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January 1, 2014
Third and Fourth DCAs join South Florida civility project

The Third and Fourth district courts of appeal have approved a joint resolution contract promoting the Supreme Court’s pledge of lawyer civility.

The DCAs join 42 South Florida voluntary bar associations and eight chief judges who have signed on in support of the Joint Civility Project, known for its signature “Got Civility?” buttons, which recently won The Florida Bar’s Group Professionalism Award.

“The addition of the Third and Fourth DCAs is a testament to our joint effort to promote more universal civil behavior in lawyers’ written and oral communications with each other and to the court,” said Adam Rabin, project co-chair and immediate past president of the Palm Beach County Bar Association.

Annie Hernandez, project co-chair and treasurer for the Cuban American Bar Association, added: “It gives our joint resolution more credibility and significance when the appellate courts are behind it. We are grateful for their support.”

Mary Leslie Smith, president of the Dade County Bar, said having the DCAs on board will help the circuit courts in South Florida promote the new professionalism panels that the Supreme Court recently mandated.

“The addition of the appellate courts will send a positive message to the trial courts and lawyers practicing before them that it is no longer aspirational for lawyers to adhere to the standards of professional courtesy; it’s expected,” said Michael Mopsick, co-chair of the Palm Beach County Bar Association’s Professionalism Committee.

The 42 Voluntary Bar Associations participating in the Joint Civility Project include Palm Beach County Bar; Dade County Bar; Martin County Bar; South Palm Beach County Bar; Broward County Bar; Cuban American Bar Association; Palm Beach County Hispanic Bar; F. Malcolm Cunningham, Sr., Bar; Florida Association for Women Lawyers Palm Beach County Chapter; Federal Bar Association South Florida Chapter; Craig S. Barnard American Inn of Court Palm Beach County Chapter; Bankruptcy Bar Association of the Southern District of Florida; Florida Muslim Bar Association; Wilkie D. Ferguson, Jr., Bar Association; American Board of Trial Advocates Miami-Dade Chapter; Asian Pacific American Bar Association of South Florida; Puerto Rican Bar Association of Florida; Miami Lakes Bar; Caribbean Bar Association; Palm Beach County Justice Association; Florida Association for Women Lawyers South Palm Beach Chapter; American Board of Trial Advocates Palm Beach Chapter; Christian Legal Society Palm Beach County Chapter; Federal Bar Association Broward County Chapter; South Asian Bar Association of Florida; Federal Bar Association Palm Beach County Chapter; Broward County Christian Lawyers Association; Florida Association for Woman Lawyers Miami-Dade Chapter; Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers Miami Chapter; Gwen S. Cherry Black Lawyers Association; Haitian Lawyers Association; American Board of Trial Advocates Ft. Lauderdale Chapter; Florida Association for Woman Lawyers; Indian River County Bar Association; Stephen R. Booher American Inn of Court Broward County Chapter; Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers Palm Beach Chapter; Port St. Lucie Bar Association; St. Lucie Bar Association; Florida Association for Woman Lawyers Martin County Chapter; Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers Martin County Chapter; Miami-Dade Justice Association; and the Okeechobee Bar Association.

[Revised: 10-21-2014]