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.
May 29, 2020
The Florida Bar
The Florida Bar | Article | May 29, 2020
The Daily News Summary features Florida Bar News articles on an award from the Bar’s Standing Committee on Professionalism, a new online resource from Florida Lawyers Mutual Insurance Company and The Florida Bar’s Virtual Annual Convention. Attending this year’s Florida Bar Annual Convention – which will be virtual in response to the coronavirus pandemic – will still take some planning to ensure you’re signed up for seminars and meetings you want to attend. The online convention said Bar President John Stewart, “will allow us to showcase that The Florida Bar continues to be a leader in the nation and can and will continue important and necessary business utilizing available technologies.”
Tampa Bay Times | Article | May 29, 2020
Pointing to the constitutional separation of powers, Leon County Circuit Judge John Cooper Thursday [May 28] refused to order the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity to take steps to “fix” the state’s much-maligned unemployment compensation system to process and pay claims. Cooper turned down a request for a preliminary injunction in a potential class-action lawsuit filed on behalf of people who have faced problems in receiving unemployment benefits amid massive job losses during the coronavirus pandemic.
WUSF | Article | May 29, 2020
The Florida Supreme Court this month heard arguments in the battle about whether a 2017 law properly carried out a 2016 constitutional amendment that broadly legalized medical marijuana. Florigrown, a Tampa-based firm that has unsuccessfully sought a medical-marijuana license, has challenged the law. But a day after hearing arguments, the Supreme Court ordered attorneys to file briefs about an issue that was not a focus of the hearing. The DeSantis administration took the case to the Supreme Court after lower courts agreed with Florigrown that the 2017 law conflicts with the constitutional amendment.
Tampa Bay Times | Article | May 28, 2020
The case of Reynolds v. State of Florida is set for a Zoom hearing June 1 before Leon County Judge Kevin Carroll on motions to dismiss filed by Gov. Ron DeSantis, Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried and Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Noah Valenstein. Two years ago, a group of Florida children sued state leaders over climate change, saying policymakers are encouraging air pollution that threatens their right to a livable future.
Miami Herald | Editorial | May 28, 2020
The Miami Herald Editorial Board writes: “The Florida Supreme Court shredded precedent recently in a case called Harry Franklin Phillips vs. State. Anyone who loves someone with intellectual disabilities must pay attention . . . in a 4-1 decision, the court . . . made it easier to execute individuals with serious cognitive and behavioral impairments. The case ignores clear and data-driven direction from the U.S. Supreme Court forbidding the death penalty for people who, by reason of intellectual disability, are not fully culpable for their actions and who, therefore, should not be subjected to society’s ultimate punishment.”
Florida Politics | Article | May 26, 2020
Juvenile diversion has become more common amid the virus. Advocates hope it can stay that way. Mary Marx, president and CEO of PACE Center for Girls Inc., a support system for at-risk girls based in Jacksonville with 21 locations in Florida, says the state has made significant improvements in the way it treats nonviolent young female offenders, and now other states can catch up because of the coronavirus.
Florida Politics | Article | May 28, 2020
The Supreme Court issued an order Thursday [May 28] accepting an agreement reached by the only full-time judge in Hamilton County, Judge Kenneth “Sonny” Scaff Jr., and the state Judicial Qualifications Commission, and on Sept. 8, the Court will reprimand Judge Scaff. An investigation found Judge Scaff had repeated contact with family members of people who were arrested and held bond hearings by telephone. The order said Judge Scaff regretted that “his failure to conduct first appearance hearings in accordance with the applicable rules of procedure and statutory law and his participation in ex-parte communications eroded the public confidence in the impartiality and integrity of the judiciary.”
Daily Business Review | Article | May 28, 2020
In orders issued between April 16 and May 21, the Florida Supreme Court disciplined 11 attorneys, including five from South Florida, over ethics violations. The five are Miami appellate attorney Rafael Angel Castro, West Palm Beach attorney Rita Horwitz Altman, Miami attorney Troy Donahue Harris, Coral Gables attorney Jon B. Lindeman Jr., and Hollywood lawyer Janet Peralta Lucente.