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.
June 14, 2012
FUNDING CUT SHRINKS OFFICE HOURS FOR MANATEE CLERK’S OFFICE– The Bradenton Herald, http://www.bradenton.com, June 14, 2012.
Manatee County Clerk of the Circuit Court R.B. “Chips” Shore announced Wednesday [June 13] that starting July 2, the clerk’s office will be reducing the number of hours it is open to the public because of state budget cuts. The new office hours will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. The good news for the public, however, is that much of the legal filing done in the clerk’s office, from paying traffic tickets to child support, is available online and can be accessed regardless of office hours. The change is a direct result of a recent 7 percent statewide budget cut being imposed on Florida’s clerks by the state Legislature.
–Civil Justice Issues–
LEGAL VOTERS MAY HAVE BEEN PURGED FROM ROLLS IN FLORIDA’S NONCITIZEN HUNT– The Miami Herald/Tampa Bay Times, http://www.tampabay.com, June 14, 2012.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott often says that no actual citizens have been removed from the voter rolls in his program to make sure noncitizens don’t have the chance to cast ballots. That might not be the case. In two counties — Collier and Lee — at least nine people have been removed from the voter rolls under Scott’s program, and elections officials have no solid proof that those people are noncitizens. More could be purged soon. It’s that lack of certainty that concerns those opposed to the purge and led to lawsuits against the state to stop the program. On Tuesday [June 12], the U.S. Department of Justice also filed suit. Critics say they worry that the program will spook legitimate voters who are immigrants. However, Scott said he’s trying to make sure ineligible voters aren’t fraudulently casting ballots and “diluting” lawful votes.
COURT REVERSES JUDGMENT IN GAINESVILLE SMOKER’S CASE– The Gainesville Sun, http://www.gainesville.com, June 14, 2012.
The article is by The Associated Press. A Florida appellate court has reversed a $510,000 judgment against a cigarette manufacturer because a judge disallowed key defense evidence in a sick smoker case in Gainesville. The 1st District Court of Appeal on Wednesday [June 13] in Tallahassee ordered a new trial. Peter Mack Sr. sued R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., alleging its cigarettes were to blame for his laryngeal cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. His estate pursed the case after he died. The appellate panel ruled Circuit Judge Stanley Griffis III erred by prohibiting Reynolds from offering evidence Mack had a family history of cancer and was exposed at work to asbestos that could have caused his illness.
–Criminal Justice Issues–
FAMU HAZING DEFENDANTS FACE OCT. 8 TRIAL DATE– Orlando Sentinel, http://www.orlandosentinel.com, June 14, 2012.
An Oct. 8 trial date was set this morning for 11 former members of the Florida AM University marching band in the hazing death of drum major Robert Champion. The date was set at an arraignment hearing. Nearly all have filed written not-guilty pleas, so they did not appear in Circuit Court before Judge Marc Lubet. The defendants are accused of participating in a hazing ritual of Champion aboard the percussion section’s bus, which was parked at the Rosen Plaza hotel. Prosecutors say Champion, 26, died Nov. 19 when he was “pummeled to death” during the ritual, which occurred after the Florida Classic.
RICHARD HARLAN FRANK– Tampa Bay Times, http://www.legacy.com, June 14, 2012.
The obituary is for Richard Frank, a retired appellate judge for the Second District Court of Appeal, who died Friday, June 8 at age 85. He was the husband of Patricia Collier Frank, Clerk of the Circuit Court/Comptroller for Hillsborough County.