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February 3, 2016

Plan it fore-ward.

Make your hotel reservations now for the 2016 Voluntary Bar Leaders Conference.

A contracted rate of $159 is secured for the resort view room. 
There is an additional cost to guarantee bedding:
$20 for guaranteed king beds
$30 to guarantee double beds

$159 Voluntary Bar Leaders Conference - Resort View Run of House

$179 Voluntary Bar Leaders Conference - Resort View King

$ 189 Voluntary Bar Leaders Conference - Resort View Double

Guests can also call the regional reservations office at 888-856-2164.

    The Florida Bar honors Mr. Harkness

    Jan. 28 was Jack Harkness Day at The Florida Bar. The occasion was to name The Florida Bar headquarters building, annex and grounds in Tallahassee, The John F. Harkness, Jr. Complex. The sign was unveiled, Bar dignitaries spoke and everyone enjoyed a casual lunch.

    Hundreds of people attended the special dedication, including Patience Burns, executive director of the Palm Beach County Bar Association; Karen France, executive director of the Clearwater Bar Association; and Jan Jung, former executive director of the Sarasota County Bar Association.

    Mr. Harkness has served the Bar in the top post for more than 36 years. A special thanks from all the Voluntary Bar Associations to Mr. H for his steadfast support of the Voluntary Bar Leaders Conference and the Voluntary Bar Liaison Committee. We appreciate you!

    Karen France to retire

    The Clearwater Bar Association and the Clearwater Bar Foundation are losing a legend. Karen France, the organization's executive director for the past 18 years, is retiring. When reflecting on her time there, Karen said, "its been a fantastic time and I wouldn't trade it for anything. I am so appreciative of the opportunity I've had to work with so many incredible people and to help implement giving back into the practice of law."

    In addition to her members, Karen also wants to thank her other executive directors across the state who have all shared their knowledge in running local bar associations. "This group calls themselves the ATOBEs. or "All the Other Bar Executives."

    Thanks, Karen, from all your voluntary bar colleagues. We all learned from you and laughed with you!
    Hinda Carbon, former executive director of Virgin Islands Bar Association has been selected to succeed France. She will be introduced in the next issue of Bar-to-Bar E-News.
    Eighth Judicial Circuit Voluntary Bar Association recognized with special Pro Bono Award

    Photos from the 2016 Pro Bono Awards ceremony are now posted on Flickr:

    Click here for The Pro Bono page

    To download a high-resolution version of a photo, you will need to log in with a Flickr or Yahoo! Account.
    The Eighth Judicial Circuit Bar Association is the recipient of the 2016 Voluntary Bar Association Pro Bono Award. The award, which recognizes a Florida voluntary bar that has demonstrated a significant contribution in the delivery of legal services to individuals or groups on a pro bono basis, was presented by Chief Justice Jorge Labarga in a Jan. 28 ceremony at the Supreme Court of Florida.

    For a small, rural bar, the Eighth Judicial Circuit Bar Association does amazing things.

    • It actively supports Three Rivers Legal Services, and offers support for Southern Legal Counsel, which is committed to the ideal of equal justice and basic human and civil rights.
    • It has taken on several significant projects, two addressing the issue of homelessness. Pitch in for the Kitchen raised more than $20,000 to rebuild the kitchen at Grace Marketplace, which offers services and shelter to people who are homeless in the Gainesville area. it's Ask-A-Lawyer program gives attorneys place to volunteer their time to help people with a range of issues that can be a barrier to housing.
    • The EJCBA also has a Law in the Library program, with 15 to 40 people attending seminars on various legal topics. Almost 30 lawyers have taken part during the program’s four years of existence.
    • A holiday project, Gifts for Head Start Children, provides a party (with Santa) and gifts to children.
    Bruce Blackwell receives states highest Pro Bono award

    Attorney Bruce B. Blackwell of Winter Park, a founding partner of King, Blackwell, Zehnder & Wermuth, P.A., in Orlando and now CEO/executive director of The Florida Bar Foundation, was presented with the 2016 Tobias Simon Pro Bono Service Award at a Jan. 28 ceremony at the Supreme Court of Florida.

    The award, the highest statewide pro bono award, commemorates the late Miami lawyer Tobias Simon, who was a tireless civil rights attorney, a crusader for prison reform and an appellate authority.

    For Blackwell, more than 40 years of pro bono service has meant not just the direct representation of clients but also recruiting others to provide pro bono representation and lobbying to strengthen and preserve the network of legal aid organizations serving the poor. In 2014, Blackwell showed his commitment to service by retiring from the firm he helped to found and becoming only the second CEO/executive director in the history of The Florida Bar Foundation. Blackwell was interim director for three months and then, when asked, took the full-time position. He became CEO at a difficult time, as low interest rates depleted the Foundation’s reserves at the very time that access to justice was becoming such a crucial issue in Florida.

    “This was a call I just had to answer, as the Foundation is simply too important,” Blackwell said.

    Beyond his work with the Foundation, Blackwell has donated thousands of hours of direct pro bono services.

    A fifth-generation Floridian, Blackwell graduated from Florida State University College of Law.

    Virtual Career Fair offered in March
    The Florida Bar Practice Resource Institute, in partnership with YourMembership, will host a virtual career fair on Thursday March 31, from noon-3 p.m. EDT. The event lets legal professionals network with multiple employers from the comfort of their homes or offices, all within one afternoon. Professionals looking for career opportunities will be able to chat online with top employers looking to hire lawyers in different specialties.

    “The Florida Bar Virtual Career Fair is a very dynamic and proactive way to introduce candidates with strong skill sets directly to potential employers who are looking to fill open positions,” said Jonathon Israel, director of The Florida Bar Practice Resource Institute. “By using an online platform, The Florida Bar Virtual Career Fair makes it very easy for hiring companies and job seekers to connect from anywhere.”

    The virtual platform makes it easy to register, upload a resume and learn about participating employers before the event. On the day of the event, participants can log in from anywhere and interact one-on-one with employers through online interviews. After the event, participants can log in to facilitate follow-ups.

    To register, go to:
The Henry Latimer Center for Professionalism is now accepting nominations for the:

    Chili Wars on for hot night in Tallahassee

    Award winner included:

    Best Margarita: Equels Law Firm – Stan and Booter’s Wild Bunch
    Best 5-Alarm: Hopping Green and Sams – Jedi Spice
    Most Unusual Ingredient: Florida Coastal Law School Alumni Association – The Backfires
    Best Be-decked: The First DCA - TAJ-Ma-Hots
    People’s Choice: DOAH – A League of Justice
    Taste buds were awakened at the Tallahassee Bar Association's 20th Annual Chili Cook-Off, held Jan. 27 in Tallahassee. Chili and Margarita concoctions were shared by local bar members as 15 teams competed for five coveted awards.

    Stan Chapman, fellow voluntary bar liaison committee member, and the Equels Law Firm team took home first prize in the Margarita Contest. The "Canned Coon" freshly squeezed tequila treat wowed the judges and the crowd.

    Thanks to the sponsors, teams and attendees including TFB BOG, FBF Staff, TFB Staff and Judiciary for making the memorable night happen!

    Young lawyers in Clearwater give special kids a special time
    Clearwater Bar Association YLD hosted more than 280 underprivileged children and their familes at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium!

    Jacksonville "Wellness" platform gets national attention

    Giselle Carson, President of Jacksonville Bar Association recently presented her health and wellness platform with the Council of Bar Presidents. Carson shared the JBA meet and talk, yoga on the courthouse lawn and steps she has taken in her year as president to make health and wellness a priority with her members. Carson made her presentation to attendees at the CBPA 2016 Midyear Meeting in San Diego.
    Thirteen teams participate in Collier County Bar Foundation Mock Trial Competition

    The Collier County Bar Foundation, in conjunction with the Collier County School District and Court Administration for the 20th Judicial Circuit, hosted its annual Collier County mock trial competition, Jan. 29-30.

    In addition to the 19 teams of high school students, the cyber bullying case drew 91 attorney and judge volunteers; 45 National Honor Society students from Palmetto Ridge High School who acted as timekeepers and clerks; lawyers and judges who acted as presiding and scoring judges; and teachers and other lawyers who had been coaching and practicing with the teams since October 2015.

    Team Kagan from Gulf Coast High School won the competition and Team Scalia from the Community School of Naples came in second place. Team Kagan will head to the circuit competition on Febr.19-20, which will be held at the Collier County Courthouse.

    Service is what women do in GSCBWLA mentoring program

    For the members of Gwen S. Cherry Black Women Lawyers Association, service tops the list in 2016. The Lillie C. Evans Mentorship Program is in full swing in the new year.

    New minimum standards for felony cases a focus of Jacksonville Bar Association

    Effective May 16, the Florida Supreme Court mandated new minimum standards prescribed for attorneys handling felony cases under Rule 3.133.  Before any attorney may participate as counsel of record in the circuit court for adult felony cases including post-conviction proceedings, the attorney must first complete a 100-minute course approved by The Florida Bar covering the legal and ethical Rule 3.220 discovery obligations in a criminal case and the principles established in Brady and Giglio.  The Jacksonville Bar Association provided this course to its members at a January seminar.
    The mantra for Leadership Law being conducted in Orlando is meet, network and share ideas with attorneys in Central Florida. The five-section course, offered by the Orange County Bar Association, began on Jan. 22 with a session on Civic & Judicial Politics: How They Impact Business. The Leadership Law Series continues through May. For more information
    Judge Milton Hirsh presents The Ring of Gyges: Privacy and the Fourth Amendment in the Digital age at the Caribbean Bar Association General Body Meeting in Miami.

    Run Through History, a first for Young Lawyers in Palm Beach

    A cold, brisk morning didn't interfere the spirit of 130 runners who braved the chill for Palm Beach County Bar Association's YLS 5K race on Jan. 23. The inaugural race benefitted the Historical Society of Palm Beach.

    Diversity Membership Luncheon draws large crowd in Tampa

    Gen. Ann E. Dunwoody, the first female four-star general in the U.S. Army, spoke to a group of about 400 attorneys, judges and members of the military during the Hillsborough County Bar Association’s Diversity Membership Luncheon on Jan. 19. Gen. Dunwoody, who is now retired from the Army, inspired the crowd with her message of setting high standards and developing leadership skills.
    Happy Hour offers great comradarie
    in Jacksonville

    Another amazing Happy Hour sponsored by Prime Realty! Great networking, drinks, food and music! 2016 is off to a great start - thanks to Jacksonville Women Lawyers Association members and guests who joined in the event!
    Hispanic community offered new link to
    access the legal system

    The Hispanic Bar Association of Central Florida celebrated the unveiling of its “Conozca Sus Derechos” (“Know Your Rights”) website. The “Conozca Sus Derechos” Seminar Series Project is a community outreach project designed to educate the Hispanic community about a wide range of current legal topics as well as facilitate access to the legal system. The website is found at The project seeks to educate the Hispanic Community about its legal rights as well as facilitate access to the legal system.
    Aspire to Inspire program reaches
    young women in Miami

    Thanks to Life Coach Tia D. Rock and Licensed Mental Health Counselors Jorja Bailey and Katherine Wentworth for speaking to students at the Caribbean Bar Association’s Aspire to Inspire Program at Miami Dade College North Campus.
    Sarasota County Bar Association members
    tour the Sarasota Opera House

    Sarasota County Bar Association members got a behind-the-scenes glimpse on the set of "Aida" at Sarasota Opera. SCBA members had the opportunity to tour the Sarasota Opera House, including a visit to the private lounge and the chance to see the set of "Aida" up close. Members learned that opera can be an accessible art form with ticket prices as low as $19 and English subtitles projected around the stage.
    Young Broward lawyers recognized by peers

    The Young Lawyers Section of the Broward County Bar Association has been named the 2016 Affiliate of the Year in Florida. The group's charitable work, legal education and continued mission to better its community has been recognized by the leaders in the profession throughout the state.
    Holiday is a party for Citrus County Bar

    Citrus County Bar Association members had a great time at their annual holiday party at Vintage on Fifth in Crystal River!
    Florida women lawyers lobby lawmakers

    Palm Beach County Chapter of FAWL lobbying at State FAWL Lobby Days! This year's event was held in Tallahassee on Jan. 10-12.

    Great resources offered for May celebration

    In 2016, the nation marks the 50th anniversary of perhaps the nation’s best-known U.S. Supreme Court case, Miranda v. Arizona. The Miranda Warning has become ingrained in law enforcement and has permeated popular consciousness through countless recitations in films and television shows. Yet Miranda is only part of the story when it comes to the procedures for ensuring justice. The 2016 Law Day theme — Miranda: More than Words — will explore the procedural protections afforded to all of us by the U.S. Constitution, how these rights are safeguarded by the courts, and why the preservation of these principles is essential to our liberty.

    Check out the resources at the offical Law Day 2016 ABA site.

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[Revised: 02-09-2016]