September 1, 2005 Letters

first_img Letters JNC Process I couldn’t help but chuckle as I read the August 1 News article about the Judicial Independence Committee’s “exploration” of Florida’s JNC process.Several commentators in the article expressed concerns about the governor’s preference for six, rather than three, candidates for judicial vacancies, and suggested that a larger pool of candidates makes it less likely that the “best of the best” will be selected for judgeships.In truth, the governor’s changes to the JNC have simply reduced the power of a subset of Bar elites, who all too often concluded that the “best of the best” included only those whose views and backgrounds mirrored their own.The numbers speak for themselves. Since Gov. Bush took office and demanded changes, a record number of women and minorities have made it through the JNC process and joined the ranks of Florida’s judges. In addition, there has been a marked increase in the diversity of viewpoints represented on the bench. The governor should be praised for his leadership, not pilloried for politicizing the process. Reginald J. Brown Washington, D.C. Shakespeare Revisited “I hate attorneys” is an often heard refrain. There are those who always wish to share their kind words about attorneys with a Shakespearean quote: “The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.” We are referred to as gunslingers or mouthpieces. What happened to counselors or advisors? These issues of perception and civility have troubled me over the years.We are supposed to be able to communicate a point of view. But what is the point of view we are to communicate? How society views what is right and what is wrong ultimately determines what attorneys will reflect back in their practice of law. It is the attitudes prevalent in a society which impact our legal system.Although we as professionals have our shortcomings and are not perfect, so it is the same with the society in which we practice. It is not perfect. We are influenced by society’s values. Can we create for society a better format for communication than currently exists? Absolutely. We have the ability to maintain civility with our colleagues. We have the opportunity to mediate and help people settle their differences in a more civil manner. We have the ability and knowledge to help change laws which are unfair, ineffective, or overly burdensome. We have the ability to advise people that a matter is not appropriate for litigation and that we will not handle the matter. We have the ability when on the bench to throw out a frivolous case. We have the ability to express our points of view and leave the door open for meaningful discussion without resorting to inappropriate behavior or coercive tactics.I know this is possible because I see the changes in attitude when parties so desire. Even in hostile litigation, counsel can rise above the bickering and communicate on a professional level. They can extend courtesies to opposing counsel so that the process can run smoothly and channels of communication can remain open. Attorneys do not have to be reflective of society’s norms. We can set the tone of how people can communicate on a civil basis, although they may have strong differences of opinion.It is sad that society forgets the intent of Shakespeare’s suggestion to kill all of the lawyers. No lawyers meant no one to protect against antisocial behavior. The statement was actually a compliment and acknowledgment of the important role lawyers play in maintaining law and order in a society.I am an attorney, and I am proud of being one who counsels and mediates. Michael Garlick Boca Raton The Name Game The “It is important to practice under your real name” UPL Update column in the August 15 News misstates the law and illustrates misplaced priorities.The author’s example is that a lawyer licensed as Cynthia R. Jones may not call herself Cindy Jones in her law practice. This contradicts the only formal authority we have in Florida on the subject, Florida Bar Ethics Opinion 74-20, which says, in pertinent part:“We do not believe that a William signing a letter Bill, a Henry signing a letter Hank, or a Francis signing as Frank is going to mislead anyone, particularly where his full name is set out on his letterhead, although we know of no rule absolutely requiring this.”There is simply no possible reasonable reading of Rule 1-3.3 that forbids, for example, use of a middle initial in a signature instead of spelling out an entire middle name or entirely omitting the middle name from the signature or using Jill instead of Jillian. The purpose is to prevent misleading identifications, not to nitpick at practices so universal that enforcement in accordance with this article would make offenders out of perhaps a majority of the members of the Bar.In presenting an overreaching and insupportable interpretation of an otherwise legitimate rule, this column invites resentment and the sense of harassment that fuels so much of the attack, in the legislature and elsewhere, on the Bar’s regulatory authority. Rick Johnson (a/k/a Richard Errol Johnson) Tallahassee( Bar UPL Counsel Lori Holcomb Responds: Mr. Johnson’s letter gives an example from an ethics opinion on how letters may be signed. I do not believe that the column contradicts the ethics opinion. It states that the nickname may be used “particularly where his full name is set out on his letterhead.” Someone seeing the letter would have the full name and be able to find the attorney in the Bar’s records.) September 1, 2005 Letters September 1, 2005 Letterslast_img read more

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Trojans dominate Gauchos in home opener

first_imgIt was a top-five matchup in the Uytengsu Aquatics Center on Saturday, when No. 4 USC took on No. 5 UC Santa Barbara. In the Trojans’ (12-2, 2-0 MPSF) first game at home this season after playing on the road for four straight weeks, the team took out the Gauchos by a final score of 14-5.Newbie · Freshman goalkeeper McQuin Baron continued his domination against the Gauchos, recording 12 saves. Baron now has 102 in his career. – Mariya Dondonyan | Daily TrojanUCSB opened the scoring with a 6-on-5 goal, but USC responded quickly with two goals of its own to take a 2-1 lead. The Trojans went on a 5-0 scoring run soon after, and their lead was 9-2 at the half. In the third, the Trojans and Gauchos split two goals apiece, making the score 11-4 at the end of the period. USC was in complete control in the fourth frame, scoring three goals to the Gauchos’ one.The last time the Trojans played UCSB, the match was much more contested and resulted in a 12-7 Trojan victory in the Kap7 NorCal Classic earlier this season.Head coach Jovan Vavic believes his team’s improved performance against the Gauchos is due to  differences in preparing for a tournament versus preparing for a single game.“I think we are a little bit more prepared today because when we played them last time, we didn’t know who we were going to play because it was dependent on what they did in the game before, so we really were not preparing for them,” Vavic said. “We were getting ready for any opponent.”In the first half of Saturday’s game alone, nine different Trojans scored each of the team’s goals. Vavic believes that sharing the wealth is key to his team’s success.“That is the strength of our team, and every coach likes to see more people score,” Vavic said. “Everybody knows [senior driver] Kostas [Genidounias] is our main guy, and everyone is going to try to shut him down, so having so many different people score was big. We hope we continue to do that.”It was a significant win for USC, but also for several of the Trojan players, including freshman goalie McQuin Baron. The last time the two teams played, Baron had a career-high 15 saves. On Saturday he picked up 12 more.Baron believes this success is rooted in his focus and discipline.“Every week I try and prepare as best I can, watch video on each shooter on their offense just what they’re doing, learn how they’re trying to play,” Baron said.Vavic is very happy with this rookie’s progress.“He did an excellent job today,” Vavic said. “He was very focused. He did a good job not only blocking the shots but making some good passes in the counterattack. Baron is a special talent. He’s the backbone of our defense. Very pleased with his performance today.”In addition to Baron’s big day, one of the game’s biggest moments came when Genidounias scored the first of his three goals and became USC’s second all-time leading scorer, breaking his tie with former Trojan Juraj Zatovic. Genidounias was humble about the achievement, however, saying that winning was his only priority.“Before the game it was on my mind, but it wasn’t as important as getting the win,” Genidounias said. “It was a team effort. I don’t score the goals by myself. Someone has to give me the pass, so it’s a good team effort and I scored a few goals, and I’m up there at number two. It’s good with me but not as important as winning.”The game was even more special because it was officially the first ever in the newly completed USC facility. Vavic was very pleased with the new arena.“It’s great,” Vavic said. “I think it’s a very special place now because it’s so beautiful, so perfect for water polo. We have been looking forward to playing here for a while now so it was exciting. You could tell our guys are excited the way they started the game.”USC will play in the SoCal Tournament hosted by UCLA next week. After Saturday’s win, the Trojans are confident they will perform better than they did in their last tournament, the NorCal Classic, which resulted in a fourth place finish.Genidounias believes he and his team can keep up the success they have had in the past two weeks.“We hope to go back to that tournament and have a better showing than in the NorCal tournament,” Genidounias said. “I think that now with all of our new players having a few extra games and learning the system, that’s a key for us for our new players to feel more comfortable in the system with each other. I think we’re going to be a little bit of a tougher team than we were in the NorCal Tournament.”Baron also believes that even two weeks more experience for him and his young team is invaluable.“I think we’re definitely more prepared now,” Baron said. “We had more time together. We’re a very young team, so we’re still learning how to play with each other and work as a unit. But we’re definitely coming together better day by day.”last_img read more

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