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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.

Dec. 4, 2013

--Judiciary--

SARASOTA NATIVE STEPS INTO COUNTY COURT -- Sarasota East County Observer, http://www.yourobserver.com, Dec. 3, 2013.
On Nov. 15, Gov. Rick Scott appointed Erika Quartermaine to take the bench in the Sarasota County Court, giving her the chance to shape the future of the town that shaped her life. The 35-year-old mother of two is proud of her family’s heritage in Sarasota and pointed out area landmarks that hold special significance to her. The University of Miami Law School graduate and assistant state attorney for the 12th Judicial Circuit moves into a vacancy on the Sarasota Court left when Judge Kimberly Bonner was appointed to the circuit court. Quartermaine says she’s ready for her new role, aware of the change in mindset it will take to go from arguing the law to interpreting its application.

APPEALS COURT RULES AGAINST NASSAU CLERK IN DISPUTE WITH JUDGE -- Florida Times-Union (requires subscription), http://www.jacksonville.com, Dec. 3, 2013.
Nassau County Clerk of Courts John Crawford has failed to convince the 1st District Court of Appeal that a judge was wrong to have the county pay a mediation bill in a child custody case. Crawford asked the appeals court to review an order from 4th Circuit Court Chief Judge Donald Moran in May to pay the mediation ordered in January by Circuit Judge Robert Foster in the Nassau County case. Crawford paid the mediator $4,775 but said it should have been paid by the state court system. The appeals court ruled last week, without a written explanation, that the clerk was responsible for making the payment, said County Attorney David Hallman.

SEMINOLE JUDGE DEBRA KRAUSE HIT WITH FINE FOR IMPROPER CAMPAIGNING -- Orlando Sentinel, http://www.orlandosentinel.com, Dec. 4, 2013.
Seminole County Judge Debra Krause has agreed to pay a $25,000 fine and to be publicly reprimanded for a series of campaign missteps last year. The agreement, made public Tuesday [Dec. 4], likely spares her further prosecution by the Judicial Qualifications Commission, the state agency that polices judges. According to paperwork filed with the Florida Supreme Court, Krause broke the rules three times last year while she was running for Seminole County judge. She mischaracterized campaign contributions as a loan, paid $250 to attend and speak at a Seminole County GOP gathering despite a ban on partisan politicking and she published campaign material that falsely suggested she was an incumbent. The Florida Supreme Court will make a final decision on what to do about the wrongdoing, which Krause did not dispute.

--Civil Justice Issues--

3RD DCA REVERSES ITSELF IN REDUCING MIAMI-DADE JUDGE'S ALIMONY PAYMENTS -- Daily Business Review (requires subscription), http://www.dailybusinessreview.com, Dec. 3, 2013.
Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Dennis Murphy turned a loss into a win when Third District Court of Appeal reversed itself to trim his alimony payments because his ex-wife provided for her live-in boyfriend. The Murphys divorced in 2005 after more than 25 years of marriage and the judge's $4,200 monthly alimony and child support payments represented 42 percent of his net income. In 2009, Mark Llerena, the boyfriend, moved into the house. Considering the parties' changed circumstances, Monroe Circuit Judge Mark H. Jones cut $700 from the judge's monthly alimony payments. The ex-wife took her case to the Third District Court of Appeal, where the issue was to consider what kind of financial arrangements between housemates establishes a supportive relationship that triggers a reduction in or an end to alimony. Senior Judge Alan Schwartz wrote the majority opinion then; Rothenberg released a much longer dissent. After more than 35 years on the Third District bench, Schwartz retired Sept. 30. On Nov. 6, the court withdrew his 13-month-old opinion and substituted Rothenberg's dissent as the new majority opinion.

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[Revised: 12-05-2013]