Monday, February 16, 2015

Child support, paternity testing, and artisan hummus with garlic, parsley, and chili powder on homemade, toasted-sunflower bread



Attorneys -- Discipline -- Failure to act with reasonable diligence and promptness in representing a client -- Conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice -- Referee's findings that, in responding to a notice of resentencing hearing by filing a “Motion to Continue Resentencing Hearing and Notice of Unavailability” to attend without indicating whether the state agreed to the continuance, submitting a copy directly to the presiding judge, or setting the motion for a hearing, and then choosing simply not to attend the hearing when it occurred as scheduled, attorney was guilty of violating Bar Rules, are approved -- Recommended punishment of public reprimand is disapproved in favor of public reprimand and ten days' suspension -- No merit to attorney's argument centered on the claim that the judge improperly scheduled the hearing -- Hearing had not been continued and attorney was required to appear on his client's behalf
THE FLORIDA BAR, Complainant, vs. DANIEL MARK COHEN, Respondent. Supreme Court of Florida.

Attorney's fees -- Appellate -- Frivolous appeal of trial court order imposing sanctions for fraud on court
JOHANNA FADDIS, Appellant, vs. THE CITY OF HOMESTEAD, et al., Appellees. 3rd District.

Child support -- Paternity testing -- It was a departure from the essential requirements of law to require parties to submit to paternity testing in a proceeding to establish child support obligation where father did not place child's paternity in controversy and good cause for paternity testing was not established
FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE by and on behalf of CIARA GAIL CORBITT, Petitioner, v. KYLE PATRICK ALLETAG, Respondent. 1st District.

Civil procedure -- Discovery -- Non-party accountant -- Accountant-client privilege -- Production of documents from accountant without first determining their privileged status through in camera review -- Where objection is made to issuance of subpoena duces tecum to accountant, deposition is no longer the only method available to obtain production of documents -- Court can rule on objections, and has discretion to fashion a process to deal with production of documents -- Petition for writ of certiorari seeking to prevent production of privileged documents is denied as moot, as court has provided a method for protection of privileged documents
VALERIE A. LYONS INDIVIDUALLY AND AS CO-TRUSTEE AND BENEFICIARY OF THE RICHARD C. LYONS AND NORMA W. LYONS 1998 DYNASTY TRUST; NORMA W. LYONS INDIVIDUALLY AND AS MANAGING PARTNER AND THE GENERAL PARTNER(S) OF LYONS FAMILY LIMITED PARTNERSHIP; and LYONS FAMILY LIMITED PARTNERSHIP, Petitioners, v. SANFORD D. LYONS INDIVIDUALLY AND AS CO-TRUSTEE OF THE RICHARD C. LYONS AND NORMA W. LYONS 1998 DYNASTY TRUST; TIMOTHY R. LYONS INDIVIDUALLY AND AS PURPORTED CO- TRUSTEE OF THE RICHARD C. LYONS AND NORMA W. LYONS 1998 DYNASTY TRUST; THE RICHARD C. LYONS AND NORMA W. LYONS 1998 DYNASTY TRUST; DOROTHY A. LYONS-HEFFNER; JOHN C. LYONS; and JOHN C. LYONS AND CAROL ANN WILLIAMS LYONS AS CO-TRUSTEES OF THE JOHN C. LYONS TRUST SEPTEMBER 2, 1988, Respondents. 4th District.

Contempt -- Dissolution of marriage -- Failure to pay family support arrearages -- Competent, substantial evidence supported trial court's findings that former husband failed to make support payments as required despite apparent ability to do so -- Record does not disclose calculations and evidence establishing commencement of arrearages, total unpaid balance, and computation of purge amount, and amount awarded exceeded the amount calculable on the record before appellate court and the amount recoverable based on former wife's pleadings -- Remand for further proceedings to substantiate net amount of any arrearage and purge requirement and to provide specific evidence supporting finding that former husband has present ability to pay purge amount
PATRICK WINTON, Appellant, vs. CANDICE SAFFER, Appellee. 3rd District.

Contracts -- Construction -- Third-party complaint by contractor who had been sued for defective construction of home against subcontractor, alleging that subcontractor had breached oral contract with contractor to install interior drywall in home by failing to properly install drywall -- Although one paragraph of complaint stated that subcontractor “performed its drywall work pursuant to the oral agreement,” other paragraphs sufficiently alleged that subcontractor breached contract by failing to properly install drywall -- Error to dismiss complaint with prejudice
RAY COUDRIET BUILDERS, INC., Appellant, v. R.K. EDWARDS, INC., et al., Appellees. 5th District.

Dissolution of marriage -- Alimony -- Modification -- Marital settlement agreement -- Trial court erred in ruling that mere presence of male tenant in former wife's residence amounted to “cohabitation with a male” within meaning of parties' marital settlement agreement, which provided for termination of alimony obligation in event wife cohabited with a male -- Finding of cohabitation requires more than mere presence of another person under payee spouse's roof -- Remand with instructions to enter amended order denying former husband's supplemental petition on the merits, to vacate finding that husband's obligation to pay alimony and to maintain life insurance as security for alimony terminated automatically on date male tenant began living in wife's house, and to vacate portion of order directing wife to repay alimony payments received after male became tenant -- Competent, substantial evidence supported trial court's findings that former wife was not engaged in a “supportive relationship” within meaning of statute and that there was no substantial, permanent change in circumstances of the parties that would support a reduction or termination of alimony obligation
DARLENE D. ATKINSON, Appellant/Cross-Appellee, v. RONALD L. ATKINSON, Appellee/Cross-Appellant. 2nd District.

Dissolution of marriage -- Child custody -- Modification -- Trial court abused discretion by transferring custody of children to former wife where former wife failed to plead and prove substantial change in circumstances since last custody determination -- It was also improper to modify custody at a hearing that was not noticed for a modification proceeding
JEROME L. BAKER, Appellant, v. SABRINA J. BAKER A/K/A SABRINA GRAY, Appellee. 5th District.

Dissolution of marriage -- Child custody -- Trial court did not err in finding that modification of timesharing was warranted by change in circumstances and best interest of children -- Child support -- Income -- In calculating mother's child support obligation, trial court improperly factored in father's payment of alimony where father failed to make the alimony payments -- Alimony -- Imputed income -- In denying former husband's request to modify alimony, trial court improperly imputed income to former husband without delineating the basis for the imputed income
ELIZABETH CHAMBERLAIN, Appellant, v. JOHN DOUGLAS EISINGER, Appellee. 4th District.




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Saturday, February 7, 2015

Assistant public defender representing indigent while being questioned by police is handcuffed in court hallway, and files complaint against police officers

" A veteran assistant San Francisco public defender has filed a citizen complaint against the six city police officers involved in her arrest last month in a courthouse hallway.
Although the criminal case was dropped and the police chief apologized, Jami Tillotson said she wasn’t completely satisfied with this resolution, reports the Huffington Post.
“While I appreciate Chief [Greg] Suhr’s apology, I am concerned that he continues to support Sgt. Brian Stansbury’s actions,” said Tillotson in a Thursday written statement, referring to the officer primarily involved in her arrest. “My client, a young African American man, was left without the benefit of advice of counsel. The right to counsel is not a formality. It is a shield that protects ordinary people against intimidation, bullying, and overreach by law enforcement.” "  More.




Originally posted by Martha Neil in ABA Journal News.  Feb. 6, 2015
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Monday, January 26, 2015

Court: BigLaw firms missed $1.5B error, erasing JPMorgan's security interest in GM loan

". . . .The problems began when a partner at Mayer Brown instructed an associate to draft documents to release the bank’s security interest in $300 million in financing that GM was paying off, according to opinion. The associate asked a paralegal to search for UCC-1 financing statements documenting the security interest. The associate found the correct two documents, along with a third–the most important financing statement for an unrelated $1.5 billion loan by a syndicate of lenders for which JPMorgan Chase was the secured party of record.
“No one at General Motors, Mayer Brown, JPMorgan, or its counsel, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, noticed the error,” though documents were sent to each organization for review, the appeals court said. A lawyer at Simpson Thacher had responded, “Nice job on the documents.” The mistake went unnoticed until GM’s bankruptcy in 2009." More.



Originally posted by Debra Cassens Weiss in ABA Journal News.  Jan. 22, 2015
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Sunday, January 18, 2015

After Sony hack attack, companies are curtailing email use and storage


"After a stunning attack late last year by hackers who stole and publicly released a wide array of confidential Sony Pictures documents, business executives are rethinking their approach to confidential information...'Sony would have fared much better if its executives simply hadn’t made racist jokes about Mr. Obama or insulted its stars—or if their response systems had been agile enough to kick the hackers out before they grabbed everything,' he wrote.
Key lessons from the attack on Sony include the need for companies to actively monitor their systems for evidence of any security breach, chief security strategist Richard Bejtlich of FireEye tells CBS News."  More.


Originally posted by Martha Neil in ABA Journal News.  Jan. 16, 2015
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Friday, January 9, 2015

Dorothy F. Easley Honored as an Expert in Appeals

Dorothy F. Easley, Attorney of Easley Appellate Practice, P.L.L.C., has been recognized for showing dedication, leadership and excellence in appellate law.

Ms. Easley has 20 years of professional experience as an appellate attorney, and almost ten years as a President of Easley Appellate Practice, P.L.L.C. On a daily basis, she serves as the supervising appellate attorney of the firm while managing its operations. In addition, she mentors other attorneys and handles the appeals process for the firm's clients.

Ms. Easley is a nationally recognized author of the federal appellate treatise, "Successful Federal Appeals in All Circuit Courts: A Practical Guide for Busy Lawyers", available on Amazon.com with a second edition soon to be released in 2015. She attributes her success to the fact that she appreciates the value of hard work, perseverance and tenacity. More.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals says abortion ultrasound law violates First amendment

"A federal appeals court has ruled that North Carolina’s abortion ultrasound law violates the First Amendment. The law requires physicians to perform an ultrasound, display the sonogram, and describe the fetus to women seeking abortions, even if the woman averts her eyes or refuses to listen. The measure does allow an exception in cases of emergency. In a ruling (PDF) on Monday, the Richmond, Virginia-based 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the law is “quintessential compelled speech” that is by its very nature content-based."  More.


Originally posted by Debra Cassens Weiss in ABA Journal News.  Dec 22, 2014 

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Sunday, December 21, 2014

Lawyers face "public intimidation" charges for reacting to police kicking in their door and invading their home

"Husband and wife lawyers in Crowley, Louisiana, have been indicted on charges of public intimidation for their reaction to police who kicked down their door in response to a 911 call from a neighbor. Both lawyers—J. Clay LeJeune, 45, and Mitzi Mayeaux, 40—are well-known, the Advocate reports. Both were charged with public intimidation. LeJeune was also charged with resisting a police officer with force or violence and accused of threatening officers, the article says.
Police provided few details, but the couple’s lawyer, Barry Sallinger, said the charges relate to a May 25 incident, the story says. The neighbor who called police said a girl or woman in the lawyers’ back yard may have been screaming “help me,” adding that it may be nothing, according to Sallinger." More.

Originally posted by Debra Cassens Weiss in ABA Journal News.  Dec 19, 2014 

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Monday, December 1, 2014

Parents re-homing adopted kids may become more regulated and subject to potential criminal prosecution

".... [W]ith the rise of foreign adoptions of children and the inability of some parents to handle troubled youths, more and more desperate families are taking that approach with adopted youngsters and re-homing the children with strangers. Often those re-homed children report gruesome tales of physical, sexual or emotional abuse by their new guardians....In April, Wisconsin became the first state to make it illegal for anyone not licensed by the state to advertise a child older than age 1 for adoption or any other custody transfer, both in print and online. Parents who want to transfer custody of a child to someone other than a relative must seek permission from a judge. Violators face up to nine months in jail or as much as $10,000 in fines....Last summer, Louisiana also banned nonlegal adoption, with offenders facing a penalty of $5,000 and up to five years in prison. Colorado, Florida and Ohio are considering similar laws...." More.

Originally posted by Martha Neil in ABA Journal News.
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