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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 8, 2013

--Legal Profession--

COUNTY INKS PACT WITH LEGAL AID FOR WAGE THEFT HELP -- Wellington Town Crier, http://gowtowncrier.com, Feb. 8, 2013.
The Palm Beach County Commission approved a $100,000 contract Tuesday [Feb. 5] with the Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County to assist workers who feel they have been unfairly denied their wages. The Legal Aid program will cover the salary and benefits of a staff attorney assigned to the program, along with the support services, investigative needs, court processing and other costs.

NAPLES FIRM TEACHES 'LITTLE SISTER' ABOUT LAW -- Ft. Myers News-Press, http://news-press.com, Feb. 8, 2013.
Caitlin Roark learned about courtrooms and legal procedures recently during a day at work with her Big Sister attorney. Tina Eckert, with Quarles & Brady in Naples, brought Caitlin to the firm for Big Brothers Big Sisters' National Bring Your Little Brother/Sister to Work Day. The 10-year-old met with attorneys and a managing partner to learn about life as a lawyer. Eckert serves on the Collier County Resource Board for Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Sun Coast. The organization matches at-risk children ages 6 to 18 who live from Naples to Bradenton with adult mentors.

--Judiciary--

FLORIDA JUSTICES SIDE WITH BANK IN FORECLOSURE FRAUD CASE -- Palm Beach Post, http://www.palmbeachpost.com, Feb. 8, 2013. [Also: FLORIDA JUSTICES REJECT MORTGAGE FRAUD PENALTY -- Bradenton Herald, http://www.bradenton.com, Feb. 8, 2013; FORECLOSURE RULING DISAPPOINTS, LAWYERS SAY -- South Florida Sun-Sentinel, http://www.sun-sentinel.com, Feb. 8, 2013.]
The banks were the winner Thursday [Feb. 7] in a highly anticipated Florida Supreme Court decision involving a Greenacres foreclosure case. Justices upheld a rule allowing lenders to voluntarily dismiss cases as a tactic to avoid being penalized for filing fraudulent documents. The ruling in Roman Pino v. the Bank of New York left foreclosure defense attorneys reeling. BNY's lawyers had argued that the David J. Stern law firm, which represented the bank in the foreclosure case, was to blame for the documents. The Stern firm . . . went out of business in 2011. The Florida Bar, meanwhile, is seeking disciplinary action against Stern in 17 cases.

--Legislature--

FLORIDA HOUSE UNVEILS FORECLOSURE PACKAGE -- Ft. Myers News-Press, http://news-press.com, Feb. 8, 2013.
Hoping to speed up the rate of foreclosures, a House panel on Thursday [Feb. 7] approved a measure backers say will allow mortgage holders and consumers to more quickly resolve their issues and get on with their lives. But the panel got an earful from consumer advocates and homeowners, who contend that they are being asked to do too much to reduce the number of foreclosed homes in Florida, which leads the nation in the percentage of homes facing some type of foreclosure proceeding.

EASE THE WAY TO THE BALLOT BOX -- Tampa Bay Times, http://www.tampabay.com, Feb. 8, 2013.
The Times editorial urges Florida leaders to take action to make voting more convenient, accessible and standardized in Florida.

FRS PENSION-REFORM PLAN PASSES FIRST HURDLE -- Tallahassee Democrat, http://www.tallahassee.com, Feb. 8, 2013.
Speaker Will Weatherford’s priority to close the traditional pension plan in the Florida Retirement System moved forward easily on Tuesday [Feb. 5] along a strict party-line vote. If passed into law, the bill sponsored by the House Governmental Operations panel would end guaranteed pension payments for new public employees.

--Criminal Justice Issues--

ATTORNEY GENERAL BONDI WARNS OF IDENTITY THEFT AND TAX-RELATED SCAMS THIS TAX SEASON -- Bay County Press, http://baycountypress.com, Feb. 8, 2013.
Attorney General Pam Bondi urges Floridians to use caution when filing tax returns and to be aware of identity theft and tax-related scams. Consumers should file complaints about tax-related scams and any other types of fraud by calling the Attorney General’s fraud hotline, 1-866-9-NO-SCAM (1-866-966-7226), or by filing a complaint online at MyFloridaLegal.com.

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[Revised: 02-11-2013]