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.

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April 17, 2014


MIAMI-DADE DRUG COURT CELEBRATES 25TH ANNIVERSARY -- Daily Business Review (requires subscription),, April 16, 2014.
The Miami-Dade Drug Court celebrated its 25th anniversary Friday [April 11]. It marked the occasion by inviting guests, speakers, graduates and national media, calling the program "the most successful criminal justice reform in our nation's history." A statement from the court said the program "sparked a revolution in criminal justice that has saved nearly 1.5 million people and billions of tax dollars" through 2,800 similar courts across the country. The statement said drug courts refer more people to treatment than any other system and that 75 percent of those who complete the program are never arrested again. The court estimated such programs save up to $13,000 in reduced prison costs for every individual they serve, returning $27 for every $1 invested.

NASSAU COUNTY COURT ANNEX RENAMED FOR CIRCUIT JUDGE ROBERT FOSTER -- Florida Times-Union (requires subscription),, April 16, 2014.
The Nassau County Judicial Annex will now be called the “Robert M. Foster Justice Center” after the veteran Circuit Court judge. The renaming was unanimously approved by the Nassau County Commission. Foster, the lone Circuit Court judge in Nassau County after Brian Davis was confirmed in December as a U.S. District judge for Florida, said the vote took him by surprise. Foster has been a member of the Florida Bar’s Civil Procedure Rules Committee and chairman of the Committee on Rules of Juvenile Procedure. He was also chairman of the YMCA of Florida’s First Coast and served as a board member for Jacksonville Area Legal Aid, Youth Leadership Jacksonville and the Boys’ Home Association. He received the Judicial Advocate Award from the guardian ad litem program and the Outstanding Member of the Judiciary Award from the Jacksonville Jaycees.

JUDGE DECKER ANSWERS FORMAL CHARGES -- Suwannee Democrat,, April 16, 2014.
The attorneys for Third Judicial Circuit Judge Andrew J. Decker III on April 3 filed an answer to formal charges brought against him in February by the Florida Judicial Qualifications Commission. The JQC filed seven formal charges against Decker for several alleged violations of judicial cannon and misconduct prior to being elected judge in November 2012. The JQC in turn filed a response Friday [April 11] to Decker’s April 3 response. The JQC response states Decker’s motion to dismiss all allegations in canons 1, 2 and 3 and to dismiss count seven are “legally insufficient.” According to the JQC, now that a response is made, a hearing is held to determine if the charges are proven true. The matter then goes before the Florida Supreme Court, which then decides on a course of action.


REQUIRE UNANIMITY FROM CAPITAL CASE JURIES -- Orlando Sentinel, Editorial,, April 17, 2014.
The editorial discusses bills introduced by Sen. Thad Altman and Rep. José Javier Rodríguez that would require juries to unanimously settle on a death-penalty recommendation. At press time, neither chamber seemed inclined to take up their respective proposals. "Under the bills, juries would need to find beyond a reasonable doubt and agree without dissent on any aggravating circumstances that would argue for the death penalty . . . Requiring unanimity would lead jurors to invest more time weighing evidence. As Howard Simon, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, put it, "If we are to use the death penalty, surely we want to minimize the possibility of error." . . . For a state that continues to execute and continues to free the wrongly condemned, there is no more convenient season than now to act to minimize the possibility of executing innocents."


LONG-TIME ATTORNEY LARRY KUVIN DIES AT 80 -- Miami Herald,, April 17, 2014.
Lawrence “Larry” Philip Kuvin, an attorney in Miami-Dade and Broward counties for more than 50 years, died Sunday [April 13] at home in Fort Lauderdale at age 80. He specialized in municipal liability defense, medical malpractice and personal injury cases. After graduating in 1958 from the University of Miami Law School, Kuvin began his career at Carey, Dwyer, Austin, Cole & Selwood, where he stayed for 13 years. He then started his own firm with two attorney friends, Jack Klingensmith and R. Fred Lewis, now a Florida Supreme Court justice, in 1971. He also co-founded and served as trial counsel to Vanguard Fire & Casualty Insurance Company. After he retired from his own practice about eight years ago, Kuvin became a certified mediator and was the chairman of the Florida Board of Bar Examiners.

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[Revised: 04-21-2014]