The Florida Bar

Bar-to-Bar E-News banner

March 12, 2015

Voluntary Bar Leaders Conference July 10-11, 2015


Download the 2015 Law Day Planning Guide!

    Are you looking for ideas on how to implement the 2015 Law Day theme, "Magna Carta: Symbol of Freedom Under Law"? Download the comprehensive 36-page guidebook specially written and designed with the needs of Law Day planners and organizers in mind.

    Included inside are Magna Carta talking points, a timeline, programming ideas, lesson plans for elementary, middle, and high school students, and much more. Download yours today!   

    Additional resources for judges, teachers and other civic leaders are available on the ABA Law Day 2015 website. Companion resources include PowerPoint presentations to use with all three Magna Carta discussions.

    Please let us know what you're organization is doing to celebrate Law Day. Email and we will share ideas and share your success after the event.

Nominations sought for Justice Teaching Awards

    The Justice Teaching initiative of Florida Supreme Court Justice Fred Lewis is seeking nominations for a Justice Teaching Select Committee “Judge of the Year,” a Justice Teaching “Volunteer of the Year,” and a Justice Teaching “Teacher of the Year” for the 2014-2015 school year.

    These awards will be given to the select committee judge, the volunteer, and the teacher who have most exemplified the spirit and purpose of Justice Teaching to deliver civic education to the children of Florida.

    Justice Teaching Award Packet

    Please FAX nomination forms and supporting materials fewer than five pages no later than
    April 15, 2015 to (850) 561-9429 – cover sheet clearly labeled “Award Nomination” or e-mail nomination forms and supporting materials no later than April 15, 2015, to

    Justice Lewis will present the awards at the 2015 Florida Bar Annual Convention.

    Justice Teaching website provides information about the program.

Nominate one of your members for 2015 Consumer Protection Lawyer of the Year

    When consumers are harassed by debt collectors, underwater on their mortgages or trying to re-establish credit, they turn to attorneys practicing consumer law. For families fighting to right their economic ships, these attorneys are the life-saving captains. For the fifth year, the Consumer Protection Law Committee is accepting nominations for an award that acknowledges a Florida consumer law practitioner for outstanding efforts that benefit not only Floridians but the practice of consumer law. The nomination form is available on the committee’s Florida Bar Web page. Deadline for nominations for the 2015 Consumer Protection Lawyer of the Year Award is Friday, April 10. Questions: Please call or email Susannah Lyle at or (850) 561-5669.

    Jacksonville Area Legal Aid attorney Lynn Drysdale, center with Attorney General Pam Bondi, won the 2014 Consumer Protection Lawyer of the Year Award. Drysdale teaches consumer law and lectures frequently regarding foreclosure and other pocketbook issues. She is a well-known consumer advocate with more than 25 years of experience.

Judicial performance feedback sought from Bar members

    The Judicial Administration & Evaluation Committee is encouraging all Bar members to participate in the Judicial Feedback Program developed by the committee and approved by the Florida Bar Board of Governors.

    The purpose of the Judicial Feedback Program is to promote judicial self-improvement and enhance the quality of our judiciary as a whole. Attorneys are asked to evaluate the judge’s demeanor, knowledge, fairness, and other factors, but not to discuss issues of their specific cases. The commenting attorney’s identify is kept confidential and the comments are provided only to the judge who is the subject of the review. All feedback is and remains confidential pursuant to Florida Rule of Judicial Administration 2.051(c)(4).

    There are separate forms for trial court judges and appellate court judges. Feedback may be provided in two ways; by filling out a form and mailing it in to The Florida Bar or by completing the feedback forms online. To access the online forms you will need your Bar number and password.

Eighteen Associations Saddle-up to recruit speakers

    The ROPES Speakers Bureau Challenge Round-up is underway.
    The following Voluntary Bar Associations (VBAs) are participating in the speaker recruitment effort:

    ABOTA-FL Chapter; Broward County Justice; Broward County Women Lawyers; Clearwater Bar; Escambia/Santa Rosa Bar; FAWL- Pasco; Flagler County Bar; Hendry-Glades Bar; Jacksonville Bar; Marion County Bar; Orange County Bar; Palm Beach County Bar; Port St. Lucie Bar; St. Petersburg Bar Sumter County Bar; Tallahassee Bar; Virgil Hawkins Florida Chapter National Bar; Volusia County Bar.

    The campaign will end March 31 or at a time when 1,500 speakers are recruited, whichever comes first. The Florida Bar will recognize the first VBA that has the largest percentage of its members to sign up with an additional $500 reward.

Children's Home Society benefits from Marion County Bar Association's Giving Tree

    Marion County Bar Association's Holiday Drive for Children’s Home Society: In 2014, the Marion County Bar Association hosted a giving tree for 100 children in need to provide them a brighter and happier holiday season. Pictured from left to right with the gifts collected are Children’s Home Society Board Member and Past MCBA President Kelly Hamer and MCBA President, Renee Thompson of Mateer & Harbert PA, along with MCBA Secretary Kristi VanVleet, Belinda Florio, MCBA Treasurer Robert Batsel, and MCBA Vice-President Greg Harrell.
Chili Cook-off adds spice to Tallahassee Bar Association

    The 19th Annual Tallahassee Bar Association's Chili Cook-off was an astounding success! Thanks to these lovely ladies of the Tallahassee Women Lawyers (TWL) board of directors who won the "Best Bedecked" award for their "Breakfast at TWL's" theme. A special thank you to Christian Cutillo, TWL chili cook-off team captain, and the entire team: Jessica Leigh, Catherine Chapman, Christin Gonzalez, Jennifer Sweeting, Whitney Langston, Shoshana Silver and Olivia Klein.
Jamin' a big hit for Broward County Bar Association

    First open mic music jam at the BCBA. Great evening for fellow legal professionals to get together to jam and network. Stay tuned for future jams.
Orange County Women Lawyers Association hosts Mardi Gras networking event

    Colorful and flavorful is how Orange County Women Lawyers describe their Fat Tuesday networking event. The fun Mardi Gras night on Feb. 17th, unleashed the carnival faithful with the chance to put on their favorite feather masks and BEADS!! Everyone enjoyed the fare as well at Lucille's Smokehouse Bar-B-Que. Check out the Facebook photos here.
Hillsborough County Bar Association hosts phone bank for free legal advice

Greater Orlando Asian American Bar Association (GOAABA) celebrates Lunar New Year

    Lunar New Year is one of the biggest holidays in East and Central Asia, including China, Vietnam, Korea, Mongolia and Tibet. GOAABA celebrated the Lunar New Year at the Dragon Parade and Lunar New Year Festival on Sunday, Feb. 22. The group hosted a booth giving away lucky candy and other goodies and lots of FUN for the entire family.

    In addition . . . Ignite Your Voice! GOAABA is excited to be hosting the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) Southeast Regional Conference in Orlando on June 12. More details will be provided soon on our website If you are interested in serving as a planning committee member, becoming a sponsor or proposing topics for a CLE program, please contact Co-Chairs Anna Meddin at or Kim Nguyen at
Habitat build attracts young lawyers in Palm Beach County

    THE PALM BEACH COUNTY BAR’S Young Lawyers Section recently participated in its Fifth Annual Habitat for Humanity build. Although limited on the number of participants that the organization could have, about 20 YLS members were there including two Circuit judges and one Federal Magistrate Judge. Lots of paint was put on the new house by helping hands for the fifth consecutive year! More photos on the PCBA Facebook page.
Jacksonville Women Lawyers Association hear about getting ex-offenders Ready4Work!

    On Feb. 19 members and guests of the Jacksonville Women Lawyers Association (JWLA) heard from Kevin T. Gay, CEO and founder of Operation New Hope (ONH), a community development corporation with a focus on urban restoration and revitalization. Gay left the corporate world 15 years ago to found non-profit ONH after seeing the need for housing and new skills right here in our local community.

    Gay recognized the value of providing training and a job to those members of our community who have limited opportunity. The Ready4Work program grew out of OHN, and is now a nationally recognized program that assists ex-offenders with re-entry into the community and the workforce.

    To humanize the issue, Gay introduced B.G., a former-white collar mortgage banker who was convicted of wire fraud and sentenced to 51 months in prison. Despite a master's degree and 15 years of work experience, upon release B.G. was unable to secure even minimum-wage employment due to her felon status. B.G. explained that Ready4Work assisted her in securing an upward mobility job opportunity that allows
    her to put her skills and abilities to use, and gives her "hope for the future." Also in attendance at the luncheon were four Girls Court participants. Girls Court is a specialized juvenile court pilot program in Duval County, which links at-risk female youths to community support services, including JWLA mentors, to reduce punishment in juvenile detention.

ABA Offers Bar Leaders Scholarships to Justice Conference

#    #    #


[Revised: 03-13-2015]