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.
May 8, 2014
CHIEF JUSTICE IS LAW DAY SPEAKER -- Sebring Highlands Today, http://highlandstoday.com, May 8, 2014.
Florida Chief Justice Ricky Polston is slated to be the guest speaker for the Law Day luncheon noon Thursday [May 8] at Sebring Civic Center. Polston graduated from Florida State University Law School in 1986 and has served on the First District Court of Appeals beginning in 2001. He has been on the Supreme Court since 2008.
THE FLORIDA SUPREME COURT NEEDS TO TAKE ACTION TO SAVE YOUNG LIVES -- Tampa Tribune, Column, http://tbo.com, May 8, 2014.
Martha Lopez-Anderson, chair of the board of directors of Parent Heart Watch, wrote in her column for the Tampa Tribune that the Florida Supreme Court needs to take action to save young lives when it comes to requiring Automatic External Defibrillators (AEDs) in high schools. In a lawsuit brought by the parents of a student who suffered a severe brain injury, an appellate court ruled that under the current state of the law, the School Board had no common law duty to make available, diagnose the need for or use an AED. The Florida Supreme Court is reviewing this decision, in which the appellate court, unfortunately, missed an opportunity to establish public policy requiring the use of AEDs in locations, specifically in public schools, where the state Legislature has mandated their presence.
WATCH OUT FOR THE 'JUROR SCAM' -- Tampa Bay Times, http://www.tampabay.com, May 8, 2014.
Pinellas-Pasco courts spokesman Ron Stuart warns area residents to be on the lookout for a juror scam asking them to pay a fine for missing jury service. A Largo woman recently got a call from someone telling her she needed to pay a fine for missing jury service. The caller wanted her credit card information. Instead, she called the courthouse to confirm and learned it was a scam.
--Legal Ethics/Lawyer Discipline--
ASSISTANT BROWARD STATE ATTORNEY CHARGED WITH DRUG POSSESSION -- Sun Sentinel, http://www.sun-sentinel.com, May 8, 2014.
Molena Mompoint, 32 -- an assistant state attorney with the Broward State Attorney’s Office -- was suspended without pay after she was arrested for possession of methamphetamine. Police stopped her for an expired tag, which was not registered to the vehicle she was driving, according to the police report. Inside the vehicle, the officer found a clear bag with .1 g of a white powder, which later tested positive as methamphetamine. Mompoint, who has been with the Broward State Attorney’s office for about a hear and a half, reportedly told the officer it belonged to one of her attorney friends.
--Criminal Justice Issues--
STATE ATTORNEY: CHARGES POSSIBLE IN JAIL EXPLOSION -- Gainesville Sun, http://www.gainesville.com. May 7, 2014
A deadly jail explosion -- which killed two inmates, paralyzed a detention officer and injured about 200 others -- following a torrential storm in Escambia County may lead to criminal negligence charges if investigators find authorities failed to evacuate the building after smelling gas, a state attorney said Wednesday. The investigation will likely take months and criminal charges would only be filed if, after careful review, it is found that any jail authority was grossly negligent by not acting to ensure the safety of people in the jail.
LEGISLATION COULD LIMIT GROWTH OF FLORIDA VACATION RENTALS -- Jacksonville Business Journal, http://www.bizjournals.com, May 7, 2014.
After Flagler County residents complained of mini-hotels springing up in residential neighborhoods, Flagler County Republicans John Thrasher and Travis Jutson filed twin House and Senate bills to repeal a 2011 bill that removed local governments' ability to regulate the rentals. The bills passed and are expected to be signed into law shortly. Critics of the legislation contend that Florida has achieved three consecutive years of of record-setting tourism numbers -- in part by allowing homeowners to seasonally rent their properties.