Dickinson & Gibbons, P.A. appellate and civil trial attorney Jesse R. Butler was honored by Legal Aid of Manasota for his efforts in 2017 in providing pro bono legal services to clients in financial need. A ceremony took place on April 20, 2018 at the Sarasota County Courthouse, which honored the many Sarasota County Bar Association members who provided free legal services to clients that qualified for pro bono legal assistance based on their need and financial hardship. Mr. Butler primarily provided pro bono assistance through the Guardian Ad Litem’s Defending Best Interests project, through which he advocated on behalf of abused and neglected children in termination of parental rights and dependency appeals.
Dickinson & Gibbons is in the news again for successfully settling a legal malpractice case in favor of their client, the City of St. Pete Beach. The Tampa Bay Times previously reported when Dickinson & Gibbons was originally hired by the City of St. Pete Beach. The City hired Dickinson & Gibbons to bring a legal malpractice lawsuit against the City’s former attorneys, Bryant Miller & Olive, P.A. Tampa Bay Times: “St. Pete Beach to sue its former lawyers over fees”
The City was represented by Dickinson & Gibbons attorneys Jim Rolfes and Jesse Butler. The legal malpractice case stemmed from advice given to the City by its former attorneys, Bryant Miller & Olive, P.A., regarding Florida’s Sunshine laws. The claim filed by D&G alleged that the former lawyers provided negligent advice to the City, arising to the level of legal malpractice, which resulted in the City unknowingly violating Florida’s Public Record laws. The suit filed against Bryant Miller & Olive, P.A., sought the recovery of legal fees paid by the City. The case was settled after over a year of litigation. The settlement requires the former law firm to pay the City $567,000.00, in order to mutually settle all claims. The City Commission unanimously approved the settlement. News of the successful settlement was reported by the Tampa Bay Times on December 21, 2017.
Jim Rolfes is the managing partner of Dickinson & Gibbons, P.A. He is a Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer, and leads the firm’s legal malpractice team. Jesse Butler is a senior associate at the firm and practices in the areas of civil appeals and civil litigation, including professional negligence and legal malpractice claims.
Dickinson & Gibbons is proud to sponsor Children First’s 5th Annual “Rockin’ Lobster” Event Saturday, November 4, 2017. Attendees will watch the sun set over the Gulf of Mexico while dining on delicious Maine Lobster under a large tent on the beach. The Rockin’ fun begins with live music by Version 3.0, delicious food, a silent auction, and exciting beach activities. The mission of Children First is to strengthen children and families by improving the quality of their lives through a comprehensive approach to development, education, health and well-being. For more information about the many services offered by Children First to both children and families, visit their website http://www.childrenfirst.net/
Jim Rolfes, and his wife Jackie Rolfes, are co-sponsors of this event. Jim Rolfes is managing partner of Dickinson & Gibbons, and serves as the Chair of the Board of Directors of Children First.
Governor Rick Scott Appoints A. James Rolfes to Chair Twelfth Circuit Judicial Nominating Commission
A. James Rolfes has been appointed by Governor Rick Scott to Chair the Judicial Nominating Commission (JNC) for the Twelfth Judicial Circuit, which includes Sarasota, Manatee, and DeSoto Counties. Governor Scott selected him from among a list of nominees submitted by the Florida Bar. Mr. Rolfes has served as a member of the JNC since 2016.
Judicial Nominating Commissions (JNCs) select nominees to fill judicial vacancies within the Florida court system. There are twenty-seven separate JNCs: one for the Florida Supreme Court; five for each of the district courts of appeal or “appellate districts”; twenty for each circuit court and the county courts contained in that circuit; and one Statewide Commission for Judges of Compensation Claims. JNC members serve four-year terms, except when an appointment is made to fill a vacant, unexpired term.
The Supreme Court, appellate districts, and circuit JNCs consist of nine members, all of whom are appointed by the Governor. Four members are appointed from separate lists of three nominees certified to the Governor by the Board of Governors of the Florida Bar. The Governor directly appoints the remaining five members. JNC members must be residents of the territorial jurisdiction served by the JNC for which he or she is appointed.
On August 23, 2017, the Fifth District Court of Appeals issued an opinion affirming the termination of parental rights in the case M.B. v. Department of Children and Families. Jesse Butler represented the interests of the minor child, M.B., on appeal. The appeal involved the neglect and abuse of a minor child with special needs. The trial court found that it was in the best interests of the child to terminate the parental rights of the mother. Termination of the mother’s parental rights would permit the child to be adopted by a close caregiver, whom the child had formed a special bond. Jesse Butler represented the Guardian Ad Litem Program on appeal as a volunteer (pro bono) appellate attorney through the Defending the Best Interests project of the Florida Bar. The Guardian Ad Litem Program serves as the voice of the child in these proceedings. After an expedited appellate briefing schedule, the Fifth District Court of Appeal affirmed the termination of parental rights by the trial court.
Jesse Butler practices appellate law, consumer law, and general civil/commercial litigation at Dickinson & Gibbons. He is a member of the Appellate Section of the Florida Bar and is the immediate past-president of the Sarasota County Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Division. Jesse Butler currently serves on the Florida Bar Young Lawyer Division’s Board of Governors as elected representative of the Twelfth Judicial Circuit, which includes Sarasota, Manatee and DeSoto Counties. He is A/V rated by Martindale-Hubbell.
If you have a question about an appeal or need an appellate law attorney, contact Dickinson & Gibbons, P.A. at 941-366-4680.