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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.

September 11, 2019

  1. Legislature

    43 LAWYERS NOW SERVE IN THE FLORIDA LEGISLATURE

    Florida Bar News | Article | September 11, 2019

    The Daily News Summary features Florida Bar News stories about the number of attorneys in the Legislature and bills to be considered by the Senate Judiciary Committee. When the first interim committee week of the 2020 legislative session convenes Sept. 16 in Tallahassee, lawyers will be poised once again to play a key role in the citizen Legislature. Of the 160 men and women who make up the Florida Legislature, 43 — nearly 27 percent — are attorneys. Senate President Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, will remain the highest-ranking attorney in the Florida Legislature when he gavels in the final regular session of his presidency on Jan. 14.

  2. Civil Justice Issues

    OUR VIEW: JUDGE DEALS ROUGH JUSTICE FOR A LITIGIOUS PEST

    Daytona Beach News Journal | Editorial | September 10, 2019

    The editorial states: “. . . Over the past 30 years, the Americans with Disabilities Act has evolved into a powerful, beneficial defensive weapon that knocks down barriers and protects the dignity of millions. But regrettably, a small group of . . . attorneys and plaintiffs have twisted some of the ADA’s most powerful elements . . . . Finally, one law firm went a step too far. . . . (U.S. District Judge Paul Huck’s)  . . . order barred (Scott) Dinin from filing any more lawsuits — at all — under the ADA without Huck’s permission. It also ordered him to send a copy of Huck’s order to every ADA defendant he’s targeted in the past 24 months.”

  3. Legal Discipline

    SCOTT MADDOX ASKS COURT TO REVOKE HIS LAW LICENSE TO ‘BRING THE MATTER TO A CONCLUSION’

    Tallahassee Democrat | Article | September 10, 2019

    Former Tallahassee City Commissioner Scott Maddox has asked the Florida Supreme Court to revoke his law license – “with leave to seek readmission”– waiving his right to a disciplinary hearing and asking to drop pending disciplinary cases against him. Maddox, 51, and Paige Carter-Smith, former director of the Downtown Improvement Authority, both entered plea agreements with the Northern District of Florida federal court Aug. 6 to two counts each of honest services fraud and one count each of conspiracy to defraud the United States.

  4. Civil Justice Issues

    SCHOOL BOARD ATTORNEYS: ‘IMPROPER’ AND ‘ILLEGAL’ TO BLOCK SALES TAX VOTE

    WJCT | Article | September 10, 2019

    Three high-profile Jacksonville lawyers representing the Duval County School Board say their goal is simple. “The only mission we have is to get the proposal on the ballot and let the taxpayers decide,” said attorney Hank Coxe Tuesday [Sept. 10] during an appearance on WJCT’s First Coast Connect. Coxe, along with attorney Scott Cairn and Audrey Moran, said they intend to move quickly to get the question before a judge and, ultimately, ensure a public referendum on the proposed half-cent sales tax for Duval County Public Schools improvements. The City Council last month voted to withdraw a bill that would have placed the matter on the ballot for county voters this year by a vote of 15-4.

  5. Legal Profession

    THIS ORLANDO LAWYER SAID SHE FOUND ‘CLARITY’ WHEN SHE JOINED THE U.S. NAVY AS A 17-YEAR-OLD

    Orlando Business Journal | Article | September 09, 2019

    Myrna Maysonet, a labor and employment lawyer, said her biggest career accomplishment in the last year was being named Greenspoon Marder’s chief diversity officer. Before becoming a lawyer, Maysonet enlisted in the U.S. Navy when she was 17 and served until receiving an honorable discharge in 2000. “I was 17 when I joined and my life was in chaos,” Maysonet said. “In the Navy, I found clarity and what I wanted to do with my life . . . These lessons stayed with me and still guide me today.”

  6. Civil Justice Issues

    LAWYERS: BE AWARE OF THESE LEGAL NEEDS OF THE LGBTQ COMMUNITY

    Daily Business Review | Column | September 10, 2019

    Attorney Elizabeth F. Schwartz writes:If you think that the nationwide recognition of same-sex marriage means that there are no more legal issues to think about with respect to the still-marginalized LGBTQ (Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer or questioning) community, please know that you are mistaken. While essential to LGBTQ liberation, marriage is not a panacea that brings full-lived equality to the entire community. There are many unresolved issues, especially for individuals who are lower income, transgender, people of color, living in rural communities, and much more.”

  7. Legal Discipline

    LAWYER DROPS BID FOR SEMINOLE COUNTY JUDGE SEAT DAYS BEFORE ARREST IN STATUTORY RAPE OF TEEN

    Orlando Sentinel | Article | September 10, 2019

    A Casselberry attorney was arrested Monday [Sept. 9] on three counts of unlawful sexual activity by a person 24 years or older with a person 16 or 17 years of age, records show. Andrew John Jones, 40, is accused of engaging in multiple sexual acts with the teen girl, then buying her the Plan B contraceptive pill the next day, according to his arrest warrant. Days before a warrant was filed for his arrest, Jones withdrew from the 2020 race for Seminole County judge in Group 6, for which he had amassed a war chest of about $170,000. The Florida Bar has opened a file on the case.

  8. Criminal Justice Issues

    JURORS IN TAMPA TRIAL CONFRONT ULTIMATE QUESTION: COULD THEY IMPOSE THE DEATH PENALTY?

    Tampa Bay Times | Article | September 10, 2019

    Not long after they entered the jury box this week in Hillsborough County’s largest courtroom, dozens of people were asked a question few ever have to answer: Could they sentence a man to death? Late Monday [Sept. 9] and into Tuesday [Sept. 10], the 93 prospective jurors who said they knew nothing about the case of Granville Ritchie and could commit to attending a three-week trial learned for the first time the gravity of what was before them. “In criminal law, it doesn’t get any more serious than what we’re dealing with here,” Assistant State Attorney Scott Harmon told the panel.

  9. Criminal Justice Issues

    UF RESIDENT ASSISTANT CHARGED WITH BATTERY RELEASED AS ‘HIGH-ACHIEVING’ STUDENT LEADER

    Independent Florida Alligator | Article | September 09, 2019

    A UF resident assistant recently arrested when accused of sexual battery was released from jail after a judge agreed he is a “high-achieving” student leader. The 21-year-old UF economics senior was released Friday on his own recognizance on both battery and false imprisonment charges after a motion to reduce his original bond of $125,000 was granted, according to court records. No court date is set yet.

  10. Civil Justice Issues

    CALIFORNIA PASSES LANDMARK BILL TO REMAKE GIG ECONOMY

    New York Times | Article | September 11, 2019

    California legislators approved a landmark bill on Tuesday [Sept. 10] that requires companies like Uber and Lyft to treat contract workers as employees, a move that could reshape the gig economy and adds fuel to a debate over whether the nature of work has become too insecure. The bill passed in a 29 to 11 vote in the state Senate and will apply to app-based companies. California’s governor is expected to sign it after it goes through the State Assembly. The bill may influence other states. “It will have major reverberations around the country,” said David Weil, a top Labor Department official during the Obama administration and the author of a book on the so-called fissuring of the workplace. He argued that the bill could set a new bar for worker protections and force business owners to rethink their reliance on contractors.

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