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 09, 2019
The Florida Bar | Article | August 09, 2019
As part of its regular three-year cycle rule amendments, the Appellate Court Rules Committee is proposing that appellate briefs be submitted in either Arial or Bookman Old Style typefaces, instead of the currently approved Courier or Times New Roman styles. The committee published the amendments in the June Bar News and the rules package will be filed with the Supreme Court in January, which will also seek comments. If approved by the justices, the font change would be effective January 1, 2021.
Tampa Bay Times | Article | August 08, 2019
After recent mass shootings in Texas and Ohio, President Donald Trump has called for “red flag laws” to take guns away from people who pose public safety threats. Otherwise known as risk protection orders, the red flag laws Trump called for have been implemented in Washington D.C. and 15 states, according to Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety. That includes Florida, which did so after the Parkland shooting in 2018. Red flag laws differ depending on the state, but generally, they can be triggered when a person is a threat to themselves or others.
Civil Justice Issues
Health News Florida | Article | August 09, 2019
A potential class-action lawsuit filed this week alleges Florida did not properly determine whether Medicaid beneficiaries could continue qualifying for coverage after initially losing eligibility for the health-care program. The lawsuit was filed Wednesday [Aug. 7] in federal court in Jacksonville against the Florida Department of Children and Families and the state Agency for Health Care Administration. It names as plaintiffs Clayton Harrell, a former foster child who received Medicaid benefits through an adoption-assistance program, and Austin Trueblood, who has Down syndrome and received Medicaid benefits because he qualified for Supplemental Security Income, or SSI, through the U.S. Social Security Administration. The lawsuit said circumstances led to the men losing Medicaid eligibility through the adoption-assistance program and the link to SSI. But it alleges the state failed to follow requirements to determine whether the men could continue to receive Medicaid benefits based on other factors, a process known as conducting “ex parte” reviews.
Civil Justice Issues
Health News Florida | Article | August 08, 2019
The Florida Department of Corrections this week asked a federal appeals court to overturn a ruling that requires the state to provide costly treatment to inmates who have been diagnosed with the early stages of hepatitis C. The department, represented by Attorney General Ashley Moody’s office, filed a brief Monday [Aug. 5] at the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, as it battles a ruling by Chief U.S. District Judge Mark Walker that required the treatment for all inmates with the contagious liver disease.
Criminal Justice Issues
Miami Herald | Article | August 08, 2019
A. Marie Villafaña, the lead federal prosecutor who helped negotiate a controversial plea deal for accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, has submitted her resignation to the Justice Department, the Miami Herald has learned. Her departure comes amid a federal probe into the role she and other federal prosecutors, including her former boss, Alexander Acosta, had in sidelining a 53-page indictment against the wealthy New York investor in favor of a state plea to minor prostitution charges in 2008. Jonathan Biran, Villafaña’s lawyer, confirmed her resignation Thursday [Aug. 8], noting that she has long planned to transition to a legal career in healthcare, and now plans to join the federal Department of Health and Human Services.
WJXT | Article | August 07, 2019
State Attorney Melissa Nelson has sent a letter to Gov. Ron DeSantis, asking to recuse her office from any potential criminal investigation into the actions of Matt Shirk, an embattled former Jacksonville public defender. A state audit released Aug. 1 shined light on troubling details about Shirk’s final months in office, saying he spent lavishly and recklessly gave away government property. Shirk is accused of committing several policy and law violations. Nelson said while the report doesn’t outline specific criminal violations, it does outline alleged conduct that might need to be investigated further. She said an outside agency should handle that, citing a conflict of interest.
Law.com | Article | August 05, 2019
Across the country, more law students are pushing administrators to invest more in wellness initiatives. Students are also holding events, forming their own wellness organizations and securing funding. At the same time, students appear more eager to participate in mental health programs led by peers, rather than administrators.