August 15, 2004 News & Notes News and Notes John D. VonLangen of Akerman Senterfitt in Orlando has been elected to the board of directors of the Alzheimer Resource Center, Inc., a Florida nonprofit corporation. Dennis J. Wall of Orlando spoke about Florida statutes and insurance claims to client administrators in Philadelphia. Jorge L. Hernandez-Toraño of Holland & Knight has been named chair of the Miami Business Forum, an organization of civic and corporate leaders dedicated to promoting social welfare and enhancing civic life in Miami Dade County. Daniel H. Coultoff of Gronek & Lathem in Orlando has been honored with the Community Relations Award from the Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando. Paul Turk of Gunster Yoakley in West Palm Beach recently received the 2004 Outstanding Alumni Representative Award from the Stetson University College of Law Stetson Lawyers Association. Gary Dunkel of Greenberg Traurig in West Palm Beach has been elected to a three-year term on the board of directors of the Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County. Aaron R. Resnick of Gunster Yoakley & Stewart in Miami has been elected to the board of directors of the Dade County Bar Association Young Lawyers Section. Michael R. Goldstein, of Akerman Senterfitt in Miami spoke at the annual meeting of the Association of Florida Local Environmental Resource Agencies in Miami. Stephen G. Manning of Akerman Senterfitt in Jacksonville has been elected president of the UK Alumni Club of the University of Kentucky Alumni Association. Seth R. Nelson of Wetherington, Hamilton & Harrison, P.A. in Tampa has been appointed by Mayor Pam Iorio, and confirmed by the Tampa City Council as an alternate member of the Variance Review Board. Melanie Ann Hines of Berger Singerman spoke about corporate governance guidelines in the post-Enron era at a Florida Society of Association Executives conference at the Marco Island Marriott Resort. Joseph G. Jarret, Polk County attorney, recently presented, “The Law of Pretrial Release,” on behalf of the Florida Association of Pretrial Professionals, “Limiting Employment Liability,” on behalf of the Florida Association of County Attorneys, and “Controlling the Costs of Litigation,” on behalf the Public Risk Management Association. Merrick L. Gross of Akerman Senterfitt in Miami has been elected vice president of the Dade County Bar Association for the 2004-2005 term. Gross was also recently reappointed as chair of the DCBA’s Federal Courts Committee. Bill Simonitsch of Kirkpatrick & Lockhart in Miami has been appointed director of legal affairs for the Asian-American Federation of Florida, Inc. Michael D. Joblove of Miami’s Genovese Joblove & Battista, P.A., spoke at the International Franchisee Association Legal Forum in Washington, D.C. He gave a speech titled “Defining and Protecting Territorial Rights in Franchise Systems.” Betsy Ellwangger Gallagher and Christopher Hopkins of Cole Scott & Kissane, P.A., have recently been appointed to the editorial board of the Trial Advocate Quarterly. Michael J. McGirney of Marshall, Dennehey, Warner, Coleman & Goggin in Tampa recently spoke at an American Arbitration Association seminar in Orlando on “ Ethical Dilemmas for Mediators. ” McGirney also spoke at two seminars in Miami; “The Perils of Practicing Law on the Internet” and “Liability Insurance for Lawyers.” Heidi A. Schulz of Astigarraga Davis in Miami has been named a member-at-large on the board of directors of the Duke Club of South Florida. Richard Garland of Sarasota recently received the Judge John M. Scheb American Inn of Court’s First Annual Professionalism Award. John D. Eaton of Steel Hector & Davis in Miami has been elected to the board of directors of the Bankruptcy Bar Association for the Southern District of Florida. John Elliott Leighton of Miami’s Leesfield, Leighton, Rubio, Mahfood & Boyers spoke on “Apportionment of Fault” at the Association of Trial Lawyers of America, Premises Liability: Inadequate Security Cases Teleseminar. He was also appointed as vice chair of ATLA Press Advisory Board Committee. Frederick W. Leonhardt of GrayRobinson in Orlando was appointed to a two-year term as board chair of the Central Florida Chapter of the Boy Scouts of America. David J. Lillesand of Miami was the keynote speaker at the 10th Annual Douglas Gardens’ Seminar on Ministering to the Elderly titled “Navigating the Maze and Finding Solutions: Medicare, Medicaid, and More.” Michael J. Snure of Winter Park was elected president-elect of the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers at its 17th annual meeting in St. Augustine. Jonathan T. Levy of Port St. Lucie chaired the Third Annual Silver Cup Golf Tournament for Seagull Industries for the Disabled, Inc. William G. Schlotthauer of Williams, Parker, Harrison, Dietz & Getzen in Sarasota has been named chair of the Sarasota County Junior Achievement board of directors. Michael T. Moore of Coral Gables has been appointed general counsel and corporate secretary to the International SeaKeeper’s Society. Marc John Randazza of Weston, Garrou & Dewitt in Altamonte Springs has authored an article entitled “The Other Election Controversy of Y2K: Core First Amendment Values and High Tech Political Coalitions,” published in the Washington University Law Quarterly. Christopher M. Shulman of Tampa has recently been appointed co-chair of the Hillsborough County Bar’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee. John W. Salmon and Robert A. Dulberg of Miami participated in “A Symposium on Issues Affecting the Professional Mediator” in New Orleans. Kathy Tignor of Adams, Coogler, Watson, Merkel, Barry & Kellner, P.A. in West Palm Beach has been selected chair of the 2005 Komen South Florida Race for the Cure. The community-wide event raises funds dedicated to local organizations to aid in the prevention of breast cancer. Roy L. Glass of St. Petersburg was the introductory speaker at the 20th National Forum on Client Protection in association with the ABA’s National Conference on Professional Responsibility in Naples. Michael A. Haggard of Haggard, Parks, Haggard & Bologna, P.A. in Coral Gables was re-elected to serve on the Executive Committee of the Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers and received the “Silver Eagle” award for his continued service to the academy at a conference in West Palm Beach. Summer L. McDonald of Hackley & Serrone in Weston has been named to the Unlicensed Practice of Law Committee for the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Ramon A. Abadin of Miami accepted the GRACIAS award on behalf of the Cuban American Bar Association. The award, presented by the Hispanic Bar Association of Broward County, is given to acknowledge individuals who have made significant contributions to the advancement of Hispanics in the legal system. August 15, 2004 News and Notes
Animal law in the classroom March 1, 2005 Jan Pudlow Senior Editor Regular News Animal law in the classroom Senior Editor Standing at the blackboard at Florida State University College of Law, Cindy McNeely teaches class holding a toy poodle in the crook of her arm.This isn’t just any dog. This isn’t just any class. And this isn’t just any teacher.The dog’s name is Hemi. Though his back legs are paralyzed from being hit by a car, and he has to wear a diaper, his eyes are alert and bright. If dogs can smile, Hemi is beaming.The class is Animal Law, where nine students are engrossed in a discussion about what rights, if any, animals have, and what their worth is to their human owners beyond market value as property.The teacher is adjunct professor McNeely — 1997-98 editor of the FSU Law Review, former clerk for First DCA Judge Marguerite Davis. Now practicing in a variety of legal areas with her husband Rob McNeely, she’s a mother, vegetarian, and animal lover on a mission to build a no-kill animal sanctuary.Student David Organes offers: “The more you contribute, the more rights you have, the more the law cares about you.”“How do you define contribution?” McNeely asks.“It’s usually defined by economics, and pets supposedly can’t give us anything,” Organes says. But he is quick to add that after reading one of the textbooks, Dog Law, he sees how companion animals really do give their owners a lot.McNeely tosses out: “Are animals like an old pair of slippers, that we can just discard?”That’s why McNeely had tucked Hemi into a ventilated bag and smuggled him into her classroom, where he scrambled around the floor propelled only by front paws, until he was picked up by a few students who cuddled him and fluffed his curly topknot.“I brought Hemi in to give the students a look at one of the animals that would have been killed in a regular shelter, or by most people, because he’s ‘damaged,’” McNeely said. “As I think all of us can see, Hemi is nonetheless a happy, content, not-suffering animal. He deserves a chance to live out his life.”For McNeely, the issue is beyond academic. She is on a spiritual mission to create a no-kill animal sanctuary in the Tallahassee area, because it breaks her heart that too many adoptable animals are routinely killed at the city’s shelter.“To manage animal populations through ‘putting them down’ just because it’s easier on the humans to get rid of them, and more cost efficient—that’s not euthanasia.,” McNeely said. “That’s killing.”Because of a series of fateful events, she is well on her way. It began in 2002, with a heart-wrenching, award-winning expose by the Tallahassee Democrat newspaper on the Tallahassee-Leon Community Animal Service Center, complete with graphic photos of piles of animals killed at the shelter. & #x201c;I’m the first person in my family to go to college, let alone law school. I had always been of the mind that if there is something that needs to be done, fix it. Don’t whine about it. Don’t complain. Educate yourself. Don’t leave it to others.”Already, McNeely had known about a no-kill animal sanctuary in Utah called Best Friends, an inspirational prototype.Disturbed over the sad state of affairs at the local animal shelter, late at night, with the kids in bed, McNeely was alone with her thoughts: “I am fortunate enough to be out of law school now, and I have some money coming in. I am going to write a letter to the editor offering to pay to send one shelter employee to the Best Friends conference held in Atlanta.”That letter prompted a like-minded soul, Barb Law, to e-mail McNeely, offering to do the same thing. Eventually, the two women decided not to try to transform the shelter’s philosophy, but to do something themselves.Law holds two full-time jobs as aquatics director of the Tallahassee Parks and Recreation Department, as well as a paramedic in Franklin County.“Barb does lots of rescuing, people and animals. Sometimes, she’ll have someone in the ambulance, and there will be an emaciated dog on the side of the road, and she’ll stop and get the dog,” she says with a grin.This pair of can-do women decided to create Extended Circle Animal Haven.Currently, they have a small three-acre sanctuary for 25 dogs and 20 cats south of Tallahassee. But a group of wealthy entrepreneurs—one whose son is dedicated to animal rescue efforts—heard of the effort and has purchased 2,700 acres west of town.“They are going to build our sanctuary on the property, and they are going to build environmentally sensitive green houses,” McNeely said, sitting in her law office, petting a black cat she calls “the office greeter.”“The development will be themed for companion animal people to all live together in harmony. And the sanctuary will be off on one part of the property. We’re so excited about it. I can’t begin to tell you.”Another volunteer the group has attracted is Kurt Moore, director of corporate research and development at FSU. He is helping Extended Circle create what he calls “an integrated fund-raising program,” which includes getting people to leave money in their wills.“One thing I can say about Cindy and Rob, as a professional fund-raiser, is that they are very organized. By being organized and smart and not trying to reinvent the wheel, they have come a long way in a short amount of time.”As McNeely says: “Lawyers can make things happen.”What she hopes to make happen in her Animal Law class is exposing students to an emerging area of substantive law.“There are definitely people who don’t take this that seriously,” McNeely said. “But you know what? When I was in law school, a lot of people pooh-poohed the women in law classes, like it wasn’t a real class.”It was FSU College of Law Associate Professor Phil Southerland who lured McNeely into co-teaching the first Animal Law class the 2004 spring semester. He remembered McNeely as a smart law student, had read about her efforts to establish the no-kill shelter, and thought she would be the ideal person to involve in a course he had long wanted FSU to embrace as part of its curriculum.“I had not done it, because I feel so passionately about animals and the environment and the way we treat those things,” Southerland said. “I thought I was too biased. I guess I read too much Dr. Doolittle when I was growing up. I think animals communicate and deserve the same treatment you would give human beings. I kept putting it off, but I got the bug last spring. Too many good schools have the course — at least 20, including Harvard. It’s definitely respectable.”McNeely believes so much in educating students about animal law that despite a budget crunch, she agreed to teach pro bono.After class ended, Organes, the second-year student who was very engaged in discussions, sat in a lounge. He said he signed up for McNeely’s class because “it was an opportunity to take a course that you aren’t exposed to every day.”Describing himself as “an animal lover, but not a bleeding heart animal lover,” he admits he is “too much of a carnivore” to give up eating meat. When he is a lawyer, he said he hopes to practice civil rights law. As long as there are still people suffering, he said, he will worry more about their human rights than animal rights.But he’s glad to take the class that has him thinking in new ways.And the lawyer who teaches with a dog nestled in the crook of her arm says with conviction: “You can look historically at whatever source you want to site—the Bible or different treatises written by learned scholars—who justify human rights. A lot of that applies to animals, too. It’s just a matter of whether we will be selfless enough to recognize and extend the rights to the animals. That’s the real question.” For more information on McNeely’s no-kill animal shelter project, go to www.extendedcircle.org.
Djibouti Ports and Free Zones Authority (DFPZA) stood up against DP World’s claims that the opening of the Chinese-built Djibouti International Free Trade Zone (DIFTZ) was against the port operator’s exclusive contractual rights.The duo has embroiled in a dispute over concession agreement for the Doraleh Container Terminal (DTC) since February this year after Djibouti terminated DP World’s concession contract for the operation of the terminal.The first phase of the 240-hectare trade zone was opened earlier this month and once fully operational it will become Africa’s biggest free trade zone hosting dozens of companies.DP World insists that with the opening the Djibouti Government is “violating its contractual obligations and the rights of foreign investors.” On the other hand, DFPZA insists that the free trade zone is fully in line with international laws and standards and that it does not violate DP World’s contractual rights in any way. “DPFZA deeply regrets the repeated, misleading comments from DP World. DP World seems to be engaged in a sustained but futile campaign to misrepresent the facts. DP World’s stubborn behaviour and attitude towards Djibouti, including its attempt at rent-seeking in regard to the operation of DCT, has had no place on the African continent since the end of colonization,” Aboubaker Omar Hadi, Chairman of DPFZA, said.“It should be recalled that DP World did not exist outside of Dubai before its agreement with Djibouti in 2000, which was its first deal outside of its home territory. Dubai Ports International was only created at that time, whereas Djibouti has been managing ports for many years due to its highly strategic location and long history as a maritime nation.”“Djibouti remains committed to undertaking fair business partnerships with companies from around the world. The recent opening of the DIFTZ shows Djibouti is becoming a leading investment destination in Africa and for Africa,” DPFZA statement reads.