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Published: April 2nd, 2012

Category: News

Bob Dekle
Legal Skills Professor

“‘Stand Your Ground’ Under Microscope” (March 21, 2012, WCJB TV-20),

Dekle, along with several UF Law students, contributed to this segment from TV-20 News. Dekle said Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law would be better described as the “get away with murder law,” and that it adds unnecessary layers of litigation and hoops to jump through in order to prosecute somebody.

“Legal experts weigh in on soundness of Lindsey defense strategy” (March 22, 2012, Tampa Bay Times)

The lawyer representing a teenager who shot a St. Petersburg police officer is saying the teenager, Nicholas Lindsey, did in fact kill the office – he just didn’t mean to do it. The defense is focusing on the issue of intent to possibly reduce the teenager’s sentence from life to several decades. Dekle weighed in on the strategy.

From the article:
“It ain’t the only possible strategy,” said University of Florida law professor Bob Dekle. “But it sounds like the only viable strategy.”

“Appeal court ruling in Collier case frees man accused of operating a grow house” (March 25, 2012, Naples Daily News)

Dekle reinforced an appeals court decision, which ruled that although a man who was accused of operating a grow house allowed police into his backyard to speak with him, he didn’t consent for them to further search his yard, which eventually led to the discovery of a grow house.

From the article:
George R. Dekle Jr., professor at the University of Florida Levin College of Law, agreed search and seizure issues are “heavily driven” by the facts of each case.

“The officers had consent to come onto the property to speak with the defendant,” Dekle said. “When they left his presence and started roaming around the property, they obviously weren’t talking to the defendant and had no right to be where they were when they smelled the marijuana.”

Michelle Jacobs
Professor of Law

“Students react to the death of Trayvon Martin” (March 22, 2012, The Alligator)

Jacobs weighed in on the Trayvon Martin shooting in this article that also addresses some student reactions to the 17-year-old’s death.

From the article:
UF law professor Michelle Jacobs said she’s not surprised Zimmerman hasn’t been charged.

“When a black person gets killed in questionable circumstances by a white person, no one should be surprised that law enforcement was slow to launch an investigation,” she said.

“Inside the Trayvon Martin Tragedy” (March 28, 2012, Legal Talk Network)

Jacobs, along with University of Missouri-Kansas City Criminal Justice Department Chair Kenneth Novak, participated in an in-depth discussion on this podcast about issues surrounding the Trayvon Martin shooting, including Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law, neighborhood watches and racial profiling.

Lyrissa Lidsky
Stephen C. O’Connell Chair & Professor of Law

“Facebook advises users not to give out passwords to prying employers” (March 28, 2012, The Alligator)

Lidsky addressed the legality of potential employers asking job candidates for the their Facebook login information, following a warning from Facebook about the growing trend.

From the article:
It is legal to ask for Facebook login information, said Lyrissa Lidsky, professor at Levin College of Law.

She said giving the information isn’t the best idea, though.

“The consent is economic coercion, in a sense,” Lidsky said.

It is tough to say no to an interviewer, she said, especially in a tough economy.

“A lot of things we consent to we consent to because of social pressures,” she said.

Joseph Little
Professor Emeritus

“Collier commission aides amassed two months worth of overtime in 2011” (March 25, 2012, Naples Daily News)

This article looks into Collier County employees who have worked over 40 hours a week and are opting to take comp time rather than the mandated time-and-a-half overtime pay.

From the article:
Joseph Little, a law professor at the University of Florida in Gainesville, said the state follows the federal Fair Labor Standards Act for county employees.

“Ordinarily, it requires time and one-half for overtime,” he wrote in an email. “It does permit compensatory time for employees of state public agencies.”

Jon Mills
Dean Emeritus; Director, Center for Governmental Responsibility

“Legal questions raised over new practice by employers seeking Facebook access of applicants” (March 23, 2012, WUFT 89.1 FM)

WUFT spoke with Mills in this radio interview about it is increasingly more common for employers to ask for potential employees’ Facebook login information so they can see the applicant’s personal Facebook account. Mills said it is important for individuals to be aware of how much personal information they put online, and said although it is legal in the U.S. it is not allowed in some other countries.

Kenneth Nunn 
Professor of Law

“Racism Is the Problem Here” (March 21, 2012, The New York Times)

Nunn contributed an editorial piece as part of New York Times’ “Room for Debate” column, which was comprised of arguments from experts in various disciplines exploring different angles of the Trayvon Martin shooting case.

From the article: Stand Your Ground statutes may be problematic for a number of reasons. But if we really want to save lives and prevent future miscarriages of justice, we will have to confront the reality of race.

Leonard Riskin
Chesterfield Smith Professor of Law

Riskin gave a presentation for students, faculty and alumni of at UCLA School of Law entitled “The ‘Negotiation’ Within: Connecting and Managing Inner and Outer Conflict” in March.

Last semester, he conducted a workshop on “Mindfulness and Conflict for the Chicago Center for Conflict Resolution.”

Katheryn Russell-Brown
Chesterfield Smith Professor of Law; Director, Center for the Study of Race and Race Relations

“Outrage unites people of all colors, but divide still exists” (March 24, 2012, Orlando Sentinel)

In this article that examines some of the racial issues tied into the Trayvon Martin case, Russell-Brown discussed how people relate to crime victims through race.

From the article:
Katheryn Russell-Brown, director of the University of Florida’s Center for the Study of Race and Race Relations, said it’s natural for people to view crime through the lens of their own race and identify with victims who look most like them.

Whites might not understand the depth of the black community’s outrage over Trayvon Martin’s death any more than blacks understood the national obsession with Natalee Holloway or the disappearance of Jennifer Kesse, or the time, money and attention devoted to the Casey Anthony case.

“It’s who you see as a family member, who you could step into their shoes and it could be you,” Russell-Brown said.

Michael Seigel
University of Florida Research Foundation Professor of Law; Director, Criminal Justice Center

“UF Professor Breaks Down ‘Stand Your Ground’ Law” (March 21, 2012, GTN News),

In this television interview, Seigel explains Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law and the ideas behind the law when it was established in 2005. Seigel said the logic behind the law was shaky from the beginning and people didn’t realize how powerful the law could be.

“‘Stand Your Ground Law’ at center of Fla. Shooting” (March 22, 2012, Associated Press)

Seigel commented on the Trayvon Martin shooting, saying that the Sanford police should have done more thorough investigation into the events before deciding not to bring charges to shooter George Zimmerman.

From the article:
“The law has definitely shifted and given a signal to law enforcement to be more careful,” he said. “But in a case where the self-defense claim is weak, you would think they would do their job.”

“Federal Prosecutors Won’t Retry Polk Bribery Case” (March 25, 2012, The Ledger)

A bribery case will not be pursued again by federal prosecutors after the case fell apart because of a wording error in the grand jury’s indictment. The indictment references “Polk County” but should have referenced the “Polk County School Board,” as employing a man accused of accepting bribes from a construction company.

From the article:
Seigel described the indictment’s wording as “a serious oversight” and a “major catastrophe” for federal prosecutors.

“There is no way to really sugarcoat it,” Seigel said. “It’s a major error on behalf of the prosecution. They did not do their homework.”

The indictment’s poor wording wasn’t a small error and touches on an important constitutional right, he said.

The Fifth Amendment includes the right that defendants know clearly and specifically what allegations they are facing, he said.




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