Sponsored by Harris Business Machines
Escambia/Santa Rosa Bar Association
Volume 2 / Issue 2
The 20th Anniversary of
E m e r g e n c y P re p a re d n e ss 路 E s c a m b i a C o u n t y E-F i l i n g T i ps 路 We e k S t u d e n t E ss a y 路 E l d e r L a w U p d a t e 路 N ew M e m b e r s /A n n o u n c e m e n ts June 2013 www.esrba.com The Summation 1
Escambia-Santa Rosa Bar Association 216 South Tarragona Street, Suite B Pensacola, FL 32501 Phone: 850.434.8135 Fax: 850.436.8822 email: email@example.com Lawyer Referral Service: 850.434.6009 Executive Director Michael Doubek firstname.lastname@example.org Editor Patricia Buchanan Wright email@example.com Published quarterly by the Escambia-Santa Rosa Bar Association as a service to its membership. Any article herein may be reproduced provided credit is given both to The Summation and the author of the article. Articles appearing in The Summation are not to be construed as official expressions of the views of the Escambia-Santa Rosa Bar Association. Official positions are expressed only by formal resolutions adopted by a majority of the membership and will be so designated when published. Editorials are expressions of the opinion of the Editor. Due date for all advertisements, articles, and announcements is the 1st of the month for the issue you wish to advertise in. Address all editorial correspondence to the Escambia-Santa Rosa Bar Association office. For all inquiries concerning advertising rates contact Ballinger Publishing. “The Summation Committee is dedicated to providing a publication to the legal community which contains articles that are accurate, informative, entertaining, educational, relevant and timely.” Summation Committee If you have any comments or suggestions about The Summation, please feel free to express them to any of the committee members. If you would like to join the committee, please call the Bar office at 434.8135.
Judge Terry Terrell Judge Charles Kahn Brooke Jones Gerald McGill Caroline Peterson Lisa York
Dana Martinez-Jones Jeremy Branning Clara Smith Illauna Bazwell Tami Stokes Debra Bass
8. Ask a Lawyer 10. The 20th Anniversary of Drug Court 12. Judge’s Preferences 13. Legal Graffiti 14. Escambia County E-Filing Tips 16. Wall of Honor 18. Law Week Student Essay 20. Pictures 22. News from the Court - Emergency Preparedness
In every issue 3. From the President 4. Chief’s Corner 5. New Members / Announcements 6. Board of Governors 7. Bottom Line 23. Classifieds / Calendar
Publisher • Malcolm Ballinger Executive Editor • Kelly Oden Art Director • Rita Laymon Graphic Design & Ad Coordination • Kassie McLean Editor • Emily Lullo Business Editor • Josh Newby Sales & Marketing Sharyon Miller, Account Executive ext. 28 Caroline Martin, Account Executive ext. 31 Visit our Website at www.ballingerpublishing.com Editorial Offices: 41 North Jefferson Street, Suite 402, Pensacola, Florida 32502 850/433-1166 • Fax 850/435-9174 Member of
Reproduction or use of the contents herein is prohibited without written permission from the publisher. Comments and opinions expressed in this magazine represent the personal views of the individuals to whom they are attributed and/or the person identified as the author of the article, and they are not necessarily those of the publisher. This magazine accepts no responsibility for these opinions. The publisher reserves the right to edit all manuscripts. All advertising information is the responsibility of the individual advertiser. Appearance in this magazine does not necessarily reflect endorsement of any products or services by Ballinger Publishing. © 2013 Ballinger Publishing. All Rights Reserved.
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From the President
This article is my last as President of the Escambia-Santa Rosa Bar Association because my term will end in July. It has been an honor and a pleasure to serve our association over the last year. It has been a busy year. The association started off the year with a great Installation Banquet in July 2012 with special guest Florida Supreme Court Justice Fred Lewis. For those of you who have had the opportunity to meet Justice Lewis and hear him speak, you know what a dynamic personality he has and his passion for service to the profession and our State. Each year we face the challenge of identifying pertinent subject matter to offer our members at our monthly Bar meetings. A few highlights from our Bar meetings this year include a Citizens Insurance update from Bruce McDonald, a report on the Center for International Legal Studies by Don Partington and Bob Kerrigan, the holiday party at Gulf Coast Community Bank, an excellent presentation by Judge Duncan on the transition from being a lawyer to a judge, pro bono recognition with Legal Services of North Florida with special guest Supreme Court Justice Peggy Quince, a presentation on the Re-Entry Alliance of Pensacola, a local federal re-entry program led by Chief Judge Casey Rodgers, Florida State College of Law Dean Donald Weidner, and wrapping up with the University of Florida College of Law Dean Robert Jerry in June. Securing two Florida Supreme Court justices, two State law school deans and two judges to speak at our Bar meetings is the result of the hard work of the association’s executive director, Mike Doubek. The Bar’s signature events during Law Week in May were also very well attended. The Law Day Luncheon with Florida Bar President Gwynne Young was a tremendous success (and we were done by 1 pm!). Many thanks to our Law Week committee for a great Law Week this year.
By Jeremy C. Branning
The hard work of the Continuing Legal Education Committee yielded some great seminars. Some of the more notable include the Family Law Bench & Bar, Family Law Trial Skills, Military and Family Law, Personal Injury Protection Update, Basic Personal Injury Practice, and E-Discovery. In addition to these seminars, there was a highly successful twoday Bench & Bar Professionalism Conference in Sandestin in October and another successful Young Lawyer Division Holidays in January event. A year end review would not be complete without noting that our switch to Ballinger Publishing to produce the Summation has by all accounts resulted in a superior product and we hope the publication continues to grow with Ballinger’s expertise. Thank you to the Executive Council and all of the committee members for volunteering your time and your hard work this past year. The work of our Executive Director, the Council, and the committees is performed out of sight for the most part, but it does not go unrecognized. The strength of our Bar is attributable to the hard work by the many volunteers who contribute their time and efforts. Finally, thank you to the members. My experience as President this past year has served to remind me of the importance of membership in our Bar. Membership has allowed me to grow professionally and personally. In a profession where civility is often perceived by the public as lacking, I can confidently represent that the membership of the EscambiaSanta Rosa Bar Association exemplifies civility in a way that others in Florida and our country wish they could emulate. I look forward to working with our incoming leadership and to a lifetime of membership in our Bar. Sincerely, Jeremy C. Branning
June 2013 www.esrba.com The Summation 3
By Terry D. Terrell Chief Judge First Circuit Court
I canâ€™t think of a time of more dramatic evolutionary change in the court system than we are experiencing right now. For the past recent years, the court system has absorbed repeated cuts, while new statutes and rules increased judicial workload. Of course, many new constitutional officers are settling into their responsibilities. The state court system is now in the midst of transitioning to e-filing with the potential of being a paperless court system within a year. The Florida Court Technology Commission has certified the SmartBench judicial overlay computer program for use by the court system. Last summer, Santa Rosa County was one of the first counties in the state to install the program. Its use resulted in significant savings in staffing costs and supplies for the Santa Rosa Clerk, and the judges have readily adapted to the useful features of the program. The program is being installed in Walton County. It will also be installed in Okaloosa and Escambia counties within the next year. State revenues have begun to rebound and, subject to becoming law, the Legislature has approved the continuation and expansion of processes to handle foreclosure cases. Before the economic crisis, the court system handled about 70,000 active foreclosure cases statewide. Presently, there are over 350,000 active foreclosure cases statewide and over 10,000 in the First Circuit. While ensuring due process is always provided, case management strategies to process the cases more
Nominations for 2013-2014 Executive Council The Nominating Committee of the Escambia/Santa Rosa Bar Association offers the following slate of Officers and Executive Council Members for 2013-2014. President: Vice President: Secretary: Treasurer: Immediate Past President:
Benjamin J. Stevenson James M. Weber Matthew C. Hoffman Tiffany Sullivan Jeremy C. Branning
New Council Members: 2013-2015 2013-2015 2013-2015
Geoffrey Brodersen Kristin D. Hual Chris L. Rabby
Returning Council Members: 2013-2015 2012-2014
Jodi D. Cooke Frederick J. Gant
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efficiently are being implemented. The court system is using and will expand the use of differentiated case management concepts to triage foreclosure cases for appropriate processing. Therefore, a significant amount of time and resources will be used to effectively resolve those cases, including an increasing number of new filings. The First Circuit is also managing a comparatively high jury trial volume, particularly in Escambia County. The frequency of criminal jury trials, including some cases involving particularly more serious charges, continues to be high. Also, barring some major change in resolution of cases, the frequency of Engle progeny tobacco trials appears to be increasing. Those cases have historically taken at least three weeks to try with their attendant impact on courtroom availability and docket management of other cases. Escambia County has begun exploring the option of building out the remaining shell space within the M.C. Blanchard Judicial Center due in part to these developments, and Santa Rosa County will hopefully approve recent funding recommendations for a new courthouse. These are only a few of the issues impacting the delivery of court services circuit-wide. Planning for and coordinating the inter-agency impact of these changes and developments presents constant challenges, but everyone is working hard to accommodate this time of dramatic change.
2012-2014 2012-2014 2013-2015 2012-2014
Charles P. Hoskin Trip Maygarden Steve Traylor Jonathan E. Walker
Young Lawyer Representative: 2013-2014
Robert J. Powell
Additional nominations can be made by the general membership until June 19, 2013 before 5:00 pm. Nominations must be in writing with the signed written consent of the candidate, along with the signed endorsement of five members of the association and filed in the Bar office, 216 S. Tarragona Street, Suite B, Pensacola, FL 32502. Elections will be held at the June Bar Meeting scheduled for June 20, 2013 at noon at Portabello Market, 400 S. Jefferson Street, Pensacola, FL 32502.
Benjamin Keane Galloway, Johnson, Tompkins, Burr & Smith 118 E. Garden Street Pensacola, Florida 32502 377-2720 firstname.lastname@example.org
Charles Hughes Vernis & Bowling of Northwest Florida, P.A. 315 S. Palafox Street Pensacola, Florida 32502 433-5461 email@example.com
Frederick Longmire State Attorney Office 190 W. Government Street Pensacola, Florida 32501 595-4779 firstname.lastname@example.org
Barbara Olson Bruckmann Baker Botts, LLP 1299 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W. Washington, D.C. 20004 202-639-7772 email@example.com
The Escambia Santa Rosa Bar Association would like to remember John P. Welch who passed away on March 22, 2013. Your fellow attorneys and the community who benefitted from your tireless support will miss you.
Kristin Parsons Burr & Forman, LLP 11 N. Water Street Mobile, Alabama 36602 251-345-8215 firstname.lastname@example.org Andrea Roberts Legal Services of North Florida 118 S. Baylen Street Pensacola, Florida 32502 432-8222 email@example.com
John P. Welch
Elizabeth Ann Webb Legal Services of North Florida 118 S. Baylen Street Pensacola, Florida 32502 432-8222 firstname.lastname@example.org Erin Berg Law Office of Erin Berg, P.A. 6706 N. 9th Avenue, Building D VO5 Pensacola, Florida 32504 366-2889 email@example.com
June 2013 www.esrba.com The Summation 5
Board of Governors
By Stephen Echsner
The Florida Bar Board of Governors The Florida Bar Board of Governors met on May 31, 2013. Major actions of the board and reports received include: Three rule amendments were approved that will be sent to the Florida Supreme Court for its approval: • An amendment to Rule 4-1.5 would allow an additional fee for outside assistance in resolving complex subrogation and medical lien issues in tort cases without violating the fee limitations on contingency fees in that rule: • An amendment to Rule 3-5.3 would allow more frequent use of diversion programs in lieu of discipline; and • An amendment to Rule 3-5.2 would establish a procedure for clients to file a notice of claim to frozen trust account funds with a referee, allowing clients and other third parties to gain access to their funds held in the trust accounts of emergency suspended attorneys without having to file a separate proceeding in civil court. For more information on these amendments, please check The Florida Bar News. The board’s Program Evaluation Committee presented recommendations for the goals and functions of the Henry C. Latimer Center for Professionalism and the role and work of the Public Interest Law Section. Revisions to the Bar’s special appointments application form were approved to include asking lawyers to voluntarily provide gender and ethnicity information. This voluntary information will assist the Bar in determining whether it is meeting its diversity and inclusion goals. Also approved was the creation of the Standing Committee on Diversity and Inclusion. At the recommendation of Presidentelect Eugene Pettis, the board approved renaming the Leadership Academy as the Wm. Reece Smith, Jr. Leadership Academy, in recognition of the late Bar president’s devotion to diversity, inclusion and providing legal services to the poor. A new three-year commission was approved to study the future of the practice of law. The commission will 6 The Summation www.esrba.com June 2013
perform an in-depth review of four general areas that will impact the future of law: Technology, Legal Education, Bar Admissions and Delivery of Legal Services/Pro Bono. More information about the commission will be available in The Florida Bar News. The Florida Bar Annual Convention will be held June 26-29 at the Boca Raton Resort & Club. Eugene K. Pettis, of Ft. Lauderdale, will be installed as President and Gregory W. Coleman, of West Palm Beach, will be installed as Presidentelect. Registration and the convention schedule are now available online for the convention’s educational, networking and social events including more than 20 CLE seminar opportunities on current topics, luncheons and special events, the Lawyer’s Marketplace and many committee and section meetings. Download the Annual convention app today for schedules and more information or visit www.floridabar.org.
The Bottom Line
By Dana Martinez-Jones, CP
The History of the Northwest Florida Paralegal Association Many in our legal community have heard of the Northwest Florida Paralegal Association or the initials NWFPA and, most likely, appreciate its importance to Escambia and Santa Rosa counties. Even though the NWFPA is known for its contribution to the legal community and for providing quality legal education opportunities, not many know that it has been around for over three decades serving the local community through its charitable donations and the legal community through its service to its members. In 1981, seeing a need for mentorship and networking for area paralegals, Deb Becker (Certified Legal Assistant Specialist) founded the Pensacola Legal Assistants (PLA). The group’s vision was to encourage the ethical and professional growth of paralegals, further legal education, promote fellowship among members of the legal community, and cooperate with the local bar association. Becker served as the PLA’s first president and was the impetus for the association’s growth. In short order, PLA qualified in size to become a National Association of Legal Assistants, Inc. (NALA) affiliate and joined as an affiliate association in 1983. In its first year it had approximately 20 members. In the late 90s, this group changed its name to the Northwest Florida Paralegal Association and now boasts nearly 150 members. The NWFPA continues to be dedicated to the goals set by its predecessor in providing a venue for members to interact with other members of the legal community; and by supporting and carrying out the programs, purposes, aims and goals of NALA, as well as by supporting Escambia and Santa Rosa counties. The NWFPA attempts to offer something for every member involved to grow professionally and to give back to the community. For example, the Naturalization Committee was established to assist with providing refreshments and a “welcome” to newly naturalized United States citizens. The committee attends the quarterly naturalization ceremonies and provides cookies and punch to the new citizens and their families. Another notable committee that was established was the Charity Committee, which has traditionally taken part in spearheading annual campaigns for Manna Food Bank and Cram the Van, as well as a drive to support the Salvation Army Christmas Stocking program. For years the Christmas Committee has raised monies
for the Children’s Services Center of Pensacola (CSC) and just last year hosted an auction that raised over $4,000! Although the NWFPA looks for ways to help the community, it continues to find ways to further support its members. These last three decades have seen great strides under the guidance of the past and current Boards of Directors who possessed the foresight and ability to guide the association into the 21st Century by embracing change and technology to improve upon its mission to network and educate paralegals throughout the Gulf Coast of Florida and beyond. Now, the NWFPA has the far-reaching ability to effectuate its goals by notable achievements in the area of technology as a means of expanding membership, networking with other legal professionals, and providing open communication among colleagues. In 2010, the NWFPA re-vamped its website (www.nwfpa.com) to provide a more professional and visually appealing means of informing the public of the association and how it operates. That was just the catalyst for further advanced means to do more for its members. In 2011, the NWFPA became one of only a few paralegal associations in the nation to open up its meetings and seminars via webcast. These webcasts provide an opportunity to expand membership and reach out to paralegals too far away to drive in for monthly meetings and seminars. This new means of providing a service to paralegals all along the Gulf Coast has allowed the association to add new members from locations such as Destin, Fort Walton Beach, and Panama City. Additionally, there are several paralegal members who live in other states, but participate remotely. The NWFPA did not stop there: it took the previously recorded meetings and seminars and established an online repository to store the recordings “in the cloud.” The cloud storage option allows the NWFPA to build and maintain a continuing education library. As a further service to the membership, it invested in an online collaboration software, PBWorks, to encourage all members to be part of any committee, no matter where the member is located. The NWFPA has been around for over 30 years with plans to continue working with our legal and local communities for many years to come--and “that’s the bottom line!” June 2013 www.esrba.com The Summation 7
Ask a Lawyer
By Jason Waddell
Not Just Estate Planning and Medicaid Planning How is elder law different from estate planning? Elder law differs from a traditional estate planning practice through the application of life care planning over transfer of wealth planning. In the mid-80s there was a focus in the estate planning field on tax savings at the date of death. During this same time, the life expectancy for individuals was expanding beyond the 1950-60s life expectancy when social security, Medicare, and private pensions were first becoming mainstream to a wider group of citizens. The result was a focus by some within the legal field to shift their planning for their clients from planning for one’s death to planning for one’s lifetime. While there is certainly some overlap, the two fields are different in their actual application. How, then, does an elder law attorney plan for one’s life care? An elder law attorney takes a team approach to an individual. The attorney is often connected to a range of service communities from financial planners to geriatric care managers to CPAs to social workers. Their job is to take opinions from these individuals and convey to the client what options the family has in the coming years. For example, if one wishes to remain at home while dealing with a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, an elder law attorney will review the medical records as to level of care needed, in order to determine what experience the family has with this illness, develop an estimate of cost and how the family can reasonably pay for such care (i.e. Social Security, Medicaid, Veterans benefits, charities, etc). Additionally, the elder law attorney will arrange for the family to have support through various organizations in the community, such as Alzheimer’s Family Services. Estate planning documents will be reviewed and amended as necessary based on the plan developed. I have heard that personal injury, social security, and other litigation attorneys often use Elder law attorneys to assist in their cases. How does an Elder Law attorney provide assistance to these other practice areas? Elder law attorneys have a unique connection to many public benefit programs that people may qualify for who have
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become disabled either by birth (such as autism) or through an accident. Additionally, many public benefit programs have asset or income caps. Still, with nearly all programs, Congress has provided a means to work within those programs if you understand the rules. For example, if a litigation attorney sees the receipt of proceeds as a detriment to the client’s ability to maintain current benefits, an elder law attorney can come in and prepare a plan to shelter the assets while allowing for the public benefits to continue. Likewise, if a disability attorney believes their social security claim could be successful except for an asset, an elder law attorney can assist the disability attorney in sheltering the asset. Is there a common question you receive from other attorneys regarding your field? Yes, I am often asked, “If there is a minor child involved, when is a guardianship required?” The confusion stems from the notion that parents are able to speak for their children (i.e. they are the natural guardians). One would be well advised when reviewing any case that involves a minor to review F.S. 744.3025. Still, it can be summed up by remembering the number $15,000. This number is the critical first step when dealing with a proceeding involving a minor. If the amount in question is less than $15,000 (gross), you can work with the parents who may act through their authority as natural guardians (744.301). If the settlement is more than $15,000, the net versus gross amount will determine whether the Court will need to approve the action, appoint a Guardian Ad Litem, or appoint a legal guardian. Failure to follow the correct action can nullify the payment regardless of the good intention of the parties; the statute of limitation will not begin to run until the child reaches the age of majority. For more information, please contact Jason A. Waddell with the law firm Waddell & Waddell, PA. at (850) 434-8500 or at Jason@ourfamilyattorney.com This information is not intended to be a substitute for obtaining legal advice from an attorney. No person should act or rely upon any information in this article without seeking the advice of a qualified attorney.
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By Clara Smith
Drug Court Celebrates 20 Years People With Desire Change Since June 8, 1993, the Escambia County Drug Court has been guided by those powerful words, inscribed on a key ring designed by the first graduating class in 1993, and given to every drug court graduate since then. In 2013, the Escambia County Drug Court celebrates 20 years of dedication to overcoming substance abuse and addiction. The success is measured by the over 700 graduates, and countless lives changed by their involvement in the program. Operating with a multi-disciplinary team approach involving the judiciary, corrections, treatment, clerks, court security, court administration, and representatives of the state attorney and public defender’s offices, most of them volunteers, team members devote tireless hours to Drug Court clients from all walks of life, attacking life patterns controlled by drug use, leading them into the criminal justice system. How It Began From the observation of a court session from the first Drug Court in Dade County, presided over by The Honorable Judge Stanley Goldstein, to the collaboration of then Chief Judge John Parnham, State Attorney Curtis Golden, Court Administrator Wayne Peacock, and The Honorable Judge Keith Brace, the first Escambia County Drug Court, and the third Drug Court in Florida, was formed. Through collaboration with American University in Washington, D.C., a plan was developed utilizing the multi-disciplinary team concept. Treatment was, and always has been, the hallmark of the program. Judge Parnham attributes the success of the initial Drug Court to having the ideal persons in place from treatment to corrections, to the state attorney’s office, the public defender’s office, and court administration. That multi-disciplinary team approach continues to the present day, with a team dedicated to compassionate and continuous efforts to save the lives of countless drug court clients. The Clients The best evidence of the value of a program comes from the people it serves. In preparation for this article, two clients were interviewed. Client One When she came to Drug Court, she just wanted to get out of jail. Her life as a crack addict was filled with endless hours
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of doing drugs, and getting high and drunk. After numerous struggles in Drug Court, she began to realize the world looked different through sober eyes. When she began to surrender to persons, places and things, her focus changed to caring about herself, filling her previous drug-filled life with pursuing an education, volunteering to share her struggles with others, and most importantly, becoming actively involved in the 12-step community. She credits Drug Court and the grace of God with giving her the step up. Client Two He had already experienced state prison, and had lost his family and his job. He felt he had nothing left, all due to drugs and alcohol. He was tired of the pain that comes with addiction and asked for Drug Court. From past experience, he was fearful of the legal system, and would barely talk at his weekly court appearances. After 30 years of drug use and abuse, he finally began to trust and feel comfortable with counselors and the Drug Court team. He has had no sanctions or relapses, and will soon graduate. He credits Drug Court with saving his life, and is enjoying what it means to live life one day at a time, clean and sober. The Present Everyone is different, yet everyone is also the same. We all want to lead the best life we can, and be able to confront whatever life sends our way with courage and determination. From a small core group of judges and multi-disciplinary professionals in the early 90s to the international movement to establish more and more Drug Courts in the present day, anyone who works with Drug Courts knows you can’t help but be changed and inspired yourself by the struggles, challenges, and successes the clients go through striving for sobriety. Not only does Drug Court save lives, it also saves taxpayers money. Incarcerative costs have risen to in excess of $26,000 per offender per year, while Drug Court treatment costs approximately $3,500 per client per year. The dedication of those involved in Drug Court is obvious. As was the first Escambia County Drug Court team, the 2013 Drug Court team is comprised of caring and committed personnel who give 100 percent to the Drug Court clients. Unfortunately, substance abuse and addiction have not been eradicated, but help is available. Drug Courts work, and approximately 100 graduating classes since 1993 confirm that fact.
Business Essentials June 2013 www.esrba.com The Summation 11
Judge Darlene Dickey Type: County Judge County: Escambia County Division: II Jurisdiction: General Judicial Assistant: Cindy Joyner Phone: 850-595-4430 Division Preferences: Division II of Escambia County Court is a general jurisdiction division which hears primarily criminal cases along with a few civil cases. Setting Criminal Motion Hearings Criminal motion hearings are scheduled for Judge Trials/ Criminal Motion dockets prior to trial. Division II has at least three Criminal Motion times available for each trial cycle. Motions must be filed in a timely manner as to allow the opposing party sufficient time to issue subpoenas. The motion should be filed with the Clerk’s Office, with copies provided to the Court and opposing party prior to calling the Judicial Assistant to set your motion for hearing. Efforts should be made to set Motions in Limine, Motions for Special Jury Instructions, or other similar type motions on matters set for trial prior to the morning of trial. The Court will generally be available on Monday afternoons following jury selection to hear pre-trial matters, as long as advanced notice is given to all parties and the Court. Criminal Continuances Written motions for continuances with proposed orders may be filed with the Clerk of Court and a copy provided to the Court and opposing party at least two days prior to the court date. Motions requesting continuances must include whether the other party agrees or opposes the motion. The Court will not enter a written order granting a continuance unless the motion verifies the position of the opposing party.
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Bond Motions Motions for modifications of pretrial release conditions need to be reviewed by the Court prior to scheduling a hearing, and the opposing party must be given proper notice pursuant to the Rules of Criminal Procedure and Florida Statutes. Criminal Pretrial Conferences Criminal pretrial conferences are scheduled upon request through the Judge’s office. The party wishing to schedule a pretrial conference must contact the Judicial Assistant for an available date and time. Courtroom Decorum Division II has adopted the Customary and Traditional Conduct and Decorum guidelines set forth as an Addendum to the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Florida Rules. “These standards are minimal and not all-inclusive. They are intended to emphasize and supplement, not supplant or limit, the ethical obligations or counsel under the Code of Professional Responsibilities or the time honored customs of experienced trial counsel.” Civil Hearings All civil hearings are scheduled through the Judge’s office. When a case is resolved prior to the hearing date, kindly notify the judge’s office as soon as possible so that the time allotted for the hearing can be cleared and used on other matters pending in Division II. Court Times Arraignments, Plea Day, Jury Selection, and Violation of Probations all begin at 8:30 am. Judge Trials, Criminal Motions, and Contested Violation of Probation Hearings will begin at either 8:30 am or 1:30 pm, unless otherwise set for a certain time. Jury Trials will begin at the specific time designated before picking each jury. All attorneys and defendants are expected to be prepared to start court at the designated time.
By Jade Lantz
Local Law Firm Donates to Non-Profit A local charity that helps citizens who cannot afford legal services received a kind donation recently thanks to a local law firm. Joe Zarzaur of Zarzaur Law, P.A. in downtown Pensacola donated $500 to the Legal Services of North Florida after raising funds from a free local event supported by the firm, Legal Graffiti. Legal Services of North Florida is a private non-profit organization dedicated to providing free legal representation to low income people with civil legal problems. Their services span over 16 counties including Escambia, Santa Rosa and Walton. “This small token will hopefully assist the hero lawyers and staff who ensure our civil justice system is available to all,” said Joe of Zarzaur Law. “We hope Zarzaur Law and the community, through Legal Graffiti, can continue to give to this worthy cause.”
Zarzaur hosts Legal Graffiti every Gallery Night and has done so for the past two years. The aim is to bring a fun and interactive activity to Gallery Night while also collecting donations for a good cause. The firm donates all items for the event including spray paint, paper, entertainment and more. Zarzaur Law, P.A. and staff hope to raise even more for the organization over the next year’s events. Local artist with graffiti
June 2013 www.esrba.com The Summation 13
Escambia County Clerk of Courts
Escambia County E-Filing Tips E-filing has brought challenges for everyone. While the system will create a faster, easier process for filing and processing court documents, it does require a new way of thinking. The Clerk’s office hopes that these tips will help:
those listed herein on the e-service distribution list. The attorney who submitted the proposed order is responsible for distribution of the order to any party who is not on the e-service distribution list.
TIP #1: Do not scan multiple pleadings into one file. Letters, pleadings, proposed orders, and other documents should not be combined into one single file. Each document should be uploaded individually (within the same case) via the ePortal. Remember: if the document was a separate document when you created it as a hard copy, then it is a separate document when filed through the ePortal. Each document needs to be identified. If you are submitting three documents you will have three separate attachments. Multiple documents under one file will result in the file being sent to the Pending Queue. You will then be notified via email to correct the issue and have five days to resubmit the documents for filing to maintain the original filing date. Ref: Standards for Electronic Access to the Courts (AO 09-30) and ePortal Document Submission Standards.
Witness my hand and seal of the court on this ___ day of _________, 2013, as Clerk of the Circuit Court.
TIP #2: File a Notice of Designation of Email Addresses. Please be sure to file a Notice of Designation of Email Addresses for E-Service when you make your initial appearance in a case or when there is a change to a primary or secondary email address. Please file a notice for all new and existing files if you have not already done so. A sample form is available on our website at EscambiaClerk.com under the e-filing tab. Ref: see Fla. R. Jud. Admin 2.516(b)(A) TIP #3: Attorneys who e-file a proposed order will be responsible for service to pro se parties, if any. We will accept e-filed proposed orders. Signed orders will be emailed to the attorneys of record per their email designations and any pro se parties who provide an email address for e-service. If there is a pro se litigant(s) who does not have an email designated for e-service, the attorney who e-filed the proposed order will be responsible for serving the pro se litigant(s) with a copy of the signed order. However, in mortgage foreclosures, plaintiff’s attorneys should continue to provide copies of orders and notices and stamped, addressed envelopes as part of the final judgment package. TIP #4: Language to be placed on proposed orders regarding service of conformed copies. Please include the following certificate of service format on proposed orders: Certificate of Service The undersigned deputy clerk hereby certifies that he/she delivered a true and correct copy of the foregoing via email to
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Pam Childers Clerk of the Circuit Court By: _______________________ Deputy Clerk TIP #5: Filing original documents as required by Rule or Statute (not e-filed). When filing original documents, as required by rule or statute, please include a cover letter that identifies the name of the case, case number, and the original document(s) attached. Including the rule/statute reference would be helpful. TIP #6: Issuance of summons. The clerk’s office will prepare the summons if the following information is provided – (1) Name of the Person to be Served, and (2) Street Address of the person to be served. The clerk will sign, seal and email the summons to the requesting attorney. The attorney can then prepare the summons package for service and send directly to the process server. TIP #7: ePortal Document Submission Standards. To ensure that documents will be accepted by the ePortal, guidelines have been established and should be followed. Those standards can be found at this website: http://www.flclerks.com/e-filing_Authority/Resources/Manuals/ ePortal_Document_Submission_Standards.pdf TIP #8: Scanner settings for documents. Be sure to check the settings for any scanned documents. The most common settings are Adobe PDF, 8.5x11 document size, black and white at 300x300 dpi resolution. The Portal requires that each document be less than 25 megabytes in size. Proper settings can produce substantially smaller documents and may prevent from having to send a single filing in sections. Please continue to check our website for more helpful hints and updates as e-filing progresses: www.escambiaclerk.com, click on “E-Filing” on the left hand side of the home page, then “Helpful Hints for Escambia County E-Filers.”
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Wall of Honor
Judge M.C. “Chuck” Blanchard It was 1945 and flying his Hellcat back from an aerial engagement, the carrier deck was nowhere to be found. Having to ditch into the Pacific, “into the drink,” would lead our late Chief Circuit Court Judge M.C. “Chuck” Blanchard to decide to never fly again after the war. And though he stayed in the active Naval Reserve until 1952, he abided that decision and flew as a civilian only once, for his mother’s funeral back in Minnesota. He certainly had his fill of flying during his tour of duty aboard the USS Wasp during Pacific operations in World War II. Even while highly damaged, the performance of the Wasp the week of March 17, 1945 is often credited as the busiest week in carrier history. In those seven days, the Wasp downed 14 enemy planes in the air, destroyed six more on the ground, scored two bomb hits on each of two enemy carriers, dropped one thousandpound bomb on a Japanese battleship, and two on another, hit a heavy cruiser with three missiles, bombed a cargo ship, and heavily strafed a large Japanese submarine, sinking it. During that week, the Wasp was under continuous attack by shorebased aircraft and experienced several close kamikaze attacks. The carrier’s gunners fired more than 10,000 rounds at the determined Japanese attackers. A mission earlier in February of 1945 had Wasp fighter pilots off before dawn to engage in the first attack of the war on the enemy homeland. With an aim to clear the Tokyo skies of Japanese aircraft, they succeeded in their mission, but lost several fighters during the sweep. For his participation in this mission, Lt. j.p. Chuck Blanchard was awarded the Gold Star in lieu of a third Air Medal for, in the words of James Forrestal, “flying in the face of intense antiaircraft fire and making aggressive and damaging strafing attacks against two enemy bases.” Judge Blanchard in 1945 Lieutenant 16 The Summation www.esrba.com June 2013
Blanchard’s other air medals were earned for “courage as a fighter pilot in attacks against enemy positions on Formosa, Luzon and French Indo-China.” After Japan surrendered, a severe typhoon in August of 1945 engulfed the Wasp and stove in 30 feet of her bow. Despite the hazards of flying from a shortened deck, the pilots continued to launch flights on mercy missions to carry food and medicine to desperate prisoners of war at Narumi. Despite his Naval commendations, Judge Blanchard was never known Judge Blanchard in 1988 to speak of his wartime experiences, other than to say that the South Pacific was a beautiful place and he would have liked to return there one day. Despite the harrowing flights, later in life he would say his one regret was that he had never tried hang-gliding. Flying the South Pacific was indeed a long way from his quiet upbringing in Alexandria, Minn., and his days at the University of Minnesota, where he played football despite a polio-shortened leg, majored in music, and was bandleader for the self-named Mel Charles Orchestra. Life after the war left little time for his saxophone, and he returned to Pensacola, where he had received his N.A.S. flight training and had also met his local bride, Tracy Merkle. Theirs was a whirlwind romance of the kind that only war and imminent deployment engenders, and though they married on the day they met, they remained together all their remaining years, sharing six kids and 12 grandchildren. Outside of the law, Judge Blanchard spent his time with his family, fishing and building. In addition to constructing a home and additions to accommodate his growing brood, he single-handedly built a boathouse on Bayou Chico which still stands today, decades after similar structures in the area have all blown away. After completing his law degree and passing the Florida Bar in 1949, Judge Blanchard practiced law in the 1950s with
the Pensacola firm of Fisher & Hepner, becoming a partner of the firm in 1955. The case he thought most significant during his tenure as a practicing lawyer was a suit he filed against the practice of political ward bosses selecting party nominees for our county commissioner seats. In the days when only Democrats won elections in the South, this was tantamount to selecting our officials through backroom deals instead of by a vote of the citizenry. He filed the lawsuit, won the case in the trial court and successfully argued its merits before the Supreme Court of Florida. As a result of this highly publicized case, political party primaries were thenceforth to be determined by general election. In 1959, Chuck Blanchard was President of the Society of the Bar of the First Judicial Circuit and in that role he was officially commended by the Chief Justice of the Florida Supreme Court for taking quick action to address the need to provide indigent criminal defendants with legal representation, later fostering adoption of the local Public Defender’s office. In 1960, he was appointed by Gov. Leroy Collins to the bench at the local Court of Record. With a change in the court system he became a Circuit Court Judge of the First Judicial Circuit of Florida. Although an elected position, his seat was never challenged while he was in office. His judicial peers for much of his career were well-known: Circuit Judges Earnest Mason, Ralph McLane, Theo Bruno, Kirke Beall and U.S. District Court Judge Winston Arnow. Distinguished among them by his judicial demeanor, gentle humor and pragmatic intellect, Judge Blanchard was made Chief Judge of the First Judicial Circuit in 1977, a position he held until shortly before his death in 1989. As described by his good friend Court Administrator Ray Helms, “He wasn’t just a judge, he was the judges’ judge.” This sentiment was echoed by colleague Judge William Anderson, “We’ve had a lot of good judges with judicial qualities, but Judge Blanchard had all of those qualities rolled into one. He was a standard for other judges.” As Judge Joseph Tarbuck put it, “You didn’t really realize he was Chief Judge; he was the Chief Judge without trying to impress anybody.” Judge Nick Geeker put it this way, “He not only looked like a judge, he acted like a judge. The way he looked and acted lent a certain respectability to the local judiciary.”
Known for a strong work ethic while on the bench, Judge Blanchard was often the first to work and the last to leave, and rarely took time off. Even after his ultimate cancer diagnosis, “He came to work until he couldn’t carry the bottle of oxygen anymore,” noted Judge Tarbuck. Other judges often sought his advice for legal problems and they admired that he had solutions, but did not foist his views on others. “He was the consummate gentleman,” according to Judge Terry Terrell, and, as described by Judge Nancy Gilliam, “… a symbol that most judges aspire to attain.” As summed up by his good friend Judge Theo Bruno, “I always felt he was the finest man I ever met. He was an excellent judge, and you couldn’t ask for a finer fellow.”
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Law Week Student Essay
By Anna Jackson, Booker T. Washington High School, Grade 11
The Impact of Modern Technology on Students’ Civil Rights During the construction of America’s government, our founding fathers created the Bill of Rights, one of the most notable documents in the Constitution. This document establishes the precedent for human rights and safeguards the individual liberties that cause our country to be prominent among others.
Melissa Jackson, Anna Jackson and Congressman Jeff Miller
With no regard towards individual characteristics other than American citizenship, civil rights enable citizens to have equal opportunities to maintain “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” (usconstitution.net). Consequently, American society has been monumentally altered since the ratification of the Bill of Rights in 1789. As America advances, questions derive from the collision of civil rights and innovations. Our founding fathers could not comprehend such advancements or design a constitution which protects civil rights against these modern inventions. Most personally afflictive is the integration of technology into public schools. The impact of technology among students’ civil rights may be the most prevalent example of this new, controversial trend. While technology often provides teachers and students with efficient avenues for education, the impact of technology upon student’s rights is undeniable. A basic example is technology’s role in students’ unequal opportunities to achieve good grades. When teachers assign homework requiring computers or calculators, unfair advantage is given to students who have better access to this technology. Because these types of technology are widely available and the ability to be accessed
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by underprivileged students is not impossible, this inequality is excused. However, no matter how menial the advantage, the unequal opportunity to earn a higher grade still negatively impacts students’ right to equality. Specific intrusions upon students’ rights arise when technology is used to incriminate students. Because most young Americans have not matured to the extent of exercising certain rights independently, legislation regulates these rights until adulthood. Similarly, schools may regulate students’ rights. To what extent should the use of technology increase this impact upon students’ civil rights? In the court case Tinker v. Des Moines Independent School District (1969), the Supreme Court ruled that students and teachers don’t “shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate,” (Jacobs). However, the violation of students’ Freedom of Speech when they use language that disrupts the environment of the school is acceptable. Similarly, social networking websites provide students’ an avenue for self-expression and communication. The impact of technology upon students’ rights occurs when words typed onto a social network outside of school are punished more harshly than words spoken in school. This
Escambia School Board Superintendent Malcolm Thomas, Anna Jackson and Escambia School Board Member Patti Hightower
difference results from acquiring substantiating textual evidence online, but more unfairly; unlike physical iteration, anything typed can be interpreted in various ways. According to an attorney for the state of Alabama, John Oxford, using information from social media sites enables
administrators to “discipline and control” (Oxford) what students say on or off campus. This method of incrimination directly impacts the right to Freedom of Speech, awarded in the first amendment (usconstitution.net). Social media sites also impact the rights in the Fourth Amendment, Freedom of Search and Seizure (usconstitution. net). “In order for a search to be valid, they must make a showing of probable cause,” Oxford notes. “Schools are tasked with showing that searches of students’ possessions are based on reasonable suspicion.” Technology becomes a variable when administrators use students’ comments online as “probable cause” to search students’ possessions. While no amendment directly constitutes a right to privacy, all amendments protect it; the use of social media sites to supply probable cause for search and seizure affects students’ right of freedom from search and seizure and privacy. Students’ rights to privacy are widely impacted by
technology through integration of cell phones into schools. The consequence of abusing cell phones during school hours is the apprehension of the device until claimed by a guardian. Intrusion of students’ privacy occurs when administrators override the phone’s privacy settings, enabling them to view personal content. Students’ privacy remains preserved if a student is talking in class, but not when they are caught texting. The two situations are almost identical, but at the presence of technology, rights are impacted. The impact of modern technology on students’ rights is obvious; nevertheless, justification is unclear. However, technology also gives students more power to defend their rights. Students must stop texting each other and begin texting legislators. After all, civil rights were created to give us the power to change aspects of our government that we disagree with. That’s the beauty of living in a nation ruled by a government which was created by the people, for the people.
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Photos Judge Giraudâ€™s Investiture
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2013 Judicial Reception, Law Day Luncheon
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News from the Court
By Shelia Sims, Chief Deputy Court Administrator
Emergency Preparedness Have you thought about what you would do if the building your business was in was destroyed or damaged beyond immediate use by a disaster? Would you be one of approximately 40 percent of small businesses that would never be able to re-open? How would you continue to serve your customers? Do you have the necessary resources to adapt to sudden, unexpected change? What if the same disaster also touched your home and you found yourself without water, electricity, telephone service and your cable network? Now may be the perfect time to develop your business continuity of operations plan or your family disaster plan and to exercise them so that when the need arises, you, your business and your family will be ready. Hurricane season officially starts June 1st and it’s only natural for Gulf Coast residents to amp up preparations by buying flashlights, batteries, bottled water and canned goods – just in case mother nature decides to blow our way, but we are usually less attentive to other disaster risks such as fires, floods, tornados and the like. Being in Florida, we are pretty acclimated to thunderstorms. After all, Florida has more than any other state in the union! We tend to sometimes negate the potential danger and look upon them as just a nuisance. However, these bothersome little disturbances are very dangerous. The lightning they produce claims more lives annually than tornadoes. They also claim lives from flash flooding,
strong winds, hail and tornadoes that they produce. Some thunderstorm winds exceed hurricane strength, at a whopping 100 mph plus. Remember to take shelter during a thunderstorm, inside a building if possible, or a vehicle. Remember the lessons of your childhood and do not duck out of the rain under a tree. If you are in a building, don’t risk peeking out windows or doors and do avoid electrical appliances, plumbing, stoves and metal pipes. If you are out in your boat, get ashore and move away from the water and your boat. If you are out and about in your vehicle, remember to avoid standing water. Just two feet of water can float a car, carrying it and the occupants into swollen streams and rivers, oftentimes resulting in drowning. Also, just because your property may “never” have flooded during your memory, there is always the first time and for many people that may result in the last time. You do not have to live next to water to suffer the effects of flooding. Many communities, including Escambia County, have Community Emergency Response Teams that are made up of well trained volunteers from the community. CERT trains people on how to prepare for and respond to disasters. The first 72 is on you – check out available free CERT training at www.bereadyalliance.org. For more information visit FloridaDisaster.org or bereadyescambia.com.
Free Recreational Vessel Safety Check by the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Now that summer and the boating season have arrived the United States Coast Guard recommends that all recreational boaters including personal watercraft and paddle sport users take advantage of the FREE Vessel Safety Check program offered by the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary. What is a Vessel Safety Check? The Vessel Safety Check is a free/ complimentary check of your boat conducted by members of the Coast Guard Auxiliary confirming that it meets both federal and state requirements for safety. The Vessel Safety Check gives you a risk-free way to be sure that you and your vessel meet the legal minimums and avoid a potential citation later. The Vessel Safety Check is performed at your boat by a certified Vessel Examiner at a mutually convenient time. The inspection can take place in a boat slip at a marina, a boat launching area or even in your own driveway. The inspection usually takes 30 to 45 minutes.
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If your boat passes inspection a decal is issued to be attached to your vessel to display. What if your boat does not pass? If your boat does not pass, no citations are issued, no report is filed, and the results of the safety check are not reported to any enforcement agency. Instead, you are provided a written report that aids you in correcting any problems noted. Often a quick trip to the nearest boat supply company is all that is necessary to obtain missing safety items and easily pass a re-inspection, sometimes the same day. How do I get an appointment for an inspection? Go to cgaux.org for the location of the Vessel Examiner nearest you. The site also includes a list of the type of items to be checked. While at the site also check out the various Boating Safety Education classed offered.
Calendar June 13 Blue Wahoo Party Deck 5:30 p.m. Blue Wahoo Stadium June 20 June Bar Meeting 12:00--1:00 p.m. Portabello Market Speaker: Dean Robert Jerry of Levin College of Law
Classifieds Executive legal secretary or paralegal position open for Pensacola attorney with sophisticated tax, trust and estates practice. College degree and/or extensive experience in the field are required. The applicant must have excellent organizational skills, professional appearance and demeanor. Applicants can apply by calling Shirley Linne at 433-2224 or by emailing resume to firstname.lastname@example.org.
June 21 Gulf Coast Patent Association – Intellectual Property Seminar 9:00 a.m.--6:00 p.m. Margaritaville, Pensacola Beach www.gulfcoastpatentassociation.org July 12 Education Family Law Seminar 9:00 a.m.--11:00 a.m. Location TBA July 18 Installation Banquet 6:00 p.m.--8:00 p.m. Heritage Hall - Seville Quarter
To place a classified ad please call 433-1166 ext. 29 or email email@example.com
August 15 August Bar Meeting 12:00 p.m.--1:00 p.m. Portabello Market ‘Social’
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The Summation is the official guide for news, events, profiles and information pertaining to the Escambia/Santa Rosa County Bar Association....