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.
September 14, 2020
The Florida Bar
The Florida Bar | Article | September 14, 2020
The Supreme Court has denied a petition on behalf of recent law school graduates who say their military careers are threatened by repeated, COVID-19 related delays of Florida’s summer Bar exam. With Justice Jorge Labarga recusing himself, the court ruled unanimously on Sept. 11 to deny a request for an emergency rule change that would have allowed “judge advocate selectees” admission to The Florida Bar without an examination.
Check back with the Florida Bar News for updates on Gov. Ron DeSantis’ new Supreme Court Justice selection.
Florida Trend | Article | September 13, 2020
The Eleventh U.S. District Court of Appeals on Friday [Sept. 11], in a 6-4 ruling, upheld the constitutionality of a Florida law requiring felons to complete all financial terms of their sentences — including paying fines, fees, costs and restitution — to be eligible to vote. The law was aimed at carrying out a 2018 constitutional amendment that restored voting rights to felons “upon completion of all terms of sentence including parole and probation.” The decision reversed a May ruling by U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle, who said the state could not deny voting rights to felons who genuinely could not afford to pay court-ordered debts. Hinkle’s ruling would have allowed hundreds of thousands of felons to register and vote in this year’s presidential election without paying outstanding legal financial obligations.
Pensacola News Journal | Article | September 14, 2020
Jury trials are starting to be scheduled again in the First Judicial Circuit after they were halted because of COVID-19, but the circuit’s state attorney and public defender do not agree about which cases should go to trial first, and they don’t see eye-to-eye on the issue of masks in the courtroom. Ultimately, judges will have the discretion to dictate what happens in their courtrooms including who wears or does not wear a mask.
Florida Politics | Article | September 13, 2020
State Attorney Melissa Nelson, whose office serves Florida’s Fourth Judicial Circuit that prosecutes cases for Duval, Clay and Nassau counties, announced on Aug. 31 that she is now requiring her prosecutors to seek longer prison sentences for felons arrested for illegally carrying guns. The policy requires that, based on defendants’ criminal backgrounds, prosecutors must seek 10 years, five years or three years in prison. To waive a mandatory minimum sentence, prosecutors must get approval.
TC Palm | Article | September 11, 2020
Voters in Sebastian are preparing to decide whether three City Council members, Damien Gilliams, Vice Mayor Charles Mauti and Pamela Parris, should be recalled, and if so, who should take their place. The recall group contends the three are guilty of malfeasance in carrying out their elected duties. A Circuit Court judge ruled that an April 22 meeting– held in the council chambers in which the three convened without public notice and voted to fire the city’s charter officers, remove the mayor and appoint Gilliams as mayor — was null and void, setting the stage for the last six months of bitter fighting among council members, the recall group and residents.
US News | Article | September 10, 2020
To return to something near normal, courts in Washington state have made extraordinary changes to the 53-judge superior court system serving Seattle and its suburbs. Using $7 million in federal COVID-19 relief funding, court administrators rented out a convention center to make space for ad hoc courtrooms and video conferencing systems allowing a wide range of court activities to be done remotely. Attorneys and their clients now call into most hearings, while most residents reporting for jury duty do so by phone.
Jacksonville Daily Record | Article | September 14, 2020
The Rogers Towers law firm received the First Coast Worksite Wellness Council’s Platinum Level Award for 2020 First Coast Healthiest Companies. Rogers Towers initiatives include employee wellness functions such as lunch and learns, sports teams and nutrition/weight management wellness challenges, healthy food and snack options to employees at meetings and corporate functions and offers discounts on gym memberships. The award will be presented during the 12th annual Worksite Wellness Virtual Conference on Sept. 21.