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.
February 13, 2013
FEDERAL PROSECUTOR ADDS FIVE LAWYERS IN TAMPA -- Tampa Bay Business Journal, http://www.bizjournals.com/tampabay, Feb. 13, 2013. [MORE FEDERAL PROSECUTORS ADDED IN CENTRAL FLA. -- Lakeland Ledger, http://www.theledger.com , Feb. 13, 2013.]
U.S. Attorney Robert E. O’Neill has added five lawyers to his Tampa office, citing the need to restore adequate staffing to one of the busiest Department of Justice districts in the country. New federal prosecutors in Tampa are Josephine W. Thomas, who is assigned to the criminal division; Natalie Hirt Adams, who is in the asset forfeiture section; Suzanne C. Nebesky in the financial litigation unit; Patrick D. Scruggs, who is assigned to the narcotics section, and Michael Kenneth, who works in the civil division.
ASHTON BEGINS RESHAPING STATE ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, DISBANDS GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY UNIT -- South Florida Sun-Sentinel, http://www.sun-sentinel.com , Feb. 13, 2013.
Orange-Osceola State Attorney Jeff Ashton has been in office little more than a month but has already begun reshaping one of Central Florida's most static law-enforcement agencies in his image. The transition from longtime incumbent Lawson Lamar to Ashton has been one of substantial turnover, and though Ashton says the majority of the changes he has in store are still months away, he has already taken steps to fulfill two campaign pledges: eliminating some higher-salaried management positions and disbanding Lamar's Government Accountability Unit.
FROM TOP OF THE CLASS AT ARMWOOD HIGH TO CENTER OF THE IMMIGRATION DEBATE -- http://www.brandonpatch.com , Feb. 13, 2013. [Also: PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA FOCUSES ON GUN CONTROL, MIDDLE CLASS IN STATE OF THE UNION -- Tampa Bay Times, http://www.tampabay.com , Feb. 13, 2013.]
At President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address Feb. 12, at the House of Representatives in Washington, D.C., an Armwood High School graduate, first in his class, was to be in attendance as testament to the “complicated and unresolved debate over immigration,” according to a report posted by the Tampa Bay Times.
Jose Godinez-Samperio, who, as noted in the Tampa Bay Times report, was first in his class at Armwood High in Seffner, earned the rank of Eagle Scout, graduated from Florida State University’s Law School, but “cannot be admitted to The Florida Bar because he’s not a U.S. citizen.”
--Legal Ethics/Lawyer Discipline--
ACCUSED FORMER BOYNTON BEACH SCAMSTER NABBED IN LAS VEGAS FOR ALLEGEDLY PRETENDING TO BE LAWYER -- Palm Beach Post, http://www.pbpost.com , Feb. 13, 2013.
The person behind a defunct Boynton Beach debt collection firm has been arrested in Las Vegas for defrauding people while pretending to be a lawyer. Blanchi Dugatkin, 55, surfaced two years ago as the apparent author of a phony judicial order. The order came after a judge in Naples dismissed 155 cases she filed in Collier County and reported her to The Florida Bar for the unlicensed practice of law. Collier County Sheriff’s officials claim Dugatkin defrauded people out of a total of $180,000.
SUE CARLTON: SHOCK JOCK TRIAL AN INSULT TO ALL ATTORNEYS -- Tampa Bay Times, column by Sue Carlton, http://www.tampabay.com , Feb. 13, 2013. [Also: 'MJ' SCHNITT SEEKING NEW TRIAL -- Lakeland Ledger, http://www.theledger.com , Feb. 13, 2013.]
Carlton reports on the Bar's current investigation of four Tampa attorneys. "For the lawyers, it's up to The Florida Bar, which is responsible for the reputation and integrity of its attorneys, to prosecute or dismiss, to decide facts and also justice, down to whether lawyers deserve to keep on being lawyers. The Bar owes it to the good lawyers among us, and also to the good faith of the public watching this drama play out."