You are never too old to join The Florida Bar Theresa E. Davis Assistant Editor If one is to believe the billboards dotted along Interstate 95, an ideal way to spend one’s golden years is resting comfortably in a “retirement community” collecting seashells or nudging metal detectors down white, sandy beaches.Not so for Thomas A. Woodward who passed the Florida bar exam in February at age 73. The last time he took a bar exam, the New York Yankees beat the Cincinnati Reds in the World Series, Kennedy was in the White House, and Super Bowl I was six years away.Stating that the law has changed since then would be putting it mildly.“There were such dramatic changes in all those areas over a period of 40 years,” said Woodward.Woodward’s passion is the law, second only to his love for golf.“I really love practicing law. In terms of retirement, that’s probably the last thing on my mind,” Woodward said. “When my time comes, they’re going to find me either in my office or on the golf course.”Preparing and sitting for the bar exam presented a challenge for Woodward.“It’s well known that the Florida exam particularly is tough and focused,” Woodward said. “You’re, in effect, running an academic marathon.”The difficulty didn’t stop there, either. The Florida Board of Bar Examiners conducts a rigorous background check.“The Florida Bar Examiners are as searching in their background checking as any state that I’ve ever seen. I’m admitted in several other states but I don’t recall anything like the great specificity they go through,” said Woodward.Still, Woodward considers himself among the lucky. He says that younger lawyers taking the bar have more to contend with.“I noticed quite a lot of pressure when I was taking the bar exam in New York years ago but it was nothing compared to what you saw in Tampa. You see these people who maybe did not have jobs where they could pass the exam or had jobs they were going to lose or not be promoted in. So, you know, talk about pressure,” Woodward said.Woodward wanted to take the bar exam in Florida so he could practice here.“The last thing you want to do is come into a state and engage in activities that wind up being unauthorized practice of law,” Woodward said. “No lawyer worth his salt would do that.”Woodward says his love for the law isn’t hard to explain.“Whether this is a pipe dream or not, I don’t know; but I would like to establish a law office in Florida and fill it up with the very best lawyers I can get and the very best clients I can get and see what happens,” said Woodward. “It’s even more fun than golf.”Born in 1933 in Omaha, Woodward says jurisprudence may be in his genes. “We’re from a family of county seat lawyers,” said Woodward. “Somebody in my family’s been practicing law practically since the days of the Mayflower.” June 1, 2006 Regular News You are never too old to join The Florida Bar
EAST MOLINE, Ill. – Two thousand dollars is the top prize at the inaugural SportMod Stampede this Sunday at The Bullring at Rock Island County Fairgrounds. The Aug. 30 headliner at East Moline pays a minimum of $100 to start with IMCA Speedway Motors Weekly Racing National and KMJ Performance Illinois State points at stake. There’s a $50 entry fee for the draw/redraw show. More information is available on Facebook. The SportMod Stampede will be broadcast by Done Right TV. Pit gates open at 2:30 p.m. and the grandstand opens at 3:30 p.m. Racing follows 5:30 p.m. hot laps. Rounding out the card are IMCA Modifieds, IMCA Sunoco Late Models and IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stocks, running for national, regional, state and track points. Spectator admission is $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and $8 for kids ages 9-15. Pit passes are $30 or $15 for kids.
Two Caribbean candidates – Jumaane Williams and Dr.Mathieu Eugene secured sound victories in New York City general elections on Tuesday.Son of Grenadian immigrantsWilliams, the son of Grenadian immigrants, and the Haitian-born Eugene will now serve another four-year term in districts in Brooklyn that are predominantly Caribbean.With 100 percent of the 121 precincts reporting, Williams, who represents the 45th Council District and ran on the Democratic and Working Families parties line, defeated Anthony Beckford, of the True Freedom Party, by a landslide.Williams – who currently serves as Deputy Leader of the New York City Council, chair of the Council’s Committee on Housing and Buildings, and co-chair of the Council’s Task Force to Combat Gun Violence – trounced Beckford in attaining 20, 347 votes. Beckford only received 613 votes.Williams, who is also among eight candidates vying to become Speaker of New York City Council in the Special Elections in January, had won the Democratic Primary in a landslide in September with 100 percent of the 121 precincts reporting. At that time, he received 8,588 votes to his then lone challenger, Lou Cespedes, who garnered 904 votes.First Haitian AmericanOn Tuesday, Democrat Dr. Eugene – the first Haitian to hold elective office in New York City and who represents the 40th Council District, juxtaposed to Williams’ 45th Council District – beat Brian Christopher Cunningham, the son of Jamaican immigrants in garnering 13, 840 votes.With 100 percent of the 104 precincts reporting, Cunningham, running on the Reform Party line, mustered 8, 370 votes. Another Eugene Challenger, Brian Kelly, who contested the seat on the Conservative Party ticket, received 767 votes.“I just want to say ‘thank you’ to the voters; ‘thank you very much,’” Williams told the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC) after Tuesday night’s victory. “It shows they’re [voters] happy in giving me a mandate to do what I’m doing. Now, I can focus on the Speaker’s race.”Eugene again attributed his success to God and his dedicated to community service. “Thank God for giving me the opportunity to be elected one more time, to continue do what I love doing – serving the people,” he told CMC after the results were announced. “I like to thank all the voters and supporters for putting their trust and confidence me.“I pledge to work harder, to continue to do what I can to address the issues and improve the quality of life for all, including those who did not vote for me,” Eugene added.He said, even though he has accomplished a lot in his district, his priorities are to “address the challenges facing the youth; to ensure quality education with smaller class size; to improve access to healthcare for all people; to expand employment opportunities; to improve public safety services and police/community relations; to improve affordable housing opportunities and support immigrant rights; as well as to provide strong advocacy for neighborhood preservation and homeowners.“I believe much more needs to be done, and I will do everything I can to address the challenges,” said Eugene, stating that he has been “well known and respected for more than a decade as a community leader, educator, health professional, local media personality and founder of the non-profit organization, YES (Youth Education and Sports).”For more on Caribbean-American elected official in New York, click the link: Caribbean American Congresswoman introduces body camera bill