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.
Dec. 5, 2013
ARTHUR REMEMBERED AS A LEGAL GIANT -- Tallahassee Democrat, http://www.tallahassee.com, Dec. 5. [Also: MEMORIAL TO HONOR FORMER SUPREME COURT JUSTICE ARTHUR J. ENGLAND -- Tallahassee Democrat, http://www.tallahassee.com, Dec. 4, 2013.]
Friends, family and legal colleagues gathered in the Florida Supreme Court chambers Wednesday to honor Arthur J. England Jr., who served the court as a justice from 1975 to 1981 and as its chief justice from 1978 to 1981. England, who died Aug. 1, was integral in creating the interest on Trust Account (IOTA) program — helping the poor pay for legal service through bank interest on money deposited by lawyers — and was a driving force behind allowing cameras in the Supreme Court chambers. England served as a consumer adviser and general counsel to former Gov. Reubin Askew and a Florida tax lawyer in the Florida House of Representatives. When other states were holding onto the past in the way of segregation, England, along with Askew, was considered a progressive justice in his champion for the accommodation of race relations, open government and financial disclosure by elected officials.
TWO MIAMI-DADE CIRCUIT JUDGES VETTED FOR FEDERAL POSTS -- Daily Business Review (requires subscription), http://www.dailybusinessreview.com, Dec. 4, 2013.
The White House is vetting Miami-Dade Circuit Judges Beth Bloom and Darrin Gayles for two open positions on the federal bench in Miami. The judges were picked from among four finalists selected by the Florida Federal Judicial Nominating Commission in August. Miami-Dade Judges Peter Lopez and John Thornton rounded out those on the short list. The openings were created when U.S. District Judge Patricia Seitz took senior status last November and plans by U.S. District Judge Donald Graham to take senior status this month. In the meantime, the nomination of Judge William L. Thomas, who is black and openly gay, for the federal bench remains in limbo after U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., refused to allow the Senate Judiciary Committee to take a vote on him.
MANNY CRESPO JR. TO LEAD CABA -- Daily Business Review (requires subscription), http://www.dailybusinessreview.com, Dec. 5, 2013.
Manny Crespo Jr. was elected president-elect of the powerful Cuban American Bar Association in what appears to have been one of the closest races in the group's history. Crespo, one of two CABA vice presidents, will lead the 2,500-member voluntary bar association starting in January 2015. It was Crespo's second run for the presidency. He lost in 2009 to Victoria Mendez. His opponent, Nelson Bellido, who ran a friendly race against Crespo, is anything but bitter and congratulated him immediately. Seven new CABA board members also were elected Tuesday [Dec. 3] night in the event coinciding with a toy drive. Crespo and Bellido shared similar goals for their presidency: to expand CABA's presence beyond Miami to Orlando, Tampa and Washington; to ramp up mentoring efforts for young lawyers and students; and to establish more student chapters at Florida universities.
--Civil Justice Issues--
STATE SUPREME COURT TO HEAR MEDICAL-MARIJUANA ARGUMENTS -- Orlando Sentinel, http://www.orlandosentinel.com, Dec. 5, 2013. [Also: BILL COTTERELL: MEDICAL MARIJUANA: THE BATTLE BEGINS -- Tallahassee Democrat, Opinion Column, http://www.tallahassee.com, Dec. 5, 2013; EDITORIAL: SORTING OUT THE MARIJUANA PROPOSAL -- Tampa Bay Times, Editorial, http://www.tampabay.com, Dec. 5, 2013.]
Medical marijuana will be considered by the Florida Supreme Court on Thursday [Dec. 5] in a hearing that could determine whether voters will decide the proposed state constitutional amendment next November. Opponents want the court to rule that the proposal does not meet requirements to be on Florida's ballot. They say the ballot language limited by law to 90 words is a misleading summary of the full, six-page amendment. They also argue that the amendment changes more than one government function, while amendments must be limited to "single subjects."