Attorney Matthews Bark | “Law Schools Adjust To Lower Enrollments”

Source    : Chicago Tribune
By           : Ameet Sachdev, Chicago Tribune
Category : Attorney Matthews Bark , Criminal Defense Attorney

Attorney Matthews R Bark
Attorney Matthews R Bark

Amy Cramer, who finished law school in 2011, was one of the fortunate ones, if you define fortunate as finding a temporary job as an employee benefits consultant for $18 an hour soon after graduation.More than 14 percent of her classmates at The John Marshall Law School in Chicago had not found any job nine months after graduation. Cramer recently joined the ranks of unemployed lawyers when her contract job ended in October.

“I love the law, but being unemployed is very tough on the psyche,” said Cramer, 28. “I don’t know if it’s bad luck or something I’m doing wrong. There’s so much self-doubt in the process.” The job market has been tough for law school graduates for several years. But law schools were slow to react to changing market conditions. They kept growing enrollments, despite fewer jobs. In 2010, a record of more than 52,000 students started law school, according to data compiled by the American Bar Association, which accredits U.S. law schools. Since then, enrollments have fallen nationally amid a dwindling pool of applicants.

Would-be lawyers are thinking twice about spending $40,000 to $50,000 a year in private school tuition to study for a profession that isn’t creating enough new jobs to match the supply of graduates every year. The first to reduce their enrollments were lower-tier schools, according to published reports. But now the pain is spreading up the ranks. National admissions data for the entering Class of 2013 are being compiled by the American Bar Association, but a survey of law schools in Illinois shows sharp declines in enrollment.At Loyola University Chicago, the entering Class of 2013 was one-fourth smaller than the 2012 class. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign enrolled 170 students, which was 28, or 14 percent, fewer than a year ago.

Even elite schools can’t escape the trends. Northwestern University, No. 12 in U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges rankings, trimmed its 2013 entering class of three-year law students to 177, or 14.5 percent, from 207 the year before. Unless law schools relax their admissions standards, enrollments may continue to shrink, judging by the numbers of people considering getting a Juris Doctor degree. The Law School Admission Council reported that 33,673 people took the law school entrance exam, known as the LSAT, in October, down nearly 11 percent from the same test month last year. The exam is administered four times a year.

The would-be professionals turning away from law school are not fleeing in any obvious direction. For example, interest in graduate business schools waned after 2009 amid a tepid recovery and uncertain job prospects. Applications for Master of Business Administration programs rebounded this year, but much of the increase came from overseas demand, according to the Graduate Management Admission Council.In the face of declining enrollments, the heads of law schools confront financial pressures that many have never dealt with. Schools are forgoing millions of dollars in tuition revenue by shrinking their enrollments. To balance their budgets, some deans have reduced faculty and staff through layoffs and attrition.

At the same time, they are spending limited resources to attract more students and find more jobs for their graduates. They are throwing themselves into curriculum reform and cajoling alums to hire students for either internships or full-time positions.”We’re in a longer-term correction in terms of jobs,” said Harold Krent, dean of the IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. “Technology changes, globalization trends, corporate pressures on law firms and tax issues for state governments all have contributed. We have to ensure we continue to be as relevant as we can.”

IIT Chicago-Kent received 2,661 applications for its 2013 entering class, down 31 percent from 2010, when it received 3,854.Law schools face a difficult choice when the applicant pool shrinks. They can keep enrollment steady by loosening admissions standards, but the strategy could endanger their status in the influential rankings by U.S. News & World Report. Or they can preserve their academic credentials, accept fewer students and find ways to make up the revenue shortfall.

In 2012, Krent trimmed IIT Chicago-Kent’s first-year enrollment by 7 percent, from 308 full- and part-time students to 286, and the same number of students matriculated this year. From 2010 to 2013, the school has registered a modest decline in its median LSAT score, to 158 from 161, out of a possible score of 180.Krent said it hasn’t been easy balancing the goals of admitting students who can succeed in law school and pass the bar exam and maintaining revenue. Law school tuition also supports the undergraduate and graduate programs at the Illinois Institute of Technology. “Some people at the university would prefer if we guarantee 300 seats,” Krent said. David Yellen, Loyola’s law dean, said university officials supported his decision to cut the first-year class, agreeing to accept less revenue from the law school.

Source : chicagotribune.com/business/ct-biz-1201-law-school-declines-20131201,0,5070395.story

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Matthews Bark | “HIV-Disclosure Law Sparks Unique Legal Battle In Florida”

Source     : Miami Herald
By           : DAVID OVALLE
Category : Matthews Bark , Contact DUI Lawyer

Florida Supreme Court
Florida Supreme Court

So prosecutors thought they had a solid case when they charged a Manatee County woman who failed to tell her female partner that she was HIV-positive. A Tampa appeals court, however, threw out the case, ruling that “sexual intercourse” could take place only with a penis and a vagina — in other words, between a man and a woman. But last month, a South Florida appeals court issued a conflicting opinion, upholding charges against a Key West man whom police had accused of lying about being HIV-positive to his male partner. The ruling more broadly defined intercourse, finding that it did not require opposite genders or specific body parts.The Florida Supreme Court is likely to end up resolving the clashing opinions, which are being closely monitored by gay-rights advocates.

On the one hand, they support legal rulings that convey equal status to same-sex relations — but they also oppose the HIV disclosure law, arguing that the long-controversial statute stigmatizes people infected with the virus. “It’s a progressive ruling, but the law itself is draconian,” said Norm Kent, a South Florida activist and criminal-defense lawyer who publishes the South Florida Gay News. Scott Schoettes, the HIV Project Director for the gay-rights group Lambda Legal, said it was hard to see “a silver lining” in a disclosure law he called unjust.

“It’s nice to have courts recognize relations between two men,” he said. “But it would be nice to recognize granting us our rights in an affirmative sense, not just when it comes to criminalizing our sex lives.” In Florida, it is a third-degree felony — punishable by up to five years in prison — for a person who knows he or she is HIV-positive to have sex with someone else without informing them. The law came into effect as part of the “Control of Sexually Transmissible Disease Act” that Florida lawmakers passed in 1986 as fears about HIV, which can lead to AIDS, were growing nationwide. The disclosure law also covers other sexually transmitted diseases, such as herpes, gonorrhea and chlamydia — but HIV is the only one that carries a felony charge. Thirty-four U.S. states and territories have passed similar laws. Detractors are widespread. In February, President Barack Obama’s Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS issued a resolution calling criminalization of HIV an “unjust, bad public health policy” that “is fueling the epidemic rather than reducing it.”

The council pushed for states to repeal or revise the laws. Critics say the laws ignore scientific data that show HIV is rarely transmitted through oral sex or digital penetration, and that the risk is often considerably low even in cases of vaginal or anal sex. “All of these laws are just based upon misconceptions about how easy it is to transmit HIV. It’s not that easy,” said Schoettes, a lawyer who believes the laws should be altered to include proving “intent” and that a victim actually contracted the virus.The law came under scrutiny in 2010, when the Second District Court of Appeal in Tampa took up the case of an HIV-positive Manatee County woman charged with having oral and digital-penetration sex with another woman.

Read more : miamiherald.com/2013/11/18/3763310/hiv-disclosure-law-sparks-unique.html#storylink=cpy

Matthews Bark | “Ex-Leader Of Pakistan Is Released On Bail”

Source     : nytimes
By            : SALMAN MASOOD
Category : Matthews Bark , Contact DUI Lawyer

Matthews-Bark-Criminal-Defense
Matthews-Bark-Criminal-Defense

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Pakistan’s former military ruler, Pervez Musharraf, was freed on bail Thursday after six months under house arrest.“Islamabad’s commissioner issued the release order at 10:30 a.m. today,” said Aasia Ishaque, a spokeswoman for Mr. Musharraf’s party, the All Pakistan Muslim League, referring to the top district official. A court granted bail to Mr. Musharraf on Sunday in a case related to his role in the 2007 military siege of a mosque in Islamabad where militants were holed up. His lawyers submitted surety bonds on Wednesday. He can travel freely within the country. But he is barred from traveling abroad without court permission, Ms. Ishaque said.

Speculation has been rife here that he will go into exile after his release, on the pretext of visiting his ailing mother in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates. Ms. Ishaque denied the speculation. “He is not leaving,” she said. “He will stay in Pakistan.” Ms. Ishaque said the threat level to Mr. Musharraf’s security was “extraordinarily high.” “He will not hold any public meetings for the next two days,” she said. “After that, he will start meeting people and will also hold a press conference.” Since April, Mr. Musharraf has been at his farmhouse on the outskirts of Islamabad, the Pakistani capital. Paramilitary troops and police officers guard the premises because of threats against the former ruler from militants from the Taliban and Al Qaeda.

Mr. Musharraf, 70, was put under house arrest soon after his return to Pakistan from self-imposed exile in March. He faces an array of criminal charges, including involvement in the deaths of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto; a nationalist politician, Akbar Khan Bugti; and a religious leader, Abdul Rashid Ghazi. Mr. Musharraf has denied the accusations and said the cases against him are politically motivated. Mr. Musharraf took power after a bloodless military coup in 1999 and ruled until 2008, when he was defeated in an election. He faces potential treason charges over his role in suspending the Constitution in 2007, though few analysts believe that the government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is likely to go ahead with those charges. Mr. Musharraf was disqualified from running in the general election in May, in which his party performed poorly. Few Pakistanis have shown much enthusiasm for returning him to power.

Source : nytimes.com/2013/11/08/world/asia/pervez-musharraf-pakistan.html?_r=0

Matthews Bark – Contact DUI Lawyer | “Obama Admits Web Site Flaws on Health Law”

Source    : delcotimes.com
By           : MICHAEL P. RELLAHAN
Category : Matthews Bark , Contact DUI Lawyer

Obama Admits Health Website FlawsWASHINGTON — President Obama offered an impassioned defense of the Affordable Care Act on Monday, acknowledging the technical failures of the HealthCare.gov Web site, but providing little new information about the problems with the online portal or the efforts by government contractors to fix it.

With Republican critics seizing on the Web site’s issues as evidence of deeper flaws in the health care law, Mr. Obama sought to deflect attention from the continuing problems by focusing on ways to get coverage without going online. Like a TV pitchman, the president urged viewers to call the government’s toll-free number for health insurance, acknowledging that “the wait times probably might go up a little bit now.” In remarks in the Rose Garden, Mr. Obama acknowledged serious technical issues with the Web site, declaring that “no one is madder than me.” He offered no new information about how many people have managed to enroll since the online exchanges opened on Oct. 1. And he did not address questions about who, if anyone, might be held responsible for the failure.

The president and his top aides played down the importance of the online marketplace that his administration once heralded as the key to the law’s success. Mr. Obama promised that officials are working to fix the Web site, but said that Republican critics should “stop rooting” for the failure of a law that provides health insurance to people who do not have it. “We did not wage this long and contentious battle just around a Web site,” Mr. Obama told supporters. “That’s not what this was about. We waged this battle to make sure that millions of Americans in the wealthiest nation on earth finally have the same chance to get the same security of affordable, quality health care as anybody else.”

Speaker John A. Boehner said in a statement after the president’s event that the administration is “not prepared to be straight” with the American people about the issues involving the health care Web site and the insurance program behind it. “Every day, new questions about the president’s health care law arise, but candid explanations are nowhere to be found,” said Mr. Boehner, of Ohio. “This decision continues a troubling pattern of this administration seeking to avoid accountability and stonewall the public.”

As they have pushed to repeal or defund Mr. Obama’s signature health care law, Republicans have demanded that the administration provide data to show how many — or how few — people have enrolled in health insurance plans through the online portal. On Monday, White House officials again refused, saying they plan to offer such numbers in mid-November and monthly after that. The White House refusal to provide enrollment data stands in contrast to the administration’s insistence that states submit detailed weekly reports on the number and characteristics of people who sign up for insurance through state-run exchanges. The Department of Health and Human Services said it needed the data so it could “track those measures which have the most potential to adversely impact beneficiaries related to their ability to enroll in insurance plans.”

The department said it wanted to shine a spotlight on the performance of state exchanges, which were built with the help of federal money, and it emphasized the importance of “transparency in the performance of marketplaces.” Moreover, the administration said that frequent reporting of performance data was needed so federal officials could spot problems with the state exchanges and step in to help fix them. In fact, the state exchanges have generally performed better than the federal exchange. With many consumers still unable to use the online portal, health policy experts outside the government have begun discussing possible ways to provide relief if the problem continues. One option is to extend the six-month enrollment period, which is set to end on March 31. Another is to exempt some people from the tax penalties that apply to those who go without insurance in 2014.

Jay Carney, the White House press secretary, suggested that such relief would be unnecessary if the administration fixed the Web site so people could enroll easily in the near future.

Source : nytimes.com/2013/10/22/us/politics/obama-pushes-health-law-but-concedes-web-site-problems.html?_r=0

Criminal Defense Attorney | “Court Of Appeal Judges Say 35-year Minimum Sentence For Adrian Bayley Was Fair”

Source    : theaustralian.com.au
By            : Paul Anderson – Herald Sun
Category : Matthews R Bark –Criminal Defense AttorneyAttorney Matthews R Bark

Adrian Bailey  SentancingADRIAN Bayley’s life sentence with a 35-year minimum term for the rape and murder of Jill Meagher was fair because features of the crime were “particularly callous” and “warranted condign punishment,” three Court of Appeal judges said today.

“The applicant was a violent sexual predator who killed his victim,” the justices said in their judgment. Chief Justice Marilyn Warren and Justices Marcia Neave and Paul Coghlan today released the reasons for their decision to refuse Bayley’s leave to appeal the length of his minimum term last month. “This was a case where the applicant was sentenced to one of the sternest sentences for this type of offending,” the justices stated.

“At the time of the attack the applicant was on parole. He was also on bail having been convicted of an unprovoked assault on a male passer-by and subsequently having appealed to the County Court on the sentence imposed in the Magistrates’ Court of three months’ jail.” After Bayley pleaded guilty to raping and murdering Ms Meagher, Justice Geoffrey Nettle threw the book at him and sentenced him to life with a 35-year minimum. Bayley appealed against the sentence, initially on the single ground that Justice Nettle made a mistake by inferring he intended to kill Ms Meagher because she would have called the police or for some form of perverted pleasure. “And relying on those inferences to find that in terms of moral culpability the applicant’s killing of the deceased ranks among the worst kinds conceivable,” the judgement stated. Bayley added another ground: that Justice Nettle erred in setting the 35-year minimum “by placing excessive weight on the need for community protection”.

In their judgment, the justices said: “The applicant submitted that the inference that he intended to kill Ms Meagher was not open; that the inference that he derived some form of perverted pleasure from killing her was not open; and the inference that he intended to kill Ms Meagher in order to avoid her calling the police was not open. “The Crown argued on the plea that the offending was a reckless killing. Eventually, the applicant conceded during the plea that whether the killing was intentional or reckless would not make a difference. “The applicant acknowledged that his prior criminal record revealed a ‘shocking history of gratuitous violence inflicted upon vulnerable women’.

“However, he submitted that his history could not give rise to an inference adverse to him; namely that he killed Ms Meagher because he derived some form of perverted pleasure from killing her.

“The point was made that this particular motivation was not asserted by the Crown nor discussed on the plea.”

The justices mentioned facts including the viciousness of the “stranger rape”, the fact Bayley was a large man and Ms Meagher a smaller woman, the fact he killed her to stop her reporting the rape to police and his “appalling history of violent offending “against individuals smaller and weaker than him – most of who were women”.

SOurce :: theaustralian.com.au/news/court-of-appeal-judges-say-35year-minimum-sentence-for-adrian-bayley-was-fair/story-e6frg6n6-1226743661752#sthash.U3inRVG8.dpuf