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.

Links to online newspapers

Jan. 16, 2014

--The Florida Bar--

OFFICIAL: FLORIDA BAR NEEDS TO ADDRESS TECHNOLOGY -- Charlotte Sun (requires subscription),, Jan. 16, 2014.
President-elect of The Florida Bar Greg Coleman believes the organization needs to address issues concerning technology to help attorneys throughout the state. Coleman, who will take over as president of the Bar in June, addressed attorneys in Charlotte County on Wednesday [Jan. 15]. During the presentation, Coleman discussed that the state Bar has not yet passed rules addressing issues that arise from the effect technology has on the practice of law. Coleman will be focusing on technology and the issues surrounding it when he becomes president. The Florida Bar is also setting up a three year committee to look at issues dealing with technology and draft rules addressing situations that could arise, he said.

A WOMAN FOR ALL SEASONS -- Orlando Magazine,, February 2014.
Profile of Mayanne Downs, former president of The Florida Bar. Now 57, Downs heads up the litigation practice at GrayRobinson, P.A., one of the largest law firms in Florida, overseeing the work of 165 attorneys. As city attorney, she manages a staff of 25, and has been instrumental in guiding the mayor’s multibillion Orlando downtown renaissance. As a member of Florida’s Judicial Qualifications Commission, Downs has a hand in deciding whether judges should be removed from the bench. Off the clock, she works just as hard—cooking for friends, raising two kids, and traveling almost to the point of compulsion. For the past two years Downs has ranked near the middle of Orlando magazine’s list of the 50 most powerful people in the city.

SCOTT G. HAWKINS -- South Florida Legal Guide,, 2014 Edition. [Also: EDWARD R. BLUMBERG -- South Florida Legal Guide,, 2014 Edition.]
Scott G. Hawkins and Edward R. Blumberg, former Florida Bar presidents, are profiled in the 2014 edition of the South Florida Legal Guide. Hawkins has been a thoughtful and effective leader who sees beyond the day-to-day issues and focuses on long-term goals. As president of The Florida Bar in 2011-12, Hawkins guided the institution through a turbulent period when the state Legislature attacked the judicial merit retention principle. Blumberg practices law based upon fundamental traditions. "To me, the highest calling in the secular world is being a lawyer," says the Miami trial attorney. "But for the unique role lawyers serve, our democracy would cease to exist."


MIAMI LEGAL COMMUNITY PART OF NATIONAL EDUCATION PROJECT -- Daily Business Review (requires subscription),, Jan. 15, 2014.
Miami's legal community helped launch a national voter education project Wednesday [Jan. 15] to maintain fair and impartial courts. The Informed Voters-Fair Judges project is being led by the National Association of Women Judges. It was launched in response to attacks on certain judges up for merit retention as well as a move in some states to overturn merit retention for judges in favor of direct elections. Florida, where three Supreme Court justices were targeted unsuccessfully in 2012, has taken the lead on the project. The group will seek to partner with local legal groups like the Cuban American Bar Association, the Florida Association for Women Lawyers and the Wilkie D. Ferguson Jr. Bar Association as well as civic organizations and corporations to increase voter education about the need for judicial independence.

PALM BEACH COUNTY JUDGES ROTATE TO NEW ASSIGNMENTS NEXT WEEK -- Palm Beach Post (requires subscription),, Jan. 16, 2014.
Starting next week, litigants in domestic violence, juvenile and some criminal, civil and probate court divisions in Palm Beach County will be bringing their cases before new judges. Several judges will rotate into new roles as part of a routine periodic shuffling of assignments within the county’s circuit, the 15th Judicial Circuit. Circuit Chief Judge Jeffrey Colbath decided the moves after a two-month process where judges were allowed to submit their preferred choices for the kinds of cases they want to handle. Colbath said he based his choices on several factors, including individual preference, seniority and the number of years each judge had spent in his or her current position.

--Legal Profession--

The University of Florida has posted the list of 24 candidates being considered to replace outgoing Levin College of Law Dean Robert Jerry and their application materials online this morning. The university set up a search committee after Jerry announced he was stepping down after 10 years as the law school’s 15th dean. It hired the executive search firm of Korn/Ferry to accept applications, vet their qualifications and forward the names of candidates who met the minimum qualifications.


WENDY HANSEN -- Tallahassee Democrat,, Jan. 16, 2014.
Wendy L. Smith Hansen, 44 of Tallahassee, passed away at her home on Jan. 13. Hansen obtained her law degree from St. Louis University School of Law in 1994. She served on the board of Big Bend Hospice of Tallahassee and was active in fund raising for the Florida Lung Association. She was a member of The Florida Bar and was a board certified attorney in Health Care Law. She had a successful legal and legislative practice, previously working with both the Florida Senate and House of Representatives.

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[Revised: 01-17-2014]