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.
June 20, 2014
--The Florida Bar--
PALM BEACH COUNTY LAWYER TO LEAD FLORIDA BAR -- South Florida Sun-Sentinel, http://www.sun-sentinel.com, June 20, 2014.
The incoming president of the Florida Bar is a West Palm Beach attorney who wants to find better ways to provide legal services to a majority of Floridians who can't afford to hire a lawyer. Gregory W. Coleman, 51, will hold a summit on providing more legal services to those who can't afford it after he is sworn in as president of the almost 99,000-member Florida Bar June 27 during the annual convention in Orlando. Another of Coleman's goals is to help more attorneys become tech-savvy. He has been known as a technology trend-setter as a member of The Florida Bar Board of Governors for eight years. Coleman, a partner with Critton, Luttier & Coleman, concentrates on commercial litigation, professional malpractice defense, personal injury, wrongful death and employment litigation.
MARTIN DYCKMAN: IN FLORIDA, POOR PEOPLE WHOSE WOES ARE OF A CIVIL NATURE ARE ON THEIR OWN -- ContextFlorida, http://www.contextflorida.com, June 19, 2014.
Columnist Martin Dyckman writes, "It is a cherished belief that all Americans are equal before the courts of justice. Gov. Rick Scott demonstrated the hollowness of that premise when he vetoed the Florida Legislature’s modest $2 million appropriation for Florida’s civil legal aid agencies . . . In Florida, poor people facing criminal charges are guaranteed a public defender. But those whose woes are of a civil nature are on their own . . . Legal aid agencies help many, but are turning away many more because the financial crash dried up The Florida Bar Foundation’s principal funding source, bank interest on lawyer’s trust accounts . . . “Florida’s delivery of legal services to the poor is in crisis,” declared former Chief Justice Raoul Cantero in a petition, backed by 520 other lawyers, asking the Supreme Court to raise Florida Bar dues by $100 to finance legal aid . . . Cantero’s heart is in the right place but it’s not the best solution. Aside from the unlikelihood of the court approving it, it risks alienating many of the lawyers who presently represent poor people pro bono . . . Legal aid is a moral necessity, not a luxury. The proper question is how best to pay for it."
JUDGES' VOTERS PROJECT WINS EMMY AWARD FOR PSA -- Daily Business Review (requires subscription), http://www.dailybusinessreview.com, June 19, 2014.
The National Association of Women Judges and the Informed Voters Project won a regional Emmy award for the public service announcement on judicial independence "Fair and Free." The PSA was funded by The Florida Bar, which contributed $50,000 for its production. Florida judges, including Supreme Court Justice Barbara Pariente, took the lead on the project and served as the coordinating committee co-chair of the Informed Voters-Fair Judges campaign in Florida. Former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor appeared in the video as part of the NAWJ's effort to address what it sees as a dangerous trend creeping into judicial elections nationwide. The Emmy was awarded by the National Capital Chesapeake Bay chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
--Criminal Justice Issues--
FLORIDA'S LACK OF JUSTICE IN DEATH PENALTY PROCESS -- Fort Myers News-Press, Editorial, http://www.news-press.com, June 20, 2014.
Editorial on the Timely Justice Act. ". . . It turns out that the new law doesn’t do much at all. On June 12, the Florida Supreme Court upheld the law. But in rejecting several challenges against the law, the justices in their unanimous ruling exposed how little the law actually changes . . . What the law and the rhetoric of its sponsor have done successfully is distract from some of the real issues surrounding the death penalty. In 2006, the Florida Death Penalty Assessment Team Report from the American Bar Association found numerous problems in the process of administering the death penalty. Last year, the Board of Governors of The Florida Bar officially asked for a comprehensive review by the Legislature, the governor and the judicial system of the death penalty process in Florida . . . Let’s hope that, in our eagerness to mete out swift justice, we don’t forget what justice is."
REPUBLICANS FILE ETHICS COMPLAINT AGAINST CRIST OVER 2010 APPOINTMENT -- Tampa Bay Times, http://www.tampabay.com, June 19, 2014.
Republicans slapped Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist with an election-year ethics complaint Thursday [June 19] that involves the Morgan & Morgan law firm that Crist joined soon after leaving the governor's office. The complaint by Juston Johnson, executive director of the Republican Party of Florida, alleges a cause-and-effect between Crist's appointment of Morgan & Morgan partner Joseph Linnehan to a Judicial Nominating Commission seat and Crist taking a six-figure job at the high-profile personal injury law firm, which would violate an ethics provision that bars an official from taking any action with the promise of future employment.
WILLIAM JOSEPH WALSH -- South Florida Sun-Sentinel, http://www.sun-sentinel.com, June 20, 2014.
William Joseph Walsh passed away on June 16. He was a World War II veteran and Purple Heart recipient who served in the U.S. Navy. Walsh is a graduate of Miami University (Ohio) and Cleveland Marshall Law School. He practiced law in Ohio and Florida.