The Florida Bar

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.

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March 28, 2013

--Legal Profession--

Three days a week, attorney Bill Broome joins a couple friends for a bike ride. It’s not just a leisurely pedal around the neighborhood. Broome and his colleagues, attorney Tom Howard and Judge Glenn Kelley, are in training for the 75-mile MS Bike Ride on April 20. The cause hits home for Broome, whose wife, Linda, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1992. The goal of the bike ride is raise money to support research, programs and services to more than 7,000 South Floridians affected by multiple sclerosis, an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system. Broome, who does real estate, probate and commercial litigation, has been riding in the fundraiser every year since 2003.


EDITORIAL: OPEN UP HIGH COURT TO CAMERAS -- Tampa Bay Times, Editorial,, March 28, 2013.
Cameras in the courtroom have become a ubiquitous part of the nation's legal process, from local bond hearings to arguments before the Florida Supreme Court. But the U.S. Supreme Court continues to ban their presence during oral arguments before the nine justices, denying the public the opportunity to witness compelling debates over critically important legal questions such as California's ban on gay marriage and the federal Defense of Marriage Act. Audiotapes of this week's arguments were compelling, but they are no substitute for live television . . . The high court missed an opportunity to pull back the curtain on how it goes about its business. Lady Justice may be blind, but that doesn't mean the public should remain in the dark and unable to watch the nation's highest court.

--Lawyer Ethics/Legal Discipline--

SUPREME COURT DISCIPLINES 22 ATTORNEYS -- Florida Bar News,, March 27, 2013. [Also: LOCAL ATTORNEY DISBARRED, ANOTHER PLACED ON PROBATION -- Daytona Beach News-Journal,, March 28, 2013; MILTON ATTORNEY SUSPENDED -- Pensacola News Journal,, March 28, 2013.]
The Florida Bar, the state's guardian for the integrity of the legal profession, announces that the Florida Supreme Court in recent court orders disciplined 22 attorneys; disbarring five, suspending 13 and publicly reprimanding four. Three attorneys received more than one form of discipline. Two were placed on probation and one was ordered to pay restitution.


BILL TO FAST TRACK FORECLOSURES HAS SPARKED A RARE INTERNAL FLORIDA BAR FIGHT -- Daily Business Review, (requires subscription),, March 28, 2013.
A controversial bill that aims to fast track foreclosures has sparked a rare internal fight among members of an influential Florida Bar section. On one side are Bar members who assist homeowners facing foreclosure, who claim the bill would benefit lenders, title companies and retired judges while eroding homeowners' due process rights. Opposing them are members of the Bar's Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section who hired a lobbyist to get the bill passed in Tallahassee. They say the bill offers many new protections to distressed homeowners and buyers of repossessed homes.

Struggling Florida homeowners and consumer advocates are questioning how plans by state lawmakers to spend $200 million in bank foreclosure reparations will stave off foreclosures. The plans, which in the Florida House's version include paying for college dorm rooms, domestic abuse shelters and mortgage down payments for assistant state attorneys, are being pitched as ways to spend part of the state's take from the National Mortgage Settlement. But critics of the proposals say the beneficiaries may be good causes, but not who the settlement money was intended to help: homeowners facing foreclosure.

--Civil Justice Issues--

ORANGE'S 'TEXTGATE' LEGAL COSTS GROW AT UP TO $250 AN HOUR -- Orlando Sentinel,, March 28, 2013.
Five months into the Orange County "textgate" legal struggle, records released Tuesday [March 26] show taxpayers face up to $250 an hour in future attorney fees for a case that already has cost $70,500. "Textgate" emerged after records revealed that several commissioners and top officials texted opponents about a sick-time initiative that would require many businesses to provide paid time off for ailing employees. Some texts were either lost or deleted, and at least some of those could be public records. While the Florida Department of Law Enforcement continues its own probe, a civil suit filed in October by Citizens for a Greater Orange County alleges commissioners violated state public-record and open-meeting laws. If Orange County loses that case, Florida law could require taxpayers to pay the legal bills of both sides.

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[Revised: 04-01-2013]