November 1, 2011 Letters

first_img November 1, 2011 Letters Letters Civility According to an article in the October 1 News, the new language for civility added to the Oath of Admission is enforceable “for all those who take the oath.”What about the older attorneys who haven’t learned civility?Maybe the Bar should send out an amended oath for the older members to take voluntarily. I don’t believe the Bar could make it a requirement, but it would be an interesting exercise to see who would submit themselves to enforcement of the new language in the oath.George S. Pappas Daytona Beach __________________________________ November 1, 2011 Letterscenter_img Regarding the article in the October 1 News concerning the addition of civility to the Oath of Admission, I have a few comments.Not two weeks before I read of the Supreme Court’s action, I had the unhappy occasion to search through the Rules Regulating The Florida Bar to find the “civility” rule, which I’d felt an attorney I had been dealing with had not lived up to. Yet, to my dismay, there was none. While the addition of civility language to the oath is a good step, I believe it is too little a step. Attorneys aren’t disciplined by the Bar for violations of the oath. They are disciplined for violation of the Rules Regulating The Florida Bar.If our Supreme Court, and the various professionalism committees and work-groups in the Bar, are truly concerned about returning civility to our once-respected profession, civility toward fellow attorneys and represented parties would be added to the rules. I hope such efforts will be initiated soon.Turning to a comment in the article that much of the incivility in our profession is attributable to “new young lawyers” who just haven’t had the opportunity to be mentored by their “elders,” I am compelled to offer a contrary view. While, to be sure, some new attorneys come out of school not knowing how to play nice in the sandbox, I am closing in on 20 years of practice, and almost uniformly I can attest that the most uncivil, cantankerous, and unwilling to listen to reason among us are, in fact, some of our longer-practicing members.While, of course, I have encountered many wonderfully professional, civil, and distinguished senior members of the Bar, too many feel that yelling, belittling, and threatening are acceptable substitutes for discussion, mutual respect, and sound legal research. I can only hope that the court and the Bar will press ahead with further civility measures, including ones based in the rules, and that each of us, when encountering incivility in our profession, takes the personal responsibility to express disapproval of such conduct (respectfully, of course). I truly feel that in spite of all the other challenges facing the future of our profession, our growing unwillingness to act like learned, respected professionals will create the end of our “profession.”Robert Michael Eschenfelder Bradenton Direct-file Laws “Florida’s grand experiment of the ’90s,” as mentioned in the October 1 News, has proven a failure. The prosecution of younger and younger children as adults is not only ineffective in reducing crime but costly as well. The time has come to reevaluate how these types of cases are handled.In these times of tight government budgets, it is incumbent upon us to set aside rhetoric and focus on the reality. History and recent studies show that “tough on crime” rhetoric with regard to direct-filing children has resulted in a waste of taxpayer dollars. It almost guarantees children will not be rehabilitated, will need further incarceration, will endanger society, and will require additional mental health and medical treatment. The juvenile justice system, albeit imperfect, is nevertheless best equipped to rehabilitate children and give them the best opportunity to become productive citizens. Isn’t that what we all want?The Legal Needs of Children Committee’s recommendations do not advocate shutting the door on all criminal prosecution of juveniles. Rather, the committee recommends a criminal judge make the ultimate decision as to the proper court to hear each child’s case. An impartial judge is in a better position to ensure the protection of due process rights, evaluate the unique circumstances of each child’s case, and determine where the interests of justice will best be served.In practice, the nearly unbridled discretion currently afforded to prosecutors to direct file juveniles often results in “coerced pleas.” This happens when a child is faced with the decision to plead guilty to a juvenile charge or be prosecuted in adult court. The stakes are just too high to roll the dice in adult court for many of these children — even if they are completely innocent. This likely unintended consequence of the current system allows prosecutors to use the threat of adult prosecution as a club to negotiate pleas. Certainly, this offends the notions of justice and fair play. Putting the ball back in the judge’s court provides protections to children that at present do not exist.The decision of the committee to support expanding judicial sentencing options also makes common sense. Such legislation would restore judicial discretion to very complex, delicate, and serious dynamics. Judges, as dispensers of justice, are best suited to tailor sentences to meet the needs of both children and society. Oftentimes a cry is heard that a prosecutor had no choice but to direct file because juvenile sanctions simply were not proportionate to the crime. Certainly, the reverse is also true: Adult sanctions are too harsh and disproportionate to the child’s culpability and rehabilitative potential. Because adolescents in the justice system are caught between the adult and juvenile worlds, blended sentencing allows judges the ability to bridge these disparities. Such an approach would save taxpayer dollars and hopefully save children as well.Christina Spudeas Executive Director, Florida’s Children First Coral Springs Foreclosures After the exposure of rampant abuse by lending institutions and mortgage loan services in the foreclosure process, which caused many lending institutions to halt for a time the filing of more foreclosures or the prosecution of existing cases, it is inconceivable that the Legislature would consider non-judicial foreclosures as a viable option to relieve the backlog of foreclosure cases.Our state’s judiciary needs to remain involved in the protection of our citizens’ important fundamental procedural and property rights. If the Legislature is committed to addressing the issue, it should increase funding of the judicial system and the appointment of more judges.John Yanchunis Tampalast_img read more

‘Historic’ Caribbean Dust Storm Shows Value of Forecast Services: UN Weather…

first_img Oct 8, 2019 Caribbean Weather Heads at Congress of WMO(Caribbean Meteorological Organisation Press Release) English–speaking Caribbean States were well represented at the Eighteenth World Meteorological Congress (Cg18) which took place in Geneva, Switzerland, from 3 -14 June 2019. The Congress is the Supreme body of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) – the Geneva-based United Nations Specialised Agency that coordinates…July 11, 2019In “Associate Member States”Regional countries urged to brace for floodsBRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Feb 16, CMC – The Barbados-based Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH) is warning regional countries that they should brace themselves for floods as the drought conditions which have affected the region since late 2014 are expected to subside by the start of the 2016 Hurricane Season.…February 16, 2016In “CARICOM”Agreement to improve Meteorological collaboration in the CaribbeanThe Caribbean Meteorological Organization (CMO) and the Meteorological Service of France (Météo‑France) signed an agreement on 21 June 2016 to formalize the working arrangements between their two institutions. The Caribbean Meteorological Organization, which is a specialized institution of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), coordinates the joint scientific activities of the National…June 29, 2016In “General”Share this on WhatsApp “Sand and dust storms are severe hazards that can affect weather, climate, the environment, health, economies, transport and agriculture in many parts of the world”, said Dr. Oksana Tarasova, Head of WMO’s Atmospheric Environment Research Division. Jul 18, 2017 CARPHA achieves international accreditation for testing… Apr 6, 2020 CDB supports Relief Measures for Drought-Hit Farmers in… Read more at: United Nations News Share this:PrintTwitterFacebookLinkedInLike this:Like Loading… Daily life affectedcenter_img Regional Climate Centre established in Barbados “The ongoing dust storm, which has affected daily life in the Caribbean, shows the importance of forecast and warning services.” You may be interested in… The storm arrived in the Eastern Caribbean from North Africa last week, affecting a wide area so far, spanning from the northern coast of South America to the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. (United Nations News) A massive dust storm currently blanketing many parts of the Caribbean, posing a significant threat to regional health, has revealed the importance of having effective warning systems in place, the World Meteorological Office (WMO) said on Friday. Region to Host First Caribbean Congress on Adolescent and… Dec 12, 2017last_img read more