Month: December 2020 Page 1 of 4

Port of Miami Drug Charges Linked to Jamaica, Costa Rica, Panamá

first_img U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents arrested six longshoremen Dec. 1 at the Port of Miami. The suspects conspired to import millions of dollars worth of cocaine, heroin and marijuana from drug suppliers in Jamaica, Costa Rica and Panamá, according to U.S. officials. “The system must have integrity,” ICE Director John Morton said of the suspects at a news conference following the arrests. “Internal corruption of any kind cannot be tolerated…our ports are open for business, but only for legitimate business.” Charges were also filed against four others, including three men who remain at large in the Caribbean and Central America. The Jamaican Constabulary Force/Narcotics Vetted Unit, the Panamanian Sensitive Investigations Unit and Costa Rican authorities assisted in the investigation, a public affairs officer with the ICE Miami office told Diálogo. Members of the International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) smuggled narcotics on commercial vessels by placing the drugs in the chassis of cargo containers and in other hiding places throughout the ships, a three-year investigation revealed according to court documents. The drugs were often hand-carried by the longshoremen out of the port and sold on the street, U.S. Attorney Willy Ferrer told the Miami Herald. The investigation, dubbed “Operation Gangplank,” began in July 2009 after ICE agents and task force officers from the Miami-Dade Police Department, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) learned of the alleged smuggling conspiracy. The Miami Border Enforcement Security Task Force seized narcotics with a street value of more than $6 million, including approximately 72 kilograms of cocaine, 2.5 kilograms of heroin, and 1,648 kilograms or 3,625 pounds of marijuana during the investigation. Authorities arrested and charged longshoremen Albert W. Hines, 30, of Pembroke Pines, Fla.; Michael Canada, 30, of Miramar, Fla.; Alexander Terrell Pratt, 33, of Miami; Santonio Riou, 33, of Miami; Jessie Lamons, 58, of Miami; and Morris Henderson, 32, of Miami, who is currently in federal custody on ecstasy trafficking and weapons charges. Francisco Gonzalez, 52, of Coral Springs, Fla. Devin Jackson, 42, residing in Costa Rica; Climaco Asprilla, 37, residing in Panama; and Mickey Honeyghan, 39, of Jamaica also are charged in the 20-count indictment. Longshoreman Vondre Asbury, 24, of Miami, also was previously arrested in February 2009, and is currently in federal prison on cocaine trafficking and importation charges. Each faces up to life in prison if convicted on all charges. No details were released on how the case was pursued in Costa Rica, Panamá and Jamaica and the court documents lacked specifics on how the alleged smuggling was carried out. Officials at the Dec. 1 news conference highlighted the work of 21 other ICE task forces around the United States and in Mexico City that focus on commercial shipping. The Port of Miami serves about 20 shipping lines that call on 250 ports around the world. It handles more than 200,000 shipping containers per year. By Dialogo December 10, 2010last_img read more

Peruvian SS-32 Submarine Arrives at Naval Station Mayport to Participate in SUBDIEX 2011

first_img As former C.O. of these peruvian diesel electric submarines I do express by heart my congratulations to Commander Vergara and his crew having in mind these boats were built almost four decades ago but still are an strong underwater threat for the most advanced T.F. Than you to our USN fellows for the high level of confidence among our navies. Vice Admiral (R) Gustavo Barragan I join, with pleasure, my ex-classmate Gustavo´s comment. Lieutenant (R) Ernesto Montagne The experience to maintain and make the most out of the conventional submarine forces has its highest level among the Peruvian military power. Take a look to these pictures and report: USA Naval Commanders know they have to train with these forces yearly for a mutual benefit. The Almirante Miguel Grau started it all in Peru 130 years ago, demonstrating how him and his crew alone could sink and pose a serious threat to a fleet of English and Chilean forces at the Pacific War. Since then the Peruvian naval forces have followed that outstanding performance tradition. This trainning exercises serves not only as a platform to make our armed forces (Peruvian Navy) more ready for electronic warfare combat,but also to strentghten the traditional friendship between U.S.A, and Peru. After 24 days at sea, the Peruvian naval submarine BAP Antofagasta (SS-32) arrived at U.S. Naval Station Mayport, in Florida, to participate in the SUBDIEX 2011 exercise with U.S. Navy units. The exercise is part of the Diesel Electric Submarine Initiative (DESI), a program that will require the unit to remain deployed for approximately 131 days. The Antofagasta’s commander, Commander Alberto Vergara Velarde, was welcomed by the Peruvian naval attaché in the United States, Rear Admiral Jorge Portocarrero, the head of planning for the U.S. Fourth Fleet, Captain Domenick Micillo, and the top commander of the USS Underwood, Commander Peter Mirisola, among others. The annual DESI exercises provide valuable training opportunities for the U.S. Navy’s combat and expeditionary groups in operations against silent diesel-electric submarines. Part of these exercises includes analysis of the results of the maneuvers, making it possible to evaluate operational capabilities and levels. The program has chiefly concentrated on training with South American navies that use diesel submarines, which although they do not have the firepower, speed, or deployment capacity of nuclear-powered submarines, have proven very difficult for U.S. submariners to track. For their part, the Peruvian crew will have the opportunity to practice anti-surface and anti-submarine tactics in scenarios that will include simulated clashes with some of the most powerful units currently in service and will also have the opportunity to strengthen ties of security and interoperability with the U.S. Navy. By Dialogo August 24, 2011last_img read more

U.S. Promises $107 Million to Central America to Combat Drug Trafficking

first_imgBy Dialogo March 08, 2012 On March 7, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden promised Central America to support the regional security strategy with 107 million dollars to confront drug trafficking and organized crime. “Despite the significant recession (…), we are sustaining support for the Central American Regional Security Initiative (CARSI), through which we have dedicated $361 million (…) And we’re asking our Congress for another $107 million,” Biden said. “It is our responsibility. No one country can defeat transnational crime alone. And we will continue to encourage increased collaboration” with Central America, Biden added, in a statement to the press after meeting with the presidents of the region at the Presidential House in Tegucigalpa. The U.S. vice president added that the United States is “investing to reduce the demand for illegal drugs and to cut the illicit flow of money and weapons that contribute to crime and violence in the region.” At the meeting, the Central American presidents called for more support from the United States, after noting that country’s shared responsibility for drug use (it is the largest user in the world), weapons trafficking, and money laundering. “We need an active policy on the part of the United States. Our states are small and weak in comparison to the formidable power of the criminals,” Salvadoran President Mauricio Funes said at the summit, according to a copy of his remarks given to the press. In June, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton participated in a summit in Guatemala that concluded with a shared plan of action and promises of international support worth 2 billion dollars, the majority in the form of loans.last_img read more

Ollanta Humala: The Fight Against Terrorism is Not Part of the Past

first_imgBy Dialogo September 14, 2012 President Ollanta Humala said on September 12 that the problem of combating terrorism is not yet part of the past in Peru, 20 years after the arrest of Abimael Guzmán, leader of the Shining Path guerrillas. “The fight against terrorism does not belong to the past yet … we cannot say that terrorism is over,” Humala said in a press conference with foreign media accredited in Lima, the first since he assumed office just over a year ago. The president added that the Peruvian State “has been naive” by permitting many former members of the Shining Path guerrillas to have freedom of action today. “They leave prison without repentance and want to have a more elaborate and more structured second battle, by infiltrating unions and organizations,” he pointed out. Humala also stated that today in Peru there are “organizations linked to terrorism like Movadef, which is considered the political arm of the Shining Path.” Therefore, he indicated that his government is taking “concrete actions in areas where there are still terrorist groups remnants such as in the VRAEM (the Apurímac, Ene and Mantaro river valleys). “We are leading infrastructure and social programs for youth in that region, and strengthening police facilities and counterterrorism bases,” he reported. Abimael Guzmán, 77 years old, was captured by a police intelligence unit on September 12, 1992, in a house in Lima, and he is still imprisoned in a maximum security military prison.last_img read more

Colombia Hopes FARC Peace Talks Will Lure Other Combatants Too

first_imgBy Dialogo November 15, 2012 BOGOTÁ — Colombia’s largest rebel group is set to begin face-to-face peace talks with government negotiators in Cuba on Nov. 19 — a first step in getting the 8,000-strong Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) to demobilize. The government of President Juan Manuel Santos hopes other guerrilla groups can be drawn into peaceful negotiations as well. A tragic reminder came on Oct. 24, when a teenager tossed a grenade into the cafeteria of a supermarket in the northern Colombian city of Santa Marta. The explosion killed three people, including a 6-year-old girl, and injured 44. Authorities claim it was the work of the Urabeños, a drug-trafficking gang comprised of former paramilitary fighters who once battled the FARC. The Urabeños and other criminal groups also earn millions by extorting Colombian businesses. Santa Marta Mayor Carlos Caicedo said the owner of the supermarket where the Oct. 24 attack took place was likely targeted for refusing to come through with an extortion payment. “If the FARC demobilizes and the government fails to regain control over former rebel zones, the Urabeños could quickly take over their territory,” said León Valencia, a former member of the National Liberation Army (Ejército de Liberación Nacional, or ELN). The ELN, which like the FARC was founded in the early 1960s, has perhaps 3,000 fighters, according to the Colombian liaison officer at the United States Southern Command, Army Colonel Jorge H. Romero. The ELN is in preliminary talks with the government about joining the Havana negotiations, but for now its foot soldiers continue on the warpath. León Valencia, who now directs Bogotá’s Nuevo Arco Iris think tank, pointed out that he and other rebels — who had formed a dissident ELN faction — agreed to lay down their weapons in the 1980s. Soon afterwards, he said, the FARC and paramilitary groups occupied their Montes de María stronghold in the mountains of northern Colombia. Similarly, when Colombia’s paramilitary groups demobilized in the mid-2000s, areas they once dominated were taken over by the FARC and criminal gangs like the Urabeños. “The history of past negotiations is that territory abandoned by rebels or paramilitaries has been occupied by other armed actors,” Valencia said. “Rather than reducing the violence, the war expanded.” Lessons from Central America? A similar scenario has played out in Central America. Following the civil wars of the 1980s that turned rural areas into killing fields, political violence gave way to criminal mayhem as drug trafficking gangs — including some demobilized guerrillas — swept into the slums of Guatemala City, Tegucigalpa, San Salvador and other major cities. Today, the region is home to some 900 street gangs, or maras, with 70,000 members, according to a recent report by the International Narcotics Control Board. The resulting drug-related violence has given El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras some of the world’s highest homicide rates, said INCB. Valencia suggested that if peace talks with both rebel groups move forward, the government should consider allowing demobilized FARC and ELN fighters to join local police forces in areas where they once operated, in order to prevent new armed groups from moving into these zones. Colombian Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzón recently estimated that the FARC earns between $2.4 billion and $3.5 billion annually in drug profits. Other estimates are much smaller — but even so, the lure of drug profits might convince some FARC fronts and mid-level commanders to remain in the jungle. The issue of drug trafficking is one of five points on the negotiating table in Havana. But the FARC is involved in many other criminal activities, including illegal gold mining. A recent investigation by Medellín’s El Colombiano newspaper found that FARC rebels in surrounding Antioquía department charge between $1,600 and $2,750 for each piece of heavy equipment that miners bring into areas under guerrilla control. The rebels also levy taxes on gasoline brought into these regions and demand a 10 percent cut of all mining profits, the newspaper reported. Authorities hope fighters will lay down their weapons “Despite their roots in Marxist rhetoric of class struggle and popular uprising, the political cohesiveness of the FARC has become eroded due to its involvement in criminal activities like drug trafficking,” said a recent analysis by Insight Crime, a Bogotá think tank that tracks crime in Latin America. “The FARC’s political integrity is also believed to have been affected by the loss of several members of its leading Secretariat, many of whom, like Alfonso Cano, were considered ideological heavyweights.” Other analysts insist that the FARC remains a hierarchical military organization and that if orders come from the top to demobilize, the vast majority of the group’s rank-and-file members will lay down their weapons. Álvaro Jiménez, who heads a Colombian organization that lobbies against the use of landmines, claims the FARC leadership has a strong interest in making sure all its units disarm — both for historic reasons and for gaining credibility among the public as the organization attempts to transform itself into a legal political party. Yet if few programs are in place to help demobilized fighters transition to civilian life, many of them could end up being recruited into the Urabeños and other criminal gangs. Bogotá political analyst Ariel Ávila estimated that between the FARC and the ELN, some 30,000 rebels could end up demobilizing under a peace treaty. As a result, he said, “the successful reinsertion of former combatants into civilian life is a huge issue.” Some say there are 30,000, others say 10,000, whatever the number, they are more numerous than any political party. Do not tell me that it is measured by the number of votes, because when they were about ti win with the UP, they were exterminated. On my part, and I have traveled throughout Colombia, I know that they are all around the country. I think they should take them seriously and stop playing with fire. they keep talking about peace negotiations with the farc TERRORISTS, the farc TERRORISTS claim that they are simply victims of the government… “VICTIMS”, how far will the CYNICISM of these individuals go? CEASE THE UNILATERAL FIRE, SAY THE TERRORISTS, BUT WHERE IS THAT CEASE FIRE? DON’T THINK WE ARE STUPID, ENOUGH OF THIS SHAM!last_img read more

Dominican Republic and Haiti cooperate against drug traffickers

first_img Key drug trafficking route This joint effort is part of the broad Cooperation Plan the Dominican Republic and Haiti signed in February 2014. The plan lays out a strategy to fight drug trafficking on the island of Hispaniola. The plan covers police training, police operations, including organization and criminal investigations, cooperation on joint operations, the search for fugitives, and strategic regional cooperation. The agreement is not the first time the Dominican Republic and Haiti, which share an island, have agreed to cooperate in the fight against drug trafficking. In May 2012, the then Dominican president, Leonel Antonio Fernández, ordered the DNCD and the Armed Forces to provide Haiti with fighter aircraft and patrol boats to fight drug trafficking. The Dominican Armed Forces provided to Haiti several aircraft, including an Embraer A-29 Super Tucano light attack aircraft. Sharing information and strategy The Sinaloa Cartel, a Mexican transnational criminal organization, controls much of the drug trafficking in the Dominican Republic and Haiti, Rodriguez said. The Sinaloa Cartel also operates in Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. The organized crime group transports cocaine from the Caribbean to Africa and Australia. Dominican and Haitian security forces must be vigilant in the battle against the Sinaloa Cartel and other drug trafficking groups, Rodriguez said. Cooperation is crucial in the fight against the Sinaloa Cartel and other organized crime groups, the security analyst said. “International intervention in this cooperation agreement is essential to success in the fight against drug gangs on the island,” Rodriguez said. International cooperation between the Dominican Republic and Haiti and other countries, such as Guatemala, Belize, Mexico and the U.S. is also crucial in the fight against money laundering, Rordigues said. The DNCD ratified its cooperation agreement with Haiti. The agreement calls for security forces from the two countries to share information about drug trafficking in the Caribbean region and to cooperate on strategic operations. Dominican security forces are prepared to share their resources with their Haitian counterparts, Souffront Velázquez said. “Haiti can rely on all our logistics to detect drugs and cartels seeking to use the two countries as a bridge for drug trafficking, Souffront Velázquez said. Haitian National Police will have access to the DNCD’s Canine Training Center (K-9), its operational center, and its training academy, DNCD authorities said. Arelus toured various DCND facilities and thanked Dominican officials for their support in the fight against the “scourge of drugs and money laundering.” Hispaniola is located between the United States and South America. Drug traffickers use Hispaniola as a key transshipment route and destination for cocaine and other drugs, said Armando Rodriguez Luna, a security analyst at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). “But we’ve seen a real increase in the flow in that direction, towards Dominican Republic,” U.S. Gen. John F. Kelly, leader of the U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) said in March 2014 during a press briefing at the Pentagon. The Dominican Republic, Haiti, and several other Latin American countries cooperate with U.S. security forces in the fight against international drug trafficking. Drug gangs have divided the island into several land and air corridors to ensure better distribution of cocaine, authorities said. Drug traffickers transport large amounts of cocaine from Haiti to Florida through the Caicos Islands, Jamaica, the Virgin Islands, and the Bahamas, authorities said. center_img The Sinaloa Cartel By Dialogo May 01, 2014 The Dominican Republic and Haiti have agreed on March 23 to strengthen cooperation to defeat the Sinaloa Cart el and other transnational criminal organizations that operate in the Caribbean region. The president of the National Directorate of Drug Control (DNCD) of the Dominican Republic, Maj. Gen. Julio César Souffront Velázquez, and the chief of police in Haiti, Godson Arelus, held a meeting in which officials from both countries expressed their “willingness to bolster cooperation for better results in the fight against drug trafficking,” according to a report from the DNCD. The two countries aim to build a “wall of containment” against international drug trafficking groups, which pose threats to the peace and tranquility of Dominican and Haitian residents, Souffront Velázquez said during the meeting, which took place at DNCD headquarters in Santo Domingo. Cooperative Plan to fight drug trafficking last_img read more

Salvadoran Service Members Display Fighter Aircraft and Rescue Helicopters

first_imgBy Lorena Baires/Diálogo March 04, 2019 With the support of the New Hampshire Air National Guard (NHANG), the Salvadoran Air Force (FAS, in Spanish) demonstrated its abilities to conduct humanitarian assistance, rescue, and counter narcotics operations during the Ilopango Air Show 2019, a civil-military aviation event held January 25-26 at Comalapa Air Base, El Salvador. Salvadoran and U.S. service members simulated risky operations with rescue helicopters and fighter aircraft. The military aerial demonstration was one of the main attractions at the event, which the Aeroclub Association of El Salvador organizes for the last 22 years, drawing more than 40,000 spectators. The funds collected will go to the Intensive Care Unit at Benjamín Bloom National Children’s Hospital in San Salvador. Air combat “We had the opportunity to show the work of our first line of air defense, a squadron of three Cessna A-37B aircraft engaged in ongoing surveillance to detect possible movements from narcotrafficking rings,” said Colonel Salvador Hernández, commander of the FAS General Staff. “These aircraft take off immediately when they receive an order to intercept illegal movements, either maritime or airborne.” The fleet belongs to FAS’s Fighter and Bomber Group. Their demonstrations, displaying individual and formation flights, showcased some of the tasks executed when intercepting a land, water, or air vehicle suspected of carrying illegal goods or being involved in illegal activities. “The different training received from the U.S. Air Force enabled us to improve our pilots’ performance and, consequently, the service we provide the country in security and rescue,” Col. Hernández said. “This event lets us show off the results of training and exchanges, as well as our level of preparedness to counter transnational crime day by day.” For the seventh year in a row, NHANG’s 157th Air Refueling Wing conducted overflights with a Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker. Attendees were able to witness the aircraft’s capabilities to transport patients during aeromedical evacuations. “For us, participating in this air event is an ideal opportunity to connect directly with the Salvadorans and show our partnership with their country,” said U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel Greg Heilshorn, director of Public Affairs for the New Hampshire Army National Guard. “We work in good faith and with good relations, which are the basis for any enduring friendship.” The New Hampshire National Guard is associated with FAS through the U.S. State Partnership Program, which links the National Guard of a U.S. state to the armed forces of a partner nation for a relationship of mutual cooperation. Since the partnership’s beginnings in 2000, it provides ongoing training on rescue techniques during sudden floods, landslides, and earthquakes. In a seismic country like El Salvador, exercises of this kind strengthen joint response mechanisms in case of emergencies. Humanitarian operations U.S. Southern Command’s Joint Task Force Bravo (JTF-Bravo) joined the 2019 event and displayed one of its UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters, which served in many humanitarian operations in Central America. “In the case of El Salvador, in November of last year [2018], one of these helicopters enabled us to distribute 170 tons of supplies and bring medical attention to 4,400 patients during rain emergencies,” said U.S. Army Major Christopher Cashell, member of JTF-Bravo. JTF-Bravo trained Salvadoran service members in open water rescues, rappelling, and rope training from UH-60s for humanitarian assistance operations. As part of its security cooperation mission, JTF-Bravo conducts the Central America Sharing Mutual Operational Knowledge and Experiences exercise on a cyclical basis to facilitate future efforts with Central American firefighters in case of disasters and medical evacuations. “The work of the U.S. military in evacuations or disasters is amazing; their level of professionalism is sky-high,” said José Luis Arévalo, a Salvadoran civil engineer who visited the event. “It’s good to know that we can count on them in emergencies, since we don’t always have all the resources to address them in our country.”last_img read more

Yellow Pages ads can trip up lawyers

first_img October 15, 2003 Gary Blankenship Senior Editor Regular News Yellow Pages ads can trip up lawyers Yellow Pages ads can trip up lawyers Senior EditorThe Florida Bar is getting the message out to lawyers who advertise in the Yellow Pages that a service intended to be a convenience to them may be a violation of advertising rules.The problem? Bar Rule 4-7.3(b) requires that a disclosure be included in the ad, and that it be at least one-fourth as big as the largest size of type used in the ad. The Yellow Pages, to be helpful, has included disclosure language on each page in the lawyer advertising section. The problem is the type typically is minuscule, nowhere near the required size for many, if not most, ads.As the comment to the rule notes, “The required disclosure would be ineffective if it appeared in an advertisement so briefly or minutely as to be overlooked or ignored. Thus the type size to be used for the disclosure is specified to ensure that the disclosure will be conspicuous.”A second problem is that even when lawyers put the disclosure language in their ads, some paraphrase the language that is required in the rule. Bar Ethics Counsel Elizabeth Tarbert, who oversees Bar advertising operations, said the Standing Committee on Advertising has taken the position that the exact language in the rule must be used, with no changes.(Indeed, a check of the Tallahassee phone book showed the language used by the Yellow Pages was paraphrased, slightly, and grammatically incorrect.)While it might seem like a minor problem, the violation could land an advertising lawyer before the Bar’s Statewide Advertising Grievance Committee, which handles advertising rule violations.“The majority of large Yellow Pages ads are not in compliance,” Tarbert said. “The Yellow Pages puts the disclosure in tiny, tiny print.”Tony Boggs, who directs the Bar’s grievance operations, agreed. He said many lawyers have complained to the grievance committee that they were told that the Yellow Pages disclaimer would comply with Bar rules, only to find out later it doesn’t.“There is a lot of finger-pointing at sales representatives,” he said. “They’re telling lawyers such things as the ads are in compliance with the Bar rules. Then by either neglect or time running out, the lawyers are not verifying what the phone companies are printing, and they’re printing this little tiny disclaimer that is not in compliance with the rule.”Lawyers can’t delegate their responsibility to comply with the rule, Boggs said. Just as with trust accounting, the lawyer is ultimately held accountable even if a secretary or other office person steals from a client, he added.The grievance committee is “telling lawyers, ‘You’re responsible for complying with the ad requirements, and complying with the rules,’” Boggs said.Tarbert noted the Bar has no authority over the Yellow Pages, and can only hold attorneys responsible for their ads. She recommended that attorney advertisers who may have been misled complain to the Yellow Pages.As for the language of the disclosure, the Rule 4-7.3 spells out what is to be said in various types of ads: (b) Disclosure Statement. Except as otherwise provided in this subdivision, all advertisements other than lawyer referral service advertisements shall contain the following disclosure: “The hiring of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely upon advertisements. Before you decide, ask us to send you free written information about our qualifications and experience.” Lawyer referral service advertisements shall contain the following disclosure: “The hiring of a lawyer is an important decision. Before you decide to hire the lawyer to whom you are referred, ask that lawyer for written information about that lawyer’s qualifications and experience.” Outdoor advertisements may contain, in lieu of the above disclosure, the following abbreviated version: “Before choosing a lawyer, ask for written information about the lawyer’s legal qualifications and experience.” Disclosure statements must appear in type that is clearly legible and is no smaller than one-fourth of the size of the largest type otherwise appearing in the advertisement. These disclosures, however, need not appear in advertisements in the public print media that contain no illustrations and no information other than that listed in subdivision (c)(11) of rule 4-7.2, or written communications sent in compliance with rule 4-7.4.last_img read more

Business Law Section helps pass trademark legislation

first_imgBusiness Law Section helps pass trademark legislation Business Law Section helps pass trademark legislation Individuals and companies in Florida will find it easier to protect their proprietary trademarks, thanks to a bill passed by the Florida Legislature with help from the Business Law Section.HB 7017 was the first change to the state’s 1964 model trademark law since a substantive overhaul in 1990.“One of the common questions I would get from legislators is, ‘Why do we need a state trademark law?’” said Michael Chesal, a Miami lawyer who spearheaded the section’s efforts. “Number one, not every company is a national company. There are local companies that may not be entitled to federal protection.“Secondly, a state registration filing can be heard in a few weeks,” while the same process through the federal system will take at least a year.“The main reason for the bill is to better harmonize state and federal law,” Chesal added. “There have been changes in federal law over the years that we needed to catch up with.”“This is another example of how sections of the Bar develop credibility over the years with the legislature. . . and are able to provide technical support to enact laws that are to the benefit of both business and the people of our state,” said section Chair Mark Wolfson. “This otherwise might not get done if there weren’t lawyers out there like Michael spending their non-billable time to make these laws happen.”Chesal said the bill “gives a little more teeth to help small businesses better protect their trademarks, their names, and their intellectual property.”The bill streamlines the application process and provides for more direction for attorneys when they file trademark applications for clients. It also allows for an administrative hearing if an application is denied, and in the event of litigation, provides for attorneys’ fees for the prevailing party.Fees protection is important for small businesses, Wolfson said.“If a big corporations says, ‘I want to put that guy out of business,’ and they come in and try to litigate them out, they will have to think twice about it because there might be a lawyer out there who thinks that mom and pop business has a good case and would be willing to defend that small business,” he said.Other changes in the law include repealing the provision on reservation of marks, reducing the renewal period of a registered mark from 10 to five years, clarifying that security interests in a mark can be created and perfected according to the Uniform Commercial Code, and revising the dilution provision to be more consistent with federal law while keeping Florida’s “likelihood of dilution” standard.Chesal noted the legislature considered a bill in 2005 based on the Model State Trademark Bill prepared by the International Trademark Association. The section’s Intellectual Property Law Committee, which Chesal chaired, prepared a memo on how the model law didn’t account for some unique Florida issues.This year, Chesal said the section worked with Miami attorney John Malloy III, who represented the INTA’s position, for a bill that recognized changes in federal law, the proposed model law, and distinctive Florida issues. June 1, 2006 Regular Newslast_img read more

East Patchogue Pedestrian Struck, Killed by Car

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A 39-year-old pedestrian was fatally struck by a car in his hometown of East Patchogue on Sunday night.Suffolk County police said Jose R. Fuentes was crossing East Main Street at the corner of Conklin Avenue when he was struck by an eastbound Nissan Maxima at 8 p.m.The victim was taken to Brookhaven Memorial Hospital Medical Center in East Patchogue where he was pronounced dead.The driver, 25-year-old Jeremiah Day of Wyandanch, was not injured. His car was impounded for a safety check.Fifth Squad detectives are investigating the circumstances of the crash and ask anyone with information about this case to contact them at 631-854-8552.last_img read more

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