A large fire at Oxford’s Clarendon Institute, which took place early this afternoon, is suspected to have been started in a toaster.Four fire crews and a hydraulic platform were sent to the scene at around 13:45pm, as Walton street was closed off. The fire was finally put out around 16:00pm. A specialist team is currently investigating the origins of the blaze, but a spokesman for the fire service said that the early signs suggested it began in a toaster.Reports suggest that one woman was treated at the scene by paramedics for a cut to the head, but was not seriously hurt.Local watch manager Andy Hayes commented to BBC News that, “The crews worked really quickly to gain access to the roof and stop it spreading. The staff on site also acted very quickly to evacuate the building and make sure everyone was safe.”A spokesperson for Oxford University said, “We understand that all occupants of the Clarendon Press Institute Building on Walton Street are safe and well. We would like to offer our thanks to Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service and the South Central Ambulance Service for their speedy and professional response this afternoon.”
The debate involved whether a judicial hearing should be required to give up Amendment 3 rights Gary Blankenship Senior Editor A mandatory judicial review when a client wants to waive the right to a reduced contingency fee in medical malpractice cases would protect those clients, supporters of the constitutional provision limiting such fees have argued to the Supreme Court.But The Florida Bar contended that while judicial review would be acceptable, there should not be restrictions on a client’s right to waive the fee limits or clients might have trouble hiring the attorney of their choice or finding the best attorneys.Those were among the reasonings presented to the Florida Supreme Court on June 8 when it heard oral arguments on a proposed Bar rule to enforce Amendment 3, approved by voters in November 2004.That amendment limits contingency fees in medical malpractice cases to 30 percent of the first $250,000 awarded and 10 percent above that. Lawyers representing malpractice plaintiffs responded to its passage by having clients waive their right to the lower fee.Last year the Florida Medical Association got former Supreme Court Chief Justice Stephen Grimes to file a petition, signed by him and 53 other attorneys, to amend Bar rules to incorporate the contingency fee restrictions of Amendment 3.The court heard oral arguments on that petition late last year. It then ordered the Bar to prepare a draft rule that would require that clients be informed of the constitutional limitation but also be given the chance to “knowingly and voluntarily waive the rights” given by the amendment. It also asked the Bar to examine whether a judicial hearing should be required when signing the waiver.The Bar filed the proposed rule earlier this year. It did not require the judicial hearing, but left it as an option. Most of the June 8 oral argument focused on the proposed rule and the necessity for a hearing.Attorney Barry Richard, representing the Bar, said the Bar did not have strong feelings about having a hearing. He said it was not made a requirement because circuit judges told the Bar that the waiver hearing requirement in current Bar contingency fee rules is mostly perfunctory and a poor use of judicial time.Justice Charles Wells noted that in a case where the defendant had admitted liability and where damages would likely be $5 million, attorneys’ fees would be $550,000 under the amendment and $1.23 million under Bar contingency fees rules. He said that could give attorneys a conflict of interest when discussing the waiver with clients and that might merit judicial review.Richard replied that the rule still provided for judicial oversight even without a hearing. He also said, “I think that the proposal that the Bar made was not intended to eliminate prior judicial review [but] make the court aware of the opinion of the judges who had dealt with this.”In response to a question from Justice Kenneth Bell, Richard said the Bar would oppose requiring a judge in a waiver hearing to find a necessity that the constitutional fee limit be waived, as advocated by Grimes in his brief on the rule.“The client has a right to a lawyer of the client’s choice,” Richard said. “If you do that [impose a necessity test], you are saying that plaintiffs in these cases are limited to that pool of lawyers willing to take a case with this cap on it, whereas the defense lawyers have no limitation on the fee they can take.”It would also imply that every adult client was incapable of making up his or her own mind, he said.Grimes, representing the rule-change petitioners, argued that having hearings would protect clients, especially in such a case as cited by Wells.“I submit that the premise of Amendment 3 is that there are many lawyers, many good competent lawyers who would gladly take these cases for the constitutional fee,” he said. “You have to make sure that the client understands that there is going to be a dramatic difference in the amount of fees.”In his brief, Grimes argued that lawyers have an inherent conflict of interest because they are advising the client to give up a constitutional right which results in a higher fee for the lawyer.“If The Florida Bar’s proposal is adopted, judicial oversight will be required only for fee arrangements which exceed the current limits in the existing rule, yet the client will be permitted to waive the constitutional limits without judicial oversight,” Grimes wrote. “It is anomalous to give more protection to the client when waiving his or her rights under a Florida Bar rule than when waiving a right established by the Florida Constitution.”Chief Justice Barbara Pariente said she was concerned that such a hearing could be held early in a case, while the lawyer is still investigating and determining the difficulty and the time and resources necessary.“This is at the outset. That is when the contract gets signed. The lawyer doesn’t really know at that point. . . [in most cases] whether there is even a chance that they are actually going to bring this to court,” she said.“It would be on a case-to-case basis and each case would be different,” Grimes replied. “The lawyers would certainly have some idea. The lawyer isn’t going to take a case to start with, and shouldn’t, if he has no idea of the possibility of liability.”Justice Harry Lee Anstead asked what the court should tell judges who find the current fee waiver hearing largely unnecessary.“The difference here is this is a waiver of a constitutional right, as contrasted to a court rule, and the judges need to go into it more,” Grimes replied.University of Florida law Professor Joe Little argued to the court that it should reject any waiver from the fee restriction, but appeared to run into skepticism from several justices.Justice Raoul Cantero noted that criminal defendants can waive basic rights, including the right to counsel and the right to a jury trial, without going before a judge.Little replied that the waiver is inherent in those rights under common law, but not in the contingency fee limit. He added that citizens cannot waive their rights and enter into usurious contracts or contracts that would bind them into slavery.He also argued that when the court considered the constitutionality of the amendment and its ballot summary in 2004, it would have rejected the summary if the amendment had included the right to a waiver but it had not been mentioned in the summary.But Justices Fred Lewis and Peggy Quince said the court is concerned with the accuracy of the ballot summary, among other things, and not how the amendment might be applied in the future.“We strike these if they are misleading because of the actual language that is being used in the ballot summary is misleading, not because what may happen in the future with that proposed amendment is misleading,” Quince said.“I disagree with you, your honor, and I think you are wrong,” Little replied.“I accept that you think I am wrong,” Quince responded, smiling.In his rebuttal, Richard addressed Little’s example, and noted if the amendment had contained language prohibiting a waiver, the amendment would have been struck if that hadn’t been mentioned in the ballot summary.“So the suggestion now, after the fact, when there was no notice to that effect to the public, that this court could engraft those limitations on it, in the first place makes no sense and in the second place would be exactly the type of judicial activism that many of the persons who are advocating the additions to the amendment decry,” he argued. “It wasn’t in the amendment.”The court gave no indication when it would rule in the case. Med mal fee waiver procedures argued Med mal fee waiver procedures argued July 1, 2006 Regular News
Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion Add my vote to wanting to keep Schenectady’s Statue of Liberty in the park on the corner of State Street and Washington Avenue.I have always enjoyed seeing it there as I wait my turn at the light, and I was saddened and annoyed to read of the plan to move it. Put it back where it belongs.SHIRLEY MOREHOUSEScotiaMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesSchenectady teens accused of Scotia auto theft, chase; Ended in Clifton Park crash, Saratoga Sheriff…
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Share Share Tweet 19 Views no discussions InternationalNewsPrintRegional Jamaica drug lord ‘Dudus’ Coke admits racketeering by: – September 1, 2011 Sharing is caring! Share Coke admitted he had run a Kingston-based criminal organisation, known as the Shower PosseThe Jamaican drug lord, Christopher “Dudus” Coke, has pleaded guilty to racketeering charges at a US federal district court in New York.Coke, 42, also admitted conspiracy to commit assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering.He is scheduled to be sentenced on 8 December, when he could face up to 23 years in prison.A five-week operation to capture him in Jamaica’s capital, Kingston, last year led to clashes in which scores died.The US government said Coke was one of the world’s most dangerous criminals, but his supporters said he was a community leader.‘Ruthless criminal enterprise’In June 2010, Coke was extradited to the US. He said he had decided to face justice there in the interests of his family and country.On Wednesday, he admitted that he had run a notorious Kingston-based criminal organisation, known as the Shower Posse and the Presidential Click, which had trafficked marijuana, cocaine and firearms.“I also ordered the purchase of firearms and the importation of those firearms into Jamaica in furtherance of this conspiracy,” he said.Afterwards, US Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement: “For nearly two decades, Christopher Coke led a ruthless criminal enterprise that used fear, force and intimidation to support its drug and arms trafficking ‘businesses’. He moved drugs and guns between Jamaica and the United States with impunity.”“Today’s plea is a welcome conclusion to this ugly chapter of criminal history,” he added.The pursuit of Coke by the US authorities shed light on the links between politicians and gang leaders in Jamaica.Until last year Coke enjoyed substantial protection from the ruling Jamaican Labour Party and Prime Minister Bruce Golding.Mr Golding’s parliamentary constituency is in West Kingston’s Tivoli Gardens district, which the Shower Posse controls.When Coke was first indicted in the US in 2009, Mr Golding initially fought the extradition, arguing that it was based on flawed evidence. But after months of delays and amid growing local and international criticism, he agreed to extradite Coke and signed an arrest warrant.However, gunmen loyal to Coke in Tivoli Gardens barricaded the streets and mounted attacks against the police.A state of emergency was declared and 76 people were killed in four days of gun battles, during which Coke was initially able to escape. Security forces personnel were accused of using excessive force.BBC News
Stores currently operating under more reduced hours will keep their current hours of operation.Read the company’s full statement here. One of America’s largest chains says it is temporarily adjusting its hours in order to better accommodate its customers and employees amid coronavirus concerns.Walmart announced in a statement Sunday that the change takes effect Sunday in all stores.The company’s stores and Neighborhood Markets will now open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. until further notice.“This will help ensure associates can stock the products our customers are looking for and to perform cleaning and sanitizing,” says Dacona Smith, executive vice president and chief operating officer.
For 19 shots and 65 minutes, the seventh-most effective scoring team in the country was shut out.That’s when Leonie Geyer accepted a Laura Hahnefeldt pass off a corner and rifled it into the bottom left of the cage to give Syracuse a 1-0 lead.“That was a new corner that we practiced this week,” Geyer said. “Laura Hahnefeldt stopped the ball and she was supposed to pass it to me to the right to open up the space, and I shot the ball on goal and picked the right corner. Thank God we scored that.”It was an exasperating day all around for the SU offense, which outshot Ohio State 14-0 in the second half on Sunday, but almost never scored. Geyer’s tally with 4:36 remaining saved the No. 6 Orange (6-0) as it edged the Buckeyes (2-4) late.The game-winner was the second straight for Geyer, who also knocked in the decider in Friday’s 2-1 victory over No. 7 Massachusetts (6-1). The Orange has now won 38-straight home games dating back to 2009 — and a role change for Geyer has everything to do with it.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“I think Leo is the type of person that speaks softly and carries a big stick,” said SU head coach Ange Bradley. “We know she’s not going to be the vocal leader that we would like to have. She’s giving to us in a lot of other ways than just her voice.”The second game-winner was the fifth goal of the season for Geyer, which ties her for second on the team behind Lauren Brooks. Geyer, who came into the weekend tied for the NCAA lead in assist per game, said that although her position is more primed to help assist on goals, she is making more of an effort to put the ball in the net this season.“It’s definitely a new role,” Geyer said. “It’s a part of my game that I’ve been working on for quite a while. I love to pass, sometimes a bit too much. I really have to step it up and score and take some more shots.”After Geyer’s goal, the Orange continued to dominate possession — an approach goaltender Jess Jecko described as a staple of the Orange’s game.“We don’t want anyone in the circle,” Jecko said. “We try to move them outside the circle. We want to get the ball first. We don’t even want them to touch it inside the 25. So we body up on them and try to beat them to the ball.”The defense helped set up the offense all afternoon. But it took until SU’s 20th and final shot attempt for the Orange to finally be able to exhale.“It’s frustrating for everyone,” Bradley said. “That’s where you got to go back to film, and you got to go back to repetition. It’s going to be a real big focus for us in the week ahead.”The midfielder now has two goals in the past two contests, and though she was admittedly excited, she refused to take credit for the wins.“It feels really great,” Geyer said. “But it was a great team effort. We played well together on Friday, and we stepped up today in the second half. I’m glad we got two wins.” Comments Published on September 16, 2013 at 4:13 am Contact Sam: [email protected] | @SamBlum3 Facebook Twitter Google+
Photo: © lionsrugby.com The Lions’ preparations for the All Blacks ramp up another notch this morning, with the second match of their tour.They face Super Rugby opposition for the first time, in the shape of Auckland Blues.Eight players with All Black caps have been named in the Blues’ side, including Sonny-Bill Williams. There’s an all-Ireland centre partnership of Robbie Henshaw and Jared Payne for the Lions.While there’s a start at loosehead for Jack McGrath, with CJ Stander wearing the number 8.
CAF PRESIDENCYThe Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) is backing a challenge to the long-serving President of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), Issa Hayatou.Mr Hayatou is standing for an eighth successive term of office, but faces opposition from Ahmad Ahmad, the head of Madagascar’s FA. Hayatou has been in the saddle since 1988.Amaju Pinnick, president of the NFF, told the BBC the election will be “a defining moment for African football”. He said Ahmad was “courageous” in coming forward to challenge Mr Hayatou.Pinnick said CAF needs a “new generation” of leadership, following the change at the top of the world governing body FIFA.He cited “post-election differences between Gianni (Infantino, the new FIFA president) and Issa Hayatou which are irreconcilable”.Infantino will be in Johannesburg later on Tuesday for a gathering of football federation leaders from across the continent.He is then due to visit Zimbabwe at the invitation of the head of the southern African confederation, COSAFA – which also backs Ahmad.Pinnick acknowledged that Hayatou could still win – but said if he did, the veteran Cameroonian would need to be open to different influences.“You have to listen to a larger audience instead of just a tiny cabal, you have to know it goes beyond you,” Pinnick said.“I will definitely work with him if he wins but my prayer is we need a bridge builder and that person is Ahmad.”Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram