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 11, 2021
The Florida Bar
The Florida Bar | Article | January 11, 2021
The Florida Bar Board of Governors is scheduled Jan. 29 to receive an update from Chief Justice Charles Canady. Since the pandemic forced him in March to close courthouses to the public, Canady has addressed the board several times. In previous remarks, he urged patience and stressed that he wants to be assured that the public and court personnel will be safe before allowing full-scale resumption of jury trials. In other business, the board is expected to receive an update from the Bar’s COVID-19 Pandemic Recovery Task Force and the Board Technology Committee on several committee projects, including recent negotiations with Zoom executives to develop platform features recommended by attorneys; the Board will weigh a series of Disciplinary Procedure Committee proposed amendments to Rule 14-4.1 Arbitration Proceedings and proposed amendments to Florida Standards for Imposing Lawyer Sanctions 3.2 Aggravation.
Florida Times-Union | Article | January 09, 2021
In a Jan. 6 email to top officials in the courts and criminal justice system, Chief Judge Mark Mahon of the Fourth Judicial Circuit said virtually all in-person courthouse functions will be suspended until Feb. 22. Mahon stopped short of officially returning to Phase 1 COVID protocols, but his email directive is materially identical to the Florida Supreme Court’s definition of Phase 1.
ABA Journal | Article | January 05, 2021
While judges and lawyers view jury trials as slower, less predictable and less cost-effective than other forms of case resolution, they also view them as fair and prefer them over alternatives, according to a national study released in December by the ABA Commission on the American Jury. The study, titled “Reasons for the Disappearing Jury Trial: Perspectives from Attorneys and Judges” and published in the Louisiana Law Review, additionally showed that most judges and attorneys view jury trials as worth the costs associated with them. ABA President Patricia Lee Refo said: “This new study again confirms what other ABA studies have long shown — that our laws and customs need a fresh look to ensure that jury trials, a cornerstone of the American justice system, do not disappear altogether.”
Miami Herald | Article | January 11, 2021
Average Floridians might not realize that every time they pay a court fine or fee, the money helps keep government operations afloat. The revenue — especially from traffic tickets — helps pays for everything from wildlife and environmental conservation, compensation for crime victims and even treatments for people with brain and spinal injuries. But as the pandemic has reduced court activity and led to fewer motorists getting tickets, revenue across Florida has plummeted — exposing what critics have long derided as an unreliable and unfair system built on the backs of court defendants.
ABA Journal | Article | January 07, 2021
The federal courts and the U.S. Department of Justice have announced that they were apparently affected by a hack of widely used network management software known as SolarWinds. The DOJ said Wednesday [Jan. 6] about 3 percent of its emails were “potentially accessed,” but there is no indication at this point that any classified systems were affected. Federal courts are also investigating an apparent compromise of the confidentiality of the federal courts’ electronic filing system, according to a memo and press release by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts.
SHOULD COMPUTERS SEIZED IN RAID OF DATA ANALYST’S HOME BE RETURNED? A JUDGE WILL HEAR ARGUMENTS THIS WEEK
Sun Sentinel | Article | January 11, 2021
Leon County Circuit Judge John Cooper is scheduled to hear arguments Wednesday [Jan. 13] about whether the Florida Department of Law Enforcement should return property to fired state Department of Health analyst Rebekah Jones after agents searched her home and hauled away computer equipment last month. Judge Cooper will hold a hearing on a motion by Jones’ attorneys to force FDLE to return the property amid a broader lawsuit that alleges the agency violated Jones’ First Amendment and due-process rights and conducted an unlawful search and seizure, according to court documents.