Petrobras begins oil and natural gas production at Atapu field

first_img Petrobras owns 89.257% interest in Atapu. (Credit: Pixabay/C Morrison) Brazilian state- owned oil company Petroleo Brasileiro (Petrobras) has commenced production at the Atapu pre-salt field in the Santos basin.The oil and natural gas production at the field began through the P-70 platform in the eastern portion of the Santos Basin pre-salt, near the Búzios field.The P-70 platform is a floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) platform.The Atapu shared deposit includes the fields Oeste de Atapu, Atapu, and a part of the Union’s non-contracted area, whose unitisation process was completed in September last year.Petrobras owns 89.257% interest in Atapu, while Shell Brasil Petróleo Ltda holds 4.258% stake, Total owns 3.832%, and Petrogal 1.703%, and the remaining 0.950% stake is held by PPSA.Atapu will contribute to growth of production in the pre-saltAccording to the oil company, Atapu will contribute for the expansion of production capacity in the pre-salt, which is emerging as highly relevant for the company.Petrobras said: “The P-70 own platform, the fifth FPSO (floating, production, storage and offloading) of the series of replicants, has the capacity to process up to 150 thousand barrels of oil daily and treat up to 6 million m³ of natural gas.“The unit will operate about 200 km off the coast of Rio de Janeiro state, in 2,300 m of water depth, with a forecast of interconnection of up to eight producing and eight injection wells.”In May this year, Petrobras started a Long Term Test (TLD) in the area of ​​the Oven Discovery Assessment Plan (PAD), in the Albacora field.The test was planned to be conducted in well 3-AB-125-RJS (3-BRSA-1123-RJS) located approximately 120km from the coast of Rio de Janeiro.The main intent of the TLD was to assess the production in the reservoir as well as the characteristics of its oil. The production at the field began through the P-70 platform in the eastern portion of the Santos Basin pre-salt, near the Búzios fieldlast_img read more

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Letting agent that says it’s also a social club for tenants lands £3.5m

first_imgHome » News » Letting agent that says it’s also a social club for tenants lands £3.5m previous nextProptechLetting agent that says it’s also a social club for tenants lands £3.5mLyvly claims to help both private and institutional landlords find professional tenants who rent for longer.Nigel Lewis10th August 201802,337 Views The UK’s first renting platform aimed at professional 25-35 year olds who want to rent with like-minded people has landed a £3.5 million cash injection jointly from a leading venture capital firm and a high profile entrepreneur.Lyvly is a part letting agent and property manager, part tenants’ club that has been founded by Philip Laney and Dario Favoino.The pair helped establish one of America’s leading apartment management companies, Realstar.Lyvly already has 100 properties under management in London. Its tenants are offered high-end furnished apartments for an all-inclusive rent.In return they join a community of sharers from similar professional and cultural  backgrounds and are offered deals and access to social events within their apartment blocks.The company claims to be a broker between landlords and tenants, and its landlord clients include both private and institutional investors.Increase incomeIt also works alongside fund managers and build-to-rent developers to increase income and reduce voids, claiming that its membership model persuades tenants to stay longer.Lyvly also says it appeals to rental home hunters who don’t traditionally use portals or high street letting agents to find rental properties, although the company doesn’t make it clear how these people have found homes until now.The £3.5 million investment comes from both early-stage VC firm Mozaic Ventures and OneFineStay.com founder Greg Marsh. It will be used to expand the Livly operation.“Today’s renters are looking for much more than existing housing offers,” says Laney (pictured, left).“They want community, connectivity, and social purpose. Lyvly provides that by bringing like-minded people together at similar life stages to live together at a more accessible rental level and helping them to get more out of life with simple services and great connections.” lyvly Philip Laney Realstar Mozaic Ventures OneFineStay.com Greg Marsh Dario Favoino. August 10, 2018Nigel 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 BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Hong Kong remains most expensive city to rent with London in 4th place30th April 2021last_img read more

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Leading law firm warns agents over eviction process problems after ban ends

first_imgHome » News » Leading law firm warns agents over eviction process problems after ban ends previous nextRegulation & LawLeading law firm warns agents over eviction process problems after ban endsIrwin Mitchell says a lack of guidance means agents and landlords can’t be certain about what judges will do if a notice confirms that a tenant has been affected by COVID-19.Nigel Lewis11th August 20201 Comment946 Views Letting agents and landlords in England have been warned that the Government’s ambiguous possession claims practice direction could cause unwelcome delays to evictions.Residential property lawyer George Cohen at Irwin Mitchell says a lack of guidance means agents and landlords can’t be certain about what judges will do if a notice confirms that a tenant has been affected by COVID-19.And while there’s an obligation for agents to inform the court about the tenant’s circumstances relating to COVID-19, they aren’t required to get this information. He says that while it’s been suggested that agents could just specify in their notice that the tenant’s circumstances are simply unknown, this would be a risky strategy.Adds Cohen (left): “We predict that judges may decide to stay proceedings where a tenant or their dependants have been affected by COVID-19. Similarly, judges could order a stay if the landlord states that the tenant’s circumstances are unknown.”The new practice direction comes into force on 23rd August when landlords must file and serve a notice setting out what knowledge they have of how the tenant or their dependants have been affected.Irwin Mitchell says that if they have, landlords and their agents should consider whether they can agree a mutually beneficial compromise which would avoid the need for proceedings to be issued or resumed.“If the tenant ignores a landlord’s request for information, or refuses to engage, [they] should keep a record of their attempts and provide them to the court,” says Cohen.If a landlord doesn’t do this, or where a tenant has been affected by COVID-19, Cohen predicts the court may stay the proceedings further to give the tenant some breathing space.He adds: “We hope that the obligations on landlords will be clarified in due course. What is clear is that landlords can still expect to see delays for residential possession claims in the near future.”Read more about the evictions ban.George Cohen Irwin Mitchell evictions August 11, 2020Nigel LewisOne commentPossession Friend, Possession Friend Possession Friend 11th August 2020 at 12:41 pmJudges shouldn’t have ” Discretion ” to manipulate the law !Where a mandatory ground has been proven, the law allows ONLY for Possession, anything else is an abuse of justice.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

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Kitchen Range Foods

first_imgKitchen Range Foods (Peterborough) is extending its range of Cadbury chocolate donuts with the launch of an individually wrapped Cadbury Milk Chocolate donut – a single ring donut covered in smooth Cadbury milk chocolate and sprinkled with chunky chocolate pieces.The firm hopes the donut will encourage impulse buys. “It will help to push Cadbury Milk Chocolate Donuts into new channels as both a convenient and indulgent snack,” said marketing manager Matt Godbold.last_img

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Anthony Ray Hinton discusses experience on death row, release from prison

first_imgANN CURTIS | The Observer Anthony Ray Hinton visited Notre Dame Law School on Tuesday to discuss the 30 years he spent on death row in Alabama for crimes he did not commit, and his eventual release from prison.Hinton spoke about the day he was arrested. He said that the two white police officers refused to tell him what he was being charged with and that one officer tried to restrain him from saying goodbye to his mother, who died while he was in prison.“I didn’t say a word, I just showed my mother the handcuffs that’s connected to both arms, and she said, ‘What are those handcuffs doing on my baby?’” he said.As he rode to the prison, still unaware of what crime he was being charged with, Hinton said the detective repeatedly told him, “Whether or not you’re guilty, I don’t care.”He discussed his sentencing trial and his experience with a court-appointed attorney who did not believe in his innocence.“The judge called the attorney upfront, and he told him that he wanted him to represent me on two counts of first-degree murder. Without even asking my name, the attorney said, ‘I didn’t go to law school to do pro-bono work,’” Hinton said. “I asked him, ‘Would it make a difference to you if I told you I was innocent?’ For the first time, he looked at me and said, ‘The problem with that statement is that all of y’all is always doing something and then saying you didn’t do it.’ This is the attorney I had to represent me to the best of his ability.”Hinton described the ways he dealt with daily life in a 5-foot by 7-foot cell for 30 years.“I had looked every way that I could to escape physically, but I couldn’t. So the next thing for me to do was to escape mentally,” he said.He joked how his mental escapes during his time at Holman included a visit to the Queen of England for tea and a wedding with Halle Berry. He repeatedly refused to take a plea bargain because of his true innocence.“If the state of Alabama is hell-bent on executing me,” he said, “then so be it.”Eventually, Bryan Stevenson of the Equal Justice Initiative took Hinton’s case and began the process of getting him another trial. The case had to be brought to the Supreme Court of the United States before the state of Alabama would revisit it. Hinton insisted that the experts in his trial had to be white men from the South in order to have any real influence in the court.“Here I am on death row and I have to worry about what color a person has to be to help me,” he said. “Justice can see. She might have a blindfold around the eyes but she knows exactly who you are. She knows what college you attended, what neighborhood you’re from and she knows something that none of you want her to know: She knows exactly how much money you have in the bank.”In light of all of this, Hinton’s final message was one of forgiveness and hope.“Bitterness kills the soul,” he said. “I cannot hate because my Bible tells me not to. I’ve seen hate at its worst; what would it profit me, to hate?”Tags: Anthony Ray Hinton, Equal Justice Initiative, Notre Dame Exoneration Project, Notre Dame Law School The Notre Dame Law School hosted Anthony Ray Hinton to deliver a lecture titled “From Death Row to a Life of Freedom” in the McCartan Courtroom on Tuesday. Hinton spoke about his experience living on death row for 30 years for two capital murder charges that he did not commit.The lecture began with an excerpt from an NBC news piece on Hinton’s sentence, time in prison and eventual release.“You never think about your freedom until it’s taken away from you. You can’t put a price tag on it,” he said in the NBC interview.last_img read more

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Layon Gray’s The Harlem Rens Will Play Off-Broadway

first_img View Comments Featured in the cast are Delano Barbosa, Lamar Cheston, Thaddeus Daniels, Melvin Huffnagle and Ade Otukoya. Layon Gray’s The Harlem Rens, will play a limited engagement September 18 through November 23 at the Actors Temple Theater. Opening night is set for October 2. The off-Broadway production will run on Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays.center_img Helmed by Gray, The Harlem Rens is inspired by the true story of six men who overcame adversity to win more than 2,000 basketball games while barnstorming throughout segregated parts of the country in the 1930’s, despite never being officially accepted professionally or socially.last_img

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Lloyd Webber Taps Andy Blankenbuehler for Cats; B’way Dates Set

first_img Cats View Comments Related Shows A new day has begun! As promised, Andrew Lloyd Webber is bringing his Tony-winning musical Cats back to the Great White Way. The legendary composer has enlisted Tony winner Andy Blankenbuehler to choreograph the revival, based on the original choreography and associate direction by Gillian Lynne. The show, which will begin performances at the Neil Simon Theatre on July 14, is scheduled to officially open on August 2.Blankenbuehler will join forces on the production with original creative team members, director Trevor Nunn, and scenic and costume designer John Napier. Also on board are sound designer Mick Potter and lighting designer Natasha Katz.In addition to choreographing Hamilton, Blankenbuehler helmed and choreographed the recent premiere of The Bandstand, which will transfer to Broadway in the 2016-17 season. He won a Tony Award for In the Heights and additional nominations for 9 to 5 and Bring It On. Blankenbuehler is also rumored to be attached to an ABC remake of Dirty Dancing.Cats, featuring a score by Lloyd Webber and lyrics by T.S. Eliot, Trevor Nunn and Richard Stilgoe, ran for 21 years in London and 18 years on Broadway. It won seven Tony Awards in 1983, including Best Musical; this production will be the first Main Stem revival of the tuner. Based on Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, the musical tells the story of the Jellicle cats and each cat’s individual quest to be selected as the lucky one who will ascend to “the Heaviside Layer.”Lloyd Webber’s School of Rock is currently playing at Cats’ former Great White Way home, the Winter Garden Theatre. He is also represented on Broadway by The Phantom of the Opera.No word yet on casting, but Lloyd Webber has spoken of his hope that Nicole Scherzinger, who was Olivier nominated for her role in the 2014 West End revival, will headline the show in New York.Check out Broadway.com’s exclusive interview with Lloyd Webber at the opening night of the London revival of Cats in December 2014 below. Show Closed This production ended its run on Dec. 30, 2017last_img read more

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WSJ: Utility Industry Ratchets Up Its War on Solar

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Many U.S. states are considering dialing back solar-power incentives amid growing pressure from local electric utilities, potentially dealing a blow to the companies that install home solar systems around the country.More than 900,000 homes across the U.S. are equipped with solar panels, with most of those homeowners able to sell any excess electricity their houses generate back to the utility, helping reduce the cost of home solar panels by up to 30%. But the price solar customers get paid for that extra renewable power through so-called net metering is starting to fall, as several states, including Nevada and Hawaii, have slashed their solar subsidies.Utilities in Arizona, Colorado, Louisiana, Utah and many other states are currently proposing measures that include changing their net metering programs or raising the monthly fees charged to home solar users for hooking their equipment to the power grid. The utilities argue that the ever-smaller base of traditional power customers shouldn’t get stuck paying all the costs of maintaining the grid.“What is in danger of being overlooked is the harm inflicted on the 96% of our customers who do not have solar,” said Donald Brandt, chairman and chief executive of Arizona Public Service Co., which wants the state regulator to change its solar payment scheme. “This is about a sustainable model for both rooftop solar and the electricity grid, but it’s also about basic fairness for customers.”Overall, two dozen states are weighing changes to their incentives for rooftop solar power and other renewable-energy policies, according to the North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center, which tracks such policies. Incentive payments have been the backbone of home solar firms’ business model.In Nevada, which ranks eighth in home solar adoption in the U.S., SolarCity Corp. and Sunrun Inc. pulled up stakes in December, laying off hundreds of employees after the state abruptly ended generous incentives for homeowners with solar arrays on their rooftops.The state’s largest utility, NV Energy Inc.—a unit of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc.—had been richly rewarding homeowners for the excess electricity their rooftop panels generated. Nevada regulators voted to replace that program with one that pays a mere fraction of what homeowners had come to rely on.“Issues in Nevada and other states were simmering before, but now they’re boiling,” said Shawn Kravetz, a fund manager at Esplanade Capital in Boston who invests in solar companies.A bright spot for the industry is New York, where regulators adopted a new set of policies last fall that include paying homeowners high retail power rates for excess electricity coming from their rooftop solar panels.Full article ($): Solar-power incentives for homeowners shrink as local utilities pressure state regulators WSJ: Utility Industry Ratchets Up Its War on Solarlast_img read more

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Commonly asked trust accounting questions

first_img November 1, 2001 Regular News Commonly asked trust accounting questions Commonly asked trust accounting questions the Bar’s Ethics Department Q. I have recently opened an IOTA trust account and have been informed by the bank that there will be fees for checks and other fees associated with maintaining the account. The bank has declined to provide these services for free and has asked for a transfer from my operating account to cover these expenses. I am concerned about commingling my own funds with the clients’ funds, but I cannot think of any other way to pay for these expenses. Is it permissible to do what the Bank has asked? A:Yes. While there is no specific rule which discusses this scenario, Florida Bar auditors are of the opinion that an attorney may use up to $100 of his or her own funds to open a trust account. The deposit should be treated like an individual client account with a ledger, etc. Once the balance gets low, the attorney can deposit additional sums to maintain $100 in the trust account to avoid using client funds to pay the bank fees. Q. I have recently decided to start charging clients a nonrefundable flat rate for some of the legal services I provide. Some of the services will require a payment for costs. In order to keep things simple I wish to include the amount for costs in the flat rate that I charge. I have spoken to some colleagues and have gotten mixed answers regarding whether the funds need to be placed into my trust account. Do I have to place the funds in my trust account when the fee is nonrefundable? A: The answer will depend upon whether the amount includes any costs as well as fees. Florida Ethics Opinion 93-2, in pertinent part, provides: Question 2. Does any applicable rule require that prepaid costs and prepaid fees for services to be performed be deposited and kept in the trust account until earned? Regarding prepaid costs, Rule 4-1.15(a) states that money entrusted to an attorney for a specific purpose, including advances for costs and expenses, is held in trust and must be applied only to that purpose. See also Rule 5- 1.1(a). Accordingly, in view of the specific requirement of these rules, advances for costs and expenses must be deposited in the attorney’s trust account and withdrawn and applied against such expenses as they are incurred and paid. As to prepaid fees, the key issue can be stated thusly: Is the money earned at the time it is received by the attorney? For example, a fee paid for the right to employ an attorney to perform future services (the “true retainer” situation) is earned by the attorney upon receipt and should not go in the trust account. A prepaid fee which the attorney and client have expressly agreed is nonrefundable is likewise earned upon receipt and so should not be held in trust but should be deposited into the attorney’s general account. Nevertheless, the lawyer may later be obligated to refund part, or possibly all of it, if the legal services are not performed, in which case the fee may be found to be excessive, but the money is the lawyer’s upon receipt of it. On the other hand, the prepaid fee may be given to the attorney with the understanding that it is a deposit securing a fee that is yet to be earned. Such money does not belong to the lawyer, and should be held in trust until it has been earned by performance of the agreed-upon services. The Committee believes that there should exist a presumption that prepaid fees are an advance deposit against fees for work that is yet to be performed. Certainly, this is the assumption that the typical client would make. The attorney should bear the burden of rebutting this presumption. Question 6. If an attorney receives a “flat fee” that is a payment for services to be rendered as well as the costs associated with the performance, does all or part of this payment go in the trust account? The entire payment should be first deposited in the trust account. Then that portion, if any, of the payment that is considered an earned fee upon receipt should promptly be withdrawn from the trust account. Any portion that does not constitute earned fees must remain in the trust account. The fact that costs are to be paid out of this “flat fee” complicates matters somewhat. As required by Rules 4-1.15(a) and 5-1.1(a), any advance of costs is to be held in trust until used to pay those costs. Therefore, the attorney must make a good faith estimate of the amount of costs to be incurred and must hold that amount in the trust account. Failure to hold the estimated costs in the trust account would result in the attorney paying the costs out of his or her own funds, which would violate Rule 4-1.8(e) (lawyer may not provide financial assistance to client, except to advance costs and expenses). Not holding the estimated costs in the trust account would also result in a commingling violation under Rule 4-1.15(a) when those funds, which should have been left in trust, are removed and commingled with the attorney’s own funds. To summarize, if money paid to the firm at the outset of the representation constitutes a fee that is understood to be earned when paid, then the money must be placed in the operating account. If money for costs is part of a prepaid lump sum that includes a fee that is deemed earned when paid, then the entire amount must be placed in trust and the earned fee portion promptly withdrawn. If money for costs is part of a prepaid lump sum that includes an advance deposit against fees to be drawn as the services are performed, then the entire amount must be kept in trust until the fees are earned or the costs incurred. If you have questions about the topics discussed in this article or any other ethics issues, please call the Florida Bar Ethics Hotline at (800) 235-8619 or (850) 561-5780. Ethics Opinions issued by the Professional Ethics Committee are available online through The Florida Bar’s website at www.FLABAR.org.last_img read more

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SJI panel hits 40 year mark

first_imgSJI panel hits 40 year mark SJI panel hits 40 year mark The Supreme Court Committee on Standard Jury Instructions in Civil Cases will celebrate its 40th anniversary early next year, and Chair Sylvia Walbolt said the panel takes pride in its work over the past four decades to advance the administration of justice in Florida by crafting instructions that directly reflect the law in the simplest language possible.From its inception, the committee has been dedicated to increasing the legal accuracy of jury charges and eliminating argumentative language to avoid reversals, while trying to use understandable English to improve juror comprehension.Before the creation of the SJI committee, jury instructions were drafted on a case-by-case basis. The attorneys for each side would submit a version of an instruction they wanted read to the jury and the judge would then choose from those instructions or write an instruction of his own, according to Robert P. Smith, Jr., who served on the committee from 1964 to 1989. That, Smith said, was a time-consuming process which often resulted in instructions which were contradictory, confusing, or did not accurately state the law.“It was typical for a trial judge to spend an hour or more at some point in the trial sitting down with lawyers in his chambers and, as they say, settling the jury charges,” said Smith, who chaired the committee for 11 years.“The court is confident that the forms of instructions recommended by the committee state as accurately as a group of experienced lawyers and judges could state the law of Florida in simple understandable language,” the Supreme Court said in its 1967 opinion approving the first standard jury instructions prepared by the committee for use in civil negligence cases.“We started with that simple negligence instruction. . . and have over the last 40 years continued to submit proposed instructions on a range of different claims,” Walbolt said, including product liability, causation, damages, defamation, insurer’s bad faith, civil theft, and many others. “We basically propose instructions in areas where we believe they would be useful, where there are enough cases — and cases with enough similarities — that you can use standard instructions.”Walbolt said the committee also proposes revisions to the standard instructions as the law changes to conform the instructions to those changes.The court approved standard jury instructions are published by The Florida Bar and may be used by trial judges in charging the jury in every civil case to the extent that the forms are applicable. If the trial judge determines a form of instruction is erroneous or inadequate, the judge may modify the standard instructions as necessary to accurately instruct the jury. The committee also provides notes accompanying the instructions to provide helpful guidance on their use.While the court authorizes the publication and use of the instructions, any litigant can object to the use of any standard instruction, and the trial judge, who is responsible for the initial determination of applicable substantive law, must determine whether the instruction should be used or modified.The SJI committee, whose members are appointed by the court, was activated by Chief Justice B.K. Roberts in 1962 when he named 21 lawyers and judges to be members. T. J. Blackwell of Miami was named the first chair and Chester Bedell of Jacksonville, vice chair. Bedell was chair from 1964 to 1978; Smith, from 1978-1989; Don Partington, from 1990 to 1994; Marjorie Graham, from 1994 to 1998; First District Court of Appeal Judge Peter Webster, from 1999 to 2000; and Walbolt became chair in 2001.Walbolt said that since its inception, the membership of the committee reads like a who’s who of the Florida legal profession. Its members have included James C. Adkins, Harry Lee Anstead, Susan Black, Joe Eaton, Raymond Ehrlich, Patricia Fawsett, Wilkie D. Ferguson, Joseph W. Hatchett, Parker Lee McDonald, Ben Overton, William C. Owen, Jr., Donald H. Partington, Aaron S. Podhurst, Leonard Rivkind, Edward B. Rood, Culver Smith, Hamilton Upchurch, Gerald Wetherington, and John T. Wigginton, among others.“I think you have to be a particularly peculiar type of individual to enjoy this kind of work,” said Judge Peter Webster, who has served on the committee since 1979. “The work involves almost a craftsmanship dealing with words and it has frequently been said of our committee that we grind exceedingly fine and also exceedingly slowly.”Which, Judge Webster said, means the panel spends a lot of time worrying about very subtle distinctions in the use of words and the meaning words are likely to convey to the average juror.Walbolt said the committee also is quite diverse, with a mixture of plaintiff and defense lawyers and trial and appellate judges. The committee also strives for geographic, gender, and racial diversity.“We look for people who have demonstrated an interest in what the law is because this is a committee that has been very faithful in not proposing instructions on what they think the law should be — as we would breakdown very sharply between our plaintiff and our defense lawyers,” Walbolt said. “We really try to be very faithful to submit instructions that reflect the law, not that change the law or say what we think it ought to be.”Walbolt said subcommittees are assigned to research an issue and then present a proposed instruction to the full committee, where members vigorously debate the proposals.“Then it is a free-for-all,” Walbolt said. “We really pick it apart word, by word, by word, to try to make sure it accurately reflects the law and to make it as understandable to a lay jury as possible.”Walbolt said while that sounds easy, it’s not became the SJI panel deals with complex legal concepts and often the instructions implement statutes “that may not have been written with the clarity we would like and yet we feel constrained to follow the statutory language as faithfully as we can.”Smith said it is not unusual for the committee to spend eight hours or more reviewing 100 words.“It is a group editing process with attention to infinitesimal detail,” Smith said.“Sometimes we have very heated discussions over whether a particular word is the most appropriate word or not,” Webster said.Although the committee met more often in its early years, it now generally meets three times a year in two half-day sessions. Currently, it has 12 projects with a subcommittee assigned to each. The materials related to these projects comprise more than 1,200 pages. Subcommittees currently are reviewing instructions on insurer’s bad faith, punitive damages, MI 8 (misrepresentation), and product liability. Among the other subcommittees is one working on contract instructions, a topic with which the committee has struggled with little success since its inception. And another subcommittee is looking into ways to further ensure that the instructions are written in plain English.While serving on the SJI panel is “an enormous amount of work,” the committee members are happy to do it because of the intellectual stimulation involved and the SJI’s commitment to advancing the administration of justice, Walbolt said.She said the committee tries to avoid using legal terms in its instructions, which can be difficult “because we are used to dealing with what some might call legalese and partly because some areas of the law are so complicated it is very difficult to put it into simple terms.”While the standard instructions are a boon to lawyers, Webster said, they may be of even greater benefit to judges.“Notwithstanding the fact lawyers are responsible for proposing jury instructions, the judges are the ones who ultimately have the responsibility for instructing the jury, and this makes their job a great deal easier,” Judge Webster said, adding that without standard instructions, judges would have to review the various proposals the lawyers submit and decide whether to use one side’s or the other’s or, if both are inappropriately slanted, require the judge to prepare an evenhanded one.“Now judges know that if they use the standard instructions there is at least a presumption that they are legally correct,” Webster said.Smith said the work of the committee is truly a collaborative effort and provides sufficient stimulation to keep the members committed to the job at hand. Several members have committed at least 20 years service to the committee. Webster is the most recent addition to that group. Others are William Avera, Tyrie Boyer, Sam Daniels, Michael Kinney, John Prunty, Rood, Smith, and Ford Thompson.Those lengthy terms, however, will now be a thing of the past. Under a policy adopted by the court several years ago, members now can serve only six years in succession.center_img December 15, 2001 Regular Newslast_img read more

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