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.
Oct. 23, 2013
COURT SETS STAFF PAY AS A PRIORITY -- The Florida Bar News, http://www.flabar.org, Nov. 1, 2013.
The State Courts System Legislative Budget Request for FY 2014-15 was unveiled at a public hearing Oct. 14, by Dorothy Wilson, chief of Budget Services for the Office of the State Courts Administrator. The new budget seeks 42 new positions and $33 million in new funding over the current budget of $443.4 million, a 7 percent increase. The court’s current budget is 0.6 percent of the total state budget of $74.2 billion. Again, the upcoming fiscal year’s budget request makes increasing judicial branch employees’ pay a top priority. While State Courts Administrator Lisa Goodner expressed gratitude at the end of the 2013 legislative session that her employees finally saw their first raises in more than six years, the new budget request details why more is needed to hire and retain good employees in the judicial branch.
FLA. CLERK'S OFFICE MAKES CHANGES IN FILING PAPERS -- Gainesville Sun, http://www.gainesville.com, Oct. 23, 2013.
By The Associated Press. Judicial orders will no longer be accepted at drop-off boxes in the Orange County Clerk of Courts offices where forged documents were filed that led to the wrongful release of two prison inmates. Chief Circuit Judge Belvin Perry made the change to how orders are filed in his circuit on Monday [Oct. 21]. The 9th circuit covers clerk's offices in Orange and Osceola counties. The change came two days after two convicted murderers were captured at a Panama City motel and returned to custody. Joseph Jenkins and Charles Walker walked out of a Panhandle prison as the result of forged documents that cut their sentences. The fake documents were filed with the Orange County Clerk of Courts in Orlando and forwarded to the Franklin Correctional Institution where the inmates were serving life sentences.
--Lawyer Ethics/Legal Discipline--
UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI HAS RISEN ABOVE BOOSTER SCANDAL, ATTORNEYS SAY -- Daily Business Review, http://www.dailybusinessreview.com, Oct. 22, 2013. [Also: FUMBLES BY NCAA HELPED LESSEN UM'S PENALTY, LEGAL EXPERTS SAY -- Miami Herald, http://www.miamiherald.com, Oct. 22, 2013.]
Sports attorneys and agents said Tuesday [Oct. 22] that the University of Miami rose above its scandal with Nevin Shapiro while the National Collegiate Athletic Association disgraced itself during the investigation. Shapiro, who ran a $930 million Ponzi scheme and showered illicit gifts on UM athletes, is serving a 20-year federal prison sentence. Maria Elena Perez, the outspoken Coral Gables attorney for Shapiro, is under Florida Bar scrutiny for possible ethics violations when it was learned she was cooperating with NCAA investigators. In 2011, the NCAA's investigators had improperly retained Perez to use her subpoena power in a bankruptcy case to compel deposition testimony.
--Civil Justice Issues--
JUDGE RULES AGAINST NET BAN AS 'LEGAL ABSURDITY' -- Tallahassee Democrat, http://www.tallahassee.com, Oct. 23, 2013.
In a sweeping judgment in favor of Wakulla County commercial mullet fishermen, Leon County Circuit Judge Jackie Fulford on Tuesday [Oct. 22] ordered a halt to enforcement of Florida's constitutional amendment limiting net fishing in state coastal waters. The two sides argued during a two-day hearing last year the mesh size of nets the agency forces them to use kills too many baby fish and violates the very constitutional amendment its rules are meant to protect. Calling contradictions between the so-called "net ban" and rules adopted by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission in 1997 a "legal absurdity," Fulford's decision is the latest turn in a 20-year legal battle that she said may only be resolved by further amending of the constitution. Within hours of Fulford's order, Attorney General Pam Bondi's office filed on behalf of FWC a notice of appeal of the judge's decision to the 1st District Court of Appeal.
LEGAL DECISION COULD MEAN MORE LIABILITY FOR DEVELOPERS -- Florida Trend, http://www.floridatrend.com, Oct. 22, 2013.
The Lakeview Reserve Homeowners Association took Maronda Homes of Florida to court in 2006 after residents complained of streets cracking, driveways sinking, storm drains collapsing, lawns eroding and retention ponds overflowing in the relatively new gated subdivision. Developers and home builders throughout Florida now face potential new legal liabilities for shoddy infrastructure work after the homeowners association won what is being called a landmark case before the Florida Supreme Court. During the lengthy legal battle, evidence showed that the pipes and stormwater drainage for common areas were defective and failing, but the builder-developer denied any financial responsibility for repairs to common areas. The 5th District Court of Appeal sided with the HOA, and the Supreme Court upheld the ruling in July.
--Criminal Justice Issues--
RELEASE OF TWO MURDERERS COULD HAVE PINELLAS CONNECTION -- Tampa Tribune, http://www.tbo.com, Oct. 23, 2013.
State law enforcement officials announced Tuesday [Oct. 22] they have identified a handful of suspects who might have played a part in the release of two convicted Orlando-area murderers within the last month. Only one was publicly named — Nydeed Nashaddai, a Pinellas County man who was mistakenly freed after a document with a forged Pinellas circuit judge's signature turned up in his file in 2009. Nashaddai was jailed in Pinellas in 2009 and was released when a document showed up in his file with the forged signature of Pinellas-Pasco Chief Judge Thomas McGrady, that said all charges were dismissed. Nashaddai was free for about 16 hours before he was apprehended. He was subsequently sentenced to 20 years in prison for escape, and ended up in Franklin Correctional Institution in the Panhandle, where the two convicted murderers who recently escaped were also housed.
WILLIAM JACOB BEISWANGER (1925-2013) -- Panama City News Herald, http://www.newsherald.com, Oct. 23, 2013.
William Beiswanger of Panama City Beach, passed away on Monday, Sept. 23. He attended law school at the University of California, Berkeley and earned a post graduate degree in tax law. He became an associate professor at Chico State University and subsequently Louisiana State University, teaching upper level accounting. In 1969, he settled in North Palm Beach, where he practiced estate and trust law. He continued to teach accounting part-time for more than a decade at Florida Atlantic University.