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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 08, 2021

  1. The Florida Bar

    BILLS FILED TO PROTECT BUSINESSES, CHURCHES, AND SCHOOLS FROM COVID-RELATED SUITS

    The Florida Bar | Article | January 08, 2021

    Citing a need to boost the economy, House and Senate lawmakers have filed bills designed to protect businesses from pandemic-related lawsuits. Both bills would grant businesses, churches, and schools immunity from COVID-19-related liability if they can prove they “substantially” complied with government health standards or guidelines. HB 7 by Rep. Lawrence McClure, a Republican and business owner from Plant City, is scheduled for debate by the House Civil Justice & Property Rights Subcommittee on Jan. 13. The companion bill, SB 72 by Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, has yet to receive a committee reference.

  2. Judiciary

    ALL JANUARY TRIALS CANCELED IN SECOND CIRCUIT DUE TO INCREASING COVID-19 RATES

    WCTV | Article | January 07, 2021

    Chief Jonathan Sjostrom of Florida’s Second Judicial Circuit issued an order Thursday [Jan. 7] canceling all jury trials in January, citing increasing positivity rates of COVID-19. The Second Circuit includes Leon, Gadsden, Franklin, Jefferson, Liberty and Wakulla counties. The administrative order applies to both county and circuit court.

  3. Civil Justice

    STATE AG SUES TAMPA BAY AREA VETERANS NONPROFIT, ALLEGING DECEPTIVE PRACTICES

    Tampa Bay Business Journal | Article | January 07, 2021

    Palm Harbor-based nonprofit Healing Heroes is facing a lawsuit from the Florida Attorney General’s office over deceptive practices, with the state claiming the organization used donations to pay salaries, rent and other expenses rather than their intended purpose: providing medical care to recent war veterans. The lawsuit, filed in the Sixth District Circuit Court in Pinellas County on Jan. 4, includes two counts against the Healing Heroes and its officers Dr. Allan Spiegel, Stacey Spiegel and Neal Spiegel.

  4. Judiciary

    A LOOK AT AMENDMENTS TO LOCAL RULES FOR SOUTHERN AND MIDDLE DISTRICTS OF FLA.

    Daily Business Review | Column | January 07, 2021

    Aaron Weiss, a shareholder at Carlton Fields in Miami, writes: “The local rules for the Southern District of Florida were amended effective Dec. 1, 2020. Also, there are several amendments to the local rules for the Middle District of Florida that will go into effect on Feb. 1. . . Unlike the Southern District of Florida local rules — which generally have small tweaks every year — the Middle District of Florida local rules have generally been the same since 2003. This year, there was a major overhaul.”

  5. Legislative

    FLORIDA GOP LEADERS RELEASE ANTI-RIOT LEGISLATION

    WUSF | Article | January 07, 2021

    Wednesday [Jan. 6] Republican leaders in Florida released legislation aimed at cracking down on violent protests and making it difficult for local government officials to trim spending on law enforcement. Florida GOP House and Senate leaders rolled out a revamped version of the anti-riot proposal Gov. Ron DeSantis proposed in September. DeSantis stated that he was the first governor in the nation to propose such a measure.

  6. Civil Justice

    BROWARD TEACHERS SUE TO KEEP WORKING FROM HOME

    Sun Sentinel | Article | January 07, 2021

    Teachers are suing the Broward School Board for ordering them to return to the classroom and stop working from home, at the same time COVID-19 cases are surging. About 1,700 teachers with conditions such as cancer, kidney disease and heart disease have been approved to teach from their homes since mid-October when the district reopened for face-to-face instruction. But they received letters saying their remote assignment ended Friday [Jan. 8] and they should return to work Monday [Jan. 11], which violates an agreement between the district and the Broward Teachers Union, according to a lawsuit the union filed in circuit court.

  7. Judiciary

    ELEVENTH CIRCUIT AFFIRMS DISTRICT COURT HOLDING IN TCPA CASE

    JDSupra | Article | January 07, 2021

    Mariam Grigorian filed suit on behalf of a class of more than 89,000 others alleging that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act by using a third-party vendor to transmit a prerecorded message to Grigorian’s cell phone voicemail advertising FCA’s Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivan without prior express consent. On appeal in Grigorian v. FCA US LLC, the Eleventh Circuit affirmed the holding of Judge Marcia G. Cooke, of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, that Grigorian lacked Article III standing in her claim.

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