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.
Oct. 31, 2013
STACKING THE COURTS -- Miami Herald, Editorial, http://www.miamiherald.com, Oct. 31, 2013. [Also: WHAT WE THINK: SCOTT SHOULD LOOSEN GRIP ON JUDICIAL APPOINTMENTS -- Orlando Sentinel, Editorial, http://www.orlandosentinel.com, Oct. 31, 2013.]
From the Herald editorial: ". . . [Gov. Rick] Scott has rejected all 16 lists of lawyers’ names submitted by The Florida Bar for membership on the Judicial Nominating Commissions. This unprecedented record of rejection cries out for a public explanation. . . . Florida is a large and politically diverse state. A sensible judicial selection system should reflect this diversity instead of becoming a way for one political faction to expand its power via the courts. By spurning the bar’s nominees, the governor is thumbing his nose at Floridians who don’t share his political views — and at our impartial system of justice."
MERRY ANN FRISBY: COURT SYSTEM MUST BE WARY OF NEW TECHNOLOGY -- Tallahassee Democrat, Column, http://www.tallahassee.com, Oct. 31, 2013.
Column by Merry Ann Frisby, retired criminal investigator. Starting this fall, the Florida Supreme Court will implement mandatory e-filing of court documents. County clerks all across Florida are in the process of converting most court documents to electronic form. This conversion is expected to reduce costs and increase the timeliness of court proceedings, but Frisby highlights security concerns, asking "how easy is it to fraudulently enter a clerk's system? How does a clerk know who is filing? Who may be lurking in the cyberspace bushes to monkey-up court orders? . . . If the IRS and the SEC can get tagged by fraud, who are the guardians of Florida's court papers?"
ORANGE VETERANS COURT MAKES ROCKY DEBUT -- Orlando Sentinel, http://www.orlandosentinel.com, Oct. 31, 2013.
Orange County's new veterans court got off to a rocky start Wednesday [Oct. 30], due to a clash over who should be allowed in the diversion program. Orange-Osceola State Attorney Jeff Ashton objected to several former service members being included, while just one homeless veteran made it cleanly into a program designed to hand out treatment instead of punishment to those who served in the military. Advocates said the key was getting the effort started, and Orange's fitful rollout mirrored other new veterans courts.
JACKSONVILLE URBAN LEAGUE RECOGNIZES THOSE WHO ENHANCE DIVERSITY -- Florida Times-Union (requires subscription), http://www.jacksonville.com, Oct. 30, 2013
Three veteran community leaders will be honored Wednesday [Oct. 30] as the Jacksonville Urban League’s Outstanding Reformers at its 40th annual Equal Opportunity luncheon. Attorney Hank Coxe III, businessman Raul Espinosa and Bishop Rudolph W. McKissick Sr. will be recognized for their efforts to enhance diversity and equal opportunity in the community. Coxe is being honored for efforts to give options to teens in the juvenile justice system. His most recent work was as the lead attorney of a pro bono team that lobbied to have 12-year-old Cristian Fernandez tried as a minor instead of as an adult. The child received juvenile sanctions in February after pleading guilty to manslaughter in the death of his 2-year-old half brother.
JAENSCH JOINS LEGAL RANK FEW WOMEN ATTAIN -- Tampa Bay Business Journal (requires subscription), http://www.bizjournals.com, Oct. 30, 2013.
Tampa lawyer Tracey Jaensch was promoted Oct. 28 to regional managing partner at FordHarrison LLP, becoming one of few women lawyers to reach that management level at a national law firm. Although women make up 31 percent of all lawyers, not many reach management or executive committee levels. A recent survey of the nation's 50 best law firms for women found that only 10 percent of firm chairs were women and 12 percent of the firms had women managing partners, according to a Catalyst Quick Take. Locally, two other women lawyers are in the upper echelon of firm management. Rhea Law is CEO and chair of Fowler White Boggs. Kimberly Leach Johnson became national law firm Quarles & Brady's new chairperson on Oct. 1. Jaensch thinks some women may be reluctant to take law firm management positions, but she found that being a managing partner taught her people and management skills she uses in her practice and in building her business.
FLA. LEGISLATIVE LEADERS OPPOSE MEDICAL MARIJUANA -- Tampa Tribune, http://www.tbo.com, Oct. 31, 2013.
By The Associated Press.
House Speaker Will Weatherford and Senate President Don Gaetz announced Wednesday [Oct. 30] that they will ask the Florida Supreme Court to block the proposed amendment that would allow the use of marijuana for medical reasons. In a memo, Gaetz said after consulting with Senate staff, he had concluded that the medical marijuana amendment would mislead voters. The Republican legislators are joining Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi in their opposition to the amendment. Bondi last week asked the court to block the measure.