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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.

Dec. 11, 2013

--The Florida Bar--

COMMITTEE PREFERENCE FORMS ARE ONLINE -- The Florida Bar News,, Dec. 15, 2013.
The annual committee preference forms for Bar members seeking appointments for the term of President-elect Greg Coleman are available through the Bar's website. As president-elect, Coleman will make 500 or so committee appointments, and he wants to make sure he has a diverse bunch of lawyers from which to choose — and this year that includes corporate counsel.  For years authorized house counsel — corporate counsel licensed in other states but who work for Florida companies and are registered with the Bar — were not encouraged to serve on Bar committees. Bar President Eugene Pettis said as the Bar studies its future role through efforts such as the Vision 2016 commission, it’s necessary to get a wide variety of feedback. Those currently serving on a standing committee whose term expires in 2014 must complete and submit a committee preference form to be considered for reappointment.

--Civil Justice Issues--

COURT OF APPEAL RULES UNF CANNOT PROHIBIT GUNS ON CAMPUS -- Florida Times-Union (requires subscription),, Dec. 11, 2013. [Also: COURT RULES FLA. UNIVERSITIES CAN'T REGULATE GUNS -- Miami Herald,, Dec. 11, 2013; APPEALS COURT: COLLEGE STUDENTS CAN KEEP GUNS IN CARS ON CAMPUS -- Tampa Tribune,, Dec. 11, 2013.]
In a ruling that could have statewide consequences, the First District Court of Appeal has ruled the University of North Florida cannot prohibit guns from being kept in cars parked on campus. The university had banned the storage of any “weapon or destructive device” on college grounds. The gun-rights group Florida Carry Inc. and UNF student Alexandria Lainez sued arguing the university didn’t have the right under Florida law to ban firearms because the state Constitution gives that power to the state Legislature. University officials have previously said almost every other college in the state has a similar policy toward firearms. Sean Caranna, executive director for Florida Carry, said the case was an important defense of gun rights for the state. A university spokesperson told the Associated Press the case was still being reviewed and a decision had not yet been made on whether to appeal the ruling to the Florida Supreme Court.

EDITORIAL: CONSUMERS GIVEN LITTLE PROTECTION AGAINST SHIPPING FRAUD -- Palm Beach Post (requires subscription), Editorial,, Dec. 11, 2013.
"Consumers like Wellington artist Ivana Vidovic Mlinar, whose paintings United Parcel Service lost and then sold for a fraction of their worth, will continue to be at the mercy of interstate carriers unless Congress changes an outdated federal law that protects the companies from liability . . . She didn’t insure the package, so the most she could get was $100 from Pak Mail. That’s because the 1906 Carmack Amendment to the Interstate Commerce Act allows carriers to limit their liability for lost or damaged goods, regardless of their value . . . Congress should revise the Carmack Amendment so states can at least enforce statutes designed to protect consumers from deceptive practices and fraud. Until then, shippers beware."


Prominent Miami criminal defense attorney Richard Sharpstein, a quick-witted defender of people ranging from millionaires to beat cops, was found dead Tuesday [Dec. 10] at his Miami Beach home, his law firm said. Sharpstein, 63, who practiced for 37 years, joined Akerman as a partner in April 2012 after being with Jorden Burt for 10 years. News of Sharpstein’s death — a possible suicide — left the South Florida legal community stunned. Shocked law partners gathered in the firm's lobby of their Miami headquarters as word of his death spread.

GEORGE H. HARRISON -- Bradenton Herald,, Dec. 11, 2013.
George Hodges Harrison died Sunday, Dec. 8., just a month shy of his 91st birthday. He followed in his father's legal footsteps, serving as an attorney in Manatee County for nearly 63 years. Harrison started his legal career in Manatee County in 1952. He served as county attorney from 1955 to 1961 and as president of the Manatee County Bar Association from 1963 to 1964. He was a founding director of the Palmetto Federal Savings and Loan Association, chairman of the board of Westside National Bank, a fellow of The American College of Mortgage Attorneys and a board member of the Manatee National Bank.

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[Revised: 12-12-2013]