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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 10, 2022

  1. The Florida Bar

    BOARD DETAILS ITS OPPOSITION TO COURT SPECIAL COMMITTEE’S PROPOSALS

    The Florida Bar | Article | January 10, 2022

    In a letter to Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Charles Canady responding to the controversial report of the Supreme Court’s Special Committee to Improve the Delivery of Legal Services, Bar President Mike Tanner said unintended consequences and the lack of compelling empirical data were the two fundamental concerns that underlie the Board of Governors’ votes to reject the special committee’s major recommendations. The special committee was directed by the Supreme Court in late 2019 to study how legal services to consumers could be improved with lawyers playing a “proper and prominent role in the provision of these services.”

  2. Criminal Justice

    A JURY FOUND HIM GUILTY OF TWO MURDERS. HERE’S WHY AN APPEALS COURT IS GIVING A CONVICTED KILLER A SECOND CHANCE

    Sun Sentinel | Article | January 08, 2022

    When a state appeals court granted a new trial to convicted killer Zachary Joseph Penna last month, it was because the deputy who questioned him had failed to remind the defendant of his right to remain silent and his right to have an attorney present. Penna, 31, was found guilty of the 2015 murders of Wayne Dixon, 58, and Freddy Sanchez, 49, inside their Greenacres home. “Despite the horrible facts underlying these convictions, we are compelled to reverse these convictions and remand for a new trial due to a violation of the defendant’s Miranda rights,” the appeals court ruled. “Because those elicited, incriminating responses … undermined the defendant’s insanity defense, the trial court’s errors [in allowing the jury to hear the statements] were not harmless.”

  3. Judiciary

    FLORIDA SUPREME COURT TO MULL PROPOSED CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT ON CASINOS

    Tallahassee Democrat | Article | January 08, 2022

    Attorney General Ashley Moody on Friday [Jan. 7] asked the Florida Supreme Court to scrutinize a proposed constitutional amendment that would open the door to casinos in North Florida. The Supreme Court’s review, however, will consider only whether the initiative meets requirements such as having a single subject and not being misleading to voters. The measure, if approved, would open the door to casinos along the Interstate 10 corridor in North Florida and is geared toward a facility in the Jacksonville area.

  4. Civil Justice

    ESCAMBIA COUNTY SETTLES ITS PART OF A LAWSUIT INVOLVING DOUG UNDERHILL’S FACEBOOK ACCOUNTS

    Pensacola News Journal | Article | January 10, 2022

    Escambia County Commissioners agreed to settle Pensacola businessman David Bear’s lawsuit involving a public records request made to Commissioner Doug Underhill, leaving Underhill alone to defend the lawsuit and putting the county at odds as to whether it will reimburse Underhill’s legal fees. As part of the settlement, the county agreed to file a stipulation of facts in the lawsuit that says Underhill ignored the county’s social media and technology policies when he used Facebook to discuss county business, and he failed to produce public records from his Facebook accounts requested by Bear until a court order compelled him to do so.

  5. Legal Profession

    DRAFT VERSION OF REDESIGNED BAR EXAM WILL BE SHARED BY NCBE SOON

    ABA Journal | Article | January 07, 2022

    With a target implementation year of 2026 for a redesigned bar exam, the National Conference of Bar Examiners expects to start pilot testing this year. Previously, the NCBE has said the redesigned bar exam will be delivered online and administered at test centers or jurisdiction-managed sites. Much thought for the redesign has been put into what work that new lawyers do and how they do it. Findings from a national sample of new lawyers and their supervisors helped with the determination, and prototyping for the exam is happening now.

  6. Judiciary

    JUDGE WEIGHS ARGUMENTS ON UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA FREE SPEECH POLICY

    WUSF | Article | January 09, 2022

    Chief U.S. District Judge Mark Walker held a hearing Friday [Jan. 7] on the plaintiffs’ request to block the University of Florida from enforcing a policy that gives administrators discretion to block faculty from participating in legal cases after three political science professors were blocked from testifying in an elections law case. The university “is not willing to do the very basic step of saying we will never take viewpoint into account in determining whether we have an interest in suppressing the speech” of faculty, David O’Neil, a Washington, D.C.-based lawyer who represents the professors, argued. Judge Walker will hold another hearing Jan. 14 on the plaintiffs’ motion for an injunction.

  7. Criminal Justice

    ATTORNEY TRIED TO SMUGGLE COCAINE INTO PALM BEACH COUNTY JAIL

    Palm Beach Post | Article | January 08, 2022

    David Casals, a Fort Lauderdale-based criminal defense attorney who practices in Palm Beach and Broward counties, was charged with trafficking in cocaine, delivery of cocaine and introduction of contraband into a county facility, the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office said Friday [Jan. 7]. The Florida Bar has opened a case on Casals.

  8. Civil Justice

    WHISTLEBLOWER SUES SCHOOL DISTRICT OVER HANDLING OF PRINCIPAL’S HOLOCAUST REMARKS

    Palm Beach Post | Article | January 07, 2022

    Retired human resources investigator Robert Pinkos who says he faced retaliation for pushing for a broader investigation Spanish River High School’s principal’s controversial Holocaust remarks has sued Palm Beach County’s public school system. The lawsuit comes two years after he filed a whistleblower complaint alleging that school district officials wrongfully retaliated against him.

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