Unbundled rule report sent to Supreme Court

first_img Unbundled rule report sent to Supreme Court Senior Editor A proposal to create a family court rule specifically allowing lawyers to provide unbundled services to clients in family law cases will be presented to the Supreme Court. The Bar Board of Governors, at its October 19 meeting in Boca Raton, approved all five findings and recommendations of the Unbundled Legal Services Special Committee. That includes asking the court to direct the Family Law Rules Committee to draft a rule that allows lawyers to provide limited and specific representation in court. “Unbundled is allowing a lawyer to perform a discrete task in the context of a larger legal issue or case,” said board member Sharon Langer, who chaired the Unbundled Legal Services Special Committee. “What we’re really talking about is limited representation.” The committee, she said, received a variety of input, including a proposed family court rule and recommendation from the Family Law Section. “We relied on the Family Law Section’s research and we agree there is a need for limited representation in family law matters,” Langer said. “We did not address any other rule changes.” The limited representation includes allowing lawyers to appear in court without undertaking the responsibility for the entire case from the client. Only two other states, Colorado and Arizona, allow limited representation and that does not extend to courtroom work, she said. The final conclusions of the committee, Langer said, are: •Acceptance of the Family Law Section’s investigation showing unbundled services are needed in family law matters. • No other section or committee indicated limited representation is needed in other legal areas, therefore the unbundled committee concluded none is needed at this time. • Florida Bar rules as drawn allow limited representation envisioned by the Family Law Section in its proposed rule. • Proposed Family Law Rule 12.040(d) should be addressed to ensure it conforms with candor-to-the-tribunal requirements in Rule 4-3.3. • The Supreme Court should instruct the Family Law Rules Committee to draft a rule that specifically addresses limited representation in court. Langer noted that the Supreme Court has expressed interest in finding more ways to improve access to the courts, including specifically with unbundled services. She added, “I think the unanimous report that we bring to you today comes with some very intellectual and studied individuals feeling this is the way the Bar needs to go at this time.” Michael Gora, a member of the unbundled committee told the board the rule is needed to “increase the ability to deliver legal services in as many forms as possible to allow as many people as possible to access legal services. I believe it is a benefit to the legal system; I believe it is a benefit to our customers.” Board member Arthur Rice asked if the board passing the report to the Supreme Court meant it was an endorsement with no chance for further consideration. “All we’re asking is for the court to ask the Family Court Rules Committee to draft a rule,” Bar President Terry Russell replied. “I think we’ll have more than adequate opportunity in the future to review the consequences of the rule.” Langer recounted that the Unbundled Legal Services Special Committee was formed by the Bar in response to a directive from the Supreme Court to investigate unbundled services. The committee got a proposed rule from the Family Law Section and heard from several other sections which said they had no objections to unbundled services. The committee prepared and published preliminary proposals, which drew concerns from the Young Lawyers Division Board of Governors. The committee added two members from the YLD in response and substantially revamped its proposals for the final report, she said. November 1, 2001 Gary Blankenship Senior Editor Regular News Unbundled rule report sent to Supreme Courtlast_img read more

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NCUA offers assistance to CUs affected by Puerto Rico earthquakes

first_imgIn the wake of the recent earthquakes in Puerto Rico, NCUA will be ready to assist the seven federally insured credit unions there with maintaining or restoring operations, if necessary.“We are closely monitoring the aftermath of the recent earthquakes affecting Puerto Rico,” NCUA Chairman Rodney E. Hood said. “The NCUA stands ready to assist credit unions with their operational needs, if necessary. Credit unions and members can find more information and resources on the NCUA’s website.”The NCUA’s Office of Credit Union Resources and Expansion can provide urgent needs grants up to $7,500 to low-income credit unions that experience sudden costs to restore operations interrupted by the storm.Members’ deposits remain protected by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund. Administered by the NCUA, the Share Insurance Fund insures individual accounts up to $250,000, and a member’s interest in all joint accounts combined is insured up to $250,000. The Share Insurance Fund separately protects IRA and KEOGH retirement accounts up to $250,000. The Share Insurance Fund has the backing of the full faith and credit of the United States. ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr continue reading »last_img read more

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The Secret Documents That Detail How Patients’ Privacy is Breached

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York By Charles Ornstein, ProPublicaWhen the federal government takes the rare step of fining medical providers for violating the privacy and security of patients’ medical information, it issues a press release and posts details on the web.But thousands of times a year, the Office for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services resolves complaints about possible violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act quietly, outside public view. It sends letters reminding providers of their legal obligations, advising them on how to fix purported problems, and, sometimes, prodding them to make voluntary changes.Under the Freedom of Information Act, ProPublica requested letters closing HIPAA complaint investigations. Here’s what we’ve received so far.Case closed.As part of its examination into the impact of privacy violations on patients, ProPublica has posted about 300 of these “closure letters” in our HIPAA Helper tool. The app allows users to review details of these cases and track repeat offenders. We obtained the letters under the Freedom of Information Act and this is the largest repository of them ever made public. (See a list of the letters.)Most of the letters we’ve received were sent to two large providers, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and CVS Health. They are the entities with the most privacy complaints that resulted in corrective-action plans or “technical assistance” provided by the Office for Civil Rights from 2011 to 2014. But there are also notices of privacy violations sent to Kaiser Permanente, Planned Parenthood and the military’s health care system.Patients accused the providers of inadvertently, or in some cases deliberately, sharing their health information without their permission – a Texas facility, for instance, kept receiving faxes from CVS intended for a Hawaii doctor with the same name. The complaints sometimes alleged that employees snooped in patients’ files out of personal animus.Currently, the government provides only vague summaries of the issues it investigates, without the specifics that could make the information useful, said Dennis Melamed, who publishes a newsletter and website on HIPAA compliance. The top five categories of complaints in 2014, according to the Office for Civil Rights website, were impermissible uses and disclosures, safeguards, administrative safeguards, access and technical safeguards.“We’re not really sure what’s going on,” Melamed said. “The terminology is confusing, it’s overlapping and it’s not consistent.”Dr. Bill Brathwaite, a health information policy consultant who helped write the federal regulations implementing HIPAA, said he personally had only seen a few closure letters. The government, he said, has abstracted the lessons from its investigations “at too high a level for people to connect and say, ‘Those people are like me, I should pay more attention.’”“The more information, the better,” Brathwaite said.Deven McGraw, deputy director for health information privacy at the Office for Civil Rights, said her agency wants to put closure letters online but is constrained by its limited budget. In 2014, the most recent year for which data is available, it received more than 17,000 complaints, as well as tens of thousands of self-reported breaches of medical information.Before closure letters can be released publicly, she said, the names of individual patients and other identifying information would have to be redacted.“I do think it’s something that we should do but we have to figure out the best way to make that happen,” McGraw said. “It is something we’re working on.”CVS and the VA have told ProPublica that they are committed to protecting patient privacy.“We are never complacent about privacy matters and we constantly strive to address and reduce disclosure incidents by enhancing our training and safeguards,” CVS said in a statement last fall. The VA said at the time, “VA takes veteran privacy and the privacy of medical or health records very seriously.”David Holtzman, who used to work at the Office for Civil Rights and is now vice president of compliance strategies for CynergisTek, a consulting firm, said the government does not have the money to catalog and archive closure letters. The Office for Civil Rights, whose budget has been flat for several years, should focus its resources on improving internal systems to detect and respond to privacy and security breaches instead, he added.“To do this would cost money and it’s money they don’t have,” Holtzman said. “Each matter rests on its own merits and it is difficult to draw parallels from one case to another. There is going to be variability that is perhaps not captured in the black and white space of a closure letter.”ProPublica is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative newsroom. Sign up for their newsletter.last_img read more

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Nottingham offices

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Craig Kimbrel on track to join Cubs by end of June

first_img Yankees’ Clint Frazier calls demotion to Triple-A ‘a tough pill to swallow’ Noah Syndergaard injury update: Mets place pitcher (hamstring) on IL Veteran reliever Craig Kimbrel is set to join the Cubs’ Triple-A Iowa affiliate and make his debut Tuesday against the Sacramento River Cats, according to The Athletic.Kimbrel, 31, earlier this month signed a reported $43 million deal with the Cubs that runs through the 2021 season but has yet to pitch in live games. He has made it clear he won’t rush back to the field. Although Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein has not provided a timetable for when Kimbrel might make his Cubs debut, the Des Moines Register reported that the right-hander is expected to appear in around five games with Iowa before heading to Chicago. He has been at the Cubs’ Arizona training facility, getting ready for live games after missing spring training and the start of the 2019 regular season as an unsigned free agent. Related News Justin Upton injury update: Angels slugger to be activated, make season debut Monday “It’s not about getting on the field as quickly as possible,” he said at his introductory press conference in Chicago. “It’s about being the best that I can.”  Kimbrel had 42 saves and a 2.74 ERA en route to his seventh All-Star selection last season, his third with the Red Sox after previous stints with the Padres and Braves.He owns a career 1.91 ERA and ranks 14th all-time in saves with 333.last_img read more

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