The Florida Bar
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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.


Links to online newspapers

March 7, 2014

--The Florida Bar--

FLORIDA SUPREME COURT SAYS TAMPA IMMIGRANT CAN'T GET LAW LICENSE -- Tampa Bay Times, http://www.tampabay.com, March 7, 2014. [Also: UNANIMOUS FLORIDA SUPREME COURT: BECOME LEGAL FIRST, THEN GET LAW LICENSE -- Daily Business Review (requires subscription), http://www.dailybusinessreview.com, March 6, 2014; LAWMAKERS MUST DECIDE WHETHER ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS CAN PRACTICE LAW -- Tampa Tribune, http://www.tbo.com, March 7, 2014; EDITORIAL: LEGISLATURE'S JOB: CORRECT LAW LICENSE UNFAIRNESS -- Tampa Bay Times, Editorial, http://www.tampabay.com, March 7, 2014; SUPREME COURT SAYS 'NO' TO FLORIDA LAW GRAD WITHOUT PAPERS -- Tampa Bay Business Journal, http://www.bizjournals.com, March 7, 2014.]
The Florida Supreme Court ruled unanimously Thursday [March 6] that Tampa immigrant Jose Godinez-Samperio cannot practice law because he's not a citizen, and called on the Legislature to correct what it called an "injustice." The reason for the ruling is a 1996 federal law that denies specific "state public benefits" paid for by taxpayers, such as a license to practice law granted by a state court, to undocumented immigrants unless a state declares an exception. Associate Justice Jorge Labarga wrote an emotional opinion that concurred with his colleagues but cited "the injustice of this decision" and noted Godinez-Samperio's background.

--Judiciary-

PROSECUTOR DONALD "SONNY" MCCATHRAN NAMED TO COUNTY JUDGE'S POST IN HERNANDO -- Tampa Bay Times, http://www.tampabay.com, March 7, 2014.
Donald Sonny McCathran, the supervisor of the State Attorney's Office in Brooksville, has been tapped for Hernando's vacant county judge post. Gov. Rick Scott's office announced Thursday [March 6] that McCathran, 41, will fill the position formerly held by Judge Donald Scaglione. Scott recently appointed Scaglione to a vacant Circuit Court seat in Brooksville. McCathran began his legal career in 1997 as an assistant state attorney in the 5th Circuit. He is a certified legal instructor for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and serves as vice chairman of the 5th Circuit's Florida Bar Grievance Committee.

--Legislature--

DON'T EXPECT AN ALIMONY REFORM BILL IN 2014 -- Tampa Bay Times, http://www.tampabay.com, March 7, 2014.
Family Law Reform, the organization behind the controversial alimony reform bill that Gov. Rick Scott vetoed last session, announced Thursday [March 6] that there will be no new legislation filed during the 2014 session and the bill will not be back. Its passage in the House and Senate infuriated women's groups in 2013. The Family Law Section of The Florida Bar welcomed the news. "We will remain consistent in our advocacy for a system of alimony laws that is sensitive to the unique qualities of every family situation and to resist any push toward a one-size-fits-all system with little or no judicial discretion," said the chair, Elisha D. Roy. 

--Civil Justice Issues--

ENVIRONMENTALISTS APPEAL FLORIDA WATER RULING -- Miami Herald, http://www.miamiherald.com, March 7, 2014.
By The Associated Press. In January, a federal judge in Tallahassee ruled that state and federal authorities could move ahead with an agreement that allows Florida to take the lead in writing and enforcing water pollution rules. Now, environmentalists are appealing the approval of these rules. Environmental groups argued that the state rules had loopholes and that the ruling meant that stricter federal Clean Water Act protections would not apply to two-thirds of Florida waters. The nonprofit environmental law firm Earthjustice filed an appeal Thursday [March 6] in the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta. State environmental and agriculture officials hailed the Jan. 7 decision.

--Other--

STUART GROSSMAN -- South Florida Business Journal, http://www.bizjournals.com, Feb. 20, 2014.
Stuart Z. Grossman from Grossman Roth, P.A., who concentrates his practice on medical malpractice, products liability and personal injury litigation, is the recipient of the 2014 Compassionate Gladiator Award, given by the Florida Justice Association. Each year this award is presented to an individual who exemplifies strength, skill, drive and heart and who can be described as an “unwavering advocate, a master of the trial and a champion for victims."

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[Revised: 03-10-2014]