Tag: 上海夜网ES

Being a government lawyer is in her blood

first_imgBeing a government lawyer is in her blood ” Senior EditorOnce, Esther Jacobo tried being a family law attorney in private practice, but within nine months she was lured back into being a government lawyer by a very hard sell. In 2007, Jacobo sat in a park between a state office building and her Elser & Foster-Morales office in downtown Miami, with Mary Cagle, director of Children’s Legal Services at the Department of Children and Families.On a mission to recruit the best and brightest lawyers she knew, Cagle told her: “Good lawyers are really going to affect outcomes for children. We will change outcomes for children.”And Jacobo, who knew Cagle from their years together at the Miami-Dade Office of the 11th Circuit State Attorney’s Office, was swept away.“You can’t say, ‘no,’ to somebody who is going to change the lives of children,” Jacobo said. “I have never regretted this decision. It’s been amazing and the most challenging job I’ve ever had.”Hired as regional director in January 2008, then promoted to deputy statewide director of Children’s Legal Services in February 2009, Jacobo has been promoted yet again. On September 1, 46-year-old Jacobo began managing DCF’s entire operations in the southern region — from investigating child abuse and neglect to distributing food stamps — and supervising 1,200 employees.“The selection of Esther to manage DCF’s southern region is a brilliant choice by Secretary David Wilkins,” Cagle said. “She has demonstrated exceptional leadership skills both at the Miami-Dade state attorney’s office, where she built and managed the felony domestic violence unit, and at DCF, where she was hired to manage Children’s Legal Services in the southern region. She was instrumental in driving change to raise the bar and create a professional law firm environment for lawyers working in the best interest of children. She is passionate about her work and brilliant in her strategic vision and will serve the public well.”Alan Abramowitz, executive director of the Statewide Guardian ad Litem Office and chair of The Florida Bar’s Legal Needs of Children Committee, was formerly director of the statewide Family Safety Program Office with DCF.“I relied on Esther a lot. Even though she was in a legal position, she understood child welfare. She really, really understands issues of substance abuse, mental health, and domestic violence,” Abramowitz said.Jacobo admits she struggled with her decision to leave her job in private practice, and it took her three months to accept Cagle’s offer.“One of my struggles was that I had just started in private practice, and I liked it very much. What if I leave practice and go into government law? Does that mean I’m forever a government lawyer?” Jacobo asked.Then-DCF Secretary Bob Butterworth told her: “Esther, you can do whatever you want to do.”And what she wants to do is work at DCF.“Child welfare is such a complex area of the law because there’s so much social work involved. Not only do you have to understand all legal ramifications to argue in court, but you also have to understand the science of maltreated children. It’s challenging to say: We have to think like lawyers. That’s what we are. But we have to have a tremendous sensitivity about the social work piece and explain it and incorporate it into our legal arguments.”She’s the first to admit, “no one is getting rich at this job.”But what makes being a government lawyer attractive is the importance of public service. Noting that DCF did not have lawyers until the ’80s, in her previous job in Children’s Legal Services, Jacobo went to law schools to recruit students at the top of their class.She told them: “You will get excellent training. You will litigate in front of lots of judges. You are going to be respected by the bench. And you will have the support of management to make sure you are appropriately trained,” including partnering with the National Institute for Trial Advocacy.Now, in her new position, her focus will be taking a “deep dive into the child protective piece” to see where she can raise the bar and enhance professionalism and training.“Being a government lawyer is in my blood, I think,” Jacobo said. “I believe all lawyers, not just government lawyers, are guardians of justice. That’s the way our Constitution was built. I’m not doing work just to pay bills, but to keep society the free society it is. For me, government lawyers really are the voice for the most vulnerable, in every sense. The public defenders are for those accused of crimes; the state attorneys are for victims of crimes; and, for us, it’s maltreated children. If it weren’t for government lawyers, what would happen to all these vulnerable people?”Sometimes, the worst imaginable happens.On Valentine’s Day 2011, the body of 10-year-old Nubia Barahona was discovered lifeless, curled in the fetal position in the back of her adoptive father’s truck parked on the side of Interstate 95 in West Palm Beach. The medical examiner said her death was caused by blunt-force trauma. A grand jury indictment accused Jorge and Carmen Barahona with repeatedly locking Nubia and her twin brother in a bathroom with their hands and feet bound, and torturing them with a shoe, broom, and whip. They are in jail facing first-degree murder and child abuse charges.Only three weeks on the job, new DCF Secretary David Wilkins called the tragedy “a total systemic failure of the child welfare system created by a fragmented business model with antiquated processes, procedures, and technologies, and conflicting rules and incentives.”Jacobo knows she faces steep challenges, but she prefers to call them opportunities.“Taking the helm of operations at DCF in the southern region after the Barahona tragedy presents tremendous opportunity for innovation and improvement,” Jacobo said.“Having dealt with the legal case since the tragedy in February, I have become intimately familiar with all the components that led to this unthinkable result. I am in a unique position to implement changes from both a legal and case management perspective. I truly believe that the combination of good legal work and good social work equals better outcomes for children and families.”She knows there are days “you come back with your head down. You’re like a soldier. You don’t win every battle.”But, she said, “there is no greater feeling in the world” than knowing “every day you have fought the good fight for what was right for somebody.”Though her first official day on the job was September 1, the week before she was already traveling to various offices meeting people she will supervise.“Someone said to me, ‘You know, Esther, you have to stop wearing suits now.’“And I said, ‘Oh, no. That’s who I am. I’m still a government lawyer.’” Being a government lawyer is in her blood September 15, 2011 Jan Pudlow Senior Editor Regular News “You can’t say, ‘no,’ to somebody who is going to change the lives of childrenlast_img read more

City solicitor suspended for second cocaine caution

first_imgA high-flying City solicitor has been suspended for a year after being arrested and cautioned for the possession of cocaine and not telling the regulator.Matthew Podger, admitted in 2013, was an associate at US firm Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton when he was arrested outside his London home in 2018. Podger accepted a caution for possession of a Class A drug for his own use after being found with three wraps of cocaine.According to a judgment published by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal, Podger – formerly a trainee at magic circle firm Slaughter and May – did not report his caution to his employer or the Solicitors Regulation Authority.Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP found out about the incident when it received an anonymous letter 10 months later. The former associate was suspended and resigned shortly afterwards.A statement of agreed facts and proposed outcome said Podger had previously accepted a caution in 2014 for possession of cocaine, in what he described as a ‘one off and uncharacteristic lapse of judgment’. In that instance, he had promptly self-reported.On the second caution, the former associate accepted he had ‘failed to show moral soundness, rectitude and a steady adherence to an ethical code’ and had undermined public trust.In mitigation, Podger said he had been undergoing ‘significant stress’ and marital problems, and had been working very long hours. ‘He felt in order to try to maintain his livelihood and save his marriage, he had no choice but to keep secret what had happened.’The tribunal ordered that Podger be suspended from practice for one year to commence on 24 June 2020 and it ordered him to pay costs of £1,809.Upon the expiry of the term of suspension, Podger may not act as a compliance officer for legal practice, a compliance officer for finance and administration, or a money laundering reporting officer.last_img read more