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.
Feb. 4, 2013
5 QUESTIONS WITH ATTORNEY FRED GANT -- Pensacola News Journal, http://www.pnj.com , Feb. 1, 2013.
The question and answer article profiles Fred Gant, who was honored last week by The Florida Bar for his pro bono work in the Pensacola community.
DEPUTY COUNTY ATTORNEY IN INDIAN RIVER HONORED FOR PRO BONO LEGAL AID EFFORTS -- TCPalm, http://www.tcpalm.com , Feb. 2, 2013.
The article profiles Bill DeBraal, Indian River's deputy county attorney, who was honored in a ceremony at the Florida Supreme Court in Tallahassee on Thursday [Jan. 31], along with 20 other members of The Florida Bar, for their pro bono legal aid efforts. The 21 honorees represent Florida's 20 judicial circuits and an at-large position, and DeBraal was chosen in the 19th Judicial Circuit encompassing Indian River, Okeechobee, St. Lucie and Martin counties.
ON THE MOVE -- Pensacola News Journal, http://www.pnj.com , Feb. 4, 2013.
Alan Bookman has been appointed by The Florida Bar Board of Governors to a six-year term on the Judicial Qualifications Commission.
CITY ATTORNEY LEAVING AFTER 41 YEARS -- Panama City News Herald, http://www.newsherald.com , Feb. 3, 2013.
Panama City Commissioners announced during a January meeting that longtime City Attorney Rowlett Bryant will be stepping down as legal consultant of the city.
--Legal Ethics/Lawyer Discipline --
FORT LAUDERDALE ATTORNEY PERMANENTLY DISBARRED -- Daily Business Review, http://www.dailybusinessreview.com , Feb. 4, 2013.
A Fort Lauderdale real estate attorney has been permanently disbarred for failing to file an affidavit showing he had notified his former clients of a temporary disbarment. The Florida Supreme Court found William Timothy O'Toole in contempt for failing to meet the conditions of the earlier disbarment within 30 days. He was ordered to swear to a list showing who had received copies of his disbarment order.
EDITORIAL: FLORIDA SHOULD RESTORE EX FELONS' RIGHTS WHEN THEY COMPLETE THEIR SENTENCE -- The Palm Beach Post, editorial, http://www.pbpost.com , Feb. 3, 2013.
The editorial states: Just two months after taking office, Gov. Rick Scott and the clemency board set a minimum of five years for ex-felons, even non-violent offenders, to wait before seeking restoration of their civil rights. That isn’t five years to have the rights restored. It’s five years before even applying. Once an ex-felon applies, the wait stretches out much longer. The backlog is more than 100,000, and in the 2011 budget year Florida released almost 36,000 prison inmates...The state benefits when ex-felons stay ex-felons. Keeping them at arm’s length from society gives them less motivation no rejoin it.
PAM BONDI: FORECLOSURE VICTIM RELIEF AVAILABLE -- South Florida Sun-Sentinel, column by Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, http://www.sun-sentinel.com , Feb. 3, 2013.
Bondi writes: Florida was one of the hardest hit states when the real estate bubble burst, sending thousands of homes into foreclosure and creating backlogs in the court system. My office, along with the Department of Justice, 48 other attorneys general, and the District of Columbia, investigated five of the nation's largest mortgage servicers, Ally/GMAC, Bank of America, Citi, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo, for allegations of foreclosure-related misconduct. The alleged misconduct included false affidavits submitted in foreclosure proceedings, lost paperwork, long delays and missed deadlines for loan modifications, and so-called "robo-signing," where the banks submitted foreclosure documents that were not properly signed...I urge anyone who may be eligible and who has not yet filed a claim to file one immediately. Only properly completed claims forms are being accepted. If you believe you may be eligible, please contact the National Mortgage Settlement Administrator at 1-866-430-8358 or visit NationalMortgageSettlement.com.
NEW LAWS PROMPTING MORE REPORTS OF CHILD ABUSE -- Gainesville Sun, http://www.gainesville.com , Feb. 4, 2013.
Reports of suspected child abuse in Alachua County and the state have climbed in recent months since new reporting laws went into effect, and the Florida Department of Children and Families is attributing that jump to the laws. Anyone who sees or has a suspicion of abuse who does not report it now faces a third-degree felony charge instead of a misdemeanor.
NEW RULES LET FLORIDIANS RAISE DISABLED KIDS AT HOME -- CBS 4 Miami, http://www.miami.cbslocal.com , Feb. 2, 2013.
Floridians can now raise their disabled children at home, instead of sending them away to institutions. The new rules were quietly announced by Florida healthcare regulators and will affect hundreds or even thousands of parents of disabled children. The most significant change: the state will no longer require parents — and sometimes teenage siblings and grandparents — to perform complex medical tasks “that normally could only be provided by a licensed nurse.” Such medical procedures might include the tube-feeding of children, the suctioning or replacement of breathing tubes and the oversight of ventilators. Instead, a trained professional would provide the services, with the state footing the bill.