Taylor VorthermsSports Editor at The Ellsworth AmericanTaylor Vortherms covers sports in Hancock County. The St. Louis, Missouri native recently graduated from the Missouri School of Journalism and joined The Ellsworth American in 2013. Bio EHS names new boys’ soccer coach – July 13, 2016 Latest Posts Part 2: When the injury is inside your head, some “don’t get it” – July 26, 2016 Latest posts by Taylor Vortherms (see all) ELLSWORTH — Alan Toothaker is living his dream — a dream likely shared among tennis players across the country and maybe, after this winter, some snow-loathing Maine residents.Later this month, the 54-year-old veterinarian will travel to balmy Indian Wells, Calif., with his two teammates, Ben Beverly and Phid Lawless, to compete on the same courts as the professionals in the United States Tennis Association’s tri-level national championships.And while the three players will not be slamming down aces against Roger Federer, they’ll get to watch the Swiss pro compete in the BNP Paribas Open, which will take place each day before their own USTA matches from March 20-22.“Roger Federer could be playing on a court, and we might be scheduled to go on right after him,” said Toothaker, who also is the team’s captain. “I think anyone playing USTA tennis would tell you that’s the goal — to get to nationals.”This is placeholder textThis is placeholder textThe tournament merges the worlds of amateur players with the pros. They are even united on a 10-point spectrum from ratings of 2.5 to 7.0 — novice to world-class professional. Toothaker’s team falls somewhere in the middle at 4.0.The trio, which rotates as a doubles team, advanced to the national stage by notching both state and New England titles in the 4.0 age 18+ division. At the tri-level, Toothaker, Beverly and Lawless will compete as a unit along with New England’s 3.5 and 4.5-rated champions. The three teams, which have never met each other, will represent the region — one of 17 in the country.Toothaker has never before made it to nationals, but in a sport where success is measured in the quantity of T-shirts won, his dresser drawers are filled to the brim.“It’s all about the T-shirts,” Toothaker said. “Because that’s basically what you end up winning: more and more shirts.”But the root of Toothaker’s love for the sport stretches beyond his enthusiasm for cotton tees. The Ellsworth native grew up playing tennis with his father on the only court once available in town: a private facility owned by a late tennis aficionado, Roger Willey.Toothaker shifted to the Ellsworth Tennis Center (ETC) in 2001 once Susan Scherbel’s recreational complex — four indoor and two outdoor courts — was built off of Downeast Highway. Since then, Toothaker, Beverly and Lawless have been practicing there together every Monday night.“It’s the nicest tennis center in the state,” Toothaker said. “And we get the advantage of using it.”Alan Toothaker returns the ball backhand in a match at the Ellsworth Tennis Center in a Monday night practice.The tennis gene didn’t skip a generation with the Toothakers. His two sons — now adults — also frequent ETC and accompany their dad every summer to New York to watch the U.S. Open — a family tradition dating back to their childhood.“The first year I took my kids, they spent the entire time chasing down Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer,” Toothaker said. “They have autographed tennis balls galore.”Toothaker, owner of Ellsworth’s Small Animal Clinic, has never experienced a demand for his signature on any Wilson-branded balls. But he didn’t miss an opportunity to play the role of a celebrity athlete when Beverly walked into the ETC lobby before Monday night’s practice.“Ben, come over and get your interview in,” Toothaker called out to the Ellsworth carpenter. “It’s time to be a star.”At 35 years old, Beverly is nearly half the age of 65-year-old teammate and veteran player Lawless, who lives in Sullivan and owns a concrete planter-manufacturing business called Lunaform.Their ages don’t seem to concern Toothaker, even in a division shared with opponents not yet legally old enough to drink alcohol.“If they’ve been playing at all, they know looks are deceiving,” Toothaker said of his much younger competitors.At the USTA New England championships held centrally in Springfield, Mass., the three men beat a team of two 18-year-olds and a 19-year-old from Connecticut in the 4.0 finals for the regional title.“If you can play smarter, you can usually outfox them,” Toothaker said.“That’s what we definitely have to hope for,” he added in a serious tone before breaking into laughter.In just more than two weeks, Toothaker’s team will step into one of the world’s largest tennis stadiums and perform in front of tens of thousands of spectators. And whether those fans will be there to see Federer or Hancock Country’s own tennis trio won’t really matter to Toothaker under the Palm Springs sun.“We’ll basically get treated like the pros,” Toothaker said. “That’s the cool thing about going to nationals: They send you somewhere nice, treat you really well…“Plus, you get way better T-shirts.” Part 1: Invisible, incapacitating concussions are sidelining high school athletes – July 19, 2016
Today’s post is a book review by Professor Peter Reilly (Texas A&M University School of Law and author of several FCPA articles) of my book “The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act In A New Era.” The review originally appeared in a recent volume of International Trade Law and Regulation.*****The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in a New Era, by law professor Mike Koehler, provides a fascinating and thorough analysis of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”). But the book does far more than that; this volume attempts to educate readers in such a manner that they understand not only the motivation and thought processes behind the initial passage of the Act, but also the ongoing policy debates surrounding this important and controversial piece of legislation.While some books on the FCPA appear to target a particular audience, such as academics for example, this volume will prove useful to anyone, in whatever field, who wants to thoroughly understand the past, present, and future of the FCPA, whether that person is engaged in business, law, government, academia, public policy, or any other pursuit or profession.Professor Koehler’s insightful presentation and analysis of material on the FCPA likely comes from his unique background in the field. Prior to academia, Koehler was an FCPA attorney in private practice where he advised clients on FCPA compliance matters, conducted FCPA investigations around the globe, and negotiated resolutions to FCPA enforcement actions with government agencies including the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Professor Koehler explains how his work in private practice led to an intense interest in “asking the why questions” regarding the FCPA and “injecting a candid and informed scholarly voice into the issues.”This, in turn, led to a career in academia with a near-singular focus on mastering the complex and fascinating topics surrounding the FCPA and other anti-corruption laws and initiatives. In this capacity, Koehler has testified before the U.S. Congress on the FCPA, published articles on the topic in leading law reviews and journals, been cited in legal briefs, judicial decisions, policy papers, and Congressional testimony, and been a featured source in various national and international media. In short, Professor Koehler has become one of the most knowledgeable and influential thinkers in the field, both domestically and internationally, and this volume represents the fruit of a number of years of thoughtful research, writing, and teaching on the subject.The depth and breadth of material covered in the book is ambitious, including the FCPA’s legislative history; enforcement agency policies and practices, including various alternative dispute resolution vehicles commonly used by enforcement agencies; FCPA legal authority, as well as administrative and other sources of guidance concerning the law; the FCPA’s anti-bribery provisions, as well as its books and records and internal controls provisions; reasons for the increase in FCPA enforcement during the past decade; compliance and best practices information; and suggested FCPA reform measures.At the beginning of the book, Professor Koehler sets forth numerous questions, many of which could take an entire law review article to answer. These questions include: (1) Who decides what bribery is? (2) Are business organizations that are subject to FCPA scrutiny ‘bad’ or ‘unethical’? (3) Is it still ‘bribery’ if the conduct in question was supported by the highest levels of the U.S. government? (4) If bribery is ‘bad,’ does that mean that all attempts to punish bribery and deter future misconduct are ‘good’? (5) Why has FCPA enforcement increased to the point that it is now a top legal and compliance concern for companies doing business in the global marketplace? (6) Has the quantity of FCPA enforcement actions become a higher priority for enforcement agencies than the quality of those actions? (7) Why does FCPA compliance remain difficult for even the most well-managed and well-intentioned companies? (8) Has this ‘new era’ of FCPA enforcement actually resulted in wasteful over compliance, with companies viewing every foreign business partner with irrational suspicion? (9) Is this ‘new era’ of FCPA enforcement—along with the ‘thriving and lucrative anti-bribery complex’ that has emerged simultaneously—desirable from a legal or policy perspective? (10) Has this ‘new era’ of FCPA enforcement been successful in actually reducing bribery? And if not, could the FCPA be amended, or could certain enforcement agency policies and procedures be revised, in order to better achieve the original aims of the FCPA?The book addresses the issues surrounding these questions at a surprisingly detailed and in-depth level, especially with respect to those questions requiring answers that are more subtle and complex in nature. The fact is there can be strong disagreement regarding the answers to many of these questions. One of the more interesting aspects of studying the FCPA is to consider how much a person’s political or economic interests can influence his or her reasoning in answering the various questions posed by Koehler. The key is that Professor Koehler, ever the law school teacher who is more fond of questioning, probing, and analyzing an issue than of trying to force feed his own conclusions in the matter, concentrates on building knowledge and skill-level within readers so they themselves can successfully grapple with the questions presented in the book, as well as their own questions involving the FCPA.Specifically, Professor Koehler relies on numerous vehicles and texts to build what he calls “FCPA goggles” for readers, enabling them to understand the FCPA to the extent necessary to make their own assessments of the strengths and weaknesses of the law, and to be able to pinpoint areas where the FCPA might be changed for improvement. Readers are introduced to the FCPA’s statutory text, legislative history, judicial decisions, enforcement agency guidance, and various enforcement actions. Koehler believes that analyzing these various authorities, and figuring out their impact upon how the FCPA is understood and enforced, are key aspects of providing readers with the knowledge they need to continue their own questioning, probing, and analyzing of this controversial law. As Professor Koehler says to the reader, “[W]ith your FCPA goggles you now have a sharper focus to critically analyze various aspects of this new era, including whether the current FCPA and its enforcement best advance the laudable objectives of the FCPA.”It is these ‘FCPA goggles’ that allow readers to judge the two suggestions for reform put forth by Professor Koehler toward the end of the volume: a compliance defense, as well as the abolition of Non-Prosecution and Deferred Prosecution Agreements (NPAs and DPAs) within the context of FCPA enforcement. I will leave it to readers of the book to determine for themselves, through their own ‘FCPA goggles,’ whether Koehler has made a strong case for either suggested reform measure. I will say, however, that Professor Koehler seems to be aware that he has well-equipped readers to subject his ideas to deep and knowledgeable scrutiny based upon what he has taught them to that point in the book. With that in mind, Koehler has to carefully explain why, for example, a compliance defense is neither a new nor novel idea; how in some respects the Department of Justice already recognizes a ‘de facto’ compliance defense; how numerous former high-ranking government officials support such a defense; and which important policy objectives would be advanced through an FCPA compliance defense. Koehler builds and bolsters his argument by relying upon various testimony and legal and policy authority. It almost feels like an academic ‘capstone’ exercise for the book, where the Professor puts forth his arguments and then turns to the reader/student and asks, “Have I done what I set out to do in this project? Are you now able to thoroughly question, analyze, and criticize my arguments based upon what you have learned through this book?”The answer is unequivocally yes; and the contribution this new volume makes to the field is unequivocally substantial.*****For additional reviews of the book, see here.To order a hard copy of the book, see here and here; to order an e-copy of the book, see here and here.