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.
Jan. 7, 2013
'IT'S BEEN A GREAT TRIP,' LAWSON LAMAR SAYS AS STATE ATTORNEY TRANSITION LOOMS -- Orlando Sentinel, http://www.orlandosentinel.com , Jan. 6, 2013.
The article profiles Lawson Lamar, state attorney for Orange and Osceola counties.
HOWARD 'SKIP' BABB REFLECTS ON 32-YEAR CAREER AS PUBLIC DEFENDER -- Orlando Sentinel, http://www.orlandosentinel.com , Jan. 6, 2013.
The article profiles 5th Judicial Circuit public defender Howard "Skip" Babb Jr.
PETER ANTONACCI LEAVES INCOMING PALM BEACH COUNTY STATE ATTORNEY ARONBERG A MORE STABLE OFFICE THAN HE INHERITED -- Palm Beach Post, http://www.pbpost.com , Jan. 6, 2013.
The article profiles Palm Beach state attorney Peter Antonacci.
OVERTON LED COURT OUT OF ERA OF SCANDAL -- Tampa Bay Times, column by Lucy Morgan, http://www.tampabay.com , Jan. 7, 2013.
Morgan writes, "Ben Overton was a Pinellas County circuit judge in 1974 when Gov. Reubin Askew selected him for the Florida Supreme Court under a new merit retention system designed to take politics out of the judicial selection process. Overton took his seat on the court amid turmoil and intrigue and threats of impeachment as a scandal engulfed the state's highest court. . .Overton was a no-nonsense judge with deeply held beliefs about how the courts ought to operate. As chief judge in the Pinellas-Pasco circuit, he got to know most of the state's circuit judges, a bonus in a state where the highest court establishes the rules for all courts. . .Overton was part of a unanimous court that voted to open up courtrooms so Floridians could judge the legal system for themselves."
LIFE WITHOUT PAROLE IN JUVENILE CASES CHALLENGES COURTS -- St. Augustine Record, http://www.staugustine.com , Jan. 5, 2013.
A U.S. Supreme Court ruling that struck down laws requiring automatic life sentences without parole for juvenile killers is presenting some thorny legal issues for Florida judges. That includes an appellate court that split over how to apply the decision to a Jacksonville case Friday [Jan. 4]. Most states, including Florida, required life without parole for certain types of murder if juvenile defendants were prosecuted as adults. The ruling could affect more than 260 cases in Florida, according to the advocacy group Fair Sentencing of Youth, if it’s determined to be retroactive. That’s another issue that Florida courts are tussling with.
JUDICIAL NOMINATING COMMISSION FOR THE SECOND JUDICIAL CIRCUIT SEEKS APPLICANTS FOR A VACANCY -- Florida Bar News, http://www.flabar.org , Jan. 4, 2013.
Applicants are being sought to fill a circuit court vacancy within the Second Judicial Circuit. The appointment is to fill the vacancy resulting from the resignation of Judge Mark Walker. Applicants must have been members of The Florida Bar for the past five years and must be electors of Florida and must reside within the Second Judicial Circuit. Application forms are available on the Florida Bar web site: www.flabar.org. An original and nine copies of the completed application must be delivered no later than 5 p.m. on Jan. 24.
VOLUSIA COUNTY JUDGE MARSHALL RETIRING AFTER 20 YEARS ON BENCH -- Daytona Beach News-Journal, http://www.news-journalonline.com , Jan. 5, 2013.
The article profiles Volusia County Judge Peter Marshall.
DANIEL B. MERRITT SR. RETIRES AS 5TH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT COURT JUDGE -- Tampa Bay Times, http://www.tampabay.com , Jan. 6, 2013.
The article profiles Daniel B. Merritt Sr., 5th Judicial Circuit Court judge.
ASYLUM JUDGE KNOWN AS TOUGH -- South Florida Sun-Sentinel, http://www.sun-sentinel.com , Jan. 5, 2013.
The article profiles South Florida judge Rex J. Ford.
DRUG COURT GIVES OFFENDERS A SECOND CHANCE -- St. Augustine Record, http://www.staugustine.com , Jan. 6, 2013.
For a decade now, St. Johns County has run a drug court program that strives to catch non-violent offenders with a substance-abuse problem before they get to the point that long prison terms are the only legal option. Those who haven’t been drug dealers and are ready to live their lives without illegal drugs or alcohol are given a chance in drug court to prove they can get clean on the outside.
NEW BILL WOULD SPEED UP FORECLOSURE PROCESS IN FLORIDA -- Bradenton Herald, http://www.bradenton.com , Jan. 5, 2013.
A "faster foreclosures" proposal that sparked consumer outcry and protest last year has resurfaced in a more moderate form, with a new bill filed this week by Rep. Kathleen Passidomo, R-Naples. The bill, HB 87, offers changes to the civil procedures governing foreclosures in Florida, where home repossessions are on the rise again. Most of the provisions are aimed at speeding up and cleaning up the foreclosure process, which currently takes more 600 days to run its course in Florida.
FLORIDA NEEDS TO DEBATE THE DEATH PENALTY -- Hernando Today, editorial, http://www2.hernandotoday.com , Jan. 6, 2013.
The editorial says: For the second year in a row, Florida has sent more convicted killers to Death Row than any other state. There were 22 new death penalty cases this year in Palm Beach County. . .Our justice system makes mistakes. If for no other reason, death should not be a penalty for any crime. Not only does Florida lead the nation with 21 individuals sentenced to death this year, according to the Death Penalty Information Center, it's also No. 1 for the number of Death Row inmates exonerated. . .Laws are made to be changed. Florida can lead the way in another direction.