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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asking them to look at the issue.“Our goal is not to get every section to say that the gay adoption law should be repealed, although if they did, that would be wonderful,” he said.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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Wisconsin leads nation in most statistical categories en route to unbeaten 1st half

first_imgWith a pair of convincing wins over St. Cloud State this weekend, head coach Mark Johnson and his top-ranked Wisconsin women’s hockey team finished the first half of their season virtually unblemished. The 18-0-2 Badgers can now take a few weeks off, relax and prepare for a daunting second half of the season that includes tough away series at top-five rivals Minnesota and Minnesota-Duluth.St. Cloud came to the Kohl Center ranked third in the WCHA with plenty of momentum courtesy of a five-game winning streak. The Badgers, however, were sporting an 18-game unbeaten streak that included eight wins over top 10 opponents.Wisconsin’s 7-0 and 6-2 wins over the Huskies finalized a near-perfect first half of the season, and gave Wisconsin some breathing room atop the rankings of a very competitive WCHA.Statistically, the Badgers are leading the nation in nearly every offensive and defensive category. Wisconsin is allowing a slight 0.94 goals a contest while scoring 5.26 goals a game, leading the nation in both categories.Individually, Wisconsin has plenty of representation in the national leaderboard. Six Badgers rank in the top 20 nationally in scoring. Sophomore Hilary Knight leads the nation in points, with 22 goals and 17 assists. Senior captain Erika Lawler is second nationally in points, with 32, and first in assists with 23. Also in the top 20 nationally for points are freshman Brooke Ammerman (30), junior Meghan Duggan (28), junior Jasmine Giles (24) and senior Angie Keseley (23).Senior goaltender Jessie Vetter leads the nation with an impressive 0.952 save percentage. Vetter also leads all net-minders with 17 wins and a slim 0.827 goals against average.Johnson noted how valuable Vetter has been to the team’s success, adding that strong defensive play has also helped limit opposing offenses.“She has been a stonewall back there,” Johnson said following Wisconsin’s 6-2 win on Saturday. “The people in front of her are playing well, they are playing very responsible within our own end. If we have breakdowns or the other team creates opportunities, [Vetter] has been very comfortable and she can make the saves. If we have kids that are committed to playing hard in their own end, it makes it very difficult for the other team to score goals.”The Badgers have been powered by a well-blended mix of productive freshman and veterans who dedicated themselves following last spring’s crushing loss to Minnesota-Duluth in the national championship. Johnson likes where his team is at this juncture of the season, but notes that there still is plenty of work to be done.“We are in good position, but we have 20 games still when we come back,” Lawler said. “I would not have predicted us being in this position in September. You have to complement the players, and I did after the game. They committed themselves last spring, they trained hard over the summer, put themselves in a position to get a good start and they have kept the momentum building, and building.”Also touching on the fruits of the team’s efforts was Lawler.“It is a tremendous thing that we have the best record in program history,” Lawler said. “I think we are all very proud of ourselves, because we worked for it, and it definitely did not come easy. ”Lawler, the Badgers’ pint-sized senior captain and emotional leader, sees her team as one that enjoys playing together and has great cohesion on all fronts.“A huge contribution to how successful we have been is how well we get along on and off the ice,” Lawler said. “Everyone seems to have a really good work ethic. We have found good chemistry on all four lines. I could go down the line with all my teammates and talk about how each is contributing to our success, whether they play a lot or not. Everyone is contributing in some way or another. ”last_img read more

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