Attending the Bar Convention? There’s an app for that April 30, 2013 Regular News Attending the Bar Convention? There’s an app for that Attending the Bar’s Annual Convention in Boca Raton? Then you need to download the new Florida Bar convention app to serve as your mobile guide to the whole conference. “This app gives you all the information you need for the convention right on your smart phone,” said Michelle Suskauer, the convention’s chair.Looking for a specific meeting or seminar? Want to see who’s speaking when? What time does the luncheon start? All that information and much more can be accessed right on your iPhone, Android, or iPad.The convention is set for June 26-29 at the Boca Raton Resort & Club. “Inclusion: The Path to Unity” is this year’s theme.Suskauer said the app provides user links to the schedules, seminars, exhibitors, sponsors, maps of the facility, and bios of speakers. It can also be used to map out your own schedule and is linked to the Bar’s Facebook page and Twitter feed to keep attendees up to date on the latest convention happenings.“It is very user-friendly so that you can take advantage of everything the convention has to offer,” Suskauer said.“It also helps our convention sponsors and exhibitors, because you can click and find their location and what they are offering.”Suskauer said the app can be customized to provide the user with as little or as much information as they want and eliminates the need to carry around a lot of bulky materials.“And you don’t have to be tech savvy to understand it,” she said.Suskauer said the development of the convention app is another step in the Bar’s effort to better communicate with its members, especially the Bar’s younger lawyers.“Increasingly, this is how many lawyers want their information, and we are accommodating them,” Suskauer said.You can download the app — and learn much more about what the convention has to offer — by visiting the Bar’s website at www.floridabar.org.
Tom Wolf, CREF board of trustees chair and PPG Automotive Refinish director of business development noted, “PPG is proud to continue supporting CREF’s efforts to help collision programs, students, and instructors and this is a creative way to get not only the industry, but general public supporting their local schools. While we are limited on the number of golfers that attend our annual CREF summer golf fundraiser, this virtual event allows for thousands to participate, knowing that their registration fee will be reinvested back into their local schools.” CAWA Chair of the Board, Ward Myers of Worldpac, has appointed Herb Lieberman of LKQ Corp. to the CAWA’s Board of Directors.AdvertisementClick Here to Read MoreAdvertisement“LKQ Corp. has been a longtime member and supporter of CAWA and we are pleased that Mr. Lieberman as their representative will be involved in the association’s leadership,” said Myers.Currently, Lieberman is LKQ Corp.’s representative to the inter- and intra-trade association and has held various positions. He has been involved in many of the corporation’s internal functions including operating group participant, administrator of the JM Holsten Scholarship Program, liaison to the government affairs department and as an editorial contributor to the international publication, Auto Recyclers Toolbox. Prior to his time at LKQ Corp., he was a partner in Lakenor Auto Salvage in Santa Fe Springs and since then has served on many association related committees and boards.,To raise additional support for high school and college collision school programs, the Collision Repair Education Foundation (CREF) will be collaborating with 90 I-CAR volunteer committee groups nationwide on a winter virtual golf fundraiser, exclusively sponsored by PPG Automotive. This event will be a private tournament within TopGolf’s online game, which will be held from Friday, Nov. 20 through Sunday, Dec. 20. Golfers will be able to play an unlimited number of rounds of virtual golf during those 30 days, while viewing an in-game leaderboard to see how they are doing compared to others golfing from around the country. AdvertisementClick Here to Read MoreAdvertisement CREF Director of Development, Brandon Eckenrode noted, “We are excited about how this one event will bring together 90 I-CAR volunteer committees nationwide and through their local promotion of the event, the more support can be raised for collision schools. As collision instructors and students need the industry’s support now more than ever, we didn’t want the fact that in-person fundraisers not being possible to stop us from coming together for the future professionals of the industry.” Advertisement The 90 I-CAR volunteer committees will be promoting this fundraiser not only to their local industry members, but also the general public as the more local virtual golfers that participate, the more funding will be raised for their local collision school programs. Also, with the event being virtual, zero golfing skill is required, and golfers can play from the comfort of their home.Advertisement I-CAR CEO & President John Van Alstyne said, “What a fantastic way to support an important cause. A couple I-CAR committees worked with CREF to innovate their normal golf outing fundraisers in the face of COVID earlier this year with great success, and the same can be expected here. I-CAR committees across the U.S. are increasingly focused on supporting career technical schools as our industry seeks more qualified and capable talent. This event will be a fun and easy way to support that goal.” Ford Performance Racing School has donated two passes, a $4,000 value, that will be awarded to the virtual gofer with the best score at the end of the tournament. Registration is now open online. Industry members not located near one of the participating I-CAR Volunteer Committees can select “CREF General Fund” when registering and their registration fee will help CREF collision school programs, instructors and students nationwide. Registrants can download the free TopGolf online game to their phone, tablet, or desktop and start practicing their virtual golf swing prior to the Nov. 20 tee-off, when registered players will be given instructions on how to access the private in-game tournament. Questions regarding the fundraiser can be directed to CREF director of development Brandon Eckenrode. To help raise additional funds for local collision school programs, when paying their $25 registration fee online, golfers will be able to select one of the 90 participating I-CAR volunteer committees and $20 of their registration fee will be reinvested into collision schools in that specific market.
The government has high hopes of reaching an agreement in Brighton next month that will lead to major reforms to the European Convention on Human Rights and the court in Strasbourg that enforces it. Britain’s proposals are set out in a draft declaration which the government hopes will be approved by the 47 member states of the Council of Europe that are bound by the convention when they meet at a high-level and, no doubt, high-security conference by the seaside. What is not on the table is withdrawing the right of 800 million Europeans to petition the court directly – the reason the court now has more than 150,000 pending applications. Although several member states might welcome such a drastic curtailment of the court’s powers, I am told that none was willing to say so publicly. Instead, the leaked draft puts a strong emphasis on implementing the convention at national level in order to reduce the number of cases brought before the court. This is backed up by some important amendments which Britain hopes will become the 15th protocol to the convention. Of the two reforms that stand out, one would impose stricter admissibility criteria, while the other would allow the court to issue advisory opinions. Paragraph 23 of the draft declaration would render an application inadmissible ‘if it is the same in substance as a matter that has been examined by a national court taking into account the rights guaranteed by the convention’. But there would be two exceptions, allowing Strasbourg to admit an application if the ‘national court clearly erred in its interpretation or application of the convention rights’, or if the application ‘raises a serious question affecting the interpretation or application of the convention’. It would be for the court to decide whether a case came within these exceptions. What is not clear is whether the national court would even have had to consider the individual applicant’s claim. On this wording, all that would need to have been considered at national level was the issue raised by the case. According to a ‘non-paper’ circulated last October, the intention is to reduce the number of cases being reconsidered in Strasbourg. Certainly, paragraph 21 of the declaration seeks to ensure that the court ‘adjudicates only those cases in which the principle or the significance of the violation warrants consideration by the court’. Where does that leave the right of individual petition, described in the draft as a ‘cornerstone of the convention system’? What’s proposed may be fine if you live in a country that respects human rights but must be deeply alarming to those in Europe’s ‘emerging democracies’. And it is not as if the reform will reduce the court’s workload. According to a leaked ‘preliminary opinion of the court’ adopted on 20 February, ‘it is probable that assessment of whether proper or due consideration had occurred or whether the national courts had manifestly erred would, in any event, require systematic and thorough examination’. The court says it already considers similar factors in deciding whether to reject an application as ‘manifestly ill-founded’. The judges were equally sniffy about the idea in paragraph 19 that they should give advisory opinions. These would, it seems, be available only very rarely. First, a state wanting to use the system would have to opt in. Second, the case would have to get as far as the state’s supreme court or its constitutional court. Even then, the court would have discretion over whether to refer a question to the human rights court. Finally, the national court would not be bound by the Strasbourg judges’ opinion. That said, if the opinion was applied by the national court then ‘the individual in whose case the opinion was sought’ would ‘ordinarily have no further right to make an application to the [human rights] court on the same matter’. In their paper last month, the judges took the view that this proposal merited ‘further reflection’, adding that ‘a reflection paper prepared by the court on this subject will be issued subsequently’. This attempt to kick the proposal into the long grass may reflect a difference of opinion among the court’s 47 judges. But it hardly makes things easier for British officials, who not only have to win over fellow diplomats, but also a disparate bench of judges. Those judges say they will accept a reduced caseload only if the right of individual petition is preserved and effective mechanisms are put in place to accommodate well-founded cases that the court cannot deal with. Above all, the judges are unwilling to cede any of their powers to the member states. There’s no question of that, British officials insist. The only formal limit on judicial powers that could not be overridden by the court is a plan to reduce the period within which an application must be lodged from six months to four, three or two. And that idea came from the judges themselves. But there are plenty of proposals designed to limit the Strasbourg judges’ discretion. They are told more than once in the draft declaration that they must apply the admissibility criteria ‘strictly’. And Britain wants the principles of subsidiarity and the ‘margin of appreciation’ enjoyed by member states to be defined in statutory language for the first time and enshrined in the convention, ensuring they are not circumscribed by overlapping judicial interpretations. This may not be a full-frontal assault on the court and its powers. But it is a reminder that the ultimate power lies not with judges but with ministers.