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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.

June 24, 2020

  1. The Florida Bar

    COVID-19 WORKGROUP RELEASES VIDEO ABOUT THE STEPS BEING TAKEN TO PROTECT THE PUBLIC AT COURTHOUSES

    The Florida Bar | Article | June 24, 2020

    The Daily News Summary features Florida Bar News articles on nonconfrontational approaches to conduct problems, the ethical challenges of remote technology, responses to the IOTA task force recommendations, filing disclosure forms and protecting the public at courthouses. A Supreme Court workgroup on court operations during and after COVID-19 released its first video to educate the public about the steps being taken to promote the health and safety of people visiting courthouses as the justice system returns to more in-person operations. The minute-long video emphasizes social distancing measures implemented in courthouses across the state, the continuous cleaning and disinfecting of courthouses, and the need to wear masks when doing business at the courthouses.

  2. Civil Justice

    PINELLAS COUNTY TO REQUIRE FACE COVERINGS IN BUSINESSES

    Tampa Bay Times | Article | June 23, 2020

    On Tuesday [June 23], Pinellas County became the latest government in the Tampa Bay area to require face coverings when people conduct business indoors in public spaces. Starting Wednesday [June 24] at 5 p.m., all people will be required to wear face coverings while in any indoor establishment in Pinellas County. The countywide ordinance will be active as long as a local emergency order remains in place. Businesses and customers in Pinellas could face a civil citation of $100 for a first offense, $250 for a second and $500 for a third, according to the ordinances. Hillsborough and Pasco counties, Tampa and St. Petersburg approved mandatory mask orders in the past week.

  3. Legal Profession

    ORLANDO, TAMPA JULY BAR EXAMS EXPECTED TO BE IN-PERSON, RAISING CONCERNS

    Florida Politics | Article | June 23, 2020

    The Florida Board of Bar Examiners has scheduled the Florida Bar Exam for all Florida test takers to be administered in person at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando and the Tampa Convention Center throughout July 28-29. The events have some applicants worried during a time of rising coronavirus infections in both cities and Florida. The board indicated it has been working with the Florida Department of Health and has laid out a list of physical-distancing and mask-wearing requirements for the applicants, based on what the board calls “currently available public health information.”

  4. Legislative

    GOV. RON DESANTIS SIGNS 23 BILLS, BUT THE BUDGET IS STILL OUT THERE

    Tampa Bay Times | Article | June 23, 2020

    Gov. Ron DeSantis signed 23 bills Tuesday [June 23] night, none of which were the $93.2 billion state budget for the 2020-2021 fiscal year, which must be approved by July 1. As of Tuesday, DeSantis had signed 91 of 190 bills the Legislature approved during the 2020 legislative session. One of the least controversial bills signed by the governor Tuesday night, HB 1213, requires teaching about anti-Semitism as part of mandatory Holocaust education in schools. It also mandates that schools incorporate a lesson about the 1920 Election Day Massacre in Ocoee into their curriculum.

  5. Civil Justice

    ‘WE MAY DIE AND ARE AFRAID’: FEDERAL JUDGE MAKES PUBLIC LETTERS SENT TO HIM BY ICE DETAINEES

    Miami Herald | Article | June 23, 2020

    Amid mounting complaints about conditions inside South Florida immigration detention facilities during the coronavirus pandemic, U.S. immigration officials told U.S. District Judge Marcia Cooke that they have secured funding for more sanitizing supplies and that new procedures are in place to document their efforts to stop the virus from spreading. The sworn statements by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement filed late Monday [June 22] are part of an ongoing federal lawsuit filed on April 13 seeking the release of detainees from three South Florida detention centers. Also Monday, letters to a magistrate judge assigned to the case were made public. An April letter signed by about 100 detainees said “please come see us immediately or send investigators. . . . We may die and are afraid.

  6. Civil Justice

    NEW LAWSUIT FILED CLAIMING POLLUTION, HEALTH PROBLEMS FROM SUGAR CANE FIELD BURNING

    Apalachicola Times | Article | June 24, 2020

    A class-action lawsuit filed by a Boca Raton law firm names 11 Glades residents as plaintiffs and nine sugar growers as defendants is charging the sugar industry with blanketing communities south of Lake Okeechobee with polluted smoke and “black snow” whenever sugarcane fields are burned before harvesting. The lawsuit cites a new finding by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that people with or recovering from COVID-19 may have decreased lung capacity and could be “at particularly high risk of respiratory health effects after exposure to smoke from open burning.”

  7. Judiciary

    BAY COUNTY COURTHOUSE REOPENING DELAYED

    MyPanhandle.com | Article | June 23, 2020

    The Bay County Courthouse was set to slowly reopen in about two weeks, but Chief Judge Chris Patterson says phase 2 is now delayed until at least July 20, due to a rise in coronavirus cases in Bay County. The judge said the courthouse will begin mock trials to see what bringing in citizens will look like and grand jury proceedings will begin the last week of July or the first week in August for all of the six counties included in the circuit.

  8. Legal Discipline

    FLORIDA BAR SEEKS SUSPENSION OF MIAMI LAWYER WHO ADMITS TO TARGETING BUSINESSES FOR FRIVOLOUS ADA SUITS

    Daily Business Review | Article | June 23, 2020

    The Florida Bar has asked the state high court to suspend Scott R. Dinin of the Dinin Law Group in Miami for 18 months after the attorney pleaded guilty to filing frivolous lawsuits under the Americans With Disabilities Act, splitting fees with a client, inflating his billable hours and exaggerating his legal experience. The Bar’s petition revealed that Dinin admitted breaking seven bar rules, which govern misconduct, competence, fees and fee sharing, meritorious claims and candor toward a tribunal. Dinin’s attorneys said they “believe the joint petition for consent judgment is a fair and just resolution for Mr. Dinin.” The Florida Supreme Court has the final word on attorney discipline and has yet to rule.

  9. Legal Profession

    MITCH STONE LEADING STATE CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY ASSOCIATION

    Jacksonville Daily Record | Article | June 23, 2020

    Jacksonville attorney Mitchell “Mitch” Stone is the new president of the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. He will lead the 1,600-member organization of Florida Bar members who represent clients in criminal courts. His term is for the next year. Stone, a Florida Bar board-certified criminal trial lawyer, has practiced since 1989. He graduated from the University of Florida Levin College of Law, where he was editor of the University of Florida International Law Journal.

  10. Wellness Wednesday

    THE SCIENCE OF WORKING FROM HOME

    The Florida Bar | Article | June 24, 2020

    The Florida Bar Podcast welcomes Judge Robert Hilliard, Rebecca Bandy and Jack Newton to explore their perspectives on the legal profession’s shift to remote work during the pandemic. This podcast has been approved by The Florida Bar Continuing Legal Education Department for 2 hours of General CLE Credit, 1 hour of Technology, and 1 hour of Mental Illness Awareness.

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