Letters Lawyer Advertising I wish to commend Peter Aiken on his letter appearing in the March 15 News. I have been practicing criminal law for over 25 years and as the newly elected public defender for the Seventh Judicial Circuit I can attest to the fact that the criminal defense lawyer’s activity in the first 30 days of a criminal case is crucial to protecting the client’s interests and frequently results in early, favorable dispositions. There are more than a few instances where quick attention by an effective criminal defense lawyer can result in the avoidance of extended jail time, resulting in loss of job, home, vehicle, and in some instances, family and friends. In the first 30 days following the arrest, a defense lawyer can often contact the state attorney’s office to provide information which had not been previously made available by the arresting officers. This action often results in a reduction of the charge from that sought in the probable cause affidavit. It does not take a rocket scientist to recognize what can be accomplished by an effective criminal defense lawyer who responds quickly to the needs of his client. If an arrestee has the means to employ a criminal defense attorney, he should have the opportunity to be acquainted with the lawyers willing to represent him at the earliest possible stage of the proceedings. As a public defender, I find it most helpful to our heavy dockets to have private attorneys assuming early representation. I believe that the Board of Governors should refrain from making any changes to the advertising rules for the first 30 days following arrest as this would undermine proper representation of the criminal client. James S. Purdy Seventh Circuit Public Defender Defending the Judiciary The statement issued by the president of The Florida Bar responding to attacks on the judiciary [in regard to the Terri Schiavo case] and calling for support of the rule of law and separation of powers is excellent. Justice is under fire in the state of Florida. The Florida Bar is to be congratulated for its active participation in defending judges and the courts from these unwarranted attacks. As this year’s president of the Florida Chapters of the American Board of Trial Advocates and our 525 member organization with 11 chapters throughout the state, we join with The Florida Bar in protecting the judiciary from these attacks. Judicial independence enriches democracy. Our constitution is intentionally designed to place limitation on the exercise of power in all branches of government. Under our constitutional government, with its separation of powers, it is the function of the judiciary to ensure that the legislative and the executive branches do not overstep their bounds. FLABOTA members are plaintiff and defense lawyers who are experienced trial lawyers who have demonstrated exceptional skill as advocates and whose professional careers have been marked by the highest standards of civility, professionalism, and ethical conduct. FLABOTA’s mission is to preserve the Seventh Amendment right to trial by jury in civil cases and to vigorously protect the independence of the judiciary and the independence of the Florida lawyer. This is a call to action to all Florida lawyers. As lawyers, we can celebrate judicial independence because we all know that the courts help make America and our wonderful state of Florida special by defending our freedoms and protecting our rights. To undermine judicial independence would mark a drastic departure from our nation by ripping up our federal and state constitutions and their values. We cannot allow political demagoguery and special interests to undermine the genius of our constitutional system. We must fulfill our duty to protect the independence of the judiciary and the bar. You also should be aware that there is a group called The Institute for Legal Reform (see www.instituteforlegalreform.org). One of the ads on this Web site has a man screaming that our state’s legal system destroys jobs, raises taxes, and takes your money. The ad further lists the best to worst legal systems in the United States. The best legal system is rated number 1, the worst legal system is rated 50. Florida is listed as number 42. The ad ends with the cry that legal reform is needed now. Demand that your elected officials fix the flaws in the justice system. The ad concludes with this unbelievable statement: “Require fairness from your judges.” We must stand together to denounce these negative attacks and organized campaigns to drive judges from office or attack their integrity for making unpopular decisions. Current efforts to encroach on judicial independence come in a variety of forms including special interest groups. The threat to judicial independence in Florida is no longer a slow, incremental erosion. The attack now moves at a rapid speed with special rules and limited debate. FLABOTA is ready, willing, and able to join The Florida Bar and will actively participate in defending judges and the courts from unwarranted attacks. We must expose these political threats to judicial independence and protect judges who are being targeted for specific case rulings. Herman J. Russomanno FLABOTA president Gay Adoptions I’ve been suffering in silence for a long time while headline after headline in the News talks about the ongoing debate over “gays” and “gay adoption.” Please, we’re lawyers. We’re supposed to know what words mean, and use them accordingly. Must you misuse what was formerly a perfectly serviceable word, “gay,” to denote a group that is no more uniformly “gay” than all heterosexuals? It is bad enough that the U.S. Supreme Court tells us the words in the constitution have constantly shifting meanings, but to say all homosexuals are gay ( i.e. happy), just like some heterosexuals are. And some, in both groups, are notably morose. So how about we stop abusing the word “gay”? As anyone who knows me will attest, I’m a very gay fellow, and often appear as a gay lawyer, but I’m heterosexual, not homosexual. . . not that there is anything wrong with that. Timothy Condon Tampa letters The Board of Governors recently declined to allow certain Bar sections to lobby for repeal of the statute banning adoptions by homosexuals. In doing so, they recognized that the single, relevant, and finally determinative issue was the “potential for deep philosophical or emotional division among a substantial segment of the membership.” The majority could not ignore this unmistakable division as expressed by the membership prior to their vote. The March 1 News reported the impassioned language of those involved in the latest effort to use “the honor and prestige of the Bar” to lobby in support of the latest incremental step to sanction adoption by homosexuals. (Proponents describe it as the “first thing we can do.”) It is more than clear by now that there is at least “a substantial segment of the membership” (this member included) which holds an equally passionate, but diametrically opposite view on this subject. The bill in question, as the News candidly described it, would “skirt the law.” Its proponents suggest that, since homosexuals are presently allowed to be foster parents, it necessarily follows that the homosexuality of said foster parents should not bar them from adoption. This logic is questionable but, in any event, the bill’s advocates cannot claim to have resolved the deep division among Bar members on this issue. To the best of my knowledge, none of the Bar members opposed to the first lobbying request expressed their support for foster parenting by homosexuals. (Nevertheless, a bill to ban homosexuals from being foster parents would be equally divisive among the Bar membership and, accordingly, should not be lobbied by the Bar or any of its sections.) I urge the Board of Governors to decline permission for any Bar section to lobby for, or against, these latest bills to permit adoption by homosexuals. Guy R. Strayhorn Ft. Myers Leroy Collins Leroy Collins was my hero, my mentor, and my friend. The 40th anniversary of the Selma, Ala., civil-rights march should encourage Floridians to remember Thomas LeRoy Collins, 33rd governor of Florida, for a lifetime lived in service to others. And what a lifetime it was! In the years after his governorship, Collins became the first director of the Community Relations Service under the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Though the job meant a pay cut and put a dent in his political aspirations, he accepted the position because he knew that it was a crucial step in racial equity. On March 7, and again on March 25, 1965, he served as President Lyndon B. Johnson’s special envoy in Selma to protect the marchers led by the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. Shortly after that famous event, he commented, “If I hadn’t done anything else in my lifetime, but was involved in that, I would have had something to feel good about.” Florida was fortunate to reap the benefits of Collins’ lifetime of service, and he did plenty for us to feel good about. From his creation of the community-college system, to his efforts to reapportion the legislature, to his passionate quest to improve race relations, he was the model of a selfless public servant. Collins’ legacy is the cast that molds today’s Florida officials. In his lifetime, Collins showed us what it means to be a leader. He never succumbed to pressure to conform when he took stands on difficult or volatile issues. Because of this, he was rejected by many of his local friends and legal colleagues. When he ran for U.S. Senate in 1968, I was a student at the University of Florida, where we had our own race-relation problems. After the assassinations of Bobby Kennedy and King, his example inspired me and many others to become involved in public service. During that Senate campaign, his opponent’s supporters used a picture of Collins marching with King to win votes. He accepted defeat in that race as a statesman, with grace and without regret. That racism could not be used successfully today in Florida is a testament in part to Collins’ legacy. Florida’s greatest public official is remembered today and his opponents have been long since forgotten. In much the same way as Abraham Lincoln is remembered now, Collins’ lifetime of service comes into much clearer perspective with the passage of time, and his far-reaching policies will become only more impressive with the clarity of hindsight. After his death in 1991, the Florida House named Leroy Collins the Floridian of the Century because of his lifetime of service. A state holiday is an apt way to honor this lifetime and provide a wonderful way to teach forever a new and younger generation about this unique man. Such a lifetime, such a legacy, such a man surely deserves this recognition. Steve Uhlfelder Tallahassee April 15, 2005 Letters
61SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,John Pettit John Pettit is the Managing Editor for CUInsight.com. John manages the content on the site, including current news, editorial, press releases, jobs and events. He keeps the credit union … Web: www.cuinsight.com Details There are just under two weeks left in 2018, so it’s time to think about the future. When it comes to finances, what would you like to do differently next year? When looking at your money and the way you spend it, what needs to change? Here are a few things you should remove from your budget next year, according to the folks over at NerdWallet…Unnecessary daily expenses: We all like coffee every day. But do you really need Starbucks every morning? It’s expensive and it’s not that good (don’t @ me bros). If you spend 4 bucks on coffee each morning on your way to work, you’ll end up spending well over $1,000 at the end of the year. Here’s an idea: Stock up coffee to brew at home and use the price difference to beef up your emergency fund.Phone apps: The vast majority of apps on my phone are free apps, so this one doesn’t really hit home to me. But for a lot of people, spending 99 cents here and there doesn’t seem like a big deal. If you’re one of those people who spends a lot of time on your smartphone throughout the day (and you’re probably more aware of that time these days thanks to Apple’s new obsession with telling us about our daily/weekly screen time) then it might be time to think about which apps are costing you money (whether it’s upfront or from in-app purchases).Spending with coupons: You’re probably thinking, “this sounds like saving money!” While coupons can be helpful tools, they’re only helpful if the coupon is something you were already planning on buying. Don’t be swayed by a deal or discount if it’s not something you need. Buying things you want (and don’t need) is an easy way to throw money away. Only make smart or necessary purchases, and use coupons to make those buys even better.
Katie Taylor has set up an Olympic final rematch, with victory this morning in the last-16 of the AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships. The Bray fighter will face Russian Sofya Ochigava tomorrow, the woman she beat to claim gold in London two years ago. There was disappointment for Belfast’s Michaela Walsh, who lost her 54 k-g bout on a split decision to Azerbaijan’s Anna Alimardanova.