Under Rule 2-9.3 (b) - (e), Rules Regulating The Florida Bar, active members of the Bar may file a specific objection to any legislative position adopted by the Board of Governors.
Objections properly filed within 45 days of this News issue will be considered for a refund of that portion of mandatory membership fees applicable to the contested legislative position, within an additional 45 days. The Bar’s governing board has the option to grant the appropriate refund to an objector or to refer the matter to arbitration.
The arbitration process will determine solely whether the legislative position is within those acceptable activities for which compulsory membership fees may be used under applicable constitutional law. The objecting member’s fees allocable to the contested legislative position will be escrowed promptly upon receipt of the objection, and any refund will bear legal interest.
Any active member may provide written notice to the executive director of The Florida Bar, setting forth an objection to a particular legislative position. Failure to object within 45 days of this News issue will constitute a waiver of any right to object to a particular legislative position within this notice.
The policy requires the Bar to notice such legislative positions in the next available News issue following their adoption.
On December 7, 2012, the Board of Governors declared moot and retired the Bar’s position in opposition to Amendment 5 which appeared on the November 6, 2012, General Election ballot.
Additionally, pursuant to Standing Board Policy 9.20, the Board approved the following new legislative positions of The Florida Bar on December 7, 2012:
1. Opposes amendments to the Florida Constitution that would alter the authority of the Supreme Court of Florida to regulate the admission of persons to the practice of law or the discipline of persons admitted.
2. Supports adequate funding of the state courts system, state attorneys’ offices, public defenders’ offices, court-appointed counsel, and the offices of the clerks of the circuit and county courts performing court-related functions.
Also, on December 7, 2012, the board approved these legislative positions of the Code & Rules of Evidence Committee of The Florida Bar:
1. Supports amendments to F.S. §§90.202(9) & 90.205 regarding judicial notice, to modernize language.
2. Supports an amendment to F.S. §90.406 regarding relevance to conform to Fed. R. Evid. 406 and to codify Florida common law.
3. Supports amendments to F.S. §§90.603-90.607 regarding witnesses to make provisions consistent with other statutes and federal rule counterparts, to clarify that a child testifying must understand both the need to tell the truth and the duty not to lie, and the standard for determining the need for an interpreter and to ensure that the interpreter is properly qualified.
4. Supports revisions to four subdivisions of F.S. §90.803 regarding hearsay to make usage/grammatical/punctuation changes and to conform to the Federal Rules of Evidence.
5. Supports amendments to F.S. §90.951 regarding contents of writings, recordings, and photographs to modernize language by adding new technology, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
6. Supports amendments to F.S. §§458.3175(2)(b), 459.066(2)(b) & 466.005(2)(b), to add “if otherwise qualified under Chapters 90 and 766” at the end of each subdivision so that existing language is not construed as overriding detailed predicates for expert testimony contained in Chapter 766 and general expert qualifications in Chapter 90 – with the further understanding that The Florida Bar considers F.S. §766.102(12) to be unconstitutional.