Written by Miami Today on April 19, 2012
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OVERLOAD TO COURT: The Florida Supreme Court announced Monday it will hear arguments June 7 in a dispute about whether the Miami-Dade County public defender’s office can refuse to represent some clients because of excessive caseloads. It will consider the public defender’s appeal of rulings by the 3rd District Court of Appeal in two cases. Attorneys for the public defender argue, in part, that conflicts of interest can arise when caseloads are too high because taking on more clients could affect the representation others get. But the attorney general’s office contends the appeals-court rulings should be upheld and that the public defender hasn’t shown that clients have been harmed. It said in a brief there is no evidence that clients have received ineffective representation or that the Florida Bar has disciplined attorneys because of caseload-related issues.
CHARTER CHANGES: The Miami-Dade Charter Review Task Force is holding its first meeting at 10 a.m. April 19 in the county’s Main Library’s Auditorium, 101 W Flagler St. Items to be discussed include selection of a chair, establishing a meeting calendar, an overview and briefing of Florida’s Sunshine Law and taskforce members’ proposed areas of study. The taskforce consists of 20 members, 13 appointed by commissioners, one by the county mayor, four by each of the four largest cities and two by the Miami-Dade League of Cities.
GUSMAN RESIDENCES: Miami commissioners deferred until their April 26 meeting a resolution accepting the transfer and management of residential and commercial property leased to Olympia Building Partners Ltd. in full settlement of all claims in the lawsuit between the city and the organization. Litigation between the parties came about after the city sued Olympia Building Partners for back rent on 80 affordable-housing units that sit atop the Gusman Center for the Performing Arts. The organization manages the apartments in the city-owned building.
GOING GREEN: Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez and Commissioner Rebeca Sosa are kicking-off the county’s Green Business Certification and Commercial Rebate program Friday at La Loggia Ristorante, 68 W Flagler St., at 10:30 a.m. With $1 million in federal funds available through the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program, $10,000 in rebates is available to local businesses to buy Energy Star appliances. La Loggia is to receive the county’s first certification. Details: http://green.miamidade.gov.