Convicted killer of 8 gets a stay of execution

(CNN) -- A flurry of last-minute legal maneuvers Tuesday spared, for now, the life of John Ferguson, a Florida death row inmate who suffers from mental illness and at one point called himself the 'prince of God.' Ferguson, a diagnosed schizophrenic convicted of killing eight people, was scheduled to get the lethal injection Tuesday at 6 p.m. ET at a Florida State Prison. But an appeals court in Atlanta granted an emergency stay of execution Tuesday night. Florida officials then asked the Supreme Court to allow the lethal injection to proceed. Just before midnight the high court denied Florida's request, keeping in place the stay of execution, according to court documents. … [Read more...]

‘Wage theft’ law passes Broward commission

October 23, 2012|By Brittany Wallman, Sun Sentinel A controversial law that would empower workers to easily go after their employers for pay was approved Tuesday after two hours of debate by the Broward County Commission. The law was denounced by the business community, who over the course of months called it hostile, insulting and unnecessary. They won a consolation — the law's terminology was changed from "wage theft'' to "non-payment of earned wages.'' … [Read more...]

Miami attorney David Podein triumphs with fellow cancer survivors on Alaskan Mountain Range

David Podein - Alaska

SPECIAL to The Florida Law Journal -- MIAMI -- While some lawyers enjoy relaxing at a beach or resort for their vacations away from the office, David Podein had something different – and much colder – in mind. He’d already had a work-filled summer that included a professional triumph in which he prevailed in a 10-day construction arbitration. But he followed that with a quiet personal victory, when he embarked on a six-day mountaineering expedition on the Coffee Glacier in the Alaskan Mountain Range with five fellow cancer survivors. During his second year at the University of Miami School of Law, Podein was diagnosed with cancer.  He withdrew from class and moved back home to Michigan so his parents could help with his medical care as he underwent three months of rigorous chemotherapy treatment. Now a proud cancer survivor more than five years, Podein lives in Miami and … [Read more...]

Did Justices Up for Retention Invent New Workers’ Compensation Law Out of Thin Air?

By: ERIC GIUNTA |Sunshine State News -- Three Florida Supreme Court justices are up for retention on the November ballot, and Sunshine State News is the only source that is examining their judicial record. In this latest installment, we explore a landmark ruling affecting workers' compensation claims. Although Justices Barbara Pariente, R. Fred Lewis, and Peggy Quince are insisting that voters should ignore their rulings when they head to the polls and consider only whether these justices have ever committed a crime, their critics and other legal scholars say otherwise: it is absolutely relevant to their retention that voters consider whether these justices are interpreting relevant law according to its original public meaning, or whether they are activists who ignore the law and impose their own personal moral philosophy on cases that come before … [Read more...]

Rocky Howard, William Mechler, Off-Duty Florida Police, Fatally Shoot ‘Armed, Naked’ Female

TAMPA, Fla. -- Two off-duty Florida law-enforcement officers fatally shot an armed, naked woman who confronted them at a social gathering Saturday, authorities said. The shooting occurred at about 1:15 p.m. Saturday in Hernando County, north of Tampa. The county sheriff's office said in a news release that the men were approached by an "armed, naked and irrational female." The news release does not identify the weapon, but it says "one or both of the law enforcement officers fired their weapons, striking the female." She died at the scene. Both officers have been placed on administrative leave as the Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigates the shooting in the Spring Hill community. Authorities have identified the officers as Hernando County sheriff's Detective Rocky Howard and Tampa police officer William Mechler, who have served six and four years, respectively. … [Read more...]