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.
March 22, 2013
AS ECONOMY AND OPTIMISM IMPROVE, LAW FIRMS RAMP UP HIRING -- South Florida Business Journal, http://www.bizjournals.com, March 22, 2013.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts jobs for attorneys will grow 10 percent between 2010 and 2020, hitting some 801,000 in less than a decade. Leaders at local law firm Kelley Kronenberg are more bullish than federal analysts. The 85-lawyer firm has doubled its size in the last two-plus years – and may double again in the next three, managing partner Michael Fichtel said. Across South Florida, law firms seemingly have emerged from the recession heartened by renewed business and bullish on tomorrow. Several contacted report strong current hiring – and strong prospects for the foreseeable future.
LAW FIRMS FACE CULTURAL INTEGRATION WHEN ENTERING NEW MARKETS -- South Florida Business Journal, http://www.bizjournals.com, March 22, 2013.
The trend toward Miami being a vital link in global networks for the biggest law firms isn’t letting up. The Business Journal recently confirmed that Jones Day, the No. 3 firm in the United States by number of attorneys, was scouting for offices in Miami. In general, Miami is valued as a gateway to Latin America. Despite that, arriving in Miami and hiring a few international attorneys does not guarantee a successful connection. “It’s important to integrate into the community if you want to be a Miami law firm, and that takes time,” said John Sumberg, managing partner with Bilzin Sumberg Baena Price & Axelrod. “Otherwise, you can be here and have a certain international connection, but you won’t become a Miami firm.”
AFTER 38 YEARS, BROWN AND HELLER CLOSES -- Daily Business Review (requires subscription), http://www.dailybusinessreview.com, March 22, 2013.
Miami law firm Brown and Heller has suddenly shut down after losing its only client, Citco Group Ltd., an offshore company that administered the Fairfield Greenwich and Fairfield Century funds being sued by victims of the investment Ponzi scheme perpetrated by Bernard Madoff. After 38 years in operation, the law firm informed 23 attorneys and about 50 staffers last week that it would be closing, and Monday [March 18] was their last day.
FLORIDA SENATE PANEL OKS BILL BANNING PERMANENT ALIMONY -- Jacksonville Business Journal, http://www.bizjournals.com, March 22, 2013.
The Senate Rules Committee earnestly debated Thursday [March 21] morning the merits of a bill that would eliminate permanent alimony from Florida law. While it eliminates permanent alimony, it does keep intact the remaining three types of alimony—bridge the gap, rehabilitative and durational—and makes clear that they can be combined only when the goal is to achieve rehabilitation. “It’s pretty narrowed down from what it was before,” said Sen. Kelli Stargel, R-Lakeland, and bill sponsor. Before the final 12-2 vote in favor of the bill, the committee heard heartfelt debate from supporters. The Family Law Section of The Florida Bar expressed concerns with the provisions as did Sen. Chris Smith (D-Fort Lauderdale).
HOUSE POISED TO BAN INTERNET CAFES -- Florida Capital News, http://www.tallahassee.com, March 22, 2013.
The rush to prohibit the electronic games that Internet cafes and adult arcades rely upon for revenue continued Thursday [March 21] with a rushed reaction to a gambling scandal now a day away from House passage. A little more than a week after the state's lieutenant governor resigned due to ties with a group at the center of a multi-state racketeering and money laundering investigation, the Florida House on Thursday advanced the measure (HB 155) to a final vote. The Senate may vote on a companion bill (SB 1030) next week.
--Civil Justice Issues--
FEDERAL APPEALS JUDGES, MEETING IN MIAMI, QUESTION STATE'S CONTROVERSIAL CUBAN LAW -- Miami Herald, http://www.miamiherald.com, March 22, 2013.
A panel of skeptical federal appeals judges meeting in Miami Thursday [March 21] sharply questioned a Florida law prohibiting the state and local governments from hiring companies with business ties to Cuba. Several questions from the three-judge panel centered on whether the law would conflict with the federal governments power to set foreign policy. Last year, U.S. District Judge K. Michael Moore blocked the law from taking effect, ruling in favor of Odebrecht USA, the Coral Gables-based subsidiary of the Brazilian engineering and construction conglomerate. An affiliate of Odebrecht USA's parent company is heading a major expansion of the Cuban Port of Mariel.
--Criminal Justice Issues--
SUPREME COURT AFFIRMS KILLER'S DEATH SENTENCE -- Lakeland Ledger, http://www.theledger.com, March 22, 2013.
By The Associated Press. The Florida Supreme Court has unanimously affirmed the death sentence of a drifter convicted of abducting and beheading a woman in North Florida's Apalachicola National Forest in 2007. The court on Thursday [March 21] upheld the sentence and kidnapping and murder convictions for 66-year-old Gary Michael Hilton. He was convicted in the murder of Cheryl Dunlap of Crawfordville in North Florida. The court found Hilton's various arguments insufficient to reverse and found the death sentence to be in proportion to the crime.