January 1, 2004 Letters

first_img Briefy: How not to write one I was rather amused to read the November 15 article “Briefly: How not to write one.” I found it even more amusing, and rather ironic, that at the end of this article you cited the full text of the Texas decision as “ Bradshaw v. Unity Marine Corp, Inc., 147 F. Supp. 2d 6678, 2001 A.M.C. 2358 (S.D. Tex., 2001).”When I went to obtain a copy of this case I discovered that you had cited a non-existent page in the Federal Reporter. The opinion cited actually begins on page 668 of the 147th Volume of the Fed. Supp. 2d reporter.Judge Kent would be disappointed with your editors.Spencer T. Kuvin West Palm BeachMy heart goes out to the lawyers who must practice in the Southern District of Texas, Galveston Division, where the only sitting U.S. district judge is the Honorable Samuel B. Kent. Judge Kent wrote the opinion which was the subject of the intended-to-be-amusing article “Briefly: How not to write one” in the November 15 News.Maybe your readers smiled as they read Judge Kent’s words about how the attorneys for both sides in a Jones Act case must have had a secret pact to use crayons on paper bags to write their pleadings. If you enjoyed Judge Kent’s writing, Steven Lubet, professor of law at Northwestern University, suggests that you are like the crowd in the saloon, which is entertained when a gunslinger uses his six-shooter to make a tenderfoot “dance.” Professor Lubet wrote an insightful article about Judge Kent’s same opinion in the Autumn 2001, issue of The Green Bag, available on the Internet at www.greenbag.org.It is unfortunate that the federal judiciary, enjoying lifetime appointments, lacks a meaningful mechanism to address the problem of judicial bullying.Fortunately, Florida has a mechanism to rein in the abusive judge. Our Judicial Qualifications Commission and the Florida Supreme Court provide a highly effective remedy for judges whose behavior debases the concept of “Dignity in Law” which we as members of the Bar seek so hard to promote. The Florida Supreme Court acts promptly and decisively when a judge’s routine includes abuse of counsel, even removing judges from the bench who are unable to maintain their judicial temperament.The editors of the News doubtless got a chuckle out of watching Judge Kent use the lawyers in the Bradshaw case as a piñata, but the article did very little to advance our goal of dignity in law. It would have been a far better use of printer’s ink to publish the excellent standards of professionalism which the judges of the 20th Circuit have promulgated, available on the Internet at ca.cjis.org. These are so important in that circuit that counsel for the plaintiff is required to serve a copy of these standards on defense counsel in all civil cases.Remember that the justice system is not about us — the lawyers and judges who tend the judicial vineyard — it’s about those people whose conflicts the justice system is supposed to resolve. Any time a judge is tempted to bully a lawyer, he should remember how the seriously injured seaman, Mr. Bradshaw, whose case was thrown out of federal court, must have enjoyed reading Judge Kent’s witty opinion.Gaylord A. Woods, Jr. Ft. Lauderdale Payday For attorneys, time is their most valuable commodity. Following the law of supply and demand, the less time that an attorney has to offer, the higher value an attorney will place on that time. What is ironic about the legal profession is that sometimes even a little time spent on a project can result in a big payday. While I could list a number of instances while practicing law that can support this statement, a number of bar activities have also resulted in very big paydays.One of my favorite paydays occurred shortly before last Christmas. Stan Klett, president-elect of the Palm Beach County Bar Association and the attorney who established the holiday party 11 years ago, asked if I could perform a favor for him and deliver three bicycles to children who were unable to attend the Guardian Ad Litem holiday party. Having watched Stan and his father unselfishly donate so much of their time to the event, it was a request I could not turn down.Unfortunately, the delivery date fell on a day that I had absolutely no time to spare. Unable to reschedule the delivery, I loaded the bikes onto a truck and headed out only to be stuck in I-95 traffic. Taking side roads to avoid further traffic, I got lost in the darkness and showed up at the delivery address nearly two hours late. Nearing a peak of frustration, I softly knocked on the door to offer my apologies when the door opened to three little girls who asked if I was Santa’s delivery boy. Taken aback, I nodded my head and watched three of the biggest smiles emerge from the doorway.My heart dropped when I watched them roll the bicycles into a crowded garage having three beds that obviously doubled as their sleeping quarters. The smallest girl dealt the final blow when she turned to me and said, “I hope Santa is as good to you as he was to us.” I wished them all a Merry Christmas as I stumbled back to the truck feeling like a deer caught in the headlights of a car.When asked to donate your valuable time, just remember that you never receive a big payday if you don’t participate.Oddly enough, this very big point was made very clear to me by three very little girls.Michael Slavin President of the North County Section of the Palm Beach County Bar Association January 1, 2004 Regular News January 1, 2004 Letterslast_img read more

Merrick Teacher Caught in Princesses: Long Island Uproar

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Students and parents rally outside of Merrick Avenue Middle School on Wednesday, July 24, 2013.A Merrick Avenue Middle School teacher who lost his job following his cameo in Bravo’s Princesses: Long Island is now in the middle of the latest scandal stemming from the reality show.Stefan Serie, a 30-year-old health teacher/coach and fitness instructor, appeared briefly in the June 2 premiere episode of the reality show. Two weeks later, the Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District board of education stripped him of the tenure he was granted one month prior. He said he was then pushed to resign.“They did one, two skits, and then he was done,” Clifford Serie, the teacher’s father, said at a rally for his son outside the school last week. “My son is an excellent teacher. That I know.”In the episode, Serie – who was rated “highly effective” by the school – is seen in the background of “Princess” Erica Gimbel’s pool party. He asked another guest if he’s also a trainer, took off his shirt to jump into the pool, had a drink and chopped up ice for “Princess” Ashlee White. With his shirt on.He did not say his name or that he’s a teacher. A fight between “Princess” Amanda Bertoncini and Sara Schapiro, a teacher and “south shore girl,” overshadowed his appearance. Serie spends the fight off to the side, distancing himself from the drama.Clifford Serie noted that Stefan was on the beach last year when he was recruited to be on the show because they needed muscular guys.John DeTommaso, the school district superintendent, said in a statement that Serie submitted his letter of resignation June 26 and the Board of Education accepted his resignation July 9.“As this is a matter of personnel, the district legally cannot disclose any further details,” he said in the statement.Serie has reportedly hired an attorney who is threatening to sue the school district if he is not reinstated.More than 100 students and parents rallied July 24 outside the school board meeting. Board of Education President Susan Schwartz said that the district would not comment on individual employees, but allowed people to speak during the public comment section of the meeting.Parents, wrestling team members that Serie coached, and several students stood up and spoke about the impact Serie had on their lives.Christine Grassman, who runs the Facebook page “Support Stefan Serie” and organized the rally, said: “To erase years of dedication, of teaching, of community service over a shirtless cameo in a ridiculous television show? It does not add up.”A Bravo representative declined to comment on the Serie situation, but a producer from the show’s production company, wrote to the New York Daily News, saying that the situation was “extremely unfair” to Serie.Princesses: Long Island has already had its share of controversy. In the same episode that Serie is in, Ashlee White called Freeport “a ghetto,” which led to another protest. White later apologized.Rep. Steve Israel (D-Dix Hills) called for a boycott, saying that the show promotes Jewish stereotypes.And, most recently, Amanda Bertoncini told a model to pretend to feed beer to the statue of a firefighter that died in the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. Bravo took the footage out of the episode.last_img read more

For Keshi, the Light Dims

first_imgStephen Okechukwu Keshi meant different things to different people. To some he was a leader, to some he was controversial, and to others he was a mafia. To the football authority, he was arrogant. However, one indisputable thing about him was his record-he remains the longest serving Super Eagles captain, led Nigeria to her first World Cup appearance, captained the national team to win the first African Cup of Nations outside the shores of Nigeria and capped it all by leading Nigeria as coach to win the 2013 AFCON (the second man to do so as a player and coach). He opened the floodgate for Nigerians to play professional football abroad. Belgium became the Mecca for Nigeria footballers while he was at Anderlecht and his house was the melting point for Nigeria footballersBarely six months after his wife, Kate, lost the battle to cancer, Cardiac arrest Stephen Keshi’s life in Benin City in the early hours of Tuesday at the age of 54. Confirming his death, his brother and manager, Emmanuel Ado, said. “It is true, my brother has passed on. He has gone to meet his wife,” Ado said. Keshi’s beautiful football story started at the famous St. Finbarrs College, a school noted for its football prowess and the former Super Eagles Coach, alongside Henry Nwosu, Wakilu Oyenuga, Nathaniel Ogedengbe among others were regular members of the Finbarrs’ side that revolutionised school football, not only in Lagos State but in Nigeria as a whole; it was not a surprise therefore, when the team went on to win the 1977 edition of the Principals’ Cup Competition in Lagos State.Keshi and Nwosu were later to be called up and played for the Junior Eagles, (as the Flying Eagles was called then). And later on they were called up again to the Green Eagles in preparation for the 1980 African Cup of Nation’s competition, but it was only Nwosu that made the final 22-man list for the Nations Cup, while Keshi fell short of the requirements.He was quick to put the disappointment of not making the 1980 AFCON team, and he went on to play for Wema Bank and ACB before relocating  to Benin City to play for New-Nigerian Bank of Benin and winning the WAFU cup twice.He finally made it to the Super Eagles team, debuting in the friendly game against Uganda in 1981 in Benin during preparations for the final World Cup qualifier against Algeria. He was later to play his first competitive match for the Super Eagles against Algeria in Lagos, coming in as a substitute for Christian Chukwu in the second-half.The Big Boss made his Nation’s Cup debut in Libya, in 1982; scoring two goals in Eagles 3-0 triumph over Ethiopia in the opening match. But as a result of Nigeria’s early elimination from that tournament, the eggheads of the Nigeria Football Association, NFA, sacked the Brazilian Coach, Otto Gloria and appointed Adegboye Onigbinde, who was quick to appoint Keshi captain of the new -look Eagles, which he led to a silver medal in 1984.In 1985, Keshi’s national team career nose-dived, when he was banned for two years by then NFA, alongside Henry Nwosu, Bright Omokaro, Sunday Eboigbe, and Clement Temile. Keshi for reporting late to the Eagles camp. In spite of tendering an apology to the leadership of the NFA for a pardon, and Keshi was left with little choice than to leave the shores of the country in continuation of his football career.Keshi left for the Ivory Coast that gave him the opportunity to play soccer without NFA’s clearance and played for` ASEC Mimosas and later on Stella Football Clubs of Abidjan. His sterling performances caught the attention of Belgian scouts, where he consequently earned a professional contract in Belgium. There he vigorously played for FC Lokeren and RSC Anderlecht where he won several titles as a key player with Anderlecht.His high-point being having played the finals of the European Cup Winner’s Cup Competition in 1990, and losing narrowly in extra time to Juventus of Italy.Keshi later on played for Strasbourg FC of France, a second division side, which he helped earn promotion to the first division. He later on played for RWDM of Belgium before relocating to the United States for MLS soccer.At the National team level, Keshi’s truncated career was reignited in 1987. He helped Nigeria qualify for the AFCON 1988 – MAROC ’88 – losing narrowly to Cameroun in the finals. Keshi, was re-appointed Super Eagles Captain after an interregnum of four  years. The Super Eagles under his leadership failed to qualify for the World Cup in Italy in 1990.After the 1990 World Cup failure, Dutch man Clemens Westerhoff was charged with the task of rebuilding the Eagles, which he achieved with support from Keshi. The Eagles finished runners-up in the AFCON, 1990 in Algeria; finished in third place in AFCON 1992 in Senegal and won the AFCON, 1994 in Tunisia. That same year, the Eagles qualified for the 1994 World Cup competition for the first time in the United States of America.After the 1994 World Cup, Stephen Keshi left the national team with the ovation at its loudest. He studied for his coaching Diploma and his first coaching assignment was as an assistant coach to Bonfree Jo, during preparations for the 2000 Nations Cup competition.As a consequence of a faltering 2002 World Cup qualifying campaign, Bonfree Jo was sacked; Keshi assisted Amodu Shaibu in tinkering the Eagles. The World Cup ticket was eventually won by Nigeria under the tutelage of Keshi and Amodu. However, after a semi-final loss to Senegal at the 2002 Nation’s Cup competition, which was blamed on a players’ revolt, Keshi and Amodu were sacked by the NFA, for what was perceived to be the coaches’ sympathy for the players. Keshi thus missed the opportunity to help in coaching the Eagles at the 2002 World Cup!In another turn of events, Togo snapped up Keshi, to help tinker their national side. It was to be his first fully fledged assignment as coach; he did not fail, as he helped Togo, qualify for their first ever World Cup finals, in Germany. However, misfortune struck him once again, when he was sacked, as a consequence of having lost all the first round games at the 2006 Nations Cup competition, coupled with a disagreement with Emmanuel Adebayor. He thus missed another opportunity to take a national side he helped qualify for the World Cup.The Togolese later made up for this, reappointing him, after the 2006 World Cup. He later coached Mali and qualified them for the 2010 Nations Cup competition in Angola. A not- too impressive performance in Angola saw the Malians terminate his contract. When the Nigeria job became available, in 2010, he contested with Samson Siasia, for the plum job. Siasia was selected – largely due to the overwhelming public opinion in favour of Siasia’s appointment. When Sissia failed, the job came naturally to Keshi. In 15 months, Keshi remarkably turned around the fortunes of the Super Eagles, unexpectedly, making them the African Champions to the bargain.After taking over as coach of Nigeria in 2011, Keshi led them to victory in the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa and then guided them into the Round of 16 at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil where they lost to France.He was only the second man to win the Africa Cup of Nations as a player and coach – after Egypt’s Mahmoud El-Gohary – following his success 19 years earlier when he was a key defender for the Nigeria team.Keshi was regarded as an iconic figure in a golden generation of Nigerian players that included Finidi George, Rashidi Yekini, Jay-Jay Okocha, Samson Siasia, Daniel Amokachi and Sunday Oliseh. He made a total of 64 appearances for Nigeria and scored nine goals.Nigeria Football Federation president Amaju Pinnick led the tributes to Keshi, saying: “This is devastating. We have lost a superhero.”FIFA’s new secretary-general Fatma Samoura, currently head of the UN Development Programme in Nigeria, tweeted: “The football family has lost a great member.”Nigeria and Fenerbahce striker Emmanuel Emenike called Keshi a “true legend” and said: “You will forever stay in my heart the big boss RIP.”Ghana Football Federation president Kwesi Nyantakyi described Keshi as “a great man and a noble spirit” and a “shining example of dedication to football and to footballers”.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img