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January 15, 2013
Panel’s focus is technology

Helping Bar members get the most from technology will be the focus of the Bar’s Communications Committee in the coming year.

Mary Ann Morgan “In the next year we will provide some of the best member benefits that I have ever seen since I’ve been practicing in the way of technology, in the way of things that will go into every attorney’s hand that will be incredibly useful and helpful in their practice,” committee Chair Mary Ann Morgan told the Board of Governors in December.

That includes developing an app for mobile devices that will incorporate the five or so most-used features of the Bar’s website and a quick member search that will directly connect to phone numbers and email addresses.

The committee also approved developing a free-standing app for the Bar’s Annual Convention to allow Bar members to get directions to convention events, read biographies of speakers, connect with exhibitor websites, and other services, she said.

The Bar’s recently hired technology consultant, Adriana Linares, also is reviewing the recently released app that allows downloading Bar News articles on mobile devices.

The committee recommended and the board approved allowing a six-month pilot program of the Consumer Protection Law Committee using Twitter to distribute consumer protection information available on the Bar’s website. One Twitter “handle” will be for consumers and another for Bar members who want to keep abreast of consumer protection laws.

On related issues, Morgan said the committee hopes to have by the board’s February 1 meeting recommendations on implementing communications-related recommendations from the Hawkins Commission report on the Bar’s grievance system.

She said the committee also reviewed the Constitutional Judiciary Committee’s interactive “Benchmarks” program to educate adults in community groups about the legal system and the importance of the courts. New presentation topics include evaluating judicial candidates, amending the state constitution, and merit selection and retention. Existing topics cover the Bill of Rights, what the law means, judicial independence, and knowledge of the U.S. and Florida constitutions.

The board also approved the committee’s proposal to add a link to the Bar’s website homepage to the FloridaProBono.org website with information about legal services organizations and volunteering through the One pro bono program.

[Revised: 07-16-2014]