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.
June 7, 2013
--The Florida Bar--
21 SOUTH FLORIDA ATTORNEYS GET BOARD CERTIFIED -- South Florida Business Journal (requires subscription), http://www.bizjournals.com, June 7, 2013.
Twenty-one attorneys from South Florida recently received board certification from The Florida Bar as experts in their fields. Certification is the only way Florida attorneys can call themselves specialists or experts in their credentials. The article contains a list of the newly certified attorneys by city.
EVIDENCE OF EXCELLENCE: FLORIDA BAR BOARD CERTIFICATION PROGRAM -- Florida Trend, http://www.floridatrend.com, June 7, 2013.
The article examines The Florida Bar's board certification program, established in 1982 by the Florida Supreme Court so that consumers can identify qualified legal specialists who are dedicated to professional excellence. The Florida Bar offers 24 specialty areas for certification, including three that are available only in Florida: intellectual property, adoption and education law. The article includes a list of the first class of Florida attorneys and judges celebrating 30 years of Board Certification.
DLA PIPER LAWYERS GO TO BAT FOR VETERANS -- Tampa Bay Business Journal (requires subscription), http://www.bizjournals.com, June 7, 2013.
Some lawyers from the firm DLA Piper in Tampa are lending a legal hand to veterans in a pro bono project that provides counseling and advice every other month. They deal with a variety of issues affecting veterans at James A. Haley Veterans Hospital. Bar Area Legal Services provided training about veterans’ legal issues for DLA Piper lawyers and provides a lawyer for each clinic. Project lawyers screen veterans in intake calls to make appointments and talk with them to get an idea of what matters to expect. Legal issues included divorce, child support, estate and will questions and criminal record expungement.
FIVE QUESTIONS FOR SANDY D'ALEMBERTE -- News Service of Florida (requires subscription), http://www.newsserviceflorida.com, June 7, 2013.
Talbot "Sandy" D’Alemberte celebrated his 80th birthday last week with a bash at the Florida State University College of Law, where he was dean and continues to teach. His life story also includes serving as the university's president, as a Democratic state representative from 1966 to 1972, and as president of the American Bar Association.
SCIONTI, VANCE TO RUN FOR JUDGESHIP -- Tampa Tribune, http://www.tbo.com, June 7, 2013.
Former state House member and military lawyer Michael Scionti will square off against private practice lawyer and Tampa native Kim Hernandez Vance for a circuit judge’s post in Hillsborough County next year. The two are running to replace chief Judge Manny Menendez, who will retire when his term ends in January 2015. Both candidates are profiled.
--Lawyer Ethics/Legal Discipline--
TAMPA DUI FIRM IN DUI CASE FACED HARDBALL ACCUSATION OF HARDBALL IN MIAMI -- Tampa Bay Times, http://www.tampabay.com, June 7, 2013.
It's not the first time the firm of Adams & Diaco has faced accusations about how it does business. They are being investigated for allegedly sending a Tampa paralegal undercover to discredit an opposing attorney by getting him arrested for DUI. Three years ago in Miami, a lawyer at Adams & Diaco was accused of sending a paralegal undercover -- that time, to discredit a witness who was about to testify. Robert Frankl, a Miami chiropractor, filed a complaint in 2010 with The Florida Bar against firm partner Robert Adams. In his complaint, Frankl said that four days before he was to testify about about the reasonableness of his fees for treatment, two women came to his office. He said they gave what turned out to be fake names, said they had no ID and lied about having accident-related injuries. Both, he said, asked what he could do for them about lowering his fees. The chiropractor later discovered one of the women worked for Adams & Diaco as a paralegal. At the time, The Florida Bar found no violations of Rules of Professional Conduct.
GOV. SCOTT TO DECIDE ON SIGNING, VETOING BILLS AFFECTING CONSUMERS -- Miami Herald, http://www.miamiherald.com, June 7, 2013.
Gov. Rick Scott must soon decide whether to sign several bills that consumer activists say would make things worse for working people in Florida. The bills in question deal with evicting tenants from apartments, speeding up foreclosure cases in the courts, increasing consumer loan interest rates, altering legal protections for car buyers and banning local laws that require sick leave for employees. All five bills are generating a steady stream of emails to Scott urging a veto. Scott has until June 12 to act on the eviction and foreclosure bills. He has yet to formally receive the other bills; when he does, he will have 15 calendar days to decide whether to sign or veto them.
--Criminal Justice Issues--
GEORGE ZIMMERMAN HEARING ENDS WITHOUT RULING ON AUDIO EXPERTS -- Orlando Sentinel, http://www.orlandosentinel.com, June 7, 2013.
An FBI voice examiner who tried to identify who was screaming in the background of a 911 call seconds before Trayvon Martin was shot testified Thursday [June 6] that it couldn't be done by a respectable scientist. He testified that he dissected the 45-second sample and found only three seconds in which the screams were not at least partially obscured by other sounds, being too little for a proper analysis. Testimony is set to continue Friday [June 7] to determine whether Circuit Judge Debra S. Nelson will let jurors hear anyone's opinions about who made those cries for help. The trial is scheduled to begin Monday [June 10] with jury selection.
--Civil Justice Issues--
FEDS FIND THAT FLORIDA UNEMPLOYMENT CHANGES VIOLATED CIVIL RIGHTS -- Palm Beach Post, http://www.pbpost.com, June 7, 2013.
The federal Department of Labor has ruled that Florida violated the civil rights of laid-off workers when it required job seekers to apply for unemployment checks online, affecting workers who aren’t fluent in English or whose disabilities make it difficult for them to use a computer. Florida Legal Services and the National Employment Law Project last year asked the Labor Department to investigate the state’s unemployment compensation system. In response, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity Thursday [June 7] dismissed the dispute as “questionable allegations by a special interest group.”