Retired federal magistrate judge has new career as a paramedic

Careers

paramedic

Former U.S. Magistrate Judge Don Bush retired from the bench last year, and he no longer works in the legal profession.

But he is still working at age 70 in a new career as a paramedic, according to an article on the U.S. Courts website. “He’s pulled multiple 12 and 24 hour shifts, performed a number of complex medical procedures, and runs his own ambulance crew,” the story reports.

Bush attended paramedic classes during the evenings when he was still a magistrate judge in the Eastern District of Texas. He made comprehensive course outlines and ran a study group. Everyone in his group passed, according to one of the people who was glad he attended, Bob White.

“Initially everybody looked at him like, ‘What are you doing here?’ ” White told U.S. Courts. “I mean, one, can you do this physically, and two, why are you not retired? But the age thing went out the window real quick. He was probably in better shape than anyone in that class.”

Bush was among 40 people who took the training program and one of only 16 who graduated.

Bush works three or four times a month, handling 12-hour shifts as a medic for the Texas Star Ambulance.

He also works two days a week at a nonprofit urgent care clinic where his son, a medical doctor, works. “We are giving free medical care for anyone,” Bush said. “It’s open to everyone. It’s nonjudgmental. Often patients have faced a personal and trying crisis, whether as a refugee or living on the streets.”


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Philadelphia sues feds over grant restrictions for sanctuary cities

Attorney General

Attorney General Jeff Sessions/Gage Skidmore

Philadelphia is the latest jurisdiction to file a lawsuit challenging the U.S. Justice Department’s new restrictions on grants for sanctuary cities.

City officials announced the suit against Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Wednesday, report Philly.com, Philly Voice and CBS Philadelphia.

Other jurisdictions that that have sued over the new restrictions include Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and the state of California, according to Philly.com.

Philadelphia bars police from asking about immigration status and requires federal immigration officials to get a warrant before the city will release a detainee into federal custody. “As the City of Brotherly Love,” the suit says, “Philadelphia is recognized as a vital hub for immigrants from across the globe who seek good jobs and better futures for themselves and their children.”

The Justice Department requires jurisdictions to agree to two conditions if they receive the federal grants for police overtime and training. They have to give federal immigration officials 48 hours’ notice before releasing an inmate wanted on an immigration detainer, and they have to give federal immigration officials unrestricted access to detention facilities to ask immigrants about their right to remain in the United States.

The suit alleges the restrictions violate the Administrative Procedures Act and the spending clause of the Constitution.

Only Congress has the power to impose restrictions on grants, according to city solicitor Sozi Pedro Tulante.

“The grants have nothing to do with enforcing immigration laws,” Tulante tells Philly.com. “There’s no federal statute that authorizes Sessions to apply these conditions. The Trump administration is entitled to disagree with our policies, but they cannot make up rules beyond the directives of Congress.”


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Have you ever had to cope with a natural disaster?

Question of the Week

natural disaster

Hurricane Harvey has devastated coastal Texas, causing at least 20 deaths and damaging tens of thousands of homes. Lawyers, paralegals and law students who want to lend their skills to help those affected should check here for information on how to do so.

But this week we’d also like to ask you: Have you ever had to cope with a natural disaster? Are you dealing with the fallout from Harvey, or have you in the past had to cope with a devastating hurricane, flood, tornado or blizzard? What happened? What did you do?
And what would you do differently to safeguard yourself and your family, your property—not to mention your law practice?

Answer in the comments.

Read the answers to last week’s question: Tell us about a client who truly helped with his or her case.

Featured answer:

Posted by Rebecca: “My dad was amazing. I represented him in a property dispute and he supplied the most respected, slam-dunk expert that could have possibly been retained—and the expert provided the testimony for free!”

Do you have an idea for a question of the week? If so, contact us.


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FIU law school alumni ask their former dean to quit Trump’s cabinet

Law Students

Alexander Acosta

Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta. Official Department of Labor photograph.

A group of Florida International University College of Law graduates have asked Alexander Acosta, their former dean, to resign as President Donald Trump’s labor secretary on the basis that the administration “demonizes minorities,” and that does not fit with the law school’s vision.

Jordan Dollar, a graduate of the law school, led efforts to send the letter, the Miami New Times reports. He was inspired following the president’s comments sympathizing with white supremacists following the Charlottesville rally, as well as a similar letter 300 Yale University students sent Steve Mnuchin, Trump’s treasury secretary.

“A leader cannot simultaneously hold opposing views on the future of our nation. As our dean, we saw the son of immigrants, the leader of our forward-looking law school who championed our school’s stated purpose to serve the underprivileged in the unique community that is South Florida,” reads the letter (PDF), which was signed by 47 graduates. “As a member of the Trump Administration, we see a man complicit in our President’s blatant attacks on people of color, immigrant communities, environment, and the truth.”

“Early on, the thought was that he’s a smart guy and a good person, and maybe he’ll do a lot of good things there,” Dollar told Law.com. “But as time has progressed it has become apparent that the good people in the administration aren’t going to have the influence everyone had hoped. President Trump is going to do what he wants to do.”

A former U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Acosta also served as an assistant attorney general in the U.S. Department of Justice’s civil rights division, during the George W. Bush administration. The son of Cuban refugees who graduated from Harvard University and its law school, Acosta is a first-generation college graduate, according to his Department of Labor biography. He did not respond to an ABA Journal request for comment.

People of color comprise 62.9 percent of Florida International University School of Law’s students, according to its 2016 509 Report (PDF). The law school’s median LSAT score is 156, and its bar passage rate for 2015 was 87.12 percent.

Acosta is the son of Cuban refugees, a native of Miami, and first-generation college graduate. He earned his undergraduate and law degrees from Harvard University. He becasme assistant attorney general for the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice in 2003, and from 2005 to 2009 he served as the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida.


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How you can help those affected by Hurricane Harvey

Natural Disasters

Hurricane Harvey will go down and one of the worst storms in U.S. history. While the cleanup has yet to begin, those needing legal help cannot wait.

The ABA has a web page with information on how to get involved.

The Texas Supreme Court has issued an emergency order (PDF) that lets out-of-state lawyers in good standing practice for six months in Texas in either of the following situations:

• If the out-of-state lawyer is retained by a legal aid program, pro bono program or bar association that provides services to victims of Harvey. Lawyers who want to help must fill out a temporary registration form with the State Bar of Texas.

• Lawyers licensed in other jurisdictions are allowed to practice in Texas if they are displaced from their home jurisdiction due to Harvey and they practice in Texas remotely as if located in their home jurisdiction.

The legal community in Texas is strongly advising homeowners to file claims related to Harvey before a new law goes into effect Friday. The law reduces the penalty interest rates insurers must pay if they’re late in paying weather-related claims.

For more information, go to the Lone Star Legal Aid’s Facebook page.

Important links:

Harvey relief page through the ABA’s Young Lawyers Division.

State Bar of Texas Disaster Relief resources page.

National Disaster Legal Aid Resource Center.

FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) resource page for Hurricane Harvey.

Lone Star Legal Aid.

Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid.

Texas Access to Justice Foundation.

Southeast Louisiana Legal Services.

Law firms surviving Hurricane Harvey.

Important phone numbers:

Disaster Legal Aid hotlines through the ABA Young Lawyers division: For Texas, call (800) 504-7030; for Louisiana, call (800) 310-7029.

Our coverage of Hurricane Harvey:

ABA Journal: Lawyers licensed outside Texas can provide help to Harvey victims, Texas high court order says.

ABA Journal: How can lawyers help Hurricane Harvey victims? Disaster response attorneys share tips (podcast)

ABA Journal: New Texas law, taking effect in September, could affect some homeowners filing Harvey claims

Click here for more.


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