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.
Oct. 17, 2013
--The Florida Bar--
THREE PRINT AND BROADCAST ENTRIES STAND OUT IN THE FLORIDA BAR'S 58TH ANNUAL MEDIA AWARDS COMPETITION -- The Florida Bar News, http://www.floridabar.org, Oct. 16, 2013. [Also: WESH 2'S GREG FOX WINS 2ND FLORIDA BAR MEDIA AWARD -- Wesh 2 Orlando, http://www.wesh.com, Oct. 16, 2013.]
Two newspapers and one TV station are winners of The Florida Bar Media Awards competition. Florida Bar President Eugene K. Pettis presented plaques to journalists from the Orlando Sentinel, Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers and WESH-TV (NBC Orlando) on Oct. 14 at the Bar’s Reporters’ Workshop dinner in Tallahassee. The 58th annual contest, sponsored by the Media & Communications Law Committee of The Florida Bar, recognizes outstanding journalism highlighting the system of law and justice as it affects Floridians. The Orlando Sentinel won first prize in print for a series of editorials on the judicial system. Opinions editor Paul Owens alerted the public to what he called “significant threats to the independence of Florida courts." Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers took second-place honors in print. Reporter Melissa Holsman took an in-depth look at the appeal process of Death Row inmates in Florida. In the broadcast category, WESH-TV News Channel 2 of Orlando received a first-prize honor for “TextGate,” an investigative series by reporter Greg Fox.
CARIBBEAN BAR ASSOCIATION ELECTS NEW OFFICERS -- South Florida Times, http://www.sfltimes.com, Oct. 17, 2013.
The Caribbean Bar Association recently elected new officers for the 2013-2014 year. The new officers were officially installed at the 17th Annual Caribbean Bar Association "Aspire to Inspire" Scholarship Banquet on Saturday, Sept. 28, at the Miami Marriott Biscayne Bay. "The CBA proudly recognizes outstanding advocates in the Caribbean-American community, who fight injustice and educate the public about pressing issues facing them, and generated much needed funding for our scholarship program," said President Alison F. Smith. The Caribbean Bar Association is based in Miami with more than 150 attorneys from the Caribbean-American community in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties.
LAW FIRM HONORED FOR COMMUNITY SERVICE -- Palm Beach Post (requires subscription), http://www.pbpost.com, Oct. 17, 2013.
The Lesser, Lesser, Landy & Smith law firm recently earned the Business Development Board’s prestigious Business of Character Award. Gary Lesser received the award on the firm’s behalf at a luncheon last month. His grandfather, Joseph Lesser, started the law firm in 1927 in West Palm Beach and Gary Lesser expanded into Martin County about 10 years ago. Lesser and senior attorneys Joshua Ferraro and Chad Hastings make up the Martin County office, along with aides, paralegals and assistants. Everyone is expected to participate in their community in some way, said Ferraro. Lesser was influenced by his grandfather’s belief that volunteering and working in your community is not a service you provide, it is a debt you must repay.
LOCAL ATTORNEYS AND LIBRARIANS TEAM UP DURING 'CELEBRATE PRO BONO WEEK' -- East Lake Blister, http://www.eastlakeblister.com, Oct. 17, 2013.
Lawyers in the St. Petersburg area and local libraries are teaming up to offer informational sessions about free legal resources, online access, choosing a lawyer and more, during Celebrate Pro Bono Week, Oct. 22 to 26. The Florida Lawyers in Libraries program aims to make it easier for Florida residents to find the legal resources they need. During each session, library patrons also will be able to talk directly with a lawyer about free legal resources, how to find and choose a lawyer, tips for going it alone in court, and why access to justice is important to local communities. The “Lawyers in Libraries” events are free and open to the public in nine designated libraries in southern Pinellas County, including six public libraries in St. Petersburg.
APPOINTMENTS MADE TO JUDICIAL NOMINATING COMMISSION -- Panama City News Herald, http://www.newsherald.com, Oct. 17, 2013.
Gov. Rick Scott Wednesday [Oct. 16] tapped two Panama City lawyers to serve on the 14th Judicial Circuit Nominating Commission. Both Charles D. Morris and Gregory T. Wilson began serving on the commission Wednesday. The judicial circuit includes Bay, Calhoun, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson and Washington counties. Morris, 38, is a lawyer at Shepard Law in Panama City. He replaces R. Waylon Thompson on the commission and his term ends July 1, 2015. Wilson, 42, serves as chief assistant state attorney in the 14th Judicial Circuit State Attorney’s Office. He fills Dr. Raymond H. Layne’s seat and his term ends July 1, 2016.
--Criminal Justice Issues--
EDITORIAL: JUDGE KEEPS GOODMAN TRIAL WHERE IT BELONGS -- Palm Beach Post (requires subscription), Editorial, http://www.pbpost.com, Oct. 17, 2013.
Andrew Marra writes for the Post editorial board. Marra applauds Circuit Judge Jeffrey Colbath's decision to continue the re-trial of Wellington polo mogul John Goodman in Palm Beach County. The club owner was convicted of DUI manslaughter and failure to render aid. His attorneys claim there are signs of excessive familiarity with, or bias, against Goodman in the vast pool of potential jurors. "Moving the trial would be costly and disruptive, and for all the publicity there’s little indication that a fair jury couldn’t be found," Marra asserts. The editorial considers that the claims about overexposure of the case in the media and “wealth bias” against Goodman appear insufficient to merit such a drastic step.