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July 8, 2016

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    Florida Bar president to headline Saturday session in Naples
    One of Florida Bar President Bill Schifino's first stops during his term will be the Voluntary Bar Leaders Conference in Naples. The new Bar president will join the conference for a team huddle on July 16 and a chance to discuss what’s on the horizon for The Florida Bar. This session is sure to be a winner with this all-star Bar leader.

    WILLIAM J. SCHIFINO JR. is the 2016-17 president of The Florida Bar. He is managing partner of Burr Forman’s Tampa office and a board certified specialist in the area of business litigation. His practice focuses on a variety of litigation and trial practice, including securities litigation and arbitration, professional malpractice litigation, employment litigation and intellectual property litigation. He is also on the Board of Trustees for the University of Florida Levin College of Law. Schifino is the past president of the Hillsborough County Bar Association (HCBA) and immediate past president of the Hillsborough County Bar Foundation. He also served as president of the HCBA’s Young Lawyers Division in 1994. Mr. Schifino has also been active in his community serving as a Director of Corporate Board of the Boys & Girls Club of Tampa Bay, Inc., the Florida Guardian Ad Litem Association, and as Coach, President, and Director of the Tampa Bay Little League, Inc.
    Orange County Bar provides support for victims of the Orlando shooting

    The Voluntary Bar Associations in Florida offer their support and condolences to the Orlando community and everyone affected by the tragic events of June 12.

    · The Orange County Bar Association & Legal Aid Society of the Orange County Bar Association, Inc., have a Victims’ Legal Assistance hotline for pro bono lawyer referrals. Victims and family members: Call (407)422-4537, Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

    · Attorneys who wish to volunteer pro bono services may download an application at

    · Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer announced the formation of the OneOrlando Fund, to raise and receive money to help families most affected by the Pulse shootings. To contribute, visit
    Voluntary Bar Diversity Leadership Grant Applications due July 22

    The 2016-17 The Florida Bar Voluntary Bar Association Diversity Leadership Grants application is posted. The grants 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.

    Completed proposals must be submitted by email and received on or before July 22.

    Applicants will be notified whether programs have been approved for funding by Sept. 2. Opportunities for program funding may be available in the spring if all available grant funding is not awarded in this grant application. However, applications are considered on a first-come, first-serve basis, and organizations are encouraged to submit applications in this grant funding cycle.

    Additional information is available here.

    “Guide for Florida Voters” available for 2016 election

    • Copies are available from The Florida Bar.
    The Florida Bar is distributing its Guide for Florida Voters statewide as part of an initiative to educate Florida’s voters about judicial elections. This year’s ballot will have more than 30 contested county judgeships and 25 contested circuit judgeships, in addition to merit retention votes on 28 District Court of Appeal judges and three Florida Supreme Court justices.

    The Guide for Florida Voters answers many questions voters might have about judicial and merit retention elections. Copies are available to voluntary bars upon request. Please email to request copies or call Mark Hohmeister at (850) 561-5764. Copies are also available at supervisor of elections offices and through local chapters of the League of Women Voters of Florida.

    The Guide for Florida Voters is posted on The Vote’s in Your Court web page (, which 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. Additionally, there are links to judicial self-disclosure statements provided by candidates for county and circuit court judgeships.

    Election dates this year are Aug. 30 and Nov. 8. All county and circuit judicial races appear on the primary ballot, with runoffs in November. The merit retention vote is in November.

    Tampa voluntary bar associations hold joint program

    The George Edgecomb Bar Association, Hillsborough County Bar Association, Hillsborough Association for Women Lawyers and Tampa Hispanic Bar Association recently held a joint CLE program titled, “Demystifying the JNC Process.” From the left are Fentrice D. Driskell, president, George Edgecomb Bar; Vivian Cortes Hodz, president, Tampa Hispanic Bar; J. Carter Andersen, president, Hillsborough County Bar; Cynthia Oster, a member of the Florida Second District Court of Appeal JNC. ; Florida Bar president Bill Schifino; Judge Daryl M. Manning; William Spicola, general counsel to Gov. Rick Scott; Theresa Jean-Pierre Coy; and Travis Coy.

    Jacksonville Bar recognizes pro bono efforts of local attorneys
    The Presentation of the Pins lunch event on June 10 recognized attorneys in the Jacksonville area who provided at least 20 hours of pro bono service in 2015. The event was hosted by the Jacksonville Bar Association.

    Judicial reception in Jacksonville
    FAWL president honored in Palm Beach
    New officers take the lead in Naples
    The Collier County Bar Association (CCBA), installed its officers for 2016 -2017 on June 10 at the Naples Sailing and Yacht Club. Judge Hugh D. Hayes swore in the new officers and directors. John T. Cardillo, partner at the Law Offices of Cardillo, Keith and Bonaquist, gave his final remarks as the outgoing President.

    The new officers are Marc Huling, president; Damian Taylor, president-elect; Kimberly Spiker, treasurer; and Richard Montecalvo, secretary. The new directors are John T. Cardillo, immediate past president; Robert Doyle; Travis Hayes; Rachel Kerlek; Edward Larsen; Rachael Loukonen; Andrew Reiss; and Michael Traficante.

    Tallahassee Bar holds Summer Bar-B-Q

    A record crowd of more than 80 Tallahassee Bar Association members and guests turned out for the June 7 Summer Bar-B-Q to meet the candidates for Leon County judge and state attorney. TBA President-Elect Sean Desmond recognized outgoing Florida Bar Board of Governors Representative Bill Davis for his six years of service on the BOG on behalf of the lawyers of the Second Judicial Circuit. Judicial candidates and state attorney candidates addressed the crowd about their political plans. The meeting wrapped up with post-program networking to allow the candidates to visit individually with attendees.
    Virgil Hawkins Florida National Bar Association recognizes Tallahassee Barristers
    The Tallahassee Barristers Association, under the leadership of President G.C. Murray Jr., has been named the Virgil Hawkins Florida National Bar Association 2015-16 Affiliate Chapter of the Year. During Murray's administration, the Barristers membership expanded to the highest numbers in its 40-year history. The TBA also created the Young Lawyers' Division, which has been recognized by the Florida Bar Young Lawyer's Division; adopted impoverished communities; held Know Your Rights seminars; and worked with nonprofits, such as the ICE Foundation, to promote community service and unity.
    Mobile Law for All in Tallahassee

    The Legal Aid Foundation of Tallahassee and volunteer lawyers, many from the Tallahassee Bar Association, provided free legal consultation to the community for civil law matters on June 28. The Mobile Law for All provided an opportunity for individuals detained at the Leon County Jail to have a free 30-minute consultation with a volunteer attorney regarding civil matters.
    Hillsborough Bar install new officers
    The installation of officers and directors for the Hillsborough County Bar Association and the Young Lawyers Division took place on June 9 at the Chester Ferguson Law Center. J. Carter Anderson was sworn in as the new HCBA president.
    Bars share award for work in Diversity
    Martin County Bar Association, St. Lucie County Bar Association and the Port St. Lucie Bar Association were honored for their outstanding work in diversity. The award was presented by The Florida Bar Standing Committee of Diversity and Inclusion.
    Martin County Women Lawyers install new board
    Women lawyers support colleague on award

    Past Tampa Hispanic Bar Association President Victoria Cruz-Garcia celebrated her Leader in the Law Award with her colleagues during The Florida Bar Annual Convention.
    Ocariz takes the helm in Miami
    Judge Adalberto Jordan administers the oath office to Miami Dade FAWL President Rebecca Ocariz and new officers/board at the installation ceremony.
    Judge Gill Freeman honored for career and service

    Miami-Dade FAWL and the Gwen S. Cherry Black Women Lawyer's Association had the honor of celebrating the career and service of the Honorable Judge Gill Freeman. The members from the two groups gathered last month in Miami to wish Judge Freeman the best in her new endeavors!
    YLS in Jacksonville installs new officers
    Christian George has been sworn in to lead the YLS of the Jacksonville Bar as president. JBA members also gave a big shout-out to Lindsay Tygart Ahmed, who completed her term as president in June.
    Closing argument program in Palm Beach
    Palm Beach County Bar Association reports an awesome program on closing arguments. Shown here are event co-chair Scott Perry, panelists Ken Reilly and Greg Barnhart, host Judge Meenu Sasser, panelist Alex Alvarez, co-chair Alison Percy, and panelist Judge Alex Ferrer.
    Judicial Reception a great success in Jacksonville

    JWLA President Joanne Marie Fakhre, JWLA President-Elect Amelia Henderson, Florida Bar Board of Governors member Michelle Suskauer, FAWL President-Elect Leora Freire, JWLA Past President Kate Mesic — at the Judicial Reception in Jacksonville.
    In celebration of Caribbean American Heritage Month

    The Caribbean Bar Association moderated a panel of Caribbean business leaders discussing technology, competing in the global economy and keys to success in the 21st century as part of the celebration of Caribbean American Heritage Month.
    Got Civilty? seminar in Broward
    Florida Bar President-elect Michael Higer took part in the Broward County Bar Association's recent joint seminar with U.S. Legal Support, Inc. -"Got Civility?" The panel included: Chief Judge Peter Weinstein; Judge Jack Tuter; Federal Judge Beth Bloom; and Michael Higer.
    Thank you judges and judicial assistants in Sarasota County
    Sarasota County judges, judicial assistants and young lawyers enjoyed the opportunity to interact over Mexican fare and an ice cream treat afterwards. The Sarasota County Bar Association YLD took this time to show appreciation for the hardwork of judges and judicial assistants in the court system.

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