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.
December 02, 2019
The Florida Bar
The Florida Bar | Article | December 02, 2019
The Daily News Summary features Florida Bar News stories on county court appeals, the annual report on criminal appeals, judges who rock and a call for committee appointments for the 2020-21 Bar year. The annual committee preference form for Bar members seeking appointments for the 2020-21 are available at floridabar.org and are due no later than Jan. 15, 2020.
Palm Beach Post | Article | November 26, 2019
A Boca Raton lawyer has been disbarred and a Boynton Beach attorney has been suspended from practicing law by the Florida Supreme Court. Byron Petersen was disbarred this month after he was accused of continuing to work as a lawyer after his license was suspended. Boynton attorney Les Schneiderman also failed to respond to Florida Bar officials who were investigating him for an unspecified infraction. The two Palm Beach County lawyers were among 22 statewide who were disciplined last month, according to the Florida Bar.
WUSF | Article | December 01, 2019
The Florida Supreme Court on Tuesday [Dec. 3] will hear arguments on a proposal, spearheaded by the political committee All Voters Vote, to allow registered voters to cast ballots in primaries regardless of political affiliation. Their decision could clear the way for the proposal to go on the November 2020 ballot. Because backers of the proposed amendment have submitted enough valid petition signatures to reach the ballot. Attorney General Ashley Moody and the state parties have argued that the proposed wording of the All Voters Vote measure would not adequately explain the ramifications of the amendment.
WUSF | Article | November 27, 2019
The FBI’s most recent data, for 2018, shows the number of hate crimes logged by the FBI in Florida at 141, down from 145. But it follows a 50 percent increase of hate crimes in the state from 2016 to 2017. Florida’s hate crime law does not cover physical disability, gender or gender identity. Advocates who work on hate crime legislation see two other gaps in Florida’s law — mixed-motive hate crimes and association with hate crimes. A bill for the 2020 legislative session was filed last week to help fill those gaps in Florida’s hate crime legislation.
WUSF | Article | November 26, 2019
Organizers of Floridians Against Recreational Marijuana, or FARM, announced the formation of a political committee aimed at combating “the mega-marijuana, out-of-state corporate interests” behind legalization. The committee is comprised of a coalition of citizens, businesses, anti-drug advocates, patients such as veterans seeking affordable health care and medical community professionals. The opposition Make It Legal Florida is seeking to pass a constitutional amendment that would allow adults 21 or older to “possess, use, purchase, display, and transport up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana and marijuana accessories for personal use for any reason.”
Law.com | Article | November 26, 2019
Miami-Dade County is poised to select a builder for a new downtown Miami civil courthouse and take a major step in a years-long, problematic process of getting a new facility. The County Commission is set to vote next Tuesday [Dec. 3] on entering a public-private partnership with the Plenary Justice Miami LLC development team. Construction could start as soon as January and be completed in 2024 if the contract is approved. The legal community has been pushing for a new courthouse with the existing Miami-Dade County Courthouse built in 1928 plagued by mold and leaks.
Venice Gondolier Sun | Article | November 30, 2019
On Nov. 9 Sarasota County commissioners adopted a map that moves the historic African-American community of Newtown from District 1 into District 2, and Precinct 233, the largest precinct in the county, into District 1. Those moves now makes District 1 a Republican-leaning district, when it formerly had a majority of Democratic registered voters. The approved map was a derivative of a map submitted anonymously and later revealed to come from local Republican power broker. Several speakers during the public hearing mentioned litigation if commissioners moved forward with redistricting in advance of the 2020 Census.
Sarasota Herald Tribune | Article | December 02, 2019
The Florida Department of Education has launched an investigation into the Sarasota County School District. That move follows Administrative Law Judge Diane Cleavinger’s conclusion that district officials directed an unknown number of children into a program reserved for children with the most severe cognitive disabilities, as part of an effort to protect the district’s stellar state grade. A school district spokeswoman acknowledged that officials had received the letter from the state on the inquiry.
WUFT | Article | November 26, 2019
Samuel David Jones, 66, of McIntosh lost a town council special election Nov. 5. Jones spent 491 days in a North Carolina prison until February 1980 on felony burglary and theft charges, but never mentioned his criminal history to voters ahead of this year’s election. Jones acknowledged he has never asked Florida’s clemency board to restore his civil rights and said no one warned him he might be ineligible to run. The director for Florida’s Division of Elections, Maria Matthews, said for felons convicted outside Florida, the laws of the state where they were convicted govern how or when they can vote again – meaning Jones was clear after he served his time in North Carolina.