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Elder Law Section, FAWL support gay adoption lobbying

first_imgElder Law Section, FAWL support gay adoption lobbying Elder Law Section, FAWL support gay adoption lobbying Senior Editor The Bar’s Elder Law Section and the Florida Association for Women Lawyers have become the latest organizations to endorse the Family Law and Public Interest Law sections’ request to lobby for the repeal of the Florida law that bans gays from adopting.The FAWL executive council at a recent meeting endorsed a resolution supporting the two sections, which want both to repeal the gay adoption ban and adopt a best-interest-of-the-child standard.The Elder Law Section Executive Council decided at its October 4 meeting to support the two sections’ request to push their position at the legislature.The matter is pending before the Bar Board of Governors, which exercises a general oversight of lobbying by sections. The two sections presented their case to the Bar Legislation Committee in August, but the committee tabled the matter with members saying they were concerned the matter raised deep philosophical differences among Bar members.Under Bar policies, sections, which have voluntary membership and dues payments, are given wide latitude on subjects they wish to lobby. Those positions must not contradict a Bar-wide legislative position, and must not create deep philosophical divisions among Bar members. The sections must also make it clear they are representing only themselves and not the Bar as a whole.Legislation Committee members said they were not concerned with the propriety of repealing the ban on gay adoptions and having a best-interest-of-the-child standard, but were worried that the repeal issue could create deep philosophical divisions. Members suggested the two sections approach other sections for their views and support their contention that seeking the repeal would not produce deep philosophical divisions.The Public Interest Law and Family Law sections had planned to take their case to sections during the Bar’s General Meeting, but that was postponed because of hurricanes, and most sections did not meet during the rescheduled meeting.Evan Marks, chair of the Family Law Section, said the two sections have sent letters to other sections asking them to look at the issue.“Our goal is not to get every section to say that the gay adoption law should be repealed, although if they did, that would be wonderful,” he said. “At the very least we would like the sections to say this is not so divisive within a substantial section of The Florida Bar as to prohibit the Family Law Section from lobbying.”Marks said he was happy that FAWL and the Elder Law Section had acted. He noted the section executive council not only supported PILS and the Family Law Section lobbying the issue, but concluded that the issue was not divisive of Bar members. Both section actions were by unanimous vote.The Family Law Section has posted information about the issue at its Web site, www.familylawfla.org. The date includes 11 major organizations, from the American Medical Association to the American Psychiatric Association, that support gay adoptions.Marks said he doesn’t think the gay adoption issue is any more divisive than the Bar’s support a few years ago of merit appointments for all trial judges and its recent vote to oppose Amendment 3 — which limited contingency fees in medical malpractice actions — on the November 2 ballot.He also noted that as this News went to press, the Young Lawyers Division Board of Governors was scheduled to debate the issue, and make a recommendation for the Board of Governors’ December meeting.So far, although several individual lawyers have contacted Bar leaders and written letters to the editor in the Bar News, no legal organization has voted to oppose the two sections’ requests, Marks said.Aside from the Elder Law Section and FAWL, the two sections’ efforts have also been endorsed by the Equal Opportunities Law Section and the Bar’s Legal Needs of Children Committee. November 15, 2004 Gary Blankenship Senior Editor Regular Newslast_img read more

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AJ Burnett happy to escape New York for Pittsburgh

first_imgHe led the major leagues with 25 wild pitches last year and allowed a career-high 31 homers.“I let a few too many people tinker with me, maybe,” Burnett said. “When you let that happen, you start doubting yourself sometimes. You wonder, ‘Am I doing it right? Is this how it’s supposed to feel?’ and things like that. In ‘09, nobody messed with me. I was able to do what I wanted to do on the mound, whether it was turn around, close my eyes and pitch upside down. Then you have a few bad games and you start changing and listening.”Pittsburgh is paying just $13 million of Burnett’s salary: $5 million this year and $8 million in 2013. The Yankees are paying the rest.In a smaller market with reduced expectations, there should be less pressure on the 35-year-old right-hander.“It’s going to be a fresh start,” Burnett said. “It’s going to be fun. I’m going back to the National League, where I can hit and bunt and get the joy back into the game.”A 13-year veteran, Burnett will move into the top spot in the Pirates’ starting rotation. General manager Neal Huntington thinks Burnett can return to his form of a few years ago.“Our scouts still saw very good stuff,” Huntington said. “They saw power to the fastball, although the velocity is down from four or five years ago. He’s still got good movement. He was still one of the better ground-ball pitchers in the American League last year, which is going to play well in our ballpark.”Burnett also will be expected to provide a leadership role for younger players.“Hopefully, I can just lead by example,” Burnett said. “I’ll take the ball every five days. I’m not going to make excuses. One thing I can take from my time in New York is I’ll never back down from anything. I’m not a cheerleader, shaking pom-poms. But I know right and wrong and, hopefully, I can share that with the younger players.”Notes: Burnett was scheduled to throw a bullpen session during Monday afternoon’s workout at Pirate City. …To clear a roster spot, INF Gustavo Nunez was placed on the 60-day DL to a right ankle injury. Two months ago, the Pirates claimed Nunez from the Tigers in the winter meeting draft. BRADENTON, Fla. (AP)—A.J. Burnett was happy to escape from New York.“It was fun the first couple of years. Then it got like, I’m never going to get out of this funk,” he said Monday, a day after the Yankees dealt him to the Pittsburgh Pirates for a pair of low-level prospects.After signing an $82.5 million, five-year contract, Burnett helped the Yankees to their 27th World Series title in 2009. Then he slumped to a 21-26 record with a 5.20 ERA over the following two seasons. NEW PIRATE ACE—Yankees pitcher A.J. Burnett throws in relief against the Tampa Bay Rays in St. Petersburg, Fla on Sept. 28, 2011. (AP Photo/Mike Carlson, File) last_img read more

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