Christ Church students face eviction during ball

first_imgChrist Church students, some still in the middle of exams, face being removed from their rooms by college authorities over the weekend of the college ball.In a JCR motion, it is reported , citing non-specific “security reasons”, that the college has ordered that students living in Meadows, Old Library and Tom Quad areas leave their rooms from the 21st June, barring their return until the following day.The College previously stated that the restrictions would only last during the period the ball itself is being held.However, as well as extending the ban period, students have accused the college of not making any specific dispensation for members with examinations.In an emergency JCR meeting held on Sunday, a drafted motion claimed, “This lack of foreknowledge has limited the options of students living in affected areas and constitutes the ticket contract to now be unfair.”It added, “This House is our house, and displacing members, but not alumni and non-students, from their residence on the basis they are a security risk is distasteful.”However, Rachel Perham, PA to the Dean of Christ Church, insisted that students would not be barred from their rooms until the afternoon of the 22nd, as the JCR motion has suggested.“As happens at many other colleges,” she said, “Undergraduates will vacate rooms within the ball perimeter from 12 noon on the day of the ball and be escorted back in groups after the ball between 6.30 and 7.30 am the following morning.”Perham also refuted the suggestion that the college was working against the wishes of students, telling Cherwell, “These arrangements were proposed by the ball committee whose members are mainly undergraduate students, and are the result of lengthy negotiations with the JCR.”In response to claims that the college had made “no specific dispensation” for members with examinations, the college has agreed to give “students with public examinations on the day of the ball or at the beginning of week 9 priority in allocation of alternative accommodation should they not wish to attend the ball.”Perham stated that there would be “special arrangements for those who need to access their belongings after examinations on the morning of the ball.”However, it would seem that claims by the students’ JCR motion for the college to “reimburse members for the cost of finding alternative accommodation” have been disregarded, with Christ Church college stating, “Undergraduate licence agreements cover the period until 9.30 am on the day of the Ball, and residence after this time requires special permission, […] there is no question of undergraduates being evicted from rooms.”Meanwhile, Felix Goodman, a student at Christ Church, spoke in favour of the college’s decision, telling Cherwell that, “The Ball as it is is going to be a security nightmare”.He further stated that he could, “completely understand the college’s desire to make their job slightly easier by shutting these rooms,” suspecting that, “the reason for closing many of these rooms on the night of the ball is to reduce the opportunity for sniper cover.”Negotiations continue between the JCR and the college.The JCR President was unavailable for comment when approached by Cherwell.last_img read more

Press release: Bed bugs project is among 53 business ideas to receive funding

first_imgView the full details of all 53 winning projects. The objective of this project is to develop an effective test prototype of this powerful lure, to be used in a bed bug-specific trap, capable of detecting early stage infestations, that is effective, sensitive, long lasting, safe, affordable and discrete. The common bed bug bite can cause reactions ranging from minor irritation to severe allergic hypersensitivity. They are a pest of significant public health importance and a major global economic problem, widely infesting homes, hospitals and dormitories and damaging the hospitality industry through infestation of hotels, cinemas and transport. There are a few bed bug detection methods and monitoring devices available, but there are no established products with proven reliability and efficacy for detecting low level infestations quickly. Find out more about Innovate UK’s open programme and active competitions. Competition backgroundInnovate UK’s open competition programme is available to any technology, science, engineering or industrial area for innovation projects at various stages. Projects should cost between £25,000 and £2 million and last up to 36 months. It is designed to help develop cutting-edge projects at any stage from conceptualisation, through to prototype development and demonstration, with a view to eventual commercialisation. Through our ongoing funding programme we are supporting hundreds of high-growth businesses, collaborations and industries to innovate and compete in future global markets. Bed bug control remains one of the most lucrative and growing markets in the pest management industry globally and insect numbers are also reported to be increasing rapidly. Other projects to receive grant funding include West Midlands’ Key Forensic Services Ltd (£599,260), who are developing a desktop DNA sampling system to dramatically speed up crime scene investigation.Also, Northern Ireland-based Almac Diagnostics Ltd (£500,001) are working on a lab and software solution to improve the success of clinical cancer trials for a range of patients, while Cambridge business Entomics Biosystems Ltd (£571,166) is leading a partnership developing an innovative system to enable insects to become a nutritious and sustainable feed ingredient for the UK poultry market. The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) has identified a new bed bug aggregation pheromone, which acts as a powerful lure. A spin-out company from the LSHTM, Vecotech Ltd, has received a grant of £220,034 to help the commercialisation of a product to detect infestations at an early stage, which would lead to more effective control.Professor James Logan, of Vecotech and Head of Department of Disease Control at LSHTM, said: All of these projects are tackling issues that affect many people and cover key sectors linked to government’s Industrial Strategy. They have the potential to have a lasting impact. The overall quality of applications from across the country was of exceptionally high standard and covers a wide range of industries, from digital and creative to biosciences and medicine development, which shows the appetite of UK businesses to innovate and grow. In this round, a total of £17.44 million has been allocated by Innovate UK for projects which cover new products, processes or services that have the potential to generate significant positive impact and growth for the UK economy.Fionnuala Costello, Head of Open Programmes at Innovate UK, said:last_img read more

PREMIERE: Modern Measure Honors Atlanta In New Music Video For “Family System”

first_imgModern Measure is an innovative Atlanta-born electronic project composed of Kyle Holly (music production, live drums) and Charlie Thornton (music production, live sampling, bass guitar, alto sax). Since the project’s inception in 2013, the duo has quickly gained fame in the electronic dance scene and beyond for their inventive compositions and vibrant hybrid performances, which expertly fuse live instrumentation with thoughtful and precise production. However, it’s not just fans across the country who have been taking notice; Modern Measure has shared the stage and toured with the likes of Big Gigantic, The Disco Biscuits, Manic Focus, The Floozies, and, after touring with STS9, secured a spot on the jamtronica juggernaut’s independent record label, 1320 Records.Watch STS9’s Jeffree Lerner’s Live Collaboration With Modern Measure For The Song “Daze”Recently, Modern Measure showcased their versatility and creativity of the group with the recently released single “Family System”. The dynamic tune offers up nostalgic, melodic deep house ahead of an abrupt change into propulsive future bass, rife with glitchy sounds and dribbling effects. However, again underlying their penchant for the unpredictable, the song carries on this darker tone while simultaneously opening up to a spacious ending.To complement this dynamic track, today, the band has released a brand-new music video for “Family System” that plays off the song’s distinct vibes throughout. The video—shot and edited by Pedro Marashi of Insouth Productions and co-directed by Pedro and Modern Measure—shows the vibrancy of Modern Measure’s hometown of Atlanta, with gorgeous time-lapses of the city juxtaposed with more intimate footage of the band, city streets, friends, residents, and more.Modern Measure Shares Full Stream Of New Album, “For The Moment”As told by the band, “This song marks the beginning of a new creative direction for us and with the fresh explorations into new sonic territory, it felt like the right time to look back on what shaped our sound. In doing so we discovered our family, friends, and the city of Atlanta, and its culture and music scene were our main inspirations. We wanted to capture this with the video for ‘Family System’, and we think Pedro did a great job putting this feeling into images. Working with a kindred creative spirit was important to the vibe as well and we had a great time exploring our home town with him. We wouldn’t be able to do what we love without the entire Family System.”Today, Live For Live Music is proud to premiere the new music video for Modern Measure’s, “Family System”. You can check it out and the band’s upcoming tour dates for yourself below. For more information on the band, check out Modern Measure’s website or follow them on Facebook. Upcoming Modern Measure Tour Dates12/22/17 – Birmingham, AL – Winter Jam in the Ham – Zydeco12/31/17 – Englewood, CO – The Gothic Theater, w/ Boombox1/26/18 – Tucson, AZ – Gem & Jam Festival1/28/18 – Albuquerque, NM – El Rey Theater w/ STS91/30/18 – Salt Lake City, UT – The Complex w/ STS9last_img read more

Charting a path for the Silkroad

first_img ‘I want to make it felt’ The Daily Gazette Sign up for daily emails to get the latest Harvard news. These divisions in the United States have not just appeared; they’ve always been here. Now, they’re just a little bit more obvious, a little bit more on the surface. And music is just such a powerful tool, but you have to use it in a way that’s rooted in understanding and rooted in knowledge, because it’s in telling these stories of our musical roots that I think the fullness of the power of what we do musically, what we do artistically as culture, comes out. It’s knowing where the banjo comes from, knowing that it’s an African-derived instrument. Then you begin to understand the sort of cultural conversation that goes back and forth for hundreds of years and has influenced all these different musical forms. And different cultures have taken different aspects of it, and it was this real emblem of America for a long time and then was twisted for certain reasons. I mean, if you follow the history of the music, you really follow the history of who we are. And so, I think getting that history out there is key.In addition, music is blameless in a lot of ways. It’s very hard to get mad at a song. Some art is created to be incendiary, or racist, or whatever. But overall, the music and what comes out of people playing together is innocent. And I think it’s a powerful tool for that reason, because it’s pretty hard if you’re marveling at this piece of music to take offense. Instead it’s a way to absorb the idea that we are more alike than we are different. And the ways that we are different are ways to be celebrated because they’re all reflecting the same thing: the core of who we are, as humans. We have the same worries; we have the same desires. It’s just that how we talk about them and how we express them is different, how we express ourselves artistically is different. But because they’re about the same things, I think we always find these points of connection, and that’s really where the true understanding comes.GAZETTE: What are your plans for connecting with the Harvard community?GIDDENS: There are always too many ideas. Ideas and what to do are never going to be a problem. I think the important thing is to maintain and to develop relationships, and also examine how they are giving back to the community, and how things are being represented, and how are things that Silkroad is coming up with being expanded even more effectively into important partnerships. You can always strive for more, and I definitely have many thoughts about how all of these art forms work together.Then there are the historical connections to some of this music and how it interacts with American history, how it interacts with world history. I think that there’s so much scope for collaborative projects and ways to disseminate the message of Silkroad across multiple platforms, not just shows or concerts, although that’s an important piece. There are also the academic connections and making those connections even stronger and really being clear about how this can be a more widely known thing. I am so proud because it’s such a beautiful organization and ensemble and the amount of talent wrapped up in this group is just phenomenal. One of the reasons I came on board is that I’ve always felt that the [Silkroad] Ensemble is not well enough known. I just think that there should be more awareness of what Silkroad is doing. And, in different places and different groups.GAZETTE: What does music-making look like in the age of COVID for you? GIDDENS: For me personally, I’ve still been able to make music over long distance with people and put the music out and make videos. But you know, it’s a different kind of art. You adapt to what you have. And of course, nobody wants to do this forever. But there are things that you can find that you wouldn’t have found before. I’m talking to people I was never talking to before. I never did Zoom. I never connected in this way. So, you take all the good you can out of having to adapt. You have to kind of pivot and just say, “OK, this is where we are. What can we get out of this moment? And sometimes it’s actually quite a lot.” “[T]he ways that we are different are ways to be celebrated because they’re all reflecting the same thing: the core of who we are, as humans.” A classically trained opera singer, accomplished fiddler and banjo player, Rhiannon Giddens knows plenty about various musical traditions, and now she’s bringing that knowledge to the Silkroad. The MacArthur grant recipient and co-founder of the Grammy-winning Carolina Chocolate Drops, Giddens was recently named artistic director of Silkroad, the University-based nonprofit organization conceived by cellist and Harvard graduate Yo-Yo Ma ’76 in 2000 to promote multicultural artistic exchange. Giddens spoke with the Gazette about how her own musical background helped prepare her for her new role, about Silkroad’s Harvard collaborations, and about its road ahead.Q&ARhiannon GiddensGAZETTE: What attracted you to this role?GIDDENS: It came at a really opportune moment in my life. I’ve been digging, obviously, in American music for a while now and sort of uncovering things and trying to add to the conversation in a positive way, particularly with African American contributions to the picture. But a couple of years ago I made the acquaintance of and started forming a partnership and a friendship with [Grammy-nominated multi-instrumentalist] Francesco Turrisi, and what it did was kind of bring into focus where American music is in a global context, and the idea of what happened beforehand, before folks started coming over to America, and how all of those musical patterns happened over and over again. I started getting a broader awareness of that, of where American music fits in a global context. And so, I’ve been sort of sitting with that and realizing that that’s where I wanted to start focusing my energy. And then this opportunity came in, and it just felt like it was the right thing at the right time. If it had come in a couple years before, I wouldn’t have been sure. I would have thought that I still didn’t know enough. I wouldn’t have been equipped back then. But now I feel like I’m at least more aware and can learn the things that I need to learn.GAZETTE: Can you say a little bit more about your musical background, and if you feel your experience will help you in this position?GIDDENS: Most of my background is very much kind of bridge-like positioning. I have a degree in operatic and classical singing, and I studied a lot of Western art music. I had an apprenticeship in the folk tradition with an elder, African American fiddler. My family is multiracial, so I’m kind of seeing both sides there. I grew up spending part of my life in the country, part of my life in the city. So, in many aspects of my life, I can see both sides of the coin. And I think that kind of flexibility is really good for a position like this, to understand there’s not one way of doing things. I’m just very comfortable saying what I know, and I’m very comfortable saying what I don’t know, because I realize there is so much to learn.,GAZETTE: Silkroad engages with music from all over the world, but given your background will you try to bring an even sharper focus to the American musical tradition?GIDDENS: The focus has always been on the idea of cultures meeting and taking these cultures, especially in the beginning those cultures that lined the Silk Road, and exploring how we are more alike than we are different. In my mind, the American piece of that has never been really thoroughly explored. I feel like that is part of what I’m bringing to the role, because I’m so historically based. I’m very interested in all of the cultural elements that make up America, and they are global. It’s a question of examining what happened here in the 1800s; what happened here in the 1900s; and asking, “How does that affect our music? How does that affect who we are in the world?” All of the traditions reflected in the Silk Road showed up in America. I think there’s so much scope for connecting it to the American narrative and making people understand that the American narrative is a global narrative.We have sort of been told that the American story is this very narrow sort of WASP-y kind of American triumph, but that’s not it at all. You look at America, and you see these incredibly multifaceted, multilayered cultural collaborations going on all over the place. And then you have capitalistic and suppressed white supremacy structures, dividing and putting in artificial divisions where culturally things come together. So, I think that there’s a lot of opportunity to expand, to connect the mission even deeper to what’s going on here because, as we can see, these divisions are not superficial, and they’re not going away anytime soon. Anything that we can do to promote the idea that these divisions are false, that race is a completely artificial construct, is critical. Music is one of those ways that people see how naturally we come together. And that’s so important.GAZETTE: Do you think the arts, and music more specifically, can help us move toward a society that’s more inclusive and tolerant?GIDDENS: I think it shows the best of us. Nobody is born who doesn’t need music in some way — despite what people are saying about who’s essential and who’s not, and who we should be giving help and money to. The arts seem to be completely forgotten, even though everybody says, “Oh, you’re getting us through this pandemic. Please, put the shows on. Do this; do that.” Everybody needs it, but it doesn’t seem like it’s respected in the same way. That’s not really the answer to your question, but it is all connected because the arts need to be respected and because artists are cultural ambassadors. We respond to what’s going on in the culture in our art; I think the best art does, anyway. And it shows the best of humanity. So why don’t we celebrate that even more? “Nobody is born who doesn’t need music in some way.” GAZETTE: Have you been pleasantly surprised by anything while working remotely?GIDDENS: Well, just the possibilities like when Yo-Yo Ma reached out and asked if I wanted to do something for Juneteenth. Previously, I would have said “Juneteenth 2022 or 2023?” because we are typically so booked up. But then we were both in our houses, and all of a sudden it made a collaboration possible that wasn’t possible before. I had just written this song; it was an effort to respond to what was going on during the thick of protests. And so, I recorded part of that, and he added to it, and then you sit back and you watch it and think, “That’s pretty darn cool.” I really appreciate those moments that wouldn’t have happened in the before times, as we call them.GAZETTE: What will Yo-Yo’s involvement be moving forward?GIDDENS: You don’t have Silkroad without Yo-Yo Ma, because he is the genesis of it. He’s in the history; he’s in the DNA. He’s going to remain involved. He’s not going to be there all the time, but when there are moments it makes sense for him, and it makes sense for Silkroad, it will happen. But whatever happens with how much Yo-Yo can play with Silkroad, part of my mission is getting people to know what Silkroad is regardless of Yo-Yo’s involvement, in other words giving Silkroad an identity outside of Yo-Yo. And that means that he can engage with the ensemble in a way that’s organic, and there’s this special connection, of course, because of his long-term involvement.GAZETTE: Regarding your song “Build a House” to commemorate Juneteenth, you wrote: “This song came knocking about a week ago, and I had to open the door and let it in. What can I say about what’s been happening, what has happened, and what is continuing to happen, in this country, in the world? There’s too many words and none, all at once. So I let the music speak, as usual. What a thing to mark this 155th anniversary of Juneteenth with that beautiful soul Yo-Yo Ma. Honored to have it out in the world.” Are you working on other music that speaks to this moment?GIDDENS: I love to collaborate and when people reach out and want to say something and donate money to something that’s really important, I love to do that. I just released a cover of Portishead’s “It’s a Fire” with Amanda Palmer in a very different style than I usually do. All the proceeds of that song support the Free Black University Fund. So as long as that continues, as opportunities come, I’ll do it. In terms of songwriting, when it comes through me, and the emotions come in and it happens, I write it. The Juneteenth piece, “Build a House,” was the perfect storm of writing it and then having the opportunity to make the video with Yo-Yo. I have a song coming out soon that I wrote five years ago in response to the Charleston massacre at the [Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, where white nationalist Dylann Roof shot and killed nine African Americans during Bible study]. It’s always going to be a piece of what I do. I feel so helpless here living in Ireland. All my family’s in the States, and I just keep reading the headlines every morning and thinking, “Oh my God. What can I do?” So, I just make what I can and get it out there.GAZETTE: Do you anticipate these kinds of collaborations happening with Silkroad?GIDDENS: Yes, and that makes me excited about the future. As strange as that sounds right now, you have to be excited because there’s so much to be depressed about. I feel so lucky because this is a really beautiful spot in my life and I’m getting to know people in the ensemble, and they’re all just really wonderful human beings in addition to being incredible creators and artists. And there’s so much love and so much desire to make a difference. So, this is where we have to live, in the hope of making things that can help make the world a better place. That’s where I’m living right now.Interview was lightly edited for clarity and length. Yo-Yo Ma and Philharmonic director Borda discuss music as a force for social justice Relatedlast_img read more

Student Senate reviews healthcare, approves SUB executive board

first_imgSharon McMullen, director of University Health Services (UHS) spoke to student senate Wednesday about current and future changes to UHS. The meeting also featured Student Union Board (SUB) executive board nominations and the passing of resolution SS1617-33, regarding the release of mental health information and student awareness of UHS. McMullen discussed the current state of UHS and changes within the department.“College health is essentially an academic retention program,” she said. “Colleges recognize that wellbeing is essential to learning, and so we provide our services so you can achieve your academic goals.”The department has recently undertaken two major strategic initiatives — implementation of electronic medical records and the reorganization of the department, McMullen said.“We have made the tectonic shift from writing with a pen on paper and we have entered the digital age,” she said. “This has been something a long time in the works. We made the shift in August, and it has worked out really well.”McMullen said UHS was the 40th campus organization to undertake a “robust” reorganization process designed by the University.“Our goal for this reorganization is to optimize our scope of services and our hours of operation to meet student need,” she said.UHS determined necessary changes based on student surveys, McMullen said.“Here’s what you’ve told us — college students go to college between nine and five,” she said. “How come we can only see a provider between nine and five? We are benchmarking the data that we have crunched, and are building a new and improved, and reinvigorated department. Communication to the entire community, including to you, our most important stakeholders, will happen this summer.”Another topic McMullen said she was asked to talk about was walk-in fees.“One of the things that college health does is help young adults become good consumers of healthcare … walking into a healthcare provider is not going to serve you well when you leave university,” she said. “The idea behind the walk-in fee is a disincentive — something to make the patients think a little bit and call before they come in.“It really hasn’t worked as intended,” she said. “The amount, $5, is either not a consideration or — what I’m really concerned about — is the relatively smaller proportion for whom $5 is a big deal. I never want anyone to not come in and get the care they need because they don’t have $5. I hear you, so please know that this is something that we are carefully considering with our reorganization.”The SUB executive board nominations followed McMullen’s presentation, with the members rising to answer questions from the senators. Junior Madi Purrenhage responded to a question about future changes within SUB.“We’re really trying to get more people involved with the program and involved with planning, and so there’s been some structural changes to achieve that,” she said. “There’s been a big push this year to get as many people who want to get a role to have a role.”The SUB executive board was approved by the senate vote.Members of First Undergraduate Experience in Leadership (FUEL) presented resolution SS1617-33. The resolution was titled “A resolution supporting song-term mental health care information being released and greater student awareness of University mental health services.” In a brief panel, the members of FUEL summarized their plans for reducing the stigma surrounding mental health and endorsing a movement to improve mental health services on campus. The resolution was approved by unanimous vote.Tags: FUEL, student senate, Student Union Board, University Health Serviceslast_img read more

Garry Marshall Talks Going to the Dark Side to Helm Billy & Ray Off-Broadway

first_img Show Closed This production ended its run on Nov. 23, 2014 Billy & Ray Related Shows View Comments The legendary Garry Marshall stopped by ABC News to discuss his latest project: helming the New York premiere of Billy & Ray off-Broadway. The Mike Bencivenga play charts the birth of film noir from the minds of Hollywood collaborators Billy Wilder and Raymond Chandler. “Film noir is dark. I’m known for film blanc more,” Marshall jokes about taking a stab at a heavier genre. Nonetheless, he’s “so excited” to present the story about the actor-director odd-couple, which hits close to home for him: “The hardest person I ever fought with most is my sister Penny on Laverne and Shirley!” Billy & Ray, now in previews, opens officially on October 20 at the Vineyard Theatre.last_img read more

Scott Ellis Set to Direct NBC’s Live A Few Good Men

first_img Scott Ellis, who received a Tony nomination this year for directing the revival of She Loves Me, will helm NBC’s live broadcast of A Few Good Men. The announcement was made at Variety’s annual TV Summit in Los Angeles.As previously reported, the telecast is set to air on NBC in early 2017. When asked about the choice, according to Variety, playwright and Oscar winner Aaron Sorkin said, “I couldn’t be more excited.”Ellis, who serves as Roundabout Theatre Company’s associate artistic director, has helmed the recent revivals of On the Twentieth Century, The Elephant Man, You Can’t Take It With You, The Mystery of Edwin Drood and Harvey. He has also directed for the small screen on several occasions and received an Emmy nomination for his work on a season one episode of 30 Rock.The courtroom drama is one of two live theatrical broadcasts the Peacock network has lined up: Hairspray Live!, starring newcomer Maddie Baillio and Harvey Fierstein, will air on December 7. Scott Ellis(Photo: Jeremy Daniel) View Commentslast_img read more

Son Volt Back on the Road

first_imgLeft to right: Gary Hunt, Jay Farrar, Dave Bryson, Mark Spencer, Andrew Duplantis. Photo: Emily NathanMuch has been made of the lofty position held by Son Volt in the pantheon of modern Americana bands.  Following the dissolution of Uncle Tupelo, principal songwriters Jeff Tweedy and Jay Farrar went their separate ways, with Tweedy forming Wilco and Farrar founding Son Volt.  Farrar and his new project earned critical praise for the band’s debut record, Trace, in 1996, and Son Volt has since released a number of outstanding follow ups.After a five year hiatus between 1999 and 2004, Farrar returned with a revamped line up and released Okemah & The Melody of Riot in 2005, The Search in 2007, and American Central Dust, their first record for Rounder Records, in 2009.Son Volt is out on the road now supporting Honky Tonk, their second record for Rounder, which was released last month.  Farrar describes the record as an ode to the best of the spirit of honky tonk: heartache, heartbreak, and the road.Honky Tonk also continues Son Volt’s revisiting of more acoustic tones.  “The record is a continuation of what was happening with American Central Dust,” says Farrar.  “I didn’t play much, if any, electric guitar.”Son Volt will be swinging through Knoxville for a show at The Bijou on Sunday, April 14th, and we’d like to make sure you have a couple tickets for the show.  Take a shot at the trivia question down below.  A winner will be chosen from all correct answers received by 12:00 P.M. (E.S.T.) on Friday, April 12th.Remember to email answers to [email protected] – In 2009, Jay Farrar worked on the soundtrack for One Fast Move Or I’m Gone, a documentary about what famous On The Road author?Son Volt will be joined by Colonel Ford at the beautiful Bijou Theater in Downtown Knoxville on Sunday, April 14th.  Show time is 8:00 P.M.  For information on this show, tickets, or the Bijou’s upcoming shows, surf over to www.knoxbijou.com.last_img read more

Plan suggests ‘Florida registered paralegals’

first_imgPlan suggests ‘Florida registered paralegals’ April 1, 2006 Regular News Plan suggests ‘Florida registered paralegals’ Mark D. Killian Managing Editor Those wanting to hold themselves out as “Florida registered paralegals” would have to meet certain educational or experience criteria and complete continuing education requirements under a plan put forth by the Special Committee to Study Paralegal Regulation.Meeting in Tampa in March, the committee voted 16-2 to forward a recommendation to create a two-tier system for the state’s paralegals — which includes a disciplinary component — to the Board of Governors for consideration.The plan does not set forth the duties a paralegal may perform and makes no changes to the way lawyers charge or are awarded fees for services rendered by nonlawyers under their supervision, “such fees being based on the nature of the services rendered and not the title of the person rendering the service,” according to the proposal to create in Bar rules Ch. 20, the Florida Registered Paralegal Program.Chair Ross Goodman said while there was not “absolute unanimity on every point,” he is pleased with the proposal, which he says was the result of a lot of hard work between the lawyers and paralegals on the committee.“We were able to reach a compromise with the two-tier system and the paralegal community represented on the committee was very gracious in saying that this is a good step, a good approach, and worthwhile,” he said.Goodman said the recommendation is consistent with what is being done in other states and contains a grandfather clause that takes into account the situation of long-time paralegals who may not meet the educational components contemplated in the plan.Committee member Karen McLead, a former president of the Paralegal Association of Florida, Inc., said while the proposed rule does not include everything the paralegal community was seeking, “we are pretty excited about it.”“While it is still voluntary — no one will be required to put their credentials forward — they will be required to do so if they want to be registered with The Florida Bar and hold themselves out as a registered paralegal,” McLead said.Tier one would include all those who meet the current definition of a paralegal found in Bar Rule 10-2.1. That rule essentially holds a paralegal is a person qualified by education, training, or work experience, who under the supervision of a lawyer performs delegated substantive work for which the lawyer is responsible. Tier two paralegals would have to meet more stringent experience, educational, and continuing education criteria to be able to hold themselves out as a “Florida Registered Paralegal.”After the concept of a two-tier system was floated in January, committee member Johnna Phillips, president of the Paralegal Association of Florida, Inc., said the plan was put before PAF’s membership, where a “large percentage” expressed disappointment that part of the two-tier system still “allows basically anybody” to call themselves a paralegal under the tier-one designation.“We had some members that recognized the Bar would never go as far as we wanted them to go with mandatory regulation so they understood from a realistic standpoint that we probably would have to have this two-tier system in order to get any kind of standards at all,” Phillips said.Phillips, however, said she is hopeful that over time paralegals and lawyers will see the benefit of the plan.“I think the compromise takes away some of those concerns about telling attorneys how [and for whom] they can bill, but I also think it goes a long way toward increasing the professionalism of their staffs and helps the firm’s clients understand that somebody who is a FRP has demonstrated they have some superior skills,” Phillips said.McLead said while proposed Ch. 20 doesn’t contain mandatory criteria for a tier-one paralegal “we believe it is a very positive first step,” and much better than the committee’s first recommendation to create a voluntary section within the Bar for paralegals. She likened that to “nothing more than somewhat of a social club.”Rep. Juan Zapata, R-Miami, said because the paralegal community is pleased with the “overall spirit and direction of the proposed rule” there is no longer a need for him to push HB 395 this session. That bill — opposed by the Bar — would have set up a regulatory system for paralegals under the Department of Business and Professional Regulation.“I’m very happy with the progress and have complete faith in the Board of Governors that they will be able to move this forward and I’m hopful and confident it will meet with approval of the Supreme Court,” Zapata said, adding that if ultimately approved by the board, he would prefer it be sent to the court as a stand alone rule, not part of a rules package.“It really is an effort to bring professionalism to the profession and have it recognized as the profession that it is and have some minimal standards,” Phillips said, adding she thinks once the plan is in place lawyers will realize “they are getting a better product as a result of this.”The Recommendation Under the plan, a paralegal is defined as a person qualified by education, training, or work experience, who works under the direction and supervision of a member of The Florida Bar and who performs specifically delegated substantive legal work for which a member of the Bar is responsible.A “Florida registered paralegal” would be someone who meets the definition of paralegal and the requirements for registration, which include: • Educational and Work Experience Requirements A person may become a Florida registered paralegal by meeting one of the following education and paralegal work experience requirements: 1) A bachelor’s degree in paralegal studies from an approved paralegal program, plus a minimum of one year of paralegal work experience; or 2) A bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution,plus a minimum of three years of paralegal work experience; or 3) An associate’s degree in paralegal studies from an approved paralegal program, plus a minimum of two years of paralegal work experience; or 4) An associate’s degree from an accredited institution, plus a minimum of four years of paralegal work experience; or 5) A juris doctorate degree from an ABA accredited institution, plus a minimum of one year of paralegal work experience. • Certification A person may become a Florida registered paralegal by obtaining one of the following certifications: 1) Successful completion of the Paralegal Advanced Competency Exam (PACE certification as offered by the National Federation of Paralegal Associations) and good standing with NFPA; or 2) Successful completion of the Certified Legal Assistant/Certified Paralegal examination (CLA/CP certification as offered by the National Association of Legal Assistants “NALA”) and good standing with NALA. • Grandfathering A person who does not meet the education or certification requirements may become a Florida registered paralegal by providing attestation from an employing or supervising attorney(s) that the person has paralegal work experience for five of the eight years preceding the date of such attestation. This grandfather provision sunsets after three years.The proposed paralegal rule also contains an annual renewal component and an annual fee to be set by the Board of Governors.Those who would be ineligible for becoming a Florida registered paralegal include lawyers who are currently suspended or disbarred or who have resigned in lieu of discipline from the practice of law in any state or jurisdiction; those convicted of a felony whose civil rights have not been restored; those who have been found to have engaged in the unlicensed practice of law; those whose registration or license to practice by a professional organization, court, disciplinary board, or agency in any jurisdiction has been terminated or revoked for disciplinary reasons; those who no longer perform paralegal work; and those who fail to comply with prescribed continuing education requirements.In order to maintain the status of Florida registered paralegal, one must complete a minimum of 30 hours of continuing education every three years, five hours of which must be in legal ethics or professionalism.The recommendation will be reviewed by the Bar’s Rules, Budget, Program Evaluation, and Disciplinary Procedures committees and have a first reading before the Board of Governors at its April 7 meeting in Coral Gables. If ultimately endorsed by the board, the plan would then go to the Supreme Court for final action.“I think lawyers are going to realize the benefits of having this program is that they are going to have better trained paralegals; they are going to be able to identify the better paralegals in the hiring process; and the paralegals that they do have are going to get continuing education that is going to be a benefit to the lawyers and the law firms,” Goodman said.last_img read more