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September 1, 2015

    Miami Dade FAWL and Dade County Bar Association recognized for leadership in diversity
    The Florida Bar Diversity and Inclusion Committee honored The Miami-Dade chapter of the Florida Association for Women Lawyers (Miami-Dade FAWL), the Dade County Bar Association (DCBA) and Disability Independence Group, Inc. (DIG) with the 2015 Diversity Leadership Grant Outstanding Program Award. The Award recognizes diversity grant recipients for being in compliance and having completed all of the grant requirements, including submitting a final report.

    Inspired by the Florida Supreme Court’s initiative to eliminate all forms of discrimination within the legal profession, last fall the three partners hosted a Call to Action Diversity Summit in Miami. The summit, sponsored by a grant from The Florida Bar, educated voluntary bar associations on how to develop best practices to ensure that persons with disabilities can participate in bar events.

    Award winners gathered at the Board of Governors meeting in July 2015. Matthew Dietz, founding member and litigation director, DIG and a member of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee; Jason Murray, president, Dade County Bar Association; Ileana Cruz, president, Miami-Dade FAWL; and Matthew Ridgley, executive director, Dade County Bar Association are pictured with Florida Bar President Ramón Abadin.

    2016 Voluntary Bar Leadership Grant offered

    The 2016 Voluntary Bar Leadership Grant application posted on the Diversity web page. Due date is Oct. 15.

    The voluntary bar association grant program supports initiatives and programs that encourage diversity, diversity training and dialogue among lawyers in Florida through financial support of conferences, seminars, summits and symposia planned and hosted by local and specialty bar associations.

    Bar president encourages dialogue on path forward; feedback forums hosted by Voluntary Bars

    Join the Conversation
    The future practice of law is important to all lawyers in Florida and equally important is the local voluntary bar's role to serve its members in advancing the legal profession. Over the next few months, Florida Bar President Ramón Abadin will be teaming up with voluntary bar association's to provide forums and help facilitate member feedback on issues that could affect law practices state-wide.

    At the center of the conversation is The Vision 2016 comprehensive study, which addresses four general areas that will affect the future practice of law in Florida: Legal Education; Technology; Bar Admissions; and Access to Legal Services.

    While the issue of admission by motion/reciprocity is receiving widespread attention in recent weeks, it is only one of many important topics being studied by Vision 2016. Currently, the Board of Governors has taken no action on this topic, but there are lots of questions from Bar members. The other topics include addressing legal education; supporting Florida’s struggling young attorneys; and identifying the issues presented by “do-it-yourself” non-lawyer legal services through emerging technologies.  All of these topics will be discussed at town hall meetings:

    • September 15 - 5 to 7 p.m., Chester H. Ferguson Law Center, 1610 N. Tampa St., Tampa, FL 33602Hosted by 13th Circuit Voluntary Bar Association.
    • September 22 - 11:45 a.m. - 1:15 p.m., Marriott, 1001 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach, FL 33401. Hosted by Palm Beach County Bar Association.
    • September 30 - 5:30 p.m., Ruth's Chris CityPlace, 651 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach, FL 33401. Hosted by Palm Beach County Justice Association.

    In addition, The Florida Bar will host an open forum for Bar members with its Vision 2016 Bar Admissions Committee on Friday, Sept. 18, 2015, at 1 p.m., at the Tampa Airport Marriott. The Florida Bar leadership and members of the Board of Governors will also hold some town hall meetings across the state to allow for additional feedback and opportunities for comment. These dates will be announced on The Florida Bar website with members notified by email as soon as they are scheduled. 

    Grier Pressly, a local VBA leader, understands that the practice of law in 2020 will look much different from today. Read his thought-provoking message shared in the Palm Beach County Bar Association, September issue.

    Civics education seminar offered at Fall Meeting
    At the Fall Florida Bar Meeting in Tampa, attorneys can participate in "Benchmarks: Raising the Bar on Civics Education," a free CLE seminar on how to make civic presentations about the courts, the U.S. Constitution and the rule of law. For info and to sign up, email or call (850) 561-5669. The seminar is being held on Friday, Sept. 18, 8:30 - 10 a.m. at the Tampa Airport Marriott Santa Rosa Room. Course No. 1501361N Intermediate Level 1.5 Hours General Credit and .5 Ethics. Benchmarks is civics education for adults – presented in an engaging and fun format that leaves participants wanting more.
    Nominations now open for the 2016 Professionalism Awards

    Each year, the Standing Committee on Professionalism (“SCOP”) and the Henry Latimer Center for Professionalism present professionalism awards to deserving candidates throughout Florida’s legal community. These awards include: the William M. Hoeveler Judicial Professionalism Award, the Law Faculty and/or Administrator Professionalism Award, and the Group Professionalism Award.

    The William M. Hoeveler Judicial Professionalism Award recognizes a judge in active service who best exemplifies strength of character, competence, commitment and civility as a jurist, lawyer and public servant. Nominees should be judges in active service who have communicated their dedication to the ideals of justice and demonstrated diligence in inspiring others to the mission of professionalism. The Law Faculty/Administrator Professionalism Award honors a single faculty member or administrator of one of Florida’s law schools who, through teaching, scholarship and service to the profession, best supports or exemplifies the definition of professionalism. Last, the Group Professionalism Award recognizes one organization or group that has an innovative professionalism program that can be implemented by other organizations to promote and encourage professionalism within our legal community.

    More information about nominations and guidelines for nominations can be found on the Center for Professionalism’s website:

    Marion County Bar engages on issues impacting legal profession

    Members of the Marion County Bar Association had great discussions on issues affecting the legal profession last month. The group was among the first to host a town hall meeting with The Florida Bar leaders to explore the Vision 2016 study.
    Florida Bar Foundation shows support for Access to Justice at Giving Tuesday

    Orange County tidy's up the beach
    Beach clean up was a fun task for Orange County lawyers recently. This group, along with many other OCBA members, spent the day making the sand and surf litter-free!
    GWS Black Women Lawyers Association leaders gather for retreat

    Board members of the Gwen S. Cherry Black Women Lawyers Association met recently for their annual retreat, at the Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa.
    Lee County Bar members and local professionals get together in Fort Myers

    Young Lawyers in Palm Beach County serving with a smile

    The Palm Beach County Bar Association's Young Lawyers Section spent $5,000 on school supplies and snacks for an adopted school in their area. Great event handing out goodies to the kids!

    and there's more ...

    The group recently hosted its Sixth Annual Fishing Tournament, raising more than $10,000 for the Education Advocacy Law Project of the Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County.

    Pictured are event chairs Nicole Barna and Ryan Fogg, along with Legal Aid Attorney Colin White.

      Jax Bar hosts section chairs and vices

      The Jacksonville Bar's Section Chairs & Vice Chair Reception brought together the worker-bees of JBA!
      CFAWL shooting event a success

      Central Florida Association of Women Lawyers members had a great time recently at the group's virtual shooting event at Gander Mountain. A shout out to the instructors on firearms safety! they made the group feel very comfortable and welcome!
      Orange County Bar YLS back to school collections ROCK!

      Back to school started off with a bang for one primary school in Central Florida. Orlando County Bar Association Young Lawyers Section collected $70,000 in supplies #BackPackProject for Rock Lake Elementary.
      School supplies gift kits get lift from lawyers

    The Volusia County Chapter of the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers raised $3,175 for the Jewish Federation of Volusia and Flagler County’s School Supply Kits program, which provides backpacks filled with school supplies to disadvantaged children. “All too often our members see criminal court dockets with a disproportionate representation from economically disadvantaged families,” said President Aaron Delgado, pictured here presenting the check to Jewish Federation Director Gloria Max. “A good education — along with the tools and materials necessary to obtain this education — is essential to helping young students develop and to keep them away from the criminal justice system.”

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    [Revised: 08-28-2015]