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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asking them to look at the issue.“Our goal is not to get every section to say that the gay adoption law should be repealed, although if they did, that would be wonderful,” he said.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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Hurdlers highlight USC’s solid performance at home

first_imgThe USC track and field team hurdled over the competition at Saturday’s Trojan Invitational at Loker Stadium, the team’s only true home meet of the 2010 season.The Trojans won all four hurdle races, giving them the top team marks both nationally and collegiately, in a performance that USC coach Ron Allice hopes is just the start of a season filled with record-setting efforts.“The times we ran are certainly times we thought we were capable of,” Allice said. “We hope that it’s just the beginning and that we can keep improving into May and June.”When asked if his hurdlers can do better, Allice without hesitation said,  “Absolutely.”They  have tough marks to top. Junior Oscar Spurlock highlighted USC’s dominating showing with a victory in the men’s 110-meter high hurdles, posting a time of 13.83 that currently stands as the fastest in the world.Not to be outdone, freshman standout Reggie Wyatt posted the best U.S. time and the seventh best in the world in the 400-meter intermediate hurdles with a 50.91, nearly a second and a half faster than the second place finisher.The USC men weren’t the only group who posted nationally ranked times on Saturday. Senior hurdler Shalina Clarke won the women’s 100-meter hurdles with a time of 13.69 seconds, slightly slower her nation-leading time of 13.41 set last week. Additionally, sophomore Dalilah Muhammad added her name to the world rankings with a 58.50 in the women’s 400-meter intermediate hurdles, besting marquee Texas hurdler Angele Cooper.The hurdlers were joined on Saturday by several other strong performers from USC’s other events. Senior sprinter Ahmad Rashad, the second place finisher in the men’s 100-meter dash at last year’s NCAA championships, won Saturday’s 100-meter with a time of 10.61, a mark all the more impressive considering the 1.5 meters per second headwind.“That’s a pedestrian time for Ahmad, absolutely,” Allice said. “I was more impressed with the fact that he did everything technically correct. A win is a win, though.”Rashad was also part of the men’s 4×100-meter relay team, which made its season debut Saturday without any signs of rust, winning with a time of 41.01 seconds.The USC distance squad also made its presence known with a handful of fine races. Junior Zsofia Erdelyi won the women’s 3000-meter race with a personal best time of 9:27.96 in her first race of the 2010 season.Also making his mark was sophomore Blake Shaw, who ran USC’s first ever sub four-minute mile during the indoor season. On Saturday Shaw ran a personal best 3:47.49 in the men’s 1500-meter, placing second in the race but moving him to seventh all time in Trojans history for the event.Despite all the gaudy numbers, however, Allice says his team’s focus remains on the weeks ahead, specifically this weekend’s Stanford Invitational.“Overall, I was pleased; I thought our people competed,” Allice said. “But I think people get too wrapped up in marks and times. At this stage in the game, we’re still focused on next week and also a month, two months from now.”last_img read more

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