Lawyers learn how to represent kids

first_img February 1, 2004 Jan Pudlow Associate Editor Regular News Lawyers learn how to represent kids Lawyers learn how to represent kids Associate Editor Patrick Neale, a government and land use lawyer in Marco Island, admits when he walked in the door of the seminar offering an overview of how to represent children in court, he was undecided about actually agreeing to take a case.He dutifully checked the box that said he agreed to represent a child. That was his ticket to get CLE credits without paying a fee for a seminar titled, “Children Are in Need — Every Lawyer Can Help: What You Can Do and How to Do It.”By the time the three-hour seminar ended January 16, at the Bar’s Midyear Meeting in Miami, Neale said he was definitely inspired to take a case. Later, he’ll fill out a “validation form” that shows he did indeed take a case.“I said to myself, ‘Why don’t you just listen to what you tell others? Get out of your comfort zone,’” Neale said.That was the idea behind the seminar sponsored by an unprecedented partnership between the Public Interest Law Section, often dubbed “the conscience of the Bar,” and the largest section with plenty of resources, the Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section.It was designed not for the experienced child advocate who already knows the ins and outs of dependency and family courts, but for lawyers who practice in a variety of fields and are willing to accept Bar President Miles McGrane’s challenge to represent a child.“Simply said, children are my agenda,” McGrane told the lawyers. In his travels around the state, he said, “Many of our members have told me they would like to help but didn’t know how to get started, and that’s exactly why this program was developed.. . . Your knowledge and ability as a lawyer is truly in great need. Today, there are less than 20 full-time legal aid attorneys providing children’s services. That’s one legal aid attorney for every 31,000 children in our state.” On this Friday afternoon, 89 lawyers participated in the seminar. Of those, 54 people committed to represent at least one child. And many of the others were already in jobs, such as legal aid or legal service lawyers, where they could provide representation.For Neale, it was also a way to be a better volunteer in his community. He’s already involved in the United Way in Collier County; he’s on the board of the YMCA; and he’s president-elect of Youth Haven, a children’s emergency shelter.“I thought it would help me be a better board member and understand children’s issues,” Neale said.“What I loved about the seminar was it gave you just enough information in each area to titillate your interest. When I want to know more, I can go to the materials for more depth. It was fabulous. I believe I may be able to use my areas of expertise to help a child or even a children’s charity with a zoning issue. It will allow me to use my education to help a child.”The afternoon lineup of nine children’s advocacy experts included former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno, who, in her keynote address, said,“To be an advocate for children is one of the great missions a lawyer can undertake. Lawyers can also be great problem-solvers, and I’d like to see us do more problem-solving up-front to avoid the crisis that occurs and necessitates the advocacy.”Reno told the lawyers gathered to “believe in yourself. Believe you can make a difference. I salute you.”Tasha Ruiz, a 22-year-old graduate of Florida’s foster care system, gave a first-person account of how a lawyer made a big difference in her life.“I came into foster care when I was 4. My mom left me and I became a foster child. I was moved around to several foster homes. I never had a permanent foster home. I lived in a lot of group homes,” Ruiz said. “I was separated from my sister. I didn’t know I had a sister, actually, until I was 11 or 12 years old. I had a hard time in DCF (Department of Children and Families). I never had anybody represent me. I never had nobody to talk to. And whatever I went through, basically, I went through on my own. I experienced it on my own.”She told the lawyers gathered that she was raped and abused as a child in state custody.“The reason I am here today is because I am really here for the rest of the kids in DCF right now. I feel every child deserves somebody to represent them, especially those ages when they are a teenager. DCF never listened to me when I made my own representation.”When Carolyn Salisbury, chair-elect of PILS, became her lawyer, Ruiz said, “I started seeing a difference. She fought for me. She listened to me. When I did need a lawyer, she was my friend. There are kids out there right now that need someone to talk to.. . I am very glad to see a lot of people here today. It shows a lot on your behalf. You could be doing something else. I want you all to take into consideration the rest of kids in DCF going through hard struggles.”Gerard Glynn, executive director of Florida’s Children First!, began his segment with the sobering 2002 death review committee’s report released in December 2003: 78 children in Florida died from abuse or neglect.“The sadness was not these figures, but that we don’t hear about these deaths,” Glynn said. “Children die, and it doesn’t make the news.”The 50,000 children in DCF custody, Glynn said, need a legal voice to protect their legal interests. He explained that lawyers can serve as an attorney for the guardian ad litem, as a guardian ad litem, or as an attorney for the child.“We need lawyers to do all these things,” said Glynn, adding that organizations such as FCF!, Lawyers for Children America, and the Orange County Bar’s Legal Aid Society are ready to provide guidance and mentorship.Lawyers don’t have to commit to take a case from beginning to end, Glynn said, but can commit to handle a portion of a case.Glynn challenged the lawyers at the seminar to treat children clients as they would any other client, just as the Rules of Professional Responsibility require.“Lawyers are not being asked to be social workers. They are being asked to be lawyers who zealously represent their clients,” Glynn said. “If a lawyer takes one of these clients, they should exceed standards and not be another disappointment to these children.”If lawyers are willing to represent a child, Glynn promised the rewards will be great.“Even if the child doesn’t reach a legal goal of a permanent family, the lawyer will be thanked by his or her client just for listening and giving the child a voice.”last_img read more


Bar works on putting legislators on procedural rules committees

first_imgBar works on putting legislators on procedural rules committees Bar works on putting legislators on procedural rules committees July 1, 2004 Regular Newscenter_img The Florida Bar is working on a compromise that will have state legislators appointed to procedural rule committees, but the issue of the Supreme Court overseeing procedural rules is likely to arise again in the legislature, according to new Bar President-elect Alan BookmanBookman, the outgoing chair of the Legislation Committee, reported to the Board of Governors in May that outgoing Bar President Miles McGrane had reached the agreement to appoint state lawmakers to the procedural rule committees. In exchange, Rep. Gus Barreiro, R-Miami, agreed to drop his proposed constitutional amendment to have the legislature take from the court the authority to promulgate procedural rules.But the issue is likely to come back before the legislature, Bookman said, after Gov. Jeb Bush expressed displeasure over a recent court decision. In that ruling, the court adopted rules that say in a murder case where the death penalty could be sought, it should be determined before the trial if the defendant in mentally retarded. (See story in the June 15 Bar News. ) Under state law and a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling, the mentally retarded cannot be executed.Bush explained that state law reads that determination should be made only after conviction and at the end of the sentencing process. He also said in a letter he would consult with legislative leaders about seeking a constitutional amendment to rein in the court’s rule-making powers.“This rule-making issue is going to come up again and this is something we are going to have to be very diligent about,” Bookman said.As this News went to press, McGrane was sending a letter to legislative leaders inviting them to forward the names of legislators for appointment to various procedural rule committees.On other matters, Bookman said the committee is exploring having a law school for legislators as part of the orientation later this year for new lawmakers. He also said the Bar needs to begin planning immediately for next year’s legislative session.The courts were happy with the funding they received for Art. V, Revision 7, issues, Bookman said, but for the second year in a row, no new judges were authorized for the court system. Both House and Senate were willing to approve at least some judges, Bookman said, but the Senate would not accept the House condition that any new judges be tied to the creation of a Sixth District Court of Appeal.The House passed a bill limiting lawyer advertising by a 104-8 margin, Bookman noted, but the measure was not taken up in the Senate. The bill’s sponsor, Rep. David Simmons, R-Altamonte Springs, has been invited to testify at the Bar’s advertising task force, which is looking at revising Bar advertising rules.That issue is also expected to come before the legislature again next year.last_img read more


Nassau, Suffolk Cops Cracking Down on Memorial Day DWIs

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Nassau and Suffolk county police are warning that they’ll be beefing up patrols and cracking down on drunken drivers and boozed-up boaters over the Memorial Day weekend.Officers in both departments will be performing checkpoints and targeting problem areas on the roads and waterways while ramping up enforcement of driving while intoxicated laws.“I urge everyone to be responsible and to plan accordingly not just this holiday weekend but always so that you and others return home safely to their loved ones,” said Nassau County Police Commissioner Tom Dale.Despite such annual reminders, nearly 200 people were arrested for DWI last Memorial Day weekend. Nassau police said Thursday they arrested 85 DWI suspects this time last year—although they said they arrested 67 at the time—and Suffolk arrested 52. The rest were arrested by New York State and town police.Nassau police added that they will be coordinating with the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services – Office of Counter Terrorism in a multi-agency initiative to round up drunken boaters.Suffolk police will also be increasing patrols in and around shopping and downtown areas, the department said.last_img read more


East Northport House Fire Injures Woman, Kills 3 Dogs

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A 51-year-old East Northport woman was seriously injured in a house fire Thursday afternoon that killed three of her dogs, Suffolk County police said.Suffolk County police Arson Squad detectives and the Huntington Town Fire Marshal are investigating the 2:40 p.m. blaze at 9 Barnett Place. When Second Precinct officers arrived they found the rear of the home fully engulfed, police said. The woman, who was outside with five of her dogs at the time, was attempting to put out the fire with a garden hose so that she could rescue three other dogs that were trapped inside, police said. Two officers entered the burning home to look for the dogs but were pushed back by heavy heat and smoke. Police said the three dogs perished in the fire. East Northport Fire Department also responded and extinguished the blaze. A fire department ambulance transported the woman to Stony Brook University Hospital where she was treated for serious burns, police said. The five dogs that were with her when police arrived were taken to a veterinary hospital. The two officers that attempted to rescue the trio of dogs were treated at Stony Brook for smoke inhalation and then released. The Arson Squad is investigating the fire, but police said the blaze appears to be non-criminal.last_img read more


Westhampton Woman Dead After Being Pinned Under Car

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A 50-year-old Westhampton woman died after being pinned under her vehicle in Center Moriches over the weekend.Suffolk County police said Jennifer Feuerman was found lying on the ground in front of a home on Bowditch Lane at 7:12 p.m. Saturday.Investigators believe that she had exited her Mercedes while it was still running and in gear when the car backed over her and pinned her under the driver’s side door, authorities said.She was pronounced dead at the scene.Seventh Squad detectives impounded the vehicle, are continuing the investigation and ask anyone who may have witnessed this incident to call them at 631-852-8752.last_img read more


8 Cats, Dogs That Will Fill Your Home With Love

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York There’s a great group of animals available for adoption this week, so check out these adorable cats and dogs who are ready to go home with you today!Available for adoption at the Town of Hempstead Animal Shelter in Wantagh:If you’re looking for a handsome fella to swoop in and steal your heart, meet Ollie. He arrived at the shelter as a stray in December 2016 after being found on the streets near Hofstra University. This 3-year-old pup is neurological and walks with a gait, which becomes more exaggerated when he gets excited, but this condition certainly doesn’t hold him back.Ollie is a silly, sweet, happy and playful boy who deserves so much to be with people who are going to love him and care for him. He is house trained, friendly with dogs and people and loves to watch cars and trucks go by. Ollie’s ideal home would be with savvy owners who will understand him and make him feel happy and safe. If you are interested in giving Ollie the home he deserves, call 516-785-5220, email or visit 3320 Beltagh Ave., Wantagh. NinaAvailable for adoption at the Little Shelter in Huntington:Sweet 3-year-old Nina is had a rough start, but she is on her way to becoming the pampered little princess she deserves to be. She is partially paralyzed, but don’t tell her that. She doesn’t see herself any different than any other dog.In fact, she’s probably one of the happiest dogs you’ll ever meet. Nothing stops her. She’s all about love and kisses, belly rubs and ear scratches.Thanks to the hard work of staff and volunteers, after months of daily therapy and exercise, she has been regaining some use of her back legs. Recently, she was even fitted for a wheel cart that will allow her to walk for longer periods as she continues to strengthen her back legs. A home experienced with special needs pets would be awesome for Nina, but a home with willingness and time to learn how to help Nina through everyday situations, like potty breaks, would be just as good. MochaMocha is an eager to please Shih-Tzu around 9 years old who came to the shelter from a large city shelter. He is hoping for the easy life with dreams of filling his days with people to love and cuddle, yummy food and of course plenty of laps to curl up on. Can you give Mocha his fresh start?  PiecesPieces is a super-sweet kitty who will love you to pieces! She eagerly follows staff members around the Little Shelter cattery looking for someone to pet her. She is a super snuggler who is always up for being cuddled but also loves to play with toys and chase lasers. Pieces is a beautiful kitty with a great disposition suitable for most any household. Billy The KidDoes it surprise you that Billy The Kid wants to steal your heart? He loves getting attention from all the staff and volunteers at Little Shelter. He likes getting his chin scratched and sitting on the laps of volunteers who spend time with him. Billy enjoys getting treats of turkey and playing with toys or chasing a laser pointer. For more information on adopting Nina, Mocha, Pieces and Billy the Kid, call 631-368-8770, or visit 33 Warner Rd., Huntington.ReggieAvailable for Adoption with Last Hope Animal Rescue:If you’re in the market for an awesome new kitten, you are in luck! Reggie is the newest Last Hope kitten at their satellite adoption center at the Petsmart on Merrick Road in Bellmore. At about 5-months-old, Reggie is a happy kitten extraordinaire who is single and ready to mingle!For more information about adopting Reggie, contact Petsmart/Last Hope Rescue at 2410 Merrick Road, Bellmore.CoalAvailable for adoption at The Town of Oyster Bay Animal Shelter:Wait until you hear about Coal! This sweet as sugar 5-year-old domestic short hair male was surrendered to the shelter when his owner passed away. He is exceptionally sweet and lovable, the kind of cat that solicits your attention and gives back so much love in return.Coal is surely missing having a loving home and the care and affection that comes with being part of a family. Chances are, if you come down to meet this very lovable boy you will surely fall in love with him. Coal is up to date on all his vaccines, neutered and micro chipped. For more information about adopting Coal, call 516-677-5784.Available for adoption at North Shore Animal League America:Jadoo’s 15-year-old life was turned upside down when he found himself in a local municipal shelter. Thankfully, the Animal League America team rescued him just in time and gave him a safe quiet place to call his until his new family discovers him. He’s a robust senior who has a clean bill of health.His only request is that he be in a quiet home with no other pets. For now, he is content to receive chin rubs and treats from trusted new friends. He misses having a human to call his own and with windows to gaze out of all day long. If you have these simple things to offer him, he would be eternally grateful for his second chance.Email for more information on adopting Jadoo!As always, thanks for reading and please remember to always adopt, never shop…pass it on!last_img read more


Focusing on the right things

first_img continue reading » 4SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr by: Dan BergerAs leaders, we are all focused. Focused on the successes and shortcomings of our organizations, focused on our employees and, hopefully, focused on our own families and health.But are we focusing on too many things? An article from Business News Daily says “smart leadership is about making the most of your work hours by learning to delegate, prioritize and simplify.”Given this definition of smart leadership, are we focusing on the right things in the right order? In other words, do we prioritize our demands correctly?A Lifehack article written by Joel Falconer describes two approaches to prioritization. First, tackling the biggest tasks first and getting them out of the way. And approach No. 2, tackling the tasks you can easily get done quickly. He explains:“The thing with prioritization is that knowing when to do what relies very much on you and the way you work. Some people need to get some small work done to find a sense of accomplishment and clarity that allows them to focus on and tackle bigger items. Others need to deal with the big tasks or they’ll get caught up in the busywork of the day and never move on …”last_img read more


Fazio at NAFCU for RBC2 webcast today

first_img 1SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr NAFCU today is hosting a free webcast at 1 p.m. Eastern for members and nonmembers with NCUA Examination and Insurance Director Larry Fazio on the agency’s revised risk-based capital proposal, or RBC2.Fazio is the chief architect of the new proposal, which is out for a 90-day comment period. He will be joined in the webcast by NAFCU Senior Vice President of Government Affairs and General Counsel Carrie Hunt, Director of Research and Chief Economist Curt Long and Director of Regulatory Affairs Alicia Nealon.The webcast will give attendees a multi-faceted look at the proposed rule’s impact on credit unions; attendees will be able to ask questions of Fazio and the NAFCU representatives. Members and nonmembers may attend; registration for the free webcast is open now.NAFCU published a Regulatory Alert Wednesday on RBC2 and is asking members to provide their input to the association by April 3. On Tuesday, NAFCU released its new member-only risk-based capital calculator with a feature that NCUA doesn’t include on its own version: five-year forecasting based on estimated return on assets and asset growth rates. continue reading »last_img read more


Financial institutions may use retail beacons to benefit own apps

first_imgAre banks ready to hone in on mobile offers delivered via beacons? Beacon network Mobiquity is hoping that’s the case, Mobile Commerce Daily reported.Last week, Mobiquity announced a deal with app provider Relevant Solutions that would add location-based offers, coupons and targeted advertising to bank and credit-union apps. The idea is that when a bank’s customer is in one of the 200-plus shopping malls that have Mobiquity’s beacon networks, the beacons will send offers to the bank’s app, which will then prompt the customer to pay using that bank’s credit or debit card.The financial institution would then collect a fee from the merchant or brand sending the offer as well as interchange on the transaction.The Mobiquity-Relevant partnership “has the potential to provide more than 2,500 financial institutions an opportunity to bring branded, local offers to their mobile app users,” the companies said in a press release. However, no specific banks or credit unions were named as participating in the program.That doesn’t mean the opportunity isn’t there. “Credit card marketers like Visa, MasterCard and American Express and issuing banks like Citibank, Chase, Wells Fargo and others regularly use valuable merchant offers to encourage credit card usage and loyalty,” Mobiquity Chief Marketing Officer Jim Meckley told Mobile Commerce Daily. “Leveraging Mobiquity Networks’ platform to deliver those offers as the consumer is entering the shopping mall adds location context in real time to make the offers highly relevant and gives Relevant Solutions’ clients a distinct advantage.” continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more


Even after audit is complete, still work to be done

first_imgOne of the most important pieces of an effective compliance program is the audit function. Audits may help to identify individual compliance concerns or general gaps in a credit union’s program. However, the work is not done just because the audit is complete.Prompt corrective action should be executed regarding each concern identified in the audit. Every credit union should develop a process appropriate for its level of resources; however, the following is a general outline of recommended actions.Step 1: Defining the cause The credit union should determine if the concern identified in the audit was a singular occurrence or if a gap in procedures may exist. An identified issue may be the result of many factors, such as general oversight, insufficient training or systems mapping. Analyzing the source of the error will aid the credit union in determining the appropriate corrective action.Step 2: Assigning the resolutionOnce the origin of the issue has been identified, the responsibility for resolution should be assigned to an individual or committee of individuals with the resources and authority to resolve the error. The assigned party will be responsible for ensuring an effective resolution occurs.To mitigate any continual compliance risk, a due date should be established. If the corrective action will be part of a long-term process, it may be prudent to establish periodic checkpoints to ensure progress is continually made toward the resolution.Step 3: Performing a follow-up reviewWhen the corrective action is complete, an additional review should be conducted to verify the remedial action rectified the issue identified in the original audit. Assuming the item has been resolved, the credit union should document the result of its efforts.Documentation should include the identity of the individual or committee that resolved the issue, a brief description of the action that was taken, the date on which it was completed and the results of the follow-up review. The documentation should be maintained for review by auditors and/or examiners.Effective completion of this process will not only reduce ongoing compliance risk, but demonstrate the credit union’s commitment to evaluating its own compliance, correcting any identified errors and providing the highest level of member service. The results of this three-step post-audit process will be observed by staff, members and importantly, examiners. 4SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Brian Godwin Brian D. Godwin serves as Director of Regulatory Compliance for PolicyWorks. He is responsible for overseeing the delivery of PolicyWorks compliance consulting and review services to credit union clients, managing … Web: Detailslast_img read more