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October 1, 2014

Free Seminars at
The Florida Bar's
Fall Meeting

Free seminars about how to use the social network LinkedIn and make Benchmarks presentations will be held at The Florida Bar Fall Meeting in October at the Tampa Airport Marriott.

Benchmarks seminar
“Benchmarks: Raising the Bar on Civics Education” offers ready-made presentations attorneys can use when speaking to adult civic groups. Presentations have overviews and supporting materials that were developed by Annette Pitts, executive director of The Florida Law Related Education Association. She’ll lead the seminar on Friday, Oct. 17, from 1:30 to 3 p.m. CLE credit is pending. Register by emailing or calling Susannah Lyle at or (850) 561-5669. Benchmarks topics include: “Who Has the Right?” about U.S. voting practices; “How to Judge Judicial Candidates” about trial court judges; and “Judge for Yourself,” which focuses on merit selection and retention of judges for Florida’s appellate courts and Supreme Court.

Kevin McNulty, social media marketing consultant and founder of Florida-based Netweave Social Networking in Bradenton, will lead two LinkedIn training sessions on Thursday, Oct. 16, from 9-11 a.m. and 2-4 p.m. Registration is free. Sign up by emailing Danny Aller at or calling (850) 561-5739. Space is limited. LinkedIn sessions are for Florida Bar committee and section members. The Board of Governors Communications Committee is encouraging committees and sections to set up LinkedIn closed groups so that they may communicate and dialogue frequently.

Voter Guides Available

Important dates
  • Oct. 6: Last day to register to vote
for General Election
  • Nov. 4: General Election
(Merit Retention/Trial Court Run-offs)
For those volunteers who want to encourage active participation in Florida government and further increase understanding of major public policy issues, The Florida Bar has copies of the League of Women Voters 2014 Nonpartisan Voter Guide for Florida's General Election - November 4, 2014! The Guide contains information about the constitutional amendments and statewide races on the ballot, frequently asked questions about judicial merit retention, and more!

In addition, we also have Copies of The Florida Bar Guide for Florida Voters: Questions and Answers about Florida Judges, Judicial Elections and Merit Retention have answers to questions such as: What is the difference between a county and circuit court judge and an appellate judge? Why is it important to vote in judicial elections and merit retention elections? What exactly does a judge do?

This year in Florida, 22 appellate judges serving in the five District Courts of Appeal are on the November ballot in merit retention elections. To help the public learn more about the election, the Florida Bar has the following information available on our website:

A. Biographies and photos of the DCA judges
B. Answers to frequently asked questions about merit retention
C. Results of The Florida Bar poll about judges

Please let your members know about these resources. Voluntary bars may also request copies of both Voter Guides to distribute in your communities. Email to let us know how many copies and where to send them.


Hillsborough County

Bar Association
Salutes Those Who Serve

On Sept. 11, the Hillsborough County Bar Association kicked off the Bar year with a General Membership Luncheon honoring those who have served and continue to serve our country. Brig. Gen. Dixie A. Morrow, Commander of the Air Force Legal Operations Agency, spoke to a crowd of more than 400 attorneys and judges about the work the U.S. military is doing to establish and uphold the rule of law. HCBA President Ben Hill IV also introduced the HCBA’s newly revamped Military & Veterans Affairs Committee, which aims to provide pro bono, educational, and mentoring services and outreach to veterans in the Tampa Bay area. The committee brings together the HCBA’s civilian attorneys, many of whom have served in the military, with those from the JAG offices at MacDill Air Force Base. Former HCBA President Bob Nader is chairing the committee, and Lt. Col. Christopher Brown, Staff Judge Advocate of the 6th Air Mobility Wing at MacDill, is serving as the Military Liaison. Also at the luncheon, the HCBA recognized new members of the Bar Leadership Institute and those who help the public through the Lawyer Referral & Information Service.

From left: Anthony Martino, president of the HCBA YLD; Chief Judge Manuel Menendez, Thirteenth Judicial Circuit; Bill Schifino Jr., president of the Hillsborough County Bar Foundation; Brig. Gen. Dixie A. Morrow, commander of the Air Force Legal Operations Agency; Ben Hill IV, president of the Hillsborough County Bar Association; and Judge Gregory Holder

Sarasota County Bar Association
Wins National Contest
Whether it’s a CLE session, a program, a member benefit, or something else, coming up with a good name takes creativity and skill. To showcase this important craft, ABA's Bar Leader sponsored a contest called "One Great Name."

The local bar category and entire contest winner is The Sarasota County (Fla.) Bar Association, for a family law program called “The Gray Divorce Revolution . . . Will You Still Need Me, Will You Still Feed Me, when I’m 64??? Probably Not.” Its submitter, executive director Jan Jung, says the program was very well attended. “It was held at one of our local theaters,” she writes. “Speakers presented from the stage, and we played the song as members were being seated.”

In addition, the SCBA Diversity Committee, also received an honorable mention for an upcoming program called “From the Cradle to the Grave: Representing the LGBT Client.”

Judges, Lawyers & Students
Table Talk in Tallahassee
The Tallahassee Bar Association and its Young Lawyers Division hosted more than 140 members of the local legal community including judges, lawyers, FSU College of Law students and faculty on Tuesday, Sept. 2 at Capital City Country Club for the Third Annual Table for 8. This event offered an opportunity for judges, attorneys and law students to enjoy frank and informative conversation in a relaxed environment.

The enormous success was due to the strong turnout and participation by Judges and senior attorneys who brought years of experience and insight to the table as well as the participation of young lawyers and law students who contributed new, fresh ideas.
“Great job on the Tables for Eight last night! I really enjoyed the discussion at our table and seeing so many judges, lawyers, and law students in attendance. That is one of the best events we hold every year!"

Robert S. Cohen, director and chief judge, Division of Administrative Hearings

Central Florida Trial Lawyers
Association Supports CF Fight
The Central Florida Trial Lawyers Association held its Ninth Annual Raising The Bar seminar on Aug. 22. The location was Historic Dubsdread Ballroom and Conference Center, 549 W. Par St., Orlando. More than 80 members, sponsors and presenters attended. The CFTLA Board designated this event in support of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation-Central Florida, which is dedicated to the fundraising efforts of six counties across Central Florida. The CFF is a nonprofit donor-supported organization dedicated to attacking cystic fibrosis from every angle.

Pictured are L to R: Roy Smith, IV., Esq, CFTLA board member, Lisa Murphy, executive director, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Central Florida; Michael Woods, Esq., CFF Representative; and Fermin Lopez, Esq., CFTLA 2014 president

An Invitation
To Host A
Student Intern
What if you had the opportunity to hire an intelligent, motivated and enthusiastic individual and at the same time help provide guidance and insight to a high school student? The Clearwater Bar Association launched the Student Legal Intern Program ("SLIP") in 2007 and it has been a resounding success every summer since then. The SLIP program is designed to achieve these three goals: to provide a valuable work experience; to further the student's understanding of the law; and to provide a mentor relationship for the student. The interns are paid $1,903.20 for the six week program ($7.93 an hour). Interns perform numerous duties for their employers determined by the mentor/employer and therefore may vary from office to office.

The interns and mentors attend a mandatory job skills workshop that prepares the students for what is expected of them and what they can expect. The workshop focuses on issues such as confidentiality, professionalism, punctuality, attention to detail, and appearance. Three additional classroom meetings are held throughout the six weeks covering civil and criminal procedure. Law firms and corporate legal departments that hire our interns pay the interns' salaries during the summer. However, government agencies (including the courts) and public interest and service organizations are not able to pay interns from their own budgets. For this purpose, the Clearwater Bar Foundation has created a restricted fund to accept tax-deductible donations to support the SLIP program. As a result, the Foundation has been able to provide more than $30,000 in support of SLIP over the past six years.

To accept an intern, email

or phone 727-461-4869. To make a donation mail to Clearwater Bar Foundation, 314 S. Missouri Ave., Suite 107, Clearwater, FL 33756.


Technology & Social Media
Highlight YLD Webinar Series

In an effort to meet the demands of the rising population of tech-savvy lawyers who are navigating their careers with Internet-enabled devices, the Young Lawyers Division of The Florida Bar has worked on issues pertaining to technological advances and initiated several online projects that will be launched during the coming year. The YLD's Technology Committee, led by Margaret Good of Sarasota and Zack Zuroweste of Clearwater, in conjunction with the Bar, is working on a three-part webinar series called "The Florida Bar's Social Media and Technology Series." The first webinar, "Social Media Marketing 101," will be held on October 23 at Noon. It focuses on the basics of how to promote a law practice using Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

The second and third webinars in the series will pertain to topics on social media basics, ethics governing social media, apps and gadgets for lawyers. Watch for updates on future webinars in this three-part series.

More Volunteer Support!
The Florida Bar welcomes Jeff Doran as its newest Public Information Coordinator. Jeff will handle the voluntary bar liaison program, the Speakers Bureau and projects of the Law Related Education Committee, which he will staff. Doran's professional experience includes communications and marketing, member relations, event planning and association administration. He can be reached at 850.561.5773 or by email at

Don't forget to update your bar's profile, submit your event calendar, news or any announcement and to communicate the achievements of your local bar in a timely manner. Please share positive things going on in your organization so we can promote your progress and praise the team or individuals who made it happen. It also gives us the chance to mention volunteer influencers in our tweets and other social media posts. Use these links to expedite your information:


The 800th Anniversary
of the Magna Carta:
Resources for Bar Associations

The American Bar Association is pleased to join the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth nations in honoring the 800th Anniversary of the sealing of Magna Carta in 1215. 
  • Learn about the the ABA's planned activities including the traveling exhibit of one of the four original 1215 exemplifications of Magna Carta.
  • Pre-register for next summer's London sessions and visit to Runnymede where the ABA erected a Memorial to Magna Carta in 1957.

Curated by the Library of Congress, the traveling exhibit consists of 16 banners, 13 of which reflect spectacular images of Magna Carta and precious manuscripts, books and other documents from the Library of Congress’s rare book collections. The exhibit will appear at law schools, law libraries, courthouses and other venues throughout the United States and will make an international stop in June 2015 at the ABA’s London sessions.

Learn more about bringing this unprecedented exhibit to your bar association.

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[Revised: 10-01-2014]