News

  • 14 Apr 2016 3:21 PM | Sue Fern (Administrator)


  • 12 Apr 2016 2:58 PM | Sue Fern (Administrator)

    Retired Pinellas Circuit Judge Susan F. Schaeffer, a former chief judge who presided over several high profile cases and was known statewide for her expertise in the death penalty field, died Tuesday.

    She was 73.

    A lung cancer survivor, Judge Schaeffer found out in January that the cancer had returned and spread to her spine, said Sue Rudd, her partner of 35 years. Judge Schaeffer was in was in hospice care at the time of her death, Rudd said.

    "I was with her as well as her stepson, Andrew," she said.

    Judge Schaeffer sat on the Pinellas-Pasco Court for 23 years and was chief judge for six years. She was known statewide for her knowledge of the state's death penalty and for her work as chairwoman of the Trial Court Budget Commission. She was a former finalist for the Florida Supreme Court.

    One of her highest profile cases came in 1994, when she presided over the trial and sentencing of Oba Chandler, who in 1989 murdered Joan Rogers and daughters Michelle and Christe. The Ohio family was visiting Florida when they were found in Tampa Bay, tied to concrete blocks.

    Judge Schaeffer sentenced Chandler to death and he was executed by lethal injection in 2011. She would later describe him as "probably the vilest, most evil defendant I ever handled."

    PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Judge recalls Oba Chandler as a man with no soul

    Judge Schaeffer was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2004 and retired at the end of that year. The St. Petersburg resident had a "12 wonderful years of retirement," Rudd said, playing golf, playing piano, making stained glass and relaxing in the North Carolina mountains.

    Even in retirement, though, Judge Schaeffer enjoyed sharing stories about her longtime career in the justice system, Rudd said.

    "I always felt like she was defined by her profession," Rudd said. "I think it was everything to her."

    Rudd was working Tuesday on funeral arrangements

  • 12 Apr 2016 12:44 PM | Sue Fern (Administrator)

    Members,

    As was announced at the April CLE, the West Pasco Bar Association will be participating in Law Week’s High School Speakers Program again this year. So far, we have scheduled Fivay High School on May 3rd and Gulf High School on May 4th. For those unfamiliar with the program, attorneys and judges are asked to commit as little as one hour or as much as an entire day to speaking to local high school classes about their rights and responsibilities as young adults. This is such a valuable experience to both the speakers and our local community.

    Although teachers are still in the process of volunteering their classes for the program, we hope that you will save the date if you are interested in speaking to a high school class.

    If you have questions or would like to volunteer some time, please email Ryan Doddridge at ryan@wollinka.com. At the same time, please indicate how much time you would like to spend and if you prefer mornings or afternoons.

    Thank you for your consideration and participation in this great progr

  • 12 Apr 2016 12:24 PM | Sue Fern (Administrator)

    Estate Planning Attorney Association

    April 15, 2016

    Noon

    Comparing our DPA versions.

    Please bring your form.


    Leaning Tower of Pizza

    5205 Grand Blvd. kindly be seated by noon

    New Port Richey FL

    PLEASE REMEMBER TO PARK IN THE ADJACENT PARKING LOT IN FRONT OF THE OLD DELI.


  • 08 Apr 2016 10:48 AM | Sue Fern (Administrator)

    CLEARWATER ¬¬– The Sixth Judicial Circuit’s Pro Bono Committee is pleased to announce that Florida Supreme Court Justice Peggy A. Quince will be the keynote speaker at this year’s ceremony honoring those who have done exemplary pro bono work in Pinellas and Pasco counties.

    Justice Quince will be giving her remarks at what will be the Sixth Circuit’s Second Annual Recognition Ceremony, where lawyers, law students, law firms and paralegals will be praised for the legal work they have done without remuneration on behalf of those who lack the financial means to pay for legal services. Many individuals in our community are struggling to meet their basic needs and there is a very real and pervasive need for legal assistance in every area of the law.

    The Pro Bono Committee’s mission is to increase awareness, recognition and accountability for pro bono legal service in the Sixth Circuit. The Committee, under the leadership of Circuit Judge Kimberly Todd, decided to undertake its own awards system as of 2015.

    All attorneys when admitted to the Florida Bar take an oath which states “ I will never reject from any consideration personal or to myself the cause of the defenseless or oppressed.” There are attorneys which do pro bono hours or donate to a legal aide organization because they are required to by the Florida Bar. This event recognizes and celebrates those attorneys who have gone above and beyond what is required of them and have made pro bono a priority in their busy lives. The ceremony will also briefly touch on the stories of individuals whose lives were changed by the selfless acts of one or more individuals who assisted them “pro-bono.” The stories include the work of a Guardian ad Litem in a case involving a six year old torn in a bitter divorce between her parents, the work of an attorney representing a mother struggling to raise her children while the Father refuses to pay child support, and two attorneys working together on behalf of several residents in an apartment building facing eviction against several Plaintiffs.

    Nominations sought from across the Sixth Judicial Circuit were voted on by the Committee in the categories of outstanding pro bono work by an attorney, law firm, paralegal and law student. The Sixth Circuit Pro Bono Committee is truly honored to have Justice Quince speak at the ceremony and to also have the opportunity to recognize those selfless individuals who through their dedication to pro bono have affected the lives of so many.

    The ceremony will be held on April 15 in Courtroom One at the County Justice Center in Clearwater, at 14250 49th Street North. The program begins at 3:00pm and is open to the public.

  • 07 Mar 2016 10:59 AM | Sue Fern (Administrator)

    Meeting date: March 18, 2016

    Meeting time: Noon

    Leaning Tower of Pizza

    5205 Grand Blvd. 

    New Port Richey FL

    Kindly be seated by noon.

    PLEASE REMEMBER TO PARK IN THE ADJACENT PARKING LOT IN FRONT OF THE OLD DELI.


  • 27 Jan 2016 9:38 AM | Sue Fern (Administrator)


  • 25 Jan 2016 10:29 AM | Sue Fern (Administrator)


  • 12 Jan 2016 4:00 PM | Sue Fern (Administrator)

    The Florida Bar

    www.floridabar.org

    SIXTH CIRCUIT JUDICIAL NOMINATING COMMISSION – CIRCUIT COURT JUDGE VACANCY

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    January 12, 2016

    CONTACT: Todd A. Jennings, Esq., Chair; taj@macfar.com

    Sixth Circuit Judicial Nominating Commission

    TELEPHONE: (727) 444-1410

    The Sixth Circuit Judicial Nominating Commission announces a judicial vacancy in the Circuit Court of the Sixth Judicial Circuit due to the retirement of the Honorable J. Thomas McGrady. The Sixth Circuit Judicial Nominating Commission seeks applications for nomination from all persons who meet the eligibility requirements set forth in the Florida Constitution. The individual appointed to this position should expect to serve in Dade City, Florida.

    Applicants must be able to fulfill the Constitutional qualifications before assuming the office of Circuit Court Judge, which require the person to be a member in good standing of The Florida Bar for the preceding five (5) years, a resident of the Sixth Judicial Circuit, and a registered voter in the State of Florida.

    Application forms for the judgeship may be downloaded from The Florida Bar’s website, www.floridabar.org. Applications can also be obtained from the Commission Chair, Todd A. Jennings, whose address and electronic mail address appear below. As of August 1, 2014, there have been changes made to the Application for Judicial Seat, including, but not limited to, the requirement to complete a Form 6, Full and Public Disclosure of Financial Interest. Applicants must complete the current Application for Judicial Seat.

    The original completed Application with attachments, one copy of the original with attachments that has been redacted as required by the Florida Rules of Judicial Administration, a flash drive with both original and redacted Applications with attachments, and a recent photo must be delivered to Todd A. Jennings, Chairman, Sixth Circuit Judicial Nominating Commission at the address below no later than noon on Friday, January 29, 2016. Incomplete applications and applications submitted after the deadline will not be considered.

    Todd A. Jennings, Chairman

    625 Court Street, Suite 200

    Clearwater, Florida 33756

    taj@macfar.com

    Interviews will be conducted on Wednesday, March 2, 2016 and Thursday, March 3, 2016. Please plan accordingly. Applicants receiving interviews will be notified of the date and time of his or her interview by the end of business on Friday, February 19, 2016.

    A list of the Sixth Circuit JNC members is available on the Florida Bar’s website. Questions should be directed to Todd A. Jennings, Chair, Sixth Circuit Judicial Nominating Commission.

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