The Florida Bar

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.

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Nov. 8, 2013

--Legal Profession--

Hope Pattey started her legal career as a courthouse clerk but is now head of the State Attorney's homicide division. Earlier this year, State Attorney Jerry Hill selected Pattey to serve as homicide director for his agency — the first woman to hold the job in the history of the 10th Judicial Circuit, which covers Polk, Highlands and Hardee counties. Pattey has amassed an extensive resume in the criminal justice system. Her promotion to homicide director July 8 is just one of many changes underway inside that division, as two longtime homicide prosecutors — Paul Wallace and Cass Castillo — are preparing for retirement.


KEYS ATTORNEY AWAITS DREAM JOB ON APPEALS COURT -- Florida Keys Keynoter,, Nov. 7, 2013.
Key West attorney Ed Scales' life changed in a major way when Gov. Rick Scott appointed him to the 10-judge Third District Court of Appeal on Oct. 18. Scales, 47, previously applied for the post -- this time created by the resignation of Judge Angel Cortinas -- five other times beginning in 2004. Scales apparently is the first-ever Keys resident appointed to that appellate bench that hears cases from Monroe and Miami-Dade counties. As he steps into the job beginning Dec. 31, hearing oral arguments three days a week and overseeing a staff of three, Scales has resigned from several organizations. He's shutting down his law practice and looking for a place in Miami so he can split his time between the mainland and the Keys.

--Civil Justice Issues--

COURT: BREVARD LESBIAN EGG DONOR HAS PARENTAL RIGHTS -- Florida Today,, Nov. 8, 2013. [Also: FLORIDA SUPREME COURT RULES ON LESBIAN CUSTODY CASE -- Daily Business Review (requires subscription),, Nov. 8, 2013; PAUL FLEMMING: SOLOMONIC RULING TESTS STATE SUPREME COURT -- Tallahassee Democrat, Opinion Column,, Nov. 8, 2013; SUPREME COURT BACKS LESBIAN IN HER FIGHT FOR PARENTAL RIGHTS -- Lakeland Ledger,, Nov. 8, 2013.]
From Florida Today, by The Associated Press. The Florida Supreme Court ruled Thursday [Nov. 7] that a Brevard County woman who donated an egg to her lesbian partner has parental rights to the child and ordered a lower court to work out custody, child support and visitation arrangements. The case involves two women, identified only by their initials, who had a child together. One donated an egg that was fertilized and implanted in the other, who gave birth in 2004. Two years later the couple split up, and the birth mother took the girl and left the country. The birth mother tried to use a Florida law that prevents sperm or egg donors from claiming parental rights to children born to other couples. Her lawyer also cited a standard form donors are required to sign relinquishing parental rights. The court rejected both arguments, saying the law doesn’t apply in this case because the couple clearly planned to parent the child together.

FLORIDA SUPREME COURT CONSIDERS LEGALITY OF ORLANDO'S RED-LIGHT-CAMERA LAW -- Orlando Sentinel,, Nov. 8, 2013; [Also: FLORIDA JUSTICES SHOW LITTLE SUPPORT FOR CITIES' RED LIGHT CAMERA LAWS -- Daily Business Review (requires subscription),, Nov. 8, 2013; EDITORIAL: FLORIDA SUPREME COURT SHOULD RULE PRE-2010 RED-LIGHT CAMERAS ILLEGAL -- Palm Beach Post (requires subscription), Editorial,, Nov. 8, 2013.]
From the Orlando Sentinel, by News Service of Florida. The Florida Supreme Court heard arguments Thursday [Nov. 8] about whether Orlando and Aventura violated state law in approving red-light camera programs before enactment of a state law. The cities passed ordinances before the Legislature approved a 2010 law authorizing the use of cameras to catch red-light runners and establishing regulations. Justices focused heavily on whether the cities were barred under "pre-emption" from veering away from state traffic laws in trying to crack down on red-light violations. The Supreme Court took the cases after conflicting rulings by lower courts. The 3rd District Court of Appeal upheld the Aventura ordinance, while the 5th District Court of Appeal struck down the Orlando measure. Orlando collected $4.3 million in fines during the period in question.

WHAT KIND OF LEGAL ISSUES WILL EMERGE RELATED TO 3-D PRINTING? -- Orlando Business Journal (requires subscription),, Nov. 8, 2013.
The Orlando Business Journal asks local attorneys to share their views on the growing 3-D printing industry. Jon Gibbs, attorney at Lowndes, Drosdick, Doster, Kantor & Reed PA, says that "it is likely the 3-D industry will experience the lion’s share of legal issues in the coming years. The industry is expanding at such a rapid rate right now that it is nearly impossible to determine who has, or will have, properly established the rights to the underlying intellectual property." Joe Englander, partner at Shutts & Bowen LLP, states that "3-D printing implicates intellectual property law. These are the laws that manufacturers will use to protect their property, their rights to copy and protect, and against other people from copying what products they’ve made."

--Criminal Justice Issues--

SUPREME COURT OVERTURNS DEATH SENTENCE IN 1982 ORMOND BEACH MURDER -- Daytona Beach News-Journal,, Nov. 8, 2013. [Also: MAN ONCE 2 HOURS FROM EXECUTION GIVEN A NEW TRIAL -- Miami Herald,, Nov. 8, 2013.]
The Florida Supreme Court has overturned the death sentence and the first-degree murder and sexual battery convictions of Roy Clifton Swafford, a man who once came within hours of being executed for the murder of an Ormond Beach gas station clerk in 1982. In overturning the sentence and ordering a new trial for Swafford, the Supreme Court said that newly discovered evidence showed that there was no seminal fluid found in the victim’s body. According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, at Swafford’s trial in 1985, tests indicated that semen was found on the victim. But in 2005, another FDLE test found the opposite. Swafford came within hours of being executed in 1990 after a federal appeals court stopped his execution.

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[Revised: 11-12-2013]