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Schifino sworn in as Bar president
President William J. Schifino, Jr., and his family
WILLIAM J. SCHIFINO, JR., of Tampa was sworn in as the 68th president of The Florida Bar on June 17 at the Bar's Annual Convention in Orlando. Miami attorney Michael J. Higer was sworn in as president-elect during the same ceremony. During his year as president, Schifino vows to work on an issue that grabbed his attention three years ago: Finding a way to connect lawyers who are unemployed or underemployed with citizens who don’t have access to legal services. That effort would dovetail with the work of the Florida Commission on Access to Civil Justice, created by Supreme Court Chief Justice Jorge Labarga.

New proposed rules addressing for-profit companies that link lawyers with consumers needing legal work will prevent fee splitting between those companies and lawyers and protect the public from any deceptive, misleading, or false advertising by those companies.

Bar proposes new rules on who may call themselves 'experts'
Rules allowing lawyers who are not board certified to say in advertising that they are experts or specialize in an area of law have been approved by the Bar Board of Governors.

Court rules on appointments or election cases
There will be one more judicial race in Florida, after the Supreme Court granted a writ of quo warranto filed by two attorneys who sought to replace a Palm Beach County judge who, under the state’s resign-to-run law, gave up her seat to run for the circuit bench.

Thank You From Immediate Past President Ramón Abadin

Annual Convention logoThis year’s Annual Florida Bar Convention at the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek was one of the best yet, and certainly one of the best I have experienced. The topics were timely and enlightening, our participants were active and engaged, and the staff handled all issues with grace and speed. I would also like to thank the community of Orlando for its graciousness in the light of great tragedy, and we again want to express our deepest condolences to the families and friends of the victims.

Much of the success of the event was thanks to the incredible work and dedication of the 2015-2016 Annual Convention Committee Members and especially the co-chairs, Renée Thompson and Melanie Griffin. Without their commitment to creating an innovative agenda, and making the social events beyond fun, the Convention would not have been the smashing success it was. I also want to recognize the individual committee members:

Barbara CoccioloErin Jackson
Sean DesmondCharles Jeffries, Jr
Mariane DorrisWilnar Julmiste
Iris ElijahBarbara Leach
Hon. Alan ForstDayanna Lopez
Kimberly GessnerJohn Maceluch, Jr.,
Elizabeth GibsonKristen McMullen
Laura González-MarquésYvonne Patterson
Yolonda GreenStacy Perez
Paige GreenleeAlice Sum
Ward GriffinJill Weiss

Thank you again. I know that next year’s Annual Florida Bar Convention will be even better with the work of the incoming committee members and leadership of Chair Melanie Griffin. I hope to see you all in Boca Raton next June.


Margaret Mathews Changes would expand the role of retired lawyers in pro bono work

In accordance with recommendations from the Supreme Court’s Florida Commission on Access to Civil Justice, the Bar Board of Governors has received a series of rule amendments expanding the role that retired — or emeritus — attorneys can take in pro bono cases.

Archiving justices' papers not a moot point
The dust has settled in the Florida Supreme Court library for only a brief period of time, as student volunteers from Florida State University College of Law break from an archiving project to participate in moot court.

Matthew G. BrennerBrenner leads The Florida Bar Foundation
Orlando attorney Matthew G. Brenner will take office July 1 as president of The Florida Bar Foundation, a statewide charitable organization whose mission is to provide greater access to justice.

Supreme Court strikes workers' comp provision
For the second time in two months, the Florida Supreme Court has found unconstitutional a section of the state’s workers’ compensation law, but also — with one exception — denied a request to find the entire law unconstitutional.

More News


Judicial Vacancies
July 1, 2016

Students at Read & Play Project
PERENICH, CAULFIELD, AVRIL & NOYES in Clearwater recently held its Sixth Annual Read & Play Project. Each year, the firm presents a ball and a book to every third-grader at a local elementary school for the summer.


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