The Florida Bar Foundation articles

first_img January 1, 2002 Managing Editor Regular News Public service grants awarded Foundation awards $10 million in legal aid grants Mark D. Killian Managing EditorThe Florida Bar Foundation awarded close to $10 million in IOTA grants December 7 to Florida legal aid providers and devoted another $1 million to “special purpose” programs to help meet the legal needs of the poor.William H. Davis, chair of the Foundation’s Legal Assistance for the Poor Grant Committee, said this year’s general support grants are equal to what was awarded last year, halting a trend which had seen Foundation funding for legal aid to the poor decline by 8.3 percent last year and 7 percent the previous year.“This year, thankfully, we are not going to be required to make any cuts over the funding from last year,” Davis said. “We certainly were not able to award what was requested but many of the programs — because the committee had previously announced we wanted to have level funding — asked for the same grant amount they got last year.”Davis said cuts in bank interest rates over the past few years have taken a toll on the IOTA program. In the past, the program has raised as much as $19 million a year to fund legal aid, administration of justice, and law student assistance projects. From 1993 until 1998, annual grant allocations were kept relatively stable through the use of the IOTA contingency reserve — which was established before bank interest rates began to drop — and by allocating more and more of the Foundation’s income to legal assistance to the poor programs and less to the administration of justice and law student assistance projects.The Foundation also was able to offset declines in IOTA contributions by the favorable returns it received on its investments. The reserve funds, however, are now depleted, and investment income is down.The applications for general support grants for local programs are based upon a per capita formula, depending upon the number of poor people in a county.Services are provided through staff and pro bono attorneys. The cases handled are determined through local community priorities set by local boards of directors. Predominantly, the cases handled are family, housing, income maintenance, and consumer matters.The Foundation’s board of directors approved the general support grants on the recommendation of its Legal Assistance to the Poor Grant Committee.Of the funds distributed, $5 million went to general legal services programs that also receive Legal Services Corporation funds; $1.2 million went to legal aid organizations that do not receive any LSC money; slightly more than $1 million was awarded to immigration service projects; $423,000 was provided for legal assistance to the institutionalized; $30,000 went to law school clinical projects; and almost $1 million was awarded to statewide legal aid programs. LSC Programs Foundation grants for general support to programs which also receive LSC funding include: Bay Area Legal Services, $607,126; Central Florida Legal Services, $458,845; Florida Rural Legal Services, $673,859; Greater Orlando Area Legal Services, $212,098; Gulf Coast Legal Services, $457,487; Jacksonville Area Legal Services, $360,527; Legal Aid Services of Broward County, $449,653; Legal Services of Greater Miami, $582,119; Legal Services of North Florida, $419,087; Northwest Florida Legal Services, $228,804; Three Rivers Legal Services, $324,466; and Withlacoochee Area Legal Services, $259,098.IOTA general funding grants awarded to organizations which do not also receive LSC funding include: Brevard County Legal Aid, $72,387; Clearwater Bar Foundation, $32,740; Community Law Program, $42,817; Cuban American Bar Association, $28,479; Dade County Bar Association, $256,062; Heart of Florida Legal Aid Society, $96,190; Lee County Legal Aid Society, $48,176; Legal Aid Foundation of the Tallahassee Bar Association, $32,151; Legal Aid Society of Collier County, $32,095; Legal Aid Society of Manasota, $16,506; Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County, $238,581; Legal Aid Society of the Orange County Bar Association, $292,064; Okaloosa County Legal Aid, $22,652; and the Seminole County Bar Association Legal Aid Society, $54,331. Immigration Services Foundation grants to organizations which provide immigration services include: American Friends Service Committee, $111,030; Dade County Bar Association, $67,412; Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center, $572,845; Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center Homeless Project, $65,190; Legal Aid Society of the Orange County Bar Association, $124,208; and Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County, $77,725.Grants for legal assistance programs for the institutionalized or incapacitated went to Florida Institutional Legal Services, $217,126; the Florida Justice Institute, $149,432; and the Guardianship Program of Dade County, $56,958.IOTA grants for law school clinical projects in the amount of $5,000 each went to Florida State University, Nova Southeastern University, St. Thomas University, Stetson University, the University of Florida, and the University of Miami.General support grants for statewide projects went to Florida Legal Services, $873,773, and Southern Legal Counsel, $75,342. Special Purpose Grants The Florida Bar Foundation also gave slightly more than $1 million in special purpose grants to four legal aid programs providing representation that federally funded programs can no longer offer.The money will be used to fund class actions, migrant farm worker representation, policy advocacy, and cases that might generate attorneys’ fees. Federal legislation enacted a number of years ago prohibits programs that accept Legal Services Corporation funding from working in those areas.To file class actions and cases that might generate fees, the Foundation awarded Florida Legal Services for policy advocacy, $311,251; FLS Migrant Farmworker Justice Project, $376,713; the Florida Justice Institute, $162,911; Southern Legal Counsel, $134,389; and the Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County, $118,454.The 2002 grant year will mark the 20th time IOTA funds have been awarded in the legal assistance for the poor category. Florida’s IOTA program, the first in the nation, has awarded more than $133 million in IOTA LAP grants over the program’s 19-year history. Foundation seeks directors The Florida Bar Foundation articles Eight positions on The Florida Bar Foundation’s board of directors will be filled this year under the Florida Supreme Court approved governance plan which provides for 18 of the 29-member Bar Foundation board to be selected equally by the Florida Supreme Court, The Florida Bar Board of Governors, and the board of directors of the Bar Foundation.The six at-large seats to be filled for three-year terms beginning July 1 are currently held by: William S. Graessle, Jacksonville; and Judge Florence Snyder Rivas, Tallahassee (Florida Supreme Court appointees); Daryl D. Parks, Tallahassee; Lawrence J. Phalin, Orlando (Florida Bar Board of Governors appointees); Patrice Pilate, Viera; and Kathleen McLeroy, Tampa (Foundation appointees). Graessle and Rivas are not eligible for additional terms. One at-large position will be filled for a one-year term beginning July 1 to fill the unexpired term of William H. Davis, Tallahassee, who was elected secretary-treasurer of the Foundation effective July 1. Applicants for the at-large positions who are members of The Florida Bar also must be members of the Bar Foundation. Bar Foundation members include annual contributors, Foundation Fellows, and participants in IOTA.The eighth board seat to be filled is for a public member currently held by Georgina A. Angones of Miami, who is eligible to serve a second two-year term. The public member position will be filled by a joint Bar/Foundation Nominating Committee.Since 1981, the Foundation’s principal activity has been setting policy and overseeing operation of the Florida Supreme Court’s IOTA program. The court established the IOTA program to fund legal aid for the poor, improvements in the administration of justice, and loans and scholarships for law students. The Foundation board also oversees the Foundation’s formal fundraising program, sets investment policies, Foundation policies generally, and adopts the annual operating budget.Persons interested in applying for any of the eight Foundation board positions should obtain the appropriate application form. Applications for positions to be filled by the Supreme Court, Foundation (at-large seats), or the joint Bar/Foundation nominating committee (public member seat) may be obtained from the executive director of The Florida Bar Foundation, Suite 405, 109 East Church Street, Orlando 32801-3440.Completed applications for these seats must be received by the Foundation by February 15. (The Florida Bar will give separate notice for the two positions to be filled by The Florida Bar Board of Governors. See the Notice on page 2.)The Florida Bar Foundation Board of Directors embraces the concept of diversity. According to the Foundation, “a diverse membership makes the board stronger, and its work for the Foundation more relevant to the society in which we live.” The Foundation strongly encourages minorities, women, and persons with disabilities to apply for service on the board. To help achieve the broadest participation, The Florida Bar Foundation “Expense Reimbursement Policy” provides modest reimbursement for most out-of-pocket expenses incurred during board service.Applicants will be advised in writing of action taken by the selecting authorities. O’Malley to lead the Foundation Tampa’s Andrew M. O’Malley has been elected president-elect designate of The Florida Bar Foundation by its board of directors.Meeting December 7, the Foundation board also elected William H. Davis of Tallahassee secretary/treasurer.O’Malley will assume the Foundation presidency in 2002-2003, following William L. Thompson, Jr., of Orange Park, who will take office when the term of Darryl Bloodworth, Jacksonville, expires in June.The names of O’Malley and Davis were placed in nomination by the Foundation Nominating Committee, which consists of Bloodworth, and past Florida Bar Foundation presidents A. Hamilton Cooke, James A. Baxter, Rene V. Murai, and Neal R. Sonnett. The Florida Bar Foundation is seeking nominations for its 2002 Medal of Honor Awards.The Foundation has two categories for the medal of honor award. A nominee for the first category must be a member of The Florida Bar who has demonstrated dedication to the objectives of the Bar: “…to inculcate in its members the principles of duty and service to the public, to improve the administration of justice, and to advance the science of jurisprudence.”Nominees in this first category also must be Florida residents who are actively engaged in a profession relative to the practice of law including, but not limited to, practicing lawyers, judges or teachers in the legal field. Recent recipients in this category are: Steven M. Goldstein, William O.E. Henry, Justice Richard W. Ervin, Burton Young, Samuel S. Smith, Joseph W. Hatchett. Last year’s award was presented to Patrick G. Emmanuel.Nominees are also being solicited for a second medal of honor award category. This category recognizes the achievement of nonlawyers, or lawyers not actively engaged in the practice of law. Nominees must have made an outstanding contribution to the improvement of the administration of justice in Florida through research, writing, or other deeds of such character and quality that, in the judgment of the Foundation, warrant the highest award that can be bestowed by the Foundation.Nominees in the second category also must be Florida residents and may be members of The Florida Bar. Recent recipients in this category are: The Rev. Fred L. Maxwell for his leadership and perseverance in seeking permanent housing for the homeless in Orlando, Gene Miller for his integrity and passion as an investigative reporter for The Miami Herald in the coverage of the murder trials of two wrongfully convicted death row inmates, and John B. Orr, Jr., for his courageous stand against a package of bills filed in the 1956 Florida Legislature’s special session whose purpose was to perpetuate school segregation.The Medal of Honor awards will be presented at the annual dinner of the Foundation during The Florida Bar Annual Meeting June 20, at the Boca Raton Resort and Club.Nominations should list the specific achievements which would qualify an individual to receive a medal of honor and should include a brief biographical sketch of the nominee.Nominations should be sent to: The Florida Bar Foundation, Medal of Honor Awards Program, Post Office Box 1553, Orlando 32802-1553, (800) 541-2195, (407) 843-0045. Nominations also may be faxed to (407) 839-0287 or sent via e-mail to [email protected] deadline for submission of nominees is January 30. The Florida Bar Foundation recently awarded $152,500 to public service programs at seven Florida law schools.IOTA Public Service Fellows programs range from traditional civil legal clinics to developing public policy proposals focusing on the legal needs of women and children to advocacy for the disabled. In addition to direct public service work, law students also undertake projects to involve other students in public service activities.The funds are awarded directly to the law schools, which select students based on demonstrated commitment to pro bono and public interest work.“Not only do the fellows help provide legal services, but they get exposed to that kind of work and, hopefully, will be more prone to enter into it either as a legal service attorney or a pro bono attorney later in their careers,” said William H. Davis, chair of the Foundation’s Legal Assistance for the Poor Grant Committee.The presence of the program on the campus for each law school also provides an awareness in the student body of the importance of public interest law practice, as a career and as a pro bono activity.Florida Coastal will receive $14,000; Florida State University will receive $23,000; Nova Southeastern University will receive $23,000; St. Thomas University, $20,000; Stetson University, $23,000; the University of Florida, $22,100; and the University of Miami, $27,400. Foundation seeks Medal of Honor nominees last_img

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