Column: Fighting Hurts Both Sides in NHL Lawsuit

By EDDIE PELLS -- For a preview of what evidence on Day 1 of an NHL concussions trial might look like, head over to YouTube, type in "NHL brawls" and take your pick of any of the 481,000 choices offered there. In a league where both sides give a wink to bare-fisted fighting — and in a case in which raw emotion could play as big a role as the still-developing science of concussions — it will be hard for either the players or the NHL to claim the moral high ground. A group of 10 retired players, seizing the moment in wake of the $765 million settlement the NFL recently offered its concussed retirees, filed a class-action lawsuit on Monday. They claim the league hasn't done enough to protect players from head injuries.   … [Read more...]

Baptist Health: Only legally married spouses ‘in accordance with Florida law’ eligible for insurance

In the wake of the Supreme Court's decision in June to strike section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), we've seen companies like AutoNation announce that legally married same-sex partners would now be eligible to receive health insurance benefits. Wal-Mart, the nation's largest private employer, announced in August it would insure all domestic partners beginning Jan. 1. Baptist Health South Florida seems to have gone in the other direction, spelling out that only legally married spouses according to Florida law are eligible for insurance benefits in 2014.   … [Read more...]

Former Criminal-Turned-Lawyer Can Become NFL Agent

MIAMI ― An arbitrator has ruled against a National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) decision to deny the NFL agent application of a former college football player who was convicted of fraud. Cleodis Floyd, 29, is a former Colorado State football player who was convicted of bank fraud while he was a student-athlete. Floyd has since graduated from college and law school and passed the Washington State Bar examination and is an attorney in Seattle. Yet, the NFLPA denied Floyd’s application to represent NFL players. Floyd appealed. During the arbitrator’s hearing, Floyd was represented by attorney Darren Heitner, a partner at Wolfe Law Miami. “Mr. Floyd admitted and recognizes that he had a troubled past, largely as a circumstance of his upbringing in a couple of very rough neighborhoods,” Heitner said. … [Read more...]

Veteran Broward judge charged with DUI

BOCA RATON, Fla. -- A veteran Broward County circuit judge has been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol after police received reports of a car driving erratically. A Boca Raton police report says 56-year-old Cynthia Imperato was stopped Tuesday night after someone called to report a possibly impaired driver. The police report says Imperato refused to take a breath test or perform field sobriety tests, so she was arrested. Authorities say Imperato was released from jail on her own recognizance early Wednesday morning. It wasn't clear if she had an attorney. A sign posted on her courtroom door said she was out sick. Imperato is a former police officer who was first appointed as a judge in 2003 by Gov. Jeb Bush. Her current term expires in 2017. … [Read more...]

Say what? Online hearing aid sales against Florida law

LARGO — Denis deVlaming knows a thing or two about the law. The Clearwater attorney has defended murderers, rapists and drug dealers. But about a year ago, he unwittingly collaborated in an Internet crime. He went on eBay and bought his mother a $7.92 hearing aid. Evelyn deVlaming, now 98, had lost her previous hearing aid — a custom-fit model that tucked into her ear. "We paid $3,000 for the pair or thereabouts,'' her son said recently. … [Read more...]