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.
April 25, 2014
FLORIDA SENATE SUPPORTS LANDMARK BID FOR LAW LICENSE BY NONCITIZEN -- Tampa Bay, http://www.tampabay.com, April 24, 2014. [Also: BILL WOULD ALLOW ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS BROUGHT TO U.S. AS CHILDREN TO PRACTICE LAW -- Tampa Tribune, http://www.tbo.com, April 25, 2014.]
A closely divided Florida Senate on Thursday [April 24] championed the landmark case of Jose Godinez-Samperio, who can’t practice law in Florida because he’s not a U.S. citizen. A narrow majority of 14 Democrats and seven Republicans agreed to an amendment that allows the Florida Supreme Court to admit Godinez-Samperio to the Bar after he passes admission hurdles. The unrecorded voice vote added the provision to a routine courts bill (HB 755), and still requires House passage and Gov. Rick Scott’s approval. For two hours, senators emotionally debated the pros and cons of granting a law license to a noncitizen. Godinez-Samperio has lobbied on behalf of his cause, meeting individually with lawmakers in recent weeks.
PROSECUTORS, PUBLIC DEFENDERS NEED IMPROVED COMPENSATION -- Miami Herald, Column, http://www.miamiherald.com, April 25, 2014.
Column by Kenneth Bell, a former Florida Supreme Court justice, and Dominic Calabro, chief executive officer of Florida TaxWatch. "As Florida Tax Watch's latest study shows, the average pay of [Florida's] prosecutors and public defenders is the lowest in the United States . . . This gross underpayment leads to high turnover that delays justice and prejudices public safety and individual freedom. This is the epitome of being penny wise and pound foolish. Increased pay would reduce turnover and give us a much more efficient and effective criminal justice system . . . To attract and retain good counsel, we must pay them fairly."
INDIAN RIVER COUNTY BAR ASSOCIATION RECOGNIZES "LAW WEEK" -- VeroNews, http://www.veronews.com, April 25, 2014.
The Indian River County Bar Association announces Law Week, which will take place April 28 through May 2. Law Week is held every year in conjunction with Law Day, an annual event set aside to commemorate the importance of the Rule of Law in American society. The theme for this year’s Law Week is "American Democracy and the Rule of Law: Why Every Vote Matters." The theme provides an opportunity to reflect on the importance of voting rights and the role that equal access to the ballot box plays in ensuring our freedom. Each year, the Indian River County Bar Association hosts a variety of activities to celebrate Law Week and partners with Indian River County lawyers to sponsor “Attorneys and Judges in the Classroom.” This year, the Indian River County Supervisor of Elections Office has joined forces with the Indian River County Lawyers Auxiliary to give high school students the opportunity to register to vote. In addition to working in the schools, the Young Lawyers Division will offer two “Ask-a-Lawyer” sessions.
GOV. RICK SCOTT APPOINTS POLK COUNTY JUDGE -- The Ledger, http://www.theledger.com, April 25, 2014.
Lakeland lawyer Gerald Paul Hill II was appointed as Polk County judge by Gov. Rick Scott today [April 25]. Hill, 39, is son of State Attorney Jerry Hill. He has practiced law with Frost, Van den Boom & Smith, P.A., since 2011. A graduate of St. Thomas Law School, Hill began his legal career in private practice in Gainesville in 2003, and has maintained a general civil practice at firms in Polk County since 2005.
JOHN MOONEYHAM (1932-2014) -- Northwest Florida Daily News, http://www.nwfdailynews.com, April 25, 2014.
John Mooneyham earned law degree at the University of Missouri. While in the U.S. Army, he served as a defense attorney, prosecuting attorney, staff judge advocate and a military judge and held court in the Panama Canal Zone. Upon retirement from the army, he became the public defender in DeFuniak Springs for Walton County.