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.
Sept. 4, 2013
TEEN COURT EVENT TOUTS VOLUNTEERS -- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, http://www.heraldtribune.com, Sept. 4, 2013.
Teen Court of Sarasota Inc. celebrated its student and adult volunteers at a reception that featured the awarding of $10,000 in scholarships to students for providing more than 1,000 hours of community service. Florida's first Teen Court provides early intervention for youths. Their peers act as mentors while participating as defense or prosecution counselors, clerks or bailiffs in the courtroom process for the purpose of determining constructive sentences for at-risk youths. Also at the ceremony, Stefan Campagna was sworn in as a member of The Florida Bar by Heather Todd. While in high school, Campagna entered Teen Court with multiple offenses. Upon completing the sanctions, the charges were dismissed, allowing him to go to law school.
NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA HAS: FIVE QUESTIONS FOR BOB BUTTERWORTH -- News Service of Florida (requires subscription), http://www.newsserviceflorida.com, Sept. 4, 2013.
Bob Butterworth has worn a lot of hats. He's been a judge, a prosecutor, a law school dean and the Broward County sheriff. As Florida's four-term attorney general, he helped lead multi-state litigation against the tobacco industry, bringing billions of dollars to Florida. In 2007, Gov. Charlie Crist tapped him to head the troubled Department of Children and Families. Now, Butterworth chairs the Broward Behavioral Health Coalition, a non-profit with a contract to be Broward's privatized "managing entity" for mental-health and substance-abuse programs. The News Service of Florida has five questions for Butterworth.
--Lawyer Ethics/Legal Discipline--
JACKSONVILLE LAWYER SUSPENDED -- Jacksonville Business Journal (requires subscription), http://www.bizjournals.com, Sept. 4, 2013.
The Florida Supreme Court has suspended Jacksonville attorney Michael Winston Lanier for 45 days. The suspension is effective 30 days from a July 24 court order, The Florida Bar reports. “In the context of providing loan modification and foreclosure rescue services, Lanier became associated with several nonlegal entities to provide staffing and secretarial services,” the Bar said. Lanier is one of 19 attorneys disciplined by the court between July 2 and Aug. 12.
SO FAR, EXPEDITED FORECLOSURE LAW STUCK IN SLOW LANE -- Florida Current, http://www.thefloridacurrent.com, Sept. 4, 2013.
The number of new foreclosure filings in Florida is down 28 percent in July in the year-over-year comparison, despite a new law designed to speed up the foreclosure process, say foreclosure defense lawyers and bank lobbyists. Rep. Kathleen Passidomo, who sponsored the bill, said bankers are still responding to the new law, and the rebounding housing market is causing lenders to think twice about starting a new foreclosure case. Consumer advocates and foreclosure defense lawyers decried HB 87, fearing an expedited timeline for homeowners to mount a defense would allow banks and lenders to trample over their rights. It’s too early to tell how the new law will influence the foreclosure process and the housing market, but if foreclosure filing fees drop along with new filings, it could have a significant effect on court funding. Courts receive $770 out of each $1,900 foreclosure filing fee. That revenue stream is expected to bring in $32.7 million this year.
WOFFORD H. STIDHAM -- Tampa Tribune, http://www.tbo.com, Sept. 3, 2013.
Wofford Hampton Stidham, 83, from Bartow, passed away August 30. Stidham entered the University of Florida law school in 1954 and returned to Bartow in 1957 to join the law firm that would become Holland and Knight. After 30 years with Holland and Knight, he opened his own practice in Bartow. In 1987 his son Jon joined him in the firm and now his grandson, Wade, is a third generation member at Stidham and Stidham, P.A.
IMMIGRANT FIGHTS TO BECOME CALIFORNIA LAWYER -- Miami Herald, http://www.miamiherald.com, Sept. 4, 2013.
By The Associated Press. Immigrant Sergio Garcia, living in the U.S. illegally, will ask the California Supreme Court on Wednesday [Sept. 4] to license him to practice law. He has the support of the state bar and California Attorney General Kamala Harris. The U.S. Department of Justice, however, is trying to block his request, arguing that granting Garcia a law license would violate a federal law barring people in the U.S. illegally from receiving government benefits. A similar case is brewing in Florida, where the state Supreme Court has so far refused to certify a man living illegally in the U.S. as a lawyer, but has not issued a final ruling. The California Supreme Court has 90 days to rule after Wednesday's arguments.