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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.

August 04, 2022

  1. The Florida Bar

    PEC TO REVIEW FLORIDA LAWYERS ASSISTANCE PROGRAM

    The Florida Bar | Article | August 04, 2022

    At the Florida Bar Board of Governors’ July meeting, Program Evaluation Committee Chair Sia Baker-Barnes told the board her committee has added a review of the Florida Lawyers Assistance program to its current activity schedule. She also reported the PEC is already conducting a review of the Florida Lawyers Helpline and plans to study the duration of voting periods for Florida Bar elections; better define the Board of Governors members’ roles as liaisons to Bar sections and committees; and see if there is a better way for the board to identify those willing to serve on Bar grievance committees. Baker-Barnes said the committee, whose mission is to conduct periodic, in-depth evaluations of selected Florida Bar programs, will also see if it can assist with the Bar’s inventory attorney process.

  2. Civil Justice

    DESANTIS SUSPENDS HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY STATE ATTORNEY, ACCUSING HIM OF NOT ENFORCING LAWS

    USA Today Network-Florida | Article | August 04, 2022

    Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday [Aug. 4] suspended State Attorney Andrew Warren, the chief prosecutor for the 13th Judicial Circuit covering Hillsborough County, after accusing him of working to “nullify laws that were enacted by the people’s representatives.” DeSantis accused Warren of refusing to enforce certain laws. He cited positions Warren has taken about laws or policy surrounding abortion, sex reassignment surgery and other issues. Warren was first elected to the position in November 2016 and then re-elected in November 2020.

  3. Judiciary

    FLORIDA LAWYER BEATS BIG TOBACCO IN NEVADA SUPREME COURT, CREATING NATIONWIDE BLUEPRINT

    Daily Business Review | Article | August 03, 2022

    Fort Lauderdale attorney Fan Li’s strategy to hold Big Tobacco accountable just set a precedent in the Nevada Supreme Court, and counsel said in the process, it created a nationwide blueprint for lawyers litigating similar claims. Li is co-lead counsel for Sandra Camacho, who sued Liggett Group LLC and Philip Morris USA Inc., the product manufacturers of the tobacco products she smoked—as well as R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., an additional corporation that allegedly conspired with the product manufacturers. Camacho claimed the deception caused by the corporations led to her suffering from cancer. R.J. Reynolds argued that Camacho was not a victim of fraud because she did not use that defendant’s product, but the state high court disagreed because Camacho is suing not for that defendant’s product but their misconduct, creating a roadmap for attorneys nationwide.

  4. Civil Justice

    $6 BILLION LOAN SETTLEMENT COULD SPARE GRADS OF FLORIDA COASTAL SCHOOL OF LAW, BUSINESS SCHOOLS

    Florida Times-Union | Article | August 03, 2022

    Former Florida Coastal School of Law students have been hurrying to request forgiveness of sometimes staggering student loan debts ahead of a federal court order that could cancel $6 billion in obligations haunting people who attended for-profit schools nationwide. Florida Coastal, which closed its doors last year, was among the schools where the U.S. Department of Education agreed to “presumptive relief” for students who had filed borrower defense applications before the settlement was signed on June 22 in a class-action lawsuit affecting more than a quarter-million people who studied at more than 150 schools. Lawyers in the class action sent a joint motion to U.S. District Judge William Alsup in San Francisco to approve the settlement, which could happen as soon as Thursday [Aug. 4].

  5. Judiciary

    11TH CIRCUIT: POLICE OFFICERS ENTITLED TO STATE SOVEREIGN IMMUNITY FROM TORT CLAIMS

    Daily Business Review | Article | August 03, 2022

    Police officers were acting within the scope of their employment when they arrested a man suspected of animal abuse the U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals said in a ruling clarifying the standard of review for gauging immunity in civil suits against police officers. The ruling stems from the July 2014 arrest of Aaron Coleman by Tampa police on execution of a search warrant. After being acquitted of all charges relating to animal abuse and mistreatment, Coleman moved to sue the officers involved in his arrest for false imprisonment and false arrest. Although a lower court had green-lit the case over doubts about probable cause, 11th Circuit Judge Ed Carnes, who wrote the majority’s July 26 opinion, focused on whether a reasonable person could conclude that the officers’ conduct “falls within the exceptions” to immunity, which include acting in bad faith or wanton disregard for suspects.

  6. Judiciary

    NEW ORDER ‘HIGHLY ENCOURAGES’ COURT VISITORS TO WEAR MASK AS COVID CASES ON THE RISE

    Sarasota Herald-Tribune | Article | August 03, 2022

    A new administrative order for the 12th Judicial Circuit Court is highly encouraging people to wear masks to court as COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Florida. Chief Judge Charles Roberts’ order, which amended the court’s previous order, went into effect Monday [Aug. 1] and encourages visitors to wear masks when entering courthouses in the circuit or when in public areas.

  7. Criminal Justice Issues

    ORANGE COUNTY’S TOP FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: WE’RE FOCUSED ON VIOLENT CRIME AND FIREARMS

    Orlando Sentinel | Column | August 03, 2022

    U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Florida Roger B. Handberg writes: “The reduction of violent crime is a top priority of my office, and I have reallocated resources in my office to prioritize the prosecution of violent crime and firearms cases . . . Experience has shown that effective prosecution of those individuals can have dramatic impacts in the reduction of violent crime in a community. . . Reducing violent crime, however, cannot be done solely through police work and prosecutions, which is why my office’s violent crime strategy includes fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results of our efforts . . . When combined together, the four parts of our violent crime strategy will help us reach our ultimate goal, which is reducing violent crime in our community.”

  8. Legal Profession

    LEADERSHIP IN THE LEGAL PROFESSION

    Jacksonville Daily Record | Column | August 04, 2022

    David Thompson, a trial attorney at Coker Law writes: “What is effective leadership? Through my years as an attorney, I have struggled with this question. . . Some in our profession think the degree hanging on our office wall makes us better than the staff who work for us . . . I learned long ago that people work harder for you if they know they are appreciated. Another lesson I learned is when I am in court and something goes awry, it is not my paralegal’s fault and it is not my legal assistant’s fault, it is my fault. Whether something was improperly filed or overlooked, the buck stops with me.”

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