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.

Links to online newspapers

April 14, 2014

--Legal Profession--

TWO CUBAN-AMERICAN LAWYERS TO BE HONORED -- Tampa Bay Times,, April 12, 2014.
In 1973, the Florida Supreme Court authorized a 21-month weekend training program at the University of Florida to acquaint Cuban lawyers with the U.S. system. Between 1973 and 1976, about 200 Cuban lawyers went through the training program, designed to acquaint them with the English-based common law system used in the United States and how it applies to Florida law. The court authorized the program to meet the needs of hundreds of thousands of Cuban immigrants arriving in Florida at the time. Cuban native Adalberto Tosca figured he would have to leave behind his law career when he left Cuba, but he was able to resume his career thanks to the program, and continues his practice today, albeit on a limited basis. On Tuesday [April 15], Tosca, 85, and retired Tampa lawyer Felipe Ramon Pacheco, 90, will be honored in a ceremony in federal court as part of the celebration of the 40th anniversary — last July, actually — of the start of the University of Florida Cuban-American lawyer program.


Three of the seven Florida Supreme Court justices are nearing the mandatory retirement age of 70. They will be forced from the court when their current six-year terms end on the same day in January 2019 that the winner of the 2018 gubernatorial election takes office. The editorial states, "[Sen. Tom] Lee, a Brandon Republican, is right to force lawmakers to resolve this question, and the sooner the better. Leaving this until after this year's gubernatorial election will infuse the question with hyper-partisan politics. But Lee's decision to leave the appointment power to the outgoing governor is flawed. The outgoing governor will have lost an election, chosen not to seek re-election or be prohibited from serving again because of term limits. The appointment power should be vested in the newly elected governor about to begin a four-year term after winning a popular vote . . . We trust Lee is genuinely trying to avoid an ugly legal battle five years down the road if this question remains unresolved. But the power should rest with a newly elected governor, not with a lame duck who has nothing to lose."

The Supreme Court has ended a moratorium on remote online access to court records, but it will still be a while before most of the public will be able to get on their personal computers and view documents. In about one-third of the state’s 67 counties, including Volusia and Flagler, attorneys receive preferential treatment because they can remotely view documents other members of the public must go to the courthouse to read. That disparity should end, wrote Carol Jean LoCicero, an attorney representing a media coalition, in a letter sent Thursday [April 10] to Ricky Polston, the chief justice of the state Supreme Court. Flagler County Clerk of Court Gail Wadsworth said attorneys are getting the remote access because they are now filing documents electronically. Wadsworth said her office is working on reaching the point where the public will be able to view courthouse documents from their own computers. Wadsworth said she does not want to rush the process and increase the possibility of a mistake.

--Civil Justice Issues--

Jacksonville newspaper The Florida Times-Union wants a state Supreme Court review of a ruling by the First District Court of Appeal, claiming that the appeals court was wrong to deny attorney fees in a public records request dispute with the state. Last November, the newspaper prevailed on its petition that "value-added" teacher data is open to review. The Times-Union said the data made up but half of an evaluation record, so it should not be exempt. While the First District agreed with the Times-Union, the court denied its petition for legal fees. The First District acknowledged that Times-Union attorneys timely pleaded for fees. However, the court said, "appellant did not state the authority on which attorney fees were sought." In an initial brief filed Thursday [April 10], the newspaper said the First District's position directly contradicts Florida Supreme Court case law and a 2012 Fourth District opinion.


TIMOTHY "TIM" IRELAND MEADE -- Northwest Florida Daily News,, April 13, 2014.
Timothy "Tim" Ireland Meade, 53, of Gulf Breeze, passed away on Thursday, April 10. Meade graduated from Cumberland Law School, Samford University, in 1986 and was a member of The Florida Bar. Known for his pro-bono work throughout the Panhandle community, he was instrumental in ensuring the government honored its promise of TRICARE for life to military retirees.

JOE MCFADDEN -- Tampa Tribune,, April 13, 2014.
Joe McFadden died at the age of 80 on April 6. McFadden graduated from St. Thomas More High School in 1952 and served in the U.S. Air Force from 1952 until 1956 during the Korean War. He graduated from St. Joseph's University and began his 26-year career with the Department of Justice as a border patrol officer in California. He retired from the service as officer in control of the Tampa office in 1983. He spent the next 23 years as an investigator for The Florida Bar.

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[Revised: 04-15-2014]