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.
April 22, 2014
--The Florida Bar--
RULES NOW REQUIRE WRITTEN TRUST ACCOUNT PLANS -- The Florida Bar News, http://www.floridabar.org, May 1, 2014.
Florida Bar rules now require all lawyers with more than one attorney in the firm to have a written trust account plan in place for each of the firm’s trust accounts. The amendment to Rule 5-1.2(c) regarding required trust account records for law firms was part of a package of amendments to the Rules Regulating The Florida Bar adopted by the Florida Supreme Court in a March 27 order. The newly amended rules become effective June 1. The major change is the amendment to the rule that now requires a written trust account plan for each of a firm’s trust accounts. This plan also must be disseminated to each lawyer in the firm. The reason behind this new requirement is to make each lawyer in a law firm responsible for that lawyer’s own actions regarding trust account funds. Draft trust account plans for a Florida law firm are set forth in the article.
FLORIDA BAR WARNS ATTORNEYS OF HOTEL SCAM -- Orlando Sentinel, http://www.orlandosentinel.com, April 22, 2014.
The Florida Bar, the state’s professional organization for lawyers, says attorneys are the target of a “booking scam” for those who are attending their 2014 Annual Convention on June 25-28. The convention is at the Gaylord Palms Resort near Kissimmee, and apparently someone is contacting attorneys about booking them into the resort. According to the Bar, the only official agent for rooms at the resort is the Gaylord Palms itself, which does not make phone calls to exhibitors or attendees encouraging them to book with them. Attorneys are encouraged to book rooms through a special website set up by the Bar and the resort.
UNNECESSARY 'ANTI-FOREIGN LAW' BILL POISED TO PASS -- Tallahassee Democrat, Column, http://www.tallahassee.com, April 21, 2014.
Column by Mark Schlakman, senior program director for Florida State University’s Center for the Advancement of Human Rights. He writes about bill SB 386, entitled Application of Foreign Law in Certain Cases, which was debated in the Senate Rules Committee last week. Chairman John Thrasher, R-St. Augustine, cast the tie-breaking vote to move it forward. Schlakman writes, "At face value, the bill would restrict courts and arbitration tribunals from applying foreign law, legal codes, and systems to disputes [that] relate to divorce, alimony, division of marital assets, child support, and child custody. Seemingly innocuous at first blush it failed in each of the three previous sessions. Its advance this year against unusually diverse opposition is intriguing, and potentially problematic . . . The Florida Bar's International Law and Family Law sections have testified in opposition. The Florida Legislative Jewish Caucus opposes it, as do Emerge USA and the Council on American-Islamic Relations, among others . . . May the force be with legislative (and executive) branch leadership who can "save our state" from the consequences that may result if this arguably unnecessary legislation were to become law, irrespective of its intent."
OSSIAN HART: A LOCAL HERO LOST IN HISTORY -- Florida Times-Union (requires subscription), Editorial, http://www.jacksonville.com, April 22, 2014.
The editorial states "it’s been a revelation to learn about Jacksonville’s Ossian Bingley Hart, a genuine Florida hero." Hart was the first Florida-born governor of the state (1873-74), and though raised in a slave-owning family, Hart’s political success was built on an inter-racial coalition of free blacks and Republican whites. As governor, Hart ran a corruption-free administration that pushed through major legislation, including passage of a Civil Rights bill with widespread support. From 1868 to 1871 Hart was a justice of the Florida Supreme Court. "This inspiring and courageous leader has no monument in Jacksonville. Ossian Hart’s memorable life deserves more attention."
FACEBOOKING JUDGE SCHOONOVER FACES STATE INVESTIGATION ON VARIETY OF COMPLAINTS -- Orlando Sentinel, http://www.orlandosentinel.com, April 21, 2014.
Circuit Judge Linda Schoonover came under fire in a public way when an appeals court in January ordered her off a case because she sent a Facebook "friend" request to a Winter Springs woman whose big-money divorce case she was about to decide. Additionally, at least five people have filed formal complaints about her with the Judicial Qualifications Commission, asking the Florida Supreme Court to punish her or remove her from office. Lawyers and litigants complain that she is emotional, plays favorites and either doesn't know the law or chooses not to follow it. The complaints generally fall into two categories, erratic, unprofessional behavior and making improper rulings and doing things that she has no right to do. Her attorney, Greg Eisenmenger of Viera, described her as a hard-working judge who is the target of criticism because she unseated a popular former chief judge of Seminole-Brevard in a 2010 election.
HISTORICAL PROFILE OF OCALA JUDGE WILLIAM S. BULLOCK -- Ocala Star Banner, Column, http://www.ocala.com, April 20, 2014.
Column by avid Marion County historian David Cook, retired editor of the Star-Banner. He writes a historical profile of Circuit Judge William S. Bullock, who had just turned 79 and was a month away from completing his 34th year on the bench when he died after an illness of several weeks at his Ocala home in May 1935. Cook writes, "Described by the Ocala Evening Star as dean of the circuit court jurists of Florida, Judge Bullock was linked with the birth of Marion County and the town of Ocala through his father, Gen. Robert Bullock . . . Like his father, Judge Bullock became a highly respected lawyer in his hometown. His judicial career began in September 1901 when he was appointed a circuit judge by Gov. W.S. Jennings . . . The Star said he served with impressive fairness to all parties. The newspaper was impressed by Judge Bullock's refusal to become associated with any interests that might have prejudiced him in carrying out his judicial duties. He always stuck to the highest ideals and principles of his position, the Star said."
JAMES C. "JIM" DAUKSCH III -- Daytona Beach News-Journal, http://www.news-journalonline.com, April 21, 2014.
James C. Dauksch III passed away on April 14. He was a graduate of Stetson Law School. Dauksch began his legal career as a prosecutor in the Office of the State Attorney in Volusia County. Discovering his heart was in finding the good in others, defending their rights, and giving them hope for their future, he opened a criminal defense law practice representing his clients with a great balance of professionalism and sympathy until his passing.