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. 11, 2013
CARROLLWOOD BAR ASSOCIATION GIVES $10,000 TO SPORTS GROUP -- Tampa Tribune, http://www.tbo.com, Sept. 11, 2013.
The Carrollwood Community Bar Association recently presented a $10,000 check to Tyrone Keys, founder of All Sports Community Service Foundation. The funds, raised through an annual golf tournament, will be used to give grants to teachers and youth coaches and to help support programs that guide students towards achieving higher education goals through compassion and character. With the additional funds, ASCS also will be able to continue to provide sports and education camps for kids who would not otherwise be able to participate.
'FASTER FORECLOSURES' LAW UNINTENTIONALLY SLOWS FLORIDA FILINGS -- Tampa Bay Times, http://www.tampabay.com, Sept. 11, 2013.
The controversial Florida law intended to whisk foreclosures through court has instead led thousands to pile up, prolonging the agony of the state's housing crisis, new court data show. When the "faster foreclosures" law first took effect in July, Florida courts saw 4,386 new foreclosures, plummeting 70 percent below the state's average of 15,000 filings a month. Attorneys say the law, which was supported by banks and became the state's most prominent foreclosure shift since the housing crisis, has fallen victim to unintended consequences. They say banks have struggled to abide by the strict new rules. Bank representatives defend the slowdown as only a brief breather for their attorneys, who they said are beginning to learn the new law and are eager to do it right. It's unclear when banks' court activity could snap back to normal.
--Lawyer Ethics/Legal Discipline--
FLORIDA BAR CONFIRMS INVESTIGATION OF ATTORNEY ACCUSED BY SEC -- South Florida Business-Journal, http://www.bizjournals.com, Sept. 11, 2013.
Miami attorney Bernard Butts, who was recently charged by the SEC with investment fraud, is the subject of a Florida Bar investigation. Butts formerly practiced with the law firm of Butts and Mertz, but a website for that firm was shut down as of Tuesday [Sept. 10]. The Securities and Exchange Commission announced in a news release Monday [Sept. 9] it had obtained an emergency court order to halt the alleged scheme by Butts and collaborators. They allegedly promised exorbitant returns from a program based on the trading of bank instruments. According to the complaint, Butts took in investment money into his escrow account and immediately distributed to the other defendants, including himself and his checking accounts. Overall the scheme raked in more than $3.5 million.
--Criminal Justice Issues--
ATTORNEYS ARGUE JACKSONVILLE JUDGE SHOULD NOT PROHIBIT MEDIA FROM REPORTING ARREST DETAILS IN GIRL'S ATTACK -- Florida Times-Union, http://www.jacksonville.com, Sept. 10, 2013.
Attorneys for Jacksonville TV stations WJXT TV-4 and WTEV TV-47 and the Times-Union argued Monday [Sept. 9] that Circuit Judge Adrian G. Soud should end his prohibition against media reporting specific details in the case of James Patrick Tadros, who was charged with attempted murder and false imprisonment of a 9-year-old girl who was rescued from a women’s restroom at a local Best Buy. WJXT TV-4's lawyer, Ed Birk, obtained a copy of the arrest report that hadn’t blacked out a police interview with Tadros through his access of the Duval County clerk of courts database. Assistant State Attorney Lisa DiFranza argued Birk violated the user agreement for the database by releasing the arrest report without the blacked-out paragraphs.
MIAMI DADE JUDGE AMY KARAN DIES AT 54 -- Miami Herald, http://www.miamiherald.com, Sept. 11, 2013.
Judge Amy Karan, 54, who resigned from the Miami-Dade Circuit Court bench in early 2010 due to the rare neurological disease Multiple System Atrophy, died of the disease on Sunday [Sept 8]. Karan graduated from the University of Miami and UM's law school, started out as a family lawyer in a private practice, then dedicated herself to protecting domestic-violence victims as administrative judge of the dedicated Domestic Violence Court in 1997, where she served for 12 years. Karan was lauded throughout the country for her visionary views on a better approach to treating the issue of domestic violence.
E. CLAY SHAW JR., FORMER CONGRESSMAN, LAUDERDALE MAYOR, DEAD AT 74 -- South Florida Sun-Sentinel, http://www.sun-sentinel.com, Sept. 11, 2013.
Former U.S. Rep. and Fort Lauderdale Mayor E. Clay Shaw Jr. has died at age 74. He represented Broward County, and part of Palm Beach County, for 26 years. Shaw was a veteran known mostly for constituent service and grabbed national attention in 1996 by authoring a welfare bill that reversed 60 years of government policies. Shaw received bachelor's and law degrees from Stetson University and a master's degree in business from the University of Alabama. His career started in 1968, when he was an assistant Fort Lauderdale city attorney. He served as the chief city prosecutor, an associate municipal judge, a Fort Lauderdale city commissioner and became the city's mayor in 1975.