December 19

Pro Bono Awards: Law Firm Commendation

first_imgPro Bono Awards: Law Firm Commendation April 1, 2002 Regular News THE LAW FIRM COMMENDATIONPresented by Chief Justice Charles Wells The purpose of the Law Firm Commendation is to recognize, when appropriate, a law firm which has demonstrated a significant contribution in the delivery of legal services to individuals or groups on a pro bono basis. Unlike the Tobias Simon and Florida Bar President’s Pro Bono Awards, the Law Firm Commendation is not an annual award. Markowitz, Davis, Ringel & Trusty, P.A. Miami The law firm of Markowitz, Davis, Ringel & Trusty, P.A. was established in 1980 by longtime friends Jerry M. Markowitz, Joseph I. Davis, Jr., and Thomas Ringel. This union has resulted in the growth of a multi-disciplinary, mid-sized civil practice law firm with a remarkable devotion to community service, dedication to the needs of employees, knowledge of the law and commitment to its clients. The lawyers are passionate about their pro bono work, a labor of love that has touched the lives of thousands — single mothers, working families and senior citizens facing financial difficulties; immigrants unable to communicate in their own language; grieving families and clergy facing ‘end of life’ decisions; the victims of domestic violence; and the elderly, poor and disadvantaged in need of legal counsel and advice. In 2001, the firm’s partners and associates devoted more than 2,200 hours to pro bono work, and for many years, 100 percent of the firm’s lawyers have delivered pro bono legal services. This statistic is merely the most recent manifestation of a deeply held belief that the grant of a license to practice law comes with the responsibility to serve those who do not have the financial ability to hire a lawyer. Each of the firm’s five shareholders are active community leaders, some serving as officers and directors of some of South Florida’s leading civic and charitable organizations. Since its inception, the firm has received any number of pro bono clients through referrals from the federal and state trial and appellate courts. For over a decade, individual lawyers have worked thousands of hours on pro bono cases. In the early 1990s the firm formalized a relationship with Put Something Back, a joint pro bono project of the 11th Judicial Circuit and Dade County Bar Association, to provide the indigent with access to the civil court system in Miami-Dade County and regularly takes pro bono cases to provide representation to the indigent community in the Southern District of Florida. Jerry M. Markowitz, managing shareholder, is one of South Florida’s leading business and bankruptcy reorganization law practitioners. Markowitz is listed in the directory of Best Lawyers in America. He is a founding member and treasurer of the Florida Receivers Forum, past vice chair of The Florida Bar 11th Judicial Circuit “J” Grievance Committee, and founding sponsor of the Bankruptcy Bar Association of the Southern District of Florida. As the founder of the Annual Bankruptcy Skills Workshop, he gives his time each year as a program co-chair and serves as volunteer, mentor and lecturer at the Bankruptcy Assistance Clinic, a joint program of the Bankruptcy Bar Foundation of the Southern District of Florida, Put Something Back, and the St. Thomas University School of Law. The Bankruptcy Assistance Clinic is the first of its kind in Florida and only one of several such programs nationwide. Currently, the clinic is comprised of 12 law students who, under the guidance of lawyers from the association, including Markowitz, provide free legal services to indigent clients. In addition, he is among a handful of local attorneys who have agreed to act as mentors in the Mentoring Attorney Professionalism Program (MAPP) that provides guidance to newly admitted members of The Florida Bar and instills the importance of professionalism. Founding shareholder Joseph I. Davis, Jr., is a distinguished litigation attorney and is active in the Jewish community. He serves as co-chair of the Holocaust Survivors Committee of Jewish Community Services of South Florida, is a board member of Jewish Community Services, is a member of its legal issues committee and is also co-chair of its Food Service Committee. Davis is a founding member of the University of Florida Hillel Alumni Council and has served as a committee chair for the Maccabi Games hosted by the Dave and Mary Alper Jewish Community Center. Thomas Ringel, an accomplished real estate practitioner for almost a quarter of a century, has served in leadership roles on many of South Florida’s civic, cultural and religious charities. Most recently, he has been named one of the five founding members of the Charter Commission for the Village of Palmetto Bay. The Charter Commission is charged with the responsibility of drafting the first municipal charter in order to balance the needs of area residents’ desire for local government with the need not to unduly harm the remainder of the unincorporated county. Candis Trusty, a probate, guardianship and elder law attorney, is a longtime champion of pro bono legal services to the poor and disadvantaged. Trusty is repeatedly called upon by the probate court for the 11th Judicial Circuit in and for Miami-Dade County to represent, on a pro bono basis, incapacitated indigent persons. For years, in situations where, because of insufficient resources, the Public Guardian is statutorily prohibited from accepting additional appointments, Trusty has accepted court appointments as a pro bono guardian ad litem to investigate, report and recommend to the court on ‘end of life’ decisions. For many years, Ms. Trusty has played a major role in educating other lawyers about probate and guardianship law. Through the Dade County Bar Association Guardianship and Probate Committee and in conjunction with Put Something Back, Trusty has helped organize, develop and establish ongoing seminars. During her tenure as the president of the South Miami Kendall Bar Association, Trusty helped organize and create a free legal help table. Staffed by lawyers, the effort was organized to reach people who would not ordinarily seek the counsel of lawyers, but who nevertheless have questions about the law. In 1992 and 1994, Trusty received the South Miami-Kendall Bar Association Pro Bono Volunteer of the Year Award. Thomas Messana, a noted bankruptcy attorney, was the 2000 President of the Bankruptcy Bar Association of the Southern District of Florida. He has spearheaded the effort to create the Bankruptcy Bar Foundation of the Southern District of Florida whose goal is to raise $500,000 within five years. To date, the foundation has raised in excess of $100,000. One of the foundation’s inaugural programs is to underwrite a Bankruptcy Assistance Clinic. Messana has worked with other attorneys on a consumer education project which helps educate indigent pro se debtors about their rights in bankruptcy. Through Messana’s effort, the consumer information guide has been translated into Spanish and Creole and distributed to these underserved communities who reside in large numbers throughout the state of Florida. Inspired by its shareholders, the law firm’s philosophy inculcates all attorneys into a culture committed to providing pro bono legal services. For example, in 1999, the firm’s lawyers led the charge to meet a critical unmet need for volunteer lawyers in emergency domestic violence situations by creating domestic violence training seminars. Since the initial seminar conducted in their offices, Mark Gatica, an attorney with the firm, has distinguished himself in providing hundreds of volunteer hours to clients referred by Put Something Back. Typically, a client will appear on short notice before a scheduled hearing on a victim’s request for a permanent injunction against domestic violence. Gatica has obtained many injunctions in spousal and domestic abuse cases to protect victims who do not have the ability to pay attorneys’ fees. For the past three years, firm lawyers Darrel T. King and Jonathan S. Leiderman have conducted clinics on small claims court. These clinics are designed to help pro se litigants understand the court process and to assist them in advancing their claims. jurisdiction, all of these matters are less than $2,500 in controversy, and experience shows most of these matters are less than $1,000; however, to the aggrieved party, who are often on the verge of poverty, every dollar is significant. Gerald W. Pierre, an attorney with the firm, mentored a high school student enrolled in a legal magnet program at Miami Senior High School. Rachel Lopate Rubio, a law clerk awaiting admission to the Bar, serves as a guardian ad litem and works on cases for Lawyers for Children. The firm’s practice areas focus on bankruptcy and workouts, receiverships, creditors’ rights, mediation-arbitration services, commercial litigation, probate and guardianship, elder law, civil litigation, family and real estate law. The firm was the 2000 recipient of the Dade County Bar Association Put Something Back Pro Bono Award as the “Exceptional Law Firm,” and in 1999 was honored with a Certificate of Appreciation from Metropolitan Dade County for its pro bono contributions to the community. In 1998, the firm received the DadeCounty Bar Association “Put Something Back” Pro BonoAward for Probate and Guardianship. Markowitz, Davis, Ringel & Trusty, P.A. is guided by a different spirit, a rare kind of caring for the needs of others matched by an abiding respect for professional excellence and the law. any measure, the lawyers of Markowitz, Davis, Ringel & Trusty, P.A. demonstrate the finest tradition of volunteer service to the poor and disadvantaged that the Bar has to offer. Click here for more Pro Bono Awards Ceremony coverage.last_img read more

August 26

J.J. Redick moves his way past back injury for Clippers

first_imgIt was Monday morning at Clippers shootaround ahead of their game that night at Staples Center, where they would lay a 40-point smackdown on the Golden State Warriors to even their Western Conference playoff series at 1-1.Guard J.J. Redick was asked how big a role Doc Rivers coming to coach the Clippers played in him coming to the team in a three-team sign-and-trade deal.“He was the selling point and I let him know that, too,” Redick said. “I told him I wanted to play for him. I had wanted to play for him for five or six years.”Funny man that he can be, Rivers’ response later Monday — about two hours before tip-off at Staples Center — was not surprising. Rivers coached Allen and the 2007-08 Celtics to the NBA title.Redick, who is 6-foot-4, came to the Clippers from Milwaukee, his third team of the 2012-13 campaign. He spent the first six years of his career in Orlando and has a career scoring average of 9.9, but he’s averaged a career-best 15.2 this season. He’s also a career 88.5 percent free-throw shooter.Redick’s overall career field-goal percentage of 43.2 percent is not fantastic. But he takes half of his shots from beyond the 3-point arc, and his 39 percent from there is solid.The way he goes about his business in that regard is electric. He’ll be out there running around more than anybody, with deft moves while trying to get open. He’ll catch, quickly pop and often make.Redick has the attention of Warriors coach Mark Jackson.“We talk about, obviously, their two best players in (Chris) Paul and Griffin, two of the top 10 players in the world,” Jackson said ahead of Game 2. “At the same time, we break down how other guys can hurt us. J.J. Redick has a body of work, we know exactly how he can hurt us and we’re just trying to be committed to make him work and not giving him open looks.“I thought a couple of times we made some mistakes (in Game 1), but overall I thought we did a good job of defending him.”Redick scored 22 points in the Game 1 loss, making 8 of 11 from the field, 4 of 5 from 3-point range. It’s that kind of effort he is capable of giving every night. When he doesn’t, he’s mad.“J.J. could go 8 of 9 and he’d be pissed,” Rivers said of the fire in Redick’s belly.Griffin loves it.“He means a lot, man,” Griffin said. “He’s played in big games, his basketball IQ is high level, very high level. He knows exactly what his role is, he knows how to get shots and he knows what he has to do to be successful.“And he plays hard. Above all else, he’s always going to play hard, whether he’s making shots or not. He’s going to be the guy that you have to chase off screens and he’s a bit of a pest defensively. He’s never going to give up, and that’s the type of teammate you want.”Yeah, he is tenacious.“I grew up in a family of five kids; I was the middle one,” he said. “We weren’t well off. So I grew up in a very competitive environment, whether it was getting our parents to come to your basketball game or getting second servings of pizza. Everything was a competition. There was only so much to go around, only so much time. And so I think it gives you a certain mental toughness when you grow up in that environment.”If Redick weren’t so tough, he’d have never been able to get through what has been a painful season, no thanks to a bulging disc in his back that kept him out of the lineup for two months before he returned to play five of the last six regular-season games. Of the 82 games, he played in 35. He was almost shut down.“It was days, yeah,” said Rivers, noting how close he came to doing that. “It says a lot (about Redick) because I mean, honestly, I think the guys know that there was a time when, I mean, he wasn’t coming back. I was getting myself comfortable with that idea.“And then all of a sudden he decided, ‘I’m just going to go play, and if we gotta do something this summer, we’ll do something this summer. But I’m going to play.’ It’s been good for us.”The sometimes-smile on a face that might rather depict pain — but won’t — says a lot.“I feel like I’m still making progress, but I’m very close to feeling my normal self,” Redick said. “As an athlete who is very in tune with his body, it’s a very, very small margin that I’m talking about. But I know it’s still there a little bit.“But to look back two weeks ago when I first started playing, I’ve come a long way, so I’m very happy. There was a point a few weeks ago where there wasn’t really any improvement made. The nerve wasn’t responding. There was talk of operating, but we didn’t want to have to go that route. Hopefully, my nerve and my body will heal.” It is healing, and that’s why any reluctance to do what he does is vanishing.“I feel like that kind of hesitancy is gone,” Redick said.Rivers showed no hesitancy in helping bring Redick to the Clippers. Nor in getting him his dough. “You sure it wasn’t that $6, $7 million? I think that had a little to do with it,” Rivers said, alluding to Redick’s $6.5 million salary this season. ”But what do I know?”The packed room of local and visiting Bay Area reporters laughed and laughed.Rivers got serious. He had a specific player in mind when Redick’s name came across his table, like one like he had coached while with the Boston Celtics.“I’ve always loved his ability to move without the ball,” Rivers said of Redick, 29, out of Duke. “And when you looked at our team and with having DJ (DeAndre Jordan) and Blake (Griffin) on the floor, I thought it was really important to have a guy that moves off of them. … I like guys who move without the ball.“Ray Allen, we had him in Boston and it worked out for us there. And I just think when you have a guy like that, it’s really important.”center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

December 19

Men Aren’t Going Extinct – Yet

first_imgNot long ago, evolutionary biologists were predicting the demise of manhood (see 11/01/2001, 03/31/2004).  The idea was that the Y chromosome, with no redundant copy (unlike the female’s two X chromosomes, and all others) appeared to be shriveling up and mutating itself out of existence.  Now that the chimpanzee genome has been published (see 09/01/2005 story), one of the many surprises that has come to light is that the human Y chromosome appears to have kept its store of genetic information better than the chimp’s.  Coupled with the discovery that the male chromosome protects itself with palindromes 06/18/2003), men seem to have a bright future ahead.  That the Y chromosome of humans, having emerged later than that of apes, should be in better condition than that of chimpanzees seems an evolutionary conundrum.Sources: MSNBC News, EurekAlert, Howard Hughes Medical Institute.Another evolutionary speculation has been shot down.  Keep up the good work.(Visited 9 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more