first_img February 6, 2021 Find out more News EgyptMiddle East – North Africa Al Jazeera journalist Mahmoud Hussein back home after four years in prison Help by sharing this information The Internet was not censored under President Hosni Mubarak, but his regime kept a sharp eye on the most critical bloggers and regularly arrested them. At the height of the uprising against the dictatorship, in late January 2011, the authorities first filtered pictures of the repression and then cut off Internet access entirely in a bid to stop the revolt spreading. Journalists were also beaten. Mubarak’s fall is a chance to entrench greater freedom of expression, especially online. Landmark release, prosecutions and arrests under Mubarak’s ruleRelease of Kareem AmerBlogger Kareem Amer was freed on 15 November 2010, ten days after expiry of his three-year term after more than four years in prison.# He had been sentenced on 22 February 2007 for supposedly inciting hatred of Islam and insulting President Mubarak. On his blog he criticised the government’s religious and authoritarian abuses and he was arrested a first time in 2005. He also often wrote about discrimination against women and criticised the Sunni Al-Azhar University where he had studied law. Many support groups were set up around the world, encouraged by the Free Kareem Coalition, to demand his release. Reporters Without Borders awarded him its Cyber-freedom Prize in December 2007. Prosecution of bloggers and human rights activistsBloggers and human rights campaigners have been hounded and prosecuted in recent months but the cases were dropped. They included Gamal Eid, head of the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI), Ahmed Seif El Islam Hamad, founder of the Hisham Mubarak Law Centre (HMLC), and bloggers Amr Gharbeia and Wael Abbas.A netizen too inquisitive about military mattersNetizen Ahmed Hassan Basiouny was sentenced to six months in prison by a military court on 29 November 2010 for putting secret defence documents and information about the army online. He had created a Facebook page in 2009 called “Enrolment and recruitment in Egypt and answers to questions from young candidates,” which provided information and advice about how to join the army. Basiouny was not involved in any subversive or harmful activity and in fact encouraged people to join up. His conviction showed how far the army was an off-limits topic, whether comment was favourable or critical.Khaled Said, victim and symbol of impunityKhaled Mohammed Said, a 28-year-old human rights activist, was murdered in Alexandria on 6 June 2010. He was beaten to death in the street after being arrested in a cybercafé by two plainclothes policemen, according to the café’s owner. Local human rights organisations said he has posted online a video about police corruption. The authorities claimed he died of a drug overdose. Two policemen, Mahmud Salah Amin and Awad Ismail Suleiman, were arrested and put on trial for killing him, but they escaped from prison in January 2011. The trial was due to resume on 6 March.Said became a symbol and several thousand people demonstrated for police to be punished for all brutality and violence. The protest was very strong online because of the problems of demonstrating in the street. Wael Ghonim, Google’s marketing director for the Middle East and North Africa, who was prominent in anti-government protests in February, admitted he ran a Facebook group called “We Are All Khaled Said,” which has nearly 100,000 members.Some saw the protests about Said as precursors of the Egyptian uprising.Bloggers fight censorship over electoral fraudCensorship was increased during the December 2010 parliamentary elections in a bid to conceal the fraud involved. Some websites were blocked for hours at a time, including that of the Muslim Brotherhood (Ikhwan Online) and its online forum Al-Moltaqa. Seven other sites were intermittently disrupted over 24 hours:,,,,, and authorities, mainly the Information and Decision Support Center (IDSC), which reports to the cabinet, was in charge of this censorship, working with Internet service providers TEDATA, ETISALAT and LINK DSL.Bloggers were very active during the election, organising networks to gather and put out news. They went to polling stations to watch the voting and take photos and videos. Some who saw fraud were pestered by police and sometimes briefly detained. The Internet and bloggers in the revolutionary fervourThreats, filtering, and cutting off the InternetWhen Egyptians took to the streets on 25 and 26 January 2011, inspired by the Tunisian revolution, the authorities did their best to keep the media away to prevent them taking and distributing pictures. They disrupted mobile phone networks at demonstration sites in Cairo on the first day.Twitter was blocked at the same day, along with the video-streaming site The hashtag #jan25 (named after the protests) was very active. Facebook has for several years been widely used by Egyptian dissidents and civil society to put out news and mobilise people, especially around the 6 April protest movement. Access to Facebook was blocked intermittently on 26 January, according to ISPs.Slower connections were also reported, especially to online newspaper sites Al-Badil, Al-Dustour, Al-Masry Al-Youm, Al-Badil and Al-Dustour, which were later blocked. The Al-Masry Al-Youm site was seriously disrupted and was down all of the afternoon of 25 January. These online media outlets played a key part in reporting the events in Tahrir Square. The bloggers and the demonstrators who became citizen-journalists were very important in covering the protests. They tweeted from Tahrir Square, posted videos on YouTube, and linked up to the site to report on the situation, including the brutalities of regime supporters who came to the square.The government, feeling overwhelmed, cut off all Internet access and mobile phone service late on 27 January, with only the small ISP Nour able to continue for a while longer.But netizens found many ways round the blockage to get the news out. Foreign ISPs offered them modem connections, since fixed phone lines were still working. French ISP French Data Networks gave out a phone number (+33 1 7289-0150) available through a user-name and the password “toto.” Sweden’s Telecomix offered another number (+46 85 000 999 0) and the password “telecomix.”Google and Twitter joined the battle against censorship by setting up a system of voice tweets. Netizens could call foreign numbers +1 650 419-4196 or +39 0662-207294 or +97 316 199-855 and leave messages that were instantly posted on Twitter followed by the hashtag #egypt.Internet access was restored on 2 February after being down for five days. The OECD put the country’s economic losses resulting from the cut-off at $90m.At least 75 journalists have been physically attacked and 81 imprisoned since 2 February, according to Reporters Without Borders. Blogger Asma Mahfouz, who urged Egyptians to take to the streets on 25 January, told BBC TV on 5 February that she got many phone calls from Mubarak supporters threatening to kill her and her family. Blogger Kareem Amer was arrested on 7 February on his way home from a demonstration and was not released until three days later.New disruptions of mobile phone networks and Internet access from Tahrir Square occurred on 7 February 2011.After the revolution, freedom of expression?Egypt is preparing for constitutional reforms but the future of the revolution seems uncertain, with tension between the army and the protesters who forced Mubarak out. New clashes occurred in Tahrir Square on 25 February. The army apologised afterwards to the demonstrators, calling them “sons of the revolution” on its Facebook page, perhaps a sign that times have changed.The heavy filtering at the height of the revolution has reportedly ended.The Internet in Egypt is in full expansion and people who had never taken part in politics are joining online discussions about the country’s future and various causes. They are no longer afraid to speak up.But some bloggers are still worried about continued action by state security police against former regime opponents and dissidents.The government and the army must improve online freedom of expression and openly dismantle the Mubarak regime’s online spying apparatus and surveillance system. The Egyptian revolution has just begun and bloggers, the standard-bearers of free expression, remain alert. to go further Organisation News News EgyptMiddle East – North Africa News Follow the news on Egypt February 1, 2021 Find out more Detained woman journalist pressured by interrogator, harassed by prison staff Less press freedom than ever in Egypt, 10 years after revolution March 11, 2011 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Egypt January 22, 2021 Find out more Receive email alerts RSF_en last_img read more

March 15, 2003 Notices

first_imgMarch 15, 2003 Notices Lawyer applicants are being sought to fill two vacancies on the Florida Board of Bar Examiners. The Board of Governors will be selecting six nominees for two lawyer vacancies at its May 30 meeting. The nominations will then be forwarded to the Supreme Court to fill the five-year terms commencing November 1 and expiring on October 31, 2008.Attorney members must have been a member of The Florida Bar for at least five years. They must be practicing lawyers with scholarly attainments and have an affirmative interest in legal education and requirements for admission to the Bar. Appointment or election to the bench at any level of the court system will disqualify any applicant. Law professors or trustees are ineligible.Board members of the Bar Examiners must be able to attend approximately 10 meetings a year in various Florida locations. Members work 300 or more hours per year on board business depending on committee assignments. Actual travel expenses connected with the meetings and examinations are reimbursed.Completed applications must be received no later than the close of business Friday, April 11, 2003. Resumes will not be accepted in lieu of the required application. The Board of Governors will review all applications and may request telephone or personal interviews.Compensation Claims JNC needs members The Statewide Nominating Commission for Judges of Compensation Claims is now accepting applications for a judge of compensation claims in District C (Jacksonville), created by the resignation of Judge Wilbur W. Anderson.Qualified applicants must submit the original completed application, one copy to the chair, and one additional copy to each commission member by 5 p.m., April 15.Applications and the list of commission members may be obtained from G. Bart Billbrough, commission chair, 2600 Douglas Road, Suite 902, Coral Gables 33134, telephone (305) 442-2701, fax (305) 442-2801.Bar seeks JNC commissioners T he Board of Governors is seeking applicants for the following vacancies for nominations to be submitted to Gov. Bush on or before June 3: Judicial Nominating Commissions: One lawyer vacancy for each of the 26 JNCs. The Florida Bar must nominate three lawyers for each vacancy to the governor for his appointment. Each appointee will serve a four-year term, commencing July 1. Applicants must be engaged in the practice of law and a resident of the territorial jurisdiction served by the commission to which the member is applying. Applicants must comply with state financial disclosure laws. Commissioners are not eligible for state judicial office for vacancies filled by the JNC on which they sit for two years following completion of their four-year term.Applications must be completed for each vacancy applied for and must be received by mail or fax, (850) 561-5826, no later than 5:30 p.m., Friday, March 21, to the executive director’s office of The Florida Bar. Resumes will not be accepted in lieu of an application. Screening committees of the Board of Governors will review all JNC applications. The committee will then make recommendations to the Board of Governors.Persons interested in applying for any of these vacancies may download the proper application form (there is a specific JNC application) from the Bar’s Web site,, or should call Bar headquarters at (850) 561-5600, ext. 6627, to obtain the application. Completed applications must be received by John F. Harkness, Jr., Executive Director, The Florida Bar, 651 E. Jefferson Street, Tallahassee 32399-2300, by the March 21 deadline.Ninth JNC to fill circuit vacancy Raquel A. Rodriguez The Govenor’s General CounselGov. Jeb Bush is seeking a few good men and women to help him select judges for our state’s courts.There are a total of 26 state judicial nominating commissions: a statewide Supreme Court JNC, five district court of appeal JNCs, and 20 circuit court JNCs. There also is a statewide nominating committee for judges of compensation claims.Judicial nominating commissions play a vital role in our state judicial system. In recommending judicial nominees, the men and women who comprise these JNCs help the governor discharge his constitutional obligation to fill vacancies arising in the trial courts and to appoint judges of the Supreme Court, the district courts of appeal, and the court of compensation claims.On June 30, the terms of three of the members of each of the 26 JNCs will expire. The Florida Bar will have the opportunity to recommend nominees to Gov. Bush to fill one of the rotating vacancies on each JNC. In addition, the governor will appoint two other persons for the remaining vacancies. Each nominee will serve a four-year term, commencing July 1. There also will be vacancies on the statewide nominating commission for judges of compensation claims.Since taking office in 1999, Gov. Bush has appointed 210 judges. Of these judges, 61 are women; 24 are African-American; and 24 are Hispanic. The governor also has sought geographic diversity in his appointments. It is fitting that Florida has a diverse judiciary, given the diversity of our state’s population.Crucial to a diverse judiciary is having diverse nominating commissions throughout every circuit and district of our state. Bringing a variety of perspectives from the legal profession and the public helps our JNCs appreciate the many different qualities that go into being a good judge.Gov. Bush looks for judicial nominees who not only have excellent credentials and integrity but who also understand the role of the judge and bring the panoply of life’s experiences to the bench. His task is not an easy one. It is difficult to make such decisions based only on a written application and a brief interview. While calls and letters from community leaders, peers, and others provide valuable insight, reliance on them is not the same as having first-hand knowledge of the nominee and the local bench and bar. This is where the importance of the JNCs comes in.Members of the JNCs often will know the judicial applicants personally. If they don’t, they probably know someone who does. They also are in the best position to evaluate which are the most important of the many characteristics of a good judge needed in their communities. This intimate familiarity with both the applicant pool and the local community is indispensable. However, unless the JNC represents a cross-section of the entire community, the JNC cannot hope to bring the full breadth of such knowledge into its deliberations.In order to ensure that the JNCs are bringing him the benefit of this knowledge, Gov. Bush has sought to appoint a diverse group of people to the JNCs. This has been easier in some circuits and districts than in others. Consequently, the governor is increasing his outreach efforts to urge members of the Bar who represent the rich diversity of Florida to apply for the upcoming vacancies. As part of this outreach effort, the governor has contacted the local bars and the specialty bars throughout the state to seek their help in expanding the pool of applicants for the JNCs.Preserving a strong, committed, and independent judiciary is our mutual responsibility. reaching out to Florida’s entire legal community, Gov. Bush seeks to share this responsibility more broadly. How to apply for a JNC vacancyAll appointees must reside in the territorial jurisdiction served by the JNC on which the appointee will serve and comply with state financial disclosure laws.During their term in office and for two years thereafter, appointees are not eligible for appointment to any state judicial office for which the JNC has authority to make nominations.The Florida Bar’s application deadline is 5:30 p.m., Friday, March 21. Completed applications must be received by John F. Harkness, Jr., Executive Director, The Florida Bar, 650 Apalachee Parkway, Tallahassee 32399-2300 or by fax at (850) 561-5600. The application can be downloaded from for direct appointment by the governor should be faxed or mailed to: Jason Rodriguez, The Governor’s Appointments Office, The Capitol, Tallahassee 32399-0001; fax (850) 488-2183. Instructions and application forms can be obtained from or by writing or calling Jason Rodriguez, Governor’s Appointments Office, The Capitol, Tallahassee 32399-0001; (850) 488-2182.For further information, e-mail [email protected] examiners openings available Three attorneys are being sought from the territorial jurisdiction of the First, Third, and Fifth state appellate districts to serve four-year terms on the Statewide Nominating Commission for Compensation Claims Judges, commencing July 1.All applicants must be members of the Bar who are engaged in the practice of law. No attorney who appears before any judge of compensation claims more than four times a year is eligible to serve on the commission, pursuant to Section 440.45(2)(b), F.S. Commissioners are also not eligible for state judicial vacancies filled by the JNC on which they sit for two years following the expiration of their term. Commissioners are subject to Florida financial disclosure laws. Meetings and deliberations are open to the public.Persons interested in applying for these vacancies may download the application from the Bar’s Web site,, or should contact The Florida Bar at (850) 561-5600, ext. 6802, to obtain the proper application form. Applications may also be obtained by writing Executive Director John F. Harkness, Jr., The Florida Bar, 651 E. Jefferson Street, Tallahassee, 32399-2300.Completed applications must be received no later than the close of business Friday, April 11, 2003. Resumes will not be accepted in lieu of the required application. The Board of Governors will review all applications and may request telephone or personal interviews.Kirkpatrick seeks Bar reinstatement The Board of Governors of The Florida Bar hereby publishes this corrected notice of selected items to be included in its filing of various changes to the Rules Regulating The Florida Bar, favorably recommended by the Board since May 2001 but held for consolidated submission to the Supreme Court on or about April 1.The corrected proposals are extracted and printed below, with further explanation for this additional publication which addresses errors in the original notice appearing in the March 1 News issue. Where necessary, this corrective action was formally ratified by the Bar’s executive committee on March 3, and will still be subject to final court acceptance.A copy of the Bar’s final petition may be requested by contacting the Office of the General Counsel, The Florida Bar, 651 E. Jefferson Street, Tallahassee 32399-2300 or calling (850) 561-5600, ext. 5751.Members who desire to comment on any of the proposed amendments may do so within 30 days of the filing of the Bar’s petition. Comments should be filed directly with the clerk of the Supreme Court of Florida, and a copy must be served on the executive director of The Florida Bar.Rule 1-21.1, Rules Regulating The Florida Bar, governs these proceedings. CHAPTER 4 RULES OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT4-1 CLIENT LAWYER RELATIONSHIP*** RULE 4-1.5 FEES AND COSTS FOR LEGAL SERVICES*** (b) Factors to Be Considered in Determining Reasonable Fee and Costs .*** All costs are subject to the test of reasonableness set forth in subdivision (a) above.*** The previously published notice omitted the proposed amendment to 4-1.5(b), as approved by the Board. CHAPTER 10 STANDING COMMITTEE10-4 CIRCUIT COMMITTEES RULE 10-4.1 GENERALLY (a) Appointment and Terms.***Continuous service of a member shall not exceed 3 years 2 consecutive 3-year terms. A member shall not be reappointed for a period of 3 1 year s after the end of the member’s third second term provided, however, the expiration of the term of any member shall not disqualify that member from concluding any investigations pending before that member.*** In rule 10-4.1(a), the previously published notice did not reflect the strikethrough of “third” or the insertion of “second,” as approved by the Board.10-5 COMPLAINT PROCESSING AND INITIAL INVESTIGATORY PROCEDURES*** RULE 10-5.2 DISQUALIFICATION AS ATTORNEY FOR RESPONDENT DUE TO CONFLICT*** (c) Partners, Associates, Employers, or Employees of the Firms of Standing Committee Members, Circuit Committee Members, or Board of Governors Members Precluded From Representing Parties Other Than The Florida Bar. Members of the firms of a board of governors member, standing committee member, or circuit committee member shall not represent any party other than The Florida Bar in UPL proceedings authorized under these rules without the express consent of the board.*** In proposed rule 10-5.2(c), this revised version now includes the addition of the word “committee” between “standing” and “member” that did not appear in the first notice, although it is reflected in all other suggested edits throughout. CHAPTER 14. GRIEVANCE MEDIATION AND FEE ARBITRATION RULE*** RULE 14-1.2 JURISDICTION*** (b) Pending Civil Action. Circuit arbitration committees The program shall not have jurisdiction to resolve disputes involving matters in which a court has taken jurisdiction to determine and award a reasonable fee to a party or that involve fees charged that constitute a violation of the Rules Regulating The Florida Bar, unless specifically referred to the circuit arbitration committee program by the court or by bar counsel , respectively. ***14-2. STANDING COMMITTEE RULE 14-2.1 GENERALLY*** (b) Terms. All members shall be appointed for 3-year terms, each term commencing on July 1 of the year of appointment and ending on June 30 of the third year thereafter. Terms shall be staggered so that one-third of the members of the committee shall be appointed each year. No committee member may serve for more than 2 consecutive full terms.*** With regard to rules 14-1.1 & 14-1.2, the revised legislative formatting of the title entries more accurately reflects that proposed rule 14-1.1 is new matter, and that proposed rule 14-1.2 is derived from current rule 14-1.1. As to proposed rule 14-1.2 (b), this revised version now includes the strikethrough of the words “circuit arbitration committee” that did not appear in the first notice, although it is reflected in all other suggested edits throughout. In rule 14-2.1(b), the original proposal and notice did not correctly reflect amendments intended to effect the appointment of one-third of the committee membership each year, as now shown. CHAPTER 17 AUTHORIZED HOUSE COUNSELSUBCHAPTER 17-1 GENERALLY*** RULE 17-1.4 REGISTRATION a) Filing with The Florida Bar. The following shall be filed with The Florida Bar by an individual seeking to be certified as authorized house counsel:(1) A certificate from an entity governing the practice of law of a each state, territory, or the District of Columbia in which the registrant is licensed to practice law certifying that the registrant:(A) [no change](B) [no change](2) a sworn statement by the registrant that the registrant:(A) [no change](B) submits to the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of Florida for disciplinary purposes, as defined in chapter 3 of the Rules Regulating The Florida Bar and rule 17-1. 7 6 herein,*** The previously published notice omitted these proposed amendments to rule 17-1.4(a), as approved by the Board. Applications are being sought to fill a Ninth Judicial Circuit vacancy, created by the retirement of Judge Dorothy J. Russell effective May 31.Applicants must have been a member of The Florida Bar for the preceding five years, must be a registered voter, and reside in Orange or Osceola counties.Applications may be obtained from Donald R. Henderson, JNC Chair, Mateer & Harbert, P.A., 225 East Robinson Street, Suite 600, Orlando 32802, phone (407) 425-9044. Applications may also be obtained from The Florida Bar Web site at original and nine copies of the completed application, with attached photograph for each copy, must be received by Henderson no later than 5 p.m., March 28.Board to make May appointmentscenter_img The Board of Governors is seeking applicants for the following vacancies to be filled during its May 30 meeting in Key West: ABA House of Delegates: Three lawyers to serve two-year terms commencing August 12, at the conclusion of the ABA Annual Meeting in San Francisco. Applicants must be ABA members. Florida Legal Services, Inc. Board of Directors: Six lawyers to serve two-year terms commencing July 1. This is a 21-member board composed of seven members from client groups and 14 lawyers, 11 of which are appointed by The Florida Bar Board of Governors. Florida Lawyers Assistance, Inc. Board of Directors: Five lawyers to serve three-year terms commencing July 1. The purpose of this 15-member Board of Directors is to assist the legal community in securing counseling and treatment for emotional and chemical dependency problems for lawyers. Florida Patients Compensation Fund: One attorney to serve a four-year term commencing July 1 and expiring on June 30. The purpose of the board is to supervise the operations of the FPCF which provides excess medical malpractice coverage for health care providers.Persons interested in applying for any of these vacancies may download the Application for Special Appointment from the Bar’s Web site,, or should call Bar headquarters at (850) 561-5600, ext. 6802, to obtain the application form.Completed applications must be received by John F. Harkness, Jr., Executive Director, The Florida Bar, 651 E. Jefferson Street, Tallahassee 32399-2300 no later than 5:30 p.m., Friday, April 25.Resumes will not be accepted in lieu of the required applicati on.Corrected notice: Annual Bar rules proposals Pursuant to Bar Rule 3-7.10, John Evron Kirkpatrick has petitioned the Florida Supreme Court for Bar reinstatement.Kirkpatrick was the subject of two disciplinary suspensions. The first suspension was a 91-day suspension for violation of trust account regulations. The suspension was effective on April 25, 1999. The second suspension was a 180-day suspension for violation of Rules 4-8(c)(d), 4-4.1 and 4-3.3, arising out of Kirkpatrick’s conduct in the resolution of a civil lawsuit in Tampa. The suspension was effective on August 30, 2001.Any persons having knowledge bearing upon Kirkpatrick’s fitness or qualifications to resume the practice of law should contact Randi Klayman Lazarus, Bar Counsel, Suite M-100, 444 Brickell Avenue, Miami 33131, telephone (305) 377-4445.Vazquez seeks Bar reinstatement March 15, 2003 Regular News Pursuant to Rule 3-7.10, Alejandro Jose Vazquez III has petitioned the Florida Supreme Court for Bar reinstatement. Vazquez was the subject of two disciplinary suspensions. The first suspension was a felony suspension for his conviction for bribery. The suspension was effective on May 14, 2000. The second suspension was a three-year suspension for violation of Rules 3-4.3, 3-4.4, 4-8.4(b), 4-8.4(c), 4-8.4 (d) and 4-8.4(e), concerning Vazquez’ failure to promptly provide an adequate and accurate explanation of the circumstances surrounding an overdraft in his trust account, as well as the felony conduct which was the subject of the felony suspension. The suspension was effective on March 31, 2000. Any persons having knowledge bearing upon Vazquez’ fitness or qualifications to resume the practice of law should contact Randi Klayman Lazarus, Bar Counsel, The Florida Bar, Suite M-100, 444 Brickell Avenue, Miami 33131, telephone (305) 377-4445.Jacksonville workers’ comp judge needed Governor seeks JNC applicantslast_img read more

Flags fly at half mast for Richard Ervin

first_imgFlags fly at half mast for Richard Ervin September 15, 2004 Jan Pudlow Associate Editor Regular News Flags fly at half mast for Richard Ervin Associate Editor Described as “Florida’s legal visionary” and “a genuine American hero”—ushering Florida through peaceful school desegregation as attorney general and serving as a Supreme Court justice courageously ahead of his time—Richard W. Ervin, Jr., died August 24.He was 99.Five years ago, Ervin still sat behind his desk at his brother’s law firm in downtown Tallahassee, coming to the office each morning to keep up with changing laws and contribute legal research to appellate briefs.Nearby, rested a five-volume set of his opinions that numbered more than 600, including 220 dissents—testament to 11 productive years on the bench from 1964 to 1975.During an interview with the Bar News in 1999, Ervin talked about a career trying to exercise his conscience within the bounds of the law.“I really believe, when you get down to it, that you try to do the right thing. Don’t cut any corners. Don’t be unethical. Be careful. And treat people right. I don’t care who they are, treat them right: high or low or black or white, treat them right. Be good to them. And that will usually help you in the long run,” he said.Chief Justice Barbara Pariente said this simple decency was the central thread running through his career as attorney general and justice.“Justice Ervin was Florida’s legal visionary,” Pariente said. “He leaves a legacy that is with us to this day and for all the future.”As Gov. LeRoy Collins once described Ervin: “He is a man with a deep sense of love for his fellow man, especially the one who, for whatever reason, has become a societal underdog. He is democratic to the core. Nothing in this man’s thinking or beliefs has even the slightest tinge of elitism.”That philosophy served Ervin well during the Civil Rights movement, when it fell to him to help carry out a peaceful desegregation of schools after the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision, managing to keep Florida’s schools open and avoiding the violence in other Southern states.Justice Harry Lee Anstead so admired Ervin that he asked him to swear him in as chief justice in a July 2002 ceremony.At 97, the most senior former Chief Justice Ervin was helped from a wheelchair to the podium, and stood steadily in his robes to administer the oath of office.First, Anstead prompted a standing ovation when he paused to recognize Ervin as “one of the greatest justices who ever served the state of Florida.”In characteristic self-effacing style, Ervin thanked Anstead for the kind words and said with a grin, “I wish I deserved it.”The day after Ervin’s death, Anstead said: “He was a harbinger of the Florida we see today, where diversity is much more often embraced than resisted. For him to do what he did when he did it was an act of courage and a demonstration of true leadership—the kind that sees what the future must be and helps reshape an antagonistic public opinion. He was a genuine American hero.”Ervin was born in Carrabelle on the Panhandle coast, the son of a farmer, country store proprietor, and roving high-school principal who taught him to love the written word by “feeding him Shakespeare,” to study hard, and to “Hit the road and make a dollar!” In a family of seven children, Ervin became the patriarch of the family after their father died.He began his career as a public servant at age 16, as an engrossing clerk in the Florida House of Representatives. After receiving his law degree from the University of Florida in 1928, he served as a lawyer in many capacities, including general counsel with the state road department and with the Florida Public Service Commission, helping create the Florida Highway Patrol and wayside parks in the ’40s.His brother, Bob Ervin, founding partner of Ervin, Varn, Jacobs, Odom and Ervin and former Florida Bar president, agreed to be his big brother’s campaign manager, in the race for attorney general, which he won in 1948.A deeply spiritual man, Justice Ervin said in 1999 that it was the Bible that helped guide him through many difficult cases, including his death penalty dissents.“Despite the terrible, horrible crimes that are committed resulting in homicide, it just seems to me that we’d be better off as a society not to have the death penalty,” he said.Ervin said he is against the death penalty, “unfortunatly.” Why?“Because it goes against the stream,” he answered. “You get a hard reaction from some people. Some people think the death penalty is a deterrent, a good thing, and if we didn’t have it, homicides would be greater. They feel like the only justice is an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. Though the Bible says different on that. Christ said differently. It’s in the Scriptures: ‘Love your enemies.’”Justice Ervin added: “And I had the benefit of a great lawyer here in the state of Florida: Toby Simon. Toby used to argue death penalty cases before the court, and he brought statistics of how it was meted improperly on blacks and minorities and so forth.”In another dissent, vindication would come 26 years later for Ervin. In 1967, he was the lone dissenter in Bencomo v. Bencomo, in which the majority ruled that a woman who had been beaten by her husband during their marriage had no right to sue him. In 1993, the Florida Supreme Court agreed with Ervin and struck down the interspousal immunity from lawsuits.Ervin is survived by his wife of more than 70 years, Frances Baker Ervin, his son First District Court of Appeal Judge Richard W. Ervin III (and wife Carol Bowen Ervin), his daughter Sara Eve Ervin Ivory (and husband Dr. Peter Ivory), his brother former Bar President Robert M. Ervin, all of Tallahassee, his sister Ruth Davis of Marianna, and six grandchildren.After a funeral service August 28 at First Presbyterian Church in Tallahassee, Ervin was buried in a private family service at Culley MeadowWood Memorial Park.last_img read more