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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. 10, 2013

--Legal Profession--

GREENBERG TRAURIG ROLLS OUT NEW GRAD RESIDENCY PROGRAM -- The Florida Bar News, http://www.floridabar.org, Dec. 15, 2013.
In today’s legal marketplace, law firms are finding it increasingly difficult to afford the traditional model of training new lawyers. It used to be routine that law firms would hire bright young law graduates and spend years training and nurturing them into seasoned lawyers, while they built clients’ trust with proven experience. Greenberg Traurig has come up with an innovative solution to this client-driven challenge by rolling out a residency program in October at its 29 U.S. offices, the first of a large law firm to do so.  New law grads join the firm, but spend a third of their time training instead of cranking out billable hours. If they do well, they may make associate after a year. Florida Bar Board of Governors member Laird Lile first created a resident at law program in 2011. Last year, the Young Lawyers Division started educating the profession about how a residency in law program works, and held a webinar with 100 attendees.

THE FEDERAL BAR: 'SPIRIT OF GIVING' -- Jacksonville Daily Record, http://www.jaxdailyrecord.com, Dec. 9, 2013.
Each year for the past seven years, the Federal Bar Association, Jacksonville Chapter, expressed its appreciation for their members' contributions to the community at the annual 'Spirit of Giving' holiday lunch. U.S. District Judge Marcia Morales Howard Friday [Dec. 6] recognized attorneys Jesse Dreicer, Lawrence J. Hamilton II, Jameson B. Rice and Frank Tassone for their pro bono work in a contentious international child custody case. Keynote speaker Jim Clark, chairman of the Juvenile Justice Advisory Board for the 4th Circuit, said it's important for everyone to find a way to put something back into the community.

--Judiciary--

NEXT UP: E-FILING FOR PRO SE LITIGANTS -- The Florida Bar News, http://www.floridabar.org, Dec. 15, 2013.
As electronic filing for attorneys through the Florida courts’ statewide portal is expanding to include criminal cases, officials are looking at the next group to be granted e-filing access – pro se litigants. The Florida Courts Technology Commission at its recent meeting voted to recommend that once e-filing is expanded to all lawyers involved in criminal cases that the next group to receive access be pro se parties. There are two main issues, according to FCTC Chair Judge Lisa Munyon. One is whether to identify and verify pro se filers who will be allowed to file through the portal, and the second is whether pro se filers will have portal access to other electronically filed documents in their cases. 

NEW MIAMI-DADE CIRCUIT COURT DIVISION TO HEAR INTERNATIONAL ARBITRATION APPEALS -- Daily Business Review (requires subscription), http://www.dailybusinessreview.com, Dec. 9, 2013.
The Miami-Dade Circuit Court has created an international commercial arbitration court, becoming one of only a handful of court systems around the world to do so. The new court, a subsection of the complex business division, will hear cases involving appeals of international arbitration orders. Judges Jennifer Bailey and John Thornton will be assigned to the new court. A group of arbitrators and former judges, led by Miami attorney Eduardo Palmer, have been pushing for the new division to be set up prior to the International Council for Commercial Arbitration's annual conference, to be held in Miami in April.

--Civil Justice Issues--

MIAMI-DADE CIRCUIT JUDGE JOHN THORNTON ASKED TO DISMISS MICCOSUKEE SUIT -- Daily Business Review (requires subscription), http://www.dailybusinessreview.com, Dec. 9, 2013.
Paul Calli, an attorney for the Miami law firm Lewis Tein, urged Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge John Thornton on Monday [Dec. 9] to follow a federal court's lead and dismiss fraud litigation filed by the Miccosukees against their former legal counsel. Calli urged Thornton to grant the law firm's motion for summary judgment. He said the dispute is intra-tribal and not suited for state court, and should fail just as a companion suit filed by the Miccosukees had failed in a Miami federal court just two months ago. U.S. District Judge Marcia Cooke on Oct.3 dismissed with prejudice a separate racketeering and fraud federal lawsuit filed by the Miccosukees against Lewis Tein, which had represented the tribe on numerous matters.

--Criminal Justice Issues--

MIAMI LAWYER KNOWN FOR WORK WITH LOW-INCOME CITIZENS FACING PRISON FOR LOOTING OVER $500,000 -- Miami Herald, http://www.miamiherald.com, Dec. 10, 2013.
Miami lawyer Lynn Washington is facing prison time for looting more than a half million dollars in money aimed at revitalizing Miami’s inner city. Washington, 55, recently pleaded guilty to stealing more than $520,000 from New Urban Development, an affiliate of the Urban League of Greater Miami. The charge was first-degree grand theft. Under the plea deal, Washington must come up with the first restitution payment of $100,000 by Jan. 7. If he cannot make the payment, a Miami-Dade judge will send him to prison for five years. If Washington, who has voluntarily resigned from the legal profession because of the misconduct, pays back chunks at regular intervals, his prison time will be reduced. If he pays it all back within several months, Miami-Dade prosecutors will allow him to remain under house arrest for two years, with an extra three years of probation. Washington would also have to complete 1,000 hours of community service.

--Other--

OBITUARY: STUART MARKUS, MIAMI LAWYER FOR 55 YEARS -- Miami Herald, http://www.miamiherald.com, Dec. 10, 2013.
Stuart A. Markus died suddenly Sunday [Dec. 8] of heart failure. He was 81 and was still practicing after 55 years as a lawyer. The gregarious attorney liked to represent the little guy, often without accepting a fee. He began practicing law in Miami in 1958, an era when the courthouse shut down during the sweltering summer heat and attorneys didn’t specialize in one area of the law, instead accepting any cases that came their way. In the past decade, Markus had scaled back his workload, mostly representing clients in family court and in mediation. But even when he fell ill two years ago, he emerged from a hospital stay eager to work. Markus leaves behind another lasting legal legacy: His son is David O. Markus, a well-known South Florida defense attorney.

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[Revised: 12-11-2013]