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. 22, 2013
--The Florida Bar--
PETTIS: LEADERS MUST HELP SHAPE THE PROFESSIONS' FUTURE -- The Florida Bar News, http://www.flabar.org, Nov. 1, 2013.
Technology is driving evolutionary changes affecting the practice of law, and it is up to legal leaders to take an active role in molding the profession’s future. That’s the message Florida Bar President Eugene Pettis brought to the Board of Governors at its October meeting, as he encouraged each of them to carefully follow — and participate in — the work of the Vision 2016 commission, which recently embarked on its three-year comprehensive study of the future practice of law. The 68-member Vision 2016 commission met for the first time in Tampa in September, focusing on four broad areas that will greatly affect how lawyers practice in the decades to come: technology, legal education, admissions, and delivery of pro bono/legal services. The Bar has created a Vision 2016 interactive page on its website, Pettis said, so board members, other attorneys, and the public can review the commission’s materials and work product.
NOVA SOUTHEASTERN UNIVERSITY'S LAW SCHOOL SEEKS NEW DEAN -- Daily Business Review (requires subscription), http://www.dailybusinessreview.com, Oct. 21, 2013.
Athornia Steele, dean of the Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad Law Center, stepped down last month after exactly five years in the position. Steele, Nova's first black law school dean, will take a one-year sabbatical before returning as a law professor at Nova. Nova appointed Elena Langan, former associate dean of academic affairs, as interim dean effective Sept. 17. A nine-member national search committee has been appointed to find a replacement. Steele headed the law school when national enrollment sharply declined, law graduate hiring stagnated and President Barack Obama suggested law schools should switch from three-year to two-year programs.
PINELLAS PARK DEFENSE LAWYER FINDING SUCCESS -- Tampa Tribune, http://www.tbo.com, Oct. 21, 2013.
Profile of Kelly McCabe, an up-and-coming defense attorney and single mother of two adopted boys who has had three acquittals this year, one right after the other. She's only been on the local criminal defense scene for 17 months. McCabe, who grew up and attended college in Ohio, graduated from Stetson University College of Law in Gulfport, where she received her law degree in 2003. From there she worked as a prosecutor for three years at the Polk County State Attorney's Office. After a stint with a small Manatee County law firm, McCabe decided to return to criminal law and joined forces with Wendy Doyle, a family law attorney, in a small St. Petersburg office. Many of her clients are from South St. Petersburg's predominantly black and poor neighborhoods.
ANNUAL TRADITION CONTINUES WITH FLORIDA/GEORGIA MOOT COURT CONTEST -- Jacksonville Daily Record, http://www.jaxdailyrecord.com, Oct. 21, 2013.
The 33rd annual Florida/Georgia moot court competition will be Friday, Nov. 1, at the Bryan Simpson U.S. Courthouse in Jacksonville. Regarded as a tradition in the Jacksonville legal community, this competition between the University of Florida and University of Georgia Colleges of Law is held annually on the Friday before the Florida-Georgia football game. The competition replicates an argument before the U.S. Supreme Court concerning a current, but unresolved issue of federal constitutional law.
LAWYER EDWIN SCALES III, LAKELAND NATIVE, APPOINTED TO 3RD DCA -- Lakeland Ledger, http://www.theledger.com, Oct. 21, 2013.
Profile of Lakeland native Edwin Scales III. Gov. Rick Scott has appointed Scales, the general counsel for the Florida Citrus Commission in Bartow, to the 3rd District Court of Appeal in Miami. Scales was one of six nominees sent to Gov. Rick Scott by the 3rd District's Judicial Nominating Commission. He will replace retiring Judge Angel Cortinas in January. His mother, Virginia Scales, 86, of Lakeland said being a TV anchorman was her son's initial ambition, but he became interested in the law after working at the former Lakeland firm of Lane, Trohn while attending Lakeland High School, where he graduated in 1984. Despite a demanding legal career, Scales has managed to keep one foot in the broadcast business. While living in Lakeland, he was a country music DJ at WPCV-FM. Since 1999, he has hosted the Ed Scales show, a four-hour rock 'n' roll program Sundays on WWUS-FM in Key West.
--Lawyer Ethics/Legal Discipline--
FOR SOME, VERDICT FAILS TO CLEAR UP CONFUSION OVER CYBER CAFES -- Florida Times-Union (requires subscription), http://www.jacksonville.com, Oct. 22, 2013.
Kelly Mathis is one of 57 people to be arrested in the Allied Veterans of the World case but the first to go to trial. Before the trial began, Mathis told the Times-Union he would not seek a plea deal under any circumstances, and would get acquitted and then work to rebuild his law practice, but now, disbarment likely awaits him. Jim Watson, a lawyer with The Florida Bar, said documents are already being filed to suspend Mathis’ law license. A formal disbarment hearing will follow. Under the rules, the Bar does not initiate any formal discipline while someone is facing criminal charges, but since Mathis is now convicted, the organization will move forward, Watson said.
--Criminal Justice Issues--
SUPREME COURT WILL RULE ON ROLE OF MENTAL DISABILITY IN DEATH ROW CASE -- Miami Herald, http://www.miamiherald.com, Oct. 21, 2013. [Also: HIGH COURT TO LOOK AT DEATH ROW INMATE WITH LOW IQ -- Tampa Tribune, http://www.tbo.com, Oct. 21, 2013.]
The U.S. Supreme Court will use the case of Freddie Lee Hall to judge Florida's strict standard for determining when a convicted criminal's mental disability is severe enough to rule out the death penalty. On Monday [Oct. 21], the high court announced that it will hear Hall's challenge to Florida's rule that a convicted criminal must have a tested IQ of 69 or lower in order to be deemed intellectually disabled. This determination is a matter of life or death, as the Supreme Court has ruled previously that the intellectually disabled formerly referred to as the mentally retarded cannot face the death penalty. According to a 1993 dissenting opinion in the Florida Supreme Court, Hall had an IQ of 60, was functionally illiterate and has the short-term memory of a first-grader. In later years, though, Halls IQ was variously measured at 71 and 73. The court's decision to hear Hall's appeal means that at least four of the nine justices are interested in revisiting a 2012 Florida Supreme Court opinion that rejected the inmate's death-penalty challenge.