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.
March 19, 2014
FREE CLINICS AIM TO TO HELP SOUTH FLORIDIANS WITH THEIR CITIZENSHIP APPLICATIONS -- Miami Herald, http://www.miamiherald.com, March 18, 2014.
In an effort to educate South Florida's legal permanent residents and help them become citizens, the Florida Immigrant Coalition (FLIC) will hold two free citizenship clinics as part of its Florida New Americans program. The workshops in late March and early April are designed to aid hundreds of South Floridians before a longer citizenship application form will make the process even more difficult. The first citizenship clinic is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 29 at the Griffing Adult Center in North Miami. The second, and last, free clinic before the new citizenship form becomes mandatory, will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 5 at the St. Thomas University Law School in Miami Gardens.
MACHEN WANTS 'VISIONARY' TO LEAD LAW SCHOOL, FACULTY TOLD -- Gainesville Sun, http://www.gainesville.com, March 19, 2014.
University of Florida President Bernie Machen met with about 65 Levin College of Law faculty and staff Tuesday [March 18] morning to explain his decision to end the search for a new dean and nominate George Dawson as interim dean. The meeting was off limits to the media and the public. The selection process has been criticized for a lack of openness, delays in obtaining records related to the search and a sense among some faculty members that they were being excluded from the process. Machen told faculty that he felt he wanted to see someone who was not only a scholar but a visionary, and none of the three met that requirement. Several faculty members at the meeting raised the issue of Machen's commitment to diversity. Machen told them he was open to dealing with the diversity issue.
JUDGES KICKED OUT TOO SOON -- Daytona Beach News-Journal, Column, http://www.news-journalonline.com, March 18, 2014.
R. Michael Hutcheson, the longest serving active judge in the 7th Judicial Circuit, turned 70 last year, so the state constitution decrees he must retire at the end of his six-year-term. Columnist Mark Lane writes, "I ran into the judge recently and he looked great. He says he’s slowed down on his jogs and runs only four or five 5K races a year . . . He still has the health and energy for the job. He’s mentally sharp and is the kind of judge other judges go to when they need the kind of advice only someone whose been around three decades can give . . . Meanwhile, the Florida Supreme Court has no fewer than four justices bumping up against the retirement age in the next five years . . . Experience and proven ability to do difficult jobs aren’t things to toss away lightly, at least in any occupation that doesn’t require heavy lifting. And if this is so important to do for judges, why not legislators, too? Hutcheson says he might occasionally fill in as a senior judge, so it’s not like he’ll go away entirely. Still, it seems like a terrible waste to kick him – and the Supreme Court justices, too – out of their offices."
HILLSBOROUGH COURTS MOVING TOWARD PAPERLESS SYSTEM -- Tampa Tribune, http://www.tbo.com, March 18, 2014.
Until recently, all the cases in Hillsborough County courts would have been filed using paper. Now the state court system is finally moving away from paper. Last April, the court required all civil filings by lawyers to be done electronically. Next month, the move will be complete with a requirement that lawyers file all criminal pleadings electronically. The move represents a multimillion dollar investment that officials expect to reap savings over time. The transition has already made the courts more efficient, according to Court Clerk Pat Frank, who said she has been able to reduce the size of the court staff by not filling open positions because keeping electronic records is not as labor intensive as processing paper.
--Lawyer Ethics/Legal Discipline--
RUNAWAY LAWYER TIMOTHY MCCABE: 'I WAS NOT JUST A LAWYER BUT A THIEF' -- South Florida Sun-Sentinel, http://www.sun-sentinel.com, March 19, 2014. [Also: RUNAWAY ATTORNEY PAID OFF OWN HOUSE, SAYS HE WAS 'DELUSIONAL' -- Palm Beach Post, http://www.pbpost.com, March 19, 2014.]
Disgraced former attorney Timothy McCabe, who misappropriated millions of dollars in client funds, has finally broken his silence, saying he stayed in rooming houses after vanishing suddenly from his Boca Raton home last year. "In the spring of 2013, I realized that I was not just a lawyer but a thief," McCabe wrote in a three-page letter filed in federal court Tuesday [March 18]. "I had lost my moral compass." He was disbarred in August. At a hearing Oct. 10 when he pleaded guilty, Assistant U.S. Attorney Ellen Cohen told the court the amount of misappropriated money from McCabe's bank fraud charges is at least $2.5 million and could be as much as $7 million. On Wednesday [March 19], he faces sentencing before Judge Kenneth Ryskamp in the West Palm Beach federal courthouse. McCabe's letter, addressed to the judge, was filed as part of his defense attorney's pre-sentencing efforts to win some leniency when it comes to the amount of time he will face behind bars.
ERNEST M. BREED JR. -- Tampa Tribune, http://www.tbo.com, March 19, 2014.
Ernest M. Breed Jr. passed away on March 16. He graduated from Stetson University College of Law in 1952. His law career started with Jennings, Watts, Clarke and Hamilton in Jacksonville. In 1957 he moved to Sebring to begin his own private practice.