February 20, 2017
Law360 | Article | February 16, 2017
The Florida Supreme Court has declined to adopt a measure that would bring state court standards for the admissibility of expert witnesses in line with federal courts. The justices declined to adopt the so-called Daubert standard -- approved by state lawmakers for use in Florida courts through a 2013 law -- into the Florida Evidence Code for procedural rules, citing constitutional concerns. Because the decision was not on the merits of the standard, the state law implementing Daubert still applies, though the ruling gives litigants a green light to challenge the legislation. The issue came before the high court on a recommendation from The Florida Bar's Board of Governors to reject the legislation and return to the previous Frye standard.
Florida Politics | Article | February 20, 2017
Florida lawmakers increasingly are embracing criminal justice reform policies that break with the state's "tough on crime" past. But a sea change could be in the works. Seizing on the momentum, Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, wants to remake the entire system. He is seeking legislative approval to form a task force to conduct a comprehensive review of Florida's criminal justice, court and corrections systems. Ultimately, the task force would submit a report with findings, conclusions and recommendations to be molded into legislation for the 2018 legislative session.
Daily Business Review | Article | February 17, 2017
Mishandling $500 from a real estate client cost attorney Michael E. Wynn much more than he might have imagined: a year suspended from the practice of law. A Florida Bar referee recommended a 90-day suspension and two years' probation for the Fort Myers lawyer. But the Bar sought review, arguing that a year's suspension was the appropriate sanction, according to a Feb. 16 Florida Supreme Court ruling, which rejected the referee's suggestion and imposed the stiffer penalty. The Bar brought ethics charges alleging conversion of funds belonging to a client whom Wynn represented in a landlord-tenant suit. It also said Wynn failed to inform his subsequent employer of the ongoing disciplinary proceedings.
Tampa Bay Times | Article | February 20, 2017
Curtis Reeves, the man accused in the fatal 2014 shooting in a Wesley Chapel movie theater, was in court in Dade City on Monday morning [Feb. 20] for a hearing to determine if he should be immune from prosecution under Florida's "stand your ground" law. Reeves, 74, a retired Tampa police officer, has argued that he was defending himself when he fired the single shot that killed Chad Oulson. The confrontation began after Reeves asked Oulson to turn off his phone during movie previews.
Daily Business Review | Article | February 16, 2017
A libel case against CNN stemming from the cable network's investigation of children's deaths at a Florida hospital will go forward, after a federal judge in Atlanta found on Wednesday [Feb. 15] that the hospital's former CEO had presented enough evidence at this early stage of the case to suggest that CNN "was acting recklessly with regard to the accuracy of its reporting." In a one-two punch that marked a clear win for plaintiff Davide Carbone, the former CEO of St. Mary's Medical Center in West Palm Beach, U.S. District Court Senior Judge Orinda Evans also rejected arguments by CNN and several Georgia media organizations that the libel suit violated the state's anti-SLAPP statute and should be dismissed.
Tampa Bay Times | Editorial | February 17, 2017
"For sound medical reasons, doctors commonly ask patients about safety issues: gates around swimming pools, locks on cabinets containing poisons, and, yes, guns in the home. A 2011 state law twisted those common-sense precautions into a fabricated assault on the Second Amendment and restricted doctors from asking patients about firearm ownership. [Last week], a federal appeals court identified the real infringement -- limiting the free speech rights of doctors -- and struck down key provisions of this unnecessary law."
ABA Journal | Article | February 17, 2017
A 31-year-old Dallas lawyer will be the first African-American lead on the "Bachelorette" TV show. Rachel Lindsay, an associate at Cooper & Scully and the daughter of U.S. District Judge Sam Lindsay of Dallas, handles commercial litigation and personal injury defense. She is among the contestants on the current "Bachelor" show and will be the "Bachelorette" on the show that begins on May 22.