The Florida Bar

Bar-to-Bar E-News banner

April 10, 2017

Join us art Voluntary Bar Leaders Conference date and location
photo of Boardwalk Inn
star art logo
    Register for the conference online
    To register and see the latest program schedule, follow the link on the Voluntary Bar Center web page.

    Book your room at the Boardwalk
    Resort reservations can be booked by calling the Disney Group Reservations Phone Team (407) 939-4686 or by using our group’s online booking website: Reservation cut-off date is Thursday, June 22.
YLD scholarships offered for Conference

YLD logoapply now
    As many as 20 registration scholarships are being offered by The Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division (YLD) for aspiring young lawyers who want to attend the Voluntary Bar Leaders Conference. Members of The Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division interested in being considered for a scholarship for the amount of the registration fee should submit an application which are due by May 1. Scholarships will be awarded by May 15. Priority will be given to young lawyer leaders in small bar associations or in government/solo/small firm employment.

    Click for more detailsPDF document opens in new window 

    Click for applicationPDF document opens in new window

CRC info at

Constitution Revision Commission work underway

photo of people at table with speaker at microphone

BOARD OF GOVERNORS MEMBER PAUL SANGIOVANNI of Orlando (at the podium) offered the CRC The Florida Bar’s assistance and support at its first public hearing in Orlando.

    Public hearings continue for Florida’s Constitution Revision Commission, with the next scheduled hearing set for April 12 in Tallahassee. The CRC has held hearings in Orlando, Miami and Boca Raton as part of its, “Floridians Speak, We Listen” statewide tour. Several Florida Bar leaders have joined hundreds of other Floridians speaking before the commission.

    With a diverse population of attorneys from every legal subject area, The Florida Bar has offered assistance and support, including serving as an authoritative and unbiased resource for the commission. In addition, The Florida Bar sections and committees for particular subject areas as well as board certified attorneys who are experts in their respective fields, are being asked to be resources, including providing assistance with research, answering questions, and consulting on fine points of law in areas as complex and diverse as tax law, real property law, and land use law.

    The Commission meets for approximately one year, traveling the State of Florida, identifying issues, performing research, and recommending changes to the Constitution. Information gathered from the public hearings could help shape the changes on the ballot in 2018 for voter consideration. Voluntary Bar leaders are encouraged to visit for more information about the CRC and the process, and visit and The Florida Bar’s website at
Apply for a Diversity Leadership Grant by May 12

diversity logo
    The 2017-2018 Diversity Leadership Grant Application is now available on the Diversity website ( The deadline to submit the application is May 12.

    The purpose of the voluntary bar association grant program is to support 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.

    A total of $50,000 is available to award to voluntary bar associations with individual grants up to $1,500 and up to $3,000 to multiple voluntary bars working together on a project. Funding priority will be given to coalitions of local bar associations within circuits, districts or geographic regions of the state. Bar associations are limited to one application/project per year.

    More information can be found on the website.

    2017-2018 Diversity Leadership Grant Application
Bar upgrading to new member portal

computer portal
    Beginning April 3, Bar members were encouraged to log in to the Bar’s website and follow instructions to create an account in the new MyFloridaBar Members Portal. The new system will require a new username and password. The login members currently use when accessing services through the Bar website, cannot be used in the new system. The new MyFloridaBar Members Portal will help members more easily conduct e-commerce activities with the Bar, with expanded options for purchasing CLEs, registering for events and paying fees once the portal is fully launched May 1. Members must have their new login set up to pay their annual fees online beginning in May. The old system will not be available after May 1.

    View more information about the new portal here.


Children battling cancer get Dive Bar support

men and women holding little girl photo
    The Dive Bar turned out member support in a big wave for the Pediatric Cancer Foundation's inaugural Ft. Lauderdale Fashion Funds the Cure. The "Walking in Sunshine" evening at the Renaissance Plantation Hotel was held in memory of pediatric cancer fighter, Theo Huff, whosef family organized this event to raise funds for research and awareness for pediatric cancer. At the event, pediatric cancer patients made their fashion debut showing off the beauty of their spirit while celebrating their incomparable strength and courage.
Lobby Days brings women lawyers to Tallahassee

photo of women standing in Florida capitol
    Florida Association of Women Lawyers visited members of the Florida Legislature about a variety of issues during the group's Lobby Days 2017.
Palm Beach County opens nursing room

two women in chairs

    The Palm Beach County main courthouse nursing room is officially open! The 4th floor room has a refrigerator, cubbies, plenty of outlets, and wifi. Palm Beach County FAWL sponsored, painted, and furnished this beautiful room. A supportive judiciary, especially Judges Sasser and Schosberg-Feuer, helped to make it a reality. Chief Judge Colbath championed this project from start to finish and Court Administration were invaluable!
Oyster Roast is #78 for Clearwater Bar

photo of six adults standing
    It started in 1939. Florida hand grenade cocktails, a bonfire, oysters and ham. And just like the food and drink, the fellowship has never gone out of style. The Clearwater Bar Association held the 2017 Oyster Roast on March 25 at Palm Harbor. In addition to the 50/50 raffle to benefit the CBA Foundation, members could also purchase tickets for a chance to win a BMW 4 Series Convertible for the weekend.
Voluntary bar leaders in Tampa Bay area gather for summit

phooto of large group of men and women on stairs
    The leadership of 13 voluntary bar associations from Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas counties came together on March 31 at the Tampa Bay Area Voluntary Bar Leaders' Summit. The event "emerged from an small idea and flourished into something amazing," shared Vivian Cortes Hodz, one of the summit organizers. Hillsborough County Bar hosted the session and supported The Florida Bar Diversity Initiative grant for the event.

    Participating voluntary bars included:
    Carrollwood Community Bar Association
    Tampa Bay Chapter of the Federal Bar Association
    LGBT Bar Association of Tampa Bay
    Hillsborough Association of Women Lawyers
    Hillsborough County Bar Association
    George Edgecomb Bar Association
    Tampa Bay Bankruptcy Bar Association
    Tampa Hispanic Bar Association
    Temple Terrace Bar Association
    Clearwater Bar Association
    Pinellas FAWL
    Pinellas County Trial Lawyers Association
    Pasco FAWL
OCBA leaders in Tallahassee

photo of six men and women standing
    Members of the Orange County Bar Association visted Tallahassee on April 5 for the investiture of the Hon. C. Alan Lawson as a Florida Supreme Court Justice.
Cooking up some fun times in North Miami

photo of five people wearing chef hats
    Association of Corporate Counsel South Florida members went on a culinary adventure with Bilzin Sumberg at Johnson & Wales University on March 30! The "chef's" cooked up some delicious Asian and Mediterranean tapas and the event was enjoyed by all.
Foster Youth Day with MDFAWL

photo of seven people standing
    On Feb. 19, Miami-Dade Florida Association of Women Lawyers hosted its Third Annual Foster Youth Day in partnership with Lawyers for Children America (LFCA). Each year, MDFAWL members come out to volunteer and serve hundreds of foster children at Tropical Park. The event featured bounce houses, face painting, balloon art, sports, arts and crafts, cotton candy, music, and an ice cream cart with homemade ice cream. The event sold out with a record number of more than 300 registrants.

    Foster Youth Day also serves to raise awareness among the legal community about the needs of foster youth. In the last year, MDFAWL has hosted a series of CLE trainings in partnership with LFCA, specifically focused on providing pro bono representation of young women and girls in foster care.
Law students get scholarships in Miami

photo of six women
    Miami-Dade Florida Association of Women Lawyers recognized exceptional law students with scholarships during the 2017 Women Making History Award and Scholarship Presentation Ceremony! Held on March 22 at the History Miami Museum, the event recognized six students selected from a statewide pool of applicants.
Diversity picnic in the northeast

photo of seven people sitting and standing
    The Jacksonville Asian American Bar Association was one of many voluntary bars represented at the second annual Northeast Florida Diversity Picnic. The event, hosted by the Jacksonville Bar Association Diversity and Inclusion Committee, was held on March 11 at Florida Coastal School of Law.
Immigration lawyers take action in Washington

photo of six men and women in office
    American Immigration Lawyers Association South Florida Congressional Committee had a busy day on April 5 in Washington, D.C., carrying the banner for Florida at the National Day Of Action. The group visited with Rep. Ted Deutch and others to encourage support for immigration policies that help families and businesses, promote economic growth and protect immigrants’ rights.
Bracket bash in Jacksonville

photo of basketball tournament brackets
    March madness may have come and gone but for members of the Jacksonville Bar Association it was fun. After Selection Sunday, participants received a bracket to complete and all watched with anticipation the NCAA tournament. The contest results were posted after the tournament on April 4. Prizes were awarded: First-2017-2018 JBA membership; Second-JBA Lawyer Referral Service membership; Third-Free Sidebar Luncheon CLE in 2017.

Large crowd on hand for Bench Bar Conference in Palm Beach County

photo of three men and women looking at document
    Good vibes were shared with those who attended the Palm Beach County Bar Association Bench Bar Conference on March 7. This year's conference was a great success and well attended by more than 1,100 judges, lawyers, paralegals and staff support.
Beach clean up in Indian River County

photo of beach clean up crew
    Up early and productive! These young lawyers from the Indian River County Bar Association put their muscle behind a beach clean up at Jaycee Beach on the morning of March 18.
Law School Outreach at FSU

photo of men and women seated around table

    Florida Justice Association young lawyer members stopped by the Florida State University College of Law to join law students for a networking luncheon on March 27. Students and members chatted about various topics, from how to get a job after law school, to what activities they take part in outside of their firms, and everything in between.
Tea time for CFAWL

photo of women holding tea cups
    Tea scones and fabulous conversation with lady lawyers made for a great Saturday afternoon. Central Florida Association of Women Lawyers gathered for a tea party on March 18 at Lauren Millcarek's home. Co-host of the event was Anne Marie Rossi Williams.
Annual kick off event for Treasure Coast Bar

photo of men and women standing
    The Treasure Coast Bar Association's fourth annual kick off event was held in February. Board certified trial attorney Ervin Gonzalez was the guest speaker.

Judicial Pig Roast & 5K Run in Tampa

photo of four women with trophy
    The Hillsborough County Bar Association hosted a Pig Roast and 5K Pro Bono River Run again this year! With 350 runners participating in the race and more than 500 attendees and 26 booths at the Pig Roast, it was another phenomenal event.
YLD in Hillsborough hosts "Cornhole for a Cause"

photo of three people throwing bean bag
    Hillsborough County Bar Association Young Lawyers Division hosted "Cornhole for a Cause" recently. The event was a benefit for Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Tampa Bay.
Fun night in north Palm Beach County

man and woman standing under Casino  sign
    North County Section members of the Palm Beach County Bar Association mingled and gambled the night away at the Admirals Cove Country Club during their first Dinner and Casino Party on March 16. NCS President Rosemarie D'Amore and Jeffrey D'Amore pause for a pose at the illuminated entrance to the grand event.

History shared about Constitutional Revision Commission

photo of woman at podium with flags
    On March 29, just hours before the Constitution Revision Commission’s first public meeting at University of Central Florida in Orlando, Manatee County attorneys listened to the history of changing Florida’s Constitution. University of Florida law professor Mary Adkins gave members of the Manatee County Bar Association a sliver of the contents of her new book, “Making Modern Florida.
Shrimp Boil in Lee County

photo of four women
    It was a beautiful day for the Second Annual Lee County Bar Association Shrimp Boil. The crowd enjoyed lots of fun beach games, great food and fellowship on Lover's Key. Proceeds from the event benefitted the new Lee County Bar Association Foundation, a 501(c)3 dedicated to helping support the various legal partner organizations in Lee County.
Habitat build in Lakeland

photo of woman with hammer buidling house
    Giving time and talent to serve families in need of housing, members of the Lakeland Bar Association held their 4th Annual Habitat for Humanity build in February.
Celebrating women lawyers in Tallahassee

logo of Tallahassee Barristers
    The Tallahassee Barristers Association ended Women's History Month on a high note by honoring all of its female presidents. "We are thankful for the service of the female presidents and honor them for their continued support in the community and within the organization."

    The honorees included: Marva Davis, Carolyn D. Cummings, Jeraldine Smith, Ava L. Parker, Bernadette Norris-Weeks, Lola Swaby, Kathryn E. Price, Sherrie Barnes
Bars team up to address immigration fears in South Florida

photo of pencil eraser with word fear

Past presidents honored in Jacksonville

photo of seven women
    On March 30, the Jacksonville Women Lawyers Association held a members-only reception at Ruth's Chris Steakhouse honoring the women who have led the organization. During the reception, JWLA past presidents shared the most memorable moment of their career and advice. Their stories inspired, encouraged and many laughs were shared.

    L-R: Past President Mary Scott, President Amelia Henderson, Immediate Past President Joanne Fakhre, Past President Barbara McGriff, Past President Susan Haag, Past President Tonia Yazgi, and Past President Anita Pryor

Access to justice a focus in Tallahassee

photo of large group of men and women standing
    Thunderdome Tallahassee, a local group organized in 2014 to address the need for equal access to justice, held its annual awards luncheon on March 30. A crowd of nearly 250 were on hand to help recognize two honorees, Rachel Borntreger and Brittany Dambly, outstanding participants and mentors of the program. Speakers included Florida Supreme Court Justice Barbara J. Pariente and Legal Aid Foundation of Tallahassee Board President Linje Rivers. Former Florida Supreme Court Justice Major B. Harding concluded the event by accepting a plaque recognizing his service in writing thank-you letters to all pro bono attorneys who closed a case with the Legal Aid Foundation of Tallahassee for three years. Also recognized were the Class III Thunderdome members who continue to provide family law training, mentorship, leadership development and recognition to volunteer lawyers serving families and children.
Trending toward economic diversity in Sarasota County

photo of men and women standing
    The Sarasota County Bar Association Diversity Committee and Florida Association of Women Lawyers, Sarasota Chapter, presented “Trending Toward Diversity Through Economics” on March 28 at the Sarasota Yacht Club. The talk focused on state demographics, diversity within Florida’s legal community and what employers can do to encourage a more diverse employee base.

    L-R: Carol Ann Kalish, Esq., vice-president and chief legal officer, Sarasota Memorial Hospital Healthcare System; Andy Corty, publisher, Florida Trend Magazine; Alexis Rosenberg, Esq., president, Sarasota FAWL; Brittany Maxey, chair, Florida Bar Statewide Diversity Committee; Erik Arroyo, presenting sponsor, Band Gates Dramis; Florida Bar President William Schifino, Jr.
Human Trafficking discussed in South Florida

photo of men and women at tables
    The Palm Beach County Hispanic Bar Association focused its monthly luncheon on a discussion on human trafficking in South Florida. The presentation by Special Agent Peter Angel, FBI Civil Rights Division, and Justin Hoover, assistant state attorney in the Special Victims Unit/Human Trafficking, focused on identifying victims of human trafficking specifically within the area of sex and labor trafficking and educating members on victim rights.

Inaugural Women’s Week at Stetson

photo of six women
    Women’s Week at Stetson University College of Law included a gender bias panel discussion. From left to right, the bottom row: Judge Pamela Campbell of the Sixth Judicial Circuit; Kristina Feher, PFAWL secretary; Shavarne Dahlquist, PFAWL public relations director; and Katherine Yanes, president of the Federal Bar Association Tampa Bay Chapter. From left to right, the top row features Chloe Wells, FAWL at Stetson president; and Natalie Yello, Ms. JD Fellow. The event was planned by the Florida Association for Women Lawyers at Stetson and the Ms. JD Program.
Evening with the judiciary in Orlando

photo of three women and man
    Lawyers and members of the judiciary mingled and enjoyed refreshments in a relaxed social setting at the Orange County Bar YLD's Evening with the Judiciary. The event was held at Orlando Science Center's "Dino Digs!"
Excellence continues for Haitian Lawyers Association

photo of six women and one man
    A full house of attorneys, judges, law students, community leaders and supporters of the Haitian Lawyers Association turned out for the group's 19th Annual Scholarship Gala. The event took place on March 18 at Miami Marriott Biscayne Bay.
Honoring the judiciary in Miami

photo closeup of five people
    Miami Beach Bar Association had the honor of hosting many city officials, judges and attorneys for their annual Judicial Reception.
Chatting with Rep. Stephanie Murphy in Orlando

photo of five women standing
    Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy met with the Greater Orlando Asian American Bar Association and other guests at a reception hosted by Wooten Kimbrough, P.A.
Judicial Assistants: The Real MVPs!

photo of nine people at judge desk
    There's a saying that a good lawyer knows the law and a great lawyer knows the judge. According to the George Edgecomb Bar Association's Young Lawyers Committee it's even more important to know the judicial assistant! The group hosted a CLE in March to spotlight the crucial role judicial assistants play in carrying out their respective judge's courtroom preferences (scheduling, motions, orders, telephone hearings, etc).
Muslim organizations recognize community leaders in Miami

photo of eleven people standing
    The Coalition of South Florida Muslim Organizations, including the Florida Muslim Bar Association, held its 7th annual community appreciation dinner in Miami. Among those honored was Judge Norman Herring. The event also recognized the Judicial Diversity and Fairness Committee of the 11th Judicial Circuit.
Cruise combines work and play for mediators

photo of eleven people standing in semi circle
    The Florida Academy of Professional Mediators held its second annual cruise conference on March 16. "CMEs on the High Seas" featured plenary sessions and workshops, good for eight hours of continuing mediator education credit. One of the highlights was the division of Men vs Women event, which by all accounts was an eye opener. The ship sailed from Tampa to Cozumel, Mexico.
Bring Your Child to Court Day

photo of judge and three children
    In honor of Pasco County Spring Break, Women Lawyer of Pasco hosted a "Bring Your Child to Court" Day on March 21. Participants met in the Courtroom of Judge Debra Roberts, for a brief presentation on the judicial system and a buffet lunch.
Shadow Day at the Courthouse

photo of four adults
    Hillsborough Association for Women Lawyers sponsored a Shadow Day at the courthouse. Judge Christopher Nash assisted with the event, which included breakfast with the 13th Judicial Circuit Judges, followed by observation of a morning docket.
Recycling and renewing in Brevard!

photo of one woman with clothes rack and sign
    Brevard County Women Lawyers combined a Membership Drive with a different kind of collection. BCWLA members donated professional clothing for the clients of the Injunction for Protection Project, where survivors of domestic violence can receive representation by Florida Bar members for injunctions for protection. Not only did members donate, they also renewed their memberships!
Lightning strikes in Tampa

photo of crowd at game
    East Pasco Bar Association members took in a hockey game on March 9. The group gathered at Amalie Arena in Tampa to cheer on the Lightning!
Joint diversity and inclusion session at Safe Harbor

photo of seven adults
    Clearwater Bar Association and West Pasco Bar Association joined forces in a diversity workshop on March 9. The session featured several panels including a discussion among attorneys and other diversity and inclusion professionals on how unconscious bias impacts a firm’s bottom line, new business and return on investment. The workshop was partially funded by a grant from The Florida Bar.
Local showcase includes Carrollwood lawyers

photo of four adults
    A Taste of Carrollwood sounds like any other dine around. But this one included a table of attorneys from the Carrollwood Bar Association, not to share culinary delights, but to answer legal questions and promote the support of the legal profession in the community. The event featured food and a festive afternoon at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa.
Medical and legal info shared in Broward

photo of large gruop in classroom
    Needing more than a good doctor is often the case for families dealing with dementia patients. They also need an attorney. This real-life experience prompted the Broward County Bar Association and the Broward County Medical Association to jointly host a dementia education symposium on March 18. Leaders from both professions shared the stage to cover topics like long-term care insurance, preserving assets, end-of-life care wishes, estate planning and other issues.
Broward Hispanic Bar supports Nova Law School

photo of three adults
    Broward County Hispanic Bar members enjoyed a pleneros (percussion) performance before the comedy show, "Law & Disorder," on March 16.

#    #    #


[Revised: 04-10-2017]