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

Feb. 20, 2014

--Legal Profession--

FIU LAW DEAN ALEXANDER ACOSTA INTERVIEWING FOR UF LAW DEAN POST -- Gainesville Sun, http://www.gainesville.com, Feb. 20, 2014. [Also: CANDIDATE WITH LOCAL ROOTS VYING TO BECOME UF LAW SCHOOL DEAN -- Gainesville Sun, http://www.gainesville.com, Feb. 19, 2014.]
The Gainesville Sun features profiles on two of the four remaining candidates for the position of dean of the University of Florida Levin College of Law. Alexander Acosta, current dean of the Florida International University College of Law, told the 11-member search committee at his 75-minute screening interview three weeks ago that he felt his combination of academic, government and prosecutorial experience made him uniquely qualified. David Brennen, the dean of the University of Kentucky College of Law, has taught tax law during his entire academic career and has cultivated an expertise in non-profit tax law, edited several blogs, journals and newsletters about tax law, written or co-written books and published more than two dozen articles on the subject.

LAW STUDENTS FAVOR MAJOR CHANGES TO CURRICULUM -- Central Florida Future, http://www.centralfloridafuture.com, Feb. 20, 2014.
A Kaplan Test Prep survey conducted in October through December of last year showed that of the 1,378 University of Central Florida students surveyed, the majority was supportive of major changes to the law school curriculum. UCF is one of the largest sources of applicants to law schools. The Kaplan Test Prep press release of the survey showed that 58 percent of the students surveyed favored a shorter law school model. According to the survey, 97 percent of pre-law students prefer a model that incorporates more opportunities for students to gain experience. The survey also indicates that 71 percent of JD programs surveyed are introducing more clinical courses and practical training in their curricula.

ATTORNEY TURNS OUT HIS OWN LINE OF WINE FOR ANNUAL PANKAUSKI POUR FUNDRAISER -- Palm Beach Post, http://www.pbpost.com, Feb. 19, 2014.
John Pankauski, managing attorney of Pankauski Law Firm PLLC, is the founder and organizer of the Pankauski Pour. Now in its third year, proceeds from the wine tasting event benefit the Legal Aid Society of the Palm Beaches. While Pankauski has always donated wines from his personal stash to The Pour and other events, this year he takes it one step further, working with Napa winemaker Julien Fayard to produce his own line from Pankauski Cellars, LLC. His first release — 25 cases each of chardonnay, pinot noir, cabernet sauvignon and a red field blend — will be given away as gifts and served at charitable events, like this year’s Pour.

--Criminal Justice Issues--

FIFTH ATTORNEY LINKED TO ROTHSTEIN PONZI SCHEME PLANS GUILTY PLEA -- South Florida Business Journal, http://www.bizjournals.com, Feb. 20, 2014. [Also: WHO IS PLEADING GUILTY NOW FOR ROLE IN ROTHSTEIN SCHEME? -- Daily Business Review, http://www.dailybusinessreview.com, Feb. 20, 2014; GUILTY PLEA SCHEDULED FOR BROWARD LAWYER CHARGED IN ROTHSTEIN FRAUD -- South Florida Sun-Sentinel, http://www.sun-sentinel.com, Feb. 20, 2014.]
Plantation attorney Douglas Bates has indicated he will plead guilty to charges of fraud connected to the Scott Rothstein Ponzi scheme. Bates will become the fifth attorney besides Rothstein himself to be convicted of a felony in connection with Rothstein’s $1.4 billion fraud. Bates had been scheduled for trial next week on charges that he aided Rothstein’s scheme by falsely vouching to investors that Rothstein’s law firm was handling a large volume of legal settlements, while Rothstein was concocting phony lawsuit settlements and selling interest in them. Bates previously pleaded not guilty to the charges, but his attorneys on Wednesday [Feb. 19] filed a motion for a change of plea hearing.

TESTIMONY GIVES RARE DETAILS OF FLA. EXECUTIONS -- Tampa Bay Times, http://www.tampabay.com, Feb. 20, 2014.
By The Associated Press.
Timothy Cannon, the state corrections official who stands beside condemned inmates in Florida's death chamber, gave testimony during a Feb. 11 hearing in a lawsuit involving Paul Howell, a Death Row inmate scheduled to die by lethal injection Feb. 26. Howell is appealing his execution; his lawyers say the first of the injected drugs, midazolam, isn't effective at preventing the pain of the subsequent drugs. The testimony is notable because it shows that the Department of Corrections has changed its procedures since the state started using a new cocktail of lethal injection drugs. Cannon told a Leon County court that an additional inmate "consciousness check" is now given due to news media reports and other testimony stemming from the Oct. 15 execution of William Happ. Corrections spokeswoman Jessica Cary said on Wednesday [Feb. 19] that the department "remains committed to doing everything it can to ensure a humane and dignified lethal injection process."

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[Revised: 02-21-2014]