card Merill attorneys Jessica Farrelly and Anthony Mangianello, participants in the Leadership Sarasota 2017 class through the Sarasota Chamber of Commerce, recently conducted the ribbon-cutting at the Roy McBean Boys and Girls Club. Unveiled was a 'rain or shine' play area for the children, benches, and a special reading area for kids at the Boys and Girls Club.
Each year, Leadership Sarasota classes strive to make a positive impact on the greater Sarasota Community through professionals conducting outreach efforts and spearheading special projects.
The event was covered by the Sarasota Observer here.
Last week, on April 28, 2017, several attorneys from Icard Merrill attended a continuing legal eduction event that was put on by the Manatee
and Sarasota Florida Association of Women Lawyers ("FAWL"). The event, attended by Icard Merrill attorneys Jessica Farrelly, Alyssa Nohren, Anthony Manganiello, Jason Lessinger, and John Waskom, was sponsored in part by Icard Merrill (a Silver Sponsor).
The event presented an opportunity for local attorneys to spend the morning with local judiciary, including Chief Judge Williams, Judge Arend, Judge Henderson, Judge Mercurio, Judge Walker, Judge McHugh, Magistrate Bailey, Magistrate Inman, and Magistrate Hunt. Featured were breakout sessions and a general session on professionalism with numerous members of the judiciary as panelists.
Icard Merrill's own Mark Martella
continues his community outreach initiatives in an interesting way by chairing the Charlotte County Homeless Coalition's committee that was in charge of opening a resale store called "Fabulous Finds." Mr. Martella's efforts were noted in this blurb about the store:
The Charlotte County Homeless Coalition is excited to announce the opening of its first re-sale shop, “Fabulous Finds.” Mark Martella, Esq., former President and Board Member Emeritus, serves as Chair of the Earned Income Committee that worked on this project for four years to get the doors opened. The shop features a boutique clothes section as well as furniture, electronics, appliances and other items. All profits go towards the Coalitions mission to prevent hunger and homelessness. It’s located at 4265 Tamiami Trail, Port Charlotte, Florida.
Those in the area are encouraged to see if they can find something "Fabulous" for themselves while benefitting those in need in the Charlotte County community.
There are many who feel that our penal code prisoners are afforded too many luxuries and treatment that often is superior to many hard working families. Those people will likely be none too pleased with the April 29, 2016 decision in Toney v. Corizon Heath, Inc. et al.
The First DCA found in Toney that the failure to provide gluten-free foods and meals to prisoners with dietary concerns could be considered "deliberate indifference to a serious medical need" and, on that basis, allowed a Section 1983 (civil rights violation) claim to move forward both against the facility and the doctors and nurse assigned to that facility.
It is mind-boggling to most regular people to imagine that inmates could be considered to have potentially had their civil rights violated by providing them with a substance that nearly everyone consumed for decades without even realizing it was there or suffering serious issue, but this is another instance where the law struggles to find a common sense end point for personal liberties. In a world where the persons being deprived of their civil liberties as a result and consequence for committing serious crimes against the public at large are entitled to a better quality meal than those working for minimum wage and forming the backbone of the country, sometimes finding a little common sense can seem an insurmountable challenge.
The Guardian Ad Litem program is a well-established effort for helping kids who are neglected and abused. Until recently though, there was no such program for kids caught in high-conflict divorce cases.
Too often, judges struggle to obtain objective information about how the kids are faring in these difficult circumstances.
When launching the new program, judges in the 12th Judicial Circuit (Sarasota) Family Division reached out to Icard-Merrill about helping out. As of this writing, we are proud to announce that almost 25 attorneys have volunteered.
Attorneys who participate in the program will have powers similar to volunteers in the traditional Guardian Ad Litem program. Pursuant to Florida statutes, they will have broad powers to investigate, report and make recommendations to judges concerning the child’s well-being.
The inspiration for the program stems from a similar effort launched in Pinellas County. After seeing the success of the program, Judges Charles E. Williams and Lee E. Haworth decided to give it a try in their district.
Attorneys participating in the program will be required to complete specialized training before taking on any cases. Judges in the family law division will identify cases where they feel require an extra set of eyes and ears to ensure the well-being of kids caught in this difficult situation.
We are eager to help the 12th circuit make this program a success. As family law and divorce attorneys, we’re keenly aware of how bitter arguments over custody and assets can be harmful to any kids involved.
To learn more about the program and our firm’s activities, check out this roundtable discussion that aired on local TV earlier this year.
Michael L. Foreman, an attorney and shareholder at Icard Merrill, was a featured presenter at the 2014 Bench Bar Conference.
The theme of this year’s conference focused on current issues related to civility and professionalism within the legal industry.
Mr. Foreman focuses in probate, estate planning and guardianship law and his discussions as a member of the panel dealt specifically with professionalism and civility within those areas of law.
Mr. Foreman highlighted frequent areas of professional and ethical violations for probate, estate planning, and guardianship attorneys. A unique situation that Mr. Foreman discussed was dual representation in the “second marriage” situation. One of Mr. Foreman’s pieces of advice was to make a “loud exit” by withdrawing if either party attempts ex-parte communication.
When discussing civility in communication with other attorneys, Mr. Foreman’s advice was to “put in writing, sleep on it before you send it, keep the big picture in mind, and use the Golden Rule.”
Read our press release for more information…