This week's items: Court certifies need for more judges, issues warning Pinellas clerk's office changes service for attorneys New managing shareholder named at Fowler White Fowler White shareholder named to museum board
Legal Briefs (Tampa edition)
Court certifies need for more judges, issues warning
The Florida Supreme Court issued a dire warning along with a request for 51 new circuit court judges in fiscal 2004-2005: Adequately fund the courts or delay the administration of justice.
The justices warned in a Dec. 18 order that civil matters such as mortgage foreclosures, landlord-tenant matters and contract disputes will slow to a crawl if the Legislature doesn't adequately fund the state court system during the next legislative session.
"We are confident," they wrote, "the Legislature will continue to provide these resources."
The court found there was a need locally for four additional judges in Hillsborough County and three more in Pinellas/Pasco counties.
The high court also found the need for another 33 county judges in Florida, including four in Hillsborough and two in Pinellas.
The additional judges are needed to "provide an effective and efficient justice system for Florida's growing population," states the order. "Key to the operation of the Rule of Law is a core belief: Justice must be timely dispensed to truly be justice. This in turn implies a judicial system with sufficient resources to make timeliness possible."
So many more judges are needed, the court wrote, because funding has not always kept up with demand.
Pinellas clerk's office changes
service for attorneys
The Pinellas County Clerk of the Court's Office will no longer copy pleadings in every case as a free service to attorneys. Effective Jan. 5, attorneys must provide copies of each pleading for each case referenced on the pleading. The office will make copies for $1 per page.
New managing shareholder
named at Fowler White
Attorney David L. Bresler was named managing shareholder of Fowler White Boggs Banker's St. Petersburg office, replacing Jeffrey P. Winkler who is now state vice chair of the firm's litigation department.
Bresler, who joined the firm in 1976, practices in the area of insurance defense, bad faith and construction litigation.
In addition, Mitchell I. Horowitz was named corporate practice group leader for the state. Horowitz, who joined the firm in 1989, practices corporate and business law, including civil tax controversies. He replaces R. Alan Higbee, statewide chair of the firm's business department.
Fowler White shareholder
named to museum board
Fowler White Boggs Banker shareholder Edward M. Waller was elected to the board of directors at the Tampa Museum of Art. Waller is the statewide chair of the firm's health care group. His practice concentrates on business litigation, class actions, health care litigation, lender liability, bankruptcy and creditors' rights.
Broad and Cassel partner
co-chairs health care seminar
Lester Perling, a partner in the Tampa office of Broad and Cassel and chair of the Florida Bar Health Law Section's Continuing Legal Education Committee, will discuss the impact of Medicare on practice structures at the Jan. 30 seminar at the downtown Miami Hyatt Regency.
For more information on the seminar that continues through Feb. 9, visit the bar's Web site at www.flabar.org.