Sandy D'Alemberte

Shawn Mulcahy / WFSU

Much of Florida’s legal community is mourning the death of Talbot “Sandy” D’Alemberte, whose career as one of the state’s brightest legal minds spanned decades. WFSU's Ryan Dailey spoke with D’Alemberte’s longtime friend and former colleague, Paul Jess, about his passing. Jess is director of the Florida Justice Association, which represents trial lawyers in the state.

Shawn Mulcahy / WFSU

Sandy D'Alemberte wore many hats during his life. The 85-year-old was an attorney, legal scholar, politician, university president and head of the American Bar Association. 

Marsy's Law for Florida

Voters will decide whether to place victims’ rights in the Florida Constitution this November.

Advocates say it’s necessary to give victims a voice in the criminal justice process. But opponents argue these rights already exist under Florida law. 

Florida's First District Court of Appeal in Tallahassee.
Nick Evans

Florida’s First District Court of Appeal heard arguments Wednesday in a case challenging the use of blind trusts to meet state financial disclosure requirements.

The Florida Supreme Court is refusing to hear a lawsuit over the state’s blind trust laws.

Blind trusts have been used over the years by public officials to hide their assets from themselves in order to avoid conflict-of-interest allegations. The lawsuit claims those trusts are unconstitutional and the issue now goes to a circuit court. Former FSU President Sandy D’Alemberte filed the case on behalf of the late Governor Rubin Askew’s chief of staff.

“We obviously believe blind trusts cannot be full and public disclosure, which the constitution requires," D'Alemberte says. / Florida Supreme Court

Open government advocates are asking “What Would Askew Do?” when it comes to public officials and financial reporting. The late Governor Reubin Askew promoted government transparency, and a lawsuit filed before the Florida Supreme Court says when public officials use blind trusts to hide their assets, it’s unconstitutional.

Supporters of Florida’s open government laws have filed a lawsuit with the state Supreme Court attempting to overthrow state laws regarding blind trusts. 

The group says they aren’t targeting any one person, although the only current elected state official with a blind trust is Governor Rick Scott.

Florida Supreme Court
Urban Tallahassee

Florida Supreme Court Justices expressed concern Monday about the chilling effect that could result from forcing lawmakers to testify about their intentions. The question must be settled before a suit challenging Florida’s congressional districts can continue.

The justices are weighing whether to uphold a lower court’s ruling that legislative privilege exempts lawmakers from having to testify under oath about their job, including the process of drawing new district boundaries last year.

The Florida Board of Bar Examiners wants the state's highest court to weigh in on whether it should waive its rules and allow an undocumented immigrant to become a lawyer. The Florida Supreme Court took up the case Tuesday, but appeared skeptical about claims that it has the authority to admit Jose Godinez-Samperio to the Florida Bar.

This is Law Week and three of Tallahassee’s more prominent legal minds will be recognized Tuesday evening.  Tom Flanigan reports the honorees have made distinguished contributions to their profession.

Florida State University College of Law Professor Paolo Annino has spent years urging state lawmakers to reconsider the cases of very young offenders.  For that, he’ll receive the Joy Aukema Taps Children’s Advocate of the Year Award.

It’s now up to the Florida Supreme court to decide whether undocumented immigrants are allowed to be lawyers in the state. Regan McCarthy reports the Florida Board of Bar Examiners is asking the Court for its opinion.