Riot Games denies collusion in gender discrimination lawsuitTwo government agencies attempt to discredit Riot Games and plaintiffs’ legal counsel in bid for $400 million compensation for current and former employeesHaydn TaylorSenior Staff WriterFriday 24th January 2020Share this article Recommend Tweet ShareRiot Games has denied allegations that it colluded with the plaintiffs’ counsel in a class action lawsuit from current and former staff.The Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) suggested that Riot Games is attempting to minimise the amount it would be required to pay in a settlement. Earlier this month, two California state agencies filed opposition to a preliminary settlement agreed upon between Riot Games and the plaintiffs of an ongoing gender discrimination case. The DFEH highlighted areas of the case which indicated possible collusion, suggesting the presence of side deals and a “reverse auction.”The DFEH defined a reverse auction as: “A defendant’s collusive selection of the weakest attorney among a number of plaintiff attorneys who have filed lawsuits dealing with the same subject matter.”Riot Games also said that Rosen Saba was the only legal firm to file for this case, and so there was no possibility of a reverse auction These claims were joined by additional allegations of procedural irregularities, a lack of relevant experience on behalf of the plaintiffs’ legal representation, Rosen Saba.The DFEH’s argument centres around a belief that the plaintiffs’ could be entitled to around $400 million in compensation, as opposed to the $10 million currently under consideration. Additionally, the DFEH claims to use the same methodology as Rosen Saba in reaching this figure, but also included stock or equity compensation in its estimate. Stocks are “a significant part of employee compensation, especially for men,” a DFEH spokesperson told GamesIndustry.biz.”DFEH relied on these records to submit a more accurate pay gap estimate to the court,” they added. “Riot did not. Riot itself concedes in its court filings that stock compensation was not accounted for in any of the pay gap analyses used in the proposed settlement agreement.”Based on court documents, the DFEH is attempting to build a case that Riot Games colluded with Rosen Saba to minimise the amount it would have to pay out — an assertion which the plaintiffs’ legal counsel strongly objects. Furthermore, the DFEH claims that Riot Games wants to impede the government agency’s ongoing investigation into gender discrimination which was launched in October 2018, a month before the lawsuit was filed. However, Riot Games legal counsel refutes each claim, and argues instead that the DFEH figure “is outrageous, reckless, and without any basis in fact or law.””The proposed settlement is fair, reasonable, and stands to provide significant relief to the putative class,” the document continues. “The DFEH’s Objection — which is wrought with misinformation and misdirection — seeks only to stand in the way of such relief.”Riot Games also said that Rosen Saba was the only legal firm to file for this case, and so there was no possibility of a reverse auction, as suggested by the DFEH. “The lawsuit is a compilation of claims jumbled together and plaintiffs make no effort to explain the merits of various claims” DLSE court documentsAnother sticking point for the DFEH is that the preliminary settlement includes no enforcable relief aimed at remedying discrimination within Riot Games. Despite the myriad claims of gender discrimination at the League of Legends developer, Riot Games still wholeheartedly denies it is a systemic issue. As a result, it argues that injunctive relief is unnecessary, and highlights measures enacted over the last year to combat gender discrimination in the workplace. Riot Games has been transparent about its recent efforts in this department, and in August last year Kotaku reported that the real progress had been made in overcoming the company’s toxic “bro culture.” “The DFEH’s accusation that Riot and plaintiffs colluded to quickly settle this matter in mediation is also a blatant mischaracterization,” read court documents submitted by Riot Games in response to the DFEH. Riot also questioned the DFEH’s “questionable tactics” and use of “media efforts to publicise its position and tarnish Riot’s reputation.”In support of this stance, a Riot Games spokesperson told GamesIndustry.biz that the $400 million figure was “clickbait.”Riot’s response has done little to quell the DFEH however, which firmly maintains its position. “DFEH filed the objection to provide information to the court and unrepresented employees and former employees because the parties did not and — continue to not — adequately explain why their proposed settlement was reasonable,” a representative told GamesIndustry.biz. “DFEH was merely pointing out incorrect statements and correcting plaintiffs’ own calculations which were used to justify the settlement. DFEH objected to the settlement to advance and protect the interests of the public.”Related JobsSenior Game Designer – UE4 – AAA United Kingdom Amiqus GamesProgrammer – REMOTE – work with industry veterans! North West Amiqus GamesJunior Video Editor – GLOBAL publisher United Kingdom Amiqus GamesDiscover more jobs in games The DFEH is not the only government agency to intervene with this case; the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) also made its opposition known, arguing the evidence provided is inadequate to arrive at a fair and reasonable decision. “The lawsuit is a compilation of claims jumbled together and plaintiffs make no effort to explain the merits of various claims,” read documents submitted by the agency. Again, Riot refutes this, arguing that the DLSE’s opposition fails to illustrate how the settlement is unfair or unreasonable. Furthermore, Riot said the court should evaluate fairness “after feedback on whether class members find the settlement to be fair.”Celebrating employer excellence in the video games industry8th July 2021Submit your company Sign up for The Daily Update and get the best of GamesIndustry.biz in your inbox. 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PLG Clean Energy secures 230 MW of solar licenses in IndiaThe Indian solar developer plans to build three large-scale PV plants in the Indian states of Maharashtra, Jharkhand and Rajasthan, company confirms. June 7, 2016 Ian Clover Installations Manufacturing Markets Markets & Policy Share PLG Clean Energy (PLGCE), a renewable independent power producer headquartered in India, has confirmed today that it has secured and won licenses to develop 230 MW of solar PV capacity in the country. Having successfully secured the contracts via the Indian governments reverse auction process, PLGCE will soon embark on developing three large-scale solar PV plants across the country. The first is to be a 70 MW solar plant in the state of Maharashtra, developed via a strategic partnership with Suzlon Energy, with PLGCE holding a 49% share and Suzlon the remaining 51%. Completion date is penciled in for April 2017, and a power purchase agreement (PPA) for the clean energy produced onsite has been signed with the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI). Following this plant will be a 60 MW installation in Rajasthan, developed under the same terms and partnership as the Maharashtra plant, but with a PPA signed with Indias National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) a state-owned utility. The Rajasthan plant is scheduled to be online by July 2017. The third development announced by PLGCE is a 100 MW PV installation for Jharkhand, which will come online in December 2017 and sell its energy via a PPA to the government of Jharkhand. Once more, Suzlon Energy will act as EPC contractor and hold 51% of the plants ownership. 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vmargineanu/iStock(PINEVILLE, N.C.) — A 1-year-old in North Carolina died after being left inside a hot car, police said.A mother called 911 for help after realizing she had left her child in her car outside a shopping center near Pinevile, a suburb of Charlotte in the southernmost part of North Carolina’s Mecklenburg County, police said. The child was found unresponsive inside the vehicle in the parking lot on Thursday around 5 p.m. local time, according to the Pineville Police Department, which has released audio from two 911 calls between emergency officials.“Hey, Pineville, it’s Charlotte. I got a bad call for you,” a dispatcher for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department tells a woman at the Pineville Police Department. “Female caller left her child in a car all day, now stating her child is dead.”First responders performed “lifesaving measures” before rushing the young child to a nearby hospital where the baby was pronounced dead, the Pineville Police Department said.Investigators later determined that the mother, who has been “cooperative” with authorities, had left the child in the car for “a prolonged period of time,” according to police.ABC Charlotte affiliate WSOC-TV reports that the mother works at the shopping center and didn’t realize she left her baby in the car until she got off work. Temperatures in the area reached the mid-80s on Thursday.“We have many questions and realistically we won’t have all the answers right away,” the Pineville Police Department said in a press release. “No criminal charges have been filed at this time and our case is ongoing.”Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
RACE INFO: Starting lineup | Race-day rundown “I think he took the approach of probably taking a step back and looking to see what all was going on before he really started to inject his thoughts and theories on how it should be,” Geisler said. “I thought that was a pretty smart way to go about it, a way to build respect from everybody that’s here. Don’t come in and just change the game. “In my career and in my life … I’ve tried to guide myself with information,” he said. “With data, with facts, as much as I can get. That probably lends itself to, rather than make a decision based on what I think, try to make a decision based on the information. Take my career and what I’ve learned throughout all kinds of disciplines and then try to make that decision based on that.” And Buck being Richard Buck, Phoenix native and managing director of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. That experience can help guide gut decisions. For others, he can count on input from those around him. Sunday brings the Camping World 500 (3:30 p.m. ET, FOX, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) back to the 1-mile track and NASCAR’s return has brought Buck back to his old stomping grounds. The best part, he said, are “little victories” he manages to squeeze out every day. Here being the nondescript, out-of-the-way Mexican eatery Raul and Theresa’s located just a few minutes up the road from Phoenix Raceway. The 55-year-old grew up north of the city, but his first memories of racing came from another area institution — Manzanita Speedway, located slightly southwest of Phoenix proper, just across the Salt River. Buck acknowledges the challenges and accepts the seemingly never-ending change in the sport. “That’s what I signed up for,” he said. “It’s like the modern crew chief; he has all the engineers, all the resources behind him. He’s the guy that’s got to make the decision but they’re well-supported and well-informed decisions.” “The sport has become more complex and within that we’ve adjusted and adapted to the needs of the sport,” Buck said. “To my knowledge, there’s no other motorsports in the world that has the resources or the depth of personnel that we have to be able to manage the sport.” • • • Fellow XFINITY Series director Wayne Auton said Buck “came in with a different look, a different perspective about the way things are in NASCAR, coming from another motorsports series. He’s done a hell of a job being the head cop of our officiating team.” “Now you can tell he’s comfortable in his role and he’s starting to exert himself in some more places. I think his approach is probably a little bit more get out and talk to everybody about things. Ask questions, ask crew chiefs what they think they should be doing and then make a decision.” “My dad worked at Motorola,” Buck said. “One of the guys he worked with raced sprint cars. One night we went out to watch him at Manzanita Speedway. I don’t remember how old I was. I was still in diapers; I was young.” “That’s it. I’m one of those guys that believes there’s always something to fix, always something to make better, but I get the joy out of the accomplishment of doing a good job,” he said. “It’s not easy by any stretch of the imagination. You’ve got 40 teams and 25 or 30 of them have huge resources and they’re coming at you. AVONDALE, Ariz. — The Buck stops here. Buck rides the fence on this one as a former resident who now is deeply entrenched in the world of NASCAR. “You can never be the good guy in that position,” Alba Colon, program manager for General Motors in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, said of the series director. ” … But everything, and I sincerely mean this, everything that I have had a question about, Richard has given me the time to answer my questions. And if he didn’t know the answer, he went and found it and gave me the answer.” Buck has a diverse racing background that includes success in sprint cars, IndyCar — where he spent nearly 20 years — and stints in NASCAR on the team side where he worked with Robby Gordon, Andy Petree and Doug Yates in various capacities. Before he was named series managing director prior to the start of the 2014 season, he was vice president of racing operations for the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA), headed up NASCAR’s K&N Pro Series East and West programs, and helped expand the sanctioning body’s reach into Canada, Mexico and Europe. “For the other decisions that have probably a little bit of time but not enough time to involve the whole garage, you look at the depth of our company,” he said. “Every time I’m in the tower, there’s 100 years of experience of running a race sitting there. So you’ve got that base to draw from. “I remember going down through the mud and everything else, them setting me in the seat of the car in the Winner’s Circle,” Buck said. “And them telling me about the exhaust pipe, that it was hot, and me hanging on the steering wheel and that’s when I was hooked.” That support comes from a variety of fellow officials, from the inspectors throughout the garage to people such as Gene Stefanyshyn, Vice President of Innovation and Racing Development, and Elton Sawyer, VP, Officiating and Technical Inspection. “But I also feel that probably our biggest responsibility is to keep the sport headed in the right direction and in a healthy way and still not stifle progress and technology so that it’s still relevant.” “One of the challenges,” Buck said, “is making sure we keep the sport healthy. • • • • • • “My satisfaction comes from being able to look around at the end of the day and all my team players … all those folks that I’m arm in arm with, all feel like we did a good job that day for the sport. Those are the victories I get.” That background and experience, he said, has been beneficial as he helps NASCAR transition through the implementation of new rules and regulations, new systems and processes. “The nature of the competitor is just that — he’s a competitor, No. 1, and will spend and will work until there’s nothing left. I think that’s probably the thing that concerns me the most. It can be a tough position at times and a rewarding one at others. When dealing with 40 or more race teams, it’s rare that everyone will be in agreement with decisions that are handed down. The friend, local standout and Arizona Hall of Fame member Will Schmink, won the trophy dash for the race and the victory resulted in a trip to the winner’s circle for the toddler. That he wasn’t an “insider” likely led to his coming in with a different approach, said Travis Geisler, competition director for Team Penske. But he didn’t change systems and policies just to put his stamp on the series. It’s a roadside stop that caters to the denizens of the area, although on any given race weekend, race fans and crew men from various teams fill the dining rooms. With a race schedule that begins in February and doesn’t end until November, it’s a wonder anyone involved in the series has time to look forward. Yet they all do. Teams work months in advance, auto manufacturers work years ahead and NASCAR has to keep pace with everyone. All while conducting races nearly every weekend.
AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreFive visionaries between the ages of 18-30 from the U.S., Ethiopia, India, Nigeria, and the Philippines have been selected to receive the Rolex Award for Enterprise in the new Young Laureates Program. Chosen from among 200 candidates worldwide, these social entrepreneurs impressed the judging panel with their passion and conviction to overcome challenges in the areas of science and health, applied technology, exploration, the environment and cultural preservation.Each Young Laureate will receive a $50,000 grant along with mentoring and the international publicity that comes through media coverage.The winners are:Reese Fernandez, 25, from the Philippines (pictured above), for establishing an innovation center in order to assist impoverished women to earn a decent wage by creating ‘eco-ethical, elegant’ products. Since cofounding Rags2Riches in 2007 to help hundreds of families living in a Manila waste dump who recycled scrap material to make rugs but who only earning pennies on the dollar, Fernandez has assisted 300 women in transforming their business into a high-value coop.Jacob Colker, 26 from the US, for his smartphone application that allows users to become volunteers by donating spare minutes to charitable, scientific and community organizations. Since co-founding The Extraordinaries in July 2008. Nearly 30,000 volunteers have now signed up for “micro-volunteering”, carrying out a wide range of tasks, from helping Nasa identify galaxies to translating the resumes of newly arrived immigrants who are looking for work.Nnaemeka Ikegwuonu, 27, from Nigeria, for developing an interactive, rural radio service to improve the lives of farmers in Nigeria. In 2003, he founded the Smallholders Foundation to provide the rural community a radio show delivering information on how to improve agricultural methods and conserve the environment, helping the 90% of Nigeria’s population that exist on less than $2.00 a day as small farmers. His 250,000 daily listeners also receive advice on HIV/Aids and opening and running a bank account. They will also be able to contribute information, thanks to interactive mobile radios — small, solar-powered machines allowing listeners to send voice messages, free of charge, to radio stations, which can, in turn, broadcast them.Piyush Tewari, 29, from India, for training a network of police officers and volunteers to provide rapid medical care to road accident victims in Delhi. After his 17-year-old cousin died following a road accident, Tewari investigated the length of time it took to provide basic life support on the congested streets of Delhi and found that 80 percent of the injured receive no emergency care within the first vital hour after the accident. He set up the SaveLife Foundation to prevent thousands of unnecessary roadside deaths and has already provided training sessions in basic life support to almost 1,200 police officers, as well as 100 ordinary citizens.Bruktawit Tigabu, 28, from Ethiopia, for developing a health-education television program for preschool children to help reduce the staggering number of children under age 5 who die each year, many from preventable illness. In 2005, she began producing “Tsehai Loves Learning” from her living room, using sock puppets, computer graphics and her own voice. Twenty-six episodes of this highly successful program have now been created, each one seen by an estimated 2.6 million children.Visit the Rolex Young Laureates website for more information.AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMore
Yeti’s area reps had two of the new SB66 full suspension mountain bikes with the articulating main linkage on hand. The medium came in slightly heavier with bigger tires on it at 28lbs 10oz. The large (blue) was 28lbs 9oz. Both had full XT built kits with DT Swiss wheels, and their reps said they could easily be built down around 26lbs. Not bad for a 6″ travel bike, and our own Evan took the medium out for a spin and loved it. Check Zach’s review here.Lazer’s reps had the new Magneto sunglass/helmet combo on display. The shades come with two sets of arms, one with magnets and one set with traditional ear pieces. On the bike, the magnets hold it onto the helmet straps so there’s no pressure on your head. For normal wear, just attach the regular arms.Vee Rubber makes pretty much any tread shape you could want for pretty much any type of bike you have.Synchro Nutritionals is branching out to the east coast with an office in Atlanta. Co-founder Rob Herrel was on hand with some samples of their Genesis plant-based protein recovery shake mix. It uses Yellow Pea and Hemp proteins, coconut sugar and a host of organic greens, macs, cacao, acai and other superfood type ingredients. And it tasted pretty good. Look for a full review on this in the next few weeks.Also there to keep us going was SF-7x and their 100% fruit chews. If you’re looking to keep the diet super clean but still need something to keep you going on the trail, these were pretty tasty.Endless Bike Co. had their Kick Ass Cogs and Fibonaci spacer kits out and about. They let you convert any standard hub into a singlespeed set up, and cogs come in 14T all the way up to 25T. They’re machined in Asheville, NC, and have a wide 1/4″ base to prevent damaging your freehub body.Their koozies are leather and are made by Oowie Koozie, which employs autistic folks to make their goods right in Asheville, NC, using scrap leather from the shoe and boot industry.Duro is getting back into aftermarket bike tires. Two of the newest are the Hup cyclocross tire and Urbotronic urban road tire with a 1mm Duroshield puncture protection layer under the tread. It’ll come in this cream white and black. For a broader range colors they have their Fixie Pop series 700×24 tires.The Hup will be available in a 700 x 32 at first, followed by 28 and 35. Retail is about $38 to $43 depending on size and model. Stinger is a road tire with Tru-Shine woven reflective material on the sidewalls.Pedal Pushers had a few fresh designs and their new-ish hats.On the fringe were a couple of creations by a local art bike builder. This 800lb (when fully loaded with BBQ smoker and equipment) pig bike has been used in parades and for bringing the party.Cutting board right on the rear rack also makes a nice kid’s seat.This Pedalvore bike had everything you need to set up kitchen. The gas camp stove was attached behind the chopping block and the front basket carried the groceries. Our first roundup had plenty to see from the SE Bike Expo, but we’re not through yet.Riding the meme, Defeet has created the Honey Badger sock, left. It’s so nasty. And if you’re into that whole Mayan calendar thing, well, it really doesn’t matter what you do this year, so be like the honey badger, click on through while you’re on the clock because you don’t give a…
Disciplinary Actions Prepared by The Florida Bar’s Public Information and Bar Services DepartmentThe Florida Supreme Court in recent court orders disciplined 34 attorneys, disbarring 12, suspending 14, and placing three on probation. Seven attorneys were reprimanded and four were ordered to pay restitution. Some attorneys received more than one form of discipline.The following lawyers are disciplined: Alexander Osondu Akpodiete, 242 Southern Main Road, Marabella, Trinidad, Trinidad and Tobago, to receive a public reprimand from The Florida Bar’s Board of Governors, following an April 10 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1994) Akpodiete failed to keep required minimum trust accounting records, which resulted in an overdrawn trust account. There is no evidence of missing client funds and no evidence of client harm as a result of Akpodiete’s actions in this case. (Case No. SC07-1193) Richard Salvatore Amari,490 Sail Lane, Apt. 401B, Merritt Island, suspended,effective 30 days from an April 10 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1980) In 2005, Amari was arrested and later charged with driving under the influence and possession of cocaine and drug paraphernalia. In 2007, Amari was arrested and charged with possession of a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia. In February, Amari pled guilty in both cases to drug possession, third-degree felonies and was sentenced to two years probation with drug offender conditions. (Case No. SC08-654) Carol Cobourn Asbury, 248 N. Congress Ave., Boynton Beach, to receive a public reprimand from The Florida Bar’s Board of Governors, following an April 24 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1984) Asbury was an escrow agent for a real estate deal that never closed. In August 2005, an attorney contacted Asbury requesting the release of a $100,000 deposit to his client. Asbury admitted that she had no knowledge of the $100,000 and she had not authorized a non-lawyer employee to write an escrow letter verifying receipt of the money. Asbury pled guilty to failure to properly supervise the employee and failure to respond to The Florida Bar’s inquiries regarding the case. She also failed to appear before The Florida Bar’s grievance committee and produce requested records. (Case No. SC07-1961) Michael Lester Berry Jr., 258 Magnolia St., Atlantic Beach, suspended for one year,effective retroactive to Oct. 1, 2007, following an April 10 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1994) In 2004, Berry was retained by a client for a contract dispute regarding commercial property. In several instances, Berry neglected to inform the client of the status of the case, nor did he inform the client of filings or provide copies of the filings. He also failed to appear for court hearings and inform his clients of them, and neglected to respond in writing to official inquiries. (Case No. SC07-1624) Tricia-Ann Abigail Blair, 18350 NW 2 nd A ve., Suite 500, Miami, disbarred,effective 30 days from an April 10 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2001) Blair represented a client in the sale of property in Georgia and accepted $34,000 as a deposit. She then disbursed a portion of the funds to her client and a broker despite the fact that no closing took place and there was no transfer of title. Blair has since failed to provide complete trust account records and failed to account for the balance of the funds. (Case No. SC08-633) J. Gordon Blau, 815 Orienta Ave., Suite 3, Altamonte Springs, placed on probation for one year, effective immediately, following a March 20 court order. ( Admitted to practice: 1978) Blau failed to enter into a rehabilitation contract with Florida Lawyers Assistance during his two-year probation ordered by the Florida Supreme Court in 2005. (Case No. SC07-393) Steven C. Blinn, 4936 Lake Sharp Drive, Orlando, suspended until further order of the court, following a March 14 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1986) The Florida Bar petition for emergency suspension states that in February, Blinn was arrested on multiple felony charges, including grand theft, conspiracy to traffic in cocaine and sale and delivery of cocaine. In November 2007, the circuit court of the Ninth Judicial Circuit removed Blinn as guardian for a property worth more than $40,000 because he neglected his required duties. Between Dec. 27, 2007, and Feb. 5, 2008, the Bar received seven insufficient fund notices on Blinn’s trust account in which he testified that he had deposited the guardianship funds. On Feb. 25, the Bar received a complaint from a couple alleging that Blinn had provided them with a settlement check of $13,511.89 that was returned for insufficient funds. (Case No. SC08-427) Dominic G. Bocco Jr., 2220 Hillcrest St., Orlando, disbarred effective immediately, following an April 3 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1991) In two separate cases, Bocco represented clients in personal injury cases. In both instances, Bocco received settlement money on behalf of the clients, but neglected to disburse the money as directed. An audit revealed that Bocco improperly commingled client funds with his own funds. Bocco also failed to provide a required written response to The Florida Bar regarding the cases. (Case No. SC07-1495) Vanessa Bravo, 3301 SW 189 th A ve., Miramar, to receive a public reprimand from The Florida Bar’s Board of Governors, following an April 10 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1999) In July 2005, Bravo pled no contest to a misdemeanor charge of making improper campaign contributions. She donated $120 in the names of six different people on behalf of a county commission candidate. In a separate incident, Bravo was sanctioned by the Florida Elections Commission for certifying that her campaign treasurer’s reports were correct, when they were not; for incurring an expense without sufficient funds in her account; for accepting campaign contributions in excess of the legal limits; and for failing to report contributions that were required to be reported. (Case No. SC08-636) Anna L. Brown, P.O. Box 1504, Naples, suspended for 90 days, effective 30 days from a Jan. 17 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1995) Two cousins charged with felonies visited Brown’s office together and signed retainer agreements presented to them by Brown’s paralegal. One of the men paid $700 and agreed to pay $250 a month until the $3,500 fee for his representation was paid. Brown actively represented one client but failed to diligently represent him or communicate with him. Brown accepted money from the other client, appeared in court and filed pleadings for him, but she never personally told him that another lawyer was representing him. Because the cousins’ interests were directly adverse, Brown’s representing both of them was improper. (Case No. SC04-2119) Julio Cesar Cavero, 701 SW 27 th A ve., Suite 702, Miami, to receive a public reprimand from The Florida Bar’s Board of Governors and placed on probation for three years, effective immediately, following an April 10 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1996) Cavero pled guilty to failure to maintain minimum required records of deposits, original and cancelled checks and other documentary support for the disbursement of trust fund accounts. Cavero also failed to reconcile the trust account monthly and annually and failed to provide a detailed annual list of discrepancies in the trust account. No misappropriations occurred. (Case No. SC08-635) Isabel Vals Colleran, 9330 SW 104 th A ve., Miami, to receive a public reprimand from The Florida Bar’s Board of Governors and directed to attend a trust accounting workshop, following an April 10 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1984) In August 2007, Colleran issued a check from her trust account to pay her Florida Bar dues. An audit of Colleran’s trust account revealed that she was commingling funds and using her trust account mostly for personal matters. No clients were harmed and no trust account funds were misappropriated. (Case No. SC08-632) Marty Earl Davis, 609 NE 127 th S t., North Miami, suspended for 90 days, effective 30 days from an April 10 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1983) Davis obtained a mortgage to refinance a personal residence. In several documents related to the purchase and the mortgage, Davis signed the name of a witness who was not present and did not authorize him to use his name. Davis also used the same individual’s notary stamp on one of the documents to verify his own signature, without consent. (Case No. SC09-634) Ruben L. De Leon, 561 NE 79th St., Suite 204, Miami, suspended until further order of the court, following a March 18 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1980) The Florida Bar petition for emergency suspension states that De Leon submitted 20 fraudulent final judgments for dissolution of marriage to a court. Twelve of the final judgments falsely purported to be signed by a particular judge. Three additional final judgments bore the forged signatures of three other judges and case numbers belonging to other matters. Several of the clients said they’d remitted fees to De Leon’s office, were subsequently advised by De Leon or an associate that their divorces were final and received proof of the final judgment of dissolution. All believed they were legally divorced. (Case No. SC08-491) Marc Francis Desiderio, 3100 N. Ocean Blvd., Apt. 1710, Fort Lauderdale, disbarred, retroactive to Oct. 22, 2007, following an April 3 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1993) In January 2006, Desiderio was indicted by a federal grand jury. In July 2007 he pled guilty to money laundering conspiracy. Desiderio was sentenced to 41 months in prison followed by two years of supervised release. (Case No. SC07-1930) Edward Thomas Dinna, 719 Intracoastal Drive, Fort Lauderdale,to receive a public reprimand from The Florida Bar’s Board of Governors and directed to attend a trust accounting workshop, following an April 10 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1988) Dinna was selected to take over a malpractice case after the original attorney was suspended from practicing law. Dinna hired the suspended attorney to work for him as a paralegal on the case, but failed to properly supervise him. In another case, Dinna took the videotaped deposition of a confidential informant (without effectively notifying the state) and allowed the criminal defendant (his client) to be present in violation of The Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure. He also attempted to intimidate the witnesses. Finally, Dinna failed to maintain required minimum trust accounting records. (Case Nos. SC07-1152, SC07-1156 and SC07-1161) Joseph Sailor Garwood, 3232 Albert Drive, Tallahassee, suspended effective 30 days from a May 6 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1991) In December 2007, Garwood was found guilty by a jury of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, a third-degree felony, battery, and resisting an officer without violence. He was sentenced to 24 months probation. (Case No. SC08-838) Martin James Hannah,1515 N. University Drive, Suite 231, Coral Springs , disbarred, effective 30 days from an April 24 court order. ( Admitted to practice: 1981) Hannah has repeatedly failed to comply with Florida Bar rules, made false statements and engaged in deceptive practices. Since 2001, he misappropriated trust account funds and used the property of others for his own benefit. Hannah also engaged in a pattern of neglecting clients and failing to respond to communications from The Florida Bar. (Case No. SC07-2155) Theodore William Herzog,1101 Simonton St., Key West, disbarred,effective immediately, following an April 24 court order and ordered to pay restitution to all persons whose funds have been embezzled prior to seeking readmission. (Admitted to practice: 1972) In September 2005 , Herzog received $44,442.79 from a client to settle a labor dispute with 25 employees. He deposited the funds in his escrow account. Between October and December of that year, Herzog issued 19 checks from his client’s funds, made payable to himself, totaling $44,150.00 and leaving a balance of $114.55. Only two of his client’s employees were paid. An audit of Herzog’s records found similar occurrences involving numerous other clients. (Case No. SC08-199) Michael T. Kovach Sr.,105 N. Seminole Ave., Inverness, disbarred for 10 years, effective immediately, following an April 24 order. (Admitted to practice: 1973) Kovach intentionally converted client funds for his personal use. Several transactions had no client identification associated with them and his wife, a non-lawyer, had signatory authority on the trust account. The overdrawn balance of Kovach’s ledger card totaled $77,968.12. (Case No. SC07-2214) Robert Joseph Locker,825 W. Linebaugh Ave., Tampa, suspended for 36 months, effective retroactive to Sept. 20, 2007, following an April 24 order. (Admitted to practice: 1994) As a condition of reinstatement, Locker shall complete The Florida Bar’s Trust Accounting Workshop. Upon reinstatement, Locker will be placed on probation for three years. Twelve cases were consolidated in the complaint before the court. Locker essentially abandoned his practice, failing to appear for court dates. He successfully completed residential treatment for substance abuse and is now in aftercare. Locker entered into a three-year contract in February with the Florida Lawyers Assistance program. (Case No. SC07-1962) Gary Mark Mills, 5732 Via De La Plata Circle, Delray Beach, suspended,effective 30 days from a May 2 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1995) Mills pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, a felony. In April, Mills was sentenced to 46 months in prison. (Case No. SC08-833) Paul Richard Parker, 3203 Pleasant Hill Road, Lynn Haven, permanently disbarred effective immediately, following a March 27 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1993) In September 2007, Parker pled guilty to three felony counts of using a child in a sexual performance and 75 related counts of child pornography. He was sentenced to 14 years incarceration, to be followed by 14 years probation. (Case No. SC07-2397) Jeffrey George Paster,80 Main St., West Orange, N.J., disbarred effective immediately, following an April 24 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1975) In March 2007, the Supreme Court of New Jersey disbarred Paster. One complainant accused Paster of failing to timely release trust funds. Another said Paster coerced her into loaning him $15,000 from her equitable distribution being held in his trust account. An investigative audit revealed that from March 2003 until August 2006, Paster misappropriated client funds for his own personal use. (Case No. SC07-2151) Juan Carlos Perez, 1568 Normandy Drive, Miami, suspended for six months, effective immediately, following an April 17 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1988) In September 2006, Perez was suspended for one year and ordered to accept no new business until the suspension expired. Despite the order from the Florida Supreme Court, Perez accepted new business in October 2006 and did not notify the Ninth Judicial Circuit Court in Osceola County of his impending suspension until more than one month later. (Case No. SC07-415) Jerry Arthur Riggs Sr., 1926 Hollywood Blvd., Suite 314, Hollywood, disbarred, retroactive to May 7, 2005, following an April 17 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1998) Riggs must also pay restitution of $2,000 to one client. In March 2006, Riggs was hired by a client for a real estate case, and was paid $2,000. In April 2005, Riggs was suspended from practicing law on an emergency basis in a separate matter. Riggs continued to practice law and neglected to immediately furnish his clients, opposing counsel and the courts with a copy of his suspension order. As of the effective date of his suspension, Riggs had also failed to perform the services for which he was paid. (Case No. SC07-1125) Joseph Raymond Rowe Jr.,P.O. Box 272066, Tampa, suspended for 91 days, effective 30 days from an April 24 order. (Admitted to practice: 1991) In March 2006 the Florida Supreme Court suspended Rowe for 30 days and placed him on probation for two years. Rowe was to attend ethics school within six months of the date of the order and to undergo an office procedures and record-keeping analysis under the direction of the Law Office Management Assistance Service of The Florida Bar. Rowe neglected to attend ethics school and failed to contact LOMAS to schedule a review. (Case No. SC07-956) Robert Alvarez Rudolph, 8027 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, disbarred, effective immediately, following a March 6 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1993) Rudolph will also pay restitution of $2,500 to one client. In June 2005, Rudolph was paid $2,500 by a couple as a retainer to file a post-conviction motion. In November of the same year, Rudolph spoke with the clients and told them that a post conviction motion was being finalized and would be filed shortly. It was never filed. The clients made numerous requests for Rudolph to provide billing invoices, but Rudolph neglected to do so. He has a past discipline history of three admonishments and two suspensions. (Case No. SC07-364) David Jon Russ,7200 SW 8th Ave., Apt. 86, Gainesville, suspended effective immediately, following an April 10 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1983) Russ was found guilty of a third- degree felony, driving under the influence — the third in 10 years, as well as three related misdemeanors. Russ is currently serving a three-year suspension as a result of another case. (Case No. SC08-691) Scott Alan Salomon, 11555 Heron Bay Blvd., Suite 200, Coral Springs,to receive a public reprimand from The Florida Bar’s Board of Governors, following an April 17 court order. ( Admitted to practice: 1992) Salomon pled guilty to failing to diligently represent his client. On numerous occasions, Salomon failed to appear at court proceedings for the client, even those he scheduled. (Case No. SC07-50) Steven M. Siegel, 2814 N. 46th Ave., Apt. H677, Hollywood, suspended effective 30 days from the date of a March 24 order. ( Admitted to practice: 1995) In February, in the circuit court of the 15th Judicial Circuit (Palm Beach County), Siegel was found guilty of one count of attempt to seduce, solicit, lure or entice a child using an Internet service to commit a sexual offense, a felony. (Case No. SC08-548) Kristine W. Valentine-Miller, 204 NW 3rd. Ave., Ocala, disbarred following a Jan. 10 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1997) In June 2006, Valentine-Miller was suspended on an emergency basis, and in October, 2006, The Florida Bar filed an amended complaint against her, alleging more than 20 violations. Valentine-Miller is accused of using client funds and failing to manage her accounts properly. During 2004 and 2005, she neglected numerous clients by failing to diligently pursue their cases. Her poor record-keeping and maintenance of files, many of which are missing, made it impossible to determine the exact total of client funds converted. An audit by The Florida Bar for February 2004 to February 2006 determined that the total owed clients was no less than $31,416.41 and no more than $51.291.41. (Case No. SC06-1629) Stephen Leonard Ziegler,1401 E. Broward Blvd., Suite 200, Fort Lauderdale, disbarred effective immediately, following an April 24 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1986) In September 2007, Ziegler was found guilty in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida of conspiracy to commit securities fraud, a felony. Ziegler was sentenced to 60 months in prison and three years probation. He was ordered by the trial court to pay restitution of $826,839,642. (Case No. SC07-1929) Carl K. Zolezzi, Jr.,199 Tyler Ave., Apt. 2, Cape Canaveral, suspended for one year, effective retroactively to November 29, 2007, following an April 17 court order, and ordered to pay restitution of $2,500 to a client. (Admitted to practice: 1974) In January 2006, Zolezzi was retained by a client regarding a criminal matter and paid $2,500. In February 2006, Zolezzi was arrested on charges of sale and possession of cocaine. Thereafter, Zolezzi performed minimal work on his client’s behalf. The client retained new counsel to handle the matter and requested a full refund. In September, Zolezzi pled no contest to felony cocaine possession. (Case No. SC07-2217) Court orders are not final until time expires to file a rehearing motion and, if filed, determined. The filing of such a motion does not alter the effective date of the discipline. June 1, 2008 Disciplinary Actions June 1, 2008 Disciplinary Actions
Nebraska addition to benefit Big Ten Samuel GordonJune 28, 2011Jump to CommentsShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare via EmailPrintAfter gaining official approval last June, the University of Nebraska will officially join the Big Ten on Friday.The institution, its historic football program and its 22 other varsity sports will join the conference that will remain known as the Big Ten âÄî despite the fact that it now has 12 teams. On June 4, 1990, Penn State was the 11th team to join.âÄúThe University of Nebraska would have new opportunities with membership in the Big Ten âÄî and I believe the Big Ten would be a stronger conference as well,âÄù university President J.B. Milliken said after the move was announced.NebraskaâÄôs economic effect could also be profound.NebraskaâÄôs entrance into the Big Ten paved the way for the two six-team football divisions and a subsequent Big Ten football championship game, which is set to generate as much as $19 million by itself, according to Indiana-based Sports Corp. research.Couple that with the exposure the school will receive from the Big TenâÄôs $1 billion contract with ABC/ESPN and the financial incentive for Nebraska to switch conferences is apparent.Through the television deal, bowl games and other rights, the conference apportioned roughly $20 million to each school in 2009, the most of any league in the country, and approximately $22 million in 2010.The conferenceâÄôs television revenue alone is projected to grow to $196 million by 2014, according to Indiana University professor Bruce Jaffee, head of the Big Ten program and budget review committee.In the short term, Nebraska is poised to add anywhere from $20 million to $22 million to the value of the Big TenâÄôs television deals. That figure wonâÄôt increase the other conference schoolsâÄô share of that money, but a school of such magnitude could add to the conferenceâÄôs leverage in future television contract negotiations, according to USA Today.Nebraska is also set to begin research collaborations with the conferenceâÄôs institutions, a move that carries potential benefit for every Big Ten school. Nebraska also brings 23 varsity sports to the table, none more prominent than football.For the last century, the Cornhuskers have been a powerhouse. TheyâÄôre one of just six teams in Division I football with more than 800 victories and have claimed five national championships.However, football isnâÄôt the only dominant sport Nebraska brings to the table.The Huskers possess one of the premier volleyball programs in the nation, and have won three national titles since 1995.Its wrestling team has quite the reputation, crowning 11 national champions and 89 All-Americans in the programâÄôs history.The Nebraska baseball team has taken three trips to the College World Series since 2001, and has eight 40-win seasons in the last 10 years.Both the softball and womenâÄôs gymnastics teams were ranked in the Top-25 for the majority of last season.It also has womenâÄôs bowling and rifle programs, neither of which can be found at the University of Minnesota. All of those programs will be a part of the Big Ten in just a matter of days. How they will change the landscape of the conference remains to be seen.
By BERNADETTE LAURITZENLos Alamos Retired & Senior OrganizationThis week I would like to focus on the fact that smart people use resources. I know it sounds simple, but too often we get caught up in life and forget to take the time to do simple things, or not be aware of the importance of other things.There are so many ways that I want to highlight this area. My first concern with seniors is, are they alone? Do you know a senior that lives alone and aren’t sure if they are connected to the senior centers? Do you know if they are aware of our services? You can call me or send me an email and I will get them our newsletter, so they see what we have to offer. They also will see how much they can do for free.I feel like one of our job duties is to worry about things some might not be worried about yet. The topic we have been working on lately is emergency preparedness. This takes on a huge meaning for me, from Coronavirus to wildfire season. We’re thinking about it all, not in a Nervous Nelly kind of way, but in a one-step ahead of the game kind of way.We have presentations coming up for Emergency Preparedness and what you need to be ready. We want to make sure you have an emergency plan, or help you acquire one. Are you aware of the county’s Volunteer Emergency Registry? If not, perhaps we can help you get registered, especially if you don’t have a computer or on-line access.Are you aware of the Code Red and the Code Red mobile app, that can notify you of local emergencies? Once again, a simple on-line registration, but do you even know if you are registered yet? Our goal is to have the resources on hand for you to help with the planning. The local office of Emergency Management has developed these handy evacuation workbooks, free for the taking.Have you heard of Fire Department’s Vial of Life? Do you have a list of important medications at the ready, in case you have to leave, or aren’t home? We have a document for that too, just ask. We want to help you acquire the resources you might need, that will fill a variety of needs. If you are able, stop by, we have a small display of resources, at both centers.We want to get you up to snuff, so that you are prepared for any circumstance. If you are interested, give me a call or send me an email and I can get some information headed your way. Perhaps we can help you get it filled out or even register you in the county system. The most important thing to remember is that there’s only one stupid question, only the one you don’t ask. So, visit your local senior center, call Bernadette at 662.8920 or email [email protected] We’ll get you connected to the right resources, whenever you are ready.