St. Thomas clinic shines light on elder law issues

first_img St. Thomas clinic shines light on elder law issues Gary Blankenship Senior Editor For four law students at St. Thomas University, participation in the school’s new elder law clinic is more than an opportunity to learn about elder law issues. It’s a chance to be on the cutting edge of both guardianship and technological parts of that practice area.While criminal and civil legal clinics are fairly common at law schools, the St. Thomas program, begun with this fall’s semester, is one of two in Florida to focus on what its backers say will be a fast-growing area given the state and nation’s aging population.“It’s a wonderful opportunity, given that this is such a growing field in Florida and it’s going to be so important,” said David Hook, one of the law students in the clinic. “Whether the social programs that the elderly rely on in Florida remain, increase, or diminish, the field is going to remain and they’re going to have to deal with the issues one way or the other.”While the clinic may be taking its first baby steps, it has some impressive parentage. St. Thomas Assistant Dean CeeCee Dykas said the clinic, and a new elder law course, came about from a melding of interests between the law school’s new dean, former Attorney General Bob Butterworth, the Bar’s Elder Law Section, 17th Circuit probate Judge Mel Grossman, and others.Dykas noted that when Butterworth was attorney general, “The elder law issues were one of his primary areas of focus, largely because of our population, and they frequently are the victims of crime. What he saw when he transitioned to the dean of the law school was an enormous need of legal services for this population.”That includes, she said, probate, guardianship, involuntary commitment, abuse, and fraud.At the same time, the Elder Law Section, which had begun a scholarship program at the state’s law schools in the 2003-04 year, was looking to expand its involvement with law school, Immediate past Chair Stephanie Schneider said a brainstorming session led to the idea of the clinic, to be run with the help of Judge Grossman.“Judge Grossman and I have collaborated before on other ideas, looking for ways we can improve the quality of service the public is receiving and create a more efficient judiciary,” Schneider said. “We realized there was a growing need for elder law services and wouldn’t it be great if we could encourage law school students to find out if this was the right area for them?”Also drawn in were St. Thomas law Prof. Gordon Butler and Miami practitioner Enrique Zamora, who is the adjunct professor for the elder law course and oversees the clinic.Butler said the timing for the clinic was propitious. Last year, the legislature and Gov. Jeb Bush approved a statewide guardianship commission to study guardianship law and practices and recommend changes. Members include Judge Grossman, Butler, and Zamora.“They’re at the cutting edge of what people are thinking and what direction guardianship should be going,” said Hook, which means the students also have a front row seat to those legal evolutions.Hook and the other clinical students are working now by attending hearings in Judge Grossman’s court and studying the cases there.“To be able to sit in on the hearings in the judge’s chambers and then discuss the hearing afterwards with the judge, that’s invaluable,” Hook said. “It gives you a chance to ask ‘What did you think of this, why didn’t you do this or that,’ and you get his reasoning.“It’s just being able to see the workings of the court from the other side. . . . I’ve only seen it from the attorney’s side. You get to see the other side of the law and what the court is thinking and what the court has to deal with.”Sandra Curless, another student in the clinic, found the guardianship hearings in particular “not as adversarial as say a divorce, but they’re very emotionally charged because you’re talking about human beings and their rights, because if a guardian is appointed, a set of rights is taken away from that person.. . . We want to take the least restrictive measures possible so people retain as much of their freedom as they can.”She has also been impressed with observing Butler, Zamora, and Grossman on the guardianship commission and those involved in the court cases.“The people that I’m involved with are just really interested in making the law something we can live with,” Curless said. “I like being around people like that. That’s been the best part of it.”Curless got involved in the clinic after her wills and trust professor suggested it might be a good fit for her, and she has found it intriguing.“There’s a need to know the particulars of the law, what laws might conflict with each other, how they play out in a hearing, and how that results in a delay in someone getting a personal service they need,” she said. “The law is very complex and they don’t always mesh.”It was natural for Hooks to join. He worked in his mother’s law firm for two and a half years before law school, and she concentrates in elder law issues.“I went to law school with the idea of eventually joining her and her practice,” he said.Dykas, Butler, and Schneider said the hope is to expand the clinic to admit more students after its initial semester, and Schneider said the section is also looking at expanding it to other schools. They will certainly have advocates from the initial participants.“I would tell them it could be one of the best experiences of their lives. I highly recommend it,” Curless said. December 1, 2004 Senior Editor Regular News St. Thomas clinic shines light on elder law issueslast_img read more

Everton announce record turnover but post loss for 14-15 campaign

first_img In a statement of accounts released on Wednesday, the Toffees said their total turnover had increased from £120.5million in 2013-14 to £125.6million. That was despite a £3.1million reduction in broadcast revenue from £84.8million to £81.7million – in a season they finished 11th in the Barclays Premier League compared to fifth a year earlier. Sponsorship, advertising and merchandising income rose by £2million, while participation in the Europa League also contributed to an increase in revenue from other commercial activities by £5.1million. And gate receipts grew by £1.1million as the average league attendance at Goodison Park soared to 38,406, the highest recorded total since 2003-04. But Everton also reported on Wednesday that total staff costs had risen by £8.2million to £77.5million, and that, incorporating the annual net interest charge of £3.8million, the results for the year showed a post-tax loss of £4.1million. The club had a record overall profit of £28.2million in 2013-14 – a campaign during which they sold Marouane Fellaini to Manchester United for £27.5million. Ahead of the 2014-15 season Everton splashed out a club-record £28million on striker striker Romelu Lukaku from Chelsea. Before player trading, the Merseyside outfit had an operating profit for 2014-15 of £16million – down from £23.7million. The accounts also show their net debt had increased by £3.2million to £31.3million. Everton chief executive Robert Elstone said: “Our financial performance, like so many Premier League clubs, was underpinned by the second year of a TV deal that beat all expectations, but also by increases in matchday and commercial revenues. Press Association “We also continue to work hard managing and controlling our cost base and remain determined to ensure investment and spending is effective and delivers returns. “Beyond the Premier League table, probably the most significant barometer of success is attendances and 2014-15 broke all recent records with our highest season ticket total for at least 10 years, the lowest season ticket non-renewal rate, 12 full houses and an average attendance in excess of 38,000 for the first time since 2004. “As reported year-in, year-out, our revenues continue to be spent on sustaining a great academy, the best possible coaching, scouting, performance and medical teams and, of course, a first-team squad that can compete for a place in Europe. That strategy remains central to everything we do.” Now in their third season under manager Roberto Martinez, Everton are currently ninth in the Premier League table. Club chairman Bill Kenwright said: “There is no more hard-working a manager in the land than the manager we have, no manager more determined to bring success to his football club, to bring silverware to his football club, to build a winning mentality and a winning team. “Roberto’s mentality is resolute and relentless. This is what makes him such a remarkable man and a man I believe will definitely take the club forward.” Meanwhile, Elstone has stressed the club remain in discussions about funding for a new stadium he feels will be “the real springboard to greater things”. Everton have identified Walton Hall Park as the intended site of a new ground to replace Goodison Park, and Elstone said in the 2015 accounts document: “A consistent feature throughout 2014-15 has been our work on Walton Hall Park, in partnership with Liverpool City Council. “When offered the site, the club responded to a regeneration agenda with conviction, recognising that we had an opportunity to not only find a solution to our search for a new stadium but also make a significant, lasting and much-needed difference to north Liverpool, the city and the region. “Those objectives underpin our ambition today and we continue discussions with the Mayor and his officers to finalise a funding model that gives the scheme a fighting chance of success. “The real springboard to greater things will be the new stadium. It’s why we will continue to work with determination and creativity to find the solution.” Everton have announced a record turnover but post-tax loss for the 2014-15 season.last_img read more

First scrimmage of spring lacks offensive firepower

first_imgOn Saturday, the USC football team kicked off its first spring scrimmage at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. The Trojans are aiming to continue their early momentum from the early successes in spring practices.USC coach Lane Kiffin announced that sophomore Tre Madden will stay at running back for the duration of spring practice.Work in progress · Sophomore Tre Madden has been seeing time this spring at running back, although he was recruited as a linebacker. – Chris Pham | Daily Trojan“Madden did some special things,” Kiffin said. “The ability to stay up at 225 pounds with that forward lean, and then you see the speed from a big guy too.”Madden originally came to USC with the intentions of being a linebacker for the Trojans. During the 2011 season, he recorded 15 tackles for the Trojans. Offensively, the Trojan roster has endured woes during spring workouts. A full scrimmage could not be run because of the fact that offensive numbers were too low. Despite a low turnout because of injuries, transfers and players participating in track, Kiffin remained optimistic about the offense’s performance on Saturday.“The offense did a lot better than I thought they would have with the personnel out there, so that was good to see,” Kiffin said.Sophomore wide receiver Marqise Lee chose to forgo Saturday’s practice to represent the Trojans in the Trojan Invitational at Loker Stadium. Lee was victorious in the men’s long jump.Junior cornerback Nickell Robey, who would have competed against Lee, chose to attend football practice instead.“I made the right choice for myself by coming out here with my team,” Robey said. “I’m a competitor, so I’ll be a little disappointed. But this is for the team, so I had to put my personal problems out of the way.” Redshirt freshman quarterback Max Wittek is becoming more comfortable during spring practices.“I feel great and I feel very comfortable with my decisions and my reads,” Wittek said.Though his first pass was deflected, Wittek moved forward with a positive attitude.“He got his hand up in the passing lane and made a great play and was able to pick it off,” Wittek said. “I just put it behind me and said let’s move forward from there.center_img Many of the Trojans’ top performers were unable to participate in Saturday’s scrimmage because of numerous injuries. Redshirt freshman running back Javorious Allen (hamstring), redshirt sophomore quarterback Jesse Scroggins (hip), sophomore wide receiver George Farmer (hamstring), and senior center Khaled Holmes (calf) did not practice on Saturday. Tight ends Xavier Grimble (toe) and Randall Telfer (hamstring), both redshirt sophomores, did not practice, while redshirt sophomore linebacker Dion Bailey was limited. Redshirt freshman fullback Soma Vainuku injured his back during Saturday’s practice at the Coliseum.Kiffin believes that most of the injured players will return to practice on Tuesday.The Trojans will continue spring practice culminating in the annual spring football game, which will be held in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on Saturday, April 14.last_img read more