The Florida Bar

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.

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Nov. 21, 2012

--Legal Profession--

JIM KOWALSKI TAPPED AS JALA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR-- Jacksonville Daily Record,, Nov. 21, 2012.
Jacksonville Area Legal Aid announced Tuesday [Nov. 20] that attorney James Kowalski Jr. has been named executive director, replacing Michael Figgins, who resigned in January to become the executive director of Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma. "Beyond his skills in managing the organization, Jim brings a deep commitment to JALA's mission of public service with him to the role," said Renee Harrell, board president, in a news release. Kowalski joined the State Attorney's Office and served as an assistant state attorney from 1989-96, acting as division chief of the County Court Public Corruption Unit and senior trial attorney in the Special Assault and Sex Crimes and Repeat Offender Court divisions. In June 2011, Kowalski was named Consumer Protection Lawyer of the Year by the Consumer Protection Law Committee of The Florida Bar. He is also a two-time winner of The Florida Bar President's Pro Bono Service Award.


ELECTION OFFERS HOPE FOR JUDICIAL NOMINEES-- Daily Business Review,, Nov. 21, 2012.
The article is by the National Law Journal. President Barack Obama won the chance to continue appointing federal appellate and district judges, but his nominees still will have to navigate the same partisan political realities on Capitol Hill that have caused so much gridlock in the past two years. There are signs the next couple of years might work out differently for Obama's 35 pending federal district and appellate court nominees than the past four. Obama's re-election bolstered their confirmation hopes, especially those who have bipartisan support, nominations experts say. Now, if judicial confirmations aren't addressed during the upcoming lame duck session, most if not all of these candidates will be renominated, and many will have a shot at confirmation next year. [Subscription required.]

--Civil Justice Issues--

In a landmark robo-signing case, a former executive of a Jacksonville mortgage-processing giant faces up to five years in prison after pleading guilty to orchestrating years of fraudulent foreclosure documents, according to a plea deal filed Tuesday [Nov. 20] in Jacksonville federal court. Lorraine Brown, who headed a Georgia processing firm, DocX, that earned tens of millions of dollars off the foreclosure crisis, admitted to coaching employees to falsify signatures in order to speed up foreclosures and boost the firm's profits. DocX, a subsidiary of Jacksonville-based Lender Processing Services, was closed in 2010 after evidence of the fraudulent practices came to light.

EMAILER, BEWARE-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, editorial,, Nov. 21, 2012.[Also: DIGITAL PRIVACY LAWS NEED REBOOTING-- Tampa Bay Times, editorial,, Nov. 21, 2012].
The Herald-Tribune editorial states: "One important lesson to take from the David Petraeus affair — even if you're not the former head of the CIA, a four-star general, a biographer or a Tampa socialite — is: Emailer, beware . . . . Government access to email is not all that unusual, but legislation now in Congress would provide new protections for anyone who searches the Internet or sends and saves an online message. Today, that's just about everyone."
The Times editorial states: "Whether for the head of the CIA or for the private citizen, law enforcement should have to obtain warrants to access personal records. Now that digital sleuthing is easier than ever, federal rules must be established to make sure it's done only when appropriate, not simply because it is easy."


FLORIDA POLYTECHNIC HAS A TOP ADMINISTRATOR-- Winter Haven News Chief,, Nov. 20, 2012.
A Jacksonville lawyer who has served on the State University System Board of Governors for 10 years has been tagged to take over as interim chief operating officer of Florida Polytechnic University. Ava L. Parker, president of Linking Solutions Inc. and a practicing lawyer at Lawrence & Parker P.A,, will resign from her board position to take over the new Lakeland-based university. She will start Dec. 1 and hold the position for two years. Parker also serves on the Jacksonville Transportation Authority and has previously served on the University of Central Florida Board of Trustees. She received her bachelor's and law degrees from the University of Florida.

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[Revised: 11-26-2012]