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 22, 2023
The Florida Bar
COAST TO COAST LEGAL AID’S ‘SENIOR CONTINUUM OF CARE PROJECT’ WINS AWARD FOR COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIP
The Florida Bar | Article | May 22, 2023
Coast to Coast Legal Aid of South Florida (CCLA) won the 2023 Community Partner Award from Goodman Jewish Family Services of Broward County (GJFS) for its Senior Continuum of Care Project. GJFS presented CCLA with the award at its 61st Annual Meeting in May. Through this project, seniors at risk of losing their housing in Broward County are assigned a lawyer from CCLA and a case manager from GJFS. Together, CCLA and GJFS then collaborate to provide legal services, case management, financial assessments, and wraparound services. The Jim Moran Foundation funds the project. Since its 2018 launch, the Senior Continuum of Care Project has prevented over 500 seniors from becoming homeless by stopping evictions, foreclosures, and other threats to their housing.
AS LAWYERS WARNED, FLORIDA COURTS FLOODED WITH SUITS BEFORE TORT-REFORM BILL SIGNED
Insurance Journal | Article | May 22, 2023
Just as many law firms warned in April, the number of Florida lawsuits filed across the state has shattered previous records, topping 280,122 in April, The Florida Bar reported. That’s more than double the previous record set in May 2021 and is largely due to anticipation of the Legislature’s passage of a far-reaching tort reform bill that Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law March 24. As it became clear that House Bill 837 was about to pass in March, limiting one-way attorney fees and multipliers in almost all insurance and injury litigation, and slashing damages if the plaintiff is found to be 50 percent at fault, several claimants’ firms told insurance defense attorneys that they were getting ready to file tens of thousands of lawsuits. The firms were not exaggerating. And insurers and county clerks of court are now dealing with the impact.
A ‘GREAT DAY FOR WOMEN’ IN FLORIDA COURTHOUSES: NEW LAW BRINGS CHANGE
Daily Business Review | Article | May 19, 2023
In a few months, courthouses across Florida are going to be more hospitable to breastfeeding mothers, thanks to legislation Gov. Ron DeSantis just approved. Senate Bill 144, authored by attorney and Boynton Beach Democratic Sen. Lori Berman, cleared both chambers of the legislature in March with unanimous bipartisan support. Attorney and Miami Democratic Rep. Ashley Gantt sponsored the Senate Bill’s twin in the House. The measure will mandate courthouses throughout the state provide clean and private lactation spaces, complete with at least one electrical outlet, beginning Jan. 1, 2024. “This is a great day for Florida women entering and working in our courthouses and courtrooms, whether as judges, attorneys, jurors, personnel, visitors, or in any other capacity,” Berman said.
JUDGE HEARS — BUT ISSUES NO OPINION — ON REQUEST TO HALT NEW TRANSGENDER CARE LAW, BOARD RULES
Florida Politics | Article | May 20, 2023
Florida’s ban on minors accessing gender-affirming care remains in effect after U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle adjourned a hearing Friday [May 19] without ruling from the bench on whether to block a new state law and a pair of medical board rules. The challenge was filed by three transgender children and their parents who argue that the bans violate their equal protection rights, jeopardize the health and safety of transgender minors and put the future of clinics that treat them at risk of shuttering. Mohammed Jazil, counsel to the Florida Board of Medicine, was the only attorney who spoke on behalf of the state, and Judge Hinkle peppered him about the sweeping provisions in SB 254. The law would subject physicians who treat transgender minors with puberty blockers and the surgeons who operate on them to criminal charges.
JURY SELECTION UNDERWAY IN YNW MELLY’S DOUBLE MURDER TRIAL IN BROWARD COUNTY
TC Palm | Article | May 19, 2023
As jury selection enters a fourth week in the upcoming double murder trial in Broward County of Jamell Demons, the Gifford rapper known as YNW Melly, a judge is being asked to decide whether Florida’s new death penalty law will apply if he’s convicted of the 2018 shooting deaths of two recording partners. That’s because the new statute signed into law April 20 by Gov. Ron DeSantis – 10 days after jury vetting began for Demons’ trial – reduces from 12 to eight the number of juror votes required to recommend a defendant guilty of capital murder be put to death. Demons and his childhood friend and recording partner Cortlen Henry are charged with two counts of first-degree murder with a firearm in the shooting deaths of friends Anthony Williams — aka YNW Sakchaser — and Christopher Thomas Jr. — aka YNW Juvy.
U.S. ATTORNEY: REMEMBERING FALLEN LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS WHO MADE ULTIMATE SACRIFICE
Florida Times-Union | Column | May 20, 2023
U.S. District Attorney Roger B. Handberg writes: “Peace Officers Memorial Day, which every year falls on May 15, specifically honors law enforcement officers killed or disabled in the line of duty. As the U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Florida, I serve as the chief federal law enforcement officer for 35 counties in Florida. During April and May, law enforcement memorials are held across the district to remember those who paid the highest price by laying down their lives in service to their communities. Law enforcement is a dangerous profession. The statistics tell us that . . . These statistics are a reminder of why each of us should be grateful to the members of law enforcement in this country who put themselves in harm’s way to keep their communities safe. We owe them a debt of gratitude that we can never fully repay.”