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.
Jan. 14, 2014
RARE OPENING HAS CANDIDATE AT LINE TO RUN FOR PALM BEACH COUNTY CIRCUIT JUDGE -- Palm Beach Post (requires subscription), http://www.pbpost.com, Jan. 13, 2014.
Palm Beach County Circuit Judge Lucy Chernow Brown’s decision to retire at the end of her term sets up a rare open race this year for a circuit judgeship, one of the preeminent plums in local politics. Circuit judge is an elected office, but most of the coveted judgeships get filled by gubernatorial appointments when incumbent judges retire in the middle of their six-year terms. Once in office, it’s rare for a judge, whether appointed or elected, either to be voted off the bench or even challenged in an election. Samantha Feuer, a veteran of the county prosecutor’s and state attorney general’s offices who’s now in private practice, opened a campaign for Brown’s seat Friday [Jan. 10]. Other potential candidates are Wendy Zoberman, Assistant State Attorney Ettie Feistmann, Jaimie Goodman and Kenneth Lemoine.
CHRISTIAN LEGAL SOCIETY HELPS MISSION RESIDENTS -- Jacksonville Daily Record, http://www.jaxdailyrecord.com, Jan. 14, 2014.
Since 2001, the Christian Legal Society has offered pro bono legal assistance to the residents of the City Rescue Mission's LifeBuilders Program. Volunteer lawyers go to the City Rescue Mission's McDuff Avenue campus every 10 weeks and conduct intake, client counseling and case assignments. The cases include a wide variety of matters such as driver's license suspensions, outstanding warrants, child support, tax non-filing issues, employment and disability appeals. For matters that require representation by an attorney, a case is opened by Jacksonville Area Legal Aid. Blane McCarthy, a board certified civil trial attorney, has served as the lead attorney for the effort.
--Lawyer Ethics/Legal Profession--
JOHN TRAVOLTA'S LAWYER JOINS OTHER SIDE; SUSPENDED IN CASE INVOLVING TRAVOLTA'S OCALA NEIGHBORHOOD AIRSTRIP -- Florida Times-Union (requires subscription), http://www.jacksonville.com, Jan. 14, 2014.
The Florida Supreme Court ruled that Jacksonville attorney Ray Keasler Jr., who worked for actor John Travolta and then the neighbors Travolta was suing, will be suspended from practicing law in Florida for three years. Travolta wanted to find solutions to how he and his neighbors could share an airfield by his Ocala home, so his attorney asked Keasler to fix the problem. Meanwhile, Keasler contacted Travolta’s neighbors, the Garemores. In January 2008, the Garemores hired him. They asked if this was a conflict of interest but Keasler said it wasn’t. Judge William A. Parsons, who served as referee in the state Supreme Court case, wrote, “Mr. Keasler is a very bright and capable attorney. He obviously designed this series of events and conduct and tried to avoid responsibility when the conflict was discovered, even when it was clear to any rational observer.” Keasler’s suspension goes into effect Feb. 7.
--Civil Justice Issues--
7 YEARS LATER, FORECLOSURES STILL JAM COURTS -- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, http://www.heraldtribune.com, Jan. 12, 2014.
Seven years into the foreclosure crisis, the court system designed to resolve these cases remains jammed. Even after federal regulators tightened the guidelines for home repossessions and lawmakers in Florida took steps to relieve the system last year, foreclosure hearings continue to struggle with the same issues that plagued the process during the downturn — and created the initial backlog — according to a Herald-Tribune review. Court officials insist they are making progress but at existing levels, it will take more than three years to clear all the cases before them. Industry watchers warn that the volume of loan delinquencies still wending their way through overloaded court systems poses a threat to the recovery of Southwest Florida's economy.
--Tech Tip Tuesday--
OUTLOOK USER: QUICKLY COPY AN EMAIL ONTO YOUR CALENDAR -- The Florida Bar, http://www.floridabar.org, Jan. 14, 2014.
Outlook allows you to drag and drop emails from your Inbox to the Calendar folder and convert that message to an appointment.