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.
March 17, 2023
The Florida Bar
THERE IS STILL TIME TO CAST YOUR VOTE IN BAR ELECTIONS
The Florida Bar | Article | March 17, 2023
Voting is underway for contested seats for The Florida Bar’s Board of Governors in the 11th and Out-of-State circuits and two races for the Young Lawyers Division board in the 11th and 13th circuits. Members in the circuits with contested races may vote by accessing the MyFloridaBar Member Portal on The Florida Bar’s website. Voted ballots must be received prior to 11:59 p.m. EST, March 21. If you requested a mail ballot, it was mailed March 1.
APPEALS COURT KEEPS DESANTIS’ ‘STOP WOKE’ ACT ON HOLD FOR COLLEGES
News Service of Florida | Article | March 16, 2023
The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, on Thursday [March 16], kept on hold a controversial Florida law that restricts the way race-related issues can be taught in universities. Attorneys for the state appealed a November decision by Chief U.S. District Judge Mark Walker, who found that the law violated First Amendment rights and issued a preliminary injunction. The state asked the Atlanta-based appeals court for a stay of the injunction — which would have allowed the law’s restrictions to be in effect while the legal battle played out. The law, dubbed the “Stop WOKE Act,” lists race-related issues that would constitute discrimination if students are subjected to instruction that “espouses, promotes, advances, inculcates or compels” them to believe the concepts.
STETSON LAWSUIT IN DEATH OF BLAKELY GOES TO FLORIDA SUPREME COURT
News Service of Florida | Article | March 17, 2023
Stetson University has gone to the Florida Supreme Court in a lawsuit filed against the school in the death of a 19-year-old football player who died after collapsing on the sideline during a 2017 practice. The university filed a notice that is a first step in asking justices to take up the case, according to a document posted Monday, March 13, on the Supreme Court website. The move came after a three-judge panel of the 5th District Court of Appeal in December overturned a 2021 ruling by Volusia County Circuit Judge Kathryn Weston that said Stetson was shielded from liability by releases that Nick Blakely signed to play football. The decision said Judge Weston erred in granting summary judgment and sent the case back to the lower court.
‘THIS QUESTION COMES UP OFTEN’: JUDGES DIVIDED OVER SECRETLY RECORDED PHONE CALLS
Daily Business Review | Article | March 16, 2023
Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeal shed light on the Sunshine State’s recording laws and personal jurisdiction but certified a conflict with another district over secret recordings of telephone calls with Florida residents by people in other states. Plaintiff William “Billy” Mitchell, a Florida resident, sued Ohio resident David Race in Florida for alleged violations of the Florida Security of Communications Act, often referred to as the wiretap statute. Race used a smartphone application that automatically recorded all his calls. Race was in Ohio at the time of the calls, where third-party consent is not needed to record a conversation. In Florida, though, it is illegal to record a call without permission from all participants. A Broward circuit court denied Race’s motion to dismiss the suit for lack of personal jurisdiction, but an appellate court just reversed that.
A LAWSUIT SAYS FLORIDA WENT TOO FAR WITH TRAINING THAT LED SOME SCHOOLS TO CLEAR BOOKSHELVES
WUSF 89.7 | Article | March 16, 2023
The Florida Education Association filed an administrative legal challenge on Thursday [March 16] against the state Department of Education, in the first legal challenge of its kind over a law, HB 1467, that critics say has led to book bans in schools. It’s not challenging the law itself, which requires schools to be transparent about curriculum and library materials. Instead, the suit says the department expanded the scope of the law and went too far when it issued training for school librarians this year. Skye Perryman, president of Democracy Forward, a nonprofit legal advocacy group which has lawyers on the case, said HB 1467 authorized the agency “to prescribe how certain lists of books in libraries are formatted, and to develop specific training material for educators.” However, two rules issued after that “really rewrite the law that the legislature passed last year through a rulemaking process.”
FEDERAL JUDGE ISSUES GAG ORDER SILENCING LAWYERS FOR DEFENDANTS IN HAITI ASSASSINATION
Miami Herald | Article | March 16, 2023
U.S. District Judge Jose Martinez issued a gag order on Wednesday [March 15] in the assassination case of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse, barring defense attorneys from disclosing any evidence to outside parties based on “safety concerns” about witnesses involved in the high-profile case as well as law enforcement personnel, U.S. citizens stationed abroad and their relatives. The protective order bars defense attorneys from sharing “restricted material” with anyone other than their clients, their legal staff and their experts. In particular, the order prohibits them from sharing evidence with “any foreign non-U.S. attorneys or foreign individuals,” including relatives of the defendants or their lawyers abroad. The 11 defendants charged in the assassination conspiracy case are mostly from Haiti and Colombia, with a few from South Florida. A trial date is set for May 8 in Miami federal court.
‘A LEGAL GIANT’: NORTH FLORIDA CIRCUIT JUDGE KEVIN CARROLL DIES
Tallahassee Democrat | Article | March 16, 2023
Circuit Judge Kevin Carroll, described by colleagues as a well-tempered “legal giant” who spent more than a decade on the bench, died of apparent natural causes on Wednesday [March 15]. The Second Judicial Circuit said it was “deeply saddened by the unexpected passing of our cherished colleague and friend. A public servant of the highest order, Judge Carroll served this community as a judge for more than 12 years and as a lawyer for 40 years.” Carroll presided over a number of high-profile state government disputes and other civil and criminal matters over the course of his judicial career. In April 2020, early in the pandemic, he made headlines after dismissing a lawsuit seeking to force Gov. Ron DeSantis to close Florida’s beaches, saying he didn’t have the authority to second guess the governor.