Briefs

first_imgThe Florida Bar Foundation recently distributed its 2004 legal assistance for the poor general support and special purpose grants to legal assistance providers in Florida.The presidents, presidents-elect, and executive directors of Florida’s voluntary bar associations were also notified of the availability of the grant applications.The general support grants for local programs take into account the number of poor people within a county to ensure some equitable distribution of funds among the counties. The Foundation estimates that funds available for these grants for 2004, generated chiefly by the IOTA program, will remain at the 2003 level, approximately $9.3 million.“These grant funds represent a very significant support for the delivery of legal assistance to low-income families in Florida,” said Foundation President Andrew M. O’Malley of Tampa. “The Foundation and Florida lawyers, through their participation in the IOTA program, as providers of pro bono legal services, and as contributors to the Foundation and local programs, remain committed to equal access to justice.”While financial support for legal assistance for the poor remains “woefully inadequate” to fully address the need, O’Malley said, these funds, and the continuing support of Florida lawyers, will provide low-income families protection from abuse and unfair treatment and promote family stability.Currently, 36 programs receive grants under the legal assistance to the poor program. Every county in Florida is served by one or more of those programs. In 2002, the programs provided legal assistance to over 105,000 persons, according to the Foundation. Services are provided through staff and pro bono attorneys. The cases handled are determined through local community priorities set by local boards of directors. Predominantly, the cases handled are family, housing, individual rights, income maintenance, and consumer issues.Florida’s IOTA program has awarded more than $165 million in IOTA legal assistance to the poor grants over the program’s 21-year history.Grant application packages are available from the Foundation by contacting Andrea Kempkens at (800) 541-2195, or by e-mail at [email protected] Grant applications must be received by the Foundation by October 31. The Foundation board will award grants on December 12.YLD offers grants for projects Florida State University College of Law graduates passed the bar exam at a rate higher than counterparts from other law schools in the state.FSU grads, taking the exam for the first time, passed the July bar exam at a rate of 85.4 percent, trailed by a tie for second-place between the University of Florida and the University of Miami, both with an 83.3-percent passing rate.Those were among the statistics from the Florida Board of Bar Examiners released September 15 by the Florida Supreme Court. The results applied to the July 2003 General Bar Examination administered July 29-30 in Tampa, for those persons sitting for both Parts A and B of the exam for the first time.FSU College of Law Dean Donald Weidner attributed FSU’s success to an excellent faculty working closely with gifted students. He noted FSU grads were also first in the state on the February 2002 and July 2002 administrations of the bar exam.“We launch careers,” Weidner said, pointing with pride to the school’s 97-percent job placement rate.Passage percentages for other Florida law school alumni were: Stetson University, 82.6 percent; Florida Coastal, 75.8 percent; Nova Southeastern University and St. Thomas tied with 60.2 percent; and Barry University of Orlando had 43.6 percent.Another 665 of 884 test-takers who graduated from out-of-state law schools passed the exam, for a 75.2-percent passing rate.Applicants taking the bar exam in July totaled 2,677, and, of those, 1,167 were approved for admission to The Florida Bar.Formal induction ceremonies to swear in the new attorneys will be held at the Florida Supreme Court and the Second, Third, Fourth, and Fifth District Courts of Appeal on Tuesday, October 7.In addition, the Supreme Court released the results from the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination administered on August 8. This data applies to only those test-takers who had an application on file with the Florida Board of Bar Examiners as of September 2 and who requested that their MPRE score be sent to Florida:On the MPRE, Barry University of Orlando had a 94.6-percent passing rate; University of Miami and Florida State University tied with 89.5 percent; University of Florida had 89.3 percent; Stetson had 88.3 percent; non-Florida law schools had 88.2 percent; Florida Coastal had 85.1 percent; Nova Southeastern University had 82.6 percent; and St. Thomas University had 81.4 percent.PBCTLA sets expert witness seminar The 10th Judicial Circuit Professionalism Committee and the Willson American Inn of Court will present a New Lawyer’s Orientation October 16 for new Bar members in Polk, Highlands, and Hardee counties.Tenth Circuit Chief Judge Ronald A. Herring has requested all new lawyers in the area to attend the event, which begins at 3:30 p.m. at the Polk County Historic Courthouse in Bartow. The program will be followed by a reception and hors d’oeuvres will be served.For more information, contact Kevin Ashley at (863) 676-8584 or [email protected] The Martin County’s Courthouse Cultural Center recently hosted the initial meeting of a new chapter of the American Inns of Court. Named the Justice Major B. Harding Inn of Court, in honor of the recently retired chief justice of the Florida Supreme Court, the chapter began organizing in 2001, and now has 40 members.The founding officers of the chapter are Richard Levenstein, president; Circuit Judge William L. Roby, president-elect; Barbara W. Bronis, secretary; and John E. Sherrard, treasurer.John Bales of Tampa, who serves on the AIC Foundation’s national board, presented the new chapter with its ceremonial charter at the meeting.The Inn’s mission is “to foster excellence in professionalism, ethics, civility and skills among judges, lawyers, academicians, and students of the law in order to perfect the quality, availability, and efficiency of justice.”FAPM gets active in the community The Ohio Supreme Court has indefinitely suspended Jeffrey Allen Paine from the practice of law in the state of Ohio.Paine’s last known business address was in West Palm Beach, and his attorney registration mumber is 15348.The Ohio Supreme Court said Paine will not be reinstated to the practice of law in Ohio until such time as he is reinstated to the practice of law in Florida. (See Disciplinary Counsel v. Paine, 99 Ohio St.3d 1230, 2003-Ohio-4345, www.sconet. state.oh.us/ROD/documents, for additional information.)Young lawyers seek pro bono award nominations The 20th Circuit JNC is now accepting application to fill a vacancy created by the resignation of Judge William L. Blackwell, effective January 9, 2004.Applicants must be a registered voters, members of the Bar for the preceding five years, and residents of the 20th Circuit upon assuming office.Applications may be obtained from Darol H. M. Carr, JNC chair, 99 Nesbit Street, Punta Gorda 33950, or from The Florida Bar Web Site at www.flabar.org.An original with nine copies of the completed application must be received by the Carr no later than October 15, at 5 p.m. Applicants who fail to strictly comply with the application deadline and filing requirements may be treated as if they had not applied. Those who have submitted applications for recent vacancies must submit new applications.Johnson petitions for reinstatement Trauma epidemiologist Dr. Michael Freeman is only one recognized name on a program of expert witnesses set to speak at the upcoming Palm Beach County Trial Lawyers Association’s seminar “Winning with Expert Witnesses: Maximizing Yours; Knocking Out Theirs,” set for October 31 in Palm Beach.“This seminar will offer a unique opportunity to hear, firsthand, from experts in the areas of biomechanics, forensic pathology, low-impact trauma, accident reconstruction, safety violations, and how to identify junk science versus sound scientific principles,” said PBCTLA seminar Chair Harry Shevin.Other speakers will include forensic pathologist Dr. Cyril Wecht, a frequent guest on numerous national TV and radio shows and recognized for his professional involvement in the inquiries about the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy, Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, the Rev. Martin Luther King, the death of Elvis Presley, O.J. Simpson, and JonBenet Ramsey cases; Chandra Levy death investigation and the Laci Peterson homicide.Accident reconstruction, vehicle technology, and event data recorder expert Robert McElroy will discuss current trends in accident reconstruction and the use of black box technology. George Zimmerman will use his expertise in premises liability, architectural malpractice, personal injuries, construction defects, and real estate development malpractice to discuss ways to prove a premises liability. He is particularly well-versed in the application of the building code and many other regulations.To round out the program, Palm Beach County attorneys Julie Littky-Rubin will provide a general case law update and a discussion on the Daubert/Frye case law, and Richard M. Benrubi will conduct a Frye hearing.The cost for this full-day seminar is $175 for PBCTLA attorney members and $225 for attorney non-members; $125 for PBCTLA paralegal members, and $175 for paralegal non-members. Non-members can join PBCTLA at the door and pay the member price.For more information contact Susan Glick at (561) 999-9490 or at [email protected] grants available John Ray Davis, Jr., of Indian Shores resigned from the practice of law in Florida pursuant to a Supreme Court order, under allegations that he committed mail fraud.Davis now has submitted an application for Bar readmission. The Florida Board of Bar Examiners will conduct a public hearing on Davis’ application for readmission and all members of the Bar are invited to write to the board regarding their knowledge of Davis, particularly in relation to his character and fitness for readmission.Those who wish to be notified of the time and place of the hearing, may submit a written request to Eleanor Mitchell Hunter, Florida Board of Bar Examiners executive director, at 1891 Eider Court, Tallahassee 32399-1750.Puerto Rican Bar to meet on Miami Beach The Criminal Law Section is now seeking nominations for its Selig I. Goldin Memorial Award.Selection for this award is based upon the candidate’s outstanding contribution to the criminal justice system of Florida.Last year’s recipient was Professor Charles Ehrhart of Florida State University. The selection will be made by the section’s executive council in January and the award will be presented at the section’s luncheon during the Bar’s Annual Meeting in June 2004.Those interested in nominating a candidate should send, by letter or e-mail, the name of the candidate; a description of that person’s contribution to the criminal justice system; and a biographical sketch or resume. Deadline for receipt of nominations is November 30. Nominations should be sent to Professor Jerome C. Latimer, Stetson University College of Law, 1401 61st St. South, St. Petersburg 33707, e-mail [email protected] Foundation to award children’s services grants Briefs Applications for The Florida Bar Foundation’s 2004 children’s legal services grants were recently distributed to the state’s legal assistance providers.Due to increased contributions from Florida’s lawyers, the Foundation expects to make $636,000 available for grants this year, a modest increase over the amounts awarded last year.“The number of children living in poverty is increasing, and the impact not only diminishes their young lives but it also damages their futures and the future of our society,” said Tallahassee attorney William H. Davis, chair of the Foundation’s legal assistance for the poor grant committee.“It is a serious problem for all of us when children do not receive the educational and health services to which they are entitled and which so many of them desperately need.”In recognition of this, Davis said, the Foundation, with the support of The Florida Bar, has targeted the particular needs of children for special emphasis through these grants.“Unfortunately, the funds we have available for these grants are woefully inadequate, but nevertheless do provide vitally important legal services to literally thousands of poor children who would face insurmountable odds without this support,” Davis said.“The Foundation also encourages the use of its other funding initiatives to serve children.”Currently, 13 programs receive children’s legal services grants, with the primary purposes of assisting low-income children with problems involving dependency, foster care, access to special education services, other educational issues, and access to health services.These grants are special project funding and seek to improve the protection of children, their access to needed services, and improvement of such services.Grant application packages are available from the Foundation by contacting Andrea Kempkens at (800) 541-2195, or by e-mail at [email protected] Grant applications must be received by the Foundation by October 12. The Foundation Board of Directors will award grants on December 12.Inn of Court named for Justice Harding Ralph Marchbank, Jr., of Sarasota was recently sworn in as president of the Florida Defense Lawyers Association at its 2003 annual meeting in Key Biscayne.Other officers include President-elect Spencer H. Silverglate, Secretary-Treasurer Gail L. Parenti, and immediate Past President Valerie Shea. The group’s directors include Susan S. Erdelyi, Joseph E. Brooks, Michael J. Corso, Daniel P. Mitchell, Douglas J. Chumbley, Francisco Ramos, Jr.; Donald J. Fann; John H. Richards; Jack W. Shaw, Jr., Francis E. Pierce III, and Young Lawyer Director Adrianna M. Spain.The association also presented a number of awards, including the 2003 President’s Award for outstanding service to Parenti; the Amicus Award to Hal B. Anderson for his work on the tort reform constitutional challenge appeals; the Trial Advocate Quarterly Award to Ramos for “outstanding contributions” during the past year; and the James A. Dixon Young Lawyer of The Year Award to Spain in recognition for “exceeding the standards of excellence, dedication and commitment to FDLA and its goals.”The group also presented its Joseph P. Metzger Outstanding Achievement Award to H. Franklin Perritt, Jr., in recognition of “superlative members’ dedication to FDLA and all its goals”; its Defense Research Institute Outstanding Recognition Award to Shea; and recognized Thomas E. Dukes III for his leadership of the Florida Liability Claims Institute.FAMU law adds eight instructors The Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division Youth Projects Committee is now accepting applications from any Florida young lawyer section, division, or committee that is interested in financial support for its Holidays in January or Child Friendly Room projects.The Holidays in January project distributes free toys and clothes to foster care children. The Child Friendly Room projects create separate areas for children in the courthouses in each circuit in the state.The deadline for all requests is November 21.Visit the YLD’s Web site at www.flayld.org/local/involve.htm for application details or contact Victoria Wu, chair of the Youth Projects Committee, at 202-694-1012, or [email protected] for more information.Marchbank to lead FDLA While working on improving its membership, the Equal Opportunity Law Section is also continuing to push its statement of principles promoting diversity.Chair Tammy Fields, at the section’s September 5 meeting, said the statement “reflects what this section believes should be the principles associated with diversity.”The section has embarked on a campaign to get law offices, as well as private businesses, to adopt the principles. So far, she said, one private firm and the Palm Beach County Attorney’s Office has signed on, and the section has discussed it with others.The statement asks firms to acknowledge: “Diversity is an inclusive principle including race, color, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, nationality, age, disability, and marital and parental status. Through increased diversity, the legal professional can more effectively address societal and individual needs by the consideration of varied perspectives, experiences, and understanding in the administration of justice.”Firms and businesses that sign the statement agree to:• Pursue diversity in their firms and make “increasing efforts to achieve greater participation of minority lawyers at all levels in law firms, government, and corporate law departments, courts, and law schools.”• Recognize that diversity is a business asset and “critical to the success of our business.”• Actively promote diversity within the workplace, including considering diversity in hiring lawyers and law firms.• Support the section and its efforts to achieve greater diversity in the legal profession.On other matters, the section is working on a seminar on diversity to be presented during the January Midyear Meeting.“We’re also working on our membership and whether section status is still the best approach,” Fields said.For more information about the section, contact section coordinator Yvonne Sherron at (850) 561-5620.Goldin Award nominations sought The Bar’s Young Lawyers Division is now accepting nominations for its Legal Aid Public Service Award.The award recognizes the outstanding contributions by a public sector attorney to those in need of free legal services. To qualify as a young lawyer, one must be under the age of 36 or have been in practice for less than five years.Nomination forms may be found on the YLD Web site at www.flayld.org and two copies of the form and the attachments should be submitted on or before December 15 to The Florida Bar, Austin Newberry, Young Lawyers Division Program administrator, 651 E. Jefferson Street, Tallahassee 32399-2300.For more information contact Courtney K. Grimm, YLD Awards Committee chair, at (904) 353-0211.Florida State grads lead the way on the bar exam October 1, 2003 Regular News The CPR Institute for Dispute Resolution, a nonprofit alliance of global corporations, law firms, scholars, and public institutions, is now accepting nominations for its 2lst annual awards program, honoring achievement in both practice and scholarship in conflict resolution and ADR.Awards will be made in five categories: outstanding practical achievement; original articles; original student articles and papers; outstanding books; and problem-solving in the law school.Entries must be received by CPR no later than November 3. For guidelines and entry procedures visit the CPR Web site at www.cpradr.org.Miami Kendall Bar to meet October 24 The First Circuit Judicial Nominating Commission is now accepting applications for a circuit judge position being vacated as a result of Judge Lewis R. Lindsey’s resignation effective December 31.Applicants must be residents of the First Judicial Circuit (Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, and Walton counties), registered voters, and a member of the Bar in good standing for the preceeding five years.Applications are available from The Florida Bar Web site (www.FLABAR.org), or from Linda H. Wade, JNC chair, by pick-up from her law office at 25 West Cedar Street, Suite 450, Pensacola 32502, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.An original and nine copies of the completed application must be received by Wade at her office no later than 5 p.m., October 10.20th Circuit judgeship available Fourth DCA Chief Judge Gary M. Farmer has been installed as president of the Florida Conference of District Court of Appeal Judges.The conference’s other new officers include Fifth DCA Chief Judge Thomas D. Sawaya, president-elect, and Fifth DCA Judge Winifred J. Sharp, secretary/treasurer.The organization is comprised of the state’s 62 active district court of appeal judges and a number of retired DCA judges.Supreme Court of Ohio suspends Jeffrey Paine The Guardian ad Litem Qualifications Committee is now accepting applications for the position of executive director of the Florida Guardian ad Litem Program.The legislature created this position to administer the Florida Guardian ad Litem Program upon its transfer from the court system to a new state office that will be administratively supported by the Justice Administrative Commission.The committee will review applications, conduct interviews, and submit a minimum of three names to the governor for consideration. The executive director will be appointed by and report to the governor and will serve a three-year term, subject to removal for cause by the governor. Any person appointed to serve as the executive director may be permitted to serve more than one term.The application deadline is October 14. Application instructions and further information about the position are available athttps://peoplefirst.myflorida.com. Workers’ comp judge needed Applications being accepted for director of the new Guardian ad Litem Program Bar President Miles McGrane will provide the keynote address when the Puerto Rican Bar Association meets on Miami Beach November 15 at the Wyndham Hotel on Collins Avenue to install its new officers.Jimmy Morales also will address the group at the 7 to 12 p.m. event.Tickets are $50 per person. For more information contact Richard Robles at (305) 755-9200 or [email protected], or Yesenia Collazo at (305) 822-8449 or [email protected] Judge Farmer to lead DCA conference Pursuant to Rule 3-7.10, Earl Mayberry Johnson, Jr., of Jacksonville has petitioned the Supreme Court for Bar reinstatement.Any persons having knowledge bearing upon Johnson’s fitness or qualifications to resume the practice of law should contact Allen Booth, staff investigator for The Florida Bar, at (800) 342-8060, ext. 5845, or (850) 561-5845.Section promotes its diversity effort The South Miami Kendall Bar Association will meet October 24 at the Fleming Restaurant on S.W. 36th Street beginning at noon.The association’s officers include President Mitchell J. Panter, President-elect Michelle A. Pivar, Treasurer Lisa R. Ginsberg, Secretary Iris N. Sachs, and Past President Fred E. Glickman.The bar’s directors include Angie Angelis, Theodore Bayer, Sharon Blake, J.B. de Rosset, Michaelle Paulson, Michael Rehr, and David Weissman.Family Law Section seeks comments on child custody The Florida Academy of Professional Mediators recently created a Community Involvement Committee to support both humanitarian causes as well as statewide programs promoting mediation, conflict resolution, and alternative dispute resolution.“During the coming year, our committee will encourage members to donate food, clothing, canned foods, fruits and vegetables, soaps, shampoo, toiletries, toys, and even blood to support a number of charitable causes,” said Bruce A. Blitman, the committee’s chair.“We will use our annual seminar in the spring and the DRC’s annual meeting as ‘collection points’ during which members can drop off their donations and supplies can be collected. Since our seminars are so well attended, we hope to collect lots of items that will help needy families and children.”The academy’s board also is committed to assisting aspiring mediators and fledgling statewide programs which promote mediation, conflict resolution, tolerance, and peaceful solutions.“Many outstanding ADR-related programs are desperately seeking financial support in order to survive,” Blitman said. “The board has generously agreed to set aside some funds which will be used to support such worthwhile programs.”Blitman said the academy hopes to identify and recognize creative ADR-related programs which help educate Florida residents and students about the benefits of mediation and the profession with small community outreach grants and “Academy Awards For ADR Excellence.”For more information about the work of the committee, contact Blitman at (954) 437-3446 or e-mail [email protected] for ADR awards sought The Statewide Nominating Commission for Judges of Compensation Claims is now accepting applications for a judge of compensation claims vacancy in the Tampa District office.This vacancy has been created by the announced retirement of Judge William Douglas, effective upon his term expiration on March 6, 2004.Qualified applicants must submit the original completed application and one copy to Victor Marrero, Commission Chair, Marsh USA, Inc., 1560 Sawgrass Corporate Parkway, Suite 300, Sunrise 33345-9010, telephone (954) 838-3451; fax (954) 838-3700, e-mail [email protected] marsh.com. One additional copy must be submitted to each commission member. The deadline for submitting applications is 5 p.m. on October 20. Applications and the list of commission members may be obtained from the commission chair.Interviews for this opening will be held November 3, at a site yet to be determined.First Circuit judgeship available Should there be a presumption that children of a divorcing couple should spend equal time with each parent?The Family Law Section is considering making that recommendation to Florida lawmakers and is seeking input from Bar members. The section executive council discussed those and other section activities when it met September 4 at the Bar’s General Meeting.“We want commentary on creating a premise that parents should share time equally with their children as a starting point [in a dissolution], unless there is evidence to do otherwise,” section Chair Richard West said.There are two ways for lawyers to submit comments: Section members can sign on to the section’s Web site at www.familylawfla.org/ and leave comments at one of the discussion groups.Nonmembers can send comments to West, Chair-elect Evan Marks, or section coordinator Debby Beck at The Florida Bar, 651 E. Jefferson, Tallahassee 32399-2300, or call (850) 561-5650.On other matters, West said a committee chaired by council member Steve Sessums is rewriting the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers Bounds of Advocacy manual to be Florida-specific. The council hopes to get that approved later this month.The section has two retreats planned in the coming months. The first, October 9-11, will be at the Watercolor resort in Seaside, in Florida’s Panhandle. The second is scheduled for March 24-28 in Breckenridge, Colorado.Other section activities include plans to review a just-released Florida State University study on child support guidelines, having general masters and hearing officers — who handle many family law matters — defined as a core function of the judiciary in the Revision 7 funding shift for trial courts, and working with a committee chaired by Florida Supreme Court Justice Barbara Pariente that is studying families and children in the court system.Davis applies for Bar readmission The Association of Legal Administrators is holding an educational conference at the Marriott Marquis in New York City November 7-8.ALA’s conferences offer opportunities for training and continuing education necessary to run an efficient, competitive, and profitable legal office. Attendees include legal administrators, support managers and managing partners from private law firms, and corporate and government legal departments.This year’s theme is “Be a Part of It!” The Region 1 Conference features two full days of educational sessions, including a keynote address by former New York City Mayor Ed Koch, titled “Ed Koch on Everything.”For more information on the conference contact ALA Headquarters by phone at (847) 816-1212; by fax at (847) 816-1213; or by visiting ALA’s Web site at www.alanet.org.10th Circuit new lawyer orientation set The re-established Florida A&M College of Law in Orlando now has 201 first- and second-year law students for the 2003-2004 school year and has added eight new faculty members.The new FAMU College of Law professors are:• Barbara L. Bernier, professor, who was on faculty at the Roger Williams University School of Law in Rhode Island.• Nathaniel Friends, visiting professor, has served as general counsel and vice president with AT&T.• Hastings Jones, assistant professor, held positions in public defender service in Washington, D.C., most recently as deputy chief of the special litigation division.• Jose Seda, adjunct instructor, is a senior trial attorney with Infinity Insurance Companies.• James W. Smith III, assistant professor, is the former senior prosecutor with the Office of the Staff Judge Advocate, U.S. Army Military District of Washington, D.C.• Phyllis C. Smith, assistant professor, practiced as a general law attorney with the Office of the Staff Judge Advocate in Alexandria, Virginia.• Robert Thompson, assistant professor, is a former patent attorney with the Xerox Corporation in Rochester, New York.• Virginia Bullerman Townes, a visiting assistant professor, is a shareholder in the litigation practice group of Akerman, Senterfitt.Legal administrators to meet in New York last_img

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