's president, Eugene Pettis, opposes the increase because it doesn't solve the problem . . . We agree with Pettis, who visited the News Journal earlier this year, that the state needs to develop a source to pay for legal services. The attorneys should not be the only ones footing the bill. Lawmakers and lawyers should again make the case to the governor that the money is needed . . . For the system to be fair, especially to the growing number of poor residents in the state, the litigants need someone in their corner. The state can make that happen"
CLERK'S OFFICE EMBRACES JUDICIAL E-FILES -- Fort Myers News-Press, Column, http://www.news-press.com, June 27, 2014.
Column by Linda Dogget, Lee County clerk of court. After a 2009 state law required all clerks of court to implement an e-filing process to reduce costs, a central, statewide e-filing portal opened for attorneys in 2011. E-filing civil cases became mandatory in 2013 and e-filing criminal cases became mandatory statewide in February 2014. Dogget writes, "Fortunately, my predecessor, Charlie Green, and I had been upgrading the computer infrastructure in preparation for this revolutionary shift from paper trail to paperless, and we were ready to comply. Now it is time to use the e-files in the courtrooms so that the paper case files can be phased out . . . As clerk of court and the "keeper of public records," I would like to tout this move to a paperless courtroom as a green initiative, and indeed, it is in many ways in the savings in reams of paper and stacks of taxpayer dollars."
--Criminal Justice Issues--
HIGH COURT AFFIRMS DEATH SENTENCE IN BEATING DEATH, RAPE OF LAKELAND COUPLE -- The Ledger, http://www.theledger.com, June 26, 2014.
The Florida Supreme Court affirmed Thursday [June 26] the death sentence of convicted murderer Mark Anthony Poole, who beat a 24-year-old Lakeland man to death with a tire iron in 2001 while raping his pregnant fiancée. The state's high court rejected each of Poole's arguments to have the death sentence overturned. The justices said the brutality of the crime warrants the death penalty, based on other cases in which the court has upheld a death sentence.
FLORIDA SUPREME COURT OVERTURNS DEATH SENTENCE IN 1985 HERNANDO MURDER -- Tampa Bay Times, http://www.tampabay.com, June 26, 2014.
The Florida Supreme Court on Thursday [June 26] overturned the conviction and death sentence of Paul Hildwin, a man on Death Row for a 1985 murder in Hernando County. Prosecutors in his original trial relied heavily on now-outdated scientific evidence that claimed to show semen and sweat found at the crime scene likely came from Hildwin, the court's ruling said. Modern DNA testing not only disproved this, but demonstrated the samples belonged to William Haverty, the boyfriend of the victim, 42-year-old Vronzettie Cox. Prosecutors will now likely have to decide whether to retry the case, a job made more difficult because of time that has passed since Cox was killed.