by John G. White III
Plummeting stocks. Soaring foreclosures. Crashing real-estate markets. World recession. Corporate layoffs. Bank bailouts. No raises. Nobody’s hiring.
In these bleak economic times, just about everyone is feeling the pinch and hunkering down to weather the financial storm. We Florida lawyers are no different. How about a bit of good news for a change?
As we all try harder to stretch a dollar, it’s a fine time to remind you about member benefits available to lawyers of The Florida Bar.
• Our newest member benefit is provided by Celedinas Insurance Group and underwritten by Fireman’s Fund. This year, the Bar will begin offering group excess personal liability insurance coverage. This member benefit, as explained by Terry L. Hill, director of the Bar’s Programs Division, “will allow Bar members to secure higher limits of coverage than what is typically available in individual excess personal liability insurance at discounts of up to 60 percent. The excess personal liability insurance provides excess coverage over existing lines of personal insurance, essentially acting as an umbrella policy. The unique quality of this insurance is that it also acts as an excess policy over an existing umbrella policy.” In addition to the extremely competitive rates, this coverage includes both uninsured and underinsured motorists and a totally new coverage known as uninsured and underinsured third-party liability for bodily injury, property damage, and personal injury resulting from occurrences for which a third party is at fault (i.e., slip and falls, dog bite, slander, etc.).
• One of our most popular benefits is Florida legal research from Fastcase absolutely free of charge and conveniently available by clicking on the link on the Bar’s home page at www.floridabar.org. LexisNexis helps lawyers reach more prospective clients though lawyers.com and offers flexible research at big savings.
• Florida Lawyers Mutual Insurance Co. offers lawyers professional liability insurance created by The Florida Bar. This insurance company just celebrated its 20th anniversary.
• To help boost your bottom line on express shipping, The Florida Bar has teamed up with FedEx for savings of up to 26 percent on select FedEx shipping services. (FedEx recently replaced DHL, as DHL is vacating the domestic air and ground market.)
• We’ve also enhanced our relationship with UPS for savings of up to 26 percent on express shipping for Bar members.
•From the convenience of your office, order office supplies online, through Staples Business Advantage at The Florida Bar’s negotiated low prices. Or, choose Penny Wise’s catalog program for up to 36 percent savings on office supplies, with the bonus of free delivery.
• Save up to 50 percent on Corel’s WordPerfect X3 Standard Edition, with word processing, spreadsheets, and legal-specific tools.
• ProDoc legal forms software is at your service.
• Rather drive than fly to that next meeting? Bar members receive discounts on published car-rental rates, plus member fees are waived at Avis, Hertz, and National, in addition to year-round discounts at Alamo and Budget.
• No more cloth left to let out the waistline in your suit pants? Get a corporate discount card at JoS. A Bank for 20 percent off all regular prices.
• At Bank of America, one of the world’s largest financial institutions, The Florida Bar checking and savings accounts offer our members free online banking service with unlimited Bill Pay and Keep the Change, a unique automated savings program, and The Florida Bar Money Market provides the convenience of easy access to your funds and higher rates.
• Save on insurance and retirement programs, administered by BPC Financial, that offer affinity group plans, premium discounts, and underwriting concessions.
• Jurisco provides civil court bonds by phone in 24 hours.
• Outdo the gecko with auto insurance discounts at GEICO.
• Receive special discount pricing at ADP Payroll Services.
• Accounting titles, including estate planning and tax controversy, are offered at a 30 percent discount at CCH.
• Hundreds of titles at ABA Publications are discounted 20 percent for Bar members.
• Take a break and read for pleasure by checking out The Florida Bar Magazine Program, offering the lowest prices on hundreds of titles.
• Do your part to boost Florida’s sagging tourism industry with vacation discounts from Disney, Universal Studios, Wet-n-Wild, and other Orlando area attractions.
• And when the going gets tough, we all need a laugh. The Billable Hour Company offers Bar members a 10 percent discount on clever gifts and greeting cards for legal professionals.
To familiarize yourself further on these member benefits, go to The Florida Bar Web site — www.floridabar.org — and click on member benefits on the top right of the home page under Member Tools. (Or, if you prefer to read hard copy, go to pages 24-25 of The Florida Bar Journal Directory, September 2008, issue.)
I invite you to take advantage of these member benefits. In these tough times, every little bit helps.