April 27, 2017
Panama City News Herald | Article | April 26, 2017
Florida Supreme Court Justice C. Alan Lawson will be the guest speaker at the inaugural Larry G. Smith Professionalism Award Ceremony on May 4 at the Bay County Courthouse. The award recognizes active judges and lawyers who exemplify professionalism in the justice system. It will be awarded annually to those who have exceptional personal and professional qualities, reputation and conduct. Recipients are chosen by the Bench-Bar and Professionalism Committee of the Fourteenth Judicial Circuit.
Tampa Bay Times | Article | April 26, 2017
Florida is already one of the hardest states for workers seeking treatment or lost wages when injured on the job. Now lawmakers are trying again to make it more difficult for employees to sue when they have wrongly been denied workers' compensation. Competing House and Senate bills would impose new caps on workers' attorney fees in such disputes, which critics say will discourage lawyers from taking cases. Supporting lawmakers point to a recent spike in premiums charged to businesses for workers' compensation insurance and a forecast for more hikes. They blame a Florida Supreme Court decision overturning prior state restrictions on legal fees businesses must pay when their employees successfully sue for denial of care or lost pay. The workers' compensation debate represents one of the sharpest splits between the House and Senate in the final days of the session.
The Ledger | Article | April 26, 2017
The Florida Supreme Court will wait to hear all arguments before deciding whether Gov. Rick Scott has the right to take away cases from State Attorney Aramis Ayala, the prosecutor who says her office won't seek the death penalty. Ayala had asked for an emergency ruling, but the court on Tuesday [April 25] denied that request for a temporary order pending a full review of the case by the court. The justices said they would issue a decision after both sides had made all their arguments. "That question is more properly addressed after both parties have been heard . . . and will not be answered on a 'temporary' basis," the justices said.
- Florida Politics | Article | April 26, 2017
Palm Beach Post | Article | April 26, 2017
Amanda Knox, now a 29-year-old journalist, spent four years in prison before Italy's supreme court acquitted her of her roommate's death. She was the featured speaker at this month's luncheon of the Palm Beach County Bar Association, where she shared that her 2015 acquittal in the murder of roommate Meredith Kercher left her not so much angry as determined to understand and communicate about the forces that kept her behind bars in Italy. The hour-long talk, which at times brought her to tears as she recalled her and her family's ordeal, drew a standing ovation from the 300 lawyers.
WFSU Newsroom | Article | April 26, 2017
Florida is the only state in the nation that bars people with a prior felony record from receiving compensation after they were wrongfully incarcerated for a new crime. Proposed legislation would allow more people to receive compensation with two bills in the House and Senate. In 2008, the Florida Legislature passed a law with the goal of allowing people who were wrongfully incarcerated to receive compensation. But, it included the so-called "Clean Hands" provision, under which compensation is still not available to the individual if there has been another felony conviction on their record. Sen. Rob Bradley, (R-Fleming Island), the bill's Senate sponsor, says he decided to do away with the clean hands provision this year after hearing compelling testimony. Both bills are scheduled to be taken up on the floor this week.
Sarasota Herald-Tribune | Article | April 26, 2017
The Florida Commission on Ethics determined that Rob Robinson, the former North Port city attorney, violated state law when he encouraged the city's creation of special magistrate for code enforcement and zoning hearings officer positions. The decision supported the actions taken earlier this year by the state Division of Administrative Hearings, which fined Robinson a total of $10,000 for the incidents that occurred. In 2013, Robinson encouraged the City Commission to create the two new positions and appoint him to those jobs, offering himself as the only qualified candidate. In July 2014, the City Commission appointed Robinson to both jobs. Robinson is not subject to criminal charges for the offenses. A complaint has been filed against Robinson with The Florida Bar.