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.
Sept. 23, 2013
TWO GAINESVILLE LAWYERS EARN BOARD CERTIFICATION -- Gainesville Sun, http://www.gainesville.com, Sept. 23, 2013.
Two Gainesville lawyers are among 94 statewide who recently earned Florida Bar board certification, a designation that places them among the only group of Florida lawyers who may use the term “specialist” when referring to their legal credentials. They are Andrei Boyarshinov of Shands Corporate Legal Services, who practices health law; and Noah H. Rashkind of the Office of the Public Defender in Gainesville, who practices criminal trial law. Board certified lawyers are evaluated for their special knowledge, skills and proficiency in various areas of law and professionalism and ethics in practice.
DYCKMAN: DOUGLASS CANNY IN CASES BIG AND SMALL -- Tampa Bay Times, Column, http://www.tampabay.com, Sept. 21, 2013.
Column by Martin Dyckman, retired associate editor of the Tampa Bay Times. Dexter Douglass' death last Tuesday [Sept. 17] of cancer at the age of 83 was mourned statewide. Dyckman calls Douglass "a most entertaining, unpretentious likable guy," and notes that "to have known him in many capacities -- defense lawyer, general counsel to Gov. Lawton Chiles, chair of a successful Constitution Revision Commission, and raconteur who would keep you lingering long after the plates had been cleared -- was an unforgettable pleasure." Dyckman writes that although Douglass lost two races for elected office, "few people have left so many enduring marks on their state."
FIVE OF SIX ATTORNEYS ON SHORTLIST FOR 19TH CIRCUIT JUDGESHIP FROM TREASURE COAST -- Jupiter Courier (requires subscription), http://www.tcpalm.com, Sept. 20, 2013.
Five of the six attorneys on the shortlist for appointment to fill a vacancy on the 19th circuit bench are from the Treasure Coast. The 19th Circuit Judicial Nominating Commission submitted the list of six names to Gov. Rick Scott on Friday [Sept. 20], a day after interviewing the nine applicants. The governor has 60 days to select one from the list to replace Judge Mark W. Klingensmith, the onetime Sewall's Point mayor whom the governor recently elevated to the 4th District Court of Appeal. Those on the shortlist are Laurie E. Buchanan, a Martin County hearing officer; Mark E. Hill, a former staff attorney for the state now in private practice; Stephen J. Rogers, a former assistant public defender also in private practice; Charles A. Schwab, a sole practitioner in Port St. Lucie; Preethi Sekharan, an associate with the Stuart office of Gunster, Yoakley & Stewart, P.A.; and Manuel Farach, of the West Palm Beach firm Richman Greer.
DIVERSITY ON THE BENCH? -- Ocala Star Banner, http://www.ocala.com, Sept. 22, 2013.
As Circuit Judge Sandra Edwards-Stephens, who is black, readies for retirement — Oct. 31 will be her last day on the bench — she will leave behind no other minority judges in the 5th judicial circuit, which covers Marion, Citrus, Lake, Sumter and Hernando counties. Minority representation is evident in other parts of government within the circuit but achieving racial diversity is tougher at the judicial level. Gov. Rick Scott will make the appointment to replace Edwards-Stephens. Helping him will be the 5th Circuit Judicial Nominating Commission. Some members of the black community who were interviewed for the story hope the final list the governor receives includes qualified minority candidates.
--Lawyer Ethics/Legal Discipline--
BAR WON'T FILE ETHICS CHARGES AGAINST BLOGGER BILL GELIN -- Daily Business Review (requires subscription), http://www.dailybusinessreview.com, Sept. 21, 2013. [Also: MAYO: FREE SPEECH LIVES, EVEN FOR LAWYERS -- South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Column, http://www.sun-sentinel.com, Sept. 21, 2013.]
The Florida Bar found no probable cause to file ethics charges against Oakland Park attorney Bill Gelin for writing a popular courthouse blog. He received written notice Monday [Sept. 16] that hise had been reviewed by a grievance committee and the complaints were found to be without merit. The Bar's investigation, which began in the spring, stirred open resentment from attorneys across South Florida, with other attorney bloggers publishing statements of support for Gelin's right to free speech. Gelin was ordered to respond to a long list of questions about his editorial control of statements made and pictures published on JAABlog about Broward County Court Judge Robert Diaz and Palm Beach County Court Judge Marni Bryson.
STAND YOUR GROUND SPONSOR DEFENDS LAW, BUT SAYS HE'S OPEN TO 'IMPROVEMENTS' DURING PANEL DEBATE -- Palm Beach Post, http://www.pbpost.com, Sept. 21, 2013.
Sen. David Simmons, R-Altamonte Springs, who as a House member in 2005 was a key backer of Florida’s controversial “stand your ground” self-defense law, defended it as common-sense legislation today but said he’s open to “improvements” during a panel discussion at a Forum Club of the Palm Beaches luncheon. Simmons also served on a task force appointed by Gov. Rick Scott to eva casluate the law after the 2012 shooting death of Trayvon Martin. He’s now sponsoring a bill to make some fixes to it. Simmons took part in a fast-moving panel discussion that included defenders and opponents of the law.
ROBERTA STANLEY: ALIMONY REFORM SHOULD STAND FOR FAIRNESS -- South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Opinion Column, http://www.sun-sentinel.com, Sept. 21, 2013.
Column by attorney Roberta Stanley, board certified in marital and family law by The Florida Bar and fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. Stanley writes that "as some Florida legislators pursue an overhaul of our state's permanent alimony law, they should consider that reasonable change must avoid extremes in favor of thoughtful moderation . . . be fair in the context of real life situations and preserve the discretion of judges to determine the best scenario for each family." Stanley concludes that "removing common sense from the legal process is not a prescription for prudent outcomes. Alimony reform should not be pro-husband or pro-wife. It should be pro-fairness for the families of Florida."