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.
Aug. 29, 2013
FOUR TO INTERVIEW FOR U.S. ATTORNEY POST -- Tampa Bay Times, http://www.tampabay.com, Aug. 29, 2013.
A federal Judicial Nominating Commission released names Wednesday [Aug. 28] of four applicants to be interviewed on Sept. 9 for the position of U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Florida. The applicants are U.S. Attorney A. Lee Bentley III; Roger B. Handberg, an assistant U.S. attorney in Orlando; Curry Gary Pajcic, a Jacksonville attorney; and William Charles Vose, a chief assistant state attorney from the Orlando area. The top federal prosecutor's position was vacated by Robert "Bobby" O'Neill, who left in July to join a risk management company. Next, on Sept. 10, the panel will hear from 14 people who hope to become federal district judges.
--Lawyer Ethics/Legal Discipline--
STATE ATTORNEY CALLS FOR SPECIAL PROSECUTOR TO BE APPOINTED TO REVIEW MATT SHIRK'S OFFICE -- Florida Times-Union, http://www.jacksonville.com, Aug. 29, 2013.
State Attorney Angela Corey asked Gov. Rick Scott Wednesday [Aug. 28] to appoint a special prosecutor to review Public Defender Matt Shirk’s office after the Times-Union reported this week about the deletion of public records and questionable behavior in the office. Shirk is facing scrutiny after the Times-Union’s Sunday story of the May and June hiring and firing of two female employees of the Public Defender’s Office. The story details an unusual closeness between Shirk and one of the women he hired. Shirk’s wife confronted one woman and told her she was fired although Shirk's wife was not an employee of the Public Defender’s Office. The story also included information about a voicemail from chief of staff Ron Mallett, in which he says he would like an investigator to sign a newly created resignation letter so that an email did not have to be provided in response to a public records request by a local television station.
--Civil Justice Issues--
COUNTY WADES INTO LEGAL BATTLE OVER INJURY SETTLEMENT -- Gainesville Sun, http://www.gainesville.com, Aug. 29, 2013.
The Alachua County Commission has entered the ongoing legal fight over a lawsuit settlement involving injured county worker Emanuel Baker. The county has filed a lien to recover $1.38 million it paid in workers' compensation benefits on behalf of the worker, who was paralyzed after a utility pole snapped and struck him while working. Last month, the law firm of Gainesville attorney Chris Chestnut reached an $8 million settlement on behalf of Baker with the owners and operators of the utility pole. That settlement, however, has been held up by a lawsuit claiming that Chestnut charged fees and expenses considered excessive under Florida Bar rules. The county's action prevents disbursement of the settlement money to Baker pending resolution of the lien.
--Criminal Justice Issues--
ONCE-MISSING ATTORNEY ACCUSED OF RUNNING PONZI SCHEME -- South Florida Sun-Sentinel, http://www.sun-sentinel.com, Aug. 29, 2013. [Also: MARKETING COMPANY SUES FORMER FUGITIVE ATTORNEY MCCABE -- Daily Business Review (requires subscription), http://www.dailybusinessreview.com, Aug. 28, 2013.]
Timothy McCabe, who disappeared earlier this year and then emerged from hiding to face multiple lawsuits, federal bank fraud charges and ultimately his removal from The Florida Bar, scammed a Delray Beach couple and their mortgage business out of $1.2 million, according to allegations in a newly filed federal civil lawsuit. The suit, brought by McCabe's former friend Marie Pupke and her husband, alleges that McCabe and his colleagues perpetrated what the Pupkes are calling a classic Ponzi scheme. The Pupkes' suit also names five of McCabe's colleagues and several companies.
FORMER JUDGE EDWARD JACKSON, 84, DIES -- Florida Today, http://www.floridatoday.com, Aug. 29, 2013.
A native Brevardian, former Circuit Judge Edward M. Jackson died this week. He was 84. He served as a judge from 1983 to 1998. Jackson attended the University of Florida before leaving to serve in the Korean War. He returned to finish a business degree. Former Circuit Judge Clarence Johnson said they graduated from University of Florida Law School together. The college buddies went to The Florida Bar Convention together when they were honored for 50 years of membership.
STEPHAN J. ROSS -- Tampa Bay Times, http://www.tampabay.com, Aug. 29, 2013.
Stephan J. Ross of Tampa, passed away on Sunday, Aug. 25. He graduated from Stetson College of Law and was a 1st Lieutenant in the U.S. Army. He was recognized with distinction for his 50 years of membership with The Florida Bar this past June. During his lifetime, he held the positions of acting municipal judge for the city of Tampa, U.S. District Court mediator, and president and director of Bay Area Legal Services. Ross received The Florida Bar President's Pro Bono Service Award for legal services in 1982.