All sides sign off on e-portal agreement All sides sign off on e-portal agreement Senior EditorFlorida’s courts are about to get a common “electronic” door for those seeking access as the court system and the state’s court clerks have reached agreement over an electronic portal as part of an electronic filing system.“A statewide electronic access point will significantly enhance our ability to serve the legal community and the people of Florida,” said Chief Justice Charles Canady, adding while there are sure to be more challenges moving forward, “I am confident we will continue to make progress.”“After long and arduous, but constructive, negotiations, we’ve come to a final agreement,” said State Courts Administrator Lisa Goodner. “We are moving ahead.”“This is one of those milestones that is going to change the court system profoundly,” said Supreme Court Clerk Tom Hall, who is on the board that will oversee the portal’s operation. Retired 11th Circuit Judge Judith Kreeger, chair of the Florida Courts Technology Commission, which oversees court technology-related issues, said the portal agreement is an important step but much more work remains to be done.“The portal is simply the entry point for electronic filing. It’s like the door to the courthouse, but the process of what happens to that data and what happens to that case as the judicial branch transitions into conducting its business electronically, there is a lot of detail that has to be worked out,” she said.The agreement creates the Florida E-Filing Authority Board, composed of eight county clerks of court and Hall, which will oversee the portal’s operation by the Florida Association of Court Clerks. The board was scheduled to hold its first meeting on September 22, after this News went to press.The portal — an Internet site that will be connected to all of the state’s courts — is expected to begin widespread operation in counties where e-filing has been authorized, around January 1 if other issues are worked out.“The portal is a website that will facilitate one-stop shopping for e-filing,” said Melvin Cox, director of information technology for the FACC and who is overseeing the portal’s setup. “A lawyer will have to go to only one place to file anywhere in the state. It’s a single doorway into all of these court systems.”“There are some implementation issues that we will need to work through with the appellate courts,” Goodner said. “The portal was originally designed for use by the trial courts, so there is a whole appellate piece. . . that has to be put in place.”“We’re actually going through a series of meetings right now where they are adding on a section that will accommodate all of the appellate court filings,” Hall said. “There’s a series of meetings between court personnel and FACC, and attorneys are getting input. We’re pretty far along in that process.”Hall will serve as vice chair of the Florida E-Filing Advisory Board. Other members are Columbia County Clerk P. Dewitt Cason, who will be chair, Bay County Clerk Bill Kinsaul, Leon County Clerk Bob Inzer, Clay County Clerk James B. Jett, Hernando County Clerk Karen Nicolai, Orange County Clerk Lydia Gardner, Sarasota County Clerk Karen Rushing, and Palm Beach County Clerk Sharon Bock.“As we move farther into the acceptance of the electronic way of doing business, coupled with our state’s tough economy, it is more important than ever to look toward electronic solutions to our ways of doing business,” said Cason, the board chair. “The Florida E-Filing Portal will allow those who use and work in the court system to become more efficient and accurate in their filing and processing of the many, many filings that are delivered and received every day.”The portal board will operate under an interlocal agreement signed by the court system and the clerks which details the governance of the portal. The FACC will provide staffing support for the portal board.The agreement culminates a long process over creating the portal. The court system had originally moved toward creating its own portal for the electronic filing system when clerks said their system for electronic filing of records could — and was planned to — be used for e-filing. After negotiations, it was agreed the clerks and the court system would work together to use the clerks’ system, but the details still took months to hammer out in the interlocal agreement.The portal will be the center of the court system’s move not only to electronic filing but to electronic access to court records. The Legislature in 2009 mandated that the clerks and courts begin moving to electronic filing as a way to increase efficiency and save money in court operations. Earlier this year, lawmakers specified that in the current 2010-11 budget year, electronic filing must be implemented in five of the trial courts’ 10 divisions. Plans are to implement electronic filing in circuit civil, county civil, probate, family law, and juvenile dependency divisions this year.Kreeger noted that electronic filing is only the start of the process for the courts. The filing needs to capture critical “data elements” for each kind of case so that court staff and judges can efficiently move and track cases. The FCTC’s Trial Court Performance and Accountability Committee is tackling that job.“It’s basically the task recommending what the courts and judges really need from technology,” Kreeger said. “Then the task of the FCTC will be to take that report and, from the technology side, recommend this is how it should be done. What do judges need and how should it be done and delivered to them by technology?”Bar Board of Governors member Murray Silverstein, who serves on the FCTC and spearheads technology matters for the board, praised the progress and noted it comes as procedural rules committees are also acting to bring the rules into the electronic era.“The coalescing of all aspects of the electronic court system seems to be taking shape from the procedural rule committees to the new working relationship between the court and the clerks’ association to the eventual functioning of a statewide portal,” Silverstein said. “We are all greatly encouraged by this progress.”As designed by the FACC, the portal will help lawyers manage as well as file papers with the courts.First, lawyers will be required to register, a process that takes a couple of minutes and requires them to provide both their Bar number and an e-mail address. Once the registration is accepted by the e-filing system, lawyers can proceed with filing.The FACC’s Cox said that is basically a two-step process. The lawyer goes online and makes the filing, which is automatically verified as submitted when correctly done, and then the clerk reviews the submission and accepts it into the court system.The portal has a variety of pull-down menus to assist the lawyer in filing and easily allows attachment of documents. It also allows online payment of filing fees and other charges, either via credit card or bank accounts.Once the filing lawyer is finished and hits the button, the screen shows a verification — assuming everything has been filled out correctly — that the filing has been submitted, and a verifying e-mail also is automatically sent. When the filing is accepted by the clerk (the most common expected error is that documents are filed in the wrong county), the online page shows the acceptance and another verifying e-mail is sent.Any lawyer registered in the system will be able to pull up a page on the portal that shows all of his or her active filings and the status, a quick way to check on various cases.Law firms will also be able to create a special section where all firm lawyers with access to the system will be listed, and where a firm administrator can add or remove names as lawyers join or leave the firm.There are some nods to tradition in small things with the portal. For example, the main page shows a picture of the Florida Supreme Court. But when a user indicates he or she wants to make a filing in a particular county, the picture is replaced with one of that county courthouse.Maybe that’s a good reminder that the new “electronic” door does indeed go everywhere. October 1, 2010 Gary Blankenship Senior Editor Regular News
November 15, 2015 Regular News Marks petitions for reinstatement M arks petitions for reinstatement Pursuant to Rule 3-7.10, Gary Howard Marks of Ft. Lauderdale has petitioned the Supreme Court for Bar reinstatement. Marks was suspended for 91 days for misconduct including engaging in a prohibited conflict of interest and misrepresentation. Any persons having knowledge bearing upon Marks’ fitness or qualifications to resume the practice of law should contact Cheryl L. Soler, paralegal for The Florida Bar, at [email protected]
Steinhaus leads team past Oklahoma StateKevin Steinhaus earned a major in his first action of the season. Ichigo Takikawa, Daily File PhotoMinnesota’s Kevin Steinhaus tries to take down Michigan State’s John Rizqallah on Sunday, Feb. 3, 2013, at the Sports Pavilion. Nate GotliebDecember 9, 2013Jump to CommentsShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare via EmailPrintGophers redshirt senior Kevin Steinhaus won a major decision in his return to the lineup as No. 2 Minnesota beat No. 5 Oklahoma State 16-15 on Sunday in Stillwater, Okla.The Gophers and Cowboys both won five matches, but Steinhaus recorded the bonus point that ultimately decided the dual.“That was a big win for us,” head assistant coach Brandon Eggum said of Steinhaus’ match, “especially going out there and getting the major decision.”The Gophers trailed 15-6 with three matches remaining when Steinhaus (184 pounds) earned four team points with a 14-5 major decision. He recorded six takedowns in the match and physically dominated Oklahoma State redshirt freshman Jordan Rodgers.“It was exciting to get back with the team,” he said.Steinhaus tore his left ACL playing soccer in June and had surgery in July. He said he initially expected rehab to take six months but said it went better than expected.The coaches decided last week that Steinhaus would travel to Stillwater, Eggum said, and his teammates appeared excited to have him back.“Just having him around gets everyone else up and excited to wrestle,” redshirt senior heavyweight Tony Nelson said. Minnesota still trailed 15-10 after Steinhaus’ win, but redshirt junior Scott Schiller (197) and Nelson followed with wins by decision.Schiller’s opponent scored an early takedown, but Schiller tied the match in the second period and ensured the victory with a near fall in the third.Nelson won a 2-0 bout to close the dual.The win was Minnesota’s second straight against the Cowboys. The Gophers beat Oklahoma State 28-9 last season in the National Dual finals at Williams Arena.“We’ve got a great rivalry with Oklahoma State,” Steinhaus said.The Cowboys won the first two matches Sunday, but Minnesota tied the score with wins by redshirt juniors Chris and Nick Dardanes at 141 and 149, respectively.Oklahoma State then won three straight matches and took a 15-6 lead before Minnesota scored the final 10 points of the match.“Nobody was really ecstatic that we won,” Steinhaus said. “We know we can do a lot better.”
Share Single individuals tend to have a lower desire for a romantic relationship when they are more socially satisfied and place their friends higher in their life priorities, according to new research published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships.“The population of singles is on the rise and very few seem to care. In the U.S. alone, Pew notes that the share of married adults age 18 and older has declined from 72% in 1960 to 50% in 2016. Of course, many talk about this shift per se, but very few discuss the characteristics of this growing population,” said researcher Elyakim Kislev of the School of Public Policy at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.“I believe that it is important to study how relationship desire appears in singles’ lives, how their lives look like. Being single myself, I know that there are new communities of singles, new ways of life, and new patterns of behavior that we must acknowledge and research. In this particular research, I focused on the group of singles who are not seeking relationships. I estimate this group to be around 20% of the total population of singles.” Pinterest Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Email LinkedIn For his study, Kislev examined data from the German Panel Analysis of Intimate Relationships and Family Dynamics (Pairfam), a longitudinal survey of more than 12,000 individuals and their partners, parents, and children. As part of the survey, single participants were asked the degree to which they agreed or disagreed with the statement “I would like to have a partner.”The survey also assessed how satisfied the participants were with their friends and level of social contact, and the relative importance of friends in their life.After controlling for factors such as age, health, education, employment, income satisfaction, and number of children, Kislev found that the importance of friends and social satisfaction were correlated with the degree of choosing singlehood.“My findings show that people that desire relationships at higher levels tend to assign their friends lower importance and are less satisfied with their social lives. And vice versa, singles with less relationship desire think their friends are more important and are also more satisfied with their social lives,” he told PsyPost.“In short, these results show that singles with low relationship desire are more social and derive greater support from their friends. These findings also defy common negative perceptions of singles with low relationship desire as having social difficulties.Longitudinally, single participants who reported an increase in their level of social satisfaction and the relative importance of friendships from one year to the following one showed a decrease in their desire to find a partner.In his book, “Happy Singlehood: The Rising Acceptance and Celebration of Solo Living“, Kislev finds that single people, especially those who have been single for a long time, have more extensive social networks than do their married peers, which can help buffer singles against feelings of loneliness.But there is still much to learn about the social life of singles.“I would be happy to know more about the social net of singles. It might well be that singles with low relationship desire transfer some of the assumed responsibilities of the nuclear family to their networks of friends and I want to know more about how it looks like and about what shapes communities of singles these days,” Kislev said.“We should ask how the ‘new singles’ create communities, how they derive social support from their friends and wider family, and how these new constructs relate to their overall well-being over their life span.”“I believe the population of singles deserves more attention as such. I will even dare to say that we need to accept and embrace solo living more. Chasing after having a partner is fine as long as it is in line with our true goals, not those of our family or the society around us,” Kislev added.The study, “How do relationship desire and sociability relate to each other among singles? Longitudinal analysis of the Pairfam survey“, was published June 24, 2020.(Image by Laura Smith from Pixabay)
GIVE Rep. Howard Berman credit. In a Congress filled with partisans who too often let polls or party chieftains tell them what to do, the Van Nuys Democrat voted his conscience – and the best interest of the country – on the biggest issue of the day, the war in Iraq. Congress spent two days last week rehashing the same old Iraq debate we’ve had for three years. Democrats bemoaned the woeful state of the war; Republicans accused them of cowardice. Then the GOP called for a vote. The bill was purely symbolic – a nonbinding resolution demanding that no timeline be set for American withdrawal from Iraq. And it was, to be sure, an act of cheap Republican gamesmanship, designed to force Democrats to choose between their anti-war base and the majority of Americans who feel that though entering the war might have been a mistake, pulling out prematurely would be an even bigger one. Too bad the Valley’s other congressman, Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Sherman Oaks, lacked the same courage. Sherman originally voted for the war, too, but took no stand – and voted “present” on last week’s vote. Apparently Sherman would rather not address what the U.S. should do next in Iraq – an option the country doesn’t have.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2Still, the measure had some value. It signaled to the Iraqis that we won’t abandon them soon, and so they should continue the hard work of stabilizing their country. It also sent a message to terrorist insurgents that they can’t hope to wait us out, then turn Iraq into the new center of international terrorism. But perhaps more important, the measure forced members of Congress not just to complain, but to take a stand for what they think should be done. And that’s exactly what Berman did. Berman was the only local representative, Democrat or Republican, to break party rank. He voted for the resolution and against a fixed timetable for leaving Iraq. The position was consistent. Berman had voted for the 2002 legislation authorizing the use of force in Iraq. And even though the war has been badly bungled, Berman understands that the best plan of action available – no matter how unseemly – is to see it through. He did what seemed right, even if it hurt him politically by voting with members of the other party.