Lawmakers ask about Bar lawyer regulation system

first_imgLawmakers 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 Newslast_img read more

UK regulator mulls trustee board diversity reporting requirement

first_imgThe UK’s Pensions Regulator (TPR) is working to improve the gender balance and diversity of trustee boards with an eye on recent improvements to the diversity of corporate leadership.Speaking at the Responsible Asset Owners Conference in London yesterday, Amanda Latham, policy lead at TPR, said the regulator had included a focus on diversity in its recent consultation on trusteeship and governance.In the consultation, which closed on 24 September, TPR asked respondents whether pension boards should be required to report diversity data to the regulator – in line with a similar requirement from the Financial Reporting Council for corporates – and whether there should be more industry-driven initiatives to improve diversity on trustee boards.“What we know as a regulator is by having to report how you’ve implemented a policy really does start to change behaviour,” Latham said at the conference. Amanda Latham, policy lead at TPRData from the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) from 2017 showed that 83% of private sector pension fund trustees were male. This compared to just under 70% of FTSE 350 company directors, according to the 30% Club.Latham said the pension sector had “a particularly long road ahead of us” to catch up with developments in the corporate world.However, she added that TPR’s annual surveys had shown that trustees were beginning to see the benefits of improving diversity.Latham said: “There is a copious amount of research now showing that, when people have different views, decision-making is more difficult, it’s less agreeable, but they come up with much better solutions to problems most of the time. That’s an area that that we’re focused on.”The PLSA launched a diversity campaign in 2017 titled ‘Breaking the Mirror Image’. It introduced leadership programmes aimed at women in the pensions sector with the aim of building a “pipeline of future trustees”. “We think the most effective pension boards have a diversity of skills and experience, allowing them to draw from various different perspectives. Having demographic diversity [means] a trustee board is more representative of its members, and it can better engage with its membership, it can have better understanding of the issues that some members face, and how they live their lives.”last_img read more

Thailand MotoGP postponed as virus wrecks season’s start

first_img Even last week Thai MotoGP organisers were upbeat, pledging extra health measures like temperature checks, facemasks and hand sanitisers. Anutin himself had vowed “no cancellation” on Friday. But on Sunday, Thailand’s health ministry said a 35-year-old Thai man passed away due to complications caused by the coronavirus. “Things change every day and it has become pandemic,” Anutin told AFP on Monday. “We have to go along with the circumstances worldwide and it (postponement) is in the best interests of the nation as well as the participants.” As the coronavirus has spread, Italy has become the hardest-hit European country with 34 deaths and more than 1,600 confirmed cases. Italian drivers play a “vital role in the championship”, said the international motorcycling federation on Sunday following the cancellation of the race in Qatar, which is restricting arrivals from Italy. Six riders in the elite class are Italian, including seven-time world champion Valentino Rossi as well as 2019 runner-up Andrea Dovizioso, while Ducati and Aprilia are leading Italian manufacturers. Promoted ContentA Guy Turns Gray Walls And Simple Bricks Into Works Of Art18 Cities With Neverending Tourist-Flow8 Shows You Didn’t Want To Watch At The End7 Ways To Understand Your Girlfriend Better6 Major TV Characters We Were Relieved To See Leaving The ShowCan Playing Too Many Video Games Hurt Your Body?Best & Worst Celebrity Endorsed Games Ever MadeWho’s The Best Car Manufacturer Of All Time?13 kids at weddings who just don’t give a hootYou’ve Only Seen Such Colorful Hairdos In A Handful Of AnimeIt Might Be Quentin Tarantino’s Last Movie7 Action Movies That’ll Give You An Adrenaline Rush Thailand’s MotoGP was postponed over the new coronavirus on Monday as motorcycling’s premier championship took its second hit in two days from the deadly outbreak. Marc Marquez won the Thai MotoGP last year A day after the season-opening Qatar MotoGP was axed, Thailand organisers postponed the March 20-22 race in Buriram without setting a new date. “I don’t say it’s cancelled, I just say it is postponed until time allows us to do (the event),” Anutin Charnvirakul, chairman of the Thailand MotoGP organising committee, told AFP. “It’s because of the coronavirus,” added Anutin, who is also Thailand’s deputy prime minister and health minister. “We need to postpone it today until further notice.” The move means both of the season’s first two races have been shelved. The next race on the schedule is in Austin, Texas on April 5. It could also put renewed focus on Formula One, whose season starts with the Australian Grand Prix on March 15. The Chinese F1 Grand Prix has already been postponed, and Vietnam is due to host its inaugural race in Hanoi on April 5. However, Hanoi’s mayor said last week that the city was “ready to cancel it in case of the epidemic’s progression”. The virus originating from China, which has killed more than 3,000 people worldwide, has had a heavy impact on sports events, forcing a long list of postponements and cancellations. “The committee decided to postpone the race due to the widespread of COVID-19 around the world,” Anutin said in an organising committee statement. “People who attend, racers and teams could come from at-risk countries. Thailand has to postpone for the safety of Thai people until the situation is better.” – ‘Best interests of the nation’ – The Thai MotoGP takes place in Buriram, in the country’s north east Read Also: Season-opening Qatar MotoGP cancelled due to coronavirus Thailand currently has 43 confirmed cases of COVID-19. The bulk of those infected are Chinese tourists or Thais who’ve come into contact with travellers. Much of Thailand’s tourism sector is reliant on Chinese holidaymakers, and the country anticipates shedding five million visitors this year due to the virus – a revenue hit of more than $8 billion. The MotoGP event in Buriram brought in three billion baht ($94 million) each of the last two years it was held, Anutin said last week. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 Loading… Health authorities announced the death of a 35-year-old man from complications of COVID-19last_img read more

Choosing between cup glory and top four spot like having to make preference over parents, says Liverpool keeper

first_img1 Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Migonlet has suggested being forced to make a choice between FA Cup glory and finishing in the top four is like having to make a preference over one of his parents.The Reds take on Aston Villa in the semi-final of England’s most prestigious domestic cup competition on Sunday, while they have not given up on usurping Manchester City in the Premier League for the final Champions League place.Reds’ playmaker Philippe Coutinho has implied that cup success could save their season, but Mignolet insists the club have no plans to prioritise one competition over the other.“The next game is the FA Cup semi-final so the focus is on that but you don’t really choose between your mum and dad so we still have two things to play for and we will try to do that from now until the end of the season,” said the Belgium international.“We want to do both – let’s hope we can do both. We have the FA Cup and league still to play for and we want to do well in every single game.”Mignolet regards his temporary exclusion from the first-team in December as pivotal in both his and the Reds’ upturn in fortunes, after he suffered a distinctly indifferent start to the season.The area of his game under the most intense scrutiny was his confidence and dominance in the penalty area, and Mignolet believes it is an aspect that has been recognised and appropriately addressed.“It is something we spoke about when I was out the team: to be more aggressive and be more dominant with defenders and be more commanding and demanding,” he said.“I have always been one who tries to give information to the defenders and for me to organise at set-pieces but it is maybe more the body language and the commanding voice to get the message over to the players which has changed a bit.”talkSPORT will bring you live coverage of Aston Villa against Liverpool in the FA Cup on Sunday from 3pm. Simon Mignolet last_img read more