–Bringing Lawyers and Law Students Together– Minority Mentoring Picnic: Bringing Lawyers and Law Students Together December 1, 2009 Jan Pudlow Senior Editor Regular News Senior EditorUnder a perfect azure sky, Florida Bar Board of Governors member Ramon Abadin shoveled hot coals under a pair of whole pigs near the Cuban American Bar Association tent where a dominos tournament was in play.Huge pots of paella laden with calamari and shrimp slowly simmered, mingling with the tantalizing smells of grilled lamb, sausage dogs, and soul food. Reggae music drifted on the soft breeze as kids hoisted themselves up a rock-climbing wall, and adults practiced their serves for the upcoming volleyball tournament.But most of the estimated 2,000 who showed up November 14 at Amelia Earhart Park in Hialeah came for more than good grub and fun games.They came to teach and learn at the Sixth Annual Minority Mentoring Picnic, a huge event bringing law students from all over Florida to meet lawyers and judges willing to share what they know about the practice of law.“I come every year. I wouldn’t miss it for the world. I’m a foot off the ground when I come to this picnic. Look at the students’ beautiful faces, always enthusiastic!” exclaimed U.S. District Judge Paul Huck as he pulled up a chair to a table of University of Florida law students, where Thérèse Vento, a partner at Shutts & Bowen’s Miami Litigation Department, was answering a student’s question about the pressure of billable hours.“The concept of putting experienced lawyers with younger lawyers is terrific, because mentoring is such an important thing, and we don’t do enough of it. John Kozyak has taken it to another level,” Judge Huck said.Miami lawyer Kozyak was running around hammering up banners listing the dozens of sponsors that included The Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division, and attending to last-minute details of the picnic that is his brainchild.His longtime assistant Marta Cristobol described the climactic moment of the picnic for her boss: “I think the biggest thing for John is when everybody is here, and Ray Abadin cuts those two porks, and all the students are gathered around him. You have to see John in action. And he’s not even Cuban!”Barbara Silverman, Kozyak’s wife and an appellate lawyer, said the picnic is truly her husband’s passion.“It’s the highlight of his year. He loves to do this. It’s just amazing that it has grown from a small gathering at Books & Books years ago in the courtyard. The first little get-together was really more like a cocktail hour with the mentoring program at the University of Miami. Now it has spread the state, and now we’re 2,000 people!”Silverman explains the spark that fuels Kozyak’s picnic passion.“When John was growing up, he was exposed to segregated communities, and he really feels this is an important thing to do. We need to expand the practice of law to include everybody and to promote the minority students.”Students from law schools all over Florida came out in full force, wearing big red “I need mentor” stickers emblazoned on their chests like bulls-eyes.Florida A&M University law student Alicia McNeal held a plateful of paella and said she hoped she’d win the raffle drawing with the prize of shadowing BOG member Eugene Pettis, followed by a Miami Heat game. “I am focused on sports law, so my whole focus is to meet someone who can be my mentor so I can make a smooth transition,” McNeal said.Among 32 prizes raffled off included lunch at the snazzy Italian restaurant Il Gabbiano with former Justice Raoul Cantero, now a lawyer at White & Case, and shadowing 11th Circuit Judge Gill Freeman for a day, including lunch.Rob Collins, a University of Miami law student, class of 2011, had drawn peace signs in the Os of his name badge and smiled when he talked about the mentor he has had for a year. Collins said he and 11th Circuit Judge Maria Korvick e-mail all the time and get together in person every few months.“It’s been really helpful, just to give me perspective. I’m not from here. I am not well-versed in legal issues, and she’s a judge and knows it all,” Collins said.Attending the picnic for the first time was attorney Craig Lawson, who has a solo criminal law practice in Boynton Beach.“I think it’s a wonderful event. It gets a lot of people in touch with people who need some help looking for jobs and some advice from people who have been working for a while. I’m here to meet some people and see if I can do some good,” Lawson said.Good advice was flowing at the Leaders & Legends tent, where every 20 minutes a new trio or duo of legal luminaries held court, including U.S. District Court Judge Patricia Seitz and retired judge Edward Rogers, the first African-American judge appointed in Palm Beach County in 1973. Detra Shaw-Wilder, a shareholder at Kozyak, Tropin & Throckmorton and past president of the Gwen S. Cherry Bar Association, took the mike at the Leaders & Legends tent and told the students gathered: “The reason I spent countless unbillable hours putting this together is because I am passionate that minority law students have an opportunity to form relationships with the legal community early on in your career. Because what you are going to find is that these relationships are going to be invaluable to you in going forward.“What I am hearing from law students is you are looking around you at law school, and there are not a lot of people who look like you. Then when you come out to practice in law firms, you are going to see even less people that look like you in the associate ranks. Then when you become partner, you may look around and see one or no other person who looks like you,” Shaw-Wilder said.“We want to change that. And the way you change that is forging relationships.”Samuel Japhets, originally from West Africa, born in Kumasi Ghana by an Ashanti mother and an Ibo (Nigerian) father, is a first year student at Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad Law Center in Ft. Lauderdale.Decked out in his Sunday best, he looked the part of the pastor he has been since age 19. From his vest pocket, he whipped out a business card identifying him as a juris doctor candidate, May 2012, and said: “The reason I came here is to get a mentor today. I would like to have more insight from a practitioner. Get to hear, get to know, and get to feel what the practice of law is like.”Three days after the picnic, between classes, Japhets e-mailed an update on his first Minority Mentoring Picnic experience:“Well, I did not attract a mentor as I had hoped, but I was not disappointed because I will be here for three years, and there will be lots of opportunities to meet possible mentors at other occasions. Interestingly, I had the rare opportunity of seeing the diverse blend of lawyers outside my law school environment and got to talk to a few strangers. It was very refreshing just being there.“I had always wanted to belong to the legal community to experience another side compared to the only side I ever knew: the religious community.. . . So you will understand my exhilaration at being among my dream community: lawyers.“My transition into the study of law from being a theologian is challenging, and I look forward to becoming a positive influence as I gradually navigate the difficult terrains of law school education.” Minority Mentoring Picnic
SPANISH National Railways has called tenders for a fleet of high speed trains for short distance services. The Madrid – Ciudad Real shuttles worked by the original AVE fleet have proved very popular, and Renfe plans to introduce similar services between other city pairs such as Córdoba – Sevilla and Barcelona – Lleida. The six trains initially required will have a top speed of 250 or 270 km/h and will be 1435mm gauge; cost is Pts1·2bn each. The contract may include options for 10 to 18 more. Bidders identified by mid-July were Alstom and Talgo.The regional sets are in addition to the 26 to 40 trains required to run at up to 350 km/h between Barcelona, Madrid and Sevilla, for which Alstom, Talgo, Siemens and AnsaldoBreda have prequalified; formal tenders are to be submitted on September 29. Bids for eight gauge-changing high speed trains to work interim services on the Madrid – Barcelona AVE line from 2002 while the Lleida – Barcelona section is finished are to be submitted on September 18. These trains are also destined to serve cities off the AVE line on routes such as Barcelona – Huesca and Madrid – Pamplona.Meanwhile GIF continues to let contracts for works on the Madrid – Barcelona route. These include a construction base at Calatayud (Vías y Construcciones) and tracklaying between Puente de Ebro and Lleida (Tecsa Empresa Constructora, Guinovart Oshsa, Coprosa and Copasa). Siemens has won a Pts6·3bn contract for GSM-R train radio, Cobra and CSEE Transport are to supply interlockings and train protection systems for Pts21·2bn, and Alcatel España and Alcatel Contracting have won a Pts5bn contract for telecommunications.
TUSCALOOSA – From just the right angle, it might seem like Derrick Henry is the only running back participating in spring drills.Standing at 6-foot-3 and 242 pounds, the junior nearly dwarfs his fellow Crimson Tide running backs, especially when he’s preparing to lead them in a drill as Alabama’s unquestioned No. 1 tailback.And, after spending his first two seasons working behind now-former Alabama tailback T.J. Yeldon, Henry’s taking that new distinction and running with it.“I accept that role as being a leader,” Henry said this week. “I just want to make everybody better around me and just get them to push themselves, because I’m going to give it my all every time I’m out there and just try to make the team better.”That leadership role is one the 20-year-old Yulee, Florida, native is carrying around with great pride, and it’s shown in every part of his daily approach.“He’s one of the hardest workers on our team,” Alabama head coach Nick Saban said. “If you were going to give a most valuable player in the offseason program for just finishing, running hard, winning every race, finishing the drill, he’d have probably got it or been in the top three at least. I think that he has a real burning desire to be a really, really good player and works really hard at it.”Saban said the only real concern with Henry is keeping him level and not so fixated on being great that he gets “anxious” or “frustrated” and it becomes a negative.“It’s almost like a basketball player that’s supposed to be a great scorer and he only has two points at halftime and he’s pulling his hair out,” Saban said. “You really don’t want that — maybe he’ll score 24 in the next half. But you’ve got to just focus on what you’re doing right now, knowing that if you do it right, you’re going to have success and don’t worry about that.”Known as a big and physical runner, Henry hasn’t always been considered an all-around running back, especially when it came to blocking out of the backfield.But, just like with his role as Alabama’s top tailback, that too came in time.“That was a big transition, and I feel like the older you are and more you play football you learn a lot more about blocking technique,” Henry said. “That’s big here. Coach (Saban) really emphasizes that we have to block, like, a lot and I feel like I’ve gotten better. Just to the younger guys, I emphasize to them that blocking is a big deal and in college football, you’ve got to learn how to block to be able to play.”And at least according to his head coach, Henry’s more than made that transition as he enters his third spring at Alabama.“I think Derrick Henry has improved in all aspects of the game where he doesn’t have the ball — which includes blocking, which includes being a better receiver, understanding pass protections (like) when you need to get out, when you can’t,” Saban said.That improvement, and the reemergence of a healthy Kenyan Drake, has many around Alabama eager to see what the backfield duo will do this coming season.Drake, a senior, is back in action just five months removed from a gruesome broken left leg suffered Oct. 4, 2014 when he was sandwiched between two Ole Miss defenders, including one that went low as his left leg snapped and his foot dangled the wrong way.Back after spending two months in a walking boot, Drake’s rapid recovery didn’t come as a surprise to those that know him best, especially Henry.“No, I wasn’t surprised at all because I knew the tough person he is, he’s going to work hard because he loves the game,” Henry said. “He loves playing the game and he missed being out there. I knew he’d do anything and work hard to get back out there.”In an effort to expand his role, Drake has been seeing more time working with receivers at practice this week as Tide coaches try to further take advantage of his natural pass-catching abilities.“Derrick Henry and him both are pretty dynamic players for us that are really good playmakers so we’re going to explore every way possible that we can get those guys the ball,” Saban said. “So far, Kenyan has been very good as a back coming out of the backfield and the matchups that he gets with that and we’ll continue to explore ways to do that. But we might have some personnel groups where we play those two guys together. I think both of those scenarios are the reason you’re seeing what you see.”The idea of having both Drake and Henry in the backfield at the same time, or slotting Drake out wide at receiver with Henry at tailback, could add a new dimension to Alabama’s offense in the second year under offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin.“Kenyan’s a great receiver out of the backfield. Me in the backfield and him at receiver, you really wouldn’t know what’s coming or who’s getting the ball,” Henry said.Saban may have even given his next great running back tandem its own celebrity nickname — Kendrick, a mashup of their first names that resulted when Saban momentarily stuttered while speaking about the two.Whatever the pair is called, both Drake and Henry have the potential to provide Alabama’s offense a major boost this coming season.And given how far each has come in just the last year, Saban plans to take full advantage of both as frequently as he can this fall.“Kenyan Drake I think has a better understanding — (though he’s) not quite as big and as physical as Derrick — but I trust both those guys to be able to do a good job in that regard,” Saban said. “They’ve definitely made a lot of progress.“But they also have the capability of making a lot of plays, so we definitely want them on the field as much as possible.”
On Wednesday, Johnson spoke publicly for the first time about his injury, holding court with a large group of reporters at his locker, something he typically does each week during the season — except now the season continues without him.“It’s definitely been a tough couple weeks, but I had a lot of support; lot of family and friends connect with me and talk to me,” he said. “This is my first major injury so it’s been a whirlwind, for sure.”Initially, Johnson thought he had only sprained his wrist. Late in the third quarter of the season opener, he was wedged between three Detroit defenders after making a 24-yard catch at the Lions’ three-yard line. Johnson’s wrist was hit by the helmet of safety Glover Quin.“Didn’t really feel it just because that same play I got the wind knocked out of me, so I was really actually focusing more on trying to catch my breath,” Johnson said. “When I did feel it, it just felt like it was more a sprain and I could be able to tape it up more and be able to play more.”Johnson did play more. After a brief trip to the sidelines, Johnson returned on the Cardinals’ next possession, one that ended with him fumbling. It was then that Johnson knew something was wrong. The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Top Stories Despite the injury, Johnson plans to be visible, be it at practice, games or in the locker room. Just call him Coach Johnson.“The game is fast. When I was a young guy, a rookie, the game felt fast so I’m trying to help slow it down for them,” he said, referring to the other running backs in the room. “I ask them what they see. Talk to Dre (Andre Ellington), see what he sees. Just like when I was playing they were doing that to me. Just trying to give some feedback on what they’re seeing, maybe give them a couple of tips on how to run the ball or how to do routes and stuff.”Nothing will completely fill the void of playing, however, and that’s what Johnson misses most of all.“It’s still tough being away from the team, being away from the sport that I love, that I play all the time, especially not being able to help out the team, not being able to be out there with my guys and contribute to the team,” he said. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling “I actually didn’t feel the football as much,” he said, revisiting the play. “I didn’t feel like I was holding the football as strong as I normally do, so I think that’s when I realized that something’s not right.”The next day, after huddling with the doctors and head athletic trainer Tom Reed, Johnson understood the magnitude of the injury.His injury, Johnson said, is similar to the one fellow running back T.J. Logan suffered in the preseason.Johnson added he’s heard from a number of his peers, including Ameer Abdullah, Jay Ajayi, Todd Gurley and Tyler Lockett.“They just say, ‘Keep your head up, keep pushing through,’” Johnson said.Late last week, Johnson underwent surgery. He currently is sporting a large cast on his wrist and part of his arm. How much longer that has to be worn, Johnson isn’t sure. He wants it off soon, though.The cast has made simple chores like tying his shoes and taking a shower extremely difficult.On top of that, Johnson is finding it hard to play with his son.“I can’t really carry him. I get a little nervous. He’s starting to get a little bit more squirmy so it’s hard to carry him … and my wife, she doesn’t really trust me carrying him either,” he said, laughing. 5 Comments Share Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson (31) is injured against the Detroit Lions during the second half of an NFL football game in Detroit, Sunday, Sept. 10, 2017. Johnson left the field for x-rays. (AP Photo/Jose Juarez) TEMPE, Ariz. – Thanksgiving. Christmas.The projected return of Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson is hard to determine. This much is known: He’ll miss at least eight weeks after being placed on injured reserve Sept. 12 due to a dislocated left wrist.To his credit, Johnson is not focused on when he’ll be back but rather making sure he is able to come back. And, of course, come back healthy.“There really is no timeline,” he said. “Really just see how it goes. Just rehab, obviously, after the cast (is removed). We’ll see what happens. I’m really just trying to make sure my wrist is 100-percent.” Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact