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 27, 2013
--Lawyer Ethics/Legal Discipline--
LAW SCHOOL GRAD, SEEKING TO PRACTICE, GETS CIVIL RIGHTS RESTORED -- Miami Herald, http://www.miamiherald.com, June 26, 2013.
Jessica Chiappone, a law school graduate and single mother of three, wants to practice law in Florida but 15 years ago she admitted her role in a drug conspiracy that made her a convicted felon, stripping her of her civil rights under Florida law. Gov. Rick Scott backed her cause Wednesday [June 26] and restored her civil rights at a Board of Clemency meeting. A special commission created by former Supreme Court Chief Justice Fred Lewis wants the Supreme Court to pass a rule prohibiting convicted felons from seeking Bar admission, even if their civil rights are restored. The current threshold is “too low,” the commission said, noting that a convicted felon cannot be a state law enforcement officer but could practice law.
SUPREME COURT DISCIPLINES 23 ATTORNEYS – Florida Bar News, http://www.floridabar.org, June 26, 2013. [Also: ST. AUGUSTINE LAWYER DISCIPLINED BY FLORIDA SUPREME COURT – Jacksonville Business Journal, http://www.bizjournals.com, June 26, 2013; TWO LOCAL ATTORNEYS DISCIPLINED BY FLORIDA SUPREME COURT—Orlando Business Journal, http://www.bizjournals.com, June 26, 2013; CLERMONT ATTORNEY FACES REPRIMAND -- Orlando Sentinel, http://www.orlandosentinel.com, June 25, 2013.]
The Florida Bar, the state's guardian for the integrity of the legal profession, announces that the Florida Supreme Court in recent court orders disciplined 23 attorneys, disbarring six, suspending 12 and publicly reprimanding five. Four attorneys received more than one form of discipline. One was placed on probation and three were ordered to pay restitution.
NEW FLORIDA LAW TO HASTEN EXECUTIONS FACES LAWSUIT CHALLENGE – Palm Beach Post, http://www.pbpost.com, June 26, 2013.
Attorneys representing Death Row inmates Wednesday [June 26] filed a challenge with the Florida Supreme Court to the “Timely Justice Act,” saying it is an unconstitutional power grab by the Legislature and violates convicts’ constitutional rights to due process and equal protection. The attorneys asked the Florida Supreme Court to issue an emergency injunction blocking the law, warning it will create a “flood of death warrants that will inundate the courts” and diminish the court’s review of capital cases.
--Civil Justice Issues--
S. FLA. GAYS CHEER SUPREME COURT RULINGS, CONSERVATIVES OBJECT -- South Florida Sun-Sentinel, http://www.sun-sentinel.com, June 26, 2013.
The U.S. Supreme Court delivered historic rulings advancing same-sex marriage on Wednesday [June 26], but for gays and lesbians in Florida who hope to marry, the law is unchanged, with a ban on same-sex marriage enshrined in the state Constitution. "This victory is a step in the right direction," said Elizabeth F. Schwartz, president of the Miami Beach Bar Association and chairwoman of the Gay and Lesbian Lawyers Association of Miami. Elsewhere, conservative Christians expressed unhappiness with the Supreme Court's decision.
SARASOTA COUNTY TO SEVER GULFCOAST LEGAL PACT – Sarasota Herald-Tribune, http://www.heraldtribune.com, June 26, 2013.
The Sarasota County Commission has notified Gulfcoast Legal Services it intends to terminate its contract with the troubled nonprofit and transfer the remaining funds to Legal Aid of Manasota, after learning about problems with the Sarasota nonprofit’s new Executive Director Kathleen Mullin. She has drawn attention from Southwest Florida’s legal and nonprofit community after firing Elizabeth Boyle, the longtime head of the Sarasota office.