December 1, 2003 Letters

first_imgDecember 1, 2003 Letters December 1, 2003 Letters LettersJustice Pariente I read the November 1 News article on Justice Barbara Pariente’s battle with breast cancer with mixed emotions. On the one hand, no one who knows anything about the process of being given a diagnosis of breast cancer and then going through treatment could help but feel sorry for what she has gone through. However, as an attorney and a volunteer who has spent many years working to help end the disease, or at least increase the chances of survival, I am thankful for her decision to make her condition public. Breast cancer does not respect title, race, or age. As was observed in the article, even a woman following a healthy lifestyle such as the justice can be stricken. While Justice Pariente could have elected to keep her condition to herself, her decision to make it public and discuss the details of her case will do much to help other women who are not so famous deal with the fears they will no doubt feel when their doctor tells them those three little words. As the justice’s message makes clear, there is hope and the opportunity for a full life after treatment and I am thankful for her willingness to share that message. In this, perhaps more than her judicial work, she has been a true public servant. Robert M. Eschenfelder President Florida Suncoast Affiliate of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation TV Advertising There is a new advertising rule within the Federal Campaign Finance Law that requires TV advertisers to read a disclaimer and actually appear in the ad themselves. The advertisers are complying reluctantly, but opponents of the rule have hired First Amendment expert Floyd Abrams to fight it. The rule applies to some of the best known people in the country. Has The Florida Bar just passed a new advertising rule? No, but these regulations are as arcane and useless as The Florida Bar’s advertising rules. You see, there is a little known provision of the new Federal Campaign Finance Law that requires candidates — even President Bush — to acknowledge, within the commercial itself, that they are responsible for the content of the ads. They must personally appear in the ad for 80 percent of the commercial. Like The Florida Bar’s advertising rules, it protects no one and inhibits the free speech rights of the advertisers. More importantly, these rules insult the intelligence of the viewing public. David Axelrod, a consultant for Sen. John Kerry, says, “It is just one more example of reform gone amuck.” President Bush has said (just like the undersigned has said with respect to The Florida Bar’s advertising rules) that he intends to follow the law. Undoubtedly, the president and other presidential candidates are hoping the Supreme Court will take the campaign finance law case and do away with this provision. Similarly, many advertising lawyers around the country will hope there will be Supreme Court language that does away with all unnecessary, content-restricting regulations on otherwise truthful and fair advertising. David W. Singer Hollywood Living Wills I am disheartened by the article regarding living wills in the November 15 News. My disappointment stems from the fact that in choosing experts to consult, you omitted the Elder Law Section members. Of all of the sections involved in this issue and with the expertise regarding same, the Elder Law Section should be the obvious choice. In fact, in looking at the requirements for certification [(6-20.3 (c)(5)(A)], the Elder Law Section specifically requires expertise in the area of advance directives and living wills, whereas the Health Law Section and the Real Property, Probate, and Trust Law Section do not. We certainly do not need to or want to be exclusive in educating the Bar or the public on this issue, but it is frankly insulting to not have consulted the section that has this issue as one of its main focuses. It is also embarrassing to the Bar that they do not even know the good work our section does on the vast array of issues of which we are experts. Alice Reiter Feld Tamaraclast_img

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