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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 12, 2019

  1. The Florida Bar

    ADR SECTION LAUNCHES MENTORING ACADEMY FOR NEWLY CERTIFIED MEDIATORS

    The Florida Bar | Article | August 12, 2019

    The Florida Bar Alternative Dispute Resolution Section’s inaugural Mentoring Academy is a two-day workshop for certified mediators that will provide coaching on techniques, strategy and professionalism; offer instructive feedback from experienced mediators; and emphasize mentoring and networking for the mediators who attend. The event is set for October 25–26 in Tampa. ADR Section Chair Chris Magee, said the academy was developed, in part, because mediators have ethical obligations to advance the mediation profession.

  2. Criminal Justice Issues

    MIAMI-DADE WILL STOP PROSECUTING MINOR MARIJUANA CASES, AND REQUIRE LAB TESTS FOR FELONIES

    Miami Herald | Article | August 09, 2019

    In a sweeping policy change spurred by changes in Florida law, the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s office announced it will no longer prosecute minor weed cases. And for felony cases, police will now be required to get lab tests to confirm marijuana is, well, actually marijuana. Prosecutors announced the decision on Friday [Aug. 9] in response to a new Florida law that legalized hemp, a plant very similar to marijuana but with only trace amounts of the cannabis chemical that gets users high. Late last month, Tallahassee-based State Attorney Jack Campbell instructed staff to put a pause on prosecuting marijuana possession, citing the state’s new hemp law and claiming labs can’t detect the difference between marijuana and its non-euphoric cousin, hemp.

  3. Civil Justice Issues

    WITH EPSTEIN’S DEATH, ACCUSERS SEEK NEW LEGAL RECOURSE

    WUFT | Article | August 10, 2019

    With Jeffrey Epstein’s death by apparent suicide on Saturday [Aug. 10], his accusers lost any chance to watch him stand trial for the sex trafficking and conspiracy charges brought by federal prosecutors in Manhattan last month. But they may still have other ways to pursue justice. Epstein’s death “effectively ends” the criminal case against him, says Kerry Lawrence, who spent a decade as a federal prosecutor in the same office that brought charges against Epstein in July. That leaves Epstein’s accusers with the option of pursuing civil cases against his estate. In a statement released Saturday, Geoffrey S. Berman, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, said the investigation into Epstein’s sex trafficking case will continue.

  4. Civil Justice Issues

    NORTHERN DISTRICT OF THE FLORIDA BANKRUPTCY BAR ASSOCIATION HELPS LOCALS WITH DEBT AFTER HURRICANE MICHAEL

    WMBB | Article | August 10, 2019

    Many people are still struggling in the Panhandle after Hurricane Michael, but the Northern District of the Florida Bankruptcy Bar Association is stepping up to help.  On Saturday [Aug. 10], the association hosted a free legal clinic at Gulf Coast State College. Board of Directors member Michael Wynn was one of the attorneys at the clinic. One of the main topics of the event was bankruptcy. Wynn says bankruptcy gets a scary reputation, but it is a tool locals can use to help get out of their financial situations. The organization is hoping to help as many people as they can, on a purely pro bono basis or on a rate less than a normal filing fee.

  5. Civil Justice Issues

    GOV. RON DESANTIS ASKS FLORIDA SUPREME COURT FOR OPINION ON AMENDMENT 4 RESTITUTION RULE

    Florida Politics | Article | August 09, 2019

    Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is asking the Florida Supreme Court to render an opinion specifically on whether the state can require felons who wish to vote to first satisfy all financial obligations of a sentence, notably the controversial concept that they must pay all fines, fees, and restitution. DeSantis put his request forward Friday [Aug. 9] in a letter to Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Charles Canady and the other justices. The Florida Legislature, with DeSantis’ signature, included the financial obligations in Senate Bill 7066, which seeks to clarify requirements felons must fulfill in order to restore their voting rights under Amendment 4, which voters  approved last November. The financial obligations requirement is being challenged in at least four lawsuits filed in federal court, in cases and questions that are outside the reach of the Florida Supreme Court.

  6. Civil Justice Issues

    FEDERAL JUDGE IN FLORIDA SCRUTINIZES HEALTH CONTRACT LAW

    Jacksonville Business Journal | Article | August 12, 2019

    The two sides in a bitter legal battle over cancer treatment in Florida clashed during a daylong hearing in a Tallahassee federal courtroom on Friday [Aug. 9]. At the heart of the contentious fight is a new state law sparked by a feud between one of Florida’s largest cancer-care companies and physicians who used to work for the firm. The doctors are fighting against non-compete restrictions that 21st Century Oncology placed on physicians working for the firm. The physicians’ efforts were boosted by the new law, which, among other things, negates the no-compete clauses. The oncology firm has asked U.S. District Judge Mark Walker to strike down the law. Walker last month turned down an emergency request to block the statute but agreed to fast-track the lawsuit.

  7. Civil Justice Issues

    BANNED BEHIND BARS: 20,000 BOOKS CAN’T BE READ BY FLORIDA INMATES; THE LIST MAY SURPRISE YOU

    Tallahassee Democrat | Article | August 09, 2019

    “How to Leave Prison Early” is not welcome in Florida prisons. The Department of Corrections has declared the how-to book on work release, parole and clemency off limits for the 96,000 inmates in state custody. “It makes no sense. All it does is explain Florida law to help inmates and families understand their options and eligibility,” said the book’s author, Reggie Garcia, a Tallahassee clemency lawyer. Garcia isn’t left with much recourse. Florida’s restrictions on what inmates can read won a major victory in January when the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal of a legal magazine’s challenge to one of the dozen reasons that can land a publication on DOC’s do not read list. When the Tallahassee Democrat asked multiple questions about the policy, the Department of Corrections provided a current list of prohibited materials and relevant statutes and rules but declined further discussion.

  8. Criminal Justice Issues

    FLORIDA POLICE AGENCIES REPORT FEW, SOMETIMES EVEN ZERO, HATE CRIMES

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

    The issue of hate-fueled violence caught the attention of Florida Senate President Bill Galvano after a gunman upset about a “Hispanic invasion” opened fire in El Paso, Texas, killing 22 people. Galvano, R-Bradenton, ordered an investigation into “white nationalism” in Florida and its role in violence. When lawmakers review statistics, they’ll see suspiciously low numbers. Florida reported 169 hate crimes statewide in 2017, up 36 percent from the previous year, according to the most recent statistics available from the state attorney general. But the number is much lower than what other jurisdictions report. New York has roughly the same population as Florida, but it reported 552 hate crimes statewide to the FBI in 2017, more than three times as many as Florida. The city of Boston documented 140 hate crimes, just 29 fewer than the entire state of Florida.

  9. Civil Justice Issues

    GROUPS PUSH TO BAN ‘CONVERSION THERAPY’ IN ORANGE COUNTY

    Florida Politics | Article | August 12, 2019

    A coalition of organizations involved in protecting children and LGBTQ people and rights is organizing a push to get the controversial counseling practice known as “conversion therapy” — programs intended to get minors to give up being gay — banned in Orange County. They are seeking to get Orange County to adopt an ordinance similar to one adopted this spring in Alachua County. A petition drive to support a county ordinance has collected more than 3,000 signatures and supporters hope to land the question on the Orange County Commission agenda in September. Three Florida counties have banned the practice as well as 18 Florida cities. It also has been banned in at least 18 states. Supporters of the practice say it simply is counseling therapy and deride the term “conversion therapy” as loaded.

  10. Civil Justice Issues

    GULF COAST ‘FLORA-BAMA’ BAR SUES OVER MTV’S ‘FLORIBAMA’ SHOW

    U.S. News & World Report | Article | August 09, 2019

    A landmark beach bar on the Florida-Alabama state line is suing MTV’s popular “Floribama Shore” show for trademark infringement. Companies that run the Flora-Bama Lounge on Perdido Key filed suit this week in Pensacola against Viacom Inc. and producers of the MTV show. The federal lawsuit contends the show’s name is so similar to the bar that it’s confusing. The suit says operators of the 55-year-old bar refused to let the show use its name, so producers adopted a show title that’s just one letter and a hyphen mark off. Viacom hasn’t responded in court, and a spokesman didn’t immediately return an email seeking comment.

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