Judges encouraged, but not required, to perform pro bono

first_imgJudges encouraged, but not required, to perform pro bono March 15, 2003 Jan Pudlow Associate Editor Regular News Judges encouraged, but not required, to perform pro bono Associate EditorBoosting language in the code of judicial conduct, the Florida Supreme Court now encourages judges to perform pro bono public service in limited, nonadversarial ways, rather than just making such community volunteer work permissible.But when it came to the most controversial proposed change — to require judges and their staff attorneys to annually report their pro bono service, as is required of most other lawyers — the high court declined to take action.In its unanimous February 20 opinion in combined cases SC02-147 and SC02-1034, the court sided with the less controversial proposal by the Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee to “best serve the dual goals of encouraging members of the judiciary and their staffs to engage in pro bono services and extrajudicial activities, while ensuring that the availability of pro bono legal representation for the poor is not diluted or compromised in any way.”The aspirational goal and mandatory reporting requirement, sparking feisty oral arguments and the most letters to the court in opposition, was proposed by the Task Force on Pro Bono Activities by Judges and Judicial Staff, working with The Florida Bar Standing Committee on Pro Bono Legal Services, as a way to increase judicial participation in pro bono activities.But to do so, the task force and committee acknowledged, it would be necessary “to define broadly the types of services that would constitute pro bono service for justices and judicial staff and to provide specific examples of such service.”The justices said they were reluctant to change the narrow definition set out in 1993, when the Supreme Court adopted a comprehensive pro bono legal service plan for Florida’s lawyers. A decade ago, the court noted that while it had a constitutional responsibility to ensure access to the justice system, it had no authority to address, through Rules Regulating The Florida Bar, “uncompensated public service activities not directly related to services for the courts and the legal needs of the poor.”During oral arguments (detailed in the December 1, 2002, issue of the News ), Task Force Chair and First District Court of Appeal Judge William Van Nortwick said mandatory reporting for lawyers has worked so well, he wanted to adopt it for judges, too, in the spirit of enhancing access to the judiciary and promoting a greater culture of pro bono service.But on behalf of the Florida Conference of Circuit Court Judges, 11th Circuit Chief Judge Joseph Farina countered: “The reporting requirement will bite us severely and will harm the neutrality in the courtroom and the credibility we have as decisionmakers.”Representatives of all three Florida conferences — district court of appeal, circuit court, and county court judges — and Florida Bar President-elect Miles McGrane voiced concern that the reporting requirement would do damage to the independence of the judiciary.In their recent opinion, the justices wrote: “A large number of judges and judicial staff statewide already engage in a wide variety of pro bono activities,” including serving as chair of a circuit pro bono committee, participating in Teen Court and legal aid training, assisting in pro bono awards ceremonies, teaching school children about the role of the judicial branch in our democracy, and making speeches about matters affecting the administration of justice. Some judicial staff attorneys, the court noted, perform client intake for pro bono programs and help victims of domestic violence fill out legal forms.“We commend all judges and their staffs who provide pro bono service to their community and who engage in extrajudicial activities. Engaging in pro bono service educates the community about the legal system, the judicial branch, and the administration of justice. Engaging in nonjudicial activities demonstrates to the public that members of the judiciary are also integral members of the community who strive toward the common goal of improving society as a whole.”In adopting the JEAC proposal, the court’s opinion calls for amending the heading to Canon 4 of the Code of Judicial Conduct to “actively encourage” judges to participate in activities that include “to speak, write, lecture, teach, and engage in other quasi-judicial activities concerning the law, the legal system, and the administration of justice.”In addition to that list is this new category: “the role of the judiciary as an independent branch of the government.”Further, the JEAC recommended that the commentary to Canon 4B be amended to make clear that it is appropriate for judges to support pro bono legal services — as long as they are ethically permissible under the code — because these services improve the administration of justice. Judges are now encouraged, rather than simply permitted, to “serve as members, officers, directors, trustees, or nonlegal advisors of organizations or governmental agencies devoted to the improvement of the law, the legal system, or the administration of justice.”The canon is further amended to include “service to organizations or governmental agencies devoted to the judicial branch.”Other changes proposed by the JEAC are in the commentary to Canon 5, “A Judge Shall Regulate Extrajudicial Activities to Minimize the Risk of Conflict with Judicial Duties.”An effective judge is not only well versed in the law, but stays in touch with his or her community, the JEAC proposal states. Now, judges are encouraged, rather than simply permitted, to “engage in extrajudicial activities concerning nonlegal subjects,” subject to provision of the code.Currently, Canon 5C(s) allows judges to accept appointment to “governmental committees or commissions or other governmental positions that are concerned with issues of fact or policy on matters pertaining to the improvement of the law, the legal system, or the administration of justice.” Now, the fourth option of “the judicial branch” has been added to that list.At the request of the Conference of County Court Judges of Florida, the Supreme Court also added “motor vehicle law” to a section of the commentary on examples of legal areas in which a judge may contribute, to the list of improving justice in the areas of “civil, criminal, family, domestic violence, juvenile delinquency, and probate.”last_img read more

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Greece receives 2 binding bids for DESFA sale

first_imgRevithoussa LNG terminal (Image courtesy of DESFA)Greece has received two binding bids for the purchase of a 66 percent stake in Greek gas grid operator DESFA, according to the country’s privatisation agency, HRADF.Bids were submitted by a consortium consisting of Italy’s Snam, Spain’s Enagas and Belgium’s Fluxys, and a consortium of Spain’s Regasificadora del Noroeste (Reganosa), Romania’s Transgaz and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).HRADF said on Friday it would begin evaluating the bids immediately.Under the deal, Greece’s Hellenic Petroleum is selling its 35 percent stake in DESFA while the country is divesting the rest.DESFA owns and operates Greek’s natural gas network and the country’s only LNG terminal on the island of Revithoussa.in 2016, the stake sale worth some 400 million euros to Azerbaijan’s Socar fell through as Greek legislation increased DESFA’s gas tariffs by a lower than expected margin. LNG World News Stafflast_img read more

adminSeptember 28, 2020rlzoysLeave a Comment

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Syracuse football down to its last strike after 35-20 loss to North Carolina State

first_imgAs North Carolina State lined up for a third-and-11 fourth-quarter snap, an SU assistant coach had his hands resting on his head in anticipation.Quarterback Ryan Finley dropped back and threw the ball to Bra’Lon Cherry near the SU sideline. Cherry ran forward for 23 yards, picking up a back-breaking first down. The coach’s hands never moved, staying in disappointment. The play effectively ended the game for Syracuse.Three plays later, running back Matthew Dayes ran it in for a score to open up a 15-point lead. As most fans started streaming out, SU’s chances of making a bowl game became slimmer.After a blowout loss to Clemson last week, Syracuse (4-6, 2-4 Atlantic Coast) had chances to win two games to vault itself to a bowl game. Two of those games were at home, and this was the only one against a team with a losing record. During Monday’s press conference, Syracuse head coach Dino Babers talked about how he felt his team was in a good spot to get to those six wins.“We couldn’t ask for a better schedule to try to get to a bowl game that we haven’t been to in a very long time,” Babers said.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textNow, the Orange has put itself in a much tougher spot. It’ll have to win two tougher games — against No. 20 Florida State and on the road against Pittsburgh — to get to that bowl game, after it dropped a 35-20 crusher to North Carolina State (5-5, 2-4) on Saturday in the Carrier Dome.SU did have a tougher challenge than originally thought once it was announced an hour before the game that starting quarterback Eric Dungey would sit out. Starting wide receiver Steve Ishmael also sat out. He had practiced on Tuesday but as the week progressed he couldn’t keep going, Babers said.Even with the missing pieces, things started off well. In just under eight minutes and on its first possession, the Orange moved the ball up field and scored on a Dontae Strickland run. With backup quarterback Zack Mahoney running the show, it seemed like the high-octane offense would be just fine.But as the game got deeper it became clear that this wasn’t the same unit. Syracuse averages 463.4 yards of offense per game, which breaks down to 231.7 per half. At the end of the first half on Saturday, SU’s offense had 100 total yards. It ended the game with just 218.“Offensively, we didn’t put up the numbers that we usually do,” Strickland said. “It’s different with a different team captain on the field.”The Wolfpack had lost its last four games and blown wins in three of them. There were miscues that the Orange could have taken advantage of.On third and goal from the SU 4-yard line near the end of the half, backup quarterback Jalan McClendon made a bad throw into the back corner of the end zone that resulted in an interception. Babers had called timeouts, seemingly to stop the clock, but the first one came after about 20 seconds ran off. SU got the ball back and promptly went three-and-out.In the third quarter, after each team traded touchdowns, SU’s Sean Riley blocked a punt. The Orange recovered the kick at the N.C. State 17-yard line. On three plays, SU got pushed back four yards and had to settle for a field goal.Syracuse’s inability to sustain drives on offense forced the defense to be on the field longer than normal. Opponents normally run 72 plays per game against the Orange. By the end of the third, the Wolfpack had run 66 plays and dominated time of possession.“If we’re on the field more, it gives us an opportunity to make more plays,” SU safety Rodney Williams said.Late in the third quarter, Syracuse couldn’t make a play on third down to get off the field, leading to a seven-minute touchdown drive and an eight-point deficit. Still, it was a one-possession game.With the ball at midfield, Mahoney threw a deep pass down the right sideline into the end zone for an Alvin Cornelius touchdown. As the wide receivers started celebrating in the end zone, the offensive linemen put their heads down near the line of scrimmage. A chop block penalty had been called on Donnie Foster and Strickland, negating the play. SU punted three plays later.The Wolfpack left with its fifth win, one the Orange desperately needed. SU is down to its last strike.“Now we can’t miss a pitch,” Babers said postgame. “It’s a full count and if it’s close, we’re going to have to swing at it.” Comments Published on November 12, 2016 at 4:15 pm Contact Tomer: [email protected] | @tomer_langer Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

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Paul George outscores Nets in fourth quarter to bring Thunder back to win

first_img“It’s just special,” George told reporters, via The Oklahoman. “All year it’s been special with this group. We have fun and it showed in the celebration tonight.”Paul George on his game-winning shot: “It’s just special. All year it’s been special with this group. We have fun and it showed in the celebration tonight.”— Erik Horne (@ErikHorneOK) December 6, 2018He finished with 47 points and 15 rebounds. Paul George almost single handedly beat the Nets on Wednesday.The Thunder trailed Brooklyn 93-75 going into the fourth quarter, but George went absolutely bonkers in the final period to bring Oklahoma City all the way back to win. The five-time All-Star scored 25 points on 9-of-12 shooting in the final frame to help the Thunder defeat the Nets 114-112.George outscored the Nets on his own in the fourth 25-19. The 25 points is the most any Thunder player has scored in any quarter since the franchise moved to OKC in 2008-09.pic.twitter.com/kCQ0MhD8dr— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) December 6, 2018And just for good measure, George hit the game-winning 3-pointer.Paul George for the win 🔥🔥🔥He led OKC’s comeback with 25 points in the 4th quarter! pic.twitter.com/HRlfpw3ezK— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) December 6, 2018George said after the game he doesn’t care about what his stats are. But he said he does care about how well the team has played this year, especially of late. Oklahoma City has won four games in a row.last_img read more

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