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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.

April 3, 2013

--Judiciary--

SHOULD LAWS BE COLORBLIND? SUPREME COURT WEIGHS IN -- South Florida Times, http://www.sfltimes.com, April 3, 2013.
By the Associated Press. The U.S. Supreme Court's five conservative justices seem ready to declare a new post-racial moment, pointing to increased levels of voter registration and turnout among blacks to show that the South has changed. Lower federal courts just in the past year had seen things differently, blunting voter ID laws and other election restrictions passed by GOP-controlled legislatures in South Carolina, Texas and Florida, which they saw as discriminatory. The legal meanings of "equality,'' "racism'' and "discrimination'' have been in flux since at least 1883, when justices struck down a federal anti-discrimination law, calling it an unfair  racial advantage for former black slaves. Today, justices face the question of whether the nation has reached equality by a 1960s definition or some new standard.

FLORIDA ATTORNEY GENERAL PAM BONDI AMONG NOTABLES AT JUDGES' CEREMONY IN BARTOW -- Lakeland Ledger, http://www.theledger.com, April 3, 2013.
Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi and two state attorneys were among the dignitaries at a ceremony for the local bench's newest circuit judges. Jalal Harb and Glenn Shelby began handling court cases weeks ago, but Tuesday's [April 2] formal investiture in Bartow was a chance for family, friends and colleagues to honor them. Bondi had worked with Harb while she was employed with the State Attorney's Office in Hillsborough County. Harb's two former bosses, State Attorney Jerry Hill in Polk County and Hillsborough State Attorney Mark Ober were also present.

--Legislature--

BARKEY, OSORIO AND SIMON: JEWISH DIVORCE LAWS THREATENED IN TALLAHASSEE -- South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Column, http://www.sun-sentinel.com, April 3, 2013.
Opinion piece written by David Barkey from the Anti-Defamation League; Carlos F. Osorio and Rafael Ribeiro, from the International Law Section of The Florida Bar and Howard Simon, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida. They write, "Legislation on a fast track in Tallahassee threatens to complicate and destabilize the personal and commercial lives of foreign nationals sent here from such important partners as Israel, Latin America and elsewhere. Senate Bill 58, pending in a Senate Committee chaired by Sen. Eleanor Sobel, D-Hollywood, seeks to prohibit the "application of foreign law" and it would ban its use in Florida family courts.  Florida courts, arbiters, or administrative agencies would be prohibited  from recognizing divorces and related matters granted in Israel to Jewish couples. SB 58 would make life precarious and unpredictable for any immigrant or foreign national residing here."

FLORIDA SENATE UNVEILS $200M SPENDING PLAN TARGETED AT COURTS, FORECLOSURE BACKLOG AND HOUSING OPPORTUNITIES -- Jacksonville Business Journal, (requires subscription), http://www.bizjournals.com, April 3, 2013.
A split has emerged between the Florida House and Senate on how to use $200 million the state received as part of a multistate agreement with five major lenders. The Senate bill provides $10 million to provide housing for the homeless and nearly $23 million to the state courts to provide technology assistance to expedite foreclosure cases, allow for the use of more senior judges, temporary case management staff and clerks of the court. The House bill (HB 7111) has quite a different approach with the money. House Republicans propose spending $45 million on $10,000 worth of down payment assistance loans to targeted professions, veterans and those on active duty in the military.

FLA.'S 500TH ANNIVERSARY MARKED AT CABINET MEETING -- Miami Herald, http://www.miamiherald.com, April 3, 2013.
Florida's top elected officials celebrated the state's 500th anniversary Tuesday [April 2] at a Cabinet meeting in St. Augustine that was light on substance but infused with historical references, including a re-enactor portraying the 16th-century Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon. Gov. Rick Scott, Attorney General Pam Bondi, Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater and Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam toured Colonial Quarter, the historic section of St. Augustine - the nation's oldest city continuously occupied by European descendants. The Cabinet meeting held at Flagler College touched on a medley of topics, including Florida's improving economy.

--Other--

WILLIAM DEAN "WIG" BARROW -- Northwest Florida Daily News, http://www.nwfdailynews.com, April 3, 2013.
William Dean "Wig" Barrow of Crestview, Fla. went to his eternal rest on Easter Sunday, March 31, 2013, age 81. He graduated in 1953 from the University of Florida with a Bachelor's in Political Science and a Juris Doctorate in Law. He served two years as a judge advocate in the U.S. Air Force stationed in Maine. After returning to Okaloosa County, he served as county prosecutor for 12 years. He was elected president of the Bar Society of the First Judicial Circuit in 1960. Wig was elected to the Florida Senate in 1966.

WESLEY EMERSON CLINE -- Tallahassee Democrat, http://www.tallahassee.com, April 3, 2013.
Wesley Emerson Cline, 37, died suddenly on March 30 at his home. He was an attorney in the law practice of Timothy Padgett in Tallahassee. Wesley received his B.A. in English from Christopher Newport University and his law degree from Emory University. 

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[Revised: 04-04-2013]