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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.

February 14, 2020

  1. The Florida Bar

    BAR JOURNAL ARTICLE SPURS ACTION ON PRESERVING ISSUES ON APPEAL

    The Florida Bar | Article | February 14, 2020

    The Daily News Summary features Florida Bar News articles on changes to court procedural rules, building business success with diverse teams, rules on ex parte filings, and preserving issues on appeal. A special committee with members from several Bar procedural rules committees will consider a question on preserving issues on appeal when the challenged matters first appear in the trial judge’s order or judgment. The Florida Supreme Court wanted the special committee to address whether a rule is needed to address an issue raised in a May/June 2019 Bar Journal article for the Appellate Practice Section.

  2. Civil Justice

    ARRESTED PANHANDLER FIGHTS CITY’S LAW, SAYING IT VIOLATED HIS FREE SPEECH RIGHT

    Sun Sentinel | Article | February 13, 2020

    Bernard McDonald, a homeless and disabled laborer, is suing the city, alleging his right to free speech was violated when a deputy arrested him. In August 2018, he was begging for money at Federal Highway and Sample Road, holding a cardboard sign that read, “Homeless, please help me if you can.” On Wednesday [Feb. 12], McDonald was named in a federal lawsuit that asks a judge to force Pompano Beach to stop making the panhandling arrests, which have been happening since 2003. Lawyers say more than 100 people have been arrested or cited in Pompano Beach within the last two years alone.

  3. Legislative

    FLORIDA ATTORNEY FEE LIMIT HEADS TO FULL HOUSE

    Tampa Bay Business Journal | Article | February 13, 2020

    The House Commerce Committee on Thursday [Feb. 13] approved a proposal (HB 7071) that would place additional restrictions on what are known as “contingency risk multipliers.” Under the bill, contingency risk multipliers could only be awarded “in a rare and exceptional circumstance with evidence that competent counsel could not be retained in a reasonable manner.” The bill is backed by a variety of business and insurance-industry groups, including the Florida Chamber of Commerce and Associated Industries of Florida. It is opposed by the Florida Justice Association, which represents plaintiffs’ attorneys across the state.

  4. Civil Justice

    R.J. REYNOLDS PREVAILS AGAINST $7M+ CLAIM OVER FLORIDA MAN’S LUNG CANCER DEATH

    Courtroom View Network | Article | February 14, 2020

    R.J. Reynolds was cleared of fault Wednesday [Feb. 12] for the cancer that killed Edward Richter, who had smoked for more than 40 years. Jurors in Florida’s 15th Circuit, in Palm Beach County, concluded nicotine addiction did not cause his 1996 lung cancer death. The lawsuit is among thousands of claims that stem from Engle v. Liggett Group Inc., a 1994 Florida state court class-action case against the nation’s tobacco companies. The Florida Supreme Court ultimately decertified the class, but ruled that so-called Engle progeny cases may be tried individually.

  5. Civil Justice

    $9.7M AWARD AGAINST LAWYER SPOTLIGHTS MISSING SAFEGUARD IN ARBITRATION

    Daily Business Review | Article | February 13, 2020

    Attorney David Efron has secured a reversal after Florida’s Third District Court of Appeal found he should have been granted a postponement when his lawyer cited “irreconcilable differences” and withdrew from the case. Efron asked for a postponement 11 days before arbitration was scheduled, when his attorney, Lloyd Schwed of Schwed Kahle & Kress in Palm Beach Gardens, withdrew. Efron asked for 60 days to retain new counsel, but the arbitration panel denied his request without explanation. Efron failed to appear, and in his absence, the panel sided with UBS. Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Pedro Echarte Jr. then denied Efron’s request to vacate the award. But the appellate court disagreed.

  6. Criminal Justice

    SEX IN EXCHANGE FOR LEGAL SERVICES? MIAMI LAWYER ARRESTED ON BRIBERY CHARGES

    Law.com | Article | February 13, 2020

    Miami attorney Juan Mercado, 29, has been arrested on bribery charges over allegations he offered to help a woman’s pending criminal case “go away” in exchange for sex. His arrest followed an investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, which alleged Mercado had sex with a defendant facing domestic battery charges. Mercado was assistant state attorney in Charlotte County in Southwest Florida between 2017 and 2019. The Office of the State Attorney for Twelfth Judicial Circuit, which covers Desoto, Manatee and Sarasota counties, will now prosecute the case.

  7. Civil Justice

    FORMER MOFFITT DIRECTOR FILES LAWSUIT OVER CHINA ALLEGATIONS

    WUSF | Article | February 14, 2020

    Dr. Thomas Sellers, along with four researchers and the Moffitt’s cancer center’s CEO, Dr. Alan List, resigned last year after an investigation found they failed to disclose their participation in a Chinese program called Thousand Talents, which paid them each tens of thousands of dollars. The lawsuit says Sellers was set up by Moffitt researcher Sheng Wei, who was being paid by China for each scientist he recruited into the program. Thousand Talents was designed to bring high-level scientists from the United States into collaborations with researchers in China. In addition, Sellers is suing Moffitt researcher Sheng Wei for fraud and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

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