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 23, 2014
--The Florida Bar--
RADIO, TV, AND BILLBOARD ADS SHOULD NOT TOUT PAST RESULTS -- The Florida Bar News, http://www.floridabar.org, May 1, 2014.
At its March 28 meeting, The Florida Bar Board of Governors took a strict interpretation of new lawyer advertising guidelines for television, radio, and billboard ads, and stressed that ads that don’t comply with those guidelines must be replaced. The board rejected TV ads designed to try to comply with the guidelines, which were adopted by the board in December. The guidelines provide that using past results in those types of ads typically will be found to not comply with Bar advertising rules. Rule amendments effective early last year for the first time allowed past results to be used in lawyer ads only if the results are objectively verifiable and do not omit material information necessary to avoid misleading consumers. The guidelines adopted by the board in December found that mentioning past results carried a high risk of being misunderstood and require including information that generally didn’t fit into the confines of such ads. So, the guidelines concluded, “. . . the Bar generally will not approve advertisements in such media that include references to past results.”
STUDENTS HAVE THEIR DAY IN COURT -- St. Augustine Record, http://staugustine.com, April 23, 2014.
St. John’s Academy 7th- and 8th-graders appeared in Courtroom 216 on March 25 with the Honorable Judge Charles Tinlin presiding. They were playing the roles of attorneys and witnesses in the school’s version of Mock Trial, an intense competition conducted each year in conjunction with The Florida Bar. The competition is held to stimulate and encourage a deeper understanding and appreciation of the American legal system by providing students the opportunity to participate actively in the legal process. Judge Alexander Christine and attorney Bob Berger scored the teams.
FLA. FUNDING LEGAL HOTLINE TO HELP JUVENILES -- Miami Herald, http://www.miamiherald.com, April 23, 2014.
By The Associated Press. The Children's Services Council of Broward County is creating a hotline to give legal advice for juveniles in trouble with the law. The youth advocacy group approved funding for LAW-line, a help line for families in need of legal information including diversion opportunities, civil citation and expunction processes. LAW-line is slated to start in October. The organization says the services will prevent more children from entering the foster care and juvenile justice systems and will allow them to advocate for the least restrictive and most appropriate educational, medical and mental health services for the youth already there.
--Lawyer Ethics/Legal Discipline--
SCHOOL BOARD PLANS 'WARNING' LETTER TO ITS FORMER ATTORNEY -- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, http://www.heraldtribune.com, April 23, 2014.
The School Board plans to send a “warning” letter to John Bowen, its former attorney, stating that he is obligated not to comment on district litigation to terminate former district leaders implicated in the Rod Frazier groping investigation. Bowen hasn't hesitated to publicly call the district's inquiry, which implicated five former school leaders for failing to act on complaints of inappropriate behavior concerning the Manatee High football coach, a “political hatchet job.” New School Board Attorney James Dye said that Bowen is still obligated to keep confidential information concerning litigation that his former client — the School Board — is involved in. Bowen disagreed, saying there is no client/attorney privilege for public bodies except for special instances outlined in statutes. Board members unanimously voted to send Bowen a letter warning him that if he continues to speak publicly about district litigation, a report will be made to The Florida Bar ethics committee.
--Civil Justice Issues--
CAR INSURERS SEE WIN AT FLORIDA SUPREME COURT, BUT FIGHT PROBABLY NOT OVER -- Palm Beach Post (requires subscription), http://www.pbpost.com, April 23, 2014.
Car insurers are hailing a Florida Supreme Court decision not to review a case that aimed to stop a state law reducing Personal Injury Protection benefits, but opposing lawyers said renewed challenges are likely. The state high court’s decision ends one phase of a fight that saw a judge slap a temporary injunction on a law to reduce some benefits in the name of curbing fraud. The lower court found the law unconstitutionally shut out some medical providers. An appeals court overturned the injunction and the Florida Supreme Court declined to review the case Monday [April 21]. One insurance group, the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America, said it was pleased with what it saw as “a step forward” in a battle over efforts to reform the car insurance system. An attorney representing people providing medical care who argued they were unfairly shut out by the law said he anticipated filing an amended case within 30 days to address issues of standing raised by the appeals court.