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. 8, 2013
BILL WOULD EASE LOAN DEBT FOR SOME GOVERNMENT ATTORNEYS -- Florida Bar News, http://www.floridabar.org , Oct. 8, 2013.
Bills prefiled for next year’s legislative session seek to ease the burden of student loan debt for some of Florida’s government lawyers. SB 146, sponsored by Sen. Jeremy Ring, D-Margate, proposes a loan assistance program for assistant state attorneys, assistant public defenders, assistant attorneys general, and assistant statewide prosecutors. A compainion bill, HB 77, filed in the House by Rep. James Waldman, D-Coconut Creek, would also extend loan repayments to assistant regional counsels. Lawyers with three to six years of continuous service would be eligible for $3,000 annually in loan assistance, while attorneys with more than six and no more than 12 years of service would be eligible for $5,000 annually.
COMPREHENSIVE STUDY OF THE FUTURE PRACTICE OF LAW UNDERWAY -- Florida Bar News, http://www.floridabar.org , Oct. 8, 2013.
Florida Bar President Eugene Pettis said the legal profession is going through evolutionary changes, and it’s the 68-member Vision 2016 commission’s job to identify the challenges that lie ahead and set out a framework for meeting them. Pettis has appointed Bar leaders to focus on four broad areas that will greatly affect how lawyers practice in the decades to come. President-elect Greg Coleman will chair the technology subcommittee; Board of Governors member Ray Abadin will study the future of legal education; BOG member Lanse Scriven will chair the Bar admissions subcommittee; and former BOG member Adele Stone will lead the review of the delivery of pro bono/legal services. BOG member Jay Cohen will serve as the commission’s administrator and former American Bar Association President Martha Barnett will serve as special counsel.
INTRODUCING LEGAL AID OF MANASOTA -- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, editorial, http://www.heraldtribune.com , Oct. 8, 2013.
The editorial states: "Legal Aid of Manasota has been an integral part of the community since 1991, but it never had a big coming-out party. So, in a town where fundraisers and galas form an industry, the recent "Lawyers & Legends" event was special. The dinner and fundraising auction drew more than 500 people, honored 20 notable attorneys from Manatee and Sarasota counties, raised money for Legal Aid of Manasota and, more important, raised awareness about the organization -- and the need for its services. Legal Aid of Manasota was created by the local bar associations, is governed by a board whose directors are from Manatee and Sarasota counties, and has been officially recognized by the 12th Judicial Circuit to administer all pro bono services in both counties. . . Lawyers in Manatee and Sarasota counties provided 5,700 hours worth of service to Manasota clients -- an impressive contribution. But there is room for improvement: About 400 of the 1,600 qualified attorneys in the two counties are registered with Legal Aid of Manasota. Legal Aid's website makes it easy for lawyers to register."
UF LEVIN COLLEGE OF LAW BUCKS NATIONAL TREND OF DECREASING ADMISSIONS -- Independent Florida Alligator, http:///www.alligator.com , Oct. 8, 2013.
More than half of law school admissions officers reported cutting their entering law school classes this year, making this the second year in a row law schools reported cutting their entering class sizes, according to results of Kaplan Test Prep Survey released last week. This year, UF Law enrolled a class size of 318, which is about 30 more students than last year’s class, said Robert H. Jerry, dean of UF Law. Even with the increase in UF Law’s entering class size, Jerry said he expects to see a decline in the average credentials of students accepted to UF Law — a median of about one LSAT point, which he said he expects will be on par with the national average. He attributes this expected decline in student credentials to the decrease in law school applicants nationally.
--Legal Ethics/Lawyer Discipline--
EX-ATTORNEY SCOTT SAIDEL GETS THREE YEARS FOR HELPING KIM ROTHSTEIN HIDE JEWELS -- Daily Business Review, http://www.dailybusinessreview.com , Oct. 8, 2013. [Also: FLA. ATTORNEY GETS 3 YEARS IN ROTHSTEIN FRAUD CASE -- Bradenton Herald, http://www.bradenton.com , Oct. 8, 2013.]
Disbarred Boca Raton attorney Scott Saidel was sentenced today to three years in federal prison for helping Kim Rothstein hide jewelry from federal agents after the collapse of a $1.2 billion fraud run by her attorney-husband Scott Rothstein. Saidel agreed to disbarment by The Florida Bar in August. Scott Rothstein, disbarred in 2009, is serving a 50-year prison sentence. His wife and her best friend, Stacie Weisman, are scheduled to be sentenced next month.
CLOSING ARGUMENTS EXPECTED WEDNESDAY FOR ALLIED ATTORNEY MATHIS -- Florida Times-Union, http://www.jacksonville.com , Oct. 8, 2013. [Also: MATHIS ATTORNEYS WILL ASK FOR CHARGES TO BE TOSSED -- Bradenton Herald, http://www.bradenton.com ; ALLIED VETERANS TRIAL WINDS DOWN -- Charlotte Sun Herald, http://www.yoursun.com.]
The trial of a Jacksonville attorney charged with using a veterans group to help build a network of storefront casinos throughout Florida was winding down Monday [Oct. 7]. Closing arguments for attorney Kelly Mathis’ trial are scheduled for Wednesday [Oct. 9]. Mathis is charged with about 100 counts of illegal gambling, possessing slot machines and racketeering. He has pleaded not guilty, claiming he merely gave legal advice to the Allied Veterans of the World affiliates.