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 24, 2014
JUDICIAL CAMPAIGN CONDUCT FORUMS SCHEDULED FOR MAY 8-9 -- The Florida Bar News, http://www.floridabar.org, May 1, 2014.
Local judicial campaign conduct forums jointly sponsored by the Florida Supreme Court and The Florida Bar Board of Governors will be held Thursday and Friday, May 8 and 9. The 90-minute forums are scheduled in 10 cities across the state, each open to participation by candidates in adjacent circuits. The forums will emphasize the importance of integrity and professionalism among candidates for judicial office and the potential impact of campaign conduct on public trust and confidence in the courts. All candidates facing contested elections for judicial office and their campaign managers are strongly encouraged to attend. A schedule follows the article.
ONLINE ACCESS TO COUNTY COURT RECORDS STILL A WAYS OFF -- Gainesville Sun, http://www.gainesville.com, April 24, 2014.
Although the Florida Supreme Court lifted the moratorium on electronic access to court records in March, it might be a while before people can view Alachua County court records on their personal computers at home. The Alachua County Clerk of Court's Office is currently sorting through the rules about who gets access to what online records and requirements for the electronic records access system. Marynelle Hardee, assistant court director for the civil department at the clerk's office, said she can't predict how long the entire process will take because the office is in the process of applying for Supreme Court approval of the electronic records access system. "We have to ensure records are protected, and to do that we have to demonstrate that our technology is sufficient to provide different levels of security," Hardee said.
AGREEMENT REACHED ON JUVENILE SENTENCING -- The Ledger, http://www.theledger.com, April 24, 2014.
The state Legislature has reached agreement on a sentencing plan for juveniles who commit murder and other serious crimes, nearly four years after the U.S. Supreme Court said Florida must treat sentencing of juvenile criminals differently than adults. The Senate on Wednesday voted 36-0 for a bill that will bring Florida law into line with recent federal court rulings. The rulings have held juveniles cannot be sentenced to life without parole for nonhomicide crimes and that sentences for juveniles who commit murder must be weighed against factors including the youths' maturity level and background as well as the nature of their crimes. The compromise has the support of juvenile advocates, defense attorneys and state prosecutors. A key component is that the bill will give nearly all the juveniles serving lengthy sentences including life the chance to have their sentences later reviewed by a court, with the possibility that they could be released.
CITY OF JACKSONVILLE'S TOP LAWYER IS LEAVING -- Florida Times-Union (requires subscription), http://www.jacksonville.com, April 23, 2014. [Also: CINDY LAQUIDARA LEAVING JOB AS JACKSONVILLE GENERAL COUNSEL -- Jacksonville Daily Record, http://www.jaxdailyrecord.com, April 24, 2014.]
Cindy Laquidara, who was appointed Jacksonville’s first female general counsel in 2010 and has since become a central figure in many of City Hall’s high-profile successes and controversies, will step down July 1. She will join the local office of the national Akerman Senterfitt law firm. The announcement comes at a critical time in City Hall, as Mayor Alvin Brown is looking to kick start the elusive and complex task of reforming the city pensions. Brown will appoint an acting general counsel in the coming weeks to serve through July 2015. He did not name a possible replacement Wednesday. The acting general counsel will be subject to City Council approval. The general counsel, with a staff of more than 30 lawyers, represents Duval County’s consolidated government, managing complex legal issues on behalf of the mayor, City Council, authorities, boards and commissions.