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Published: February 20th, 2012

Category: News Briefs

Pascale Bishop 
Assistant Dean of Career Development

“Law School Transparency to provide info about law schools” (Feb. 14, 2012, The Alligator)

Bishop spoke to the Alligator about when UF Law will submit information for Law School Transparency – a nonprofit organization that will provide detailed information about law school statistics.

From the article:
Pascale Bishop, assistant dean of the law school’s Center for Career Development, said UF will submit information about its 2011 graduates in late February or early March. The data for the class of 2010 was submitted in early January.

Bob Dekle
Legal Skills Professor

“No Trial in Sight in ’09 Murder Case; Progress Halted Because of Language Barrier” (Feb. 10, 2012, The Ledger)

A Guatemala native and illegal immigrant in Bartow was arrested in 2009 on murder charges, but the case hasn’t been able to move forward because the man speaks a mixture of a Mayan language and some Spanish. His limited understanding of Spanish has prevented him from communicating with his lawyers to understand how the Florida criminal justice system works.

From the article:
George “Bob” Dekle, a legal professor for the University of Florida, said Lemos’ situation calls attention to a fundamental right of all people in the criminal justice system.

“How can you put somebody through a process, and they don’t know what’s going on?” asked Dekle.

“It’s basic to any criminal justice system that the person who is being prosecuted have an understanding of what the charges are against him and what the process is whereby they’re going to be held accountable for it.”

“Inmate set to die for slaying of St. Pete woman” (Feb. 12, 2012, The Associated Press)

A Florida inmate was scheduled to be executed after spending over 30 years on death row. Dekle addressed some of the reasons why it is not uncommon for death row inmates in Florida to remain in prison for such long periods of time before execution.

From the article:
University of Florida law professor George R. “Bob” Dekle, a former prosecutor who sent notorious serial killer Ted Bundy to death row, said Florida governors have rarely been forthcoming about the reasons they select one inmate over all the others for execution.

Dekle said appellate lawyers do their best to make sure it’s not an easy choice for the governor. They file whatever they can for as long as they can to keep their cases alive in the courts. New issues based on recent court rulings and changes in the law provide new fodder for appeals all the time, he said.

“It’s guerilla warfare,” Dekle said. “As long as you can put it off, as long as you can delay, as long as you can keep the thing going in any way, shape or form possible, that’s how much time you’ve got.”

Meshon Rawls
Legal Skills Professor

“The law is a friend, not a foe, youth told at UF conference” (Feb. 11, 2012, The Gainesville Sun)

Rawls, who is also the Josiah T. Walls Bar Association president, commented on the inaugural Law and Justice Youth Conference held at UF Law. The Walls Bar Association co-sponsored the event with the UF Law chapter of the ABA Young Lawyer Division.

From the article:
UF law professor and Walls Bar Association President Meshon Rawls said Saturday’s event was a condensed version of the Street Law program, a series of classes held in neighborhoods throughout Gainesville to introduce youngsters to the legal system.

Rawls said the one-day conference also enabled more kids to participate along with more attorneys and law students, who may not be able to attend Street Law classes when they are held after school.

“We turned a six-week program of one day a week into a one-day conference,” Rawls said. “We hope to make this an annual conference.”

Jennifer Zedalis
Legal Skills Professor

“1 administrator soon will oversee 2 hospitals for mentally ill” (Feb. 14, 2012, The Gainesville Sun)

The administrator of the Northeast Florida State Hospital in Macclenny will be the head of the Macclenny facility as well as the North Florida Evaluation and Treatment Center in Gainesville when Bill Baxter retires from the Gainesville location. The Gainesville facility serves “people who are incompetent to proceed to trial or who have been judged to be not guilty by reason of insanity.” There have been concerns raised about the effectiveness of one administrator running both facilities. Zedalis commented on the issue.

From the article:
But Jennifer Zedalis, a University of Florida law professor, said that the facility she regularly tours with her students is operating on a shoestring as it is.

“A forensic facility is charged with the awesome responsibility of handling individuals who have been found incompetent to stand trial,” she said, explaining that the state is legally obligated to restrict an individual as little as possible.

“There’s not much controversy associated with the North Florida Treatment Facility because of its dedicated staff,” she said. “I’m not sure we should be lumping these two facilities together under one umbrella.”




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