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September 1, 2016

Deadline is September 6

Important for lawyers to participate in Merit Retention poll

The Vote's in Your Court art logo
In the Nov. 8 general election, three Florida Supreme Court justices and 28 judges in Florida’s five District Courts of Appeal will face a merit retention vote.

As part of The Florida Bar’s efforts to educate voters on this important aspect of the state’s judicial system, the Bar has mailed a ballot to all lawyers residing and practicing in Florida, asking whether the incumbent justices and appeals court judges should be retained.

The deadline for lawyers to submit their ballots is Sept. 6, and results of the poll will be published in mid-September.

A press release includes the names of those facing a merit retention vote this year and biographical information on each is listed on “The Vote’s in Your Court” web page. The page also includes the “Guide for Florida Voters,” an informative brochure about judicial elections. The guide, available in English and Spanish, answers 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? To receive printed copies of the “Guide for Florida Voters,” email
Law Week 2017 theme announced

Transforming Democracty Law Week logo art

The 2017 theme of Law Week provides the opportunity to explore the many ways that the Fourteenth Amendment has reshaped American law and society. Through its Citizenship, Due Process and Equal Protection clauses, this transformative amendment advanced the rights of all Americans. It also played a pivotal role in extending the reach of the Bill of Rights to the states. Ratified during Reconstruction a century and a half ago, the Fourteenth Amendment serves as the cornerstone of landmark civil rights legislation, the foundation for numerous federal court decisions protecting fundamental rights, and a source of inspiration for all those who advocate for equal justice under law.

What is Law Day?
Law Day is held on May 1st every year to celebrate the role of law in our society and to cultivate a deeper understanding of the legal profession. Learn more about the history of Law Day and past themes here.
How can I receive updates about Law Day 2017?
Click here to sign up for updates and announcements as we gear up for the 2017 Law Day theme. Be the first to know when Law Day planning guides, teaching resources, products and other useful items become available.
Where can I find Law Day products?
Law Day products are available in the ABA Webstore. Shop while supplies last. Sign up for updates to learn more about product availability.


Register for complimentary Benchmarks training session at Fall Meeting!
    Constitution Revision Commission art logo
Benchmarks: Raising the Bar on Civics Education is a Florida Bar program to give adults a refresher course on civics so they can better understand how government works, particularly the judiciary. At The Florida Bar Fall Meeting at the Tampa Airport Marriott, the Benchmarks training seminar on Friday, Oct. 21, from 9 to 10:30 a.m., will focus on the upcoming Constitution Revision Commission. Every 20 years in Florida, a specially appointed commission holds public hearings and then puts directly on the ballot proposed constitutional amendments for voters to consider. After attending the session, attorneys will be able to take the “Every 20 Years” presentation to civic groups in their communities.

Benchmarks sessions are fun as well as informative – and this one will be co-led by nationally recognized civics educator Annette Pitts, executive director of the Florida Law Related Education Association. Attorneys can receive CLE credit for making Benchmarks presentations: 1 ethics credit hour for each presentation for up to three presentations in a three-year reporting period. The seminar, presented by the Constitutional Judiciary Committee, is at the intermediate level and offers 1.5 Hours General Credit and .5 Ethics. Course No. 1967. Register by emailing: Questions: (850) 561- 5669.
Louisiana can use a helping hand

Louisiana state art
The severe and deadly flooding in Louisiana is the worst natural disaster in the United States since Superstorm Sandy in 2012. For the survivors, thousands of them have been left with nothing, and need our help. Students are in great need of supplies for the new school year.

Here’s how you can help:

Trial Lawyers Care, a program of the American Association of Justice - - has created school supply lists for three different age groups—elementary, middle school, and high school—based on requests from affected parish schools. You can either download the supply list and shop locally and mail; or follow the  link below to Amazon school lists pre-populated with the supplies.

Trial Lawyers Care links to help Louisiana.


OCBA welcomes ABA President Linda Klein

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American Bar Association President Linda Klein shared exciting new programs being launch by the ABA including a major effort to mobilize lawyers to enhance legal services for the nation’s veterans. 
A red and white night for a great cause

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Barrister's Bash 2017 was hosted on Aug. 25 by the Palm Beach County Justice Association. The annual charitable fundraiser invites members and guests to don their red and white apparel to support the 211 HelpLine. Financial support, generated through tips to celebrity (local attorney) bartenders and sponsors, is used to help 211 continue its mission to assist callers with crisis intervention, suicide prevention, information, assessment and referral to community services.
Women lawyers sponsor lactation lounge

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A dedicated private space for breastfeeding mothers is a reality, thanks to the partnership of the Miami-Dade County Clerk of Courts, county building personnel, judges and members of the Florida Association of Women Lawyers. The idea behind the space in the Miami-Dade County courthouse is to make it easier for women lawyers to balance family and work. Furnishings for the lactation lounge were provided by Miami-Dade FAWL.
Voices for victims of human trafficking

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Hispanic Bar Association of Central Florida with the Orange County Bar Foundation provided an update on the serious problem of human trafficking at the August luncheon. Florida Congressman John Mica, who attended the event, is shown here with Ani Rodriguez Newbern, vice chair of the OCB Foundation.
Salsa, soul and sass for a good cause

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Voluntary Bar leaders in Tampa area gathered on July 20 to raise money for Crossroads for Kids. Tampa Hispanic Bar Association, Hillsborough Association for Women Lawyers, Pinellas FAWL and others joined hands and hearts to help foster children.
Broward Bar video member messages

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What is happening at the Broward County Bar Association! A simple video message on YouTube lets members know what to expect each month. Check out the August info at this link.

The Broward County Bar Association has a new legal radio show. The show highlights in-depth discussions with attorney members of the Broward County Bar Association. It debuted on Monday, Aug. 29 on WSBR 740 AM and 96.9 FM.
Packing back-to-school bags in Orange County

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The Young Lawyers Section of the Orange County Bar Association visited A Gift for Teaching recently, to help 163 children receive school supplies as they head off to school this year!
Meet the Candidates event for Asian Pacific American Bar

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'Tis the campaign season and the Asian Pacific American Bar Association is among the many voluntary bars hosting Meet the Candidates and Judiciary events.

Going for the goals in Palm Beach

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Palm Beach County Bar Association assembled its 27 committee chairs on August 19 to set in motion a gold medal year. Led by PCBCA president John Whittles, the team skillfully set the course for programming, networking, community service and great events for the 3,000 local members.

Back-to-School Supply Drive in Palm Beach County

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For members of the South Palm Beach County Bar Association YLS, back-to-school is a chance to get together and help a school in need. The group hosted a Happy Hour to benefit Pine Grove Elementary School, and it was a success.
2016 State Attorney Candidate Debate
and Public Defender Q&A

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The Jacksonville Bar Association hosted the State Attorney candidates for a public forum on July 20.

Hob Nob brings candidates together in Orlando

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Central Florida Association of Women Lawyers hosted its first Hob Nob, providing exhibit space and time to chat with candidates on the campaign trail. The evening also provided a chance to vote in a straw poll managed by the Orange County Supervisor of Elections. The hardworking women who made the evening possible were Celeste Thacker, Amanda Perry Carl, Megan Lattz Malec and Kimberly Hosley Ageeat.

Planning retreat in Gainesville

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A successful retreat at Austin Cary Forest is one of the first accomplishments for new officers and board members in the Eighth Judicial Circuit Bar Association. The main topic was a focus on EJCBA goals of improving access to justice in the circuit.
Pasco brews trivia with a legal twist

Men and women seated at tables
A lot of brainstorming was brewing in Pasco County on Aug. 24 when three local voluntary bars took the legal trivia challenge. East Pasco Bar, West Pasco Bar and Women Lawyers of Pasco all came together at Big Storm Brewing to put their legal minds to the test. After sampling some of the most creative craft beers in the industry, the three groups came to one mind-blowing conclusion - the world is run by those who show up!
Dominican Heritage Night in Miami

five people seated at ballgame
The Dominican American Bar Association took a team of its own to Marlins Park on Aug. 12 for Dominican Heritage Night. Cheering on the Marlins was a fun family affair on a warm summer evening in Miami.
Judicial honors in Miami

The Miami Dade Trial Lawyers Association recently hosted its Annual Judicial Reception to honor the Miami-Dade County judiciary. The reception took place at the History Miami’s North Mural Gallery on Aug. 25.

Shannon Del Prado, President of the Miami Dade Trial Lawyers Association, presented The Honorable Judge Robert J. Luck with the 2016 Justice Harry Lee Anstead Award for his outstanding public service and work in the judiciary.

Many other judges attended the reception including Joseph Farina, ​Retired Chief Judge of the 11th Judicial Circuit, Judge Robert Luck​, Judge Jason E. Bloch, ​Judge Bertila Soto, Judge ​Stanford Blake, ​Judge ​Miguel de la O, ​and Judge ​Carroll Kelly.
A special installation in Broward

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Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Jorge Labarga joined Broward Women Lawyers as the keynote speaker for the group's officer and board of director installation!
Ready to strut for breast cancer patients

Seven women standing
Broward Women Lawyers kicked off its Glam-A-Thon Strut at a Happy Hour on Aug. 10 to raise funds for local breast cancer patients. The Glam-A-THON is billed as the sassiest charity strut to hit the streets of South Florida and provides medical care for under-insured women undergoing breast cancer treatment. This year is the 10th annual event benefitting the Broward Health Foundation.

Painting and planning in Palm Beach

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It started with a blank canvas. While painting a souvenir glass between the wines, Palm Beach County FAWL board of directors crafted a masterpiece strategic plan for a terrific year. Uptown Art offered a new social experience, giving the new slate of leaders a retreat to remember!
Santa in the summer

Boy getting a gift from Santa
Santa paid a special visit to the foster families of the Children’s Network of Southwest Florida for the Holidays in July celebration. Hosted by the Lee County Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Division, about 40 foster kids enjoyed the visit from Santa, along with presents and holiday treats, songs and games at the Imaginarium Science Center in Fort Myers.

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[Revised: 08-30-2016]