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.
Feb. 18, 2014
HANK COXE RECEIVES NATIONAL AWARD FOR RECRUITING DONORS -- Jacksonville Daily Record, http://www.jaxdailyrecord.com, Feb. 18, 2014.
Hank Coxe, former president of The Florida Bar and the Jacksonville Bar Association, and South Florida attorney Josh Markus this month were awarded the American Bar Foundation's "Outstanding State Chair Award," during the association's midyear meeting in Chicago. The award is annually given to Fellows of the foundation who have shown dedication to the group's mission. Established in 1955, the Fellows of the foundation support academic research that supports the profession. As a co-chair for the past six years, Coxe has been responsible for recruiting attorneys who contribute to that foundation's mission.
FLORIDA BAR FOUNDATION BACKS JALA'S ADVOCACY FOR FOSTER YOUTH -- Jacksonville Daily Record, http://www.jaxdailyrecord.com, Feb. 17, 2014.
Donny MacKenzie, second vice president of The Florida Bar Foundation, writes about the foundation's special annual grants for legal assistance to children. "The foundation's priorities for its Children's Legal Services grants include representation of foster youth and access to special education, medical, developmental and mental health services that are required under law. [Jacksonville Area Legal Aid], a valuable part of this effort, has received $522,555 in Children's Legal Services grants from the foundation since the program began . . . In the face of dramatic and devastating funding cuts due to the economic downturn in 2008 resulting in plunging interest rates, which remain suppressed, the foundation had to examine its funding capabilities. The Children's Legal Services Grant Program continues as one of its top priorities."
--Criminal Justice Issues--
MARY PANKOWSKI: DON'T LET ONE MISTAKE DERAIL YOUR CHILD'S FUTURE -- Tallahassee Democrat, Column, http://www.tallahassee.com, Feb. 18, 2014.
Column by Mary L. Pankowski, former assistant state attorney. Her assignment was as a prosecutor working with juveniles. "Each year, thousands of parents find themselves with children on the wrong side of the law. Many people mistakenly believe that records of these youthful indiscretions are wiped away clean when their child turns 18. However, felonies may remain on a child’s permanent record into adulthood . . . If your child gets in trouble with the law, the next step is damage control to protect his or her future. Find an attorney who can help work with the State Attorney’s Office. If this is the child’s first brush with the law and the circumstances of the crime allow, a prosecutor may be willing to reduce the charges to a misdemeanor . . . If you cannot afford a private attorney, the court will appoint a public defender. No matter whom you work with, it is critical to push your attorney to get the best outcome possible for your child."
DEPORTATION PROGRAM TARGETS FELONS BUT NETS THOSE WITHOUT CRIMINAL RECORDS -- Orlando Sentinel, http://www.orlandosentinel.com, Feb. 18, 2014.
A program intended to remove illegal immigrants who are felons and terrorists has resulted in nearly 6,000 people with no known criminal records being deported from Florida over the past five years, federal records show. The fingerprint-sharing program, called Secure Communities, was designed to tap information from local police to remove those who commit major crimes. Among the deported were 4,442 who had committed only misdemeanors. The program is just part of a surge in deportations from the state over the five-year period that has provoked an outcry from immigrant communities. Immigration officials say they are focusing on the most serious offenders while taking steps to prevent racial profiling. The wave of deportations has roiled Florida's large immigrant community, which seeks reforms that would give most of those now subject to removal a chance to remain here legally.
CHRIS SMITH: GUN LAW NEEDS CLARIFICATION -- South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Column, http://www.sun-sentinel.com, Feb. 18, 2014.
Column by Fort Lauderdale attorney Chris Smith, current Senate Democratic Leader who represents part of Broward County. "The inability of the Jacksonville jury to render a guilty verdict on the murder charge against Michael Dunn once again underscored the havoc that this [Stand Your Ground] law has rendered in our judicial system simply by being a critical component of self-defense . . . I am not against self-defense. But I am opposed to aggressors who self-absolve themselves as victims. Legislation I've been pushing for the past two years would not only better define aggression, but remove the immunity escape hatch. Without the Legislature's action, the greatest tragedy is that my predictions will continue to come true."