May 15, 2004 Senior Editor Regular News Bar leaders happy with ’04 session Bar leaders happy with ’04 session Gary Blankenship Senior Editor Suspended or disbarred lawyers who continue to practice could face prison time as well as additional Bar sanctions under an unlicensed practice of law bill that passed the Florida Legislature and is awaiting the governor’s signature.Lawmakers also approved a new specialty license plate that will raise funds for Florida Bar Foundation legal programs for kids, and continued, albeit with lower funding, the Civil Legal Assistance Act.Legislators also dealt with — or allowed to die — several other issues of interest to the legal profession in the closing days of the 2004 Regular Session.“I think the Bar did very well,” Bar President Miles McGrane said. “The only thing I’m very disappointed about is the failure to raise the Civil Legal Assistance Act to $5.5 million.”He said he was particularly pleased with the UPL bill and that the Bar was able to work out a compromise to head off a proposed constitutional amendment to have the legislature take over from the Supreme Court the oversight of court procedural rules.“All in all, it was a successful session as far as the Bar was concerned,” said President-elect designate Alan Bookman, who chairs the Bar’s Legislation Committee. “I’m very glad to see the license plate was approved; that’s going to raise needed money for children’s programs.“I’m glad to see the penalty was raised for UPL; that’s going to be a third degree felony.” UPL Bill The UPL bill that passed was the House version of the proposal rather than the initial Senate bill, which amended only one section of the law.The bill sent to the governor amends F.S. §§454.23, 454.31, and 434.32. All three sections increase the penalty from a first degree misdemeanor to a third degree felony.The first section makes it a violation for a nonlawyer to practice law; the second applies to suspended or disbarred lawyers who continue to practice; and the third applies to any person who knowingly assists a suspended or disbarred attorney who continues to practice law.If signed by the governor, the law becomes effective October 1.The bill arose from legislators’ frustration with constituents who had been victimized by UPL, particularly in the immigration area, and the Bar responded to requests by strongly supporting the bills which increased the penalties for UPL to a third degree felony. That penalty carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Bar Tag The new license plate was one of a dozen specialty tags lumped into one bill that passed in the closing days of the session.But legislators expressed concerns about the proliferation of specialty tags (with the new bill, the state has almost 100) and the bill included standards for continuing the unique licenses. Those with specialty tags will now have to sell at least 1,000 plates annually, or have their tag dropped.Sen. Skip Campbell, D-Tamarac, also said he’d like to see legislation to audit the nonprofit groups that get tag revenue to make sure it’s used mostly for charitable purposes and not administrative overhead.He also noted there’s concern by law enforcement agencies about the specialty plates because the tags may not be readily recognizable as Florida licenses.Sen. Victor Crist, R-Tampa, said of the 84 existing plates, 34 have sold less than 1,000 plates over the years, and 11 have sold fewer than 100. “If they aren’t going to go out and work their plate, their opportunity should go to someone else who is going to go out and promote it,” he said.Bar and Foundation planners expect to meet the 1,000 plate requirement easily with the “Kids Deserve Justice” tag. The money will go to the Foundation which will use it for children’s legal programs. Civil Legal Assistance The Bar and The Florida Bar Foundation were less successful with their support for the Civil Legal Assistance Act. First approved two years ago after it was proposed by the Bar and the Foundation, the program had $2 million split among six circuits for legal aid programs that helped families. That funding was cut to $1.5 million last year.This year, McGrane hoped to take the program statewide by getting a $5.5 million appropriation. Instead, the program was continued but with only $1 million.“We need to find a source to fund that, other than general revenue,” McGrane said. “Until we do, we’re going to be facing this every year.”He noted that Sen. Rod Smith, D-Gainesville, had proposed a small surcharge on large court awards and there was talk of earmarking some of that money for the act. But nothing came of Smith’s idea. Other Legislation of Interest On other issues:• No further action was taken on a proposed constitutional amendment to have the legislature take over court procedural rulemaking from the Supreme Court. The backer of that bill reached an agreement with President McGrane to have legislators appointed to the various rules committees and also have the legislature notified of recommended rule amendments. (See story in the April 30 Bar News. )• After much jockeying, HB 1357, which passed the House 104-8, was not taken up in the Senate. The bill would prohibit attorneys from running ads that solicit or urge potential clients to file a lawsuit. Although the issue died this year, incoming Senate President Tom Lee is interested in pursuing the issue next year and the House sponsor, Rep. David Simmons, R-Altamonte Springs, said he plans to reintroduce his bill next year and he expects it to pass both chambers. The issue is expected to be studied by a special commission set up by Bar President-elect Kelly Overstreet Johnson to review Bar advertising rules.• HB 1149 died after it passed the House 86-21 on March 29, but was not taken up in the Senate. The measure would have reversed long-standing Florida tradition of giving the defense in a criminal case the first and last say in closing arguments when no evidence other than the defendant’s testimony is presented at trial.• A provision in the House proposed budget striking $1.7 million from the budgets of the state’s capital collateral regional counsels and prohibiting them from representing state death row inmates in federal appeals was omitted from the final budget. The state’s two CCRC offices retained those funds and the ability to handle federal appeals in the final budget.• HB 573, which gave business owners greater protections from lawsuits resulting from third party criminal activity if the owners took steps to make their properties safer, passed the House by a 117-0 vote, but wasn’t taken up in the Senate.• SB 2306 passed unanimously in both chambers. It calls for a study on the availability and usage of mammograms in Florida, with the report to be issued by the end of the year. That language replaced earlier drafts in both House and Senate bills that would have given radiologists reading mammograms immunity from medical malpractice cases except in cases of gross negligence. Bill backers said high malpractice insurance premiums are driving radiologists away from mammography, making it hard for women to get those services in many areas of the state.As for next year, McGrane and Bookman said they expect that court funding will remain a top Bar concern. Although court officials have said they are satisfied with their budgets for the coming year (see story page 1), McGrane and Bookman said they are worried the courts didn’t get enough to cope with the mandates of Revision 7 to Art. V, which requires the state to pay more expenses of the trial courts.“I think the court funding will be back on the table. I expect we’ll discover the amount approved by the legislature is not sufficient,” McGrane said.Bookman noted that rather than directly budgeting to the courts reserve funds they may need to cope with Revision 7 uncertainties, the legislature gave the courts permission to tap into the state’s large working capital fund. He said he would prefer the money had been put in the courts’ budget.“We’ve got a great court system, a functioning court system, and it would be unfortunate for the citizens if we took a step backwards,” he said.
Facebook40Tweet0Pin0 Submitted by Domino’s PizzaDomino’s Pizza is holding the Grand Opening for its first and only Olympia restaurant this Saturday, April 20 from 10 a.m. to Close (10:00 p.m. for carry out and 1:00 a.m. for delivery) and is donating 100% of sales to the Hands On Children’s Museum.The donation will support the Museum’s Free-and-Reduced Admissions Program. Guests are invited to the ribbon cutting and for a tour of the new space.The Olympia Domino’s doesn’t look like many of the chain’s restaurants you have seen before. Domino’s is introducing its Pizza Theater store design, where kids and adults alike will have the opportunity to watch their pizza being made and interact with crew members. The new restaurant also features hardwood floors, booth seating, a chalk wall to entertain kids, and a new cold case with fresh-made salads, milk, cookies, cakes and other desserts.Join us to help support the Hands On Children’s Museum and for FREE pizza samples, prizes, pizza-making races, face painting and more!Domino’s Pizza3225 Harrison AvenueOlympia, WA 98502Phone: 360-357-2277
Jim and Judy Page of Interlaken announce the engagement of their daughter Tara Page to David Aho, son of Amy Aho and the late Mike Aho of Little Silver.The bride-to-be is a student at the City University of New York. She is employed as a model at Ford Models of New York.The future groom received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Pennsylvania. He is a partner of Colbeck Capital Management.The couple met at Felix Restaurant in New York City. They live in Manhattan with their three cats: Gus of New York, and Ophelia and L.A., both of Anguilla, BVI.A fall 2012 wedding is planned.
By Madelynne KislovskyRED BANK – Twenty-two graduate students from the People’s Republic of China attended a delegation visit and tour of Red Bank Monday to broaden their understanding of our culture.All of the attendees were either M.B.A. or M.S. accounting students of the Seton Hall University Stillman School of Business. In addition to being given a visual tour of Red Bank, the students were able to speak with several community partners during a panel discussion.One student added a bit of comedy into the session, asking if the town of Red Bank was named after a large crimson finance building and where it might be located, unaware of the red clay that used to cover the riverbanks that gave the town its name.The F.I.S.H. Institute, the company that organized the tour, is an international student experience company and a vendor with Seton Hall University. The goal of this company is to get foreign students involved with the community and society that they are studying in, said the super visor of the students, Brad Childs. “The way that the communities and businesses work together in Red Bank is completely different than what these students are used to in China. We want them to understand the environment they’re in, and what better way to provide them with culture than this?” Childs said.Mayor Pasquale Menna said the event came about through his participation in a program sponsored by Seton Hall’s urban development project conducted by faculty member Henry Amoroso, Menna’s friend.The Student Delegation began with a question and answer session by a few dignitaries and other partners of the community to educate the graduate students of the Red Bank community. Members of the discussion panel included Mayor Menna; Christopher Cole, the CEO of Metrovation Terranomics Development; Tria Deibert, director of marketing for Meridian Health, which operates Riverview Medical Center; Domenic DiPiero, Jr., owner of The Two River Times and the financial services firm Newport Capital Group, LLC; Adam Philipson, CEO of the Count Basie Theatre, and James Scavone, executive director of Red Bank RiverCenter, which oversees the borough’s commercial special improvement district.Menna and the other panelists talked about how Red Bank works together in order to thrive. “Every municipality, in order to survive, has to change,” Menna explained to the students. The students were able to hear how partnerships between the municipality and other local organizations and companies directly benefit the community as a whole. “It’s all about partnerships in the community, which is a critical element of being successful in business,” CEO Christopher Cole said. “These little things keep our community interesting and unique.”The exchange students asked about the meaning of the black POW-MIA flag flying high outside the municipal complex at 90 Monmouth St., how to operate a successful nonprofit theater like Count Basie, and how Red Bank’s medical centers are able to compete with larger hospitals and treatment centers in major cities, like Manhattan and Jersey City. Deibert explained that “in order to stay current, we have to reinvent ourselves,” referring to the $130 million investment in new equipment, technology, and medical professionals, to provide patients with the same treatment as larger facilities along with that close-to-home convenience.Menna touched on many aspects of the Red Bank community, including the large Hispanic population, sustainable assistance for those living in rent-controlled apartments, and the long list of restaurants to choose from that has now grown to over a 100.Menna called the visit “a wonderful opportunity,” and explained his hope of educating the exchange students on the endeavors that make Red Bank successful, especially in the areas of the arts, the medical field, and finance redevelopment.Sean Mulheren, a research assistant for the Stillman School of Business at Seton Hall, attended the visit as well. “I just wanted to participate, and bridge the gap between foreign and American students on campus,” Mulheren said. He explained that the experience Seton Hall provides these students, where they are introduced to a part of America that they were unaware of, is an experience that many of the students can’t find anywhere else. “They seem to be enjoying it,” Mulheren said.One of the visiting students, Vincent Wei, had never been to any area outside of the Seton Hall campus in South Orange. The accounting and finance major, a native of Beijing, was looking for ward to the trip.The tour of the community began with the Count Basie Theatre, 99 Monmouth St., where the students met the Golden Dragon Acrobats, natives of the People’s Republic of China who have toured the U.S. since 1978. They were welcomed upon entering the theater by rows and rows of young children anxiously waiting for the performance to start, who serenaded the exchange students with a sing-along of Br uno Mars’ “Uptown Funk.” The exchange students were pleased with the joyous, welcoming atmosphere, and the beautiful architecture of the Count Basie Theatre.The tour included the Two River Theater, the West Side Lofts apartment complex, and the Galleria shops/farmers market, which holds businesses such as Pilates of Red Bank and the restaurant The Melting Pot. The tour ended at Riverside Gardens Park, where the group saw the beautiful scenery and took a photo with Menna.Jing Zhang, another accounting student of the Stillman School of Business and native of Beijing, said that this visit helped her realize the importance of actively participating in environmentally-conscience actions, to benefit the lives of her generation’s children and grandchildren. Zhang’s favorite place on the tour was the Count Basie Theatre. “I could feel the culture there, and the ceilings were really cool,” she said.The exchange students were able to see the artistic, residential, business, and environmental aspects of Red Bank, a town that one student referred to as, “the new New York.”
The Leafs welcomed Pal and her daughter snow the opportunity to drop the puck during the ceremonial faceoff to begin the game.There was also silent auctions as well as Nelson donated its share of the 50/50 draw to Pal’s fundraising cause.”I just want to say thank you so much to the Nelson Leafs (including) Sean Dooley and MJ Swetlikoe — for making this happen,” said evening organizer Steve Archdekin.Archdekin said Pal has a long way to go but knows everyone is behind her until she comes through the other end of this.“I am so grateful for the way so many people jump at the chance to help me with the things I have been doing,” Archdekin said.“It would be impossible without you. I have met some incredible people along the way to go with the endless inspiration I have found watching the dignity and grace with how G (Gelana) has been handling all of this. Really beautiful stuff.”The evening became complete when Nelson won the game in double overtime 3-2 on a goal by Ryan Piva. Fewer women are dying from breast cancer. But the number remains high, too high.Which is why the month of October has been designated across North America as Breast Cancer Awareness month by people wearing pink.Saturday, during the KIJHL game between the Leafs and Columbia Valley Rockies, the Heritage City franchise showcased the battle against a serious form of breast cancer by Galena Pal of Nelson.