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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.

Jan. 31, 2014

--Judiciary--

LABARGA ELECTED CHIEF JUSTICE -- The Florida Current, http://www.thefloridacurrent.com, Jan. 31, 2014. [Also: FORMER PALM BEACH COUNTY CIRCUIT JUDGE WILL SERVE AS CHIEF JUSTICE OF FLORIDA SUPREME COURT -- Palm Beach Post, http://www.pbpost.com, Jan. 31, 2014; JORGE LABARGA SELECTED NEXT FLORIDA CHIEF JUSTICE -- Daily Business Review (requires subscription), http://www.dailybusinessreview.com, Jan. 31, 2014.]
Florida Supreme Court Justice Jorge Labarga will take the center seat July 1, succeeding Chief Justice Ricky Polston for a two-year term. Labarga, 61, came to the United States at age 11 after the Cuban revolution. He is the second Cuban-American appointed to the state's top court. As chief justice, Labarga will be chief administrative officer for the entire state courts system. A graduate of Forest Hill High School who earned a law degree from the University of Florida, Labarga was appointed to the circuit court bench in 1996 by Gov. Lawton Chiles. He began his legal career as a Palm Beach County public defender.


MIAMI-DADE COUNTY COURTHOUSE SUPPORTS HAVE 'SIGNIFICANT' DAMAGE -- Miami Herald, http://www.miamiherald.com, Jan. 31, 2014.
Engineering consultants are conducting tests and evaluations of structural columns in the basement of the 1925 Miami-Dade County Courthouse in downtown Miami after an inspection uncovered evidence of “significant’’ deterioration. Results of the testing, which involve removing concrete covering the steel columns to evaluate their condition, will be ready by late February. The historic courthouse’s support columns will likely require extensive repairs. U.S. Structures Inc., the lead county consultant, stressed that the building housing the county’s civil courts remains stable and safe for use. The finding comes as the courthouse, a landmark considered one of the most important historic structures in the city, undergoes a $30 million exterior renovation, needed in part to seal off the building interior from water intrusion.

--Legal Profession--

INTERVIEWS WITH 9 LAW DEAN CANDIDATES START FRIDAY -- Gainesville Sun, http://www.gainesville.com, Jan. 31, 2014.
The search committee appointed to find the next dean for the University of Florida Levin College of Law will interview nine candidates Friday [Jan. 31] and Saturday [Feb. 1]. Each interview will last about 75 minutes, with breaks scheduled between each interview for debriefings. At the conclusion of the interviews on Saturday, the public will have a 15-minute opportunity for comment, from 3:30-3:45 p.m. The two-day process will conclude with a wrap-up and discussion of the next steps for the committee. The nine candidates represent an eclectic array of experience and education. From these nine, the committee will select a smaller group to bring to campus for more in-depth interviews and a tour, ultimately making a recommendation for Provost Joe Glover to consider as a replacement to outgoing Dean Robert Jerry, who is stepping down in June after 11 years.

--Civil Justice Issues--

CHILDREN ADVOCATES NEEDED IN COURT SYSTEM -- Florida Today, http://www.floridatoday.com, Jan. 30, 2014.
Kim DelGaudio has been with the Guardian ad Litem program 12 years now. The past five, she's served as circuit director for the program in the 18th Judicial Circuit in Brevard County. The state program marks its 30th anniversary this year, DelGaudio says. Split into circuits throughout Florida, the program works with volunteers who advocate in court for children who have been abused, abandoned or neglected. When a judge assigns a case to the program, an attorney, coordinator and volunteer jump in. Whereas the Department of Children and Families focuses on piecing a family back together and providing services, the ad litem program solely focuses on the child, DelGaudio says. She points out that they are always looking for volunteers.

--Lawyer Ethics/Legal Discipline--

FLORIDA ETHICS COMMISSION CLEARS PALM BEACH COUNTY STATE ATTORNEY DAVE ARONBERG OF ETHICS COMPLAINT -- Palm Beach Post (requires subscription), http://www.pbpost.com, Jan. 30, 2014.
The Florida Commission on Ethics has cleared Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg of an ethics complaint dating to 2012 over his involvement with a Gulf Stream millionaire in a covert campaign against then State Attorney Michael McAuliffe. The commission announced Wednesday [Jan. 29] that it found no probable cause for the August 2012 complaints, which alleged that Aronberg solicited or accepted improper gifts when he received a private plane ride and other favors from Gulf Stream developer Marty O’Boyle while contemplating a run against McAuliffe.

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[Revised: 02-03-2014]