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New Zealand and Irish stars to support earthquake victims

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first_img(L-R) Andy Wood, Nermin Lovic (Ireland), Kieran Hurrell (NZ), Bernard JackmanInvitation teams made up of Irish and New Zealand rugby stars will compete in a match to raise funds for those affected by the recent natural disasters in Japan and New Zealand at Old Belvedere RFC, Donnybrook, on Friday at 7pm.Former Leinster and Ireland international Bernard Jackman will be coaching the Irish team, while former New Zealand stars Greg Feek (All Blacks) and Andy Wood (Wellington) will take charge of the New Zealand side. The match is being organised by KEA Ireland (Kiwi Expats Abroad) and the NZIA (New Zealand Ireland Association), and will be sponsored by Toyota. For more details and information on how to donate, go to www.eventelephant.com/earthquakeappealTickets for the game will be available on the gate, priced €10 (adults) and €5 (children), and proceeds will go to the Irish Red Cross, New Zealand Earthquake and Japan Tsunami appeals to help those affected by the recent and devastating natural disasters. There will also be plenty of entertainment on the night, including raffles and a New Zealand barbie! LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALSlast_img read more

Court considers kids’right to representation

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first_imgCourt considers kids’right to representation Court considers kids’ right to representation Jan Pudlow Associate Editor Children in juvenile court should not be allowed to waive their right to counsel and enter a plea without first talking to an attorney and understanding fully what rights they are giving up.That was the top priority of The Florida Bar Commission on the Legal Needs of Children, after three years of research and study. It was also recommended by both the Supreme Court’s Steering Committee on Family and Children in the Courts and the Juvenile Court Rules Committee, approved by the Bar Board of Governors, and endorsed by the Florida Public Defender Association.But in oral arguments June 10 on proposed amendment to Fla. R. Juv. P. 8.165, justices peppered lawyers with practical questions, including Justice Charles Wells’ attempt to get a handle on the fiscal impact it may have on public defenders who say they are willing to take on these added duties in juvenile court.“My concern is, I want to understand how this will work in real life,” Wells said.Gerard Glynn, executive director of Florida’s Children First! and a member of the Juvenile Rules Committee, described what he envisioned should happen at arraignment: The judge would ask the child whether he or she had talked to an attorney. If the child answers, “Yes,” the judge would inquire: “Whom did you speak with?” and probably go into a colloquy about what the child understood. If the child answers, “No,” the judge would ask the child to speak to the public defender already on duty in the courtroom.Justice Peggy Quince asked about determining whether the child is indigent to qualify for the public defender. And Justice Raoul Cantero asked whether a child’s family who is not indigent would be directed by the judge to hire an attorney.To the first question, Glynn answered that the public defender would simply be assigned to talk to the child for that limited purpose, not appointed for the whole case, so it should not be a problem. To the second question, Glynn answered that §985.203 deals with that issue.“It is common that a parent may refuse to want to hire an attorney. And the reason the child is entering this plea is because generally children don’t have money,” Glynn said. The statute gives the judge the authority to appoint a paid attorney to a non-indigent client and order the parents to pay for that attorney, he said.Justice Barbara Pariente asked why the Bar’s Commission on the Legal Needs of Children saw the need for this new rule.Glynn quoted the commission’s 2002 final report: “Alarming to many commissioners was that children entitled to representation in delinquency cases often waive that right.”But Glynn was not able to answer Justice Kenneth Bell’s question on how many children plead guilty or no contest to crimes they did not commit.There was a difference of opinion of whether this proposed rule would create a substantive right that should be addressed in changes to the statute by the legislature, rather than a procedural matter that could be addressed in a rule change by the court.Glynn argued that the right to counsel is created in the Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and the rule would create a procedure so there are guarantees before that substantive right is waived.“The issue of why these procedures are necessary is because. . . we recognize there needs to be extra caution when we are dealing with children waiving their rights,” Glynn said.Ward Metzger, of Jacksonville, speaking on behalf of the Florida Public Defender Association, said: “Let me assure the court that, in fact, the public defenders do wholeheartedly support this rule and the concept behind the rule. We believe that it is crucial that children in the courtrooms of the state of Florida understand before they enter a plea, before they waive counsel, what it is in fact that they are giving up.”Wells asked whether the association had “done an analysis of how many more lawyers the public defender would need in order to provide this service? In other words, the fiscal impact?”Because public defenders are already present in juvenile courts, and many judges already make sure no child goes unrepresented, Metzger answered: “We believe at this point in time that there will not be a direct fiscal impact.”Jennifer Parker, general counsel for the Department of Juvenile Justice, spoke in her capacity as chair of the Juvenile Rules Committee, and presented the minority opinion that to mandate a child be represented by counsel confers a substantive right.Chief Justice Harry Lee Anstead asked whether DJJ objects when judges, such as those in Jacksonville, already follow the practice of appointing a lawyer for the child.“Absolutely not,” Parker answered. “Again, I am not really here for the department. But it would be the department’s position that every child be represented before they proceed. It is just our opinion that the statute needs to indicate that, not the rule.”Sixth Circuit Judge Lynn Tepper, a member of the Bar’s Commission on the Legal Needs of Children, spoke on behalf of the Supreme Court’s Steering Committee on Family and Children in the Courts, which voted 12 to 3 in favor of the proposed rule change.“Children have a right to counsel. Courts take waivers all the time,” Tepper said. “How we take that waiver is procedural. It is not conferring a right on a child. The right exists. It is to assure that the judges, and I believe it is frankly probably the majority of judges in this state who may not do what we do in Dade City or do what they do in Duval County, and have a child confer.”Tepper pointed out that there is already a fiscal impact with the status quo, noting that 35 cases have gone up on appeal regarding a child’s waiver of counsel. Thirty-three of those were reversed with the finding it was not a valid waiver of counsel, so those cases will have to be retried, she said.Chief Justice Harry Lee Anstead: “I take it that you see this as a very valuable quality control device?”“Absolutely,” Tepper said. “I’m concerned that I have children whose parents have the wrong motivation at heart. It is the children’s rights that are at issue. These children and these families are in crisis.”Justice Quince wondered what happens in “some jurisdiction where the public defender is not available or will not talk to children who are not indigent?” And even though Metzger assured the public defenders of the state are willing to take on the requirements of the new rule, Justice Wells reminded “but they don’t have a statutory obligation.”“With this rule, it will make it clear that they would need to be there,” Tepper answered. “Again, children can waive their right to counsel. This doesn’t mean that the public defender will be with the child through every stage of the proceedings. And it doesn’t mean that children whose families can afford an attorney will necessarily end up with a public defender at an adjudicatory hearing.”But it would mean that the judge must inquire whether the child had an opportunity to talk to a lawyer before entering a plea, she said.“It may be I have a child who is being prosecuted for domestic violence,” Tepper said. “The very parent being asked to pay for the attorney is the named victim. It is my policy, frankly, to appoint the public defender.”Justice Cantero asked: “Why don’t we just establish a rule that a certain colloquy needs to be undertaken, when the right to counsel is waived?”“I would refer you to the research and testimony of the Commission on the Legal Needs of Children that did consider these alternatives,” Tepper said.“Yes, we can educate judges. Yes, we can improve that. But I have found that children may have defenses they do not recognize or they’re simply stating to the court, ‘I don’t want an attorney. I didn’t do it. I want to get it over with.’ Their motivation may not fully comprehend the consequences, although I say, ‘This is going to come back and haunt you.’ I have found the public defender’s office is very effective in persuading their clients just exactly what the impact may be in a few years.” July 1, 2004 Associate Editor Regular Newslast_img read more

How Summit Credit Union is changing lives with its ‘Project Money’ program

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first_img 10SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Many of us are constantly looking on how we can build a better financial foundation, get out of debt, or simply get a better handle on our finances. Where do you go for this guidance? Well, how about your credit union?Summit Credit Union is changing financial lives with its highly successful “Project Money” program for seven years, helping members find a firm footing financially through friendly competition. continue reading »last_img read more

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