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

Aug. 21, 2013

--Legal Profession--

JONES DAY SIGNS LEASE AT 600 BRICKELL -- South Florida Business Journal (requires subscription),, Aug. 21, 2013.
Jones Day signed a new full-floor office lease at Brickell World Plaza in Miami. Jones Day is a global law firm with more than 2,400 lawyers and 40 offices. Its arrival in Miami is part of a trend among major law firms trying to capture more Latin American business by locating in South Florida. This is Jones Day's first office in Florida and it will support clients in business with Latin America.


HILLSBOROUGH'S NEW VETERANS COURT A WORTHY VENTURE -- Tampa Tribune, Editorial,, Aug. 21, 2013.
In an editorial, the Tribune applauds Hillsborough County Judge Richard Weis and Chief Judge Manuel Menendez Jr. for establishing a special court division for veterans accused of minor infractions. Certain honorably discharged veterans suffering from service-related mental disorders or substance abuse can choose to be diverted into the Misdemeanor Veterans Treatment Court, giving them a chance to have the charges dropped if they undergo treatment and complete the court program. The Tribune calls it "a worthy venture that could make all the difference for many of those who sacrificed to protect our freedoms."

--Lawyer Ethics/Legal Discipline--

MALPRACTICE VERDICT UPHELD IN ROBERT MESSICK'S TRIAL -- Tampa Business Journal (requires subscription),, Aug. 21, 2013.
U.S. District Judge Virginia M. Hernandez Covington denied a motion to overturn a jury’s malpractice verdict against prominent Sarasota law firm Icard Merrill and senior partner Robert Messick. The lawsuit contended Messick and the firm committed professional malpractice and breach of fiduciary duty in a $5.3 million real estate deal involving now-defunct First Priority Bank and developer Mark Brivik. The FDIC, receiver for the failed bank, alleged Messick had a conflict because he represented the bank, the developer and another lender. Messick and his firm filed a motion contending there was not evidence for conviction.

--Civil Justice Issues--

Florida's legal course that involves asking the U.S. Supreme Court to decide its water dispute with Georgia could be slow and costly, legal experts say. Gov. Rick Scott announced last week that the state will file the lawsuit to halt what he calls Georgia's "unchecked and growing" water consumption. Robin Kundis Craig, a University of Utah law professor, said the Supreme Court is reluctant to get involved in such cases. Any Supreme Court action by Florida is going to be quite expensive, said Christine A. Klein, a University of Florida law professor.


Edward "Ed" Leinster, one of Central Florida's best but most troubled trial lawyers, died from a heart attack two weeks ago. More than two dozen friends, lawyers and judges turned out on Friday [Aug. 16] to honor his memory. They knew well of Leinster's past and chose to talk about his courtroom victories and passion for life. Long known as a gifted attorney earning up to $750,000 a year, Leinster had a career that was upended by more than 20 arrests on drug- and alcohol-related charges. By the mid-1980s, Leinster began counseling other lawyers with drug and alcohol problems in a Florida Bar program. His own sobriety failed, and colleagues distanced themselves but none doubted his skill. 

WILLIAM H. BENSON -- South Florida Sun-Sentinel,, Aug. 21, 2013.
William H. "Bill" Benson, 84, passed away at his home in Pompano Beach on Saturday, Aug. 17. Benson was admitted to The Florida Bar in October of 1956. His long and distinguished legal career began as an associate of George Smathers in Miami. For more than 50 years, he practiced law in South Florida, most recently as founding partner of Benson, Mucci and Associates. He established the subcontractor's association, which fought for legal protection for construction laborers.

HARRY JERROL RAYMOND (1933-2013) -- Tallahassee Democrat,, Aug. 21, 2013.
Harry Jerrol Raymond, 79, Florida Army National Guard retired colonel, passed away. After one year at Florida State University, he received an appointment to the Military Academy at West Point, graduating in 1956. Raymond entered law school at Florida State University, graduated as a member of the charter class of 1969 and practiced law in Tallahassee. Raymond joined the Florida Army National Guard when he left the active Army and served Florida until his retirement after 32 years combined in 1987.

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[Revised: 08-22-2013]