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Daily News Summary

The purpose of this summary provided by the Communications Department of The Florida Bar is to present media coverage that may be of interest to members. Opinions expressed in the articles are attributable solely to the authors. The Florida Bar does not adopt or endorse any opinions expressed below. For information on previous articles, please contact the publishing newspaper directly.

July 12, 2019

  1. The Florida Bar

    PARKER THOMSON AWARDS GIVEN BY FLORIDA BAR HONOR TOP JOURNALISM

    Florida Politics | Article | July 11, 2019

    The Tampa Bay Times won first prize in print journalism in The 2019 Parker Thomson Awards for Outstanding Legal Journalism for its reporting on a 2018 fatal shooting outside a Clearwater convenience store. The awards were presented Thursday [July 11] in St. Petersburg during the 2019 Florida Media Conference. In print journalism, the top prize went to the Tampa Bay Times and reporters Kathryn Varn and Zack Sampson for their “Stand Your Ground” series. Second prize in the print category went to The Florida Times-Union and reporter Tessa Duvall for her “When Kids Kill” series. The first prize in television journalism went to WESH-TV 2 for reporter Greg Fox’s “Noor Salman on Trial” coverage. There was no second prize awarded in the television category. First-place awards were worth $500, and second-place honors received $250. All honorees and their media outlets received plaques.

  2. The Florida Bar

    JUDGE DENKIN WINS CHIEF JUSTICE AWARD FOR JUDICIAL EXCELLENCE

    The Florida Bar | Article | July 12, 2019

    Sarasota County Judge David Denkin is the 2019 recipient of the Chief Justice Award for Judicial Excellence. Supreme Court Chief Justice Charles T. Canady presented the award to Denkin at the Conference of County Court Judges of Florida’s recent meeting on Orlando. Denkin, a county court judge since 2003, has been recognized for his efforts in Sarasota County and as a leader within the branch for many years. He is concluding his term as president of the conference.

  3. Civil Justice Issues

    MARY MCLEOD BETHUNE: DESANTIS FORMALLY ASKS THAT STATUE BE PLACED IN U.S. CAPITOL

    South Florida Sun-Sentinel | Article | July 10, 2019

    Gov. Ron DeSantis formally asked Wednesday [July 10] that the statue of civil-rights leader and educator Mary McLeod Bethune replace the likeness of a Confederate general as a representative of Florida in the U.S. Capitol. DeSantis sent a letter to the architect of the U.S. Capitol officially requesting that the Bethune statue be substituted for the one of General Edmund Kirby Smith in National Statuary Hall, a change Florida lawmakers approved last year.

  4. Civil Justice Issues

    ACA CASE PLACES AGE-OLD LEGAL DOCTRINE IN SPOTLIGHT

    Law 360 | Article | July 11, 2019

    The notion that the Affordable Care Act must fall if its insurance-purchasing requirement falls ignores a well-settled legal doctrine intended to prevent courts from doing lawmakers’ work, a legal scholar said after this week’s arguments in the ACA lawsuit before the federal Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. The severability doctrine, which directs courts that invalidate one section of a law to uphold the rest, has deep roots in American jurisprudence and fans of all ideological bents, and arguments on Tuesday [July 9] by states opposing the ACA essentially disregarded it, Yale Law School professor Abbe Gluck told a U.S. House committee on Wednesday [July 10].

  5. Civil Justice Issues

    ONLY 7 STATES REQUIRE FELONS TO PAY ALL FINES, FEES AND RESTITUTION TO BE ABLE TO VOTE. FLORIDA IS THE 8TH

    Florida Phoenix | Article | July 09, 2019

    In the strict rules that give voting rights back to felons, Florida isn’t alone — but not by much. A new analysis performed by the National Conference of State Legislatures lists just seven other states in the country that require felons to pay fines, fees and restitution to be able to regain their right to vote: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Iowa, Connecticut, Tennessee and Washington. In Florida, voters overwhelmingly approved constitutional Amendment 4 last fall, which said that all felons (with some exceptions) would automatically get their voting rights restored once they had completed their sentences. But legislation signed last month by Gov. Ron DeSantis requires that felons pay all fines, fees or restitution to get their voting rights back. The issue has spawned several federal lawsuits.

  6. Criminal Justice Issues

    NEW JUDGE FROM OUTSIDE BREVARD COUNTY ASSIGNED TO ISNARDI AND AGUIAR CASES

    Florida Today | Article | July 11, 2019

    Michael J. Linn, of the 19th Judicial Circuit in Vero Beach, has been assigned to preside over the corruption cases involving Dave Isnardi and Jose Aguiar in Brevard County. Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Charles Canady appointed Linn in an order issued Wednesday [July 10]. “I think this was done in the abundance of caution,” said Michelle Kennedy, spokeswoman for the 18th Judicial Circuit. “It affects the husband of a county commissioner . . . The County Commission is a partial funder of our courts.” Isnardi, the former deputy city manager of Palm Bay, is the husband of Brevard County Commissioner Kristine Isnardi.

  7. Criminal Justice Issues

    FLORIDA SENATE TO ANALYZE HOW PROPOSED LAWS IMPACT RACIAL DISPARITIES IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM

    Florida Phoenix | Article | July 11, 2019

    For years, the Florida Senate has required that every piece of legislation assigned to a committee be analyzed for how it affects state spending, the private sector and the state Constitution. Now, in a plan worked out between Orange Country Democratic state Sen. Randolph Bracy and GOP Senate President Bill Galvano, each bill will be analyzed for how it could impact the racial and ethnic disparities in Florida’s criminal justice system.

  8. Criminal Justice Issues

    RACE NOT FACTOR IN HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY DA CRIMINAL CASES, REPORT FINDS

    Tampa Bay News 9 | Article | July 11, 2019

    Racial bias is not a factor in how district attorneys in the Hillsborough County State Attorney’s Office prosecute cases, according to a new report. Researchers with Florida International University and Loyola University spent months combing through 87,000 cases inside the 13th Judicial Circuit. The “Advancing Prosecutorial Effectiveness and Fairness Report,” ​ completed in late June and released this week, concluded any appearance of racial bias was either minimal or non-existent. State Attorney Andrew Warren allowed his office to take part in the independent review. Hillsborough County is one of four district attorney’s offices in the country to give researchers unprecedented access to two years of case files.

  9. Legal Profession

    NEW JACKSONVILLE BAR ASSOCIATION PRESIDENT: ‘THIS ISN’T ABOUT ME’

    Jacksonville Daily Record | Article | July 12, 2019

    Attorney Elizabeth Ferguson is the new president of the Jacksonville Bar Association for 2019-20. She is a partner at Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin. During her early days with the Jacksonville association, Ferguson became involved with the group’s Young Lawyers Section. She advanced through the YLS board and in 2012 was elected to the JBA’s board of governors.

  10. Legal Profession

    SMUGGLER, SENT UP FOR 19 YEARS, SUES HIS LAWYER. HE WANTS REFUND OF ‘EXCESSIVE’ LEGAL BILL

    Miami Herald | Article | July 12, 2019

    For decades, countless foreign drug lords and their foot soldiers have routinely hired American lawyers to defend them against trafficking indictments in Miami. But perhaps none has ever sued one for charging an “excessive fee” — until now. Meet Edison Washington Prado Alava. The former Ecuadorian fisherman, who is serving a long prison term for transporting loads of cocaine bound for the United States, is accusing his former defense attorney, Robert Feitel, of gouging him for $350,000 and doing practically nothing for the exorbitant fee, according to a lawsuit filed in Miami. At a hearing Thursday [July 11], Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Peter Lopez rejected Feitel’s motion to dismiss Prado’s breach of contract lawsuit. Feitel’s lawyer in the civil case declined to comment.

  11. Judiciary

    FLAGS AT HALF-STAFF FOR LATE JUDGE MEENU SASSER

    Florida Politics | Article | July 11, 2019

    Gov. Ron DeSantis ordered flags at half-staff today [July 12] in honor of the late Palm Beach Circuit Judge Meenu Sasser, “as a symbol of respect for (her) memory.” Sasser, the first Asian-American judge in Palm Beach County, died Saturday [July 6] at age 48. She had been fighting cancer.

  12. Civil Justice Issues

    FLORIDA SUPREME COURT WON’T HEAR R.J. REYNOLDS’ APPEAL OF $14.7 MILLION AWARD IN MIAMI SMOKER’S DEATH

    South Florida Sun-Sentinel | Article | July 11, 2019

    The Florida Supreme Court on Thursday [July 11] refused to take up an appeal by R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. in a multimillion-dollar lawsuit stemming from the death of a 56-year-old Miami man who had lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. R.J. Reynolds sought Supreme Court review of a December decision by the 3rd District Court of Appeal in a lawsuit involving the death of smoker Andrew Schleider. A Miami-Dade County jury awarded $15 million to Schleider’s wife and $6 million to his adult daughter.

     

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