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.
March 4, 2014
--The Florida Bar--
JBA WELCOMES FLORIDA BAR PRESIDENT TO ANNUAL DIVERSITY LUNCHEON -- Jacksonville Daily Record, http://www.jaxdailyrecord.com, March. 3, 2014.
By Braxton Gillam, president of the Jacksonville Bar Association. "Today [March 3], Eugene K. Pettis, the current Florida Bar president, joins us as the keynote speaker at The Jacksonville Bar Association's annual Diversity Luncheon . . . In June of 2013, Mr. Pettis was sworn in as president of The Florida Bar, becoming the first African-American to serve in this position. As such, it is particularly appropriate that he joins us today as the Jacksonville Bar Association proudly recognizes members of our legal community who have championed diversity with three new awards. The categories include the Individual Diversity Champion, the Legal Employer Diversity Champion and the Trailblazers Award."
WINTER HAVEN LAWYER FINDS FULFILLMENT WITH IMMIGRATION CASES -- The Ledger, http://www.theledger.com, March 3, 2014.
Influenced by the example of her father, a lawyer revered by his clients, A. Renée Pobjecky of Winter Haven pursued a career in law but discovered she seemed thoroughly unsuited for the work. And then, a woman walked into her Winter Haven office one day in 2005 seeking legal help in bringing her two stepdaughters from Cuba to this country. Pobjecky had no training in immigration law but she agreed to do what she could to help the woman. In just nine years, Pobjecky has become nationally known as an immigration lawyer. She has spoken at national conferences of immigration law groups and has traveled to Washington, D.C., to lobby members of Congress on immigration issues. Florida Rural Legal Services honored Pobjecky in 2006 and 2008 for her pro bono work.
GROUPS PRESS RUBIO, NELSON ON JUDICIAL VACANCIES -- Tampa Bay Times, http://www.tampabay.com, March 3, 2014. [Also: GUEST COLUMN: JUDGE VACANCIES A FLA. CRISIS -- Florida Today, Column, http://www.floridatoday.com, March 4, 2014.]
The group Progress Florida has organized letter campaigns to Sens. Marco Rubio and Bill Nelson urging them to help speed along five judicial nominees. The letter reads, in part: "Part of the American ideal of fairness is the right to have “your day in court.” Every person in our country should have timely access to courts staffed with qualified judges to hear their disputes. However, political obstruction in the halls of Congress has blocked well-qualified judicial nominees from being confirmed to the bench, resulting in critical court vacancies and a backlog of cases that makes it harder for Floridians to access their courts . . . We, the undersigned organizations representing millions of Florida voters, urge you to move as quickly as possible to fill the four open seats on Florida’s district courts."
--Lawyer Ethics/Legal Discipline--
SUPREME COURT DISCIPLINES 29 ATTORNEYS -- The Florida Bar, http://www.floridabar.org, Feb. 28, 2014. [Also: FLORIDA SUPREME COURT DISCIPLINES 29 ATTORNEYS -- Jacksonville Daily Record, http://www.jaxdailyrecord.com, March. 3, 2014; COURT DISCIPLINES FIVE TAMPA BAY LAWYERS -- Tampa Bay Business Journal, http://www.bizjournals.com, March. 3, 2014; ORLANDO ATTORNEY AMONG 29 DISCIPLINED BY FLORIDA SUPREME COURT -- Orlando Business Journal, http://www.bizjournals.com, March 3, 2014.]
The Florida Bar, the state's guardian for the integrity of the legal profession, announces that the Florida Supreme Court in recent court orders disciplined 29 attorneys; disbarring five, revoking the licenses of two, suspending 21 and placing one on probation. Three attorneys received more than one form of discipline. One was ordered to pay restitution and two were placed on probation.
--Unlicensed Practice of Law--
BEWARE OF FAKE LAWYERS -- South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Letter to the editor, http://www.sun-sentinel.com, March 4, 2014.
"I read the March 1 article on the accused fake lawyer and was baffled that after all these years, the Brazilian community hasn't yet learned from mistakes within its community. A similar situation occurred to me a long time ago when, in dire need to straighten up my immigration status, I fell for the same scam — this time with a Bolivian-born attorney who was also a Brazilian citizen. He set up shop at the offices of a now-defunct Brazilian publication. He was arrested, served 80 percent of his time and upon release, was deported to Bolivia. After that fiasco, I secured the help of an American attorney and now, I'm a very proud American citizen."
--Criminal Justice Issues--
COURT SKEPTICAL OF IQ SCORES IN DECIDING EXECUTION -- Miami Herald, http://www.miamiherald.com, March 3, 2014. [Also: SUPREME COURT WEIGHS FLORIDA DEATH APPEAL ON MENTAL DISABILITY -- Daily Business Review, http://www.dailybusinessreview.com, March 3, 2014.]
By The Associated Press. The U.S. Supreme Court is hearing an appeal from Florida Death Row inmate Freddie Lee Hall, who claims he is protected from execution because he is mentally disabled. The case being argued Monday [March 3] at the court centers on how authorities determine who is eligible to be put to death, 12 years after the justices prohibited the execution of the mentally disabled. In Florida and certain other states, an intelligence test score higher than 70 means an inmate is not mentally disabled, even if other evidence indicates he is. Hall has scored above 70 on most of the IQ tests he has taken since 1968 but says ample evidence shows he is mentally disabled. He was sentenced to death for murdering Karol Hurst, a 21-year-old pregnant woman who was abducted leaving a Florida grocery store in 1978, and for the killing of a sheriff's deputy. Psychiatrists and psychologists who are supporting Hall say an IQ test alone is insufficient for a diagnosis of mental disability.
JUDGE MORISON BUCK -- Tampa Tribune, http://www.tbo.com, March 3, 2014.
Judge Morison Buck, 90, passed away on March 2. Buck was a graduate of University of Florida Law School and was a sole practitioner in Tampa from 1948 to 1977. He was appointed circuit court judge until his retirement in 1991. He was a past president of the Hillsborough County Bar Association and wrote "Chips Off The Old Block" for their monthly publication.
--Tech Tip Tuesday--
SAVE FILE AS PDF -- The Florida Bar, http://www.floridabar.org, March 4, 2014.
Did you know that since Office 2007 came out the ability to save a Word (Or Excel or PowerPoint) file as a PDF has been built in? For additional information on this tip and others, visit the Tech Tips page.