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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.

June 26, 2013

--The Florida Bar--

EUGENE PETTIS MAKES HISTORY AS BAR'S FIRST BLACK PRESIDENT -- Daily Business Review (requires subscription), http://www.dailybusinessreview.com, June 26, 2013.
On Friday [June 28], Pettis will make history when he is sworn in as the first black president of The Florida Bar in its 63-year history. In his speech at the Bar's annual convention, he will recall his humble roots and the racism he encountered in his journey to the top. Pettis has started several initiatives, including a recruiting campaign to get 500 lawyers — many of them minorities — to serve on Bar committees, and developed a Leadership Academy, a one-year curriculum to train young lawyers for leadership positions in the Bar and community. The article chronicles Pettis' experiences growing up in segregated Fort Lauderdale in the 1960s and his career accomplishments.

SOUTH FLORIDA GROUPS WILL BE HONORED BY THE FLORIDA BAR -- Daily Business Review (requires subscription), http://www.dailybusinessreview.com, June 26, 2013.
Forty-two South Florida voluntary bar associations will receive The Florida Bar's Group Professionalism Award during its annual convention this week in Boca Raton as recognition for a joint program to boost civility in the legal profession. The award is one of several to be handed out at the annual gathering. The highest awards from the outgoing president will be announced Friday [June 28]. The article lists other South Floridians receiving awards at the convention.

LAKELAND LAWYERS HONORED FOR 50 YEARS OF PRACTICE -- Lakeland Ledger, http://www.theledger.com, June 26, 2013. [Also: 6 ATTORNEYS FROM 19TH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT TO BE HONORED FOR 50 YEARS' SERVICE TO FLORIDA BAR -- Stuart News (requires subscription), http://www.tcpalm.com, June 26, 2013.]
Local lawyers will be among more than 160 lawyers who will be honored at The Florida Bar's annual convention in Boca Raton. A luncheon will be held Friday [June 28] with the featured speaker being retired 2nd District Court of Appeal Judge Emiliano "E.J." Salcines Jr.

--Lawyer Ethics/Legal Discipline--

FLORIDA BAR SEEKS DISBARMENT OF RUNAWAY ATTORNEY -- Palm Beach Post, http://www.pbpost.com, June 26, 2013.
The Florida Bar is taking action against Lake Worth attorney Timothy McCabe, asking today [June 26] at a hearing in Broward County Circuit Court that he be permanently disbarred. McCabe, who disappeared in early April along with millions of dollars in client money, turned himself in to the FBI last week after a criminal complaint was filed against him. McCabe, a Boca Raton resident, was facing disciplinary action from the Florida Supreme Court before his disappearance for his actions in a foreclosure lawsuit against one of his properties. In April, the court suspended his license in an emergency action.

--Civil Justice Issues--

U.S. SUPREME COURT SIDES WITH ORANGE COUNTY LANDOWNER IN PROPERTY-RIGHTS CASE -- Orlando Sentinel, http://www.orlandosentinel.com, June 26, 2013. [Also: U.S. SUPREME COURT SIDES WITH FLORIDA LANDOWNER, OVERTURNS STATE SUPREME COURT DECISION -- Florida Current, http://www.thefloridacurrent.com, June 26, 2013; SCOTUS RULING OVERTURNING FLORIDA JUSTICES CARRIES ECHO OF BALLOT FIGHT -- Palm Beach Post, http://www.pbpost.com, June 26, 2013.]
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Tuesday [June 25] that a Central Florida property owner was unfairly required to compensate for the proposed destruction of some wetlands on his land nearly two decades ago. The case involves a 15-acre tract in east Orange County owned by the estate of Coy Koontz, a veteran Orlando developer who sought permits in 1993-94 to prepare his land for commercial development by filling in wetlands that drain to the Econlockhatchee River. Koontz sued the St. Johns River Water Management District when it suggested he could obtain a permit to fill the wetlands if he paid to have wetlands restored elsewhere in Orange County.

HIGH COURT HALTS USE OF KEY PART OF VOTING LAW -- Tampa Bay Times, http://www.tampabay.com, June 26, 2013. [Also: SCOTT CHEERS SCOTUS RULING ON VOTING RIGHTS ACT -- Tampa Bay Times, http://www.tampabay.com, June 26, 2013; SUPREME COURT RULING AFFECTS 5 FLA. COUNTIES -- Tampa Bay Times, http://www.tampabay.com, June 26, 2013.]
A deeply divided U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday [June 25] declared unconstitutional a provision of the landmark Voting Rights Act that determines which states and localities must get Washington's approval for proposed election changes, saying it does not reflect racial progress. The Voting Rights Act is described as the federal government's most potent tool to stop voting discrimination over the past half century. Florida Gov. Rick Scott praised the decision. "Any time that we have the opportunity to make our own decisions, I think that's great for our state," the governor said. The decision invalidates the coverage formula used to ensure compliance with the Voting Rights Act in five Florida counties on the preclearance list: Hillsborough, Monroe, Collier, Hardee and Hendry.  

--Criminal Justice Issues--

GEORGE ZIMMERMAN TRIAL: TESTIMONY CONTINUES TODAY; JURY WILL HEAR PAST ZIMMERMAN CALLS -- Orlando Sentinel, http://www.orlandosentinel.com, June 26, 2013.
Testimony continues today [June 26] in the George Zimmerman murder trial, as prosecutors continue to build their case. Circuit Judge Debra Nelson earlier today ruled that jurors can hear Zimmerman's calls to police reporting other people as suspicious in the months before the shooting, a victory for the prosecution. The state argued that those show his state of mind. The defense says they're irrelevant character evidence, and shouldn't be presented.

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[Revised: 06-27-2013]