Proposed Code of Conduct for court system employees

first_imgHere are the highlights of the proposed Code of Conduct for Court Employees:• Canon 1: A court employee shall uphold the integrity and independence of the judiciary and the court employees’s office. “An independent and honorable judiciary is indispensable to justice in our society. Court employees shall personally observe high standards of conduct so that the integrity and independence of the judiciary are preserved. Court employees shall maintain and observe the highest standards of integrity, honesty, and truthfulness in their professional and personal dealings.”• Canon 2. Court employees shall avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety in all their activities. Examples of improper conduct include: trying to get a traffic ticket or parking violation fixed; using official letterhead for private business correspondence; carrying a business card reflecting an official relationship with the courts unless authorized by the appropriate authority; discussing the merits of cases pending before the court with litigants, counsel or other persons who do business with the court in a manner that gives the appearance of preferential treatment.Court employees may not knowingly make false entries on time cards or personnel records; backdate a court document; falsely claim reimbursement for mileage or expenses; misuse the telephone, fax machine, or copying machine; or take supplies home for private use.“Such conduct may be punishable as theft under the criminal statutes,” the proposed code says.• Canon 3: A court employee shall adhere to appropriate standards in performing the duties of the office. Besides carrying out duties in a “courteous and professional manner,” this canon also details that a court employee “shall not publicly comment on the merits of any pending action and should require similar restraint by the court employee’s subordinates. This proscription does not extend to public statements made in the course of official duties or when explaining court procedures.”Additionally, “no court employee shall alter, falsify, destroy, mutilate, backdate or fail to make required entries on any records within the employee’s control.”And court employees shall not “discriminate against or engage in bias or prejudice against another person based upon race, physical or mental disability, ethnicity, religion, national origin, gender, age, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, or political affiliation in the conduct of service to the court.”This canon also stresses that “no court employee shall provide legal advice or recommend the names of private attorneys, when acting in the capacity of a court employee.” • Canon 4: No court employee shall disclose confidential information acquired in the course of employment. This canon also requires that if a court employee has knowledge that another court employee has violated this rule to “take appropriate action. No employee shall be disciplined for disclosing such a violation to an appropriate authority.”It asks court administrators to educate court employees about what information is confidential.Court employees are also prohibited from engaging in ex parte communication “from litigants, witnesses or attorneys to judges, jury members or any other person in the decision-making process, except as provided by law or at the direction of the court.” • Canon 5: Every court employee shall avoid conflicts of interest in the performance of professional duties. This canon expects court employees to “regulate outside activities to minimize the risk of conflict with court-related duties. Generally, a conflict of interest exists when the court employee’s objective ability or independence of judgement in the performance of his or her job is impaired or may reasonably appear to be impaired.”In an anti-nepotism section of the canon, no employee may be supervised by a member of the employee’s immediate family, “nor shall there be any assignments as supervisor and subordinate between employees engaged in a dating relationship.”The committee recognized that this restriction may result in a qualified candidate being summarily rejected for a position or represent a hardship to smaller counties.“However, when balanced by the need for actions free of the taint of nepotism both in appearance and fact, this restriction is necessary.”Court employees who have the authority to enter into or approve contracts over $1,500 in the name of the court system must file financial disclosure statements with the chief judge (consistent with that which is required for disclosure under F.S. 112.3145). • Canon 6: A court employee’s professional position shall not be used for private gain. This section deals with the prohibition against soliciting or accepting freebies, whether they are “gifts, loans, gratuities, discounts, hospitality, services or favors directly or indirectly from attorneys, litigants or other persons known to do business with the court.”Additionally, “receiving fees, money or other compensation not provided for by law in return for public services is prohibited and may be punishable under the criminal code.”When is a gift OK?When it’s the holiday season, the giver is an attorney, and the food and refreshments are “of insignificant value.”Gifts may also be exchanged between court employees and judges during the holidays, birthday, or weddings.“The standard to keep in mind is that court employees should always conduct themselves in a manner that inspires public confidence in their role as court employees. After all, when serving the public interest, court employees must be free from the influence of improper outside interests. Also, gifts that cannot properly be accepted may be returned at government expense.”When it comes to outside employment, it is only permitted when the job does not involve “an entity that regularly appears in court or conducts business with the court system and it does not require the court employee to have frequent contact with attorneys who regularly appear in the court system.”If the court employee is also an attorney, he or she may provide “occasional uncompensated legal advice or document drafting for relatives or friends; or as part of pro bono services as recognized by The Florida Bar. However, the attorney may undertake litigation only if it is of a personal or family nature and so long as the litigation does not conflict with” other provisions of the canon.Judge Silverman acknowledged this prohibition may likely require a change in the Rules of Judicial Administration. • Canon 7: A court employee should refrain from inappropriate political activity. Keep the bumper stickers for candidates off your office door, and don’t use the office phone for drumming up support for your favorite judge running for re-election.This canon makes it clear that court employees should separate their political activities from employment duties.No political activity may be carried out during work hours or using government vehicles, equipment or on court property, and this includes telephones, fax machines, computers, network connectivity, copies and stamps.This also means court employees cannot display campaign literature, badges, stickers or endorsement signs on behalf of any party, committee, agency or candidate for political office.Nor may court employees solicit signatures for political candidacy or solicit campaign contributions on the job.Court employees may voluntarily participate in a judge’s or clerk’s campaign activities, including contributing money, but only through a judge’s or clerk’s fund-raising committee. Judges, elected clerks, and court administrators or supervisors may not require subordinate court employees to participate in political activities.“In general, court employees may participate in any political activities that do not give the impression that the judiciary itself endorses political candidates or supports political causes.” July 1, 2002 Regular News Proposed Code of Conduct for court system employeescenter_img Proposed Code of Conduct for court system employeeslast_img read more

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Study claims young people are developing horns due to electronic use

first_imgResearchers are reporting that they have found an occurrence of young adults who are starting to develop horn-like structures on the back of their heads.Scientific Reports published the report showing that of the 1,200 Australian adults ages of 18 and 30 that they examined, over 40 percent of them had developed a spur at the base of their skulls.In some cases the horn-like structure was as long as 1-inch.Scientist stated that the believe the spur is because caused by the person tilting their head forward, which shifts weight to muscles at the back of the head. Holding that position of extended periods of time may cause the spur to develop.While there is no definitive proof, scientist hypothesize that the development of the spur may be due to the excessive use of electronic devices like cellphones which those between the ages of 18 and 30 tend to spend the majority of their time starring down at.“However, we hypothesize that the use of modern technologies and hand-held devices, may be primarily responsible for these postures and subsequent development of adaptive robust cranial features in our sample.”They plan to continue to study to determine if their hypothesis matches their findings.Read more about the report here.last_img read more

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Jasprit Bumrah secures top spot in ICC T20 rankings

first_imgPublished on cricket File photo of Indian fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah.   –  The Hindu Indian fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah climbed to the number one spot in the latest ICC T20 rankings while his fifth-ranked team could go as high as second if it beats New Zealand in the three-match series beginning here tomorrow.Bumrah, who attained a career-best third position in the ODI rankings on Monday, has regained the T20 top spot after Pakistan spinner Imad Wasim slipped one place.India captain Virat Kohli, who on Monday edged AB de Villiers to claim the top ranking in ODIs, also goes into the New Zealand series as the top-ranked batsman in the shortest format.In the team rankings, India will do Pakistan a huge favour if they defeat New Zealand in the upcoming series, as such a result will see their arch rivals top the standings.New Zealand are the top-ranked side in the shortest format with 125 points but Pakistan have closed in to within one point after securing a 3-0 win in the series against Sri Lanka that culminated in Lahore on Sunday.India are placed fifth at 116 points and can at best go to second position with a 3-0 win over New Zealand which will take them to 122 points. Pakistan will reach the top rank with their tally of 124 points in such a scenario with New Zealand slipping to 114 points and fifth position.Even a 2-1 series win for India will be enough for Pakistan to move to the top with New Zealand slipping to 121 points. File photo of Indian fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah.   –  The Hindu SHARE × India are placed fifth at 116 points and can at best go to second position with a 3-0 win over New Zealand October 31, 2017 RELATED COMMENT SHARE SHARE EMAIL null Zaggle ropes in ace pacer Jasprit Bumrah as brand ambassador COMMENTSlast_img read more

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MASSIVE WEEKEND MEDIA BOOST FOR TOUCH FOOTBALL AUSTRALIA TEAMS

first_imgTouch Football Australia (TFA) National Representative Teams and squads were involved in a series of camps and events around the Country on the weekend that led to widespread media coverage and massive promotional exposure for the code on a National scale.TFA fielded an Australian Women’s Invitational Team in the Harvey Norman Beach Footy Series at Sydney’s Maroubra beach on the 16-17 December 2006.The event featured six elite teams battling it out for $100,000 in prize money for their choosen charity.Four of the teams – The Blues, the Maroons, the Pacific Islanders, and the Young Guns comprised wall to wall National Rugby League superstars, whilst the Australian Women’s Invitational Beach Footy team, and a Celebrity Team headlined by Andrew Johns, and Anthony Mundine completed the stellar field.The event received massive media exposure in print, radio, and television mediums through broadcast partners Channel Nine, News Limited, and Nova FM, and the Women’s Beach Footy Team were featured prominantly.Among the media exposure TFA received was the front page story of a four page Beach Footy liftout in Sydney’s Daily Telegraph on Friday, live radio interviews with Women’s players and updates on Nova FM, and 2UE, exposure on several National network news bulletins, and Channel Ten’s Sports Tonight.Channel Nine taped the Beach Footy Series and it will be aired in late February/ early March in the lead-up to the NRL season kick-off.The Australian Men’s Open Team travelled to Rockhampton for their final training camp of their 2007 World Cup campaign and enjoyed saturation exposure from the local media.The Touch Football loving town rolled out the red carpet for Tony Trad’s men and the 3 game series against a Central Queensland combination that featured Rugby League superstar Benji Marshall turning out as an Invitational player for Central Queensland in the last game, received daily print and television coverage in the region.To cap off an exciting time promotionally for the sport, the Australian Open Women’s Team were featured on Channel Ten’s Sports Tonight program Sunday evening in an excellent piece on their record as arguably Australia’s most successful National Women’s sporting Team.The Aussie girls have won 45 World Cup games straight in a 19 year unblemished run in World Cup competition.A further piece on the Australian Men’s Open Team will be featured on Sports Tonight before all seven teams depart Australia’s shores bound for Stellenbosch, South Africa on January 13 2007.There will be media stories circulating in the lead-up to the World Cup on Australian representative players and Teams so keep your eyes peeled for World Cup stories around the nation in coming weeks.last_img read more

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TFA Seeking Event Volunteers

first_imgWith an exciting two year calendar of events approaching including the 2015 FIT Touch World Cup (2015 TWC), TFA is undertaking an initial internal expression of interest process seeking suitable Volunteer Event Staff personnel to contribute to the success of our events. If interesting in volunteering in any of the events, please complete the online Expression of Interest process via http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/Volunteer-Event-Staff-EOI by Wednesday, 22 January 2013.Further details are available in the attachment.Related Filesvolunteer_event_staff_-_expression_of_interest-pdfRelated LinksVolunteers Requiredlast_img read more

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Video: Iowa WR Tevaun Smith Breaks Odell Beckham’s World Record With 41 One-Handed Catches In A Minute

first_imgClose-up view of Iowa footballs.LINCOLN, NE – NOVEMBER 24: General view of footballs used by the Iowa Hawkeyes before the game against the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Memorial Stadium on November 24, 2017 in Lincoln, Nebraska. (Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images)Your Guinness world record didn’t last very long, Odell Beckham. The New York Giants’ wide receiver set a world record on Thursday, catching 33 of New Orleans Saints’ quarterback Drew Brees’ passes in a minute with one hand on ESPN’s Super Bowl set in Scottsdale, Ariz. Iowa wide receiver Tevaun Smith one-upped the NFL star on Friday, snagging 41 passes using only one hand. [email protected] goes for @OBJ_3‘s one-handed catch world record and snags 41 in a minute! #GoHawks #Swarm2015 http://t.co/BnLBmRNutP— Hawkeye Football (@HawkeyeFootball) January 30, 2015Smith had two less catches in that one-minute video than he did during the entire 2014 season, during which he caught 43 passes for 596 yards and three touchdowns.last_img read more

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Louisville’s Facebook Account Screwed Up A Statistic, And Kentucky Fans Aren’t Letting It Slide

first_imgLouisville messes up stat in tweet.This past Sunday night, Louisville took down Northern Iowa to reach its fourth straight Sweet 16. Senior Wayne Blackshear also became the first Cardinals player in school history to play for four straight squads that reached the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament. Tuesday morning, the school attempted to celebrate the accomplishment by posting the statistic to its Facebook page. Unfortunately, they screwed up and named Blackshear as the only player in NCAA Division One history to accomplish the feat. That isn’t even close to true, as dozens of players in college basketball history to have reached the Sweet 16 four straight times.Kentucky fans, predictably, are having a field day, claiming that the school is perpetuating a “lie.”…. “And the lie detector test determined….THAT was a lie!” @KySportsRadio pic.twitter.com/D1uwIpmGoJ— Jeremy Kemble (@IAM4UKWILDCATS) March 24, 2015UL Athletics sends out a blatant lie today http://t.co/ZTni2u97L9— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) March 24, 2015University of Louisville claims Wayne Blackshear is the first to appear in four Sweet 16 games. Kentucky has had seven players do that.— UK Cat Facts (@UK_CatFacts) March 24, 2015Regardless, Blackshear’s feat is quite impressive. Can we get a Kentucky vs. Louisville national championship game please?last_img read more

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A Michigan Fan Got A Tattoo Of Jim Harbaugh On Saved By The Bell

first_imgJim Harbaugh speaks as he is introduced as the new Head Coach of the University of Michigan football team.ANN ARBOR, MI – DECEMBER 30: Jim Harbaugh speaks as he is introduced as the new Head Coach of the University of Michigan football team at the Junge Family Champions Center on December 30, 2014 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)Michigan fans are still pretty pumped about the hiring of former Wolverines quarterback Jim Harbaugh as head coach. One has chosen a rather interesting way to convey that excitement. A Twitter user who goes by the name of Mark the Nomad has gotten a tattoo that pays homage to Harbaugh’s 1994 appearance on the television show Saved By The Bell. No, really.Mark claims that he’s received the most negative feedback from Columbus, Ohio. That doesn’t surprise anyone.I have a very important announcement to make.— Mark (@MarktheNomad) April 4, 2015I want all of you to stop what you’re doing and look.— Mark (@MarktheNomad) April 4, 2015So, this just happened: #GoBlue pic.twitter.com/jqlqyDoFsM— Mark (@MarktheNomad) April 4, 2015A huge thanks to those who donated to the tattoo fund on GoFundMe. I certainly didn’t think it’d pick up traction the way it did.— Mark (@MarktheNomad) April 4, 2015I had the best tattoo artist, IMHO, on the planet. If you’re in the Sarasota area, hell if you’re in Florida, go see Caitlin at Trap Ink.— Mark (@MarktheNomad) April 4, 2015You may be shocked to learn that most of the negative feedback I’ve received is via Columbus, Ohio.— Mark (@MarktheNomad) April 4, 2015If we’re being honest, it’s actually some high-quality ink. That being said, he’s probably going to get tired of explaining it to everyone he ever meets.last_img read more

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Video: Duke Dropped A Cool “Duke In The NBA” Graphic On Twitter

first_imgDuke alumni Kyrie Irving promotion.Duke KyrieDuke is just three days away from beginning its national title defense. The Blue Devils open up Friday night against Siena, but there are over a dozen former players currently in action in the NBA.Like other programs with a large number of NBA alumni, Duke does a good job of playing up its track record on social media. It did so again tonight with a quick “Duke in the NBA” graphic on Twitter. Pretty self-explanatory. There’s background music, as images of ex-Dukies in NBA gear appear and flow from one to the next. Duke forever. #DukeintheNBA #BannerHunters #TheBrotherhood #DukeFam pic.twitter.com/3DnvM2cVcF— Duke Basketball (@dukeblueplanet) November 11, 2015How many members of the 2015-16 Blue Devils will join these guys in the professional ranks next year?last_img read more

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PAJ Engages Stakeholders on Proposed Development of Goat Islands

first_img President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Port Authority of Jamaica (PAJ), Professor Gordon Shirley, on November 1, engaged several stakeholders at the Jamaica Conference Centre with a presentation and discussion surrounding the proposed development of the Goat Islands.The proposal made by the China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) is for the establishment of a transshipment port and an industrial commercial economic zone on the Goat Islands and on lands north of the Old Harbour Bay area, in St. Catherine, as part of the global logistics hub initiative.Professor Shirley, in putting the need for development in perspective, indicated that the rest of the world is moving in sync with the expansion of the shipping industry, which has seen ports along the east coast of the United States expanding, such as Miami, which recently added four new cranes.He emphasised that Jamaica must capitalize on its unique position of having the most favourable location in the region, particularly with the impending expansion of the Panama Canal.   “We must deepen our channel to stay in the game or the shipping lines will go away,” Professor Shirley warned.The President expressed the need to ensure that the ports operate at world class levels. “We have to move in a direction of adding greater value to the cargo which comes to Jamaica and at the moment this is the single largest opportunity to do so,” he added.Professor Shirley also mentioned the impending privatization of the Kingston Container Terminal under a concessionary arrangement which would span 35 years, noting that there are three pre-qualified players in the tender process. They are CMACGM China Merchant Marine, Singapore Port Authority and Dubai Port World. The process should be completed by mid 2014.A report on an Environmental Management Scoping Survey of the Portland Bight Area, in Clarendon,  of which the Goat Islands are a part,  was shared by Professor Shirley. It was undertaken on behalf of the PAJ by Conrad Douglas and Associates Ltd.The survey was intended to assess and monitor the proposed project area, undertake detailed environmental and feasibility studies and offer guidance to the Chinese investors about the required development processes and approvals, which must be followed.The President, who was in his first day on the job, made it clear that the Environmental Management Scoping Study was in no way intended to replace an Environmental Impact Assessment, which would be undertaken after a Framework Agreement had been done and the project submitted to Cabinet for approval.Professor Shirley said the proposed development is important to Jamaica, not just for employment creation, but also for development of the maritime sector.Stakeholders included residents of Old Harbour Bay, members of academia, environmentalists and representatives of the private sector.A summary of the key points of the Environmental Management Scoping Study report can be viewed on the PAJ’s website at: www.portjam.com. Professor Shirley says Jamaica must capitalize on its unique position in the region. Story Highlights Professor Shirley said the proposed development is important to Jamaica for development of the maritime sector. PAJ indicated that the rest of the world is moving in sync with the expansion of the shipping industry.last_img read more

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