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

Dec. 10, 2012

--Legal Profession--

The explosion of online content has heated up business for South Florida's intellectual property lawyers. They're involved in a range of issues from protecting clients’ online rights to resolving domain name disputes to determining who is responsible for digital copyright infringement. All these new intellectual property law challenges are aside from the traditional trademark and patent registration and litigation matters.


OBAMA, SENATE MUST FILL JUDICIAL VACANCIES-- The Miami Herald, column,, Dec. 10, 2012.
The guest column by Carl Tobias, Williams Chair in Law at the University of Richmond, states: "Now that President Obama has been reelected and Democrats have retained a Senate majority, he must swiftly nominate, and the upper chamber expeditiously approve, judicial nominees, especially for the four Florida vacancies, so that the courts can deliver justice. . . . Moreover, the bench experiences 64 vacancies in the 679 district judgeships. These openings erode speedy, economical and fair case resolution."

--Civil Justice Issues--

FORECLOSURE CASES MOVING LIKE MUD-- The Palm Beach Post,, Dec. 9, 2012.
Florida's foreclosure courts have made almost no progress in clearing an overwhelming backlog of cases from their dockets despite a $4 million stipend awarded by lawmakers this year. As of Oct. 31, there were 377,272 pending foreclosures in Florida’s 20 circuit courts, a net reduction of just 435 cases since the money became available in July, according to the state courts administrator. Judges say new foreclosure filings have nearly outpaced the number of cases they’ve been able to close as banks work on clearing defaulted loans on hold since the robo-signing freezes and pending the national mortgage settlement, which was finalized in March.

FISCAL TRANSPARENCY IN THE SUNSHINE STATE-- The Gainesville Sun, column,, Dec. 8, 2012. [Also: OPEN STATE BUDGET DETAILS TO PEOPLE-- The Ledger, editorial,, Dec. 9, 2012; CLOUDING GOVERNMENT TRANSPARENCY-- The Tampa Tribune, editorial,, Dec. 10, 2012].
The Gainesville Sun guest column by Barbara A. Petersen, president of the First Amendment Foundation, and Dan Krassner, executive director of Integrity Florida, states: "During his tenure as Florida Senate President, Mike Haridopolos contracted with Spider Data Services to develop an unprecedented budget-tracking system at a cost of nearly $5 million. That system, Transparency 2.0, is now fully developed and ready for use, but recent news reports suggest that Florida lawmakers may well walk away, shelving the program. For reasons that are not entirely clear, the State Senate handed management of the program to the Governor’s Office over the summer, but Gov. Rick Scott does not appear to be ready or willing to take ownership of Transparency 2.0, and has yet to sign an agreement with the Senate, transferring the contractual obligations to the executive branch. The contract with Spider Data Services runs through the end of this year. That means that if action is not taken before Dec. 31 to renew the contract, it will expire without the program ever being launched, leaving Floridians in the dark and $5 million poorer."


JAMES ELLIOTT MESSER-- Tallahassee Democrat,, Dec. 9, 2012.
The obituary is for Tallahassee attorney Elliott Messer, who died Saturday [Dec. 8] after a short illness. He was 74. After serving in the U.S. Navy, he entered law school at the University of Florida, graduating in 1964 with honors. He practiced law in Miami, joining the firm of Merschon, Sawyer, Johnston, Dunwody and Cole where he worked with his two uncles, Atwood and Elliott Dunwody. He returned to Tallahassee in 1970 and with Murray Wadsworth and Ford Thompson founded the law firm that is known today as Messer, Caparello and Self, where he continued an active practice. In addition to practicing law, he was chairman of the Charter Committee for Consolidated Government, served on the Florida Constitutional Revision Commission and was a delegate to the Federal Judicial Conference for both the 5th and 11th Circuits.

# # #

[Revised: 12-11-2012]