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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.

December 18, 2017

  1. Civil Justice Issues

    APP OFFERS HELP TO FLORIDIANS WHO CAN’T AFFORD A LAWYER IN FAMILY COURT

    Tallahassee Democrat | Article | December 15, 2017

    A new app can help the tens of thousands of low-income Floridians who must defend themselves in family court because they can’t afford a lawyer. The Florida Courts Help app provides access to information and documents needed to divorce, seek a protection order, adopt and other family law matters. The Florida Commission on Access to Civil Justice, released the app Friday [Dec. 15] before a meeting in Tallahassee focused on family law.

  2. Legal Profession

    DESTIGMATIZING MENTAL HEALTH IN THE LEGAL PROFESSION: BAR TO OFFER RESOURCES STATEWIDE

    Daily Business Review | Column | December 15, 2017

    Michael J. Higer, president of The Florida Bar, writes: “[In October] the legal community lost one of our most vocal champions for mental health. As executive director of Florida Lawyers Assistance Inc., Michael Cohen spent the past 20 years advocating for attorneys struggling with substance abuse and mental illness. . . . We can continue his legacy by ensuring attorneys who suffer from mental health challenges have a place to turn — without fear of judgment or rebuke.”

  3. Constitution Revision Commission

    CONSTITUTION REVISION COMMISSION COMING TO PENSACOLA

    Pensacola News Journal | Article | December 17, 2017

    Citizens will be able to present their ideas for amending Florida’s Constitution at a public hearing in Pensacola early next year. The Constitution Revision Commission will visit the University of West Florida on Feb. 27 to hear directly from citizens what issues matter most to them. The 37-member commission is convened every 20 years and spends approximately one year traveling the state of Florida, identifying issues, performing research and possibly recommending changes to the Constitution.

  4. Judiciary

    DO PEOPLE GET JUSTICE WHEN JUDGES AND LAWYERS ARE FACEBOOK FRIENDS?

    Sun Sentinel | Article | December 15, 2017

    When the judge is Facebook friends with your prosecutor or the other guy’s lawyer, should you worry? This question of whether relationships on social networks run afoul of judicial ethics is now before the state Supreme Court. Over the years, the Facebook friends debate has led to warnings from a judicial ethics group, and conflicting opinions from appellate courts in South Florida over whether it’s a violation. Because of the differing views of two appellate courts on two different South Florida cases, the Florida Supreme Court has agreed to weigh in.

  5. Legal Profession

    12 LAW SCHOOL STORIES THAT MADE 2017 A YEAR TO RFEMEMBER

    Daily Business Review | Article | December 13, 2017

    Law schools in Florida made headlines in 2017 for successes, scandals and other stories, good or bad. Leaders at Florida A&M University removed Angela Felecia Epps as dean of its law school in the spring. In the fall, two Florida law schools were named among 10 disciplined by the American Bar Association since August 2016 for enrolling students who it says are unlikely to graduate and pass the bar. Fundraising efforts at the University of Florida Levin College of Law paid off big time. Here is a look back at what put some front and center.

  6. Civil Justice Issues

    MIAMI PULLS THE PLUG ON ITS RED LIGHT CAMERA PROGRAM

    Miami Herald | Article | December 14, 2017

    The days of wincing while driving through a Miami intersection on a yellow light will soon be over, after city commissioners agreed Thursday [Dec. 14] to end their red light camera program early next year. By a unanimous vote, Miami commissioners chose to cancel their 2010 contract with American Traffic Solutions to maintain and operate dozens of red light cameras around the city.

  7. Civil Justice Issues

    GUEST COLUMN: REVERSE MORTGAGES CAN BACKFIRE ON HOMEOWNERS

    Florida Times-Union | Column | December 15, 2017

    Jim Kowalski, CEO of Jacksonville Area Legal Aid, writes: “Jacksonville Area Legal Aid strongly suggests seniors proceed with caution when considering a reverse mortgage. Over the past few years, it has become easier for seniors to obtain reverse mortgages that are initially sold as a good idea (no more mortgage payments, no more headaches, etc.). But during this same time period, legal aid lawyers and advocates for Florida’s elderly population have also seen a sharp rise in the number of reverse mortgage foreclosures that are bad for the seniors who thought they had peace of mind — but now find themselves homeless.”

  8. Legal Profession

    JBA SENIOR HOLIDAY PROJECT SETS RECORD

    Jacksonville Daily Record | Article | December 18, 2017

    The Jacksonville Bar Association’s Senior Holiday Project set a record this year when gifts were provided to more than 400 residents. Working with the nonprofit Aging True, the bar association collected wish lists from seniors. Members purchased and wrapped the gifts that were delivered last week by attorneys, judges and judicial assistants as well as sworn officers and community service officers from the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.

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