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 19, 2019
The Florida Bar News | Article | August 19, 2019
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Catherine McEwen, co-chair of the Pro Bono Legal Services Committee, was recently presented with a lab coat by the students of Cooley Law School in Tampa for all her work to facilitate pro bono at the school and at St. Michael’s Legal Center for Women and Children. Cooley students who work in the pro bono clinic are given lab coats so the clients know that they are the clinicians.
The Florida Bar News | Article | August 16, 2019
A proposed procedural rule raising the jurisdictional amounts for small claims courts from $5,000 to $8,000 has been submitted to the Supreme Court by several Florida Bar rules committees. The proposal would also require those filing civil actions in county court to list the amount in controversy. Another section of the proposal amends appellate rules to conform to a new state law that provides that appeals from county courts on amounts between $15,000 and $30,000 go directly to district courts of appeal, bypassing the circuit courts. The new amendments were proposed in response to a court directive to propose a rule raising the small claims court jurisdiction and respond to statutory changes approved by the Legislature earlier this year.
Pensacola News Journal | Article | August 17, 2019
While The Florida Bar found “no probable cause” that a tweet by U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz to Michael Cohen earlier this year violated the bar’s rules of conduct, the grievance committee that investigated the incident said the tweet was “unprofessional, reckless, insensitive, and demonstrated poor judgment,” in a letter sent to the congressman. The committee sent Gaetz a letter of advice Friday [Aug. 16] stating that although the committee found no probable cause that he violated the bar’s rules, it did not condone Gaetz’s actions.
Miami Herald | Article | August 16, 2019
Five current and former circuit judges who weighed in on who should oversee child welfare operations in Miami-Dade and Monroe counties are now facing a possible reprimand from the state Supreme Court for taking sides in the $500 million contract fight, according to documents filed with the court Thursday [Aug. 15]. An investigative panel of the state’s Judicial Qualifications Commission recommended that the Miami-Dade judges, one of whom has since retired, be issued a written public reprimand for signing a letter to the state Department of Children & Families last year endorsing an agency re-bidding for the state contract. The panel’s recommendation pertained to five of the letter’s seven signers — Judges Marcia Caballero, Rosa Figarola, Teresa Pooler and Mavel Ruiz, along with retired judge Cindy Lederman — and said though they were “not motivated by any corrupt intent or design” that their actions “went too far in this instance.”
Criminal Justice Issues
CNN | Article | August 19, 2019
The Florida man, Michael Drejka, who fatally shot an unarmed black man, Markeis McGlockton, last summer outside a grocery store, sparking a nationwide debate on the state’s “stand your ground” law, is set to go on trial Monday [Aug. 19] for manslaughter. Drejka pleaded not guilty and was released from jail on $100,000 bail last September. The trial is likely to hinge on Drejka’s expected self-defense argument.
The Florida Bar News | Column | August 19, 2019
In this column, Scott Rogers, M.S., J.D., director of the University of Miami School of Law’s Mindfulness in Law Program, writes: “… one of the undeniable reasons the legal profession and academy is embracing mindfulness is because it is being increasingly viewed as a tool for mental health and well-being. This focus is clear from the cover stories of national, state, and local bar periodicals, the topics addressed at bar conferences, programs offered in law school, and services being included in bar memberships and made available to law firm members.”