Recommendations emphasize technological competence

first_imgRecommendations emphasize technological competence Recommendations emphasize technological competence ‘These are issues we believe needed board attention sooner rather than later’ Senior EditorA short report from one of the Vision 2016 commission’s committees at the Board of Governors’ March 27 meeting showed how much that commission may revolutionize the Bar and the practice of law. Within a few minutes, board member John Stewart, chair of Vision 2016’s Technology Committee, said that committee is:* Recommending that the comment to the Bar rule on professional competence be changed to include competence with technology related to a lawyer’s areas of practice.* Planning to recommend that the Bar’s CLE requirement be increased by 20 percent with the extra time being devoted to technology courses.* Recommending that the Special Committee on Technology become a permanent standing Bar committee.* Recommending that a new board-level technology committee be created. Stewart said it would be the first new board committee in years, perhaps decades.* Planning to recommend that the Bar should look to getting in the business, perhaps with private company partners, of online lawyer referrals and the providing of online legal documents. Stewart said the goal would be helping lawyers find new business and providing legal services to the 60 percent of the public who do not qualify for legal aid and cannot afford traditional legal services.The board approved in concept creating the two new committees and Stewart said more of the recommendations will come to the board at its May meeting.“These are issues we believe needed board attention sooner rather than later,” Stewart said at the start of his presentation.On technological competence and increasing the CLE requirement, Stewart noted the ABA three years ago added a comment to the model rules that lawyers should stay up on the benefits and risks of technology relevant to their practice areas. While 13 states have modified their rules to follow the ABA model, The Florida Bar has not, Stewart said, although there is a formal ethics opinion on the issue.The committee is proposing, he continued, amending the comment to the Bar’s competence rule to say lawyers should have technological competence in their practice area and also understand issues relating to preserving the confidentiality of electronic communications.“One thing you can expect our committee to recommend is you cannot practice law competently if you don’t have a basic level of technological competence in your practice area,” Stewart said.That in turn led to a review of CLE requirements.“Right now we have 30 hours of required CLE every three years. Our committee has recommended that be increased to 36 hours,” Stewart said. “It’s because we felt there needed to be a mandatory technology CLE component and we didn’t feel you could do that within 30 hours and still properly accomplish all your other CLE requirements.”He added that the committee collected CLE information from 45 other states and found only one requires less than the 10-hour annual average that the Bar mandates, and five other states along with Florida have the 10-hour standard. Thirty-eight states require more.Three of four neighboring states — Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, and South Carolina — require 36 hours and the fourth mandates 42 hours. Likewise, among other large state bars, New York requires 36 hours and Texas requires 45, he said.Also, unlike many other states, Florida does not have a requirement that at least some CLE be obtained by in-person attendance at courses, and that will make it easier to comply with a higher standard.“That ability to get CLE in Florida is very easy; it’s on demand online; it’s 24/7,” Stewart said.The Vision 2016 Technology Committee recommended making the Special Committee on Technology a standing committee and creating the new board-level technology committee because of the continuing important role technology will play in the practice of law, Stewart said. That recommendation on the two committees was conceptually approved by the board’s Program Evaluation Committee the day before the board met.The board committee will endeavour to implement Vision 2016 technology-related proposals, be a liaison to the Florida Courts Technology Commission that oversees the technological upgrade of the court system, and “do other things that frankly can only be done at the Board of Governors level,” Stewart said.Bar President Greg Coleman said the two committees are important.“When Vision 2016 ends, we can’t just put the report on a shelf. We need to keep technology at the board level. And the board needs to know what’s going on from a practice perspective and from a visionary, future perspective,” he said.The plan is for both committees to meet at the Bar’s Fall and Winter meetings and the Annual Convention and work closely together, with the standing committee providing the “worker bee” functions, Coleman said.The board unanimously approved that recommendation in concept. Details about the committees’ membership, mission, and interactions will now be drafted and returned to the PEC and board for final approval.In regard to online referral services and legal document companies, Stewart said they are taking an ever-growing share of the legal marketplace, adding that President-elect Ramón Abadin has assembled extensive information on that subject.“It’s an access-to-justice issue, but it’s also a lawyer employment issue,” Stewart said. “On the lawyer referral component, our committee will recommend that The Florida Bar get in that business in a meaningful way. The Florida Bar has a lawyer referral service. . . it was never intended to do what we are asking it to do. We’re going to suggest The Florida Bar get in that business, whether it be licensing with one of these companies or whether it be on our own.”Likewise, he said the committee will propose that the Bar look at the document generation business. He noted companies are now offering a wide range of documents and even the court system’s portal for electronic filing will have the ability to generate some simplified documents for pro se litigants.“We have to get in that marketplace for our young lawyers and our lawyers who feel [they can help]. It’s a big, big issue,” Stewart said. “Our committee is going to make aggressive recommendations, and we are going to ask this board to make decisions in their representative capacities.”In response to a question from President Coleman, Stewart said he expects to have some of the committee’s proposals ready for board review at its May 22 meeting.center_img April 15, 2015 Gary Blankenship Senior Editor Regular Newslast_img read more

UWF Impresses on First Day of Quad Meet

first_img“She was absolutely lights-out. Both of those times are A-cuts, and she goes into some of her better swims tomorrow,” head coach Andrew Hancock said of Michalak’s efforts. Michalak also stood out in the first race of the day, taking the breaststroke leg of the 200 Medley Relay. The German national clocked a 27.06 in her 50-yard stretch, a mark that bested the next-fastest second-leg swim in the race by .59 seconds. TEAM RESULTSINDIVIDUAL RESULTS “I’m extremely proud of the girls. Most teams get to the facility and get a little time to acclimate, but we just get off the bus and go,” Hancock said. “They have every reason to feel tired after a long trip, but they refused to use that as an excuse. They were just aggressively taking it to some of the best programs in the country. We’re tremendously excited, very proud of some of our performances, and even more excited for tomorrow because we’ve set ourselves up for potentially a better day tomorrow.” UWF currently leads No. 25 Florida Southern 101-66 and trails FSU and FGCU. West Florida concludes the meet tomorrow with a 10 a.m. ET start. Fresh off a weekend meet at Clemson, the UWF divers also stood above board. Monica Amaral finished second overall in the 1-meter, with the 3-meter event to come tomorrow, and all five UWF divers beat at least three athletes from D1 Florida State and Florida Gulf Coast. It was not only Michalak who stood out for UWF, however, as Madeline Pitt added two B-cut times to her 2016-17 resume and freshman Tabitha Read-Cayton missed a B-cut in the 50 Free by just .03 seconds. Pitt missed her lifetime best in the 400 IM by just more than a second, recording a B-cut 4:26.97. She hit a 5:03.67 in the 500 Free, which also gives her a qualifying time. Pitt and freshman Hannah O’Toole each set personal records in the 200 Fly, finishing sixth and seventh in the event. Both will also enter the top 5 in UWF’s record books in the event, with Pitt’s 2:06.64 going fourth and O’Toole’s 2:09.78 coming in fifth in the books. Indeed, Michalak’s 50 Free time of 22.53 would have put her less than two tenths behind Drury’s Xen Wu, who set a DII record in the event with a 22.36 at the NCAA Championships this past March. Her 49.42 in the leadoff leg of the 400 Free Relay goes down as a program record in the 100 Free, and both times were A-cuts, which automatically qualify Michalak for the national meet. FT. MYERS, Fla. – The University of West Florida swimming and diving team saw two school records broken on the first day of a two-day quad meet against Florida Southern, Florida State and Florida Gulf Coast on Friday. Theresa Michalak – the reigning DII national champion in the 100 Breast – headlined the day and set a school record in the 50 Free and recorded A-cut times in that and the 100 Free. #ARGOS#Print Friendly Versionlast_img read more

Penn State’s James Franklin vows to ‘vigorously defend’ program in wake of doctor’s allegations

first_imgPenn State Health, in its statement Monday, said the change in team doctors was made in the “best interests of student-athletes.””While we reject Dr. Lynch’s claims and will vigorously defend our program and its representatives, we remain grateful to him for his five years as director of athletic medicine for Intercollegiate Athletics and for his continued association with Penn State Health,” the statement said.No. 15 Penn State opens its season Saturday at home against Idaho. Penn State football coach James Franklin responded Tuesday to a lawsuit filed against him and the university that alleges he pressured a team doctor to clear players who were injured, saying “we’ll continue to vigorously defend our program” against allegations of wrongdoing.Speaking on his first weekly teleconference of the 2019 season, Franklin first referenced a statement issued Monday by Penn State Health, also named in the lawsuit, over former team orthopedic physician Scott A. Lynch’s suit that seeks $50,000 in damages. “Obviously I’d like to start with a statement rejecting Dr. Lynch’s claims,” Franklin said in his first public comments about the suit. “We’ll continue to vigorously defend our program and all participants in this manner. As always, the health and well-being of our student-athletes is of the utmost importance to us. But after that, we’ll have no further comment, so I just wanted to make sure we covered that.”In the lawsuit, Lynch claims Franklin attempted on “multiple and repeated occasions” to interfere with the doctor’s authority. Lynch said he was removed from his position as director of athletic medicine in March because of his complaints about Franklin’s alleged actions. Related News The lawsuit contends that Lynch was being punished for reporting Franklin to higher-ups and that constitutes violation of the Pennsylvania Whistleblower Law.A coach who interferes with a medical staff’s diagnoses or otherwise infringes on doctors’ autonomy also would be in violation of Big Ten and NCAA rules.The suit also claims Lynch was removed in an effort by Penn State to avoid scandal.center_img Wisconsin names Jack Coan as starting quarterback Florida band director attacked by Miami fan expected to be OKlast_img read more