Winter deer

first_imgLife with deer in the winter time; always on the alert for danger! (Jim Knox)Keeping a bond between siblings! (Jim Knox)Trying to get the best to eat! (Jim Knox)Deer are always on the move! (Jim Knox)Mourning Dove while visiting my parents in East Wilton. (Gary Bickford)I found this image in a pile of snow at the edge of the parking area at the Fitness Center in Farmington. When the light is right and the snow is right, there is usually a picture somewhere. (Elizabeth (Stu) Mehlin/New Sharon)Feathery branches of new fallen snow. (Jane Knox)Gentle quiet. (Joe Hall/Farmington)Relax and enjoy the fresh new snow. (Joe Hall/Farmington)Hey, can you keep a secret (Joe Hall/Farmington)Snowy road on Orr’s Island. (Jane Knox)New fallen snow. (Jane Knox)A slumbering village on New Meadows River. (Jane Knox)last_img read more

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Zero Announces Three-Night Oregon Run

first_imgPsychedelic rock outfit Zero has announced plans to reunite this July for a three-night run of shows in Oregon.The quartet—comprised of founding members Steve Kimock (guitar) and Greg Anton (drums), along with special guests Melvin Seals (keyboards/organ) and Pete Sears (bass)—will offer up a two-night run at Applegate, OR’s Applegate River Lodge on Wednesday and Thursday, July 10th and 11th, followed by an appearance at the Oregon Country Fair on Saturday, July 13th.The show announcement notes that fans can expect special guests throughout the run.In 1984, Kimock and Anton founded Zero alongside guitarist John Cipollina, formerly of Quicksilver Messenger Service. Following the addition of vocalist Judge Murphy, the quartet went on to release Chance In A Million in 1994, which included songs written by longtime Grateful Dead lyricist Robert Hunter.A pre-sale is currently underway here for both shows at the Applegate River Lodge.Fans can head here for a variety of ticketing options for Oregon Country Fair’s 50th-anniversary celebration. For more information on the Oregon Country Fair, head to the festival’s website.last_img read more

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Race in America, made personal

first_imgIssues of history and race played an important part in Annette Gordon-Reed’s young life.In the early 1960s at age 6, she enrolled in an all-white elementary school as the only black student in her first-grade class. Later, after reading biographies of Thomas Jefferson, she found herself drawn to the nation’s third president, in part because of his fascination with books, much like her own, his insatiable curiosity, and his claim to support equality even though he owned slaves.Those early experiences may have helped to inspire Gordon-Reed, now a Harvard Law School professor, to write two seminal books that have been credited with redefining the nature of scholarship on Jefferson.In 1997’s “Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings: An American Controversy,” she explored the relationship between the Revolutionary leader and his slave, the half sister of his wife, presenting a convincing case that Jefferson fathered several children with Hemings after his wife’s death. The assertions in her work were ultimately validated by DNA evidence showing that Hemings’ descendants came from Jefferson’s male line.Building on that work, Gordon-Reed authored “The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family” in 2008. The book won numerous awards, including the Pulitzer Prize in history, the National Book Award, and a genius grant from the MacArthur Foundation. The Pulitzer board called her book “a painstaking exploration of a sprawling multi-generation slave family that casts provocative new light on the relationship between Sally Hemings and her master, Thomas Jefferson.”During an informal talk at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study on March 10, Gordon-Reed discussed the plans for another volume of her award-winning work that will follow Sally Hemings and her descendants from 1830 through the early 20th century. Her research has taken her to Charlottesville, Va., where Sally Hemings and her extended family lived after Jefferson’s death.Exploring the history as well as the social and cultural dynamics of the Southern city, Gordon-Reed, who is also Carol Pforzheimer Professor at the Radcliffe Institute as well as a professor of history in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, said she was trying to “re-create the world of Charlottesville and the Hemingses, and to go deeper than people had done up until this point.”Much of her work has involved examining records in which census workers from the community determined a person’s race.Gordon-Reed noted that members of the Hemings family were described differently by the census, some designated as white, others as mulattos, still others as Negroes. Sally Hemings herself was listed as a free white woman in 1830, but she wasn’t legally free, said Gordon-Reed.“This family is skirting the boundaries here of race and of even freedom … Sally was never formally freed; she was informally freed by Jefferson.”With an old letter, Gordon-Reed explored the complicated dynamics between the Hemingses and the Jeffersons.Madison Hemings, one of Jefferson’s sons with Sally, did carpentry work for Jefferson’s grandson, Thomas Jefferson Randolph. Angry at not being paid, he wrote a testy note to Jefferson demanding the money owed for a job he had completed. The document, said Gordon-Reed, offers insight into the “tangled relationships” that continued between the Hemingses and the Jeffersons “after everything has fallen apart and is destroyed at Monticello.”“This is not simply black history, African-American history — it’s very much American history,” noted author and historian Nell Painter of Gordon-Reed’s work.last_img read more

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New VP for alumni affairs and development

first_imgBrian K. Lee has been appointed Harvard University’s vice president for alumni affairs and development, President Larry Bacow announced today.An accomplished leader with a long history in educational and nonprofit advancement, Lee will join Harvard from the California Institute of Technology, where he is vice president for development and institute relations, overseeing alumni affairs and helping to orchestrate and implement Caltech’s $2 billion Breakthrough Campaign, currently underway.“Brian has demonstrated an extraordinary ability to bring together people in support of higher education, and he brings to his new role an especially strong record of supporting and advancing institutional goals with a combination of creativity, insight, and thoughtfulness. I look forward to working closely with him again,” said Bacow. “I would like to thank the search committee, chaired by Senior Vice President and general counsel Bob Iuliano, whose rigorous work led to a great outcome.”“I am thrilled at the prospect of working with Harvard’s remarkable community of alumni, donors, and volunteers,” said Lee. “This is an exciting time to build on the strong engagement and momentum of a campaign with far-reaching impact. I look forward to working with President Bacow and to serving the University, its alumni, and this community’s outstanding commitment to education, progress, and innovation.”Prior to joining Caltech in 2012, Lee worked at Tufts University for 26 years in various positions, rising to become senior vice president for university advancement. While at Tufts, Lee led a robust, university-wide program in alumni relations and engagement, working closely with the alumni association. He was involved in three major institutional campaigns, including Beyond Boundaries, which launched in 2003 and raised a record $1.2 billion for Tufts by its conclusion in 2011.Lee has been a leader and collaborator in the field of alumni affairs and institutional advancement. He has been chairman of the board of the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) and a board member of CASE Europe.At Harvard, Lee will step into an organization that recently announced the successful completion of The Harvard Campaign, which included contributions from 153,000 households worldwide, totaling more than 633,000 gifts. He will be responsible for the three major reporting units of the Alumni Affairs and Development Office: the University Development Office, Faculty of Arts and Sciences Development, and the Harvard Alumni Association.His appointment marks the culmination of a national search for a successor to Tamara Elliott Rogers, who became vice president for alumni affairs and development in 2007 and announced in January that she would step down this year. Lee will take office on Nov. 19.Lee graduated from Assumption College with a bachelor of arts in English and completed the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Institute for Educational Management program. He and wife, Christa, have two children, Kathryn McLaughlin, Ed.M. ’14, and Gregory Lee.last_img read more

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In defense of winter

first_imgI try to keep my voice down when I speak of my love for winter. I’ve learned that almost no one wants to hear it. Yet at Harvard’s Arnold Arboretum, I fall in love with this stark but lovely season once again. It’s November on my first visit — everything is shades of brown and the sky is nearly entirely gray. Standing halfway up Peters Hill, the only sound is a nearby rustling in the bushes, then silence, then cawing overhead, then silence. Suddenly, a hawk flies over me, clutching something. I inch closer to her tree; all thoughts of a hearty breakfast leave me as I see the hawk gnawing and tugging at the guts of her prey.On another visit, the all-brown landscape has been replaced by white blankets of snow. A half-dozen children run through a grove of fir trees. They play outside every day, their teacher tells me, no matter the weather. They laugh and chase each other, snow falling around them. Later that morning, on Hemlock Hill, I meet two health care workers on break from the nearby Hebrew Rehabilitation Center. Like the children, they throw snow in the air and run through the trees. I’ve met my mates and for now, I’m tuning out the naysayers. Winter is upon us and some of us — we’re smiling.,The Daily Gazette Sign up for daily emails to get the latest Harvard news.last_img read more

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Making it Easier for Customers to Successfully Implement IoT

first_imgA lot of companies say they are focused on their customers, yet very few have a dedicated function specifically focused on the customer experience that advocates for customers and applies a customer lens to all areas of the business, from product development to go-to-market and from pricing and operations to post-sales service and support.Every day, Dell Technologies is making digital transformation real for our customers — addressing customer needs and success metrics at every point in their customer experience journey and by providing the broadest technology and solutions portfolio in the market. As part of the Chief Customer Office (CCO), my role is to ensure our customer’s voice and success metrics remains front and center in every decision we make. That’s why I couldn’t be more excited about today’s news that we are establishing a Dell Technologies IoT division.For our customers the time has never been better for IoT implementation and adoption. Harbor Research [1] estimates that by 2020, smart systems alone will create over 194 petabytes of data — that’s 64x the amount of data believed to be in the Library of Congress today. There’s a massive amount of data being generated and an equally giant opportunity for organizations to capitalize on the insights and opportunities this data can provide.It pays to do so. In Vodafone’s fifth annual IoT Barometer Report, 51 percent of adopters say IoT is increasing revenue or opening up new revenue streams. These capabilities paired with the cost of sensors rapidly approaching near zero, cloud, connectivity and a continuation of Moore’s Law is creating a ubiquitous opportunity for interoperability and insights that will fundamentally change the way we work, live and play.Beyond the power of our differentiated solutions portfolio, customers are looking to us to make it easier for them to usher in the digital future. As a customer solutions advocate, I often help our customers and sales teams successfully navigate big, complex IT landscapes so they can ultimately deliver business results. The Dell Technologies family of companies — Dell Inc., Dell EMC, Pivotal, RSA, SecureWorks, Virtustream and VMWare — is uniquely positioned to provide the end-to-end solutions our customers need. With the creation of our new IoT division, we’ve made it even simpler by giving customers one source/one stop to help them navigate and implement our edge-to-core-to-cloud portfolio as well as tailored end-to-end IOT solutions and services.At Dell Technologies, we believe our customers’ success is our success. We celebrate the progress many of our customers are making on their digital transformations and in our Annual Report for Customers.  In addition to simpler solutions that drive faster success and results, customers want to maximize their technology investments. We provide a number of enhanced benefits to enable our customers’ success and help them get the most out of their IoT implementations and investments. For example, Dell’s flexible consumption offering allows customers to turn their CapEx into OpEx as they usher in new technologies. In addition, customers of the new IoT division will have a single point of contact for support as well as access to strategic advisory services to help them lower time to results, reduce implementation risk and deliver results.Working within the CCO, I speak to, act and advocate on behalf of our customers to ensure we are providing the solutions they need and continually making it easier to do business with Dell. I’m looking forward to our customers’ response and their success with our new offerings — and the many more we can uniquely provide as Dell Technologies. Share your thoughts on what Dell can deliver next to help you usher in the digital future.[1] “Smart Systems Forecast Model” Harbor Research, Inc., 2015last_img read more

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Dell Precision 3240 Compact: An Ultra-Small But Powerful Workstation For All

first_img“Many of our resellers are reporting interest in high-powered systems with a small footprint. We’re seeing this even more as customers explore the provision of remote working opportunities or carefully spaced office layouts,” explains James Baulch, Dell Business Development Manager, PC Systems, Tech Data.  “Many customers in the industrial design and creative industries have been seeking to provide employees with access to small device with high graphics performance at home, so this could be a great solution, especially as it could be easily paired with existing displays and peripherals. The cost, size and specs are impressive – it seems small enough to ship out easily, but also powerful enough to run programs like Adobe Creative Cloud.”All this performance is packed into an ultra-small form factor with flexible mounting options, such as behind the monitor or the underside of the desktop, making it ideal for tight workspaces. Optional WiFi capabilities and a range of accessible ports, including front access USB 3.2, keep you connected to everything you need, while protective dust and cable covers make it great for space-constrained and challenging operating conditions often found in edge computing environments.The Dell Precision 3240 Compact is available now, globally, starting at $599 USD. For more information, click here. With some planning to return to the office over the coming months, many businesses and institutions are looking to reshape office layouts, striking a delicate balance that promotes both worker safety and productivity. Open office space will be a commodity, and those who continue to work remotely may also be seeking smaller devices that can be tucked away easily. Against this backdrop, today Dell introduced a new ultra-small form factor (USFF) workstation, the Dell Precision 3240 Compact.Small yet powerful, this system may only have the footprint of that hardback novel you were planning to read over the summer, but still delivers the power and performance to drive enterprise applications and up to seven 4k (60Hz) displays. It also provides the ability to run VR and AI simulations. The minimum footprint and affordable price of the Precision 3240 Compact is perfect for a wide range of users who seek to maximize space while maintaining power and performance in any setting – whether in a commercial studio, a university lab or even a home office.VR-Ready Workhorse with Space-Saving DesignDespite weighing less than 5lbs, the Dell Precision 3240 Compact is a powerful ISV-certified workstation and will be ready for VR, AR and AI, with an NVIDIA Quadro RTX™ 3000 professional graphics option available from October.Intensive computer tasks are easily handled thanks to 10th Gen Intel® Core™ or Xeon® processors and accelerated memory speeds of up to 2933MHz with capacities to expand up to 64GB (ECC memory is optional). And don’t worry about running out of storage for your projects as the Precision 3240 offers up to 4TB HDD/SDD (RAID optional). As with all Dell workstations, it also features Dell Optimizer for Precision, the only AI-based optimization software in the industry that automatically tunes your workstation performance using machine learning. The accessible price makes this a great, timely solution for students and teachers in graphic intensive fields engaging in self-directed and distant learning. Customers will also appreciate the versatility, performance and reliability of the Dell Precision 3240 Compact.Example customer use cases and workloads include:Engineers, designers and architects who require scalable machines for demanding workloads for creating intricate simulations and 2D/3D modeling on lightly threaded applicationsCreators rendering high-resolution graphics, editing high-resolution video or developing 3D animation for games, TV programs and AR/VR simulationsScientists and researchers working with large-scale simulations and complicated analysisFinancial analysts and traders iterating complex financial models and running multi-screen trading floors with computational analysisDoctors and healthcare providers who are running VR training, surgery planning or simulation content creation utilizing AR/VR headsetsRetail store and restaurant workers where digital signage is key in communicating graphics to multiple screens; security personnel may also use the device to power closed circuit TV (CCTV) operationsArtists and technicians in museums, galleries and educational spaces exhibiting VR/AR content or art to multiple platformslast_img read more

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Saint Mary’s receives first patent for Paper Analytic Device

first_imgThe pharmaceutical industry is littered with different drugs and different versions of those drugs. While most ingredients serve a purpose, sometimes, the pharmaceuticals manufacturers buy ingredients that are of low-quality or even inactive that lower the effectiveness of the drug.To solve this issue, Saint Mary’s professor of chemistry and physics Toni Barstis worked with Notre Dame professor of chemistry and biochemistry Marya Lieberman, Notre Dame Duda Family professor of engineering Patrick Flynn and a team of Saint Mary’s researchers to develop a device that detects these ingredients — a device which received the first patent ever awarded to Saint Mary’s.The patent is for a Paper Analytical Device (PAD), a chemically-treated card-like device that can can detect multiple chemical components in a pill or capsule, including substitute drugs or fillers that may be added in place of an active ingredient.The PAD is first treated with reagents, chemicals which help detect the chemical composition of pharmaceuticals. It then is scraped across the suspicious drug and subsequently dipped in water. The water moves up the device and allows the chemicals and the drugs to mix. This reaction produces colors which indicate the composition of the pharmaceutical.Barstis said she was inspired to research the PAD after she audited a fabrication course at Notre Dame.“I simply fell in love with devices,” she said. “I wanted to explore ways to combine my love of chemistry with my new love of fabricating devices, so I reached out to my friend at NDnano, affiliated faculty member Dr. Marya Lieberman. Together, we developed what is now referred to as the ‘PADs Project.’”Receiving a patent for the first time felt “fantastic,” she said.“For me, this was a dream come true.”According to Barstis, the Saint Mary’s team that worked on the PADs project is currently working on two more projects. They are screening over 600 pharmaceutical samples collected in Nepal this past summer and examining a second patent application for the College, which involves a different fabrication and design of a PAD.Tags: PAD, paper analytic device, patent, saint mary’slast_img read more

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Jamestown Man Charged In Gerry Home Burglary

first_imgShare: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) Stock Image.GERRY — A Jamestown man has been charged following investigation into a May burglary at an vacant residence in the Town of Gerry.Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Deputies have charged Randall K. Mesler Jr., 21, of Jamestown, with third-degree burglary and petit larceny following an investigation.Mesler was issued appearance tickets and is to appear in Town of Gerry Court at a later date.last_img read more

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Notices: Court calls for comments on senior judge recommendations

first_img April 15, 2002 Regular News Notices: Court calls for comments on senior judge recommendations Court calls for comments on senior judge recommendationscenter_img The Florida Supreme Court Committee on the Appointment and Assignment of Senior Judges has filed its report and recommendations with the Supreme Court. The committee was established by the court in June of 2001 to address a number of issues regarding the appointment and assignment of senior judges.The court invites all interested persons to comment on the committee’s report and recommendations, which are reproduced in full below, as well as online at www.flcourts.org/sct/sctdocs/proposed.html. An original and seven copies of all comments must be filed with the Court on or before May 15, 2002, with a certificate of service verifying that a copy has been served on the committee chair, Judge Gilbert S. Goshorn, Jr., 10419 S.W. 75th Way, Gainesville 32608, as well as a separate request for oral argument if the person filing the comment wishes to participate in oral argument scheduled in this case for Friday, June 7. IN THE SUPREME COURT OF FLORIDA IN RE: REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE COMMITTEE ON THE APPOINTMENT AND ASSIGNMENT OF SENIOR JUDGES, Case No. SC02-593. Report and Recommendations of the Committee on the Appointment and Assignment of Senior Judges The Committee on the Appointment and Assignment of Senior Judges (the committee) was formed by the Florida Supreme Court and asked to address a number of issues regarding policies and procedures in the appointment and assignment of senior judges. Before turning to those issues, the committee emphasizes that senior judges are a vital component of Florida’s judicial system, providing the citizens of Florida with the equivalent of more than 35 full-time judges.The availability of senior judges improves the service that Florida courts are able to provide citizens: Parties have better and speedier access to courts, trial calendars are shortened, backlogs are reduced, and interruptions are avoided when active judges are unable to serve because of illness or death. In short, senior judges represent a valuable resource of competent, experienced judges who are willing to continue public service. Such a resource should be valued and carefully cultivated for the benefit of the people of Florida. I. Background The Committee on Appointment and Assignment of Senior Judges was established by administrative order of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Florida on June 6, 2001. The committee consisted of three circuit court chief judges, two senior judges, a public defender, a state attorney, and four private practice attorneys, one of whom is a retired judge.Members: • Gilbert S. Goshorn, Senior Judge, Gainesville, chair • J. Lewis Hall, Jr., Senior Judge, Tallahassee • Robert Rouse, Chief Judge, Seventh Judicial Circuit, Daytona Beach • David Demers, Chief Judge, Sixth Judicial Circuit, St. Petersburg • Dale Ross, Chief Judge, Seventeenth Judicial Circuit, Ft. Lauderdale • Rosemary Enright, Public Defender, Sixteenth Judicial Circuit, Key West • Harry Shorstein, State Attorney, Fourth Judicial Circuit, Jacksonville • Edward Rodgers, Attorney and Retired Judge, Riviera Beach • Theodore Babbitt, Attorney at Law, West Palm Beach • Hector J. Lombana, Attorney at Law, Coral Gables • W. L. Kirk, Jr., Attorney at Law, Orlando Committee Staff: Peggy Horvath, Chief of Strategic Planning Brian Lynch, Senior Court Operations Consultant Steve Henley, Court Operations Consultant Other OSCA Support Staff: Patty Harris, Court Analyst Elaine New, Senior Attorney Laura Rush, Senior Attorney Kristine Slayden, Senior Court Statistics Consultant Greg Smith, Senior AttorneyJustice Major B. Harding served as the liaison to the Court for the committee. Tom Hall, Clerk of the Florida Supreme Court, provided valuable input to the committee.The establishment of this committee followed the Court’s consideration of a report from a Senior Judge Workgroup of the Judicial Management Council’s Committee on Trial Court Performance and Accountability. That workgroup developed a set of recommendations regarding the utilization, allocation, and management of senior judges.The committee first met on August 24, 2001, at the Supreme Court Building in Tallahassee. The committee met again on November 27, 2001, in Tampa, and for a final time on January 24, 2002 in Tallahassee. Justice R. Fred Lewis attended the August 24 meeting of the committee; and Justice Harding attended the January 24 meeting. The administrative order establishing the committee directed the committee to submit a report to the Court by February 1, 2002. The Court extended this time frame to mid-February at the request of the committee.In a June 14, 2001, letter to the committee, Justice Harding articulated its charge. The committee was asked to address the two areas of appointment and assignment of senior judges. The committee would have broad discretion to develop recommendations regarding any aspect of the appointment process. In addition, Justice Harding identified several areas in which policy guidance was sought by the Supreme Court.The Court desired that the committee first make a recommendation regarding whether there is a need for a formalized certification process for senior judges. If the committee were to conclude that there is not a need for a certification process, then the committee was asked to make recommendations regarding the type of process that should be used to determine the eligibility of senior judges for assignment in the various courts. If the committee were to recommend that a certification process is needed, then the Court requested that the committee make recommendations on the policies and procedures that should be adopted. Justice Harding also set forth some specific questions to be addressed should the committee recommend that a certification process be established:• What criteria should be used to certify senior judges? • Should age be a factor in certification? • Who should review and provide the certification approval or denial? • What should be the term of the certification? • Should there be an appeal process for denials of certification? If so, how should it work? • Should there be a continuing review or evaluation? If so, how should it work? • Should there be a requirement for continuing education for senior judges?Regarding the manner in which senior judges are assigned in courts, the Court granted the committee broad discretion to develop recommendations regarding any aspect of the process. The Court was particularly interested in the committee’s recommendations regarding the policies and guidelines that should be established to ensure that senior judges are utilized effectively. As with the appointment process, the Court specified a number of questions to be addressed within the committee’s recommendations:• Should the assignment of a senior judge be limited to the level of court that the judge had previously been elected or appointed to (supreme court, district court of appeal, circuit court, county court)? • Should a senior judge serve only in the jurisdiction where he or she was previously elected or appointed? • Should the number of days that a senior judge can serve in a year be restricted? • Should some types of cases or proceedings not be handled by a senior judge? • Should there be formal guidelines or limitations for the implementation of senior judge service and, if so, what should those be?In order to formulate their recommendations, the committee reviewed existing policies and practices in Florida and other states, and solicited input from a variety of stakeholders throughout the justice system. Specifically, the committee: • reviewed the Senior Judges Workgroup Report of the Judicial Management Council’s Committee on Trial Court Performance and Accountability; • studied the current process that is used to certify retired judges and justices as senior judges, and the current process that is used to make senior judge assignments in trial courts; • studied the current guidelines concerning the utilization of senior judges, and the current manner in which senior judge days are allocated to the circuits; • studied the utilization of retired judges in other states; • analyzed legal issues governing the use of senior judges, including public records law, employment law, and advisory ethics opinions; • solicited the input of a wide range of stakeholders in the senior judge system, including chief judges, senior judges, and government and private attorneys; and • discussed a wide range of alternative approaches to the appointment and assignment of senior judges.Consistent with the Senior Judges Workgroup Report and other materials, the committee recognized the great value to the judicial system of the services provided by senior judges. Senior judges in Florida perform the work of approximately 35 full-time judges, at a cost of about $2.9 million, a small fraction of the cost of that number of full-time judges. The committee also recognized that many more remunerative work opportunities are available to retired judges. In light of this finding, the committee recommended that the compensation rate for senior judges be substantially increased. Recommendation One: The committee recommends a significant increase in senior judge compensation in order to encourage and recruit the services of qualified retired judges. II. Authority for the Use of Senior Judges Article V, section 2 (b) of the Florida Constitution establishes the power of the chief justice to assign former justices or judges to temporary duty, a status commonly referred to as that of “senior judge.” It also authorizes the chief justice to delegate the authority to assign judges within a circuit to the chief judge of a circuit court:The chief justice of the supreme court shall. . . have the power to assign justices or judges, including consenting retired justices or judges, to temporary duty in any court for which the judge is qualified and to delegate to a chief judge of a judicial circuit the power to assign judges for duty in that circuit.It is important to note that not all former justices and judges are retired justices or judges, and not all retired justices and judges are senior justices or judges. The terminology can get confusing: a term such as “retired judge” may be appropriate in one context (retirement benefits, for example), but not another (such as recall to judicial service). Further, aside from temporary judicial service or retirement benefits implications, the terms “retired judge” and “senior judge” are also considered honorary designations that are not available to all former judges. For the purposes of assignment to temporary service, the following definitions apply: “former justice” “former judge” Any person who has been a judicial officer of this state. “retired justice” “retired judge” Any former justice or judge who: a. has not been defeated in seeking reelection to, or has not failed to be retained in seeking retention in, his or her last judicial office; and b. is not engaged in the practice of law. 1 For the purpose of judicial administration, a “retired judge” is defined as a judge not engaged in the practice of law who has been a judicial officer of this state. 2 “senior judge” A retired judge serving on assignment to temporary judicial duty may be referred to as a “senior judge.” This designation is honorary and has no effect on the responsibilities or conduct of the retired judge. 3 III. Eligibility to Serve as a Senior Judge The committee was asked by the Supreme Court to make a recommendation whether there is a need for a formalized certification process for senior judges, or if not what other process might be instituted to determine the eligibility of senior judges for assignment. The committee agreed there was not a need for a formal certification process; the chief justice would be well served in exercising the authority to assign retired judges and justices to temporary service by the existence of a structured process that would aid in determining the eligibility for assignment of retired justices and judges who would like to serve as senior judges.The committee concluded that the process of reaching a determination of eligibility should include screening to ensure that the retired judge is current with educational requirements, that judicial leadership within the judge’s resident court do not have concerns regarding the judge’s present ability to serve, and that the judge has no pending investigations before the Judicial Qualifications Commission. In addition, the committee agreed that, for judges and justices who have been inactive as well as for active senior judges, the determination of eligibility should also take into consideration attorney input regarding the judge’s work. Recommendation Two: Potential senior judges should be subject to a process to determine eligibility for assignment that includes the following components: •screening to ensure compliance with continuing education requirements; •employment screening including inquiries to chief and administrative judges with whom the candidate has worked; •inquiry with the Judicial Qualifications Commission regarding whether the retired judge is the subject of a pending investigation; and, •consideration of input about the retired judge’s work from attorneys who appear before the court.Additional eligibility criteria were discussed by the committee. The committee considered whether judges who had been defeated in an election or who failed to achieve a majority vote in favor of retention in their last judicial position should be eligible for assignment as a senior judge. The committee observed that, while qualified and competent judges may occasionally fail to win re-election or retention, concerns of public trust and confidence and deference to the constitutional electoral process dictate that the expressed will of the voters should be respected, and a judge or justice who in his or her last judicial position was not re-elected or retained by the voters should not be eligible for senior judge service. Recommendation Three: A judge or justice who has been defeated in an election or retention vote in their last judicial position should not be eligible to serve as a senior judge.The committee agreed that it was not necessary that judges who honorably retire and are otherwise eligible to serve as a senior judge be subject to the attorney feedback feature when they initially apply for assignment as a senior judge. Therefore, the committee recommends that a judge or justice who retires and applies for assignment as a senior judge within one year of retirement should be eligible for assignment without being subject to the feedback process. Recommendation Four: A judge who is otherwise qualified to serve as a senior judge, and who applies for assignment as a senior judge within a year of retirement , should be eligible for assignment without review of attorney input. An initial determination of eligibility would therefore be based on education, employment, and Judicial Qualifications Commission screenings, but would not require review of attorney input.The Supreme Court asked the committee to address the question of whether there should be a requirement for review or evaluation of a senior judge’s work. The committee agreed that while the quality of judicial work performed by senior judges in Florida is consistently very high, the chief justice should nonetheless direct that every senior judge be subject to periodic review. Regarding the frequency of such review, the committee deems a three-year cycle to be appropriate. This would allow synchronization with the existing three-year judicial education cycle.The committee furthermore recognized that one’s ability to perform complex tasks invariably diminishes with age, though the rate of decline is different for different individuals. Because of this fact of life, the committee concluded that, consistent with the mandatory retirement provision of the Florida Constitution, those who are constitutionally required to retire should be subject to more frequent review. A two-tiered system is therefore recommended by the committee, dependent on age. Recommendation Five: Senior judges who have been determined to be eligibility for assignment who have not reached the constitutionally required age of retirement should be subject to review every three years. Senior judges who have been determined to be eligibility for assignment who have reached the constitutionally required age of retirement should be subject to review annually. Educational requirements, however, should be reviewed only every three years in all cases, consistent with the existing court education cycle.The committee recommends that the chief justice, in making a determination that a senior judge continues to be eligible for assignment, should consider the three elements of the initial review, and should also consider the recommendation of a committee, or review board, that is based on an assessment of input from attorneys appearing before the court. The rationale in support of such a review rests on the concept of accountability: While sitting judges are elected or appointed through a merit-selection process, senior judges are assigned under the constitutional authority of the chief justice. Further, while full-time judges are subject to removal by the voters through election or retention vote, senior judges are not. For sitting judges, therefore, accountability rests ultimately with the voters. 4 V oters do not, however, have a similar opportunity to retain or remove a senior judge. Accountability for their continued judicial authority rests with the chief justice. The committee therefore recommends that, to provide accountability, the chief justice rely on a structured review process. Recommendation Six: Continuing service as a senior judge should require periodic review, based on education, employment, and Judicial Qualifications Commission screening, and on the recommendation of a review board after consideration of input from attorneys who appear before the court.The Supreme Court asked the committee how a review process could be structured. The committee discussed the potential mechanisms that might be used to solicit input from attorneys about the work of senior judges and who should review this feedback. The committee recommends that a set of committees, or review boards, be created, one in each of the five appellate districts. The review boards would solicit attorney input regarding any senior judge who is scheduled for review, as well as any retired judge from within that appellate district who requests assignment and has been retired for more than a year. A district review board would, upon consideration of attorney input, make a recommendation to the chief justice whether a candidate is eligible or not eligible for assignment. The recommendation of a review board should not be subject to appeal.The committee recommends district-wide review boards, rather than circuit-wide boards or a single statewide board for several reasons. A district-wide board could have representation that includes those who have first-hand knowledge of judges, as well as those who have experience in other jurisdictions, allowing for a balancing of perspectives. Further, the committee estimates that there would need to be approximately 150 to 200 reviews conducted each year for the foreseeable future. District-wide review boards would therefore conduct approximately 30 to 40 reviews each year, an amount that the committee hopes would not be an onerous burden. Review boards at a circuit level would be required to conduct only a small number of reviews, a number which may not justify the accompanying administrative activity. The committee anticipates that review boards would be able to organize their work on an annual cycle and conduct all reviews in one or possibly two meetings of each board each year.The committee suggests that the review boards be comprised of the chief judge of each circuit court in the district, or a designee, the chief judge of the district court of appeal or a designee, and an equal number of attorneys. One attorney should be appointed respectively by each circuit chief judge and the district court chief judge. Because each appellate district contains a different number of circuits, ranging from two to six, the memberships of the boards would range from four to twelve. Recommendation Seven: The review of senior judges should be conducted by five review boards, with one board created to serve each appellate district. Review boards would solicit attorney input regarding any senior judge who is scheduled for review, as well as any judge from within that appellate district who requests assignment and has been retired for more than a year. The review boards would make a recommendation to the chief justice whether a candidate is eligible or not eligible for assignment. Recommendations of review boards should not subject to appeal.Because senior judges can and sometimes do serve in multiple jurisdictions, the committee discussed the question of which board should conduct a review of a judge who has served in more than one appellate district. The committee concluded that the review should be conducted by the board in the district in which the judge has performed the most service in the present period of eligibility.The committee also discussed the criteria the boards should use in reviewing senior judges who seek assignment or re-assignment. Regarding physical and mental health, the committee concluded that the central consideration is ability, and concerns regarding ability would be expressed by attorneys and colleagues in the peer review process. Therefore, physical and mental examinations would not be necessary. In addressing other criteria, the committee refrained from setting out formal standards or guidelines, but would suggest that chief justices, in asking review boards for their recommendations regarding eligibility, might direct that they be guided by the following factors in formulating their recommendations. 5• Scholarship: Knowledge and understanding of substantive, procedural and evidentiary law; attentiveness to factual and legal issues before the court; and proper application of judicial precedents and other appropriate sources of authority. • Communication: Clarity of bench rulings and other oral communications ; quality of written opinions with specific focus on clarity and logic, and the ability to explain the facts of a case and the legal precedent at issue; and sensitivity to impact of demeanor and other non-verbal communications . •Case Management and Productivity: Effective docket management and prompt case disposition including devoting appropriate time to all pending matters and discharging administrative responsibilities diligently. • Temperament: Ability to deal patiently with and be courteous to all parties and participants ; and willingness to permit every person legally interested in a proceeding to be heard, unless precluded by law or rules of court . •Work Ethic: Punctuality, preparation and attentiveness, and meeting commitments on time and according to the rules of court . •Good Health: Physical and mental competence required to perform the duties and responsibilities of a judge. • Integrity: Avoidance of impropriety and appearance of impropriety; freedom from personal bias; ability to decide issues based on the law and the facts without regard to the identity of the parties or counsel, the popularity of the decision, and without concern for or fear of criticism; impartiality of actions; and compliance with the Code of Judicial Conduct.Under the system contemplated by the committee, review boards would be directed by a chief justice to provide a structured opportunity for input from attorneys who practice within the jurisdiction in which the senior judge has served. The requested input could be in reference to the above criteria or any criteria deemed relevant by that chief justice to the exercise of the assignment power. The opportunity for input could be created through any of several methods, including published invitations to provide comment by letter, the use of a survey instrument, or other mechanisms. To allow variation in response to local legal culture, and to promote innovation and experimentation, the committee suggests that the method of the opportunity to provide input be left to the sound discretion of each review board.The committee recognizes that the information collected by review boards about senior judges who are eligible for assignment would be of great assistance to chief judges in making assignment decisions. Assuming that the administrative support for the review process would be located at the Supreme Court, the committee recommends that the information collected for the consideration of a review board be forwarded to each circuit and district chief judge. Recommendation Eight: The information collected for purposes of review should be made available to circuit and district chief judges prior to the board’s recommendation. The information should be sent to the chief judges to aid them in the assignment and management of senior judges, and then forwarded to the relevant board.The committee directed research into the public record status of materials collected under the eligibility review process. It does not appear that materials collected for the purpose of determining eligibility for assignment as a senior judge would qualify for exemption from the public record requirements of the Florida constitution. The committee discussed that while these records could be made exempt through the creation of a statutory exemption, there is value in public accountability. IV. Assignment of Senior Judges The Florida constitution creates the power of the chief justice to assign consenting retired judges and justices to temporary duty, and specifically authorizes the chief justice to delegate to the chief judge of a judicial circuit the power to assign judges within a circuit. 6 T hus, chief judges can assign senior judges under the delegated authority of the chief justice. There was extensive deliberation by the committee regarding appropriate and inappropriate assignments for senior judges. The committee agreed that the issue should be addressed through guidelines to chief judges annually provided by the chief justice. The committee considered each of the questions posed by Justice Harding regarding the assignment of senior judges. The committee recognizes that chief judges, in consultation with administrative judges, are most familiar with the skills of judges and the workload needs of a court. Chief judges should therefore continue to have maximum flexibility in making assignments of senior judges. The follow recommendations are directed to that end. Recommendation Nine: Annual guidelines from the chief justice regarding the assignments of senior judges should be consistent with the recommendations in this report.The Court asked the committee to consider the question of whether a senior judge should be limited to service at the level of court that he or she had been elected or appointed. For example, can a retired county judge serve as a senior judge in circuit court, or a retired circuit judge serve in a district court of appeal? The committee recognized that many active county judges are extensively assigned to preside over circuit court dockets, and many circuit judges are assigned to sit on district court panels. 7 The committee considers that such experience can qualify a judge to serve in a court superior to that which the judge was appointed or elected. The committee therefore concluded that a senior judge should be permitted to serve in a court superior to the court in which the judge had been elected or appointed. Recommendation Ten: Senior judges should not be prohibited from serving in a superior court than that in which they were elected or appointed.A principle area of assignment considered by the committee was complex cases. The committee concluded that, in general, complex cases should be handled by full-time judges who are subject to constitutional mechanisms of accountability. In some cases, particularly where the parties consent, assignment of a senior judge to a complex case is not objectionable. Recommendation Eleven: While there should not be a per se prohibition against the use of senior judges in complex cases, guidelines regarding the assignment of senior judges should provide that, absent an agreement by the litigants, chief judges are encouraged not to assign senior judges to preside over complex cases.Florida Rules of Court do not provide a definition of “complex case.” To clarify the concept, the committee reviewed legislation introduced during the 2000 session of the Florida Legislature. 8 That bill defined the following actions as complex cases: •antitrust claims; •construction defect claims involving multiple parties; •shareholder derivative claims; •environmental or toxic claims involving multiple parties; •mass tort claims; •claims involving class actions; and •insurance coverage claims arising out of any claims listed above.The committee observed that this itemization is not exhaustive, and suggests that other kinds of cases can be complex, including: •medical malpractice claims; •product liability claims; •environment torts without multiple parties; and, •aviation actions.The committee was also asked to address the question of whether the amount of time a senior judge serves within a year should be limited. The committee concluded that it should not. The committee noted that senior judges are compensated at a level far less than can be earned in private practice, and that many senior judges continue to serve out of an abiding commitment to public service. Where there is a demonstrated need for qualified judges, and a senior judge is available, artificial limitations on the extent of service should not prevent workload from being addressed by a senior judge. The state and citizens of Florida benefit from this service.The constitutional language regarding senior judge service refers to “temporary duty,” 9 and Florida Statutes purport to limit assignments to sixty days service in a year “without approval of the chief justice.” 10 In keeping with these provisions, the existing practice has been to issue assignment orders for specified time periods. In the view of the committee, an order of a chief justice assigning a retired judge or justice to service for a period of one year or three years satisfies the statutory requirement and is, furthermore, within the constitutional authority of a chief justice. Repeated re-assignments are not necessary. The committee also suggests that the statutory provision be considered for revision. Recommendation Twelve: There should not be a limit on the number of days that a senior judge serves within a calendar year.The committee was asked to address the question of whether a senior judge should serve only in the jurisdiction where he or she was previously elected or appointed. Upon consideration the committee determined that there is no public policy benefit to limiting assignment to a certain jurisdiction only, such as the jurisdiction of prior service or the jurisdiction of current residence. A senior judge who has been determined to be eligible for assignment should be made available for service statewide. The rationale for this recommendation revolves again around the concept of accountability. Accountability for senior judges rests ultimately with the chief justice rather than the voters of a particular circuit or district. The authority and responsibility of a chief justice extends throughout the state, and a chief justice can assign a senior judge to duty without limitation to the jurisdiction of prior service. Recommendation Thirteen: Standard assignment orders to duty that allow for service statewide as a senior judge should be created for issuance by the chief justice. V. Implementation The committee discussed at length the implementation of the proposed system of ongoing eligibility review and assignment, and recognizes that such a system would create a substantial and ongoing commitment of resources to maintain. The committee consulted at length with the Clerk of the Supreme Court and staff of the Office of the State Courts Administrator. The committee does not see the necessity for a continuing committee to address policy matters, and understands that, should issues of policy arise, the review boards and the chief judges of the circuit and district courts will raise the issue with the chief justice. Further, the chief justice may at any time create a committee or direct an existing Court committee to study additional issues that may arise.The committee discussed the desirability of promoting efficiency and effectiveness in the use of senior judges through the creation of an intranet website that would centralize information and facilitate activity. This concept follows the prior work of the Senior Judge Workgroup of the Committee on Trial Court Performance and Accountability, which recommended that a single senior judge management information system be created to replace the existing separate databases associated with senior judge authorization, compensation, and utilization. The Information Systems Division of the Office of the State Courts Administrator has the capability to provide the technical infrastructure for such a website, which would be accessible to the circuit and district courts, the Supreme Court and the Office of the State Courts Administrator, and all senior judges.The senior judge management information system would provide a registry of eligible senior judges that chief judges, administrative judges and court administrators could consult. The registry would provide information on the availability of senior judges, as well as their areas of substantive expertise and preference, current education information, and locations. Circuit and district courts would directly update information on the registry about senior judge service. The system could also provide automated links to finance and accounting functions that would facilitate requests for reimbursement. The system could be linked to the judicial education system to facilitate continuing education. Recommendation Fourteen: The Office of the State Courts Administrator should create and maintain an intranet website to support the efficient and effective assignment and use of senior judges.To address operational matters and procedures, and to support the chief justice in implementing and maintaining the proposed system, the committee suggests that the chief justice direct that a permanent workgroup be created under the guidance of the State Courts Administrator and the Clerk of the Supreme Court. Such a workgroup should include staff from the Finance and Accounting Division, Personnel Division, Court Services Division, Legal Affairs, Information Systems Division, and Strategic Planning Unit of the Office of the State Courts Administrator, and the Clerk or designated staff of the Clerk of the Supreme Court. The workgroup should also include representation of the trial court administrators.The workgroup should address the following operational matters: •the procedural steps for applying for senior judge assignment; •the guidelines and procedural considerations regarding the assignment of senior judges; •the development and application of an intranet website to facilitate senior judge assignment; •the reporting of information on senior judge utilization and performance measurement; and, •the process of requests for reimbursement of senior judges payment and expenses. Recommendation Fifteen: A permanent workgroup should be created under the State Courts Administrator and the Clerk of the Supreme Court to address ongoing operational matters and procedures and to support the chief justice in implementing and maintaining the proposed system for the assignment and support of senior judges. 1 S ection 25.073 (1), Florida Statutes. 2 Rule 2.030 (a) (3) (B), Florida Rules of Judicial Administration. 3 Rule 2.030 (a) (3) (D), Florida Rules of Judicial Administration. 4 O ther mechanisms to remove judges include impeachment by the Legislature and removal by the Supreme Court, which may be of limited application in the context of senior judges. 5 The committee drew upon the experience of several other states, particularly New York and Utah, in developing these criteria. 6 Art. V., sec. 2 (b), Fla. Const. 7 The same provision of the constitution that allows for the assignment of retired judges allows for the assignment of active judges to temporary duty “in any court for which the judge is qualified.” Art. V., sec. 2 (b), Fla. Const. 8 S enate Bill 934, 2000 Legislative Session. 9 Art. V., sec. 2 (b), Fla. Const. 10 2 5.073 (2) (a), F.S.last_img read more

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