The Florida Bar

Bar-to-Bar E-News banner

November 1, 2014



It's the Eau for the 2015 Voluntary Bar Leaders Conference

    Voluntary Bar leaders are in for a real treat in 2015, as plans are being made to hold the annual conference at the Eau Resort & Spa in Palm Beach. In a setting reminiscent of a Palm Beach estate, the hotel is situated on seven acres of oceanfront, miles away from the mainstream. Spacious guest rooms offer private balconies with ocean, pool and garden views. The hotel is also providing guests with a 20 percent discount for a visit to the award-winning Eau Spa.

    Now that the venue is set, planning is underway for an informative conference featuring breakout sessions and networking opportunities. The planning subcommittee, chaired by Sarah Cortvriend, is using results from the pre-conference survey to help determine topics of interest and suggestions made by voluntary bar leaders.

    The event, set for July 10-11, will be hosted by the Palm Beach County Bar Association. Plan now by saving the date on your calendar.

    Check out the beautiful resort at
Join the conversation in the new LinkedIn group

    The Florida Bar Voluntary Bar Leaders Closed LinkedIn Group is designed for the presidents of Florida voluntary bar associations and Florida voluntary bar executives, as well as members of the Voluntary Bar Liaison Committee, to communicate and discuss what's happening within their local organizations on a regular basis.

    The Florida Bar Board of Governors Communications Committee is encouraging committees and sections to set up LinkedIn closed groups so that they may communicate and dialogue frequently. For those not familiar with LinkedIn, it is the No. 1 online tool for professional networking and marketing.

    As the Public Information coordinator, Jeff Doran serves as the group leader. Sharing information is the central purpose of the new group. This private group board is used for discussion, exchanging association management advice and to engage members in "all-things" voluntary bars. Doran posts discussion items three times a week and encourages leaders to share information that is going to be valuable and useful to others in the group. The more generous you are in providing information for your fellow group members, the better the experience will be for all.

    Join the LinkedIn closed group for Voluntary Bar Leaders by clicking here.

New Leaders Handbook
available at the
Voluntary Bar Center

    There are more than 270 voluntary bar associations throughout Florida. While each individual bar is private and unique, The Florida Bar works to create a dynamic partnership with these local, specialty, minority and women voluntary bar associations.

    One of the primary outlets for information is the Voluntary Bar Center. Here bar leaders can get the latest information on local, state and national bar associations and find valuable resources to enhance voluntary bar programs.

    Among the resources available is the latest edition of the Voluntary Bar Leaders Handbook. Patience Burns has updated the Voluntary Bar Leaders Handbook to make it a quick reference for association managers and local bar leadership. Staff has affixed web links to make the document more real-time ready and a living resource for volunteers. The handbook is online at .

    In addition to the handbook, bar leaders can also find local lists, publications, update forms, view event calendar and submit activities and local bar achievements. It's the place to go for all the latest info on voluntary bars in Florida!


Platinum Inn Award presented for Outstanding Accomplishments

    The E. Robert Williams Inn of Court has received the Platinum Distinction Achieving Excellence Award for its accomplishments for the prior year. The honor was presented at the Inns inaugural term 2014-15 banquet Sept. 30 at Epping Forest Yacht Club. Williams Inn of Court President Judge Ray Holley accepted the award on behalf of the group. Only 17 percent of the Inns of Court in the United States are Platinum Inns. This distinction marked the second year the Inn received this designation.

    Judge Stephanie Ray of the 1st District Court of Appeal presented the keynote address titled “The Cut to Hecuba — A Judge’s Perspective.” The theme for her presentation derives from the practice of shortening performances of “Hamlet” by cutting the long speeches in the first act and going straight to the reference to Hecuba in Act II, when the action in “Hamlet” takes off.

    Drawing on this analogy, Ray encouraged appellate advocates in workers’ compensation cases to avoid flowery rhetoric, biased gloss and pugilism in the presentation of their cases. Instead, she advised that attorneys should serve as candid advisers to the court by squarely identifying and tackling the difficult legal questions at hand.

    The E. Robert Williams Inn of Court includes attorneys, judges, mediators and law students who are significantly involved in the Inn’s mission, which is to promote professionalism, provide tutelage and mentoring to members while playing an active part in North Florida’s legal community.

    PHOTO: Judge Stephanie Ray of the 1st District Court of Appeal was the keynote speaker at the annual banquet. Also pictured are 1st District Court of Appeal Judge Scott Makar (left) and Williams Inn of Court President Judge Ray Holley.
Enduring Legacy - 1215-2015
Traveling Exhibit in
Duval County

    The Chester Bedell Inn of Court has secured a contract with the ABA and Library of Congress to host their traveling "Magna Carta: Enduring Legacy" exhibit for 10 days between Oct. 27 and Nov. 7, 2014. 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’ rare book collections.    The traveling exhibit was curated by the Law Library of Congress with the goal being to make it interesting and accessible to a wide range of people, including judges, lawyers, educators, students and lay people. The exhibit will be on display at the Duval County Courthouse during normal operating hours.
    Enduring Legacy, 1215-2015 Brochure

    To discuss hosting the exhibit in your community, please contact the Standing Committee at

    PHOTO: The Chester Bedell Inn of Court President, the Honorable Thomas M. Beverly, giving remarks at the October 28, 2014 opening ceremony of the Magna Carta Exhibit at the Duval County Courthouse.  

Martin County Bar Association
helps stock the shelves
for Treasure Coast Food Bank

    On Saturday, September 20, 2014, more than 50 local
    attorneys, judges, friends, and business sponsor TD Bank met at Hurricane’s Grill & Wings in Palm City to cheer for their team (UF vs. Alabama) and to collect food for the Treasure Coast Food Bank. More than 200 nonperishable collected food items help stock the shelves.

    Treasure Coast Food Bank, along with other food banks in the Feeding America network, promoted Hunger Action Month in September by holding events throughout the country to inspire people to take action to help the 50 million people who are food insecure in the United States. For more information, visit
    PHOTO: MCBA President Jennifer Alcorta Waters, daughter Genevieve; TD Bank’s Rachel Hough & Niki Hibbs; MCBA Executive Director, Michelle Katzman

Check out the new website @ Lee County Bar Association

    The Lee County Bar Association has unveiled a new website brimming with enhanced benefits for members of the organization, as well as for the general public and community. The LCBA partnered with CONRIC PR & Marketing | Publishing to build a new site that promotes the organization’s focus on professionalism while providing functionality and features to help individuals in the community find an attorney and legal representation they need.

    General information about the LCBA, its benefits and programs are online at, along with useful links, reference materials, a Job Bank, photo gallery, staff directory, news, committee and practice section information and a host of other features. Lee County Bar President John Agnew said, “With the new website, the LCBA was able to check off every item on our wish list. The clean design imparts an image that matches this organization's commitment to professionalism. The functionality helps all members take advantage of their many benefits. Finally, the website - and particularly its member directory - serves as a bridge between the community and the legal services its citizens need. We consider it an important investment in the future."
Palm Beach County Bar Association holds Thanksgiving
Book & Bear Drive

    Tis the season for donating! The Lawyers for Literacy Committee of the Palm Beach County Bar Association are seeking donors of a new Children's Book and a new Teddy Bear benefitting the Guardian Ad Litem program for the 15th Judicial Circuit.

    Don't have time to shop? That's Ok! The group is also accepting checks for $50 and will buy the book and bear for you! Or, if you just want to donate, you can send a check to help with food, entertainment and gifts. Books are needed for all ages through high school, Please write on the check if you would like to buy bears, books or food.

    Please donate no later than Nov. 1 to:
    Palm Beach County Bar Association
    c/o National Adoption Day
    1507 Belvedere Road
    West Palm Beach, FL 33406
Leadership Law program provides behind-the-scene look at legal system

    The Orange County Bar Association (OCBA) is now enrolling participants in its award-winning Leadership Law program.  The five-month program meets once a month from January through May 2015.
    Now in its fourth year, Leadership Law, recipient of the National Association of Bar Executives’ 2012 LexisNexis Community Educational and Outreach Award, is a unique educational experience developed specifically to provide business leaders and interested citizens a first-hand look at how the legal system works and how the law affects our everyday lives.
    In addition to interactive, seminar-style classes led by some of Central Florida's most well-respected judges and highly regarded attorneys, Leadership Law includes exclusive tours of the Orange County Courthouse, the federal courthouse, the juvenile justice center, and, by special invitation, the Medical Examiner's office.  Among many topics, participants hear about civil and criminal law, get updates on employment and bankruptcy issues, and learn about procedures in small claims and traffic courts.  Class members often have the opportunity to see a jury trial, hear witness impact statements, and learn about alternative dispute resolution as a means of settling legal matters. 
    Leadership Law 2015 is now enrolling participants for classes that begin January 23, 2015.  Classes meet at the Orange County Bar center in downtown Orlando.  Transportation to all off-site locations is provided, and networking breakfasts, lunches, and afternoon receptions are held at each class meeting.
    The program fee is $495 for enrollment by December 12, 2014.  For more information or to enroll, visit the OCBA website at, or contact Amanda Nethero, marketing and sponsorship coordinator, at 407-422-4551, ext. 244.  
Bicycling in the
Everglades National Park

    The Dade County Bar Association YLS Sports Committee invites you to a great family outing to be active and to witness nature up close. Join the group for a bike ride at Shark Valley entrance to Everglades National Park on November 8, 2014 from 8:30 am – 1:00 pm. Bring your own bike OR Rent one for $8.50/HOUR (plan on 2-3 hours to complete the loop)
    *Kids under 16 years old must wear a helmet.

    Car fee: $10.00/vehicle to enter park

    Allow 30-45 minutes to get to the park from the Florida Turnpike

    The Shark Valley entrance of Everglades National Park
    36000 Southwest 8th Street
    Everglades National Park, Miami, FL 33194

    More Information at

Voluntary Bar Liaison Committee
sets plan in motion
for 2015

Ileana Cruz, Chair
    The Florida Bar Voluntary Bar Liaison Committee met in Tampa on Oct. 16 to address several important agenda items for the coming year. Led by Chair Ileana Cruz, the committee discussed the following:

    • Voluntary Bar Leaders Conference 2015 - Eau Palm Beach was selected as the site for the conference and July 10-11 was chosen for the date. In addition to the program, the subcommittee is working on enhancing sponsorships and networking opportunities for the participants.
    • Lawyer Referral Information Services - John Kynes is heading up the lawyer referral service conference to be held in conjunction with Winter Meeting in Orlando, January 2015.
    • Diversity & Inclusion -Voluntary bar associations are being encouraged to establish a general email address that can be used for electronic communications..
    • LinkedIn - A closed group is set up for voluntary bar presidents, executives and members of the Voluntary Bar Liaison Committee. The purpose of the group is to share information on association management ideas and voluntary bar related topics.
    • Lawyer Feedback - A subcommittee was developed in support of President-elect Ray Abadin’s vision for enhancing member engagement. The subcommittee will help facilitate lawyer feedback to get more input from bar members.

    The next committee meeting will be scheduled for Jan. 23, 2015 at the Bar’s Winter Meeting in Orlando.

The Florida Bar is accepting nominations for its 2015 Pro Bono Service Awards
    Please visit The Florida Bar website for information on nominating lawyers, judges, and legal groups for these prestigious pro bono service awards. The nominations deadline is Nov. 12, 2014.

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.
Like Us!

Discover the latest news and events on the ABA Magna Carta Commemoration by following on Facebook! Like the page, add your insights, and receive updates on new information every week!

#    #    #


[Revised: 10-31-2014]