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Daily News Summary

An electronic digest of media coverage of interest to members of The Florida Bar compiled each workday by the Public Information and Bar Services Department. Electronic links are only active in today's edition. For information on previous articles, please contact the publishing newspaper directly.

March 24, 2017

CORCORAN CRITICIZES CONSTITUTION REVISION SCHEDULE

Tampa Bay Times | Article | March 23, 2017

House Speaker Richard Corcoran on Thursday [March 23] criticized Constitution Revision Commission Chair Carlos Beruff for scheduling four public hearings in the middle of the legislative session, when five of his nine appointees, all legislators, are unavailable to attend. On Wednesday, Beruff announced four public hearing dates and sites for the 37-member panel charged with recommending revisions to the state constitution and placing them on the 2018 ballot. The House has committee meetings or floor sessions scheduled for three of those days, and lawmakers would have to get an excused absence from House or Senate leadership to attend the public hearings.

SCOTT DOUBLES DOWN ON DECISION TO REMOVE AYALA FROM LOYD'S CASE

WFTV | Article | March 23, 2017

Florida Gov. Rick Scott said Thursday [March 23] that he is committed to fighting for the death penalty in murder suspect Markeith Loyd's case. Scott removed State Attorney Aramis Ayala from the case last week after she announced she wouldn't pursue the death penalty in Loyd's case or any others during her tenure. Loyd is accused of fatally shooting his pregnant ex-girlfriend in December and Orlando police Lt. Debra Clayton in January. Scott said Loyd's case is so egregious that it demanded his intervention. Ayala will appear in court Tuesday [March 28] to try to persuade a judge to reinstate her as the prosecutor in Loyd's case.

ABA TESTIFIES ON 'WELL-QUALIFIED' RATING OF JUDGE GORSUCH: 'OUR TASK WAS TO CAST A WIDE NET'

ABA Journal | Article | March 23, 2017

After an exhaustive review that produced a report of more than 900 pages, Judge Neil Gorsuch unanimously earned the ABA Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary's highest rating of "well-qualified," committee members told the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary on Thursday [March 23]. Nancy Scott Degan of New Orleans, chair of the standing committee, delivered the prepared statement alongside Shannon L. Edwards, the committee member representing the Denver-based 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. They were the first witnesses to testify on the fourth day of Judge Gorsuch's confirmation hearings.

RED-LIGHT CAMERA BAN MOVES FORWARD IN HOUSE, STALLS IN SENATE

Orlando Sentinel | Article | March 23, 2017

The Florida House voted Thursday [March 23] to ban red-light cameras statewide, starting in July 2020. The bill next moves to the Senate, where a similar proposal was rejected in a tie committee vote. Florida's red-light camera law has been controversial since its passage in 2010, and it is in legal jeopardy whatever the Legislature decides. In 2014, a state appeals court ruled the law unconstitutional, leading dozens of municipalities around the state to end their programs. A different appeals court ruled in favor of the cameras, which could send the question to the Florida Supreme Court.

CAREFULLY CONSIDER MERITS BEFORE FILING, WITH MALICIOUS PROSECUTION AN OPTION

Daily Business Review | Column | March 23, 2017

Jonathan B. Morton and Hayden O'Byrne, of the K&L Gates office in Miami, write: "Are you sure you want to file that questionable lawsuit? You might find yourself on the receiving end of a malicious prosecution claim. In Debrincat v. Fischer, the Florida Supreme Court reopened the courthouse doors Feb. 9 to malicious prosecution claims filed by wrongly sued people when it overruled the Third District Court Appeal's 2013 decision in Wolfe v. Foreman. Following the Debrincat ruling, malicious prosecution claims may be the most powerful weapon in a litigant's arsenal to battle meritless litigation."

PEPPER AWARD NOMINATIONS UNDERWAY

The Florida Bar News | Article | April 1, 2017

The Florida Bar's Government Lawyer Section is now accepting nominations for its Claude Pepper Outstanding Government Lawyer Award, which recognizes lawyers who make extraordinary and exemplary contributions as practicing government lawyers. Nominations must be received by April 14.

CLEARWATER BAR ASSOCIATION OFFERING FREE LAW CLASSES TO THE PUBLIC

Tampa Bay Times | Article | March 23, 2017

The Clearwater Bar Association is offering free law classes to the public as part of its People's Law School program. The classes will take place Thursdays from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. until May 4 at St. Pete College's Clearwater campus. Staffed by local attorneys, judges and law professors, the classes include subjects such as landlord and tenant law, personal injury law and elder law.

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