Lawmakers ask about Bar lawyer regulation system Lawmakers ask about Bar lawyer regulation system Senior EditorAfter a day debunking many of the claims made about medical malpractice, a Florida Senate committee questioned Florida Bar President Miles McGrane about Bar prosecutions for frivolous lawsuits and the Bar grievance process generally.McGrane was one of about 20 people invited to give sworn testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee on July 14-15 during the second legislative special session on medical malpractice.The Senate has been under fire from Gov. Jeb Bush and the House for refusing to agree to a $250,000 cap on noneconomic damages in medical malpractice cases. But senators said they had been getting conflicting information, so the upper chamber took the unusual step of inviting witnesses to the Judiciary Committee, and then putting them under oath. That makes them liable to a perjury charge if they lie.McGrane testified after the committee had quizzed state employees involved in regulating insurance companies and the medical profession. They testified that the state largely relies on information from insurance companies and their accountants on the number of claims made and other actuarial information. Other employees testified that although claims have been made that high malpractice rates are driving doctors out of the state, there are more doctors in Florida than five years ago, and the number of doctors applying to practice in Florida is increasing.Witnesses also said, contrary to much of the talk about medical malpractice, that there is no flood of frivolous malpractice suits driving up rates.Against that backdrop, committee Chair Sen. Alex Villalobos, R-Miami, asked McGrane for general information about the Bar’s grievance process and specifically how many cases had been investigated for filing frivolous malpractice suits.McGrane replied that there had been three malpractice related investigations. One was referred by a judge who ruled a defense lawyer did a filing without reasonable investigation. That case was dropped when an appellate court overturned the judge.On the other two cases, a lawyer sued the wrong doctor who had the identical name as the intended defendant, and a lawyer sued the wrong partner in a P.A., he said.In recent years, the Bar has averaged about 9,000 complaints a year involving 4,500 to 5,000 lawyers, McGrane reported. Total disciplines have ranged from 391 to 472, including between 20 and 38 annual disbarments. Other disciplines include suspensions, reprimands, voluntary resignations, and probations. The numbers do not include those who opt to attend the Bar’s ethics school in lieu of facing a minor misconduct charge.Asked by Sen. Durrell Peadon, R-Crestview, how the Bar process worked, McGrane answered that local grievance committees, made up of lawyers and nonlawyers, investigate complaints. If a committee finds probable cause, then a referee holds a hearing and makes a recommendation. That is reviewed by the Bar Board of Governors, which decides whether to agree to make a different recommendation when the case goes to the Supreme Court, which has final authority over all grievance cases, he said.Sen. Dave Aronberg, D-West Palm Beach, asked about cases under F.S. 57.105, which allows judges to award the opposing side attorneys’ fees in costs when an attorney brings a frivolous action. McGrane replied that rarely happens. He also noted that some had suggested a provision that an attorney who brings three frivolous actions within five years be barred from filing medical malpractice, and added he doubts that will ever happen.Sen. Skip Campbell, D-Tamarac, a former member of the Bar Board of Governors, spent much of the meeting asking tough questions of insurance and medical representatives. He asked McGrane about lawyer advertising, saying, “I think the doctors have a legitimate gripe about that.”McGrane said the U.S. Supreme Court in the 1970s ruled that lawyers have a right to advertise, but that The Florida Bar has enacted — and has been upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court — the toughest regulations of any state bar.“Personally, I find it repulsive, repugnant, whatever word you want to use. But as president of The Florida Bar, I have to enforce the rules on what the courts will let us do,” he said.Ironically, no one asked McGrane about his personal practice, which is largely made up of defending doctors in medical malpractice cases.Questioning of McGrane was mild compared to some witnesses. Robert White, president of First Professionals Insurance, the state’s largest medical malpractice insurance company, and Jeff Scott, an attorney with the Florida Medical Association, conceded there was no problem with frivolous lawsuits, or even that there is a large number of them. White said past legislation had fixed that problem, but added bad faith laws make it difficult for insurance companies.That was contrary to much of the rhetoric earlier this year, when frivolous lawsuits were frequently blamed for skyrocketing medical malpractice rates. White also estimated that 10 percent of rate hikes were caused by low interest rates on investments and other economic factors, not related to lawsuits. August 1, 2003 Gary Blankenship Senior Editor Regular News
30SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Kirk Drake Kirk Drake is founder and CEO of Ongoing Operations, LLC, a rapidly growing CUSO that provides complete business continuity and technology solutions. With its recent acquisition of Cloudworks, Ongoing Operations … Web: www.ongoingoperations.com Details As a late Gen Xer/Early Millennial – I grew up with technology. I remember distinctly in the 5th grade when the mouse was introduced and our computer lab moved to Macs from Tandys. I started working in credit union technology on an old EDS World system at 18 as a teller and spent the next 10 years of my career implementing an explosion of technology in credit unions. As I thought about things I was thankful for – I thought about all of the innovations, software, systems and processes I have implemented and experienced as a member. Here is my list of technology that I truly appreciate as a credit union member.Remote Deposit Capture in Mobile BankingThis is my all-time favorite. It is sad that this gets me excited but I really love being able to deposit a check without ever leaving my kitchen. Just take a quick picture of the front and back, enter the amount and you are done. I have a corporate account I administer for a networking group and I don’t have RDC with that bank. It is brutal. It takes me 4 to 6 weeks to coordinate my schedule and make it to a branch.Automatic Loan DecisioningI am extremely impatient. Not a little. A LOT. Automatic loan decisioning for everything pretty much but a mortgage is what I expect. Take any longer and I go research and find something else that is faster and more efficient. Sorry, I won’t wait for a day for a slightly better rate. Thankfully, my credit union has this and is very efficient with loan processing.E*SignaturesMy credit union supports e*signatures for everything. This is great – the documents get sent to me and I can complete everything from my phone. A while back I was cleaning up my files and stumbled across my first car loan from Agriculture FCU. It was the well worn carbon copy and physical signature. I really -really appreciate – A) not having to sign a physical copy B) not having to store a physical copy. Thank you Credit Unions who have E*Signatures.7-11 Kiosks connected to Shared Branching If you haven’t used one go try it. They are Awesome! Thank you Sarah Bang! Like many credit union members I don’t live near the credit unions I bank with and can rarely make it into a branch. Every time there is a transaction that I can’t do through mobile banking, online banking or a call center, the 7-11 Kiosk works. Everytime. I have used it on the road to deposit large checks and check multiple credit union account balances.Online Banking & Bill PayI can’t imagine a bank or credit union without these. My father used to use a phone coupler modem with his laptop in the 80’s and dialed into a Bank. He downloaded his account data and printed it out on a dot matrix printer. Thank goodness my first credit union account had online banking. From my dorm room I could check my balances and avoid bouncing checks as a freshmen in college. Even though I know how to balance a check book – I haven’t had to since I was a kid.PFM or MintUnfortunately my credit union doesn’t have a great PFM tool. However, I can use Mint. It is fantastic for being able to manage my budget, see all of my credit union & brokerage accounts, and manage my full financial picture. Thank you for PFM software and account aggregation.Thank you credit unions for working hard on my behalf as a member to implement technology, be efficient and provide great rates. I can’t wait to see the future with digital wallets and for credit unions to use more and more data analytics to improve the member experience and service offerings.
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York St. Patrick’s Day falls on Tuesday this year, with celebrations continue all month long across the Emerald Long Isle. Here is out annual list of St. Patrick’s Day parades and related events. Enjoy!Westhampton Beach St. Patrick’s Day ParadeMarching south on Mill Road from Oneck Lane to Main Street. 12 p.m. March 14.Am O’Gansett St. Patrick’s Day ParadeMarching down Main Street from Mary’s Marvelous in Amagansett and then back again. 12 p.m. March 14.St. James St. Patrick’s Day ParadeMarching down Lake Avenue from Woodlawn Avenue to Railroad Avenue. 1 p.m. March 14.Bay Shore-Brightwaters St. Patrick’s Day ParadeMarching down Main Street from Saxon Avenue to Clinton Avenue. 2 p.m. March 14.Cutchogue St. Patrick’s Day ParadeMarching down Route 25 from Cox Lane and to the Cutchogue New Suffolk Library. 2 p.m. March 14.Bangers and MashCranking out original songs or completely skewering a classic, “BAM” gives it all they’ve got. They’ll keep you dancing in the aisles, raising a pint, and having a ball. Music for the Celticly Insane. Also performing will be the Long Ireland Pipes & Drums. 89 North Music Venue, 89 North Ocean Ave., Patchogue. 89northmusic.com $5. 7 p.m. March 14.Claddagh – The Prodigals ShowA fusion of the Prodigals’ iconic music, world-champion dancers – both Irish and tap – and a modern day Irish fairy-tale that immerses the audience in a rich universe of love, life and laughter. John W. Engeman Theater, 250 Main St., Northport. engemantheater.com $45. 3 p.m., 8 p.m. March 14.Chris ByrnePiper from the famed Irish rock group Black 47 and his new group, the Lost Tribe of Donegal, will perform with Irish Step dancers. A blend of traditional and rock with traditional acoustic instrumentation. St. Patrick’s Day Menu available. Suffolk Theater, 118 E Main St., Riverhead. suffolktheater.com $25. 8 p.m. March 14.St. Paddy’s Day BashThe celebration at Mr. Beerry’s continues with an all-girls band night, featuring Della Grove, Christine Sweeney & The Dirty Stayouts and Nico Padden Band. Mr Beery’s. 4019 Hempstead Tpke., Bethpage. mrberrys.com $5. 9 p.m. March 14.Irish FestivalThe 17th Annual Irish Festival celebrates the Irish gifts of music, food and culture to America. There will be a number of music and dance performances throughout the day, as well activities for children, more than 50 craft vendors and authentic Irish food. Mack Sports Complex, North Campus, Hofstra University, Hempstead Tpke., Hempstead. $6. 11 a.m. March 15.Bayport St. Patrick’s Day ParadeMarching down Main Street from Snedecor Avenue to Blue Point Avenue. 11 a.m. March 15.Rocky Point St. Patrick’s Day ParadeMarching along Route 25A from Harrison Avenue to the corner of Broadway and Prince Road. 1 p.m. March 15.Corned Beef & ChaosDr. Dirty Performs, free Corned Beef and Cabbage Buffet. The Emporium, 9 Railroad Ave., Patchogue. theemporiumny.com Free. 12-2 p.m. March 15.Center Moriches St. Patrick’s Day ParadeMarching through Main Street from Lake Avenue to South Ocean Avenue. 2 p.m. March 15.Lo PanAn Irish band, Irish food and beer. Mr Beery’s. 4019 Hempstead Tpke., Bethpage. mrberrys.com $5. 7 p.m. March 17.St. Patrick’s Day CelebrationIrish entertainment will include the Irish Rock Bands: The Sporting Paddies and The McCools, Noel McAtasney and Nancy Hirten. Traditional Irish food and beverages will be offered and Irish merchandise will be available for purchase at the Fairgrounds Building and the Noon Inn. There will also be a Birds of Prey presentation from Tackapausha Museum. Old Bethpage Village Restoration, 1303 Round Swamp Rd., Old Bethpage. nassaucountyny.gov Free. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. March 21.Hampton Bays St. Patrick’s Day ParadeStarting at the Hampton Bays Elementary School on Poquot Avenue, the parade marches down Montauk Highway and ends at the Hampton Atrium. 11 a.m. March 21.Rockville Centre St. Patrick’s Day ParadeMarching down Maple Avenue from Long Beach Road to Quealy Place. 12 p.m. March 21.Brentwood St. Patrick’s Day ParadeMarching down Washington Avenue from Clarke Street to Ross Park. 1 p.m. March 21.Water Snakes DemonstrationCelebrate St. Patrick’s Day and learn the history between St. Patrick and snakes. Find out what makes the Hatchery’s water snakes so special. Kids can make snake themed crafts and play games. Cold Spring Harbor Fish Hatchery, 1660 NY-25A, Cold Spring Harbor. cshfha.org 11 a.m.-3 p.m. March 21, 22.Patchogue St. Patrick’s Day ParadeMarching west on Main Street from Route 112 to West Avenue. 11 a.m. March 22.Montauk St. Patrick’s Day ParadeMarching up Edgemere Street and west on Main Street to the IGA. 11:30 a.m. March 22.Farmingdale St. Patrick’s Day ParadeMarching down Main Street from Northside Elementary School to the village green. 1 p.m. March 22.Glen Cove St. Patrick’s Day ParadeMarching from Finley Middle School, onto School Street to St. Patrick’s Church. 1 p.m. March 22.Jamesport St. Patrick’s Day ParadeMarching west on Main Road from Washington Avenue to Manor Lane, ending at the Jamesport Fire Department. 1 p.m. March 28.
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In a quest for the ultimate upset, the Trojans start off the annual Pac-12 Tournament in Las Vegas this week as the No. 12 seed. The Trojans will face off against the Arizona State Sun Devils, the No. 6 seed, on Wednesday.The Trojans hope that this tournament will be a bright spot in a season that saw the Trojans finish last in the conference for the second consecutive year. They ended their season with a loss to their crosstown rivals UCLA by a final score of 85-74. The Trojans allowed the Bruins to go on a 25-7 run in the first half, and they could never catch up. Redshirt sophomore Katin Reinhardt led the way in the loss with 22 points off the bench; the Trojans will rely on his scoring in the tournament during which they will continue to be underdogs every night.The Trojans are one of the youngest teams in the entire country; among the power five conferences, the Trojans have the youngest roster in terms of minutes played by class. Head coach Andy Enfield knows that his team is young, but he also knows they will go out ready to compete.“We understand that from a physicality standpoint and from an age difference, they’re much older and a little stronger than us physically,” Enfield said. “We feel that if we go compete, we have a great chance.”Arizona State will come into the tournament having won five of its last seven games, a run that catapulted them to the five seed in the tournament. Their last win was over California by a margin of 74-70 in which they were led by senior forward Shaquielle McKissic, who scored 21 points in his last home game for the Sun Devils. McKissic is the leading scorer for the Devils with an average of 11.5 points per game.The last time these USC and ASU faced off, the Sun Devils came away on top, 64-59. The Devils had to rally late to beat the Trojans, who had led for the majority of the game. In this game, USC was led by reserve sophomore guard Kahlil Dukes who scored a career-high 18 points. Dukes kept the Trojans in a game where they were missing three of their players. Reinhardt, junior guard Chass Bryan and sophomore guard Devon Pflueger were all sent home from the Arizona road trip for violating team rules.USC will not head into Vegas at full strength, as freshman guard Jordan McLaughlin is out for the season with a shoulder injury. McLaughlin was named to the Pac-12 all-freshman team on Monday. On the season, McLaughlin averaged 12.1 points, three rebounds and 4.5 assists per game. He led all Pac-12 freshman in assists and steals per game, and he is the first Trojan to be named to the team since Maurice Jones back in 2011.Without McLaughlin, the Trojans will lean on their two dynamic sophomores against Arizona State. Sophomore guard Julian Jacobs has proven lately why he was named captain of the squad, both with his production on the court and through his leadership on such a young team. In the last seven games for the Trojans, Jacobs averaged 11.9 points, 6.6 rebounds and seven assists per game. Jacobs has also been able to entertain the crowd as he leads the team with 18 dunks on the year. USC will also routinely go down low to sophomore forward Nikola Jovanovic, who averaged 12.2 points and 7.1 rebounds per game for the Trojans during the regular season. Jacobs stressed preparation when he talked about the pending tournament.“You have to have a chip on your shoulder when you play in these kind of tournaments where it’s win or go home,” Jacobs said.The game will tip off at 2:30 p.m. at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. The winner of the game will go on to face the UCLA Bruins, who earned a first round bye by placing fourth in the conference during the regular season. USC lost to UCLA in both matchups this year while the Sun Devils won the only meeting with the Bruins earlier in the year.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids are still expected to take place Sunday in South Florida and several other cities across the country.Immigration reform advocates say that areas around Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York and San Francisco will be targeted in the raids, which are anticipated to last through at least Thursday. President Trump told reporters on Friday, “It starts on Sunday and they’re going to take people out and they’re going to bring them back to their countries. We are focused on criminals as much as we can before we do anything else.”When the raids did not begin as expected before dawn, advocacy groups began redirecting their efforts from helping the detainees to spreading information and awareness about immigrant rights.To that end, they are knocking on doors in immigrant-heavy neighborhoods, canvassing churches and supermarkets, and worked to keep people prepared.About 2,000 people around Miami-Dade County are expected to be detained.