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.
March 4, 2013
LAW SCHOOLS SEE SHARP DECLINE IN APPLICATIONS -- Orlando Sentinel, http://www.orlandosentinel.com, March 1, 2013.
Across Florida and the country, law schools have experienced drastic drops in applications — likely the result of rising tuition, a difficult job market for new graduates and other factors. Some students also have been discouraged by the probability of heavy debt burdens. At Florida State University in Tallahassee, law school applications are down 23 percent. Nationwide, applications are down 22 percent from 2012, according to the Law School Admission Council. While some schools are worried about having a smaller pool of applicants to draw from, the trend may benefit students. Fewer applicants means there is less competition for law school openings.
--Civil Justice Issues--
LEGAL AID, BAR GROUPS GET FORECLOSURE SETTLEMENT MONEY -- Daily Business Review, http://www.dailybusinessreview.com, March 4, 2013.
Legal Services of Greater Miami and local voluntary bar associations have received state-allocated funds to help homeowners with foreclosure and mortgage modification problems. The money is part of $25 billion national bank settlement reached by state attorneys general with five mortgage service providers. Florida received $334 million, and $5 million was designated for legal services. The Cuban American Bar Association Pro Bono Project, the Spanish American League Against Discrimination, the Haitian Lawyers Bar Association and Legal Services are under state contract to provide legal assistance to South Florida homeowners.
--Criminal Justice Issues--
KIDS CHARGED AS ADULTS: PALM BEACH COUNTY RANKS HIGH IN U.S. -- Palm Beach Post, http://www.palmbeachpost.com, March 3, 2013.
Florida leads the nation, and Palm Beach County is one of the leaders in the state in the number of youths charged as adults. The idea of trying juveniles in adult court — where punishment, not rehabilitation, rules — has been sold as a way to protect law-abiding citizens from violent youth. But neither the crimes nor the criminal histories of those charged support the notion that they are the worst of the worst. Defense attorneys, children’s advocates, social scientists and parents whose children were thrust into the adult system decry the practice as inhumane, counter-productive and costly. Newly elected State Attorney Dave Aronberg has begun talks with top prosecutors about instituting new policies that would limit the types of crimes that can land juveniles in adult court.
JUDGE'S DECISION IN SEXUAL PREDATOR'S CASE SPARKS CONTROVERSY -- Miami Herald, http://www.miamiherald.com, March 3, 2013.
After Juan F. Vega completed 25 years in prison for a series of violent rapes and kidnappings, Miami-Dade jurors were asked to decide whether he posed a danger to society if released. Their decision surprised courthouse observers: Let him go. Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Migna Sanchez-Llorens disregarded their decision and ordered Vega into indefinite civil confinement anyway. Sanchez-Llorens' decision is believed to be the first time in Florida that a judge had sent a convicted sex predator into civil confinement over a jury's verdict. The unique legal battle, bound to be settled at a higher court, has rekindled debate over the Florida law that allows sexual predators to be detained indefinitely after their prison terms.
LAWMAKERS FACING BIG-TICKET DECISIONS IN 2013 SESSION -- South Florida Sun-Sentinel, http://www.sun-sentinel.com, March 3, 2013.
From health care and insurance to teacher raises and election reform, the 60-day session starting Tuesday [March 5] could be a political do-over for a Florida Legislature looking to rewrite some of its controversial recent history. For Gov. Rick Scott, it's a chance to push his proposed $1.2 billion increase in education funding. For House and Senate Republican leaders, it's a chance to undo some of the changes in the election law they wrote in 2011, which was blamed for Election Day lines. And for everybody it's a chance to phase in the provisions of the federal health-care overhaul, which Scott and GOP lawmakers spent two years resisting in court.
ATTORNEY LOVED DELVING INTO COMPLEX CASES -- Orlando Sentinel, http://www.orlandosentinel.com, March 1, 2013.
The more complex an issue was, the more Richard Taylor Jr. liked it. As an attorney for more than 30 years, he enjoyed poring over documents that might make others' eyes glaze over. Taylor, 62, of Longwood died Feb. 20. Taylor served two stints, totaling about 15 years, as Longwood city attorney, from the late 1980s through the early 2000s. He was also a former president of the Seminole County Bar Association.