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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.

May 19, 2022

  1. The Florida Bar

    YOU MAY PAY YOUR BAR FEES ONLINE NOW

    The Florida Bar | Article | May 19, 2022

    The Florida Bar’s annual fee season is underway with the traditional first option of paying online by signing into the MyFloridaBar Member Portal at member.floridabar.org and clicking the “Pay My Fees” button. It is the quickest and easiest way to pay your annual fees, elect voluntary section memberships, and stay in compliance with Bar rules for trust accounting and pro bono reporting. There are also several other fee payment options in place including paying by mail, e-check, or phone. For more information on these payment options, call 850-561-5831 or email [email protected].

  2. Civil Justice

    STATE COMMISSION SEEKS $282K PAYBACK FROM MIAMI-DADE ATTORNEY

    NBC 6 | Article | May 18, 2022

    A state commission Tuesday [May 17] ordered Miami-Dade County attorney Rae Shearn to pay back $282,806 she has collected in public money since 2011 for representing clients who cannot afford her services, but who present conflicts that prevent public defenders and other state-salaried attorneys from representing them. Shearn is among seven attorneys determined by the Justice Administrative Commission (JAC) to have provided insufficient back-up for their reported hours. The JAC referred all seven attorneys to The Florida Bar where their cases were closed after a judge ordered full payment in six of the cases and partial payment of the fees in the seventh.

  3. Judiciary

    U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES REVERSES COURSE, VOTES TO RENAME TALLAHASSEE COURTHOUSE AFTER HATCHETT

    WTXL Tallahassee | Article | May 18, 2022

    The U.S. House of Representatives voted Wednesday [May 18] to rename a federal courthouse in Tallahassee after Florida Supreme Court Justice Joseph Hatchett, who was the state’s first African American Supreme Court justice. The vote comes after an initial vote to rename the courthouse on March 30 failed in the House. If the bill is passed by the U.S. Senate, the U.S. Courthouse of Northern Florida in Tallahassee will be renamed as the “Judge Joseph Woodrow Hatchett U.S. Courthouse.”

  4. Civil Justice

    CLERK SUES PINELLAS COUNTY FOR SPENDING ON ELECTION LAWSUIT

    Tampa Bay Times | Article | May 18, 2022

    On Monday [May 16], Pinellas County Clerk of Court Ken Burke filed a lawsuit in Pinellas County Circuit Court against the county over whether it can use public dollars to pay for its recent lawsuit challenging a portion of Florida’s new election law. Burke argues it is established common law that public agencies “must presume legislation affecting their duties to be valid” and don’t have standing to challenge a statute. As the county’s accountant, Burke questioned whether it would be legal for him to release public funds for the lawsuit expenses because it’s not clear how Pinellas County, as opposed to the affected commissioners, needs a court determination on the new state law.

  5. Judiciary

    MIAMI-DADE JUDGE STEPS DOWN FROM LITIGATION OVER ATTORNEY FEES

    Daily Business Review | Article | May 18, 2022

    Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Beatrice Butchko stepped down from a case over attorney fees and costs, hours after a litigant filed a verified disqualification motion. In the motion, litigant Sarah Lazow claimed that her former attorney, Robert Zarco, allegedly pitched his legal services by boasting he had a “very close relationship” with Butchko, who might allegedly “role play as angry on the record.” But Lazow’s opponents describe her as a “desperate litigant,” ready to defame the judge and other side.

  6. Civil Justice

    MANATEE COUNTY VIOLATED PUBLIC RECORDS LAW DURING ANIMAL SHELTER LIVING CONDITIONS CASE

    Sarasota Herald-Tribune | Article | May 18, 2022

    Manatee County was found to have violated public records laws after a volunteer raised alarm about living conditions at the county’s animal shelter. The civil lawsuit, filed in November by Paul David Daniels, claims Manatee County withheld emails he requested without a valid statutory citation in violation of Florida statutes. In response to his public records request, Daniels received thousands of pages of documents, but he was able to prove that some records had not been released by providing screenshots of emails between county employees that should have been included. Seven months later, the county then produced 40 emails that should have been provided at the time of Daniels’ request, records show. The court ruled in favor of Daniels and found that the county failed to respond to his public records request and that the delay was not reasonable nor justified.

  7. Criminal Justice

    FATHER OF SLAIN WOMAN DEMANDS BETTER DEFENSE FOR TEEN ACCUSED OF FATALLY SHOOTING HER

    Palm Beach Post | Article | May 19, 2022

    A teenage boy accused of fatally shooting 32-year-old Maria Tritico in 2020 was appointed his fourth defense attorney after numerous pleas by the young man, his mother, and Chris Tritico – the father of the victim in the case. In a December letter to Circuit Judge Jeffrey Gillen, the young man described months of radio silence between him and attorney K.J. Myllynen. His plea for better representation went unanswered until Thursday [May 12], when Judge Gillen heard the same complaint from Tritico, who, in addition to being the father of the woman who was killed, is a lawyer himself.

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