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.
March 12, 2013
--The Florida Bar--
FLORIDA BAR PRESIDENT-ELECT PETTIS: 'WHAT NOW?' ABOUT DIVERSITY -- Jacksonville Daily Record, http://www.jaxdailyrecord.com, March 11, 2013.
The diversity movement of the past several decades has led to widely accepted inclusion, but there is more to be done, says The Florida Bar President-elect Eugene Pettis. "The question comes now that we have accepted diversity. What now?" Pettis asked attendees of the "True Diversity: Beyond Appearance to Substance" symposium Thursday [March 7] at Florida Coastal School of Law. Pettis will be the first African-American to serve as The Florida Bar president when he succeeds Tampa attorney Gwynne Young in June. Pettis said now that diversity is commonplace acceptance, people need to strive to break past the term as a buzzword and instead embrace it.
LAWYERS LEARNED FLORIDA RANKED THIRD IN U.S. FOR HUMAN TRAFFICKING -- Jacksonville Daily Record, http://www.jaxdailyrecord.com, March 11, 2013.
Human trafficking has been described as modern-day slavery and members of The Jacksonville Bar Association received information on its background and presence in Florida. Terry Coonan, executive director of the Florida State University Center for the Advancement of Human Rights, was the guest speaker Wednesday [March 6] at The Jacksonville Bar Association's March lunch meeting. He also took part in the association's 2013 Human Trafficking Symposium.
ADEQUATE, RELIABLE FUNDING CRUCIAL FOR FLORIDA CLERKS -- Tampa Tribune, Opinion, http://www.tbo.com, March 12, 2013.
Karen Rushing, clerk of the circuit court, comptroller for Sarasota County and the legislative chair of the Florida Court Clerks and Comptrollers Association, writes: "For the last several years, Florida court clerks and comptrollers across the state have found ourselves operating under extreme budget deficits, leading to a system that has become more and more challenging for Floridians . . . Now, we are asking lawmakers in Tallahassee to switch to a continuing appropriation budget approach that would allow for a possible limited adjustment factor based on increases in workload . . . Floridians deserve timely access to their records, their local clerk's office, and an efficient court system — all of which can be achieved with these legislative changes."
UNBALANCED FORECLOSURE BILL -- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Editorial, http://www.heraldtribune.com, March 11, 2013.
From the Editorial: "Thousands of homes languishing in foreclosure are a real problem for Florida. But lawmakers aiming to clear the logjam should resist legislation that would speed up the legal process at the expense of consumers. Instead, resources should be directed toward rectifying unfair loan practices; helping "underwater" homeowners; assisting condominium and homeowner associations as they deal with foreclosure-related maintenance gaps; and boosting legal aid and court staff."
NEGRON BILL WOULD SPEED UP APPEALS PROCESS FOR DEATH ROW INMATES -- Palm Beach Post, http://www.palmbeachpost.com, March 11, 2013.
Condemned inmates could spend fewer years on Death Row and have less time for appeals under a bill being championed by state Sen. Joe Negron, which aims to speed up the death penalty appellate process. The bill’s goal is to allow an inmate the opportunity to appeal a sentence of death in capital cases, but for the legal matters to be decided in a quicker manner. Members of the House criminal justice subcommittee approved the bill on Tuesday [March 5] and a companion House Joint Resolution, which would authorize the Legislature to enact the rules outlined in the act. Some groups, including The Florida Bar and the Florida Association of Public Defenders, have voiced concerns that allowing the Legislature to set rules for the judiciary will spark a debate over separations of powers.
--Criminal Justice Issues--
TAMPA BAY LAW ENFORCEMENT CHANGES MUGSHOT PROCEDURE -- Tampa Tribune, http://www.tbo.com, March 11, 2013.
The sheriff's offices and various police departments were told by State Attorney Bernie McCabe to make a basic change to their procedures as of Jan. 1: Stop showing witnesses and crime victims six photographs at the same time, which they had been doing for years. Now, investigators show the photographs one at a time, or sequentially. The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office and the Tampa Police Department started doing that two years ago. A study by the American Judicature Society showed that, with sequential lineups, witnesses were 50 percent less likely to identify the wrong person.
JOE SHERMAN EVERETT -- Tampa Bay Times, http://www.tampabaytimes.com, March 12, 2013.
Joe Sherman Everett, 89, of Clearwater Beach passed away on March 8. Joe excelled at the University of Florida where he earned a Juris Doctorate with honors in 1957. He was a partner in the law firm of McMullen, Everett, Logan, Marquardt and Cline. Over the years, Everett served as president of the Clearwater Bar Association.