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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.

November 18, 2020

  1. The Florida Bar

    COUNTY COURT APPEALS WILL SOON BE HEARD BY THE DCAS

    The Florida Bar | Article | November 18, 2020

    Court officials are preparing for more jurisdictional changes that take effect Jan. 1, when most appeals from county court will be heard by District Courts of Appeal. Recommended by the Supreme Court and approved by the Legislature, the pending changes are part of broader reforms that at the beginning of this year expanded county court jurisdiction from $15,000 for cases in controversy to $30,000. Small claims rose to $8,000. Details are available at  www.flcourts.org/Know-Your-Court.

  2. Civil Justice

    REVISED LAWSUIT FILED OVER UNEMPLOYMENT PROBLEMS

    CBS Local 4 | Article | November 17, 2020

    Plaintiffs’ attorneys have filed a revised class-action lawsuit against the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity and Deloitte Consulting LLP seeking damages because of major problems with the state’s unemployment-compensation system during the COVID-19 pandemic. Filed late Monday [Nov. 16] in Leon County Circuit Court, the revised lawsuit came after Circuit Judge John Cooper dismissed an earlier version in September.

  3. Judiciary

    ORANGE COURT CLERK RETURNS $1.3M IN EMERGENCY AID TO COUNTY

    Orlando Sentinel | Article | November 17, 2020

    Orange County Clerk of Courts Tiffany Moore Russell on Tuesday [Nov. 17] returned nearly $1.3 million out of the $1.5 million her office received in emergency aid from the county in August to stave off furloughs and branch closures because of the coronavirus pandemic. Although her budget was reduced, Moore Russell said her office absorbed about $1 million through conservative spending and a hiring freeze. The office also received CARES Act reimbursements through the county that helped them “substantially” narrow the financial gap, she said.

  4. Legislative

    LEGISLATIVE LEADERS SHOW SUPPORT FOR LIMITS ON COVID-19 LAWSUITS

    WUSF | Article | November 18, 2020

    Florida legislative leaders on Tuesday [Nov. 17] showed support for limits on lawsuits stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. Senate President Wilton Simpson, R-Trilby, and House Speaker Chris Sprowls, R-Palm Harbor, indicated support for legislation that would protect businesses from lawsuits related to COVID-19. Simpson predicted the Legislature could quickly address a COVID-19 lawsuit limitation proposal when it meets during the 2021 legislative session, which starts in March.

  5. Judiciary

    COURT UPHOLDS FIRING OF FAU PROFESSOR WHO QUESTIONED SANDY HOOK

    Daily Business Review | Article | November 17, 2020

    The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit on Monday [Nov. 16] backed a decision by Florida Atlantic University to fire a professor who drew national attention for questioning whether the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut actually occurred. The Court rejected James Tracy’s First Amendment arguments that he was fired in retaliation for views posted on a blog that explored conspiracy theories and criticized the media.

  6. Civil Justice

    PALM BEACH COUNTY SCHOOLS SETTLE NATIONAL-ORIGIN DISCRIMINATION COMPLAINT WITH U.S. DOJ

    Florida Phoenix | Article | November 17, 2020

    The Palm Beach County School District will pay a $90,000 civil fine and up to $100,000 in back pay to resolve a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Department of Justice alleging discrimination against immigrant employees and job seekers. According to the lawsuit, the district required people to provide specific but unnecessary documentation of their right to work in the United States on account of their immigration status.

  7. Legal Profession

    THE HISTORY OF THE JUDICIAL CODE OF ETHICS

    Workerscompensation.com | Column | November 18, 2020

    Judge David Langham writes: “ . . . from one of the great scandals of American sports, a federal judge spurs the contemplation of a set of ethical standards for judges. The ABA adopts the Canons of Judicial Ethics in 1924. They are criticized and challenged. Despite those critical perceptions, they are adopted nonetheless by various jurisdictions in various forms. And, they stand as the judicial behavior standards for almost fifty years, until 1972. In 1972, the ABA adopts instead the Code of Judicial Conduct, to answer the criticisms and to modernize the standards.”

  8. Judiciary

    OFFICIALS HOPEFUL TO SEE JURY TRIALS START SOON IN LAKE COUNTY, POSSIBLY IN JANUARY

    Daily Commercial | Article | November 17, 2020

    Felony jury trials, which have been suspended because of the COVID-19 crisis, might resume in January, according to court officials. “Of course, this is subject to change based on the public health data as we get closer,” said Jeffrey Fuller, spokesman for the Fifth Judicial Circuit. Misdemeanor cases could be heard as soon as the middle of next month, said Assistant State Attorney Jonathan Olson, who heads the prosecutor’s office in Lake County.

  9. Civil Justice

    FLORIDA WOMAN ESCAPES GUARDIANSHIP USING SECRET PHONE AND FACEBOOK TO CONTACT MEDIA

    ABC Action News | Article | November 16, 2020

    Jan Garwood, 70, was released from court-ordered guardianship in late August and had her rights restored. Garwood was in the locked-down dementia unit of the Palms of Longwood Assisted Living Facility in Seminole County when she contacted the media using a phone her son snuck into her room. Guardianship reform advocate Hillary Hogue and attorney Vito Roppo took her case, and a judge granted the motion to have a doctor to evaluate Garwood’s mental capacity. After receiving the doctor’s report, the judge released Garwood from guardianship. . Garwood had been placed in professional guardianship in 2017 after she was involved in a car crash while grieving the death of her son.

  10. The Florida Bar

    TRY HIGH-INTENSITY INTERVAL TRAINING. YOU MIGHT LIKE IT.

    The Florida Bar | Article | November 18, 2020

    High-intensity interval training sounds tough, and it is. But it increases endurance and power, burns fat faster, strengthens the cardiovascular system, and lowers blood pressure and blood sugar levels. Inactive adults who tried a sampling of exercises preferred intense efforts to gentler workouts.

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