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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.

November 26, 2019

  1. The Florida Bar

    FREE LEGAL ANSWERS, AN EASY WAY TO DO PRO BONO

    The Florida Bar | Article | November 26, 2019

    A national ABA study determined that Free Legal Answers, the web-based pro bono program, is enjoying a 700% rate of return, generating $7.3 million in “social capital” in 2018 alone. Florida has consistently led the nation in terms of participation by volunteer attorneys with 846 Florida lawyers fielding questions from 9,580 registered accounts and scoring a 79% answer rate.

  2. Legislative

    FLORIDA GUN CONTROL LAWSUIT PITTING STATE AGAINST LOCAL GOVERNMENTS MOVES TO APPEALS COURT

    Orlando Sentinel | Article | November 25, 2019

    The state, Friday [Nov. 22] asked an appeals court to uphold a 2011 law that threatened to fine city and county officials thousands of dollars and remove them from office if they approve stricter gun regulations. Local governments and officials filed three lawsuits challenging the 2011 law in Leon County where a circuit court judge ruled parts of the law were unconstitutional. Lawyers in the offices of Attorney General Ashley Moody and Gov. Ron DeSantis filed a 42-page brief arguing that the 1st District Court of Appeal should overturn that ruling citing a “hierarchical relationship” between the state and local governments and said the Florida Constitution “subjugates local governments’ authority to that of the Florida Legislature.”

  3. Criminal Justice

    FORMER FLORIDA STUDENT ACCUSED OF ORDERING ATTACKS ON 2 COLLEGES

    The Daily Beast | Article | November 26, 2019

    Salman Rashid was charged Monday [Nov. 25] with attempting to recruit ISIS terrorists to bomb a pair of deans at two colleges from which he’d been kicked out. He was kicked out of Miami Dade College after allegedly harassed a female student, and then Broward College for not disclosing the issue. Rashid provided two undercover FBI sources the deans’ first and last names and office room number and location of the MDC dean.

  4. Civil Justice

    KEYS JUDGE WANTS A WOMAN’S DATING HISTORY TO HELP RESOLVE A DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CASE

    Miami Herald | Article | November 25, 2019

    Joann Scurfield’s testimony during her alleged misdemeanor domestic battery trial lead to Monroe County Judge Peary Fowler’s order asking for a way to contact everyone Scurfield has dated over the past 10 years. The Monroe County State Attorney’s Office has appealed Fowler’s ruling to the 16th Judicial Circuit Court, saying Scurfield, as a crime victim, has a constitutional right “to be free from intimidation, harassment and abuse.” Keys Circuit Court Judge Timothy Koenig will review the order after a hearing that is set for Dec. 6 at the Monroe County Courthouse.

  5. Legislative

    PUSH TO EXPAND HATE CRIMES DRAWS BIPARTISAN SUPPORT

    WFLA | Article | November 25, 2019

    Victim Maura Binkley’s father Jeff Binkley, founder of Maura’s Voice is supporting legislation that would add gender as a protected class after a gunman, who was found to have a long history of hating women, killed Maura and an FSU professor at a yoga studio in Tallahassee in 2018. If the bill passes in 2020, Florida would join 31 other states that already have hate crime laws that include gender-based crimes.

  6. Civil Justice

    DESPITE PUBLIC RECORDS LAWSUIT, MIAMI BEACH STILL FIGHTING TO HIDE TOWING AUDIT

    Miami New Times | Article | November 25, 2019

    On Nov. 4, New Times filed a public records lawsuit against Miami Beach after city attorneys denied their request for a copy of a tow truck audit because they argued the city’s audit was not subject to disclosure. Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Maria de Jesus Santovenia ruled in New Times’ favor, saying the city should release the audit to the public.  Miami Beach city attorneys have appealed the judge’s decision saying it would set a “highly dangerous and problematic” precedent.

  7. Civil Justice

    JUDGE BLOCKS RELEASE OF HEALTH PLAN INFORMATION

    WUSF | Article | November 21, 2019

    Judge John Cooper approved a request by UnitedHealthcare of Florida to prevent the Office of Insurance Regulation from releasing certain information as part of a public-records request. Cooper agreed with the managed-care plan that the information included protected trade secrets. UnitedHealthcare filed the lawsuit in 2017 after the Office Insurance Regulation received a public-records request for what are known as “affiliate services agreements” that the company was required to file as a Medicaid managed-care plan.

  8. Legal Profession

    JACKIE DOWD, ‘HERO’ ATTORNEY FOR THE POOR AND HOMELESS, DIES

    Orlando Sentinel | Article | November 25, 2019

    Orlando attorney Jacqueline “Jackie” Dowd who devoted her life to fighting fraud, inspiring students and representing the homeless and poor died Saturday night after a battle with lung cancer. Dowd worked briefly in corporate law early in her career and later as an assistant attorney general for the state, but she is best known for her passionate efforts on behalf of those trying to rise out of homelessness.

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