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Bar's reply opposes fee hike for legal aid

“I am a new lawyer and the flat rate increase will truly be a disproportionate burden on young lawyers with smaller salaries.”Jonathan Baker, Sarasota

“While the goal of providing legal aid to the poor is certainly laudable, let us not forget that the current economic malaise has not left our profession untouched.”David Lazarovic, Miami

“Such funding should be voluntary, and tax deductible as a charitable gift.”Angela M. Malloy, Boca Raton

“Charity is voluntary, or should be. The [petitioners] should not be tying it to our ability to practice law, particularly now, when the ability to practice law doesn’t seem to be worth very much on the open market, judging by all the unemployed and underemployed lawyers out there.”Diane Cassaro, Jacksonville

Those were among the 25 comments — all against — received by The Florida Bar and included in the Bar’s response filed with the Florida Supreme Court August 13, in opposition to a pending member initiated petition that seeks to raise Bar fees for legal aid.

Rule would address contact with represented government officials
Greg ColemanDoes the right to redress grievances to government officials trump Bar rules prohibiting attorneys from contacting those represented officials about disputed matters or issues in litigation? The Bar Board of Governors is considering an amendment to Rule 4-4.2 (Communication With a Person Represented by Counsel) in the wake of a grievance case last year that upset the City, County and Local Government Law Section, Florida Association of County Attorneys (FACA), and lawyers who represent government entities. They have proposed an amendment to the rule and its comment.

Tom HallFlorida is 'far ahead of the curve' when it comes to e-filing
As it made plans about expanding and improving its e-filing services for the state courts, the Florida Courts E-Filing Authority also heard that its system is one of the most advanced and trouble- free for any state.

PILS trains lawyers to represent children
As soon as it looked promising that the lawyers for special-needs foster children legislation was going to pass, a group of attorneys got busy working on training materials.
Thunderdome Tallahassee trains legal aid leaders
Lewis M. Killian, Jr.To address the need for equal access to justice for low-income families and children, the Legal Aid Foundation of the Tallahassee Bar Association has launched Thunderdome Tallahassee, a hands-on legal group training program to provide education, mentoring, networking, and leadership to a new generation of lawyers serving Leon County.

Number of grads sitting for the bar expected to decrease
The number of law graduates who take the bar exam in Florida has risen about 75 percent in the past 20 years, but may fall off some in the future as applications to law schools decline.

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    Jorge Labarga: Chief Justice of the Florida Supreme Court
    The Florida Bar JournalAfter helping tie a Cuban flag to the antenna, seven-year-old Jorge Labarga jumped in his father’s canary yellow ’56 Chevy Bel Air, and they cruised around town honking the horn and cheering in celebration of the revolution.

    It was 1959, dictator Fulgencio Batista had fled the island with his fortune, and Fidel Castro came down from the mountains bringing grand promises of an American-style democracy for Cuba.

    But that democratic dream soon turned into what Labarga calls a “Marxist nightmare.”

    September 1, 2014
    Waterford crystal jars holding precious grains of sand are prized possessions in the offices of three Florida lawyers. They are reminders of their decade-long legal fight against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that saved Cocoa Beach, tokens of the most satisfying legal victory of their careers.

    165 lawyers earn board certification
    The Board of Legal Specialization and Education congratulates the 165 lawyers who, in 2014, earned Florida Bar board certification, a designation that places them among the only group of Florida lawyers who may use the terms “specialist,” “expert,” or “B.C.S.” for board certified specialist when referring to their legal credentials. Board certified lawyers are “evaluated for professionalism and tested for expertise.”

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    The Elder Law Litigator: Lover and Fighter
    Course Classification: Intermediate Level, Live Presentation: September 12, Boca Raton Resort.

    6th Annual FUNdamentals: Moving Day! Moving into 2015 under the Affordable Care Act: Helping healthcare lawyers advise healthcare providers how best to position themselves under the Affordable Care Act
    Course Classification: Advanced Level, One Location: Friday, September 19, Orlando Airport Marriott.

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    [Revised: 08-29-2014]