Florida Spent Millions on Flawed Fingerprint System

MIAMI HERALD -- The Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s troubled 5-year-old automatic fingerprint identification system (AFIS) is experiencing technical problems that are causing delays in investigations and arrests across the state. It has also cost far more to maintain than it did to design and build. A former engineer for Motorola, the company that built the system, has come forward and claimed the company delivered a product riddled with problems. His claims are documented in internal Motorola reports that he said were never shared with the FDLE. Documents reviewed by the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting detail a series of costly maintenance requests and upgrades needed to keep the fingerprint system functioning properly. The documents also include internal Motorola reports recording accuracy issues with the fingerprint system. If true, in addition to delaying … [Read more...]

Retired cop accused of fatally shooting man for texting in Florida movie theater

A retired police officer allegedly shot two people, one fatally, during a cell phone dispute inside a Florida movie theater Monday, authorities said. The dispute began around 1:30 p.m. at a theater in Wesley Chapel when Curtis Reeves Jr., 71, told 43-year-old Chad Oulson to stop texting during a showing of "Lone Survivor," Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco said. When Oulson refused, Reeves alerted the theater staff, which escalated the confrontation. READ MORE   … [Read more...]

Florida law firm fights new online advertising

MIAMI HERALD - TALLAHASSEE -- A prominent Florida law firm is challenging new state rules regulating attorneys' advertisements on the web, saying the restrictions are a violation of free speech and are too vague. In a lawsuit filed last week in federal court in Tallahassee, attorneys for the personal-injury firm Searcy Denney Scarola Barnhart & Shipley wrote that the new rules are "so overly broad they would have subjected Abraham Lincoln to discipline for stating, in an 1852 newspaper advertisement, that his firm handled business with ‘promptness and fidelity.’ ” Searcy Denney challenged the rules, adopted by the Florida Supreme Court in January, after The Florida Bar decided that several of the firm's Web pages did not meet the "objectively verifiable" standard required for all advertisements. Searcy Denney requested the Bar's review of the sites before the rules went … [Read more...]

Justices Question Florida’s Medical Malpractice Law

ORLANDO BUSINESS JOURNAL -- The Florida Supreme Court last week appeared to signal questions about the constitutionality of a 2011 law that placed new requirements on out-of-state expert witnesses in medical-malpractice cases. The law was heavily backed by the Florida Medical Association, which has long argued for more restrictions on experts who testify against doctors. But plaintiffs’ attorneys contended the law, which created a new certification process for out-of-state experts, was unconstitutional. READ MORE   … [Read more...]

State Supreme Court to hear medical-marijuana arguments

By SCOTT POWERS, Orlando Sentinel -- Medical marijuana will be considered by the Florida Supreme Court on Thursday in a hearing that could determine whether voters will decide the proposed state constitutional amendment next November. Question: If the amendment is approved, what would it do? Answer: It would allow doctors to prescribe pot under Florida law. It would require the Florida Department of Health to register and regulate marijuana businesses. It would allow those businesses to acquire, cultivate, possess, process, transport, sell and administer marijuana. It would allow patients with prescriptions to use it. And it would allow "personal caregivers" — also regulated and registered by the DOH — to help.   http://bit.ly/19m3vCU   … [Read more...]