The Florida Bar

Speakers Bureau
This email digest is dedicated to the interaction and education of volunteer speaker members of The Florida Bar Speakers Bureau. Submit items of interest to Mr. Dorohn A. Frazier at, or mail to The Florida Bar Speakers Bureau, 651 E. Jefferson Street, Tallahassee, FL 32399-2300. Photos sent by email should be in jpg or gif format.

October 7, 2016

Law Week 2017

The 2017 theme of Law Week provides the opportunity to explore the many ways that the Fourteenth Amendment has reshaped American law and society. Through its Citizenship, Due Process and Equal Protection clauses, this transformative amendment advanced the rights of all Americans. It also played a pivotal role in extending the reach of the Bill of Rights to the states. Ratified during Reconstruction a century and a half ago, the Fourteenth Amendment serves as the cornerstone of landmark civil rights legislation, the foundation for numerous federal court decisions protecting fundamental rights, and a source of inspiration for all those who advocate for equal justice under law.

What is Law Day?
Law Day is held on May 1 every year to celebrate the role of law in our society and to cultivate a deeper understanding of the legal profession. Learn more about the history of Law Day and past themes here.

How can I receive updates about Law Day 2017?
Click here to sign up for updates and announcements as we gear up for the 2017 Law Day. Be the first to know when Law Day planning guides, teaching resources, products and other useful items become available.

Where can I find Law Day products?
Law Day products are available in the ABA Webstore. Shop while supplies last. Sign up for updates to learn more about product availability.
Register for complimentary Benchmarks training session at Fall Meeting!

Benchmarks: Raising the Bar on Civics Education is a Florida Bar program to give adults a refresher course on civics so they can better understand how government works, particularly the judiciary. At The Florida Bar Fall Meeting at the Tampa Airport Marriott, the Benchmarks training seminar on Friday, Oct. 21, from 9 to 10:30 a.m., will focus on the upcoming Constitution Revision Commission. Every 20 years in Florida, a specially appointed commission holds public hearings and then puts directly on the ballot proposed constitutional amendments for voters to consider. After attending the session, attorneys will be able to take the “Every 20 Years” presentation to civic groups in their communities.
Florida Constitution Revision Commission
Benchmarks sessions are fun as well as informative – and this one will be led by nationally recognized civics educator Annette Pitts, executive director of the Florida Law Related Education Association. Attorneys can receive CLE credit for making Benchmarks presentations: 1 ethics credit hour for each presentation for up to three presentations in a three-year reporting period. The seminar, presented by the Constitutional Judiciary Committee, is at the intermediate level and offers 1.5 Hours General Credit and .5 Ethics. Course No. 1967. Register by emailing: Questions: (850) 561- 5669.

Resources abound to educate voters about merit retention elections

The Florida Bar is continuing its distribution of “Guide for Florida Voters” statewide, as part of an initiative to educate Florida’s voters about judicial elections, including merit retention. The Guide is available in both English and Spanish.
Florida law requires Florida Supreme Court justices and appeals court judges to be placed on the ballot in nonpartisan elections every six years, so voters can determine whether the judges or justices should remain on their courts for another six-year term. These are called "merit retention" elections. In 2016, three Supreme Court justices and 28 of the state’s 62 appeals court judges will be on the ballot.

Every other year since 1978, The Florida Bar has polled its members seeking to find whether attorneys who know the most about District Court of Appeal and Supreme Court jurists believe they should continue in their jobs. The 2016 merit retention poll was mailed to in-state Florida Bar members on Aug. 15 and released Sept. 13. The poll indicates overwhelming support for all to be retained, with recommendations for retention ranging from 79 percent to 92 percent. The confidential poll seeks to find whether attorneys who know the most about these jurists believe they should continue in their jobs. Results are available here.

The Bar’s “The Vote’s in Your Court” web page is a go-to source for information on judicial elections. There, voters will find English and Spanish versions of the “Guide for Florida Voters” plus links to more information, including the Code of Judicial Conduct and biographies of the judges and justices up for merit retention.

Follow @VotesInYrCourt on Twitter and like us on Facebook as well.

New geo-spatial tool available for planning legal services

The Self-Represented Litigation Network recently released America’s Civil Courts: Whom Do We Serve?—a geo-spatial story map designed to help the millions of Americans attempting to navigate the civil legal system without a lawyer. This online tool endeavors to increase access to justice by highlighting the unique resources, needs, and service networks of individual communities.

By using population datasets, the story map creates opportunities to collaborate and design legal services.
These data include population density; breakdown of various age groups; high school graduates; rentals; vehicle access; active duty in the armed forces; veterans; racial diversity; foreign-born; language spoken at home; poverty at a variety of levels, as well as a breakdown of children vs. adult in each of those poverty categories; availability and actual subscription by county of mobile and wired broadband, as well as download speeds.

America’s Civil Courts: Whom Do We Serve? was developed in response to the Justice for All project’s call for stakeholders to develop strategic plans that support efforts toward 100 percent access to effective assistance for essential civil legal needs. 
Open speaking opportunities at several venues

Put this on your calendar
Speaker requests have been received and we need volunteers for the following locations. 

November 4, 2016 - 10:00 a.m.Lake Buena VistaCivil LawYoung Lawyers
April 13, 2017 - noonBoca RatonAnimal LawParalegals
#    #    #

Mr. Dorohn A. Frazier
Speakers Bureau Liaison
The Florida Bar,
651 E. Jefferson Street,
Tallahassee FL 32399-2300

1-800-342-8060, extension 5701

October 7, 2016
April 25, 2016
November 9, 2015
February 13, 2015
November 14, 2014
October 8, 2014

[Revised: 10-07-2016]