Presidential candidates address Bar issues

first_img February 15, 2011 Regular News Presidential candidates address Bar issues The following questions were posed by the News to Bar president-elect candidates Walter “Skip” Campbell, Jr., of Ft. Lauderdale, John “Jake” Schickel of Jacksonville, and Gwynne Alice Young of Tampa. Ballots for the contested election will be mailed to eligible voters on or before March 1. Voters will have the option of voting online in lieu of returning their paper ballot. All votes must be received before midnight, March 21. Any runoff will be conducted between April 1 and April 22. 1. In one sentence, what advice would you give to a recent Bar admittee, fresh out of law school and just sworn-in? Campbell: Because of hard economic times, be careful who you associate with; that first job, many times, is the guide by which you will be judged by your peers. Schickel: Find and cultivate a long lasting relationship with a mentor you respect; be professional in every situation no matter how difficult the circumstances; attend and participate in local bar meetings and programs; develop relationships that will help you increase your competence and professionalism; and prepare to challenge yourself further after your five-year milestone by seeking to become board certified. Young: Get involved with your local and state Bar and take advantage of the resources offered by them. 2. The number of Bar members is expected to grow from around 90,000 to around 115,000 by 2020. What challenges will this present to the Bar? Schickel: Communications with our members has always been a major challenge. I believe we have the ability now to better meet that challenge, and will be able to do so especially if we engage using some of the growing social media products. Currently, the economics of the practice are causing more friction between the client and lawyer and our relationships with other lawyers.  More lawyers entering practice make for bigger challenges. I believe our professionalism programs can meet these challenges. Young: The growth in number of members will continue to put pressure on Florida lawyers and hence the Bar. At present time there are insufficient jobs for the number of law school graduates seeking employment in Florida. This trend will continue as the number of lawyers in Florida increases. This will likely result in more lawyers opening solo or small firms or seeking employment outside of the legal profession. The Bar will need to continue to maintain and expand its programming to assist those lawyers as discussed in my response to question four below. Growth will continue to cause an increase in the number of Bar grievances filed. The Bar will need to ensure that its discipline system keeps pace with the demand created by the larger lawyer population. Campbell: Increase in numbers of members of the Bar clearly will make it more difficult to regulate. The Bar leadership has an obligation to their Bar members by trying to provide the best services available, which will be an additional challenge. 3. Technology, from e-mail to e-filing in the courts, is revolutionizing the practice of law. How can the Bar help its members successfully make these technology transitions? Young: The Bar will need to provide readily available and cost-effective training on how to operate the technology, how technology can be used to enhance the lawyer’s practice, and how technology otherwise effects practice. Examples would include training on how to use e-filing, how to use social networking to benefit your practice, seminars on e-discovery. Campbell: The advancements in the use of technology in the legal profession count on and rely on practitioners having a working knowledge of the basic tools of modern computing, i.e., e-mail and Web browsing. The most important issue of training old and young lawyers alike is how to use these basic tools. The Florida Bar should take steps to provide training on these seemingly most basic of skills. This can be done in the form of free or inexpensive classes, seminars, or videos. It is also critical to the members of the Bar that electronic filings in the courts be unified so that all of the circuits are on the same page. Schickel: The Bar should have more free seminars on LegalSpan [the service through which the Bar provides online CLE programs] to address these issues. Programs on e-filing, to business building, marketing, and trust accounting should all be available. We should have free seminars on LegalSpan that teach social networking and basic computer use. 4. What can the Bar do to help its members who are hard hit by the recession? Campbell: I have personally come in contact with members of the Bar who are very hard hit by the recession. Some of these members are having a difficult time paying for their electric bill and mortgage payments. As a Bar, we have to look at ways to assist these members in, hopefully, a temporary time period. Hardship waivers for reduced Bar dues and fees as well as CLE courses are a way to allow members of the profession to continue practicing law in a hope that they can get through these tough economic times. Schickel: The Bar should better use our bulk buying ability to provide more member benefits. From health insurance to banking services, we have the volume to obtain a wider range of member benefits. We should also do comparisons of our benefits with other similar sized groups and other bar associations. Young: The Bar has already implemented an online job and career center that allows employers to post job openings on The Florida Bar website. The Program Evaluation Committee has a subcommittee which has been working on defining Bar services and programs that can assist members who are adversely impacted by the economy. At its most recent board meeting, on recommendation of the Program Evaluation Committee, the board approved the Lawyers Helping Lawyers program. That program will have a section on the Bar’s website which will offer online programming free of charge on topics such as how to build a practice, discounted goods and services for lawyers, the job and career center, and other helpful information. The Bar can develop more programming on career planning strategies, job hunting strategies, and alternatives to law practice. 5. How can the Bar ensure equal access to legal services and the court system? Schickel: Access is an adjunct to funding. Our constitution guarantees the right to access, and we must be in the forefront of court funding before a funding crisis becomes a constitutional crisis. We should equip our clients to convey this message. We need to focus on identifying our allies and have them help the Legislature better understand the importance of access to courts and for redress. Young: At the outset, our judicial system must be adequately funded to ensure equal access to legal services and the court system. We must have enough judges and staff to provide timely resolution of disputes. Moreover, we must have the funds to keep our courts open and operating during the business week. We must continue to encourage lawyers to take on pro bono matters. We need to examine alternative ways to assist people who cannot afford attorneys to be able to navigate the court system. For example, in Hillsborough County, Bay Area Legal Services operates a forms clinic which is staffed by lawyers who assist pro se litigants in completing the court-approved form paper work in order to obtain a dissolution of marriage. Campbell: While the number of lawyers is increasing, many believe there is still not adequate access to justice for many Floridians. The constitution requires lawyers for criminal cases, but general civil legal services for the underserved middle and working classes of Floridians, as well as our state’s poorer citizens, is lacking. Where The Florida Bar Foundation received about $45 million a year from IOTA, this amount is now down to about $5 million a year. This is resulting in a crisis for access to the judicial system. The Bar should encourage more pro bono involvement as we get through these tough economic times. We also should attempt to seek more voluntary contributions to organizations like Legal Services and The Florida Bar Foundation to keep these very important institutions alive. 6. How do you rate the Bar’s disciplinary operations? Do you have any suggestions for change? Young: I think the Bar’s disciplinary system is excellent. The ACAP centralized intake program is up and working and provides for more consistent case handling. ACAP uses a paperless case management system, which appears to be working well. The Bar has also looked at creative solutions to problems, such as the increase in claims resulting from the foreclosure crisis, by hiring a contract lawyer to deal with those particular claims and to separately monitor and account for those claims. I believe that we can continue to find ways to improve the system by moving matters through the system more quickly while continuing to ensure full due process. Campbell: I believe the structure of the Bar’s disciplinary operations is excellent. I truly believe that the personnel that try to implement the Rules Regulating The Florida Bar are trying to do the best they can to make sure that the constitutional and personal rights of all lawyers are protected. But like any institution, I do believe that we can improve on our system. When I was a young lawyer we had more live probable cause hearings, which allowed members of the legal profession and the public to look the lawyer in the eye and make a determination as to whether there has been a deviation from the rules regulating The Florida Bar. Many members who are subject to discipline have come to me and advised that the investigators who make the determination as to whether to bring a probable cause recommendation to a grievance committee sometimes don’t even talk to the lawyers who are being grieved against. We must make sure that all lawyers in the state of Florida get fair, just, and adequate review of grievances. Schickel: Our process is excellent. The changes implemented in the past few years go a long way to protect lawyers from unhappy clients and from unethical attorneys. The system now works more quickly to identify serious problems from irresponsible behavior, and there is more uniformity in the penalty. We need to teach all attorneys about how the system works as they enter the practice of law. 7. If you were addressing a class of high school seniors, would you encourage them to become lawyers? Why or why not? Campbell: I have been recently asked to give a speech to high school seniors about what it is to be a lawyer and whether I would encourage them to become lawyers. What I tried to do was present a balancing act in trying to show that lawyers throughout historical time have acted as advocates and advisors to governments, individuals, corporations, and frankly, people who are down on their luck. I informed the young people that a very well respected man by the name of Tocqueville pointed out in the beginning of our country the importance of lawyers in shaping society. Back then the lawyers dominated the processes that formed our constitution and governmental structures. It was lawyers that provided the framework for constitutional privileges and obligations. The legal profession has been and should be a highly respected profession.I tried to explain to these seniors that being a lawyer takes a lot of time in school and costs a lot of money. I advised them that there are many lawyers that are getting out a law school today who have $150,000 in debt, which is a significant impediment to a young lawyer. I also advised that lawyers have to work hard because of this. Sometimes the quality of their lives and their family lives are put in jeopardy.I ended with my own feelings that I am proud to be a lawyer and feel that the profession still needs a lot of good lawyers. Schickel: Yes, but with a caveat. The profession is worthwhile and satisfying, and counseling clients is rewarding. Doctors treat the body, ministers treat the soul, and lawyers treat everything else. It is, however, a demanding and difficult profession, and it is not as lucrative as many expect. Practicing law should be about discovering the truth and helping parties resolve their differences with minimal impact on families, the court system, and finances. Young: Yes. Being a lawyer is interesting, challenging, and intellectually stimulating. It is rewarding in that you can help people solve problems whether it be your pro bono family law client or a corporate client. That said, it is very hard work and very demanding. 8. How can the Bar better work with the executive and legislative branches of government to support the judicial branch and achieve its goal of a fair and impartial judiciary? Schickel: I believe the judiciary is fair and impartial. The problem is perception. In our system, there is generally a winner and loser. Seldom does the loser feel good and naturally tends to blame others and, in our world, the judiciary. Without the funding to provide access to courts, justice delayed will be justice denied. We are the messengers of our clients. It is not our lawsuit, it belongs to our clients. They must help us make the case to the Legislature and governor, be it businesses or individuals. Most of the time the judiciary cannot speak out on issues and needs champions to address the perception of fairness. The Bar can and should take a leading role. Young: The Bar must continue to educate members of the executive and legislative branches on the role of the judicial branch and its importance to our state. Ensuring the prompt and effective resolution of disputes is critical to the state’s goals that Florida be a business friendly state. The Bar must provide them with the data which supports the level of funding the judicial system needs to function effectively. This must continue to be a priority. Campbell: I have personally dealt with the executive and legislative branches in supporting positions of the Bar as well as our judicial branch. It is my opinion that human relationships with people can lessen many of the problems related to conflict whether real or imagined. I have always tried to first establish human relationships with the governor and other legislators. Personal relationships humanize potential adversaries, improve communications, and increase the general level of mutual understanding and trust. As individuals get to know each other they get to know, recognize, and acknowledge their positions. Mutual understanding and trust is critical to develop the communication needed to address the needs of The Florida Bar and judiciary in the state of Florida. 9. What are the top three issues facing Florida lawyers and what can the Bar do to address them? Young: The impact of the economy on the legal profession. As shown in my answer to question four, the Bar is actively looking at ways to help its members who have been adversely impacted by the continuing poor economy. Adequate funding of the judicial system. The Bar must continue its strong legislative advocacy on behalf of the court system. See my answers to question eight. Public perception of lawyers. This problem is not easily solved. The Bar must continue to take prompt disciplinary action against those lawyers who commit acts of malfeasance. The Bar must also continue its efforts to educate the public on the role of lawyers and the rules of discipline. Finally, to the extent practical, the Bar should seek to publicize the good works of lawyers. Campbell: The three issues facing Florida lawyers are probably not the same three issues that will be presented by my opponents. One of the things that I have heard from many Florida lawyers is that there is an increased dissatisfaction with the demanding life of a lawyer. Lawyers are trying to balance their family lives with the need to satisfy client’s interest. Lawyers sometimes feel that The Florida Bar is distant and not concerned with their individual needs. The Florida Bar needs to make a better commitment on communication with all lawyers in the state of Florida and encourage programs to provide better career contentment for the practicing lawyer. This I believe can be accomplished through CLE programs, videos, classes, and seminars. I believe the final thing The Florida Bar can do is make the Bar more lawyer friendly.The second issue facing lawyers is the increased competition we have with each other as well as other professions who are attempting to get the same work that lawyers perform. The Florida Bar is attempting to study the issues of lawyer advertising as well as keep up with the issues of multidisciplinary practice and multijurisdictional practice.The third area that I believe faces lawyers is the legislative attempt to regulate the courts and The Florida Bar. I would encourage more lawyers to get active with the legislative and executive branch so that we might again develop that interpersonal relationship that I spoke about earlier. Lawyers have historically been active in the most important political and policy issues facing Florida and the nation. For some reason we have become too complacent and haven’t encouraged continued involvement in the process. Tocqueville remarked two centuries ago that in the United States lawyers were the arbitrators between citizens and its government. Tocqueville was clairvoyant in showing the importance of lawyers for both the political and social order of American constitutional democracy. We the lawyers in The Florida Bar must do everything we can to preserve the constitutional protections that so many in the past have fought for and died for or we will lose them to complacency. Schickel: The economy, the economy, and the economy. The economy is the cause. We cannot fix it, but we can help with some of the symptoms. Increasing concern over growing our client base has forced lawyers to be more antagonistic, and professionalism has suffered. We must address this at the community level. The economy has caused a lack of raises, freezing of salaries, and layoffs. As The Florida Bar provides better member services, this should help all lawyers. The economy is also affecting court funding. Unless more money becomes available, we have to show the Legislature the importance of adequate funding and the impact on the entire system including our clients. 10. Tell us about one defining moment in your legal career when you stopped to say, “I am proud to be a lawyer.” Campbell: I can talk about the cases that I have dealt with in the past that have truly brought a right when a wrong occurred and justice prevailed. But I think the most defining moment in my legal career was when I was on the 17th green of Eagle Trace Golf Course and saw a man in front of me fall down and have a heart attack. My golf partner and I, who is also a lawyer, quickly drove up to see what was going on. It was clear that the two individuals that were golfing with this gentleman had no idea what to do. So I immediately started using CPR and was able to save this man’s life until the paramedics arrived. That, in and of itself, was not the defining moment. The defining moment was that one of the witnesses who saw me perform CPR was a doctor who made the comment afterwards that he thought all lawyers sucked the life out of people and he was impressed that one lawyer saved a life. This type of mindset is exactly what we need to get rid of in society. More respect and trust is needed between people. After all we should never forget that we are all human beings, Americans, and Floridians.I know my comments are not erudite because quite frankly we do not have the time or space to fully comment on the needs of The Florida Bar.I do need your vote for president-elect of The Florida Bar. Schickel: I represented a family that was on the verge of losing everything. They had even lost hope. My partners and I were able to help them. The hugs were better than the praise and thank you, for without the help of a lawyer. . . all would have been lost. Young: I handled a pro bono matter for a woman whose children had been removed from her and placed with their father due to her serious drug problem. She had completely rehabilitated herself and become gainfully employed. The father nonetheless would not allow her to have visitation with the children. I was successful in securing her that visitation. Helping someone who had helped themselves made me proud to be a lawyer. I should add that there have been many such moments in my legal career. I am proud to be a lawyer because of the critical role we play in preserving our democratic society. The fact that we are a nation of laws makes me proud to be a lawyer. Presidential candidates address Bar issueslast_img read more

Soni, Kitajima claim L.A. honors

first_img GET THE BEST OF THE JAPAN TIMES LOS ANGELES (AP) Rebecca Soni defeated Jessica Hardy to win the 100-meter breaststroke in a showdown between the two fastest women ever in the event Sunday at the Los Angeles Grand Prix.Soni extended her lead over the final 50 to win in a meet-record time of 1 minute, 6.23 seconds. Hardy touched in 1:08.61. IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5center_img “It’s always fun for me to be ahead at the 50, than to have to come back from behind like I usually do,” said Soni, who won the 200 breast a day earlier. “I was going for a 1:06. The 100 is a little easier for me to be consistent in.”Olympic champion Kosuke Kitajima completed a sweep of the men’s breaststroke events, winning the 100 in a meet record of 1:00.82 on the Southern California campus. He and Michael Alexandrov were neck-and-neck for the first 50 before Kitajima pulled away. Alexandrov was second in 1:01.35. last_img read more

Lacho Tanev: In a month or two Levski will have a…

first_imgLevski will have a general sponsor in a month or two. This was revealed by the football manager Lachezar Tanev on TV 7/8.He is a family friend with the owner of the “blues”, the two were partners in the management company “Tanev, Sirakov and Co”. “In a month or two Levski will have a new general sponsor. I will certainly say so, although it is not my job to do so. I have information.At the moment I am not surprised by the team’s losses. And CSKA fell from Tsarsko Selo last season. A person who plays football professionally and sees how the team is formed as a matter of urgency cannot expect anything for this season.Lacho Tanev: After the match with Levski, was there a beating? I guarantee you one hundred percent that this is a myth!“We totally outplayed Levski. We missed a penalty, I wasted two clean sheets.”I have to be honest about the selection. When a club lacks stability, it would be very difficult to persuade someone to come. I’ll let him down. I don’t want to sound boastful, but I don’t have the opportunities and experience with players who take 4-5000 euros a month. There are in Brazil and South America, but I do not work at this level and I can not help, “said Tanev.Lachezar Tanev: Levski owner Nasko Sirakov puts the balls on the table“It’s unrealistic to have owners and sponsors who for some reason give 20 million and the club produces much less.”“Paulinho is OK. Nigel Roberta has qualities, but I’m skeptical of him. Holmar Ejolfsson was also good. In Barcelona they give Messi 100 million gross per year, which is 10% of the club’s budget, but the problem is that you take 4-5 players who fail, and this is a cost, in Bulgarian clubs it is the same, 100-200 thousand euros are given per year for someone who is seen to be not doing well.As far as I know, Petar Hubchev does not have a Bulgarian passport. Some time ago, when you were taking another, you gave up one and it was only in German. He is a professional, but I will set an example with myself – if I played for Levski and they gave me a job, I will compromise. This is my understanding. I want to help the club and there are currently three or four that can be sold for good money. One is Bulgarian. But the real amounts are different, “Tanev said.Lachezar Tanev mediated for the attraction of Ihinio MarinThe football manager thinks that it is difficult to convince Spaniards to come to Bulgarialast_img read more

Will Sky Bet be the next to gain authorised betting partner status?

first_img PokerStars moves to refresh global appeal with ‘I’M IN’ August 18, 2020 Related Articles Submit ‘Deal maker’ Rafi Ashkenazi ends Flutter tenure  August 27, 2020 It is being reported that Sky Bet is to be announced as the latest bookmaker to sign up for authorised betting partner status with British horseracing. This is a somewhat exclusive status and should it go ahead the operator will join Betfair, bet365, BetVictor and 32Red as an APB. This is in addition to a number of smaller companies. The primary benefit of gaining APB status is that it allows those listed to sponsor races at a number of British tracks.The deal will also allow talkSPORT 2 to launch as planned during the upcoming Cheltenham Festival which starts on March 15th. Sky Bet is the station’s betting sponsor and the intention is to broadcast the first shows from the course which would not have been allowed to go ahead without the bookmaker first securing ABP status.Talksport’s main channel will also be broadcasting from the festival for its duration. A spokesman from Racecourse Media Group has stated that this will be allowed despite its output including sponsored shows by bookmakers without APB status. This is reportedly because they were part of deals which were agreed prior to the APB dispute. StumbleUpon Flutter moves to refine merger benefits against 2020 trading realities August 27, 2020 Share Sharelast_img read more