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Karrubi Calls for Mobilizations to Continue

first_imgBy Dialogo June 23, 2009 Tehran, 22 June (EFE).- Today the reformist cleric Mehdi Karrubi, one of the defeated candidates in the June 12 elections, called on the Iranian people to keep on protesting and to honor the dead with new protests in Tehran. “I invite all citizens to participate in a ceremony to commemorate the martyrs of the last few days, which date, place, and time will be announced shortly,” he affirmed in a statement posted on the website of his party, Etemad Melli. Likewise, the cleric criticized harshly the regime and appealed for the release of detainees and the end of imposed restrictions on the press. He also appealed for the reestablishment of normal telephone service in order to permit the people to express their opinions freely. Karrubi finished in fourth and last place in the June 12 presidential balloting, receiving only 0.8 percent of the votes, despite having obtained more than five million votes in the previous presidential elections, in 2005. Since the election results, considered fraudulent by the opposition, were made public, Iran has been the scene of protests and disturbances in which more than twenty people have died, according to official figures.last_img read more

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Argentina In World Cup With Win Over Uruguay

first_imgBy Dialogo October 16, 2009 Argentina ended its long struggle, landing a spot in next year’s World Cup thanks to their 1-0 victory at bitter rival Uruguay behind an 84th-minute goal by substitute Mario Bolatti. Despite the loss, Uruguay — the No. 5 team in South American qualifying — faces a two-game playoff in November against Costa Rica, the No. 4 team from North and Central America and the Caribbean. Ecuador, which also had a chance to advance, was eliminated after a 1-0 loss at Chile. Ecuador was trying for its third straight berth in the World Cup. Brazil, Chile and Paraguay had already clinched places before Argentina became the fourth and final automatic qualifier. The victory saved face for two-time champion Argentina, which has not missed a World Cup since 1970. Brazil topped the standings with 34 points, Chile and Paraguay had 33 and Argentina 28. Uruguay finished with 24 and Ecuador 23. In the last qualifiers in South America, all of which had no affect on the remaining berths, it was: Peru 1, Bolivia 0; Brazil 0, Venezuela 0; and Paraguay 0, Colombia 2. Maradona, an icon as a player but under enormous pressure as a coach, should have been relieved by the victory. Many questioned why a team with many of the world’s top players labored so hard to qualify. Maradona cast doubt on whether he would go to South Africa. Last week he suggested him might resign, but then said he was misquoted. “First I have to speak with Grondona,” Maradona said, referring to Argentine Football Association president Julio Grondona. Maradona switched between contentment and anger after the game, lashing out at his critics in a tirade laced with profanities. “Thanks to my players, today I was consecrated as a coach,” he said defiantly. “We are in the World Cup with full honors.” He credited the win to the support he received from the fans, but said some Argentine media treated him “like garbage.” The Argentine players danced on the field after their win, but were unhappy at finishing fourth. “There’s nothing to celebrate. From Grondona on down, it’s all bad,” midfielder Juan Sebastian Veron said. “There’s no reason to sweep things under the carpet. We’ve got to huddle and do a lot of talking.” Maradona shrugged it off, and praised Veron as a “symbol of my team.” In a match full of fouls called by referee Carlos Amarilla of Paraguay, the foul by Uruguay defender Martin Caceres turned out to be pivotal. Caceres tripped up Veron during a clean break just outside the box, and as he received his second yellow card — and red card — he covered his head with his jersey in shame and frustration as he was sent off. From the free kick, Lionel Messi and Veron set up Bolatti — just four minutes after he’d been sent in by Maradona —who shot low past Uruguay goalkeeper Fernando Muslera. Bolatti, at least, was thrilled. “It’s a dream fulfilled,” he said.last_img read more

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First Woman Becomes President of Brazilian Oil Giant Petrobras

first_imgBy Dialogo February 15, 2012 Maria das Graças Foster, a 58-year-old chemical engineer, became president of state-owned oil giant Petrobras on February 13 and promised continuity in the management of the company, which is planning investments worth almost 225 billion dollars between now and 2015. “It moves me a great deal to be the first woman in the world to lead an oil company of this size. It’s a big challenge, a big responsibility. I feel prepared,” Foster said upon taking the post, in the presence of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff. Foster, who began to work at Petrobras as a new graduate in 1978 and was serving as its director of gas and energy until February 12, specified that she wants to “provide continuity” to the management of her predecessor, José Sergio Gabrielli. “We have goals; we know where we want to get to,” she stated. The new president of Petrobras highlighted at a press conference that the five-year plan for 224.7 billion dollars of investments in oil and gas “is being maintained,” although she clarified that “there is no expectation that the investments will be increased.” She is also maintaining the firm’s objective of producing 6 million barrels of oil equivalent per day (BOE/d) by 2020 (compared to 2.02 million BOE/d in 2011). “I’m here as the first female president of Brazil to see the first woman in the world become the head of an oil company. I congratulate a 30-year employee of Petrobras for her tireless work,” Dilma Rousseff said. “With Graças, Petrobras will be in good hands. She will know how to provide continuity and expand Petrobras’s conquests,” she stated. Rousseff recalled that Petrobras has a presence in 28 countries, that the firm’s profits have increased fourfold in the last ten years, and that investment in research has increased 360 percent. “Count on me, Graças Foster,” the president concluded. Foster will seek to turn around disappointing financial results: in the fourth quarter of 2011, Petrobras recorded net profits of 2.95 billion dollars, half what it earned in the same quarter of 2010.last_img read more

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Colombia: High-ranking FARC Member Dies in Military Operation

first_imgBy Dialogo February 13, 2015 Sword of Honor III is a continuation of the counterinsurgency strategy Sword of Honor, launched by the Colombian Armed Forces in 2012 to confront and defeat the illegal groups nationwide. Under the initiative, Soldiers and Troops combat terrorist attacks, dismantle landmines, and persuade hundreds of guerrillas to demobilize and enroll in a government program that provides them with training so they can enter the workforce. A high-ranking member of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) died in a military operation by the Colombian Army’s Terrestrial Combat Battalion No. 93 of the Third Division and the Colombian National Police as part of Sword of Honor III, the Army reported on February 10. As the leader of the FARC’s Daniel Aldana Mobile Company, Orlando had been in charge of installing explosive devices that would be used against civilians and Troops. He also coordinated extortion rings and other illegal activities to finance the country’s largest guerrilla group, which uses proceeds from narco-trafficking to fund its terrorist organization. In 2013, he carried out an attack on a police station in Chilví in Tumaco. A high-ranking member of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) died in a military operation by the Colombian Army’s Terrestrial Combat Battalion No. 93 of the Third Division and the Colombian National Police as part of Sword of Honor III, the Army reported on February 10. Orlando Javier Guerrero Narváez, alias ‘Orlando’ or ‘el Indio’, had an arrest warrant on charges of trafficking, conspiracy, terrorism, forced disappearance, murder of protected persons, and weapons possession. He was fatally shot during a firefight at a residence in the municipality of Tumaco in Nariño Department. As the leader of the FARC’s Daniel Aldana Mobile Company, Orlando had been in charge of installing explosive devices that would be used against civilians and Troops. He also coordinated extortion rings and other illegal activities to finance the country’s largest guerrilla group, which uses proceeds from narco-trafficking to fund its terrorist organization. In 2013, he carried out an attack on a police station in Chilví in Tumaco. Sword of Honor III is a continuation of the counterinsurgency strategy Sword of Honor, launched by the Colombian Armed Forces in 2012 to confront and defeat the illegal groups nationwide. Under the initiative, Soldiers and Troops combat terrorist attacks, dismantle landmines, and persuade hundreds of guerrillas to demobilize and enroll in a government program that provides them with training so they can enter the workforce. Orlando Javier Guerrero Narváez, alias ‘Orlando’ or ‘el Indio’, had an arrest warrant on charges of trafficking, conspiracy, terrorism, forced disappearance, murder of protected persons, and weapons possession. He was fatally shot during a firefight at a residence in the municipality of Tumaco in Nariño Department. last_img read more

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Fire Soldiers

first_imgBy Geraldine Cook/Diálogo September 22, 2017 Under a scorching sun and temperatures of 33°C, Guatemalan’s Army Specialist Noel Fuentes Fuentes, the chief of the Guatemalan Army’s Humanitarian Rescue Brigade, gets his fire suit ready to begin a training exercise. His helmet, jacket, pants, boots, and gloves comprise the equipment that protects him from the fire and its effects during fires and other disasters. “Bad weather is our enemy. In the event of an incident, we have to be ready to aid our population,” Spc. Fuentes said. He adjusted his helmet to head out onto the obstacle course for a mock rescue using mannequins of various sizes. “In this course, we’re basically learning how we’re going to operate when a plane crashes, there is a structure fire, or other emergencies occur.” Next to him, Tamara José García, a volunteer firefighter from the Honorable Managua Fire Department in Nicaragua, checks the oxygen tank that will allow her to breathe in oxygen-deprived or toxic areas. “I’ve always had an eagerness for helping people, and being a firefighter means learning lots of things about how to save lives,” she said. “Being in this training is like being in a firefighter’s paradise. It’s amazing how much equipment they have and how prepared they are with technology.” Spc. Fuentes and García are two of 29 firefighters who participated in the Central America Sharing Mutual Operational Knowledge and Experiences exercise, known as CENTAM SMOKE, led by Joint Task Force-Bravo’s 612th Air Base Squadron. The training was held from August 21st to 25th at José Enrique Soto Cano Air Base in Honduras, with representatives from Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama. CENTAM SMOKE is a training program sponsored by Joint Task Force-Bravo (JTF-Bravo) to improve Central American firefighters’ capacities. During four days of training, the firefighters share knowledge and experiences on personal protection equipment, safety practices, structural and live aircraft fires, basic medical training, loading and unloading helicopters, operating Bambi buckets, and vehicle extraction. The exercise “It’s very important that we keep working with our partner nations in the event that we need to provide them support for operations or we need their help for our operations,” said U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sergeant Jerome William, the assistant chief of training of the Soto Cano Fire Department. CENTAM SMOKE began in 2002 in Honduras. In 2009, the program expanded to Central America, and since then, JTF-Bravo has trained more than 700 firefighters from the region. The exercise is held twice a year, and military and civilian firefighters from each Central American nation with emergency-response experience are invited. “We are very interested in learning how other countries like Costa Rica or Nicaragua handle their emergency situations with the equipment they have because we can share different information, knowledge, and techniques, and learn from each other to make each country better.” Central American firefighters work shoulder-to-shoulder with their U.S. counterparts to share experiences when facing an emergency. “This training unites our Central American brothers and JTF-Bravo in a combined exercise which allows us to be prepared in the event of an emergency in our region so that we can have shared knowledge in our rescue duties,” said Herberth Gaekel, a fire inspector assigned to the 612th Air Squadron. The exercise highlights the importance of firefighter safety during rescue operations. “Safety first, to be able to do our rescue duty well,” Gaekel said. He explained that the training is divided into groups that work in different activities simultaneously. For example, while some firefighters do vehicle extraction tests, others practice fire extinguishing techniques. Shared expectations “My expectations are rather high because we came here to learn techniques that we don’t have,” Second Lieutenant Freddy Reinaldo Andino Anguila, a firefighter with the Honorable Managua Fire Department, said. Andino, who has been a volunteer firefighter for more than 10 years, prepared his equipment to conduct the mock fire test from a helicopter. “This training is essential because when we have an emergency in Central America, we will already know each other and our techniques will already be standardized. We’ll know who to go to and how to work together.” Participants value the exchange of knowledge and experiences among nations. “The knowledge and experience that the Soto Cano firefighters have, allows us to learn an awful lot. We can transfer their techniques to our own countries,” said Lieutenant Leonardo Castro Guzmán, a firefighter with the Fire Department of Costa Rica. He was about to conduct a test in a Chinook CH-47 helicopter used for fighting forest fires. “It’s incredibly important to our region that the United States is assisting us in these kinds of emergencies.” “There is a brotherhood among all Central American firefighters, and that also allows us to link our procedures, harmonize our criteria, and share together in a way that we can say that the firefighters of Central America are a single unit and that we are in sync in our emergency response,” said Fireman Jorge Luis Arias, the supervisor of the Rescue and Firefighting Unit of the Executive Autonomous Port Committee of El Salvador. “Firefighters have a universal language,” Arias added before beginning a vehicle extraction exercise in which they learn techniques for rescuing victims trapped in a car. “We are all contributing something special so that, when a disaster happens, our nations can support each other,” Spc. Fuentes said. “This is quite a good experience. You bring one technique, and the other countries bring another. We complement each other to form a single unit.” The experience was enriching not only for the participants but also for those who remain in Soto Cano. “The firefighters with whom we work and train will return to their country, and will use these skills to save somebody’s life in their country,” Senior Master Sgt. Williams said. “And I had something to do with that. It’s a great honor and a privilege.”last_img read more

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Bateman becomes new deputy director of Bar’s Legal Division

first_imgBateman becomes new deputy director of Bar’s Legal Division Bateman becomes new deputy director of Bar’s Legal Division Two Florida Bar employees have recently taken on new responsibilities. Bar Unlicensed Practice of Law Counsel Mary Ellen Bateman has been named the deputy director of the Legal Division, and Lori Holcomb, assistant director of UPL, has replaced Bateman in the Bar’s top UPL job. Legal Division Director Tony Boggs said Bateman was a match for the new post, which combines oversight of all the department functions, including UPL and lawyer regulation. That oversight includes working on how the Bar will enforce its rules relating to multidisciplinary practices, which involve both lawyer regulation and UPL issues. She will also work on personnel, budget and administrative issues, he said. Boggs added that with about 140 employees, the Legal Division needed a deputy director. “We have always worked very well together and this will continue,” Boggs said. “We are stressing professionalism these days and Mary Ellen is the epitome of professionalism. She delivers a clear message and a quality message.” Boggs praised Holcomb for her commitment and hard work since joining the Bar. “As assistant UPL director, Lori has been preparing for the promotion for a number of years and has shown herself to be dedicated to The Florida Bar,” he said. “We expect big things from her.” Bateman first joined the Bar in 1982 as a Bar counsel in the Tallahassee branch office of the Lawyer Regulation Department. After a maternity leave, she returned in 1985 as acting UPL counsel, and that position became permanent later that year. She oversaw the expansion of the program several years ago, which included adding UPL attorneys in each of the Bar’s five branch offices. Holcomb joined the Bar in June 1987 as assistant UPL counsel. She became assistant director when the program expanded to include the branch UPL offices. Bateman became the division’s deputy director effective June 30. Holcomb’s new post was effective September 1. September 15, 2000 Regular Newslast_img read more

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Raising the bar passing standard

first_img August 1, 2001 Jan Pudlow Associate Editor Regular News Raising the bar passing standard Associate Editor Noel G. Lawrence, the lone member of the Florida Board of Bar Examiners to vote against raising the pass/fail line, has submitted data to the Florida Supreme Court bolstering his argument that such a move would have a negative impact on minorities trying to become lawyers. According to the data submitted by Lawrence, at the current 131 pass/fail line, all minority first-time test-takers had a 58-percent passage rate, raising the pass/file line to 133 dropped it to 48 percent, and raising it further to 136 showed only 42 percent would have passed.Breaking it down further by ethnic groups, the data showed at the current 131 pass/file line, black first-time test-takers had a 53-percent passage rate, but dropped to 45 percent at 133, and 38 percent at 136.For Hispanic first-time test-takers, the data showed that at the current 131 pass/file line, 65 percent passed, raising the line to 133 showed 55 percent passed, and raising it further to 136 showed 53 percent passed.For white first-time test takers, 74 percent passed at 131, 69 percent passed at 133, and 61 percent passed at 136.“The stats speak for themselves,” said Thomas Pobjecky, general counsel for the Board of Bar Examiners. “February is a much smaller exam, so I anticipate in the very near future asking the court to allow us to analyze the July (2000) exam, which is about twice the size.”But the numbers won’t dissuade the Board of Bar Examiners from pursuing its petition to the court, Pobjecky said.Oral arguments are set for October in the controversial case. The Board of Bar Examiners’ proposal is being challenged by a group of Florida’s law school deans (except Florida State University’s Dean Don Weidner), the Florida State Conference of NAACP branches, and Lawrence, who is also the new president of the Virgil Hawkins Chapter of the National Bar Association.The Florida Bar and one individual, Assistant State Attorney Kevin Frein from Broward County, commented in favor of the Bar Examiners’ proposal. Based upon the recommendation of a special study committee, the Bar’s Board of Governors at its April 2, 2000, meeting “resolved to support the petition of the Florida Board of Bar Examiners in this matter, provided that adequate consideration be given to whether any of the proposed rules in this filing would disproportionately affect minorities or otherwise unduly impact minority access to the profession.” There has been no further comment or action by the Board of Governors since then.Citing its main reason as “ensuring the protection of the public,” the Board of Bar Examiners petitioned the court in 1999 to raise the “minimal competency level” on the multiple choice sections from the current 131 score (56 percent correct) to 136 (59 percent) over a two-year period, saying the initial increase to 133 would return the pass/fail line to the place it was 19 years ago. At 136, the examiners argue, there are currently 12 jurisdictions that have a pass/fail line higher than that, with California and Delaware topping the list at 144.Reasons to Raise the Bar Overall, the bar examiners argue, there is no empirical basis for the current pass/fail line of 131. The board undertook a “good-faith study. . . with the guidance of a nationally renowned expert in the field” to justify raising the pass-fail line, Pobjecky said in court documents.The board’s expert, Stephen Klein, a nationally recognized psychometrician from the Rand Corporation in California, was asked what happens to minority bar exam takers when the pass/fail line is changed.“Generally, what we have seen is the effect is constant across groups,” Klein answered. “That is, you lower the standards, you pass more people in both minority and nonminority groups. If you raise standards, you will see a slight drop initially, but not eventually.”It has been his experience that whenever bar exam standards are raised, students will adjust their efforts to meet the new standards, Klein said.“Nationally, about 93 percent who take the bar exam will eventually pass it,” said Klein, noting that the bar only tests minimal competency.In an article Klein wrote, quoted in Pobjecky’s reply filed with the court, he said: “On average, members of racial/ethnic minority groups do less well on the bar exam than their classmates. This finding has held up in every jurisdiction that has examined the passing rates of different groups. The size of these disparities varies from state to state as a function of several factors (such as whether first-timer or eventual passing rates are studied). Nevertheless, it is clear that no matter how the computations are made, minority applicants and especially blacks have significantly lower passage rates than whites.“Over the past 25 years, several studies have investigated many potential sources of the differences in passing rates among racial/ethnic groups. These studies have found that the disparities are not a function of certain questions or types of questions, subject matter areas covered by the exam, test format (essay, multiple-choice or performance), the racial or ethnic group of the lawyers who grade the essay answers, the time limits imposed, or even the types of law schools from which the applicants graduate. None of these factors have a significant effect on the differences in passage rates between groups,” Klein wrote.“What does matter is the applicant’s mastery of the law as indicated by the knowledge and abilities that are needed to do well in law school. In short, the differences in passing rates among racial/ethnic groups stem from differences in their legal skills and abilities, rather than from some unique feature of the test. The exam works about the same way for everyone.”The board’s counsel, Pobjecky, went on to argue that a six-year-long national study by the Law School Admission Council that tracked 27,000 students entering law school in 1991 corroborates Klein’s findings.Among the LSAC findings, Pobjecky said, were that the eventual passage rate for all study participants of color was 84.7 percent; both law school grade point average and LSAT scores were the strongest predictors of bar exam passage for all groups studied; and a series of background variables — such as academic expectations of self, language spoken in the home, and need to work for pay during school _ showed no relationship to failing the bar exam.A Tougher Test Won’t Better Protect the Public But critics of the Bar Examiner’s petition argue that there is no proven correlation between raising the passage rates and greater competency or ethics of lawyers, and therefore would provide no greater protection to the public.“California requires 144. Is there any suggestion or any evidence to support the proposition that lawyers in California are more competent and more ethical than lawyers in Florida?” asked Joseph Harbaugh, dean of Nova Southeastern University’s law school, who plans to make oral arguments in October. Noel Lawrence Joseph Harbaugh “Because we have had for 19 years what appears to be an appropriate standard, those who would argue it should be changed have a heavy burden to demonstrate there is a need.” Making the test tougher to pass would shut the door on more minorities when there is already a dearth of minority lawyers in ethnically diverse Florida, the critics charge.center_img Raising the bar passing standard Those reasons greatly concerned Lawrence when he cast the sole vote against raising the bar exam pass/fail line at the board’s October 1999 marathon meeting that ended at 10 p.m.“On that body, we frequently have fair and feisty debates,” Lawrence said. “And we’re always able to remain collegial.”That he was allowed to file his minority report, Lawrence said, was “unprecedented and phenomenal.”In his minority report, filed with the court November 29, 1999, Lawrence outlined his many concerns, including “unfairness to minorities.”“There is presently a dearth of minority lawyers in the state, and to furtherexacerbate the problem by increasing the passing standard would certainly cause concern. Increasing the passing score would most likely result in a smaller proportion of qualified minorities being admitted to the Bar. There has been little or no study done on this issue by the board in the past five years,” Lawrence wrote.The Need to Gather Racial and Ethnic Data At the same time the board voted to raise the pass/fail line, it voted to request permission from the Supreme Court to begin immediately collecting information on the race or ethnicity of bar applicants. That was done with “the eventual goal that disparate impact on minorities in the future may warrant a lowering of the pass/fail line,” Lawrence continued.“Studying the issue further using actual and current data on minority applicants would be a more responsible and prudent approach. There is a dire need for the latter course of action, given the fact that all ethnic data relied on by the majority (and the board’s expert, Klein) evolved from 1991 examination results.”The briefs filed in case no. 96,869 — found at www.flcourts.org/pubinfo/summaries/briefs/out/96869.html — provide a spirited debate on dueling experts, their methodologies, and justifications for maintaining or changing the status quo.In what Gregory Murphy, chair of the National Conference of Bar Examiners, called a “provocative address challenging bar examiners,” Harbaugh gave a speech in Madison, Wisconsin, in May, titled, “Partners at the Gate: Legal Educators and Bar Examiners Working Together to Diversify the Profession.”“We respectfully request those contemplating change to resist the Lake Wobegon syndrome, to look beyond your state’s position on the list of MBE passing scores,” Harbaugh told the national bar examiners.“Your charge is to set the score that measures minimum competence. Consider please that the MBE, as a finely tuned standardized test, measures the competence of applicants today according to the same criteria it measured the competence of lawyers in years gone by. Unless you have evidence of incompetence on the part of a significant number of attorneys admitted in the past five, 10, or, as in the case of Florida, the last 19 years under the existing MBE standard; and unless you have evidence that most of these incompetent lawyers had bar exam scores between the present and the proposed cut-off, it doesn’t appear to us that you have prima facie evidence that the passing score in your jurisdiction should be raised.“Before ratcheting up the pass line, you owe it to the public, the Bar, and the law students who hope to join the profession in your state to study if there is any relationship between the score earned on the bar exam and a later finding of lawyer incompetence.”Harbaugh, who said many states are watching what happens in Florida, told the national group of bar examiners: “What is demoralizing to us in legal education, to our minority students, and I am sure, to you in the bar-examining community, is the number of trained legal minds that are being wasted. It’s sad when one in 30 white graduates fails to join the profession; it’s devastating when one in five of our black graduates is lost.”In the Florida Board of Bar Examiners’ reply to comments filed with the court, Pobjecky quotes Harry Truman, Shakespeare, Aldous Huxley, and what he calls the “homespun wisdom” of Harbaugh when he recommended that performance testing should become a part of the bar exam:“Having given you candid responses to the questions earlier posed, permit me to reform the ‘ain’t broke, don’t fix’ proverb in the following way: Tinker with somethin’ that ain’t broke only if you’re dang sure it’s gonna run a lot better.”And the board’s Pobjecky seized upon Harbaugh’s quote to say: “Having no empirical basis for the existing pass/fail line of 131, the board engaged in a good-faith study of such issues with the guidance of a nationally renowned expert in the field. Having replied to the comments in opposition to its proposal, the board remains ‘dang sure’ that its recommended increase to the pass/fail standard is scientifically sound, reasonable, and fair.” “It’s what I suspected all along. But I didn’t know or have any clue until the court gave us permission to collect that information,” said Lawrence, who filed demographic results on race and national origin/ethnicity of test-takers of the February 2000 bar exam on June 21. It’s the first time demographic information has been kept on bar exam test-takers since the ’70s, and those numbers for the February 2000 exam show that the higher the pass/fail line is raised, the fewer percentage of minorities will pass, and hardest hit are blacks.last_img read more

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December appointments to be filled

first_img December appointments to be filled December appointments to be filled October 15, 2002 Regular Newscenter_img The Board of Governors is seeking applicants for the following vacancies to be filled during its December 13 meeting: Florida Judicial Qualifications Commission: One attorney to serve a six-year term on the 15-member commission, authorized under Article V, Section 12, to investigate complaints against judges whose conduct demonstrates a present unfitness to hold office and to recommend disciplinary action to the Supreme Court. No member of the commission, except a judge, shall be eligible for state judicial office while acting as a member of the commission and for a period of 2 years thereafter. No member of the commission shall hold office in a political party or participate in any campaign for judicial office or hold office; provided that a judge may campaign for judicial office and hold that office. Florida Rural Legal Services, Inc., Board of Directors: One attorney to serve a three-year term on its 19-member Board of Directors. Other appointments are made by the ACLU, NAACP, several housing authorities, and various other small groups. The main purpose of Florida Rural Legal Services is to help migrant farm workers and the rural poor in civil (not criminal) cases. Florida Realtor-Attorney Joint Committee: Five attorneys, one from each state appellate district, for two-year terms. The Florida Bar president receives the recommendations of the Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section for consideration. The committee is composed of 10 lawyers appointed by the Bar and 10 realtors appointed by the Florida Association of Realtors. The committee promotes cordial relations between realtors and attorneys.All terms for the foregoing appointments are set to commence January 1, 2003.Persons interested in applying for any of these vacancies may download the application from the Bar’s Web site, www.FLABAR.org, or call Bar headquarters at (850) 561-5600, extension 6802, to obtain an application form. Completed applications must be submitted to the Executive Director, The Florida Bar, 651 E. Jefferson Street, Tallahassee 32399-2300 no later than close of business, Friday, November 22, 2002. Resumes will not be accepted in lieu of an application.last_img read more

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Sections take positions

first_img April 30, 2003 Regular News The Family Law, Real Property Probate and Trust Law, and Public Interest Law sections have received authorization to lobby on several positions following April 4 action by the Bar Board of Governors.The Bar traditionally grants broad authority to sections — which have voluntary membership — to lobby on a variety of issues, with the board exercising only general oversight to ensure section actions do not conflict with Bar-wide legislative positions or cause excessive controversy among Bar membership.All of the section positions were reviewed by the Legislation Committee and recommended to the board.The Family Law Section will oppose SB 128 and HB 1107, which grant grandparents and great grandparents visitation rights under certain conditions. The section argues that the bills violate parents’ privacy rights under state and federal constitutions and ignore a parental unfitness requirement in case law.The Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section had four additional positions authorized, including:• Opposing bills that would redefine title insurance to exclude junior mortgages and home equity loans. The section said such an arbitrary change could lead to further amendments that could exclude first mortgages and deeds. The section, though, does support a proposed ALTA Junior Loan Policy Form.• Opposing SB 1220 and HB 1551 which would require sellers of real property to disclose to buyers all deed restrictions on the property, and giving the buyer a recission right if the disclosures are not made. The section argued that places burdens on residential sellers similar to those imposed on the developer of a deed-restricted community, and that the information is already disclosed as part of the purchase and sales contract.• Opposing part of SB 1536 that require property sellers to disclose to buyers that property tax assessments may rise after the sale and requiring that the DR-219 deed tax form be filed in an office other than where county deeds are filed. The section argued that sellers should not be agents for the government in pronouncing potential property tax increases and that common knowledge includes that property taxes can increase. On the second issue, the section maintained it would double the time required to file a real estate transaction by replacing the current one-stop procedure.• Opposing SB 2018 and HB 1649 which would impose nine new disclosure requirements on sellers, ranging from soil conditions to airport proximity to sinkhole activity. The section argued it would replace the traditional caveat emptor principles for nonresidential property and place buyers’ due-diligence duties on sellers.The Public Interest Law Section had two new positions approved. One has the section supporting any legislation that would enhance the investigative or enforcement duties of the Florida attorney general and the Florida Commission on Human Resources on civil rights issues covered under F.S. Ch. 760.The second supports SJR 240 which seeks to amend the Florida Constitution by changing language that prohibits discrimination based on a physical disability to discrimination based on any disability.Legislation Committee Chair Jesse Diner reported that the Trial Lawyers Section had submitted a request to lobby against at least four bills that reportedly deny Floridians access to the court system, but arrived too late to be considered at the board meeting.He said if the section still wanted to pursue its request, the legislation committee would take the matter up soon after the meeting, and forward its recommendation to the Bar’s Executive Committee, which is empowered to act for the board between its meetings. Sections take positionscenter_img Sections take positionslast_img read more

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Fee statements are in the mail

first_imgFlorida Bar members are now receiving their 2005-06 fee statements, reflecting no increase in annual fees and only minor modifications to the form.The fees are payable July 1 and are late after August 15.Members will receive one of two fee statements: one designed for active members and another for those who have elected inactive status. Annual fees are $265. Inactive members pay $175.Eligible members may pay online at Floridabar.org.Members also have an option to make a voluntary $45 contribution to The Florida Bar Foundation’s Lawyers’ Challenge for Children campaign to help bring the benefits of the law and lawyers to the lives of poor children. The Foundation will dedicate Bar members’ contributions to legal assistance to children through grants to legal aid and legal services programs across the state, according to Bar President-elect Alan Bookman.Last year, Florida lawyers contributed more than $180,000 to the Challenge for Children campaign.“Is there a greater responsibility we have in society than to see that our children have every opportunity possible?” Bookman asked.Under Florida Bar rules, fees postmarked after August 15 will be assessed a late fee. June 1, 2005 Regular News Fee statements are in the mailcenter_img Fee statements are in the maillast_img read more

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