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.
July 19, 2013
ATTORNEYS CAN APPLY FOR JOB HANDLING CAPITAL CASES -- Chiefland Citizen, http://www.chieflandcitizen.com, July 19, 2013.
The Supreme Court Judicial Nominating Commission is accepting applications for a vacancy for the Capital Collateral Regional Counsel for the Northern Region. Completed applications must be received by the commission in the manner specified by the Rules of Procedure by Monday, Aug. 5. The Northern Region consists of the First, Second, Third, Fourth, Eighth and Fourteenth Judicial Circuits.
CONSTRUCTION WRAPPING UP ON LAKE JUDICIAL COMPLEX -- Leesburg Daily Commercial, http://www.dailycommercial.com, July 19, 2013.
After three years of construction, the $40 million Lake County courthouse expansion is on the verge of completion. The remodel will include six more courtrooms, a larger jury assembly room, and more than a dozen customer service windows for residents to tend to fines, fees and other court-related matters. The structure also will include more office space for the Clerk of Courts and other courthouse divisions. The judicial-center expansion is one of the biggest projects in Lake County's history. Part of it will be funded through a debt service bond that also will pay for nearby buildings in the judicial complex.
FLORIDA LAWMAKERS WANT OVERHAUL OF 'STAND YOUR GROUND' LAW -- Orlando Sentinel, http://www.orlandosentinel.com, July 19, 2013. [Also: BROWARD REPRESENTATIVES CALL ON STATE TO RECONSIDER STAND YOUR GROUND -- South Florida Sun-Sentinel, http://www.sun-sentinel.com, July 19, 2013.]
By Reuters. Democratic leaders of the state's legislature said Tuesday [July 16] that Florida must either repeal its Stand Your Ground self-defense law or enact sweeping changes to avert more tragedies like the fatal shooting of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin. Florida Senate Democratic leaders Chris Smith and Perry Thurston both called for a special session of the state's Republican-dominated legislature to overhaul the law or consider doing away with it. Dozens of young demonstrators have been occupying part of Gov. Rick Scott's office in Tallahassee to press demands that he order the state's lawmakers back to work to toss out or modify the law.
--Criminal Justice Issues--
WHY ONLY SIX IN ON FLORIDA JURIES? LEGISLATOR TO PUSH FOR 12 IN WAKE OF ZIMMERMAN VERDICT -- Orlando Sentinel, http://www.orlandosentinel.com, July 19, 2013.
The Sentinel researches an element of Florida's criminal justice system that allows for only six jurors -- instead of 12 -- to be seated in the majority of felony cases. This fact was highlighted during George Zimmerman's trial and after his acquittal on second-degree murder charges in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. When the all-female jury was chosen, critics pointed out the lack of diversity on the panel. In the wake of Zimmerman's acquittal, Rep. Randolph Bracy, D-Orlando, is calling for state leaders to change Florida's law so that in felony trials juries must have 12 members.
STAND YOUR GROUND APPLIES TO SCHOOL BUS FIGHT, APPEALS COURT RULES -- South Florida Sun-Sentinel, http://www.sun-sentinel.com, July 19, 2013. [Also: 'STAND YOUR GROUND' AT ISSUE IN BROWARD SCHOOL BUS FIGHT -- Palm Beach Post, http://www.pbpost.com, July 19, 2013.]
The 4th District Court of Appeal criticized Broward Circuit Judge Elijah Williams for failing to allow middle school student who got into a fistfight with a girl on a Broward County school bus to use the Stand Your Ground law to defend his actions. The appeals court ruled Wednesday [July 17] that the boy should have been allowed to rely on the law when he was accused of battery because he had the right to be on the school bus. The boy was convicted and sentenced as a juvenile but the appeals court overturned the conviction. The appeals court did not rule on who was telling the truth, and the boy is still facing one count of battery.
A LOCAL MAN'S QUEST TO END DISABILITY STEREOTYPES -- WINK-TV Fort Myers, http://www.winknews.com, July 18, 2013.
Casey O'Halloran, who was born with Down Syndrome, is opening up his life to show everyone that those with disabilities really aren't that different. Besides his work at the Lee County Courthouse, where he has worked for the past 13 years, he is running a business that advocates independent living for people with disabilities. Both of O'Halloran's older brothers and his father are lawyers.