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.
Aug. 27, 2013
Q&A WITH AARON IRVING, PRO BONO ATTORNEY -- Jacksonville Daily Record, http://www.jaxdailyrecord.com, Aug. 27, 2013.
The Daily Record interviews pro bono attorney Aaron Irving, who recently accepted a family law matter from Jacksonville Area Legal Aid. Irving was able to achieve positive outcomes that provided stability and independence for a young man needing a dissolution of marriage. To attorneys considering pro bono involvement, Irving advises them to "take the time to take just one case, it does not matter if complex or not. What is important is that you are taking the time to help a person in need who cannot otherwise afford your services."
EDITORIAL: SPECIAL COURT FOR JUVENILES WORTH A CHANCE -- Tampa Bay Times, Editorial, http://www.tampabay.com, Aug. 27, 2013.
The Times editorial asserts that Hillsborough Circuit Judge Ralph Stoddard's proposal for a specialized court to hear serious juvenile cases is a commendable idea worth pursuing, calling the judge's proposal "a thoughtful, timely response to a distinctly local problem." Hillsborough County stands out by having more juvenile defendants charged as adults than in any other jurisdiction in Florida. The editorial recognizes that specialized courts aren't the answer in every case, but it notes that they can bring a level of expertise and efficiency to the criminal justice system for juveniles, and would guarantee that every case gets a new level of scrutiny. It encourages Chief Judge Manuel Menendez, Jr., who will make the decision, to give the idea a chance.
STATE'S DEATH PENALTY OVERHAUL: REQUIRE JURIES TO BE UNANIMOUS -- Orlando Sentinel, Opinion Column, http://www.orlandosentinel.com, Aug. 27, 2013.
Column by Raoul Cantero, former state Supreme Court justice and Mark Schlakman, from Florida State University's Center for the Advancement of Human Rights. They discuss issues regarding the recently passed Timely Justice Act's aim to expedite the post-conviction process. They assert that "given the circumstances, it's conceivable that Gov. Rick Scott and future Florida governors might sign significantly more death warrants than their immediate predecessors." Florida is the only state that allows juries to support capital punishment and recommend death by simple majority. They suggest that "requiring unanimity would help ensure the death penalty is reserved for the worst of the worst." Cantero and Schlakman conclude that "a comprehensive review of the entire death-penalty process called for by The Florida Bar is arguably long overdue."
JERRY REISS: ALIMONY REFORM IS ABOUT PRESERVING WEALTH -- Tallahassee Democrat, Column, http://www.tallahassee.com, Aug. 26, 2013.
Column by Jerry Reiss, a forensic expert and practicing actuary in Orlando. Reiss writes that supporters of Florida Alimony Reform (FAR) have been asserting that Florida law needs reforming, arguing fairness and a level playing field, but their "agenda is opposite to its stated purpose." Before Florida's alimony laws experienced recent major reform, Reiss notes that he was a loud voice in the legal community arguing that alimony was unfair to the payer. Now, he considers that permanent alimony is needed in certain cases and "despite FAR's assertion that all it seeks is a level playing field, alimony in all its various forms has been the great leveler . . . FAR seeks to eliminate that level playing field, leaving the spouse who controls the money the victor."