Court hears firm employment agreement case

first_imgCourt hears firm employment agreement case Court hears firm employment agreement case Senior Editor A Florida Bar ethics opinion which held improper some types of employment agreements law firms require their attorneys to sign was challenged in the Florida Supreme Court last month, but justices seemed to indicate that the issue should go to trial first.At issue was a contract the Miami-based law firm of Becker & Poliakoff required firm associates and partners sign. It said, among other things, that if a lawyer leaves the firm and takes firm clients, the lawyer must pay Becker & Poliakoff 50 percent of the fees earned on new work from the client for a period of two years or perhaps longer.The Bar, in Ethics Opinion 93-4, said such a provision placed a restriction on a lawyer’s right to practice law, in contravention of Bar Rule 4-5.6. The Board of Governors ratified that opinion in 1995 over the objections of several firms, including Becker & Poliakoff.In 1998, Becker & Poliakoff made a claim against a nonequity partner who left and took several clients. The firm asked for 50 percent of the revenues. The Bar responded by opening a grievance file on the firm, and Becker & Poliakoff filed a federal lawsuit seeking to stop the Bar’s grievance action.The two sides met and agreed to halt the legal actions and the grievance matter and to seek an opinion from the Supreme Court on Ethics Opinion 93-4. But the justices repeatedly questioned attorneys for both sides on whether it would have been better to let the lawsuit proceed and reach the court that way.“The trial court could make a determination of your contract, and then you could proceed through the system like any other case,” Chief Justice Charles Wells said.Former Bar President Gerald Richman, representing Becker & Poliakoff, argued the firm would be subject to a grievance if it used that route, and that there was a sufficient dispute for the court to act.But Justice Fred Lewis asked, “Why not have facts ferreted out in a lower court? We’re not in the fact-finding business.”Tallahassee attorney Barry Richard, representing the Bar, told the court: “The only question that justifies us being here today is whether the court wants to address the broader policy of whether the rule allows these kinds of agreements.” He agreed with Richman the court could act.Richman argued that law firms, especially small and medium-sized practices, need such restrictive employment agreements to protect their investments in recruiting and training lawyers, and in setting up new offices. In the case before the court, he said Becker & Poliakoff went to the expense of opening an Orlando office and recruiting clients only to see the attorney running the office leave, take an associate and many of the clients.“What we’re talking about is a very important issue, the stability of small and medium-sized law firms,” Richman argued. If medium-sized firms can’t protect their investments from opening new offices and recruiting clients, then they will lose money, and the result will be only very large firms and sole practitioners, he added. That would hurt both the public and the legal profession, he said.Richard agreed some law firms might be hurt by the interpretation of Rule 4-5.6, but said it was more important to protect the principle that lawyers cannot enter into agreements that restrict their right to practice law.The principle protects clients, who have a right to be represented by lawyers they choose, because of the special fiduciary relationship lawyers assume. Under Richman’s proposal, he added, lawyers might have to warn clients at initial interviews that the clients might have to change attorneys if that lawyer leaves the firm.The Becker & Poliakoff agreement may also violate Bar rules, Richard said, which prohibit sharing fees with lawyers who don’t work on or assume any responsibility for a case.The court held the oral argument on October 4 in The Florida Bar Re: Becker & Poliakoff, P.A., case no. 97,130. November 1, 2000 Gary Blankenship Senior Editor Regular Newslast_img read more

Puerto Rico’s residents deserve better

first_imgPost reporters detailed an island plunged into darkness, with roads impassable, communications knocked out and the economy at a standstill.The New York Times detailed the impacts on health care, with hospitals running low on medicine, seriously ill patients going without proper treatment and an increasing risk of people getting sick – and dying – from contaminated water.The Guardian reported on food shortages, with federal emergency workers unable to meet the demand for providing meals.“We feel completely abandoned here,” the mayor of Yabucoatold Post reporters. Maria was the strongest storm to hit Puerto Rico in nearly a century.There is no minimizing its catastrophic effects, nor the logistical challenges of getting help to an island already suffering from poor infrastructure and long-standing financial problems.But none of that excuses the federal government’s sluggish response and poor planning. Categories: Editorial, OpinionThe following editorial appeared in The Washington Post:It has been three weeks since Hurricane Maria made devastating landfall in Puerto Rico.Three weeks — and 84 percent of the population is still without power.Only 63 percent has access to clean water, and just 60 percent of wastewater treatment plants are working.Food supplies are spotty, the health-care system is in crisis and people are dying.The death toll has risen to 45. If the Americans enduring these conditions lived in Connecticut or Montana or Arkansas, would we be counseling patience?Would we be blithely accepting predictions of another month — or more — to get power restored?No.There would be unending media coverage, people would be furious — and the president of the United States certainly wouldn’t be threatening to abandon federal relief efforts.The state of affairs would simply be seen as unacceptable, which it is.The 3.4 million American citizens who live in Puerto Rico are owed a far better response from their government than they have gotten these past three weeks.Conditions on the island remain grim and, in some instances, have been exacerbated by the delay in getting help.center_img Why, for example, as the Times reported, were only 82 patients sent to the hospital ship USNS Comfort over six days when there were so many more sick people in peril?Yet, almost incredibly, President Donald Trump on Thursday blasted out a trio of tweets seemingly trying to shame the U.S. territory for its current problems and putting its residents on notice that the federal government might pull out.So much for his promise to “be there every day” until the people of Puerto Rico are “safe and sound and secure.”It is time to stop treating the people of Puerto Rico like second-class citizens.Congress should give Puerto Rico the resources it needs.It also should exercise its oversight over the administration to demand answers on why, three weeks after disaster struck, so many Americans are still living in misery with so little hope for the future.More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristslast_img read more

Questionable savings from charter change

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?Schenectady, Saratoga casinos say reopening has gone well; revenue down 30%EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motorists Mr. Altamari’s confidence in the savings he claims will accrue from a change to a city manager form depends heavily on the elimination of the four existing commissioners and the five full-time deputies.This assumption is especially stunning, since for all the interviewing, they like to say they did, the commission never talked to the deputies to find out what they do. Curiously, they haven’t actually eliminated these positions in the charter, but provided that the deputies will “serve at the pleasure of the City Manager.” (Section 8.09.)Mr. Altamari displays no understanding of how civil service and public employee unions figure into the elimination and reconfiguration of work responsibilities. City Hall isn’t the corporate world, where jobs are eliminated and employees assigned new responsibilities at the discretion of the boss.He and the Charter Commission and their supporters may find they are in for sticker shock when the true value of the work the deputies do is assigned to a new and more expensive civil service positions by the new city manager.Jane WeiheSaratoga Springscenter_img Re Oct. 15 letter, “Kelly supports better Spa City government”: Jeff Altamari, the architect of the Saratoga Springs Charter Commission’s misleading financial analysis of the proposed charter, may know Wall Street, but he doesn’t know Main Street.last_img read more

Female lawmakers to involve religious groups in bid to pass sexual violence bill

first_imgThe Legislative Women’s Caucus (KPP-RI) plans to engage religious organizations as campaigners in an effort to push the House of Representatives to pass the long-awaited sexual violence eradication bill into law.”They can come from any religion, be it Islam or not Islam. It’s time for religious organizations to take a part in the struggle,” KPP-RI general-secretary Luluk Nur Hamidah said as quoted by kompas.com on Wednesday.The KPP-RI is currently preparing strategies to include the bill in next year’s National Legislation Program (Prolegnas) priority list, after being excluded from the 2020 list at the instigation of conservative elements in the House. In addition to involving religious group members in the fight to endorse the bill, the KPP-RI also plans to lobby leaders of various political parties to support the deliberation of the bill next year.Luluk said it aimed to gather five members of each political party faction at the House to join in proposing that the bill be included in next year’s Prolegnas. She is hopeful that a number of factions will join in the efforts.Lawmakers excluded the bill from the 2020 priority list during a meeting of the House Legislation Body (Baleg) in late May, claiming the deliberation of the bill was “complicated”. Activists bristled at the excuse, describing it as lazy and ignorant, as data showed high rates of sexual violence persisted in the country.Perpetrators of sexual violence are usually charged under the Criminal Code (KUHP), which is the product of colonial legislation, which activists claim is insufficient to accommodate the needs of citizens for security and freedom from various forms of sexual violence. The sexual violence eradication bill, if passed, would add forms of admissible evidence, such as victim statements, psychological reports, electronic information and other documents that provide an opportunity for the victim to meet evidentiary requirements – all of which are absent from the prevailing KUHP.While a number of Islamic organizations, including Nahdlatul Ulama’s (NU) women wing, Fatayat NU, voicing support for the bill, some more conservative Muslim groups, such as the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) faction at the House, have apparently expressed their opposition to the bill.Those who oppose it argue that the main problem of the bill is that it fails to include adultery as a sexual crime and therefore the bill, by omission, allows consensual sex outside of marriage and at the same time potentially criminalizes a husband who has sex with his wife without her consent.The National Commission on Violence Against Women (Komnas Perempuan), which helped in the drafting of the bill, has rejected these criticisms and says that the bill is merely aimed at eradicating sexual violence.The bill was first proposed in 2016 after the gang rape and murder of a 14-year-old girl in Bengkulu. (vny)Topics :last_img read more

Palm Beach’s latest development popular with locals

first_imgRenders of Sable at Palm Beach.Fifteen residences have already sold. More from news02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa18 hours ago02:37Gold Coast property: Sovereign Islands mega mansion hits market with $16m price tag2 days ago “Many of the purchasers already live in Jefferson Lane,” CBRE residential project marketing director Nick Clydsdale said. “They like that Sable is an owner-occupied focused project.”He said apartments at Sable featured large bedrooms, built-in wardrobes and kitchens with island benches and butler’s pantries.An open-plan design allows for an easy transition between to the outside balcony while floor to ceiling windows allow plenty of light to filter in. Most apartments also offer spectacular ocean views. Renders of Sable at Palm Beach. Renders of Sable at Palm Beach.GOLD Coasters have emerged as the biggest group of buyers at Sable on Palm.The luxury Palm Beach development on 88 Jefferson Lane features 39 two and three-bedroom apartments across seven levels. Renders of Sable at Palm Beach.Palm Beach has had a surge in new apartment projects hitting the market recently. “I think what separates Sable from other projects is it’s a boutique development with a Jefferson Lane address,” Mr Clydsdale said. “There hasn’t been any expense spared in the finishes with huge balconies, timber floors and high ceilings.” Renders of Sable at Palm Beach.Two-bedroom apartments are priced from $560,000 while three-bedrooms are from $1.15 million.Body corporate fees are from $59 per week. An onsite display is open daily from 10-3pm.last_img read more

Near-half of German institutions to miss investment targets

first_imgUnion said while safety and risk-management still remained key overall, only 64% said it was the most important consideration, down from 79% the previous year.“The proportion of those describing their investment policies as safety-driven was as high as 84% last year, this figure fell to 77% in the latest survey,” the report said.Investment returns were now most important for 19% of investors compared to 8% in last year’s report.However, despite a growing focus on investment return, loss-avoidance still remained the key objective for 80% of investors.In line with this, risk management was seen as the most important criteria when selecting an asset management by 82% of respondents.Alexander Schindler, member of Union’s investment board, said the sentiment showed the expectation of a long-term low-rate environment among institutions.“The stronger pressure on returns has inevitably increased the willingness to take carefully calculated risks,” he said.“Given the pressure on returns, investors are now more concerned than ever to achieve superior risk-controlled performance.“Sound risk management therefore always involves managing opportunities as well.” Almost half of German institutional investors are expected to miss the investment return target set at the start of the year, once again owing to the low interest rate environment.Research conducted by German asset manager Union Investment showed banks were the most pessimistic while 49% of asset managers expected to miss targets.As a result, 43.5% of 109 investors surveyed expect to miss their 2014 target, a sentiment extrapolated over the medium term to 2018.In reaction to the burgeoning negativity among German institutional investors, Union said it had observed a growing focus on investment returns at the expense of safety and liquidity.last_img read more

Cairns real estate: Edge Hill home remained with one family for 70 years

first_img11 Friend St, Edge Hill is for sale.THE memories created in a childhood home are timeless and very few people get to relive them into adulthood and throughout their life. But with five generations of Billinghams having resided at some point at 11 Friend St, Edge Hill, it truly has been a family home and owner Bob Billingham takes a walk down memory lane to where it all started. “It was built in the ’50s by dad, but he was a very forward-thinking builder so it was built to a modern design,” Mr Billingham said. 11 Friend St, Edge Hill is the address Bob Billingham came home to from Cairns Base Hospital. At the time, his dad was still building this house.“I was brought home to this address in 1950, from the Cairns Base Hospital. “We had a temporary house on the same block which was part of the address, while Dad was building this one.”The move into the new house came sooner than expected for the Billinghams after Cyclone Agnes in 1956 forced them out of the temporary house and into their three-quarters complete new family home. In 1979, Mr Billingham, who was working at the Collinsville Power Station at the time, purchased the property from his parents, who were struggling to sell it. “My older brother and sister already had their own houses, and my younger brother and sister were living in Adelaide. “And my wife and I were interested, so it was good timing for us.” Lorraine and Bob Billingham at a Taipans game in 2006. The couple bought 11 Friend St, Edge Hill in 1979. Picture: Michael WattAfter renting out the house for six years, Mr Billingham finally returned to the childhood home in 1985 and began renovations, with the most recent work done in 2001. “After buying it from Mum and Dad, we put a new roof on. The walls and ceilings were compressed timber and we changed all that to Gyprock. We’ve opened it up by moving some small walls so that the dining room, living area and kitchen open up more than what they used to be,” Mr Billingham said.“Then there’s an entertaining area that’s been put on at the back of the house. That used to service my office when I was doing photography.” With high ceilings and an open plan, Mr Billingham said there was a lot of airflow through the house, which remained “reasonably cool” during the summer. More from newsCairns home ticks popular internet search terms2 days agoTen auction results from ‘active’ weekend in Cairns2 days agoIt also features polished timber floors and carpeted bedrooms. Bob Billingham’s property at 11 Friend St, Edge Hill.While Mr Billingham grew up watching his father build the house, he said his favourite memories were of playing hide and seek with everyone in the street or racing go karts down the slope and ending up with gravel rash. “Friend St always had a lot of kids and it still does; I think it’s the best place in Cairns to grow up.” Mr Billingham turns 70 this year and said that with retirement and putting his energy into another property he owns, he regrettably had to list his childhood home for sale.“If I won the LOTTO tomorrow, it would be off the market straight away,” he said.“We’ve had five generations of our family live here. We had my eldest son’s daughters here for a while and now I’ve got nine great grandchildren who all come and visit.” He said he and his wife were now looking at moving to either Thailand or Perth.last_img read more

Kobelco Unveils New Generation of Excavators

first_imgKobelco Construction Machinery Europe B.V. (KCME) has announced the arrival of the SK140SRLC-7 – a 14-tonne excavator that delivers enhanced efficiency and productivity through harmonization of mechanical power, operation speed and overall machine design.The SK140SRLC-7 is of a new generation of excavators to demonstrate Kobelco’s prowess in excavator design and manufacture.Coupled with modern manufacturing processes and customer feedback, the Japanese manufacturer’s SK140SRLC-7 sets a new class-defining standard in operational use and operator comfort.Commenting on the introduction of the new SK140SRLC-7, Product Manager, Peter Stuijt, said: “Kobelco is committed to designing and manufacturing the most capable and efficient excavators and the introduction of SK140SRLC-7 is proof indeed of this.”“The latest technology that features within the SK140SRLC-7 provides the basis for a multi-purpose excavator with reduced operating costs and exceptional working performance. The fact that this machine is already Stage V-compliant also underlines Kobelco’s dedication to reducing the construction industry’s carbon footprint – an issue that nobody can afford to ignore,” added Peter Stuijt.More Infolast_img read more

Girls Area Basketball Scores (11-29)

first_imgGirls Area Basketball Scores.Tuesday (11-29)Triton Central  40     Batesville  32TC won the JV Game 45-33South Ripley  68     North Decatur  61Milan  49     Switzerland County  38Oldenburg  50     Edinburgh  39South Dearborn  33     Rising Sun  26Rushville  64     Richmond  37Eastern Hancock  50     SW Shelby  41last_img

Arrest warrant leads to new drug charges

first_imgNorth Vernon, IN—Last week, North Vernon Police Department located Kristen E. Smiley, 44, of North Vernon and arrest him on an active arrest warrant after a traffic stop. This arrest led to new drug charges once drugs and paraphernalia were located in Smiley’s vehicle. The arrest warrant was for solicitation of a minor, a level 4 felony.The officer located Smiley driving his vehicle in North Vernon. Police initiated a traffic stop and after identifying Smiley and took him into custody. During the investigation, police identified that Smiley had been using a THC e-cigarette in the vehicle. Police also allege discovering a small bag of methamphetamine on Smiley’s person.A search of Smiley’s vehicle discovered approximately 56 grams of methamphetamine, approximately 176 grams of marijuana, 3 vials of a prescription-only steroid, a digital scale, multiple syringes, multiple packaging materials, and smoking devise for both meth and marijuana. Officers also seized $4,420 cash that was located in the vehicle.Smiley was charged on allegations of a warrant, dealing in a controlled substance, dealing in methamphetamine, dealing in marijuana, possession of a syringe, obstruction of justice, and possession of paraphernalia. Smiley is currently being held without bond per the arrest warrant.last_img read more