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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.

January 24, 2013

--The Florida Bar--

FLORIDA BAR PRESIDENT-ELECT DESIGNATE COLEMAN WANTS LAWYERS TO EMBRACE TECHNOLOGY -- Palm Beach Daily News, http://www.palmbeachdailynews.com, Jan. 24, 2013.
This story profiles Greg Coleman, a partner at the West Palm Beach firm of Burman, Critton, Luttier & Coleman and president-elect designate of The Florida Bar.

--Judiciary--

NASSAU COUNTY JUDICIAL VACANCY DRAWS 11 APPLICANTS -- Jacksonville Daily Record, http://www.jaxdailyrecord.com, Jan. 24, 2013.
The search for a new Nassau County Court judge continued Friday [Jan. 18] as 11 applicants filed for consideration by the 5 p.m. deadline for the seat formerly occupied by Judge Granville "Doc" Burgess. Burgess, 63, died Dec. 6, but before his death he ran unopposed in his re-election bid in 2012. That left Gov. Rick Scott responsible for appointing someone to fill Burgess' term, which was due to expire Jan. 8, 2019. The 4th Circuit Judicial Nominating Commission will interview the 11 applicants starting at 9 a.m., Jan. 31, at the Nassau County Courthouse Annex. 

FLORIDA SUPREME COURT JUSTICES TO VISIT UF TODAY -- Independent Florida Alligator, http://www.alligator.org, Jan. 24. 2013.
All seven Florida Supreme Court justices will be at UF today [Jan. 24] to judge the Maguire Appellate Advocacy Competition. The event, which is an exhibition for the American Bar Association competition, will be at 10 a.m. today in the Martin H. Levin Advocacy Center courtroom. The exhibition allows the two UF Moot Court teams that will argue in the regional competition to practice their arguments and get feedback from the Florida justices. Mary Adkins, the team’s faculty adviser, said it was an accomplishment that all seven justices were coming to the exhibition.

--Legal Profession--

NEW STATE ATTORNEY EAGER TO IMPROVE OFFICE'S PERFORMANCE -- South Florida Sun-Sentinel, http://www.sun-sentinel.com, Jan. 24. 2013.
During a question-and-answer session with business leaders and city officials, recently elected Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg said last week he's looking to improve the office's conviction rates. "The [prior administration] did a good job locking people up and a bad job at convicting them," Aronberg said. To help deal with violent crimes, Aronberg, a former Delray Beach resident, said he is bringing back veteran prosecutors and former State Attorney Barry Krischer, who will serve as a special volunteer. He said one of his priorities will be to improve the training of attorneys. Aronberg also pledged to ensure that his office communicates effectively with the public.

--Legislature--

PAYING IT FORWARD AND FORWARD AND FORWARD -- Folio Weekly, http://www.folioweekly.com, Jan. 24, 2013.
A grassroots group, Florida Alimony Reform, is taking another run at passing a bill in the Legislature which would end permanent alimony, along with making other changes to the laws, such as not including a second wife’s earnings to increase alimony payments. On the other side of the issue is the Family Law Section of The Florida Bar, an organization of about 4,100 attorneys. In last year’s legislative session, it actively fought against FAR’s proposed reforms, calling them unnecessary in light of changes made to the law in 2010 and 2011. The changes included revising the factors that are considered in awarding alimony, setting up classifications based on the length of a marriage and setting up four types of alimony. Permanent alimony is designed primarily for a person whose marriage lasted 17 years or more and who lacks “the financial ability to meet his or her needs and necessities of life following a dissolution of marriage,” including stay-at-home moms and the disabled.

FLORIDA ATTORNEY GENERAL APPEALS FOR MORE STATE FUNDS -- St. Augustine Record, http://www.staugustine.com, Jan. 24, 2013.
Attorney General Pam Bondi made her pitch Wednesday [Jan. 23] for money to hire lawyers and upgrade an aged phone system. The proposal's keystone measure is $1.1 million to beef up her office’s appeals section. That’s for 15 positions, including 12 lawyers. “I am begging you to help me restore my criminal appeals office,” Bondi told the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Criminal and Civil Justice. She also said her office needs $400,000 for a new phone system — hers has not been updated since the 1980s — and $189,548 for two statewide prosecutors to handle pill mill cases.

--Lawyer Ethics/Legal Discipline--

NEVIN SHAPIRO'S LAWYER SAID SHE DID NOTHING WRONG -- Miami Herald, http://www.miamiherald.com, Jan. 24, 2013 [Also: NCAA INVESTIGATORS IN MIAMI HURRICANES BOOSTER SCANDAL PROBE UNDER INVESTIGATION -- Palm Beach Post, http://www.palmbeachpost.com, Jan. 24. 2013].
Maria Elena Perez, the Miami criminal defense attorney for convicted Ponzi schemer and former University of Miami booster Nevin Shapiro, was thrust Wednesday [Jan. 23] into the harsh spotlight of the NCAA's probe of UM's athletic program. "I haven't broken any rules," Perez, a 2000 UM law school graduate, told The Miami Herald. "I havent done anything wrong." The NCAA acknowledged that its enforcement officers improperly obtained information by working too closely with Perez, whose client instigated the NCAA probe that has been going on for two years. Perez became Shapiro's criminal defense lawyer soon after he was charged in April 2010 with orchestrating a $930 million investment scam.

--Civil Justice Issues--

JUDGE REFUSES TO THROW OUT CHARGES IN MIAMI-DADE ABSENTEE BALLOT CASE -- Miami Herald, http://www.miamiherald.com, Jan. 24, 2013.
On Wednesday, a Miami-Dade judge declined to throw out misdemeanor charges against Sergio Robaina, whose lawyers had challenged the constitutionality of a county ordinance that bans collection of multiple ballots. A person may turn in only two absentee ballots in addition to their own: one belonging to an immediate family member and another belonging to a voter who has signed a sworn statement designating that person as responsible. Prosecutors say Robaina, 74, illegally collected absentee ballots and filled out two against the wishes of two voters, one of them a woman with dementia. He faces two felony counts of voter fraud, and two misdemeanor counts of illegally possessing absentee ballots.

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[Revised: 01-31-2013]