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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.

Feb. 3, 2014

--Legal Profession--

DIVERSITY SCORECARD 2014: WOMEN CLOSING THE GENDER GAP -- Daily Business Review (requires subscription), http://www.dailybusinessreview.com, Jan. 31, 2014.
Throughout South Florida, female lawyers are starting networking and mentoring groups and finding ways to help other women get business, secure appointments to judicial nominating commissions and Florida Bar committees, and raise their profiles. Their goal is to close the widening gender gap and move women ahead in the legal industry. While women are the majority in law school classes, they are far from reaching gender parity at the partnership level, and female managing partners are a rarity at law firms. Five of the biggest law firms in the AmLaw 200 failed to promote any women to partner this year.

4 FINALISTS LEFT IN SEARCH FOR UF LAW DEAN -- Gainesville Sun, http://www.gainesville.com, Feb. 2, 2014.
Four finalists have emerged as candidates to be the next dean of the University of Florida Levin College of Law after two days of face-to-face interviews. The four candidates selected are R. Alexander Acosta, dean of Florida International University College of Law; David Brennen, dean and professor of law at the University of Kentucky College of Law; Samuel Donaldson, professor at Georgia State University College of Law; and David Huebner, former ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa.

--Judiciary--

1ST VOLUSIA BLACK JUDGE RETIRES, A 'TRAILBLAZER' -- Daytona Beach News-Journal, http://www.news-journalonline.com, Feb. 1, 2014. [Also: CONVOCATION HONORS JUDGE'S RETIREMENT -- Fort Pierce Hometown News, http://www.myhometownnews.net, Jan. 31, 2014.]
Circuit Judge Hubert L. Grimes took off his robe for the last time on Friday [Jan. 31] and donated it along with his gavel to Bethune-Cookman University during a convocation to honor him at his retirement. Grimes was elected in 1988 to the county bench, making him Volusia County’s first black judge. He presided over family court in the Volusia County Courthouse in DeLand. Friends, colleagues and students gathered at the performing arts center at Bethune Cookman University in Daytona Beach to honor Grimes. On Thursday [Jan. 30], Gov. Rick Scott appointed Dawn Nichols, 48, to fill the vacancy on the circuit bench created by Grimes’ retirement. Nichols is a board certified marital and family law attorney in Daytona Beach. One of the speakers at the convocation was Belvin Perry Jr., the chief judge for the 9th Circuit, who called Grimes a trailblazer.

SUPREME COURT JUSTICE ALITO SPEAKING IN FLA. -- Miami Herald, http://www.miamiherald.com, Feb. 2, 2014.
By The Associated Press. U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito is scheduled to give a lunchtime speech Monday [Feb. 3] in West Palm Beach at a joint meeting of the Forum Club of the Palm Beaches and the Palm Beach County Bar Association. The topic of the speech wasn't immediately available. Alito was nominated by President George W. Bush and has served on the high court since January 2006. Before that he was a federal appeals judge and was U.S. attorney in New Jersey.

--Lawyer Ethics/Legal Discipline--

SUPREME COURT DISCIPLINES 21 ATTORNEYS -- The Florida Bar, http://www.flabar.org, Jan. 31, 2014. [Also: FLORIDA SUPREME COURT DISCIPLINES 21 ATTORNEYS -- Fort Myers News-Press, http://www.news-press.com, Jan. 31, 2014; TWO ORLANDO-AREA LAWYERS DISCIPLINED BY FLORIDA SUPREME COURT -- Orlando Business Journal, http://www.bizjournals.com, Jan. 31, 2014.]
The Florida Bar, the state's guardian for the integrity of the legal profession, announces that the Florida Supreme Court in recent court orders disciplined 21 attorneys; disbarring one, suspending 17 and publicly reprimanding three. Three attorneys received more than one form of discipline. They were also placed on probation. 

STERN COMPLAINTS, LAWSUITS DATE BACK MORE THAN A DECADE -- Palm Beach Post (requires subscription), http://www.pbpost.com, Feb. 1, 2014.
Long before David J. Stern was disbarred and sued for foreclosure-related misdeeds, he was reprimanded by The Florida Bar and settled a class action lawsuit for similar offenses. In 2000, eight years before the foreclosure flood that helped make Stern a millionaire, he settled a class action lawsuit for $2.1 million that charged him with overbilling for attorney fees, title searches and postage costs. The settlement, which was handled in the Northern District of Florida federal court, was followed by a 2002 Florida Bar reprimand for filing misleading affidavits on title search costs. Last week, a Palm Beach County judge ruled in favor of homeowners against Stern in another class action lawsuit that involved overbilling for title searches, attorney fees, postage costs and service of process. The Florida Supreme Court officially disbarred Stern on Jan. 7.

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[Revised: 02-04-2014]