Court retools professionalism program course requirements

first_img June 1, 2005 Managing Editor Regular News Court retools professionalism program course requirements Mark D. Killian Managing Editor To establish a basic level of professionalism, the Supreme Court has amended Bar rules to require new Bar members — even those in government service — to take the Young Lawyers Division’s Practicing With Professionalism program.Originally set up in 1988 as a mandatory basic skills course — Bridge-the-Gap — to ensure newly admitted lawyers had an opportunity to begin their careers with some practical understanding of the practice of law, it has evolved over the years to focus on professionalism and ethics issues. The court acted May 12 in response to a Bar petition to amend the rules to reflect that reality. Case no. SC04-914.The court amended the rules to codify that the PWP will be one day in length (the old Bridge-the-Gap was a two-day program) and allow new lawyers to complete the course up to 12 months before admission to the Bar (formerly eight) or 12 months after being admitted. The court also changed the rules to increase the required number of elective, basic substantive CLE programs offered by the YLD from two to three that new members’ must take durring their initial three-year CLE reporting cycle.“I think this is a big victory for all Florida lawyers because the court finally in an opinion identified professionalism as a compelling interest,” said YLD President Michael Faehner, adding the division will work with representatives from government lawyers groups to fine-tune the specifics of the professionalism program.The division also will begin discussions about putting on more basic-level substantive courses to meet the anticipated greater demand, Faehner said.In its petition, the Bar said much of the prior criticism directed toward the PWP was that it contained too much substantive material that was inapplicable to many lawyers’ practices, particularly those of government lawyers. The Bar contended that by reducing the PWP to one day and eliminating the substantive materials, the professionalism and ethics portions could be refocused to apply to all new lawyers, regardless of their practice.“Because the amount of time that new Bar members spend in a course dedicated to ethics and professionalism has been reduced, we conclude that it is logical to compensate for the time taken out of the PWP by requiring attendance at an additional basic YLD course, where the attorney can select the most relevant subject matter,” the court said.The court also amended the rules to no longer to exempt full-time government employees from attending the PWP, but did adopt a “grandfather clause” that leaves the deferral in place for certain government employees and exempts others from the PWP altogether. The rules now provide that full-time government employees who were deferred from the PWP requirement at the time of the amendment to the rule continue to be eligible for the deferment as long as they continuously remain in government practice. Those employees who were deferred from the PWP requirement at the time of the amendment to the rule and had already or thereafter served for six years in governmental practice are also granted the exemption.As amended, the rule continues to allow full-time government employees to defer the requirement that they attend three basic YLD courses. However, the rules were further changed to completely exempt from the three basic YLD courses those members who have been continuously engaged in the practice of law for a Florida or federal governmental entity as a full-time employee for a period of at least six years.“In eliminating the deferral of government employees from the PWP requirement, we find that the Bar has a compelling interest in informing its new members of vital information and explanations necessary for the practice of law in Florida,” the court said. “Further, we conclude that in order for government lawyers to receive the best professionalism training possible, they must hear the views of private sector lawyers.”The court said the purpose of the revisions is to foster a community of professionalism that transcends practice area. Court retools professionalism program course requirementslast_img read more

Palestinians cut ties with Israel, US after rejecting peace plan

first_imgPalestinian President Mahmoud Abbas gestures as he speaks during a ceremony marking the 15th anniversary of the death of his predecessor Yasser Arafat, in Ramallah in the Israeli-occupied West Bank on Nov. 11, 2019. REUTERS/MOHAMAD TOROKMAN The blueprint, endorsed by IsraeliPrime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, calls for the creation of a demilitarizedPalestinian state that excludes Jewish settlements built in occupied territoryand is under near-total Israeli security control.(Reuters) CAIRO – The Palestinian Authority hascut all ties with the United States (US) and Israel, including those relatingto security, after rejecting a Middle East peace plan presented by US PresidentDonald Trump, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said on Saturday.center_img Abbas was in Cairo to address the ArabLeague, which backed the Palestinians in their opposition to Trump’s plan.  last_img read more