Home » News » 20% of property sector companies struggling, says insolvency firm previous next20% of property sector companies struggling, says insolvency firmBrexit, Stamp Duty changes and sales slump taking their tollNigel Lewis19th December 201601,435 Views One in five or 25,669 property sector companies are in financial distress according to research by insolvency specialists Begbies Traynor.The company says 6.6% more property companies are in financial distress than the same time last year and that it believes a third of those facing problems now will not be trading in three years’ time.Begbies Traynor includes residential landlords, sales and letting agents and property management companies in its monitoring, which is is based on a ‘red flag alert’ system that tracks when companies face county court judgements or pay bills late.The company says sales and letting agents have been hit the hardest. The number experiencing financial distress increased by 11% this year and that 25% of agents are currently facing financial problems of one kind or another.Begbie Traynor also says London agents are experiencing more financial problems than those outside the capital.Partner Julie Palmer (pictured) told The Daily Telegraph that the property industry has not only had to deal with the effects of the EU Referendum but also what she called “crippling public policy changes, which have rocked the sector to its foundations”.But the company’s research also reveals that the worst may be over for the property sector. Begbies Taylor says that although year-on-year financial distress has increased, it has eased for many companies since the EU Referendum vote.insvolvency property sector begbies traynor estate agents December 19, 2016Nigel LewisWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles Letting agent fined £11,500 over unlicenced rent-to-rent HMO3rd May 2021 BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021
IS IT TRUE people are getting sick and tired of the political promises and games of our elected and appointed City officials? …back in the Sixties the “Masses Assembled” to voice their grievances against the government? …these protests changed the direction of this Nation for years to come?IS IT TRUE some people feel that the local political environment is becoming ripe for the “Masses to Assemble” to protest in a positive and non-violent way against the wasteful spending habits of our local elected and appointed City officials on fun and games projects? …the wasteful spending habits of the Winnecke Administration has caused economic harm to our hard working and dedicated “First Responders”?IS IT TRUE Illinois is on the verge of becoming America’s first state with a junk credit rating?… The financial mess is the inevitable result of spending more on pensions and services than the state could afford?…to add insult to injury the fools that govern Illinois also covered it up with reckless budget tricks?…we never thought we would see the day that a state would be run so abysmally that they had to cancel the lottery because they are insolvent to the point that they can’t be counted on to pay the winners?…it is hard to believe but the State of Illinois that is famous for putting governors in prison and running a patronage scheme so ripe with corruption that you have to grease someone to get a pothole filled has shut down their lottery?…we wonder if they will be outsourcing the lottery to the mafia to run for the State of Illinois because those guys actually know how to run a numbers racket and the winners actually get paid?IS IT TRUE that having to shut down the lottery is the least of the financial malaise that is happening in Illinois?… Illinois got to this financially treacherous place by ignoring the long-term consequences of short-term decision-making and there doesn’t appear to be any end in sight?…if a budget is not formed and voted on tomorrow it will be three years in a row that these nitwits have not passed a budget?… the budget crisis has crippled social services that survive on state money, hurting everything from mental health services and Meals on Wheels for homebound seniors to domestic violence support centers?…these grandstanding elected officials have literally screwed the State of Illinois up so bad that the leading export of the state is human beings seeking refuge in a more responsible place where their taxes are raised to the point of insanity?…the City of Chicago is the center of all of this usury nonsense and actually charges $7,500 in fees for someone to transfer title on a house purchased?IS IT TRUE that when it comes to public pensions, Illinois is at the forefront of promising the moon and delivering a river rock?… rather than dealing with the problem, Illinois continued to reward the state’s powerful unions with more generous benefits than the taxpayers could ever afford?…the problem festered for so long that Moody’s estimates Illinois has unfunded pension liabilities totaling $251 billion?… put that into context, that’s more than the combined market value of four major Illinois companies: Boeing , Caterpillar, United Continental and Allstate?…it won’t be long before the bond rating of the State of Illinois is downgraded to junk level or worse?…on top of all of this economic malaise, the State of Illinois has $16 Billion of unpaid routine bills and nearly a billion dollars in interest and fees to show for their failure to pay their bills?…one thing we can all be thankful for is that Evanois is not in Illinois?IS IT TRUE that SHOW-ME’S EASTSIDE Is a “FUN PLACE TO ENJOY GREAT FOOD AND DRINK”? …they make the regions best pizza? …they also create 8 different wings that are next to none?IS IT TRUE that today at !0:00 Eastern time the voting for the next IU Alumni Board of Trustee will close? ..if you haven’t voted in this election we urge you to go on line and cast your vote for Evansville own Patrick Shoulders? …Mr. Shoulders has served us well on this most important Board and deserved to be re-elected to another term?IS IT TRUE that our last “Readers Poll” asked the following question: If the election were held today for Democratic party nomination for Mayor of Evansville who would you vote for? ….Councilmen Jonathon Weaver received a disappointing 19 votes? …County Councilmen Mike Goebel received a surprising 211 votes? …newly elected County Commissioner Ben Shoulders lead the pack with an impressive 219 votes? …that 131 of our readers voted for “none of the above”? …that 580 of our readers voted in this non scientific but trendy poll?EDITORS FOOTNOTES: Todays “READERS POLL” question is: Would you join a positive and non-violent protest in support of the City of Evansville Police and Firemen receiving an increase in salaries and healthcare benefits? FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmail If you would like to advertise or submit and article in the CCO please contact us City-County [email protected] .Any comments posted in this column do not represent the views or opinions of our advertisers.
Tickets for the Baking Industry Awards 2009 have almost gone, so make sure you book your place now to avoid disappointment.The 1930s-themed event will take place at the Park Lane Hilton, London on Tuesday 8 September and will be hosted by top comedian Ronnie Corbett. There will also be dancers from BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing, and the evening will include a drinks reception and three-course meal, after which the winners of the awards will be announced.It will be attended by key players from across the industry – so don’t miss this great networking opportunity, as well as the chance to let your hair down!Tickets for the black tie event are £195 + VAT each, or £1,895 + VAT for tables of 10. To book, contact [email protected] or call 01293 846593.
Harvard is many things to many people, which suits outgoing Harvard Alumni Association (HAA) President Ellen Gordon Reeves, A.B. ’83, Ed.M. ’86, just fine. Indeed, her focus over the past year has been getting alumni around the globe to “share their Harvard” and examine the many elements that compose one’s personal Harvard experience — and how that experience is applied after graduation. “It was beyond inspiring,” says Reeves, “to hear how alumni and club leaders all over the world are using their degrees from across the University to combat poverty in their countries, provide educational opportunities, write their constitutions, and boost their local economies.”Reeves’ turn at the HAA helm, which coincided with Harvard’s yearlong 375th anniversary celebration, has been filled with highlights. Last fall, Reeves and HAA Executive Director Jack Reardon, A.B. ’60, led the 375th alumni parade through the streets of Cambridge. She has since joined Harvard Club leaders and other alumni for 375th celebrations and meetings in Washington, New Jersey, and Houston; coming up next are New York and her hometown of Providence, R.I. She has traveled to Warsaw, Cartagena, Colombia, and Paris, and participated in 375th events in Mumbai and New Delhi with Harvard President and Lincoln Professor of History Drew Faust. “If I thought I loved being involved with Harvard before,” says Reeves, an author and teacher, “this year only deepened my attachment and commitment to the HAA and to the University. It’s easy to forget what an extraordinary influence Harvard and its president have on the world until you see it firsthand, far away from home.” (You can read more about Reeves’ year as HAA president on her blog.)Reeves is leaving the HAA in good hands as she prepares to pass the baton to Carl Muller, A.B. ’73, J.D. ’76, M.B.A. ’76, a two-time Harvard parent. Muller, a lawyer in Greenville, S.C., wants to encourage alumni to explore their Harvard “past, present, and future” during his tenure, a goal that seems especially apropos on the heels of Harvard’s 375th birthday. “For our alumni, their years at Harvard were among the best of their lives,” Muller says. “My goal is to stir those memories and honor those whose foresight and devotion over the centuries created this great gift for us and the world.”Muller’s past work with the HAA includes chairing the nominating committee, helping to revise the HAA constitution, and strategic planning as a member of the executive committee. Those efforts, along with Reeves’ initiatives, have propelled the HAA to extraordinary growth as University-wide alumni engagement opportunities increase, in the U.S. and abroad. The success is a testament to strong alumni volunteer leadership and the dedication of Reardon’s HAA team, led by Deputy Executive Director Philip Lovejoy.“I’m so excited for Carl because I’m sure he has no idea just how much fun is in store for him next year,” Reeves says. “Beneath that bow tie and soft-spoken Southern charm lie an incisive legal and literary mind and a terrific sense of humor — complemented by an affinity for great barbecue.”“Ellen is living proof that Einstein was right,” Muller says. “Matter and energy are interchangeable. The energy in Ellen Reeves is mind-boggling. She has done 10 years’ worth of work for Harvard in just one.”
Newly confirmed Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy on Tuesday pledged action on climate change during the Obama administration’s remaining years, saying the concern is as much economic as it is environmental.“Climate change will not be resolved overnight, but it will be engaged over the next three years; that I can promise you,” McCarthy said during her speech at Harvard Law School (HLS).McCarthy, confirmed to head the federal agency on July 19 after a bruising Senate review process, decried what she called a “false choice” between environmental health and economic health presented by those who oppose regulation. She pointed to the U.S. economy’s growth over the decades since landmark environmental regulations were passed in the early 1970s, and held up clean air and brownfield cleanup programs, both administered by the EPA, as examples.“Can we stop talking about environmental regulations killing jobs, please? It’s not a choice between the health of our children and the health of the economy.” — Gina McCarthyBetween 1970 and 2011, air pollution emissions fell 68 percent in this country, even as the gross domestic product rose 212 percent and the population increased 52 percent. In addition, Clean Air Act programs prevented 205,000 premature deaths and 18 million childhood respiratory illnesses between 1970 and 1990, she said. Total private-sector jobs increased 88 percent. Overall, she said, every dollar invested under the Clean Air Act has borne $30 in benefits.“Can we stop talking about environmental regulations killing jobs, please?” McCarthy said. “For too long, we’ve been focused on this false choice. It’s not a choice between the health of our children and the health of the economy.”McCarthy also held up the cleanup of brownfields — polluted urban lots that are often former factory or industrial sites — as another way that government anti-pollution action has benefited the economy. Since 1995, government-sponsored brownfield cleanups have returned 41,500 acres to development, generating 93,000 jobs and leveraging $20.8 billion in economic development, she said. Each dollar spent on the EPA’s brownfield cleanup program, McCarthy said, leads to between $17 and $18 in public and private funds for cleanup and development.“This is how you use federal dollars to advance the public interest. That is what EPA is all about,” McCarthy said. “The EPA is having substantive positive impact on the lives of everyday people all across the United States, and we’re doing so in a way that not only doesn’t slow the economy, but in many ways that spark economic growth.”McCarthy delivered her comments before 300 people gathered at Wasserstein Hall. Dean Martha Minow introduced the talk, billed as McCarthy’s first public policy speech since she was confirmed. The session was hosted by the Law School’s Environmental Law Program.The event had something of a homecoming feel, as McCarthy, who was raised in Boston, was introduced by her daughter, Maggie McCarey. The new EPA chief previously worked as an environmental administrator for several Massachusetts governors, including Mitt Romney, and also served as commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection before moving to the EPA as an assistant administrator in 2009.McCarthy’s confirmation process became a lightning rod for Republican disapproval of the Obama administration’s decision to pursue climate-change action through regulatory rather than legislative means. Under that strategy, the EPA can regulate carbon dioxide as it does other pollutants and move ahead with some actions without approval from Congress.McCarthy was subjected to intense questioning by Republican senators, and was called back to the Senate 70 times over a 136-day confirmation period during which she answered more than 1,000 questions. House Republicans have expressed their own disapproval of the agency’s activities, proposing cutting the EPA budget by a third.“Getting confirmed two weeks ago, it was truly the honor of a lifetime,” McCarthy said. “And that, I think, is a very good thing because I swear it took two lifetimes to get confirmed.”Though much of the spotlight has been on the federal government, McCarthy said that it rarely leads in promulgating regulations. Instead, she said, it embraces effective examples set by an array of state and local governments, nonprofits, universities, businesses, and individuals.In response to a question on the controversial proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada, McCarthy described her role as that of a mediator who tries to get all sides to work out their differences.“It’s not supposed to be easy; it’s supposed to be hard,” she said.McCarthy cited the devastating impact of Superstorm Sandy as an example of how environmental issues are at their core economic ones.“I’m quite sure following Hurricane Sandy, no one looked at that hurricane as an environmental challenge; they looked at it as an economic devastation,” McCarthy said. “Climate change isn’t an environmental issue. It’s a fundamental economic challenge for us. It’s a fundamental challenge internationally, and we need to embrace that challenge.”McCarthy said the agency is committed to working in partnership with diverse groups to clean up the U.S. energy system in a way that not only lowers emissions from climate-changing greenhouse gases, but that also stimulates the economy.“Today, the truth is that we need to embrace cutting carbon pollution as a way to spark business innovation. We need to cut carbon pollution to grow jobs. We need to cut carbon pollution to strengthen the economy,” McCarthy said. “Head-on. That’s how we need to deal with this issue.”EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy Address at HLS Less than two weeks after being confirmed by the Senate as Environmental Protection Agency Administrator, Gina McCarthy delivered an inaugural address at Harvard Law School on Tuesday.
Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window) ALBANY — State University of New York Chancellor Jim Malatras and The New York State Public Employees Federation (PEF) President Wayne Spence have reached an agreement to conduct free, mandatory testing for PEF-represented employees at SUNY state-operated colleges, universities, and hospitals.The agreement follows similar arrangements announced recently with United University Professions (UUP) faculty and professional members, and Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA) employees.“At SUNY, our approach to containing COVID-19 depends on pinpointing any possible positive cases and that is why testing is a central part of our response efforts,” said Malatras. “This important agreement shows that by working together we can control the virus and keep our campuses and programs open and running safely.”New York State Public Employees Federation President Spence said, “From the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, PEF has fought tirelessly to protect our members. This testing agreement between SUNY and PEF will help safeguard the health of state employees as they return to work.” Effective immediately and continuing through December 31, 2020, all state-operated colleges, universities, and hospitals shall conduct testing of Professional, Scientific and Technical Services Unit (PS&T) employees who are required to report in person to campus to conduct some or all of their work obligation. Testing will be free of cost and conducted during regular work hours. Campuses will work with their local PEF council representatives in development of the testing protocol of the PS&T. Testing will be done at the same frequency as with students, faculty, and staff.SUNY currently has the capacity to process 120,000 test samples per week thanks to major testing breakthroughs at SUNY Upstate Medical University. Their now FDA-approved individual saliva test, done in tandem with aggressive pooled surveillance testing, allows colleges to quickly and accurately pinpoint and contain the virus and prevent outbreaks.
Most new housing developments in the booming Atlanta suburbs have city water. But manyhomeowners still rely on a well for their water. And University of Georgia scientists have found that not everyone who hasa well knows how to protect that water supply.”We’re customizing a water quality program for Gwinnett County,” said Lisa Kelley, an Extension Service pollution prevention specialist with the UGA College of Agricultural and EnvironmentalSciences. “We’re working with residents to gather information in a survey andon-site assessments.”With the nationally acclaimed Farm*A*Syst/Home*A*Syst program, UGA scientists are helping homeownersfigure the likelihood their well could become contaminated.”We work in a cooperative effort between the state staff and the county agent whenapproaching the homeowner,” Kelley said.The program helps find current and potential pollution problems. And it finds ways tocorrect them. On-site water sampling reveals any problems in the water source.”This survey is totally voluntary,” said Gwinnett County Extension AgentSteve Brady. “We leave all assessment information with individuals. All we ask themto do, after they get their water analysis back, is to let us know if they did take anycorrective measures. That helps us know the impact of this survey.”Though he does see extremes, Brady said most home or landowners need only minor changesto protect their well.”One well can have a tremendous impact, not only on the particular homeowner’swater quality but with their neighbors, too,” Brady said. “Their water sourcemight be the very same source other people are using nearby.”Though Gwinnett County is mostly suburban, many landowners have horses or cattle. Andmany have large gardens. Kathy Radford has both. She has horses and uses their manure as fertilizer on herthree-acre organic farm.”I learned animals can cause problems near the well because of the manurebuildup,” Radford said. “When it rains, it washes the manure down to the well.And if there is a way of it running into the well, it can cause a contaminationproblem.”Radford made some changes to protect her well. But she’s still concerned aboutpotential contamination. She hopes to build a shelter over her well for better protectionthan the tarp she now uses.”Actually, I may even consider putting in a well in a different location in thefuture,” she said.A mile or two away, Dick Waterworth’s well is newer. But it’s also at risk forcontamination. His yard rises steeply from the well site. Several times last spring,Waterworth applied fertilizer to green up his lawn. But that also increased the risk ofcontaminating his well.A water sample taken from his pressure tank during his assessment will tell him if thefertilizer has found its way into his water supply. For about $30, he can build a concretebarrier around his well to prevent surface runoff water from entering it.”I’ll probably take some action on that,” he said.Yard fertilizer and animal waste are the two main contaminants in Gwinnett County. Butby safely placing the well when it’s drilled, most homeowners can avoid problems withthese and other contaminants.”The one thing I think everyone who participates in the program will gain from itis the chance to look at things they wouldn’t normally consider,” Kelley said.The Farm*A*Syst/Home*A*Syst Program will be on display at FutureScapes Sept. 3 at theGeorgia Experiment Station in Griffin, Ga.FutureScapes features research exhibits from the UGA CAES, Fort Valley State University and Abraham Baldwin AgriculturalCollege. The exhibits focus on landscaping, ornamentals and the environment. The eventbegins at noon, and admission is free.To learn more, see your county Extension Service agent. Or visit the FutureScapes Website at www.griffin.peachnet.edu/agshow.
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Renew Economy:More electricity was produced from renewable energy sources Australia-wide than gas generation for the first time in 2019, as a surge in wind and solar generation also pushes the share of electricity generated from coal to an all-time low.The milestones have been detailed in an early update to the official Australian Energy Statistics published by the federal government on Wednesday, with renewable sources providing a combined 21 per cent of electricity generation in 2019.This saw the combined market share of renewable energy sources, including wind, hydro, solar and bioenergy surpass gas generation for the first time, with gas supplying 20.5 per cent of Australia’s electricity use last year.Both wind and solar generation overtook hydroelectricity in 2019 to become Australia’s largest and second-largest sources of renewable electricity generation, respectively. Wind and solar generation have been the fastest-growing sources of electricity supplies in Australia over the last decade, with coal experiencing a multi-decade decline as older coal generators begin to exit the market.Wind generation supplied 7.4 per cent of Australia’s electricity, compared to 5.4 per cent from hydro. The amount of electricity supplied from solar, from both large and small systems, reached 6.8 per cent in 2019.The share of Australia’s electricity produced by coal fell below 60 per cent in 2019, with black coal generating 43.9 per cent of Australia’s power, and brown coal providing falling to 12.5 per cent. This is down from a historic high of almost 84 per cent achieved in the late 1990s.[Michael Mazengarb]More: Renewables share overtakes gas generation for first time, as coal falls to record low in 2019 Australian renewable energy generation tops gas for first time in 2019, coal falls to record low
The Florida Rules of Workers’ Compensation Committee invites comment on the proposed two-year cycle amendments to the Florida Rules of Workers’ Compensation shown below. After reviewing comments received in response to this publication, the committee will make its final proposal to the Florida Supreme Court. The full text of the proposals can be found at the Bar’s Web site at www.flabar.org. Interested persons have until November 1 to submit comments to Jeffrey Jacobs, committee chair, 5975 Sunset Drive, Suite 801, South Miami 33143-5174.Proposed ethics advisory opinions T he Professional Ethics Committee has issued Proposed Advisory Opinion 02-4 reprinted below. Pursuant to Rule 4(c) and (d) of The Florida Bar Procedures for Ruling on Questions of Ethics, comments from Florida Bar members are solicited on the proposed opinion. The committee will consider any comments received at a meeting to be held at The Florida Bar Midyear Meeting January 14-17, 2004 at the Hyatt Regency in Miami. Comments must contain the proposed advisory opinion number and clearly state the issues for the committee to consider. A written argument may be included explaining why the Florida Bar member believes the committee’s opinion is either correct or incorrect and may contain citations to relevant authorities. Comments should be submitted to Elizabeth Clark Tarbert, Ethics Counsel, The Florida Bar, 651 E. Jefferson Street, Tallahassee 32399-2300, and must be postmarked no later than 30 days from the date of this publication. FLORIDA BAR PROFESSIONAL ETHICS COMMITTEE PROPOSED ADVISORY OPINION 02-4(September 5, 2003)The Professional Ethics Committee and bar ethics staff have received many inquiries involving a lawyer’s duty when the lawyer, in a personal-injury settlement, is in possession of client’s funds against which there are claims being made by third parties. In most, but not all cases, the inquiry involves claims by medical doctors or other providers for payment of outstanding bills for medical treatment or services.It is because of all of the variables mentioned below that the staff is most frequently required to advise an inquiring attorney that they can provide little assistance. Many times the answer involves issues of law that are outside the scope of an ethics opinion. Unfortunately, many times the inquiry involves efforts to resolve an ethical problem that has already arisen and may involve potential ethical violations that have already taken place rather than actions that can be taken to avoid future ethical violations. See, Rule 2, Fla. Proc. For Ruling on Questions of Ethics.For these reasons and reasons given below, it is impossible for the Committee to announce any bright line rule that applies in all situations. Pronouncements by out-of-state committees on ethics provide some guidance but often are case specific to the law applicable in the other states. Even pronouncements by courts of this state cannot be blindly relied upon since they are often case specific in the factual applications, or the opinions lack factual information needed to provide a clear answer for a lawyer faced with a specific problem.Nevertheless, the Committee endeavors in this opinion to provide some guidance to lawyers analyzing the particular factual situation with which they are faced. The listing of factors is not complete. The factors are those most prominent in cases involving problems arising out of the recovery of personal-injury settlements, since that issue most frequently prompts a call to the ethics hotline. Other factors may apply in situations involving a lawyer’s receipt of funds or property under other circumstances (e.g., funds held by an attorney as an escrow agent in a real estate transaction; funds held under a trust).Factors to consider:1. Is there a rule governing the situation?The rule most frequently referenced is Rule 5-1.1, Rules Regulating The Florida Bar (formerly Rule 4-1.15(b)) which reads: (e) Notice of Receipt of Trust Funds; Delivery; Accounting. Upon receiving funds or other property in which a client or third person has an interest, a lawyer shall promptly notify the client or third person. Except as stated in this rule or otherwise permitted by law or by agreement with the client, a lawyer shall promptly deliver to the client or third person any funds or other property that the client or third person is entitled to receive and, upon request by the client or third person, shall promptly render a full accounting regarding such property. It is the opinion of the committee that this section of the comment regarding the applicability of other ethics rules governs a sale between attorneys, and not a sale by a nonlawyer estate. In fact, another section of the comment specifically states:This rule applies, among other situations, to the sale of a law practice by representatives of a lawyer who is deceased, disabled, or has disappeared. It is possible that a nonlawyer, who is not subject to the Rules of Professional Conduct, might be involved in the sale.Nevertheless, the attorney who purchases a practice from an estate is obligated to comply with the specific requirements of the rule such as notice to clients, court approval, and honoring existing fees contracts.In summary, Rule 4-1.17, governing a sale of a practice, read together with Rule 4-5.4(a), permitting an estate to sell a practice, allows the downward adjustment of the practice’s sale price as proposed. Final Advisory Ethics OpinionsThe Professional Ethics Committee has adopted advisory opinions that are now final on the topics below. Notice of the final opinions is provided pursuant to Procedure (g), Procedures for Ruling on Questions of Ethics. The full text of the opinions are available on The Florida Bar website at www.flabar.org.Florida Ethics Opinion 02-1: An attorney may not give a bonus to a nonlawyer employee solely based on the number of hours worked by the employee.Florida Ethics Opinion 02-3: The Professional Ethics Committee discusses various situations involving representation of both driver and passenger(s) in a car accident, determining that whether or not a conflict of interests exists and whether or not a conflict may be waived, must be done on a case-by-case basis.Florida Ethics Opinion 02-5: A lawyer may give a second opinion to a person who is represented by counsel on how the person’s current lawyer is handling the case or give information on the services the lawyer may provide. The lawyer should not solicit the person who is represented.Florida Ethics Opinion 02-6: An attorney representing the seller, who is holding the deposit for a purchase agreement that has not been closed on time by the buyer, may not remit the funds to the seller/client if the buyer has a valid legal claim to the escrow funds and the attorney has a legal duty to protect the funds. The attorney must continue to hold the funds in trust until the dispute is resolved or the attorney may file an interpleader and deposit the funds into the court’s registry. It is unethical under the facts presented for the attorney to require the client to sign an indemnity agreement before releasing funds held by the attorney as a deposit on the purchase of the property.Florida Ethics Opinion 02-7: An attorney hired by an insurance company to defend an insured in an employment discrimination claim must provide a copy of the insured statement of client’s rights only if there is an element of personal injury involved in the claim. The attorney should make similar disclosures to the insured even if there is not an element of personal injury, but may choose the method of disclosure.Proposed civil jury instructions December appointments to be filled The Supreme Court Committee on Standard Jury Instructions in Civil Cases proposes amendments to instruction 1.3 and to the verdict form for Model Charge 1. The changes to instruction 1.3 are shown by underlies and strike-throughs. The proposed verdict form, however, is a substantial revision. Please refer to Florida Standard Jury Instructions In Civil Cases to review the current form. After reviewing the comments received in response to this publication, the committee may submit its proposal to the Florida Supreme Court. Please send all comments to the chair of the committee, Judge Chris Altenbernd, 801 E. Twiggs St. # 600, Tampa 33602-3554. E-mail comments to Judge Altenbernd at [email protected] or fax them to (813)229-6534. Comments must be received by October 15 to ensure that they are considered by the committee. 1.3 DEPOSITION TESTIMONY , AND INTERROGATORIES ,STIPULATED TESTIMONY, STIPULATIONS AND ADMISSIONSa. Deposition or prior testimony: Members of the jury, the sworn testimony of (name) , given before trial, will now be read to you presented . You are to consider and weigh this testimony as though the witness had testified here in person you would any other evidence in the case .b. Interrogatories: Members of the jury, answers to interrogatories will now be read to you. Interrogatories are written questions that have been presented before trial by one party to another. They are answered under oath. You are to consider and weigh these questions and answers as you would any other evidence in the case. c. Stipulated testimony: Members of the jury, the parties have agreed that if (name of witness) were called as a witness, [he] [she] would testify (read or describe the testimony). You are to consider and weigh this testimony as you would any other evidence in the case .d. Stipulations : Members of the jury, the parties have agreed to certain facts. You must accept these facts as true. (Read the agreed facts.) e. Admissions: 1. Applicable to all parties. Members of the jury, (identify the party or parties that have admitted the facts) [has][have] admitted certain facts. You must accept these facts as true. (Read the admissions.) 2. Applicable to less than all parties. Members of the jury, (identify the party or parties that have admitted the facts) ] [has][have] admitted certain facts. You must accept these facts as true in deciding the issues between (identify the affected parties), but these facts should not be used in deciding the issues between (identify the unaffected parties) . (Read the admissions.)NOTE ON USEThe committee recommends that the appropriate explanation be read immediately before a deposition, or an interrogatory and answer , a stipulation, or admission are read in evidence, and that no charge on the subject be repeated at the conclusion of the trial. Revised Model Charge No. 1 Verdict Form VERDICT We, the jury, return the following verdict: 1. Was there negligence on the part of Defendant, RACHEL ROWE, which was a legal cause of damage to Plaintiff, JOHN DOE? ANSWER: YES_______ NO_______ If your answer to question 1 is NO, your verdict is for the Defendant, and you should not proceed further, except to date and sign this verdict form and return it to the courtroom. If your answer to question 1 is YES, please answer question 2. 2. Was there negligence on the part of Plaintiff, JOHN DOE, which was a legal cause of his damage? ANSWER: YES_______ NO_______ If your answer to questions 2 is YES, please answer question 3. If your answer to question 2 is NO, please skip question 3 and answer question 4. 3. State the percentage of negligence which was a legal cause of damage to Plaintiff, JOHN DOE, that you charge to: RACHEL ROWE % JOHN DOE % Total must be 100% In determining the amount of any damages, do not make any reduction because of the negligence, if any, of Plaintiff, JOHN DOE. If you find Plaintiff, JOHN DOE, negligent in any degree, the Court, in entering judgment, will reduce DOE’S total amount of damages (100%) by the percentage of negligence that you find is chargeable DOE. Please answer question 4. A lawyer may have a duty under applicable law to protect such third party claims against wrongful interference by the client and, accordingly, may refuse to surrender the property to the client. However, a lawyer should not unilaterally assume to arbitrate a dispute between the client and the third party, and where appropriate the lawyer should consider the possibility of depositing the property or funds in dispute into the registry of the applicable court so that the matter may be adjudicated. (Emphasis added). October 1, 2003 Notices The comment illustrates that the lawyer cannot unilaterally arbitrate a dispute between the client and the third person. In other words, the lawyer cannot take it upon himself or herself to decide who is entitled to what. Likewise, the lawyer may be prohibited from disbursing the disputed funds to anyone until the dispute is resolved. In such event, the lawyer must, under Rule 5-1.1(e) and (f), notify the client and third person of the receipt of the funds or property, but the lawyer must retain the disputed funds or property in trust until the dispute is resolved. Any undisputed funds must be distributed to the appropriate person. 1The only Florida ethics opinion on the issue of protecting a third person’s interest in the face of the client’s countermanding instructions arose in a personal-injury context. Opinion 67-36 dealt with a situation where the client executed an assignment with a medical provider for payment of unpaid medical bills out of the proceeds of the client’s personal-injury claim. Once the personal-injury case was settled, the client withdrew authority for the lawyer to retain part of the proceeds to pay the medical bills. It does not appear from the opinion whether the client disputed the medical bills or simply instructed the lawyer not to disburse directly to the provider. 2 I n response to the question of what the lawyer ethically was required to do, the Committee stated that the lawyer “should initially endeavor to assist his client and the physician in effecting a compromise.” (Emphasis added.) The Committee further recommended that if that effort failed, the lawyer “should institute an interpleader action in a court of competent jurisdiction naming his client and the physician as defendants.” We believe that the Committee, by suggesting that the lawyer assist his client and the physician in effecting a compromise, did not mean to suggest that the lawyer act as a neutral arbitrator or mediator of the dispute. Likewise, we do not interpret the Committee’s opinion to suggest that an interpleader action was the only alternative to settlement.To resolve the dispute, the lawyer must give honest advice to the client concerning the client’s rights, obligations and risks. The lawyer may act as a negotiator for his client, but not as an arbitrator. If a conflict of interest between the client and lawyer already exists, the lawyer should fully and completely inform the client of the basis of the conflict and suggest that the client seek independent counsel regarding the client’s position. The lawyer should take no action which would be against his client’s interests unless fully confident that under the law such action must be taken, and then the action should be taken only after fully advising the client of the intended action and the basis for the intended action. If possible, the client should be given an opportunity to seek independent legal counsel before any action is taken against the clients interests, such as depositing the funds or property into the court registry to allow the court to decide how the funds or property are to be distributed. In any event, the lawyer at all times must act as an advocate for the client in resolving the dispute. ConclusionWhile the information above may be of marginal assistance to a lawyer already faced with a dispute between the lawyer, the client, and the doctor involved, it is the hope of the Committee that publication of this opinion will provide assistance to lawyers in their future dealings on this difficult issue, and provide a framework whereby lawyers may avoid ethical and legal pitfalls when asked to assist clients in dealing with their difficult economic and medical issues in personal injury cases. 1 I t should be noted that in contingency fee cases no distributions can be made until the client signs the closing statement as required by Rule 4-1.5(f)(5). In the event of a dispute over whether a third person should be paid, the attorney should do a partial closing statement disclosing what undisputed amounts are being distributed and disclosing what is being held in trust pending resolution of the dispute. 2 W hether a particular lien has been perfected or a particular assignment is valid and enforceable is a legal question, beyond the scope of an ethics opinion. See, Rule 2, Florida Bar Procedures for Ruling on Questions of Ethics. Draft Proposed Advisory Opinion at the Request of the Board of GovernorsThe Professional Ethics Committee will consider adopting a proposed advisory opinion on the following issue based on an inquiry from The Florida Bar Board of Governors, at a meeting to be held at The Florida Bar Midyear Meeting January 14-17, 2004 at the Hyatt Regency in Miami, Florida. A draft proposed advisory opinion on this issue is reprinted below. Pursuant to Procedures 4(c) and (d) of The Florida Bar Procedures for Ruling on Questions of Ethics, comments from Florida Bar members are solicited on the issue presented and on the draft proposed advisory opinion. Comments must contain the draft proposed advisory opinion number and clearly state the issues for the committee to consider. A written argument may be included explaining why the Florida Bar member believes the draft is either correct or incorrect and may contain citations to relevant authorities. Comments should be submitted to Elizabeth Clark Tarbert, Ethics Counsel, The Florida Bar, 651 E. Jefferson Street, Tallahassee 32399-2300, and must be postmarked no later than 30 days from the date of this publication. FLORIDA BAR PROFESSIONAL ETHICS COMMITTEE DRAFT PROPOSED ADVISORY OPINION 03-1The committee has been asked to provide guidance regarding an agreement to purchase the practice of a deceased attorney. The purchase price is to be made in installments. The agreement includes a contingent “deficiency reduction” based on the amount of actual collections attributable to the practice purchased. The terms provide for a set purchase price payable in yearly installments. The annual installments may be adjusted and reduced if the firm’s collections are less than an agreed upon amount in future years.The inquirer asks whether the arrangement is ethical in light of the comment to Rule 4-1.17 which states that the division of fees between buyer and seller from matters that arise after the sale must be in compliance with the fee-division provisions of Rule 4-1.5.The inquirer is specifically concerned about the provisions of rule 4-1.5(g) which require a division of fees between lawyers who are not in the same firm to be either in proportion to services performed by each lawyer, or to be pursuant to a written agreement with the client in which each attorney assumes joint responsibility and both the division of fee and basis for the fee division are disclosed. The attorney recognizes that the estate, being a nonlawyer seller of a practice, would not be able to comply with the requirements of this rule.Prior to the adoption of Rule 4-1.17, the sale of a law practice was ethically impermissible. Although an attorney could sell the physical assets of a law office, the firm itself and the intangible asset of “goodwill” could not be sold or purchased. Florida Ethics Opinion 87-6 (withdrawn). In 1992 the Supreme Court of Florida adopted Rule 4-1.17 and amended rule 4-5.4 to authorize the sale of a law practice. The sale of a practice by a lawyer or a law firm is controlled by Rule 4-1.17 while the sale by an estate or a legally authorized representative of a deceased, disabled, or disappeared attorney is sanctioned by Rule 4-5.4.The comment to Rule 4-1.17 states that the seller may be compensated for the reasonable value of the practice. The reasonable value of a practice includes the firm’s goodwill which is the “value assigned to the expectation of future business.” Detroit Bank and Trust Co. v Cooper, 287 N.W.2d 266, 286 (Mich. Ct. App. 1979). In other words, goodwill has been described as “the probability that old customers of a concern will continue their custom and recommend it to others.” O’Hara v. Ahlgren, Blumfeld and Kempster, 537 N.e.2d 730 (Ill. 1989). The committee recognizes that in a sale it may be difficult to determine the value of goodwill and believes that the adjustment of the price of a practice purchased from an estate may be based upon future revenues under the plain language of Rule 4-5.4.Recognition that attorneys’ estates are entitled to different treatment under the rule prohibiting fee sharing with nonlawyers is not without precedent. Even before the amendments to Rule 4-5.4 authorized the sale of a practice by an estate, the rule permitted a law firm to pay a deceased firm member’s estate for the value of legal services performed prior to the death. Additionally, the rule historically allowed an attorney who completed the unfinished legal business of a deceased lawyer to pay a portion of the fee to the estate. Thus, there are historical limited exceptions to the prohibition on sharing fees with nonlawyers to permit the division of fees in a deceased attorney’s estate. Rule 4-5.4 was amended to make the sale of a practice an additional exception.The provision of the rule authorizing the sale of a law practice by an estate should be interpreted to allow the division of fees between the seller estate and a purchasing lawyer from matters that arise subsequent to the sale. The comment to Rule 4-1.17 supports the interpretation that the requirements of Rule 4-1.5(g), regarding dividing a fee between lawyers in different firms, pertains to a sale between lawyers: Lawyers participating in the sale of a law practice are subject to the ethical standards applicable to involving another lawyer in the representation of a client for all matters pending at the time of the sale. These include, for example, the seller’s ethical obligation to exercise competence in identifying a purchaser qualified to assume the practice and the purchaser’s obligation to undertake the representation competently (see rule 4-1.1); the obligation to avoid disqualifying conflicts, and to secure client consent after consultation for those conflicts that can be agreed to (see rule 4-1.7); and the obligation to protect information relating to the representation (see rules 4-1.6, 4-1.8(b), and 4-1.9(b)). If the terms of the sale involve the division between purchaser and seller of fees from matters that arise subsequent to the sale, the fee-division provisions of rule 4-1.5 must be satisfied with respect to such fees. These provisions will not apply to the division of fees from matters pending at the time of sale. [emphasis added] While this rule is somewhat specific to the occasion, other rules may impact the question. Obviously, a lawyer has an obligation to act in the client’s best interests. Likewise, rules governing a lawyer’s obligation when conflicts of interest are anticipated or actually arise may impact a decision in specific cases. Rule 4-1.7. The lawyer’s obligation to keep the client informed of actual or potential problems arising during representation may apply. Rule 4-1.4. In addition, a lawyer has an ethical duty of competence. Rule 4-1.1.2. Under what circumstances have the funds come into the lawyer’s possession?In personal-injury cases, funds paid by defendants are almost always paid to the client and the lawyer jointly. The transaction is seldom completed without accompanying agreements, usually in writing. The settlement agreements are signed by the client before funds are delivered, and, at a minimum, there is an exchange of correspondence leading up to the delivery of funds. These writings must be carefully reviewed since they may create obligations regarding the funds that are binding not only on the client, but also on the lawyer. A lawyer has an ethical duty to abide by his or her own agreements, and may have both an ethical and legal obligation to comply with agreements made by him or her on the client’s behalf and as the client’s agent. A lawyer also has an ethical obligation to advise the client to comply with legally binding agreements the client has made. Additionally, a lawyer has an ethical duty to fully inform a client of the potential effect of signing any agreement reviewed by the lawyer. Finally, a lawyer has an ethical duty not to bind the client to a disadvantageous agreement without consultation and agreement.3. What circumstance forms the basis of a claim against the client’s funds?a. Some claims are based on statutorily created liens over which neither the client nor the lawyer has any direct control. The claim exists whether or not the client consents. Examples of such liens are Medicare or Medicaid liens, Social Security liens, and liens under state hospital lien laws. In representing the client, the lawyer has an obligation to know and apply the law. The lawyer also has an obligation to inform the client of the impact of the law on the client’s potential recovery so the client is fully informed in considering a potential settlement. The lawyer could potentially place the client at grave risk if this type of claim is ignored. The client, and even the lawyer in some cases, may be civilly or criminally liable if such liens are ignored or if there is any concealment or false statement of facts made in connection with enforcement of such liens. A lawyer who knowingly assists a client in unlawfully avoiding such liens is violating his or her ethical obligation to follow and uphold the law.b. Some claims are based on the actions of courts or administrative bodies. These may be court orders directed to the client, or possibly to the lawyer, regarding such funds. The lawyer’s obligations, as well as the client’s, are similar to the situation involving statutory liens with an emphasis on the lawyer’s duty to become fully familiar with the status of the law as applied to the particular client.c. Most other claims are based upon interests created by private contract between the client and others, or between the lawyer and others. Some agreements are based on an agreement of a lawyer as agent of his client. Problems may arise when one party claims a contract exists, while the other party denies all or some of the claimed terms of the purported contract. Obviously the many different factual situations providing a factual basis for these claims make it impossible for any clear ethical guidance to be developed. All of the many factual issues arising in the formation and possible breech of contracts may be involved. To the extent the lawyer acts, or appears to act, as an agent of his client, the many issues in the law of agency arise. Most importantly, from the standpoint of the lawyer, these many factual possibilities greatly raise the problem of actual or apparent conflict of interest between the client and the lawyer. Such conflicts may create ethical problems for the lawyer, particularly if the client is unsophisticated in matters of contract or agency and is relying upon the lawyer to protect the client’s interest in these matters. A lawyer has an ethical duty to urge his client to abide by the client’s lawful contracts, but at the same time has an ethical duty to assist the client, by all legal means, to reject or avoid contracts that are not legally enforceable against the property in the lawyer’s possession. The lawyer has an obligation to avoid conflicts of interest before they arise, and has an ethical obligation regarding the handling of conflicts of interest after they arise, including the obligation to fully inform the client of the basis of such conflict. See, Rule 4-1.7. While the law of contract forms the basis of most claims, allegations have been made based upon fraud or unjust enrichment, and may indirectly involve illegal activities revolving around improper avoidance of government regulations or even improper marketing activities of doctors or lawyers. Thus, again no bright line guidance can be given by this committee.4. “Letters of Protection”There is no clear legal definition of a “letter of protection”. The term means different things to different medical providers, to different lawyers, and to different clients. The term is applied loosely to include assignments, a term which itself has many definitions. The documents involved often refer to liens although there is rarely any statutory or judicial basis for the use of such term, and there is almost always a lack of any information as to how such claimed liens can be perfected or enforced except through litigation. The term, as used in this section, involves any agreement (oral or written) under which a person claims the right to a client’s funds held by a lawyer. It does not include any claim based on statutory, administrative or judicial action. It basically involves a claim based on contract. Several crucial issues dominate discussions of the ethical and legal rights and duties of lawyers and clients when problems arise under such agreements.a. To what extent is the lawyer a party to the agreement? Obviously, a lawyer has an ethical duty to comply with his or her own lawful contracts freely entered into, absent some lawful defense. The lawyer, of course, may be a direct party to the agreement. The lawyer may be a party as the agent of his client, disclosed or undisclosed, apparent or actual, limited or general.b. If only the client is a party to the agreement, the lawyer must consider the terms of the agreement, whether the agreement is enforceable, and whether the client wants to contest the agreement.c. Is a conflict of interest involved because both the client and the lawyer (directly or as a claimed agent) are claimed to be parties to the agreement. A lawyer has numerous ethical obligations in situations involving actual or potential conflicts of interest. Complete and full disclosure of potential and actual conflicts of interest is required. It is unethical for a lawyer to avoid a conflict by taking action adverse to the client’s interest. The lawyer’s only option may be to withdraw from representation. See Rule 4-1.16.d. What can a lawyer do to resolve a dispute between the client and a medical provider? The comment to Rule 5-1.2 is instructive: October 1, 2003 Regular News The Board of Governors is seeking applicants for the following vacancies to be filled during its December 5 meeting: Greater Orlando Area Legal Services, Inc., Board of Governors: One attorney to serve a two-year term on this 11-member board which sets policy and manages the affairs of GOALS. Florida Rural Legal Services, Inc., Board of Directors: One attorney to serve a three-year term on its 19-member board of directors. Other appointments are made by the ACLU, NAACP, several housing authorities, and various other small groups. The main purpose of Florida Rural Legal Services is to help migrant farm workers and the rural poor in civil (not criminal) cases. Florida Realtor-Attorney Joint Committee: Five attorneys, one from each state appellate district, for two-year terms. The Florida Bar president receives the recommendations of the Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section for consideration. The committee is composed of 10 lawyers appointed by TFB and 10 realtors appointed by the Florida Association of Realtors. The committee promotes cordial relations between realtors and attorneys. 11th Circuit Judicial Conference: One delegate to represent the Middle District of Florida for a four-year term. The biennial conference consists of educational opportunities and meetings (by state) on matters of mutual concern. The Bar’s three delegates contribute to planning and organizing a reception during the conference.All terms for the foregoing appointments are set to commence January 1, 2004.Persons interested in applying for any of these vacancies may download the Special Appointment application from the Bar’s Web site, www.flabar.org, or call Bar headquarters at (850) 561-5757, to obtain an application form. Completed applications must be submitted to the Executive Director, The Florida Bar, 651 E. Jefferson Street, Tallahassee 32399-2300 no later than close of business November 7. Resumes will not be accepted in lieu of an application.Proposed Rules of Workers’ Comp 4. What is the amount of any damages sustained by Plaintiff, JOHN DOE, for medical expenses in the past? $_______ Please answer question 5. 5. What is the amount of damages sustained by Plaintiff, JOHN DOE, for lost earnings or earning ability in the past? $_______ Please answer question 6. 6. What is the present value of any damages for medical expenses to be sustained by Plaintiff, JOHN DOE, in future years? $_______ Please answer question 7. 7. What is the present value of any damages for lost earning ability to be sustained by Plaintiff, JOHN DOE, in future years? $______ Please answer question 8. 8. Did Plaintiff, JOHN DOE, sustain a permanent injury, within a reasonable degree of medical probability? ANSWER: YES_______ NO_______ If your answer to question 8 in NO, you should not proceed further except to date and sign this verdict form and return it to the courtroom. If your answer to question 8 is yes, please answer question 9. 9. What is the total amount of any damages of Plaintiff, JOHN DOE, for pain and suffering, disability or physical impairment, disfigurement, mental anguish, inconvenience or loss of capacity for the enjoyment of life, a. in the past? $_______ b. in the future $_______ SO SAY WE ALL, this day of , 2 . ________________________ FOREPERSON
(WBNG) — New York has added three more states to its official quarantine list. The new states are Illinois, Kentucky and Minnesota. Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico were also added to the list. Quarantine applies to any state with a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents or a state with a 10 percent or higher positivity rate over a seven-day-rolling average. Anyone traveling from these areas must quarantine for two weeks. Full list: AlabamaAlaskaArizonaArkansasCaliforniaDelawareDistrict of ColombiaFloridaGeorgiaIdahoIllinoisIndianaIowaKansasKentuckyLouisianaMarylandMinnesotaMississippiMissouriMontanaNebraskaNevadaNew MexicoNorth CarolinaNorth DakotaOhioOklahomaPuerto RicoSouth CarolinaTennesseeTexasUtahVirginiaWashingtonWisconsin