And finally…

first_imgIf you are thinking of fleeing the confused state of Great Britain, consider this:Hong Kong, Luxembourg and Sydney are named the most favourable tax-efficient locations for the quality of life on offer according to a report by Knight Frank. The Global Lifestyle Review 2016 analyses the lifestyle available in 26 favourable tax locations around the world for people at three different stages of life. Hong Kong is named the best place to live for an entrepreneur*, Luxembourg tops the list for a family and Sydney is the number one location for a retired couple.Working with BDO, the national accountancy and business advisory firm who provided a list of 26 top locations which their clients consider when looking to move to a more tax-efficient jurisdiction, Knight Frank has examined the lifestyle factors that may motivate clients at different stages of their lives before purchasing a property. Taking into consideration a variety of factors, including but not limited to personal safety, political risk, quality of life, education, cost of healthcare and available leisure pursuits, Knight Frank has weighted these lifestyle elements and identified the top ten places to live for an entrepreneur, family and retired couple.Alex Koch de Gooreynd, partner and head of Knight Frank’s Swiss network says, “Many private individuals approach Knight Frank for advice on relocating their business and family overseas. Their wealth managers or taxation advisers can inform them of the most tax-efficient locations, but they rarely take into account the lifestyle factors that will make the move a successful one for more than simply fiscal reasons. Within this report, we have analysed the lifestyle factors which motivate clients to purchase property and have identified locations which are best suited to people at three different stages of their lives. Whatever stage you are at – whether an entrepreneur who wants airport access and entertainment on tap, a family whose priorities are good schools and outdoor activities, or a retiree for whom security, healthcare and a likeminded community top the list – it’s crucial to understand the day to day life of a destination.”Whilst Hong Kong, Luxembourg and Sydney top the rankings – popular tax-efficient locations such as Dubai, Geneva and London still make the top-ten list for both an entrepreneur and a family. Monaco is also amongst the top-ten winners offering excellent quality of life for entrepreneurs and retired couples.Richard Montague, tax partner, BDO says, “When choosing a destination to live, individuals often want to balance the lifestyle and economic factors, ensuring that their financial affairs and global assets are structured in an efficient manner. Objectives mainly focus on ensuring long-term asset preservation whilst complying with their global tax obligations. An understanding of the tax regime in the country of choice is key. Most countries have some form of indirect taxation, such as Value Added Tax (VAT) or property transfer taxes, and will also apply direct tax on income and profits on the disposal of assets. Other countries will seek to tax capital gifted or inherited, or apply an annual tax on net wealth. Some countries even seek to apply an exit tax when individuals break tax residence. There are many pitfalls for the unwary.”Knight Frank research Hong Kong Luxembourg Sydney tax-efficient locations The Global Lifestyle Review 2016 July 8, 2016The NegotiatorWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles Letting agent fined £11,500 over unlicenced rent-to-rent HMO3rd May 2021 BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Home » News » Housing Market » And finally… previous nextHousing MarketAnd finally…Fed up with Brexit? Fed up with political machinations? Fed up because the football and tennis is over, take a look at Knight Frank’s latest research.The Negotiator8th July 20160647 Viewslast_img read more

Trainee letting agent spared jail after stealing £2,300 from tenants

first_imgThe industry’s urgent need for regulation has been highlighted once more by a court case in Southampton, during which a repeat fraudster was successfully prosecuted for stealing at least £2,300 from prospective tenants after working as a letting agent for just two weeks.Trainee letting agent Riccardo Lampietro already had a two-year suspended sentence hanging over him after previously being caught buying a Vauxhall Corsa on finance, switching the plates and then selling it on while working at a car dealership.Lampietro (picture, left), who has in the past had a serious gambling problem, then went to work at property management firm Homelife Lettings in Southampton.While working there for a fortnight he took deposits, fees and advanced rent from prospective tenants but then pocketed the cash rather than banking it for his employer.The 28-year-old, who lives in Ringwood, avoided jail after problems with the legal process prevented the two sets of frauds being linked.Also, Lampietro has repaid most of the money he stole from the prospective tenants back and will now have to complete 200 hours of community service. He also now has a three-and-a-half year suspended sentence hanging over him for both crimes.Homelife specialises in student accommodation in Southampton and has six staff and is a member of the National Approved Lettings Scheme (NALS).NALS Homelife Riccardo Lampietro southampton November 17, 2017Nigel LewisWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles Letting agent fined £11,500 over unlicenced rent-to-rent HMO3rd May 2021 BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Home » News » Trainee letting agent spared jail after stealing £2,300 from tenants previous nextTrainee letting agent spared jail after stealing £2,300 from tenantsRiccardo Lampietro from Southampton stole the money during a two-week stint at a local lettings agency.Nigel Lewis17th November 201701,334 Viewslast_img read more

‘Insta-agents’ will never rival traditional ones say leading prime players

first_imgHome » News » Agencies & People » ‘Insta-agents’ will never rival traditional ones say leading prime players previous nextAgencies & People‘Insta-agents’ will never rival traditional ones say leading prime playersGary Hersham and Jeremy Gee claim their prime and super-prime clients never use social media due to privacy fears.Nigel Lewis23rd March 20211 Comment1,470 Views Two of the world’s best-known traditional prime property estate agents have given The Negotiator their candid views on the rise of ‘Insta-agents’.Gary Hersham and Jeremy Gee of Beauchamp Estates, who are to feature in a full-length interview in The Negotiator magazine next week, say they have been watching the rise of social media-based prime agents who have massive followings and are often called Insta-agents, the most famous of which is Daniel Daggers.Gee and Hersham say this new kind of agent has a place in the industry but that they will not make serious inroads into the prime market.Both make the point that agents in their sector are all about adding value with a plethora of services whether it be finding a butler, cook or security team, something social media agents will struggle to match.Social mediaGee is also suspicious of the claims made by Insta-agents on their social media feeds – ‘don’t believe everything you read’ – and points out that the thousands of people who look at their photos and videos are not target customers of Beauchamp.“Most people we deal with would never consider using an Insta-agent,” says Gee.“Beauchamp has been around for 40 years and I’ve been in the business for 36 years and Gary for even longer.“It’s about trust – I have people who I sold to when I was 20 years old who are still my clients now.Gary Hersham adds: “They want to deal with someone they can trust, who has a grounding in business and a good professional and personal reputation. I don’t think that will change.”Read more about ‘Insta-agents’.Read the full interview in the April issue of The Negotiator, including Hersham and Gee’s latest news, view on AML and what makes them similar – but very different – to other agents.beauchamp Jeremy Gee Daniel Daggers gary hersham Beauchamp Estates March 23, 2021Nigel LewisOne commentMurray Lee, Dreamview Estates Dreamview Estates 23rd March 2021 at 8:43 am100pc agreeIve been at it for 48 years next month and now selling to 3rd and 4th generation clientsThese modern ways have their place but experience will win over in the long term3-4 years ago they suggested over 50% of sale would be “on line” where is that prediction nowSo many of the start up web based agents have come and gone…. and sorry where is Sarah Beeny now ?Log in to ReplyWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles Letting agent fined £11,500 over unlicenced rent-to-rent HMO3rd May 2021 BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021last_img read more

EAT OR BE EATEN (Horace Mann)

first_imgEAT OR BE EATEN — Horace Mann Community School fifth graders in Ms. Donohue’s Science class completed a Mystery Science activity entitled “Eat or be Eaten.” Students played a card game in which they had to select producers and consumers to make food chains. Whoever makes the longest chain wins! ×last_img

News story: New Apprenticeship Campaign ‘Fire It Up’ launches

first_imgLeading employers have woken up to the benefits apprenticeships bring to their workplaces, Education Secretary Damian Hinds said today, with top firms including Marks & Spencer and Lloyds Banking Group taking on thousands of apprentices on the Government’s new, higher quality apprenticeship programmes.At a time when many young people will be considering their futures, the Education Secretary wants parents, schools and colleges to make sure apprenticeships are being promoted alongside more traditional academic routes.So today (Thursday 17 January) the Government is launching a new campaign to promote apprenticeships among young people, parents and employers, whilst confirming that it will write to the largest school trusts who have not published information on their website about how they will ensure providers of vocational education are able talk to pupils in their schools.As the Prime Minister said in PMQs yesterday, it is important that young people are able to see that there are different routes for them for their futures, different routes into the workplace – and apprenticeships are an important route for some young people. The Government is also writing to local authorities to remind schools about the requirement to do this to make sure pupils have the full range of information about different career paths that are open to them.Education Secretary Damian Hinds said: A new generation of Higher Technical Qualifications – an alternative to a university degree to help more people get on in their careers and so employers can access the skills they need. These qualifications at ‘Level 4 and 5’ – like Diplomas of Higher Education and Foundation Degrees – sit in between A Levels and a degree in subjects like engineering and digital. The kind of training that helps someone step up from being a healthcare support worker to a nursing associate or a bricklayer to a construction site supervisor. Reforming the pupil destination measure – the information published in school and college performance tables about what higher study or training pupils go on to do after they leave – to create one measure that shows how many young people are doing higher training of any type. The new destination measure will show separately how many young people go on to study degrees, higher technical apprenticeships or Higher Technical Qualifications like a Higher National Diploma. Matching skills to jobs – new guidance and a package of support for Skills Advisory Panels – local partnerships between public and private sector employers, local authorities, colleges and universities – to assess what skills are needed in their local area. Nearly three quarters (71%) of apprentices agreed that their chances of earning a higher wage in future had increased, and (80%) agreed that their chances of going on to higher levels of training had also increased. Of those who completed an apprenticeship, 90% secured a job or went on to further learning, with 88% in sustained employment Employers also report benefits such as improved productivity (78%), improved product or service quality (74%) as well as the new ideas apprentices bring to their organisation (65%). 83% would also recommend apprentices to other business. According to a recent survey by the Sutton Trust, more and more young people are considering apprenticeships as an option after leaving school – almost two thirds (64%) said they would be interested in starting an apprenticeship instead of going to university. This is a rise of nine percentage points from 2014, when 55% of young people said they were interested in this route. The Sutton Trust survey also shows that men who start an apprenticeship earn 23% more than those who left school with only GCSEs and roughly 16% more than those who left education with a level 2 vocational qualification. For women, those who start an apprenticeship earn 15% more than those who left school with only GCSEs and about 4% more than those who left education with a level 2 vocational qualification. Young people like me are thinking about their options. University is a good idea, but it is not for everyone. Ultimately it wasn’t for me because I didn’t feel it was preparing me for the job I really wanted. My apprenticeship was an amazing combination of world-class on-the-job learning, hyper relevant qualifications, with a clear potential career ahead of me. All while earning a salary! Mr Hinds has pointed to these figures as proof that employers and young people are starting to recognise the benefits of apprenticeships to young people and businesses.Alim Jalloh, apprentice at Channel 4 and campaign star said:center_img The Government is already taking action to transform technical and vocational education in this country. This includes working with employers to overhaul the apprenticeship system so that it delivers higher quality, more flexible apprenticeships that cover a wider range of sectors and professions and introducing new, gold standard T Levels from 2020 – the technical equivalent to A Levels.In December last year, Mr Hinds set out his 10 year ambition to get more people into skilled jobs that command higher wages and help put Britain’s technical education system on a par with the best in the world. This includes: Anyone considering an apprenticeship can be reassured that it offers high-quality training and a range of exciting career options. The new apprenticeships known as ‘standards’ have been developed in collaboration with leading firms to ensure they provide people with the skills and knowledge that they are looking for in job hunters. There is a huge range of apprenticeships to choose from including aerospace engineering, nuclear science, teaching, nursing, digital marketing, fashion and law, with the opportunity to study right up to degree level. Apprentices will earn while they learn and can expect to receive around 700 training hours on average – up from 560 hours the year before.The Department for Education has launched its new ‘Fire it Up’ campaign to help raise awareness of the huge variety of apprenticeship options available for people of all ages and backgrounds.The new campaign includes national TV and social media adverts, and a new website that provides helpful advice and information as well as access to thousands of apprenticeship opportunities across the country.#FireItUpTo make sure young people can hear about and understand all the options available to them, like doing an apprenticeship or going to a further education college, the Government backed the Baker Clause in January 2017. The clause stipulates schools must invite a wide range of education and training providers in to help young people choose the right career path for them. Apprenticeships and Skills Minister Anne Milton is writing to the 5 largest Multi Academy Trusts currently not complying with the clause to remind them of their legal duty and if there is evidence that a school is not providing their students with a full range of information, the Government will take appropriate action.Through its nationwide Enterprise Adviser Network, The Careers & Enterprise Company is also working with schools and colleges to promote technical options and apprenticeships as well giving young people more experience of the world of work.Analysis has highlighted the positive benefits apprenticeships are bringing to individuals and workplaces across the country, dispelling the myth that a traditional academic route is the only path to a good job. Findings include: We are seeing the apprenticeship system in this country come of age, with leading employers waking up to the benefits apprenticeships can bring. The sad truth is that outdated and snobby attitudes are still putting people off apprenticeships which means they’re missing out on great jobs and higher salaries – many of them in the sorts of firms graduates look to land jobs with after university. It’s vital that we challenge people’s thinking about apprenticeships which is why the Government’s new ‘Fire It Up’ campaign will aim to shift deeply held views and drive more people towards an apprenticeship. At the same time we need to make sure that young people have access to information about all of the opportunities that are out there so we are taking action to make sure all schools invite a wide range of providers in to help young people choose the right career path for them.last_img read more

Guidance: Reintroduction of NHS continuing healthcare

first_imgThis document sets out how local health and social care systems should manage: NHS CHC work deferred between 19 March and 31 August 2020 routine NHS CHC referrals, starting from 1 September 2020last_img

Aldi bypasses Waitrose in supermarket leaderboard

first_imgGerman discounter Aldi has leapfrogged Waitrose in the leaderboard to become Britain’s sixth-largest supermarket. Following double-digit sales growth for the past four years, Aldi now holds 5.3% of the market in the latest figures from Kantar Worldpanel for the 12 weeks to 29 March 2015.More than half a million new shoppers have chosen to visit Aldi this year and average basket sizes have increased by 7%. Its sales have risen by 16.8% in the latest period, which is still high in comparison to other retailers, but slower relative to its recent performance.Lidl and Waitrose were the only other retailers to grow sales ahead of the market and increase their market shares in the latest period. Waitrose’s sales were up 2.9% compared with this time last year and accounted for 5.1% of the market. Its sales have been in growth since March 2009.Lidl saw 12.1% sales growth in this period, giving it a 3.7% share of the market.Meanwhile. Sainsbury’s is back in growth (0.2%) for the first time since August 2014 after bringing in more shoppers. This has slowed the rate at which it is losing market share, which stands at 16.4%, down 0.1 percentage points.Tesco also grew sales, up 0.3%, while Asda and Morrisons declined by 1.1% and 0.7% respectively.Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight, said: “The changing structure of Britain’s supermarket landscape is illustrated by two facts. Firstly, the so-called discounters, Aldi and Lidl, now command a combined 9% share of the market. In 2012 the same two retailers only accounted for 5.4% of grocery sales. Secondly, the 72.8% share taken by the biggest four retailers is now at its lowest level in a decade.”last_img read more

South Asia Institute hosts exhibit for Nepal

first_img Many of the city’s buildings and places of worship were destroyed or seriously damaged. Harvard’s South Asia Institute (SAI) is hosting an exhibit and fundraiser to help the country of Nepal and its people rebuild after the devastating earthquake of April 25. Thousands of Nepalese citizens were killed; tens of thousands more were injured and made homeless, while many of the city’s magnificent buildings and places of worship were destroyed or seriously damaged.Featuring photography by Grzegorz Ekiert, professor of government, and director of the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, “Nepal — In Memoriam” will run until Oct. 29 and will also feature a closing reception and fundraiser that night.  The photographs are on exhibit at the CGIS Knafel Concourse, 1737 Cambridge St.The exhibit is designed to raise funds for SAI’s Nepal Research and Reconstruction Fund, which provides support for projects in Nepal developed in partnership with local organizations, with a focus on Nepal’s long-term reconstruction. The exhibition is sponsored by the Harvard University Asia Center, South Asia Institute, Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies, Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, and Korea Institute.For more information. The recent devastating earthquake killed thousands of Nepalese. Photographs from the exhibit will be for sale with money raised going to SAI’s Nepal Research and Reconstruction Fund.center_img Palaces and temples, built by many generations of Newari craftsmen, are unique treasures of world architecture and art. Remembering Nepal Photographs by Harvard Professor Grzegorz Ekiert will be on exhibit at the CGIS Knafel Concourse. Photos by Grzegorz Ekiert ©last_img read more

NY Lawmakers Seek To Protect Renters During Pandemic

first_imgDennis Capati / MGNALBANY — Three New York lawmakers are working together to introduce legislation that would protect renters from eviction during the response to the coronavirus pandemic.It’s call the Safe Harbor Act and would prevent landlords from evicting tenants for unpaid rent accrued during the State of Emergency plus six months after.If passed, it would strengthen the 90-day executive order preventing evictions. Landlords would continue to be able to seek judgments for unpaid rent but tenants would have housing stability with no threat of eviction for non-payment in the meantime. Share: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),I am a senior citizen who has a small one bedroom house I rent out. I bought it 11 yrs ago to supplement my social security. These are my only sources of income. With out the rent from my rental I can not pay my property taxes and several other bills. If the tenant does not pay their rent but is allowed to live there, I would loose everything. That is my income every much as if I had a job. If I loose it I will loose everything I have.last_img read more

Guarding liberties while fighting terrorism

first_img December 15, 2001 Jan Pudlow Associate Editor Regular News Guarding liberties while fighting terrorism Associate Editor Eavesdropping on conversations between inmates and their lawyers.Sneak-and-peek warrants that allow secret searches, wiping out the chance to call a lawyer or watch while the police rummage.Secret databases of suspicious people with no clear guidelines of what names and information are included.Rounding up and detaining indefinitely more than 1,200 people, some on material witness warrants, some on immigration violations such as overstaying a visa, some detained even when an immigration judge has ordered them freed.Roving wire taps that allow law-enforcement to keep listening to conversations beyond the designated target.Special military tribunals to try noncitizens suspected of terrorism in secret trials without juries, where the standard for proving guilt falls below “beyond a reasonable doubt,” where the death sentence requires only a two-thirds vote, and there are no appeals.In the name of fighting terrorism and preserving national security, is America willing to give away its civil liberties?“We love security more than we love liberty,” David Cole, a law professor at Georgetown University who often represents foreigners detained by the government, told The New York Times. “It is generally the case that in times of fear, people place security above all, and they are quite willing to cede to the government extraordinary authority.”But new powers created by the government in the wake of the September 11 attacks are sparking renewed vigilance among lawyers to safeguard the basic principles of the Constitution.“With a lot of these bills, the government is saying, ‘Trust us.’ But trial lawyers and civil libertarians have trouble with that concept,” said Larry Spalding, state lobbyist for the American Civil Liberties Union.And it’s not just the predictable ACLU lawyers who are concerned that changing the rules in a national crisis could lead to a slippery slope of losing precious constitutional rights.Terry Russell, president of The Florida Bar, has spent a lot of time talking about the danger of eroding constitutional principles in the name of fighting terrorism.“What I try to do is give a historical perspective. This has happened many times before, and you have to rely on the voices of reason on how you got to where we are, and the great constitutional freedoms that we have, and how hard they were to achieve, and how easy they are to give up and lose,” Russell said.“There is no cause or justification for compromising our constitutional principles. Bottom line, in my view: Absolutely nothing happened on September 11 that the American justice system and the Constitution of the United States cannot handle.”Thomas P. Scarritt, Jr., chair of the Bar’s Trial Lawyers Section, has written a column for newspaper opinion pages expressing his concern that eavesdropping on lawyer-client conversations is unconstitutional.When the Trial Lawyers Section meets in Miami in January, Scarritt said, he wants to discuss what other actions the members may take as watchdogs of the Constitution.“Many (including this writer), believe we are living through times of unique threats to our society and that we must make sacrifices to protect our national security. We have been called upon to embrace our everyday lives, while at the same time remaining ever-vigilant; to give blood, money, and volunteer efforts to assist our victims; and to trust and support our military as it engages a shadowy enemy in extremely difficult terrain,” Scarritt wrote in his column.“For the most part, Americans have enthusiastically complied. But we should not be asked to accept rules which abridge the very freedoms on which our founding principles are based, no matter how grievous the enemy against whom they might be used. The threat to our civil liberties far outweighs the physical threat these rules are designed to contain. They should be repealed immediately.”And Chesterfield Smith, former president of the ABA and The Florida Bar, said in a speech to the National Legal Aid and Defender Association’s annual convention recently held in Miami: “Today, 28 years after Watergate, our country again is confronted with another governmental crisis, which if left unwatched or unmonitored may result in a similar denigration of civil liberties.”Even conservative columnist William Safire warned: “Intimidated by terrorists and inflamed by a passion for rough justice, we are letting George W. Bush get away with the replacement of the American rule of law with military kangaroo courts.” Rules are Different in Times of War In these extraordinary times of trying to wipe terrorism from the globe, President Bush and his administration have justified the executive branch creating new powers. Their sweeping initiatives alter fundamental principles of the American judicial system, including the privacy of an attorney-client relationship, the right to trial by jury, and protections against dragnet detentions.They argue that the changed rules for ferreting out suspects and prosecuting alleged terrorists are designed to apply to people who are not American citizens during a national crisis of heightened fear of more terrorist attacks. Recent polls bolster Bush’s stance that he has strong public support for his agenda.Among the altered judicial landscape, the boldest are the military tribunals that, with the president’s signature on an order November 13, create an alternative justice system that’s designed to be swift and mostly secret, for noncitizens who are suspected of involvement in terrorism. Until now, people charged with crimes in America — whether U.S. citizens or not — were afforded many of the constitutional rights and protections of citizens.But the military tribunals wipe out trials by juries, withhold access to evidence against defendants, employ panels of military officers instead of judges, lower the standard of proving guilt from “beyond a reasonable doubt” to “have probative value to a reasonable person,” and ban any appeals.Release of information could be as minimal as the defendant’s name and sentence and transcripts of proceedings could be sealed for years, perhaps decades, according to a military officer who spoke to The New York Times. “I need to have that extraordinary option at my fingertips,” Bush said after signing an executive order allowing secret military tribunals for noncitizens suspected of terrorism, last used by President Franklin D. Roosevelt during World War II against Nazi saboteurs.“I ought to be able to have that option available should we ever bring one of these al Qaeda members in alive. It’s our national interests, it’s our national security interests that we have a military tribunal available. It is in the interests of the safety of potential jurors that we have a military tribunal,” Bush told The Washington Post. “Foreign terrorists who commit war crimes against the United States, in my judgment, are not entitled to and do not deserve the protections of the American Constitution, particularly when there could be very serious and important reasons related to not bringing them back to the United States for justice,” Attorney General John Ashcroft said. “I think it’s important to understand that we are at war now.”But Russell counters the American system — open court where the judicial branch and an independent jury stand between the government and the accused — is not only adequate to bring wrongdoers to justice, it is tried and true.“Are we afraid of our system?” Russell asks. “We tried Manuel Noriega, and we tried the people who bombed the World Trade Center (in 1993). We brought them to justice. Now, we’re not in a declared state of war. I’m not aware of anything the government could have done any differently before September 11 that these proposals would have changed. They had intelligence; they didn’t act on it. Show me what you had and why it was inadequate before you show me what you need. I get the strange feeling that when you do that, that you’re scapegoating. I’d hate like hell to see the United States Constitution be the subject of scapegoating. Don’t tell me we have constitutional infirmities in this country that made us susceptible to terrorism. I don’t believe that. I just don’t believe that. I think more of our way of government.”Russell added: “I would like to know why we did not detect this and why we could not stop these 19 fanatics from boarding four airplanes and destroying the World Trade Center and Pentagon.”On November 15, Vice President Dick Cheney said: “The mass murder of Americans by terrorists, or the planning thereof, is not just another item on the criminal docket. This is a war against terrorism. Where military justice is called for, military justice will be dispensed.”But some question whether justice is truly the goal.Harvard Law Professor Phillip Heymann, in The New York Times, said: “The tribunal idea looks to me like a way of dealing with a fear that we lack the evidence to convict these people.” And Harvard Law Professor Anne Marie Slaughter, on ABC’s “Nightline,” made the point that the war is being fought to preserve American values.“One of these values is justice. And we have an entire system designed to achieve that. To forsake that now is to betray the cause we’re also fighting for,” she said.As for the eavesdropping on lawyer-client conversations, Attorney General Ashcroft defended his order as a tool to prevent terrorism, stressing it is aimed at only a few — those in federal custody who have been detained but not charged with any crime, if there is “reasonable suspicion” that an exchange of information may occur about future acts of terrorism.“Let’s be clear about what it is: designed to keep people from continuing to perpetrate crimes through their lawyers’ sometimes unwitting cooperation, by using the lawyer as a conduit for information and instructions or a means of signaling to individuals outside,” Ashcroft told The New York Times. But ABA President Robert Hirshon counters that “no privilege is more ‘indelibly ensconced’ in the American legal system than the attorney-client privilege. The Sixth Amendment guarantees a right to counsel. The new rules clearly violate that privilege, and therefore seriously impinge on the right to counsel. If the government has probable cause to believe criminal activity is occurring or is about to occur, it can ask a judge to approve the type of monitoring proposed by these regulations. But prior judicial approval and the establishment of probable cause — the standard embodied in the Fourth Amendment — and not ‘reasonable suspicion,’ are required if the government’s surveillance is to be consistent with the Constitution and is to avoid abrogating the rights of innocent people.”Similarly, Scarritt, chair of the Trial Lawyers Section, said: “However well-intentioned, the regulations are unconstitutional. There is nothing to preclude the government from applying the rules to attorneys’ conversations discussing trial strategy and client confidences in matters that have little, if anything, to do with terrorism. The new rules infringe upon our right to counsel and to be free from unreasonable searches, freedoms we have fought hard to protect throughout our history. There is neither judicial oversight nor legislative authorization for the rules.”And Bar President Russell added: “I get quite concerned when an Attorney General of the United States suggests that based on his words someone is going to listen in on a conversation between a lawyer and a client. That’s draconian.”It remains unclear how widely the government will use its new powers, but Smith has lent his voice to a chorus of grave concern that the government has already gone too far.“The barbaric attacks led some lawmakers to propose doing away with basic protections that make up the American system of individual freedom. However, we cannot suspend, delay, ignore, or overlook the constitutional rights of people arrested and tried in our country,” Smith said.“Nothing is more essential. We must do everything possible to ensure that our civil liberties are protected. It would be wrong to allow our federal government to target individuals in a criminal justice system that no longer has the traditional constitutional checks and balances, the normal and necessary legal safeguards that have continuously developed since July 4, 1776.” So What Should Lawyers Do? Russell says that he has a “great deal of confidence that our federal courts will filter this out.”And throughout Florida, he said, “I can tell you that so far in my communications and in my speeches to members of the judiciary around the state, they have been quite receptive when I say to them: ‘You are guardians of the Constitution. And nothing justifies throwing away those principles.’”To all the lawyers who appear before those judges: “What I see Florida’s lawyers doing is not being afraid to challenge this when it affects their clients. That’s where the system works,” Russell said.“It’s ultimately going to come down to some lawyer who is going to have some client who is affected by this. And you have to be prepared and have the courage to take it into the court system and challenge it.“I hope the court system will react appropriately and constitutionally to this challenge. Case by case, I am quite confident that our legal system will handle this in a constitutional way.”As Smith put it: “The balance we must strike is difficult. We are treading on new ground. But we must not sacrifice the rights of any person regardless of race, financial status, color, creed, religion, and gender — not at this time, not ever. This is a charge that must be met under law, and leadership in that effort must come from lawyers.” Guarding liberties while fighting terrorismlast_img read more