Moody to lead Broward County Bar Association Steve E. Moody was recently installed as president of the Broward County Bar and Sharon Attas-Kaplan will serve as president of the association’s Young Lawyers Section.In addition, several awards were presented to local attorneys and judges who were voted by their peers to exemplify the highest standards of professionalism in the practice of law. They include:•The Lynn Futch Professionalism Award to Douglas M. McIntosh.•The Young Lawyer’s Section Paul May Professionalism Award to Catalina Avalos.•The Steven R. Booher Award to Judge Leonard Fleet.Other officers and directors of the Broward County Bar include President-elect Timothy L. Bailey, Secretary/Treasurer Victor P. DeBianchi, Jr., and directors Edward Holodak, Christopher M. “Chris” Neilson, John C. Primeau, Brenda DiIoia, Carlos M. Llorente, Barbara K. Sunshine, Julie F. Klahr, M. Ross Shulmister, Donald R. Walters, Deborah Poore FitzGerald, Ted P. Galatis, Jr., John G. Jordan, Edwina V. Kessler, Bruce A. Weihe, Jeffrey A. Weissman, and Linda Spaulding White.Other officers of the Young Lawyers’ Section include Angel Petti Rosenberg, president-elect, Robyn Vines, secretary/treasurer, and directors Anne Ogden, Adam Rabinowitz, Chris Connally, Michael Gilden, Dean Khan, Quentin Morgan, Scott Chitoff, and David Hirschberg. Steel Hector lauded for diversity For the fourth year in a row, Steel Hector & Davis has topped the Minority Law Journal’s annual diversity scorecard.The survey, conducted by the National Law Journal and published in the Spring 2004 issue of the Minority Law Journal, found Steel Hector & Davis is the most diverse law firm in the nation with 29.2 percent minority lawyers.The survey also found the firm has the most minority partners with 23.5 percent and the highest percentage of Hispanics with 23.1 percent. No other Florida law firm placed within the top 25.The National Law Journal compiled its rankings from survey results of the nation’s 250 largest law firms. The data was based on information provided by the firms. All figures are as of September 30, 2003. And, although the Minority Law Journal changed its formula to include only lawyers who are U.S. citizens (in past years non-U.S. citizens were included), the Journal notes that Steel Hector continues to top the list. YLD’s Romance honored St. Thomas University School of Law recently honored Mark A. Romance, the immediate past president of The Florida Bar’s Young Lawyers Division, at its annual reception at the Bar’s Annual Meeting in Boca Raton. Each year, St. Thomas University School of Law recognizes one of its graduates for his or her commitment to improving the professional lives of the state’s young lawyers.This is the second consecutive year that Romance has been so recognized by the school. Dean Bob Butterworth presented the award. The Bar’s International Law Section is all over the map Canada, Russia, Latin American. And more.All of that is on the plate of the Bar’s International Law Section, which is working to place Florida not just as a center for commerce with Central and South America, but with the world.“The main thought is that Florida is experiencing a lot of international trade, banking, and investment from all over the world,” said new section Chair Lucius Smejda. “We’re trying to lay a basis for our Bar to receive these people, integrate them, and familiarize them with Florida law, so they will have productive, successful relationships with Florida.”And the section is working hard to meet that challenge with a series of upcoming CLE seminars, both in Florida and around the hemisphere.“We’re hoping to unify The Florida Bar to expand and improve the International Law Section to the extent we’ll be the best international law section in the U.S. We’re now rivaling those of California and New York,” Smejda said. “That’s our challenge for the next few years.”Courses include one set for November 15-17 in Montreal that will deal with international financing issues, with a focus on the U.S., Canada, and Russia. The program is aimed at business executives, top government finance officials, lawyers, accountants, and financiers. Topics will include investment opportunities in all three countries, financing issues, trends in equity markets, tax and corporate planning, and related issues.That will be followed by a seminar on Euro-American businesses, tentatively set for late February or early March of 2005. This seminar will include comparative tax laws and practices, negotiating international contracts, investment laws and practices in various countries, and ways to resolve disputes, including a mock arbitration. There will also be an international notarial conference that will look at the dynamics of civil law notaries and at structuring real estate investments.Besides those, the section will have its annual immigration seminar early next year, and it is working on a course on international litigation courts set for mid-2005. Stone’s professionalism honored The Florida Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism and The Florida Bar Standing Committee on Professionalism presented Professor Ruth Stone of Florida State University College of Law the 2004 Faculty Award during the Bar’s Annual Meeting in Boca Raton.Throughout her career, Professor Stone has served as both a prosecutor and a private practitioner. She is a clinical legal education teacher and co-director of the Florida State University in-house clinic, The Children’s Advocacy Center. She has developed her own program for the domestic violence section and law office management, ethics and professionalism. In addition, Professor Stone has revised the chapter “The History and Philosophy of the Juvenile Court” for the last three editions of the Florida Juvenile Law and Practice book. Professor Stone is the faculty advisor and head coach for the FSU College of Law Mock Trial Team and is current president of Tallahassee Women Lawyers.Each fall, The Florida Bar Center for Professionalism solicits and coordinates the award nominees from each law school dean. The Faculty Award is presented to a single faculty member of one of Florida’s accredited law schools, who, through teaching scholarship and service to the profession best exemplifies the mission statement of the Florida Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism. Donet recognized for section work David A. Donet of Coral Gables received the 2004 Tradition of Excellence Award from the Bar’s General Practice, Solo and Small Firm Section at The Florida Bar’s Annual Meeting in Boca Raton.Donet, a native of Cuba who came to America at age 14, was recognized for his long service to the section, including as chair in 1989 and supervising its annual Attorney’s Fees CLE seminar for 13 years.Donet’s other activities include service on the Bar Journal and News Editorial Board, editing the section’s column for the Journal, and receiving the Cuban American Bar Association’s pro bono award for service to the community August 1, 2004 Regular News Briefs
DES MOINES — A bill that would re-establish the death penalty in Iowa has emerged in the Iowa Senate, but it’s unlikely to become law.A key member of the Iowa House who supports the concept of capital punishment tabled a similar plan last year. He concluded it costs taxpayers less to put someone in prison for life than to pay for years of legal challenges to a death sentence.Governor Kim Reynolds, when asked about the bill’s prospects during her weekly news conference, said Senators now have an opportunity to discuss the issue.“But there’s a lot of things that go into considering that and I haven’t seen any shift from where we were last year,” Reynolds said Wednesday.House Speaker Linda Upmeyer of Clear Lake doesn’t sense a death penalty bill is a priority for her fellow Republicans in the House.“Sometimes I hear from people: ‘I want to do this.’ ‘I want to work on this,’” Upmeyer told Radio Iowa and The Cedar Rapids Gazette. “I have not heard that, so I guess that would surprise me if that became an issue.”Another wrinkle in this year’s debate is an announcement last August from the head of the Catholic Church. Pope Francis said the death penalty is “inadmissable” and it’s the goal of the church to abolish capital punishment worldwide. Tom Chapman of the Iowa Catholic Conference said priests are talking about the issue in their parishes.“We don’t want to commit violence to try to protect people from violence,” Chapman told Radio Iowa.Twenty Republicans in the Iowa Senate are co-sponsoring a bill to impose the death penalty on those found guilty of kidnapping, raping and killing a child. It takes the support of 26 senators to pass a bill.Iowa abolished the death penalty 54 years ago.