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. For information on previous articles, please contact the publishing newspaper directly.
March 07, 2018
Florida Politics | Article | March 06, 2018
The Florida House on Monday [March 5] supported creating pre-arrest diversion programs for juveniles and adults, but the chamber wants to make it harder for offenders to qualify than the Senate does. The House adopted a “strike-all” amendment, and the amended bill now states that those suspected of a misdemeanor domestic violence or stalking cannot participate in a diversion program. The Senate’s proposal would require every judicial circuit in the state to create a program and allow them to choose their offender eligibility criteria.
Tampa Bay Times | Article | March 06, 2018
Florida’s regular 60-day legislative session will end Friday [March 9] with no budget agreement, ensuring that legislators will have to return next week or later to pass a budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1. House Speaker Richard Corcoran said that, under the best-case scenario, lawmakers would finish on Saturday [March 10]. But Monday is more realistic, he said. Under Florida’s Constitution, a final budget must be available for a 72-hour cooling off period before a final vote by both houses.
Daily Business Review | Article | March 06, 2018
The Florida Supreme Court didn’t seem ready Tuesday [March 6] to officially adopt the Daubert evidence standard five years after the state Legislature wrote the rule change into law. During oral argument in DeLisle v. Crane, the court’s more conservative justices questioned whether plaintiffs attorneys brought the right case to challenge Daubert, which asks trial judges to ensure admitted scientific evidence is relevant and reliable. Other justices considered the standard’s effect on plaintiffs compared with the Frye test, which asks whether new or novel evidence is based on generally accepted science.
ABA Journal | Article | March 06, 2018
A federal magistrate judge has held the Law School Admission Council is in contempt of court for partly violating a consent decree establishing procedures to handle requests for disability accommodations on the Law School Admission Test. U.S. Magistrate Judge Joseph Spero of San Francisco sanctioned the LSAC by extending the 2014 consent decree for another two years. The LSAC’s approach indicates it viewed the consent decree “as an intrusion to be avoided rather than a challenge to be embraced,” Spero wrote in his order.
ABA Journal | Article | March 06, 2018
Lawyers should be mindful of the duty of confidentiality when they engage in public commentary, including blogging and other online postings, according to an ethics opinion from the ABA Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility. Formal Ethics Opinion 480 explains that lawyers communicating about legal topics in public commentary must comply with the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, including Rule 1.6(a), which addresses information relating to the representation of a client.
Criminal Justice Issues
Orlando Sentinel | Article | March 06, 2018
Due to a legal battle, Florida is putting on hold requests by former prisoners who are asking to get their voting rights restored. U.S. District Judge Mark Walker in February ruled that the state’s system of restoring voting rights to ex-felons is unconstitutional, but he hasn’t yet ruled on what should be done to change the system. Gov. Rick Scott and three other statewide officials are holding a clemency meeting on Thursday [March 8], but they are not taking any action on requests from 62 ex-felons to have their rights restored, waiting for another ruling from Walker.
Civil Justice Issues
Gulfshore Life | Article | March 06, 2018
The scope of sexual harassment is difficult to define, because most legal cases are settled confidentially. But the conditions that breed sexual harassment may be ripe in Southwest Florida. In the agricultural sector, undocumented immigrant women are vulnerable targets; in restaurant and service jobs, young women and working moms may fear speaking out lest their bosses let them go. “It cuts across all fields,” says Bradley P. Rothman, a Naples-based lawyer who has been representing sexual harassment victims since 2007.