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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.

January 07, 2021

  1. The Florida Bar

    PROGRAM EXPLORES ‘PATHWAYS TO BAR LEADERSHIP FOR WOMEN LAWYERS’

    The Florida Bar | Article | January 07, 2021

    Florida Bar Board of Governors member Lorna E. Brown-Burton and other legal leaders will discuss, “Leveling the Playing Field: Effective Pathways to Bar Leadership for Women Lawyers” at a Jan. 12 forum sponsored by the Committee on Diversity and Inclusion. Vice-chair of the committee, Lakisha Kinsey-Sallis,  said the panel discussion is designed to “demystify” the pathway to professional leadership, where women lawyers are underrepresented. The forum is part of the Gender Equality Women’s Programming Series. Free registration for the noon event is available here.

  2. Civil Justice

    BE CAREFUL IN DEPOSITIONS: NO PROTECTION FOR SOUTH FLORIDA MAN FIRED OVER COMMENTS ABOUT BOSS

    Daily Business Review | Article | January 06, 2021

    Employees who say negative things about their employer in depositions aren’t protected by Florida law if they’re later fired, according to an opinion from the Fourth District Court of Appeal on Wednesday [Jan. 6]. It’s a ruling that exposes the limitations of a Florida statute aimed at shielding witnesses from retribution, as the court found it didn’t apply to all legal proceedings. The underlying dispute involves caregiver Alex Nunes, who was subpoenaed to testify in a guardianship case and was ultimately fired for what he said about his employer.

  3. Judiciary

    MIAMI IMMIGRATION COURT RULING COULD MEAN GREEN CARDS FOR LARGE NUMBER OF CUBANS

    Miami Herald | Article | January 07, 2021

    In a court decision this week, Miami Judge Timothy Cole ruled that any immigrant released from detention by the Department of Homeland Security without a deportation order is eligible for parole. Judge Cole certified the case to the Board of Immigration Appeals — the highest administrative body for interpreting and applying immigration laws — for further reconsideration. If the BIA agrees with Cole, the decision could become national in scope.

  4. Civil Justice

    USF SUED BY STUDENT FOR ALLEGED RACIAL DISCRIMINATION

    Tampa Bay Business Journal | Article | January 06, 2021

    A lawsuit originally filed early last year was recently refiled on Dec. 8 in the U.S. Middle District of Florida by University of South Florida student Abdul Rehman Farrukh. Farrukh alleges eight counts against the university, including racial discrimination, violating the Florida Education Equity Act, negligent retention, supervision and training, and breach of contract. In June 2013, Farrukh was admitted to USF as a degree-seeking student. The lawsuit alleges Farrukh was denied permits to enroll in courses he was eligible for, as well as denial into a class that he was told was full but he later learned an American student allegedly had been admitted.

  5. Civil Justice

    STATE AGREES TO SETTLE ORLANDO SENTINEL LAWSUIT OVER COVID REPORTS

    Orlando Sentinel | Article | January 06, 2021

    The state has agreed to settle Orlando Sentinel’s lawsuit, which stemmed from unreasonable delays by Gov. Ron DeSantis’ office in providing the weekly White House Coronavirus Task Force reports to the newspaper. As part of the settlement, the state has agreed to release future weekly task force reports within two business days and pay $7,500 in attorney fees. The Sentinel sued Gov. DeSantis and his office on Dec. 11, alleging that he and his office violated the Public Records Act by refusing the release of the reports.

  6. Judiciary

    JUDGE TO RULE ON UNCONSTITUTIONALITY OF DEATH PENALTY IN DESMARET CASE

    Fort Myers News Press | Article | January 06, 2021

    Wisner Desmaret is charged in the 2018 killing of Fort Myers police officer Adam Jobbers-Miller. On Tuesday [Jan. 5], Lee County Circuit Court Judge Robert J. Branning scheduled a pre-trial conference for spring, and, on Wednesday [Jan. 6], listened to motions disputing the constitutionality of Florida’s death penalty in this case.  Lawyers for the 32-year-old Desmaret highlighted what they said were unconstitutional aspects of the statute that guides the state’s death penalty. If a jury finds Desmaret guilty, he would face the death penalty.

  7. Legislative

    FLORIDA LAWMAKERS FILE COVID-19 BUSINESS PROTECTIONS FOR UPCOMING SESSION

    Tallahassee Democrat | Article | January 07, 2021

    The House and Senate on Wednesday [Jan. 6] released identical bills for consideration that would provide immunity from coronavirus-related lawsuits to businesses that have “substantially” complied with public health guidelines. The newly filed bills would provide businesses, schools and churches protection from COVID-19-related lawsuits for damages, injuries or deaths; require plaintiffs to file claims within one year after incidents; and require plaintiffs to obtain affidavits from Florida physicians attesting that the defendants’ acts or omissions caused the damages, injuries or deaths. The 2021 legislative session will start March 2.

  8. Legal Profession

    D.W. PERKINS BAR ASSOCIATION LEADS ASK-A-LAWYER EVENT

    Jacksonville Daily Record | Article | January 07, 2021

    Members of the D.W. Perkins Bar Association spent a morning together participating in a virtual Ask-A-Lawyer event. It’s how lawyers volunteer their time to serve community members through an opportunity to “pick the brain” of an attorney and get guidance, and many times reassurance, concerning their legal matters. For three hours on Oct. 31, Perkins Bar Association members, along with attorney Laura Gapske, provided counsel to several people in the areas of family law, landlord/tenant issues, criminal law and estate planning.

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