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 11, 2013
--The Florida Bar--
THUMB UP: FLORIDA BAR HONORS DEPUTY COUNTY ATTORNEY IN INDIAN RIVER FOR PRO BONO EFFORTS -- Jupiter Courier, http://www.tcpalm.com, Feb. 10, 2013.
The Florida Bar recently honored one representative from each of the state's 20 judicial circuits — as well as an at-large position — for their pro bono legal efforts. Bill DeBraal, Indian River's deputy county attorney, was one of the 21 honorees selected for his volunteer work in the 19th Judicial Circuit. DeBraal, whose government role limits his ability to meet clients, serves the community by volunteering as the pro bono chairman of the Indian River County Bar Association and matching local attorneys with people facing a variety of legal needs.
LAKE SCHOOLS SHOULD TEACH ABOUT LEGAL TRAILBLAZER VIRGIL HAWKINS -- Orlando Sentinel, http://www.orlandosentinel.com, Feb. 11, 2013.
This column profiles Virgil Hawkins, the man who broke the color barrier at the University of Florida for law students. Monday [Feb. 11] marks the 25th anniversary of his death. The author invites Lake County teachers and students to make a few minutes for Virgil Hawkins, and to contemplate discrimination issues. Hawkins attended Lake schools through the 10th grade.
4 FINALISTS FOR COUNTY JUDGE -- Fernandina Beach News Leader, http://www.fbnewsleader.com, Feb. 11, 2013.
A Nassau County resident will succeed Granville "Doc" Burgess as the next Nassau County Judge, the Fourth Circuit Judicial Nominating Commission announced Friday [Feb. 8]. The nominating commission, which trimmed a list of 11 applicants down to four, has chosen Nassau County Attorney David Hallman, Hilliard Town Attorney Steven Fahlgren, Assistant Public Defender Thomas Townsend Jr. and Fernandina Beach attorney Wesley Poole as its finalists.
FLORIDA SUPREME COURT IS WALKING ON EGGSHELLS -- Daily Business Review (requires subscription), http://www.dailybusinessreview.com, Feb. 11, 2013.
The Florida Supreme Court's recent decision favoring mandatory contributions into the Florida Retirement System said a lot about how the court is evolving and may set the tone for 2013 — empathetic to the masses while sparing the Legislature a scenario that would have . . . created a budget nightmare.
DEATH PENALTY ABOLITION BILL QUASHED -- Tallahassee Democrat, http://www.tallahassee.com, Feb. 9, 2013.
State Rep. Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda has been on a three-year quest to abolish the death penalty in Florida. The Democrat from Tallahassee has introduced the bill three times, only to have it ignored by legislative leaders. That changed on Thursday [Feb. 7], when Matt Gaetz, chair of the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee, agreed to have the bill heard. Nearly an hour of debate . . . culminated with the bill getting voted down. Rehwinkel Vasilinda said she plans to bring it back next year.
PROTECTING SUNSHINE LAW IS A CHALLENGE -- Lakeland Ledger, http://www.theledger.com, Feb. 11, 2013.
This piece by The Ledger's political editor Bill Rufty states that open government is crucial to everyone who needs information about what governments from city hall to the Capitol are doing, and discusses issues on protecting and enhancing open government.
--Criminal Justice Issues--
CRISTIAN FERNANDEZ PLEADS GUILTY TO MANSLAUGHTER, GETS JUVENILE SANCTIONS -- Florida Times-Union, http://www.jacksonville.com, Feb. 11, 2013.
Cristian Fernandez, the youngest person charged as an adult with first-degree murder in Jacksonville history, received juvenile sanctions Friday for pleading guilty to manslaughter in the March 2011 death of his 2-year-old half brother. Circuit Judge Mallory Cooper accepted the plea agreement that will ensure the 14-year-old won’t be released from a juvenile jail until January 2018, when he turns 19. Upon his release, he will serve eight years of probation.
LACY MAHON, PROMINENT LAWYER AND CONFIDANT OF MAYORS, DIES AT 88 -- Florida Times-Union, http://www.jacksonville.com, Feb. 11, 2013.
Lacy Mahon Jr., long respected as an icon among lawyers and confidant of four Jacksonville mayors, died Friday [Feb. 8]. He was 88.