The Florida Bar

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.

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March 31, 2014

--Legal Profession--

DAWSON OFFICIALLY NAMED INTERIM LAW DEAN -- Gainesville Sun,, March 28, 2014.
University of Florida President Bernie Machen on Friday [March 28] announced the appointment of longtime law professor George Dawson as interim dean until a new search can be launched to find a successor to Dean Robert Jerry. Jerry announced last August that he would step down in July, and a nationwide search for his replacement was begun. Dawson sat on the search committee that ultimately forwarded a slate of three candidates to Machen and Provost Joe Glover. Machen said all three were well-qualified but lacked the transformative leadership qualities he was looking for to get the Levin College of Law to the next level. Dawson, who joined UF Law in 1981, is a former associate dean for academic affairs and serves as director of the College of Law Summer Program in France.

The Palm Beach County Bar Association has renamed its Professionalism Award after Sidney A. Stubbs, an attorney with nearly 50 years of experience in corporate litigation. He is a shareholder of Jones, Foster, Johnston & Stubbs, past president of the Bar Association, and served as special counsel to former Gov. Bob Graham in the 1980s. Scott G. Hawkins, a director of the same law firm and past president of The Florida Bar, became the first recipient of the Sidney A. Stubbs Professionalism Award at the March bar meeting.


NEWEST VOLUSIA CIRCUIT JUDGE SWORN IN -- Daytona Beach News-Journal,, March 28, 2014.
Circuit Judge Dawn D. Nichols received her robe Friday [March 28] during a formal investiture ceremony. The ceremony for Nichols, who presides over family law cases at the Volusia County Courthouse in DeLand, was held Friday afternoon at the Museum of Arts and Sciences in Daytona Beach. Nichols was appointed by Gov. Rick Scott to fill the vacancy left by retired Judge Hubert L. Grimes.

--Criminal Justice Issues--

Career criminal Robert Spiker is set to be sentenced in federal court in Jacksonville Monday [March 31] morning on charges of threatening to kill recently retired U.S. Magistrate Tom Morris and veteran federal prosecutor Mark Devereaux in retaliation for a perjury case against him. Spiker first appeared before Morris after a 2012 indictment where Devereaux was the prosecutor. Spiker hatched his plans to retaliate against both men while being held in prison last spring. He told an unidentified inmate in March 2013 that he planned to kill Devereaux. Authorities were told about the plot and found Spiker carrying a shank to court a few days later. Authorities also recorded a prison telephone conversation in which Spiker promised an undercover officer posing as a contract killer that he would be paid $2,000 for Devereaux's death. About the time the Devereaux plot was developing, Spiker told two inmates about his intent to have Morris killed.


ATTY. FRANK SYLVESTER STEWART -- Tampa Bay Times,, March 28, 2014.
Atty. Frank Sylvester Stewart of Tampa passed away on Saturday, March 22. Stewart attended North Carolina Central University in 1973 and obtained a Jurist Doctorate. He was admitted to The Florida Bar in 1975. In Hillsborough County, he worked at the State Attorney's Office from 1976 to 1981. Stewart opened his private practice in 1981, where he served the community faithfully until 2007.

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[Revised: 04-01-2014]