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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.

August 07, 2019

  1. The Florida Bar

    REVAMPED BAR LRS SEES INCREASED ONLINE USAGE

    The Florida Bar | Article | August 06, 2019

    The number of Floridians using the Bar’s Lawyer Referral Service — especially those who are connecting with lawyers online instead of calling the service — has increased with the help of a new internet platform. Figures for the first five months of the new platform developed by Legal.io, show a modest rise in overall referrals from the previous year, but a more than twofold bump in the number using the online side of the service to connect with lawyers. Since the new system began operations February 6, it has handled 25,235 referrals. That’s already more than half as many as for the entire 2017-18 Bar year, the last full year of the old-style service, which had a smaller online presence. During that five months, 6,257 referrals were facilitated online, more than the entire 2017-18 year.

  2. Other

    SARASOTA LAWYER STRIKES GOLD AT NATIONAL SENIOR GAMES

    The Florida Bar | Article | August 07, 2019

    Sarasota lawyer Rudy Vazmina won four gold swimming medals and a silver in June at the 2019 National Senior Games in Albuquerque. The 69-year-old won the 50-yard breaststroke; the 100-yard breaststroke; the 200-yard breaststroke; and the 50-yard butterfly. He took silver in the 100-yard individual medley. Vazmina is a member of the Sarasota County Bar Association’s Council for Diversity & Inclusion and the voluntary bar’s Health and Wellness Subcommittee.

  3. Criminal Justice Issues

    FLORIDA GOVERNOR ORDERS STATE CRIMINAL PROBE INTO JEFFREY EPSTEIN CASE

    Miami Herald | Article | August 06, 2019

    Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has ordered a state criminal probe into the actions of the Palm Beach sheriff and the former Palm Beach state attorney for their handling of the Jeffrey Epstein underage sex trafficking case. DeSantis’ move comes as Sheriff Ric Bradshaw has come under increasing scrutiny for his decision in 2008 to give Epstein, a politically connected multimillionaire, unusually lenient work release privileges even though Epstein was a convicted sex offender who had been accused of molesting dozens of underage girls.

  4. Legal Discipline

    ENGLEWOOD ATTORNEY DISBARRED BY FLORIDA SUPREME COURT

    Miami Herald | Article | August 06, 2019

    An Englewood attorney was disbarred permanently by the Florida Supreme Court in July. Christopher Brady’s behavior spurred the Barak Law Group PA to get a restraining order that he has violated three times. The Manatee County Sheriff’s Office and the referee on his Florida Bar discipline case say surveillance video clearly shows Brady using a pickup truck to rip out the firm’s front doors and steal a safe last August. Later, the sheriff’s office says, Brady got caught with an AR-15 he stole from the firm’s storage unit. Brady, 35, faces two counts of burglary of an unoccupied structure and one count of grand theft firearm. He is out of jail after posting $45,000 bond.

  5. Legislative

    MASS SHOOTINGS “MUST YIELD ACTION” IN FLORIDA, KEY GOP LAWMAKER SAYS

    Palm Beach Post | Article | August 05, 2019

    In the wake of two mass shootings over the weekend, Florida Senate President Bill Galvano ordered a review Monday [Aug. 5] of factors leading to such murderous sprees and opened the door to action by state lawmakers. Galvano, a Bradenton Republican, spearheaded the Florida Legislature’s response last year to the slaughter at Parkland’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, which led to heightened school security efforts and an increase in the age limit for gun purchases — challenged in court by the NRA. Before sending a memo to fellow senators outlining the review he wants undertaken, Galvano posted on Facebook that “thoughts and prayers must yield action.”

  6. Criminal Justice Issues

    MADDOX, CARTER-SMITH PLEAD ‘GUILTY’ IN FEDERAL CORRUPTION PROBE, 39 OF 42 CHARGES DROPPED

    WFSU | Article | August 06, 2019

    Former Tallahassee City Commissioner Scott Maddox and former Tallahassee Downtown Improvement Authority head Paige Carter-Smith pleaded guilty Tuesday [Aug. 7] to three of 42 charges relating to bribery involving City of Tallahassee contracts and vendors. The remaining 39 charges were dropped by federal judge Robert Hinkle. The federal government says Maddox and Carter-Smith used the firm Maddox founded, Governance, to solicit payments from potential vendors in exchange for favorable votes and support. Both could face up to 45 years in prison and $750,000 in fines, though Federal Judge Robert Hinkle could lower the sentence if Maddox and Carter-Smith help federal prosecutors with the case. The two will face sentencing on Nov. 19.

  7. Other

    NEW 19TH AMENDMENT CENTENNIAL DETAILS ANNOUNCED, INCLUDING THEME FOR LAW DAY 2020

    Bar Leader Weekly | Article | August 06, 2019

    The ABA Division for Public Education has announced more details about the 19th Amendment centennial celebration, including the Law Day theme for 2020: “Your Vote, Your Voice, Our Democracy: The 19th Amendment at 100.” A new ABA Commission on the 19th Amendment has been formed, the ABA Standing Committee on the Law Library of Congress has created a traveling exhibit, with hosts now being determined, and digital toolkits are now available to help educate the public about the amendment that gave women the constitutional right to vote.

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