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This electronic digest of voluntary bar news is dedicated to the interaction of local, special interest and substantive bar associations. It will serve as a forum to share information and highlight the many activities of the voluntary bar associations of The Florida Bar and will be published at least once a month or as needed. You can view past and current issues by going to the bar's website, Submit articles, pictures or general comments to Jeff Doran, the Bar-to-Bar E-news editor and your voluntary bar liaison, or 651 E. Jefferson Street, Tallahassee, FL 32399-2300. Photos sent by e-mail should come in jpg and gif format.

November 4, 2013, Issue 73
Dear Voluntary Bar Leaders:
It is with both pleasure and sadness that I announce to you that I will no longer serve as Voluntary Bar Liaison. As I close this valued chapter of my career at The Florida Bar, I will be opening a new one as the Research, Planning & Evaluation Specialist in the Research, Planning & Evaluation Department, here at The Florida Bar. I have truly enjoyed working with the many voluntary bar leaders and staff throughout the state. My experience has been extremely valuable and humbling, as I have learned so much as your liaison. I am much honored to have worked with the best of the best in dedicated bar leadership. I am grateful for the assistance many of you have offered, as it has helped me to grow professionally and personally.

The work of the voluntary bar associations and their relationship with The Florida Bar is highly valued and a staff person is provided to assist in your efforts to provide excellent service to your members and the community. Although the position of Voluntary Bar Liaison has not yet been filled, Francine A. Walker, Director of Public Information and Bar Services, and Emilie Rietow, Public Information Coordinator, will be serving as your contacts in the interim. Francine can be reached at or by phone at (850) 561-5762 and Emilie can be reached at or by phone (850) 561-5773.

Thank you for all your hard work during my tenure and helping to make this voluntary bar program as successful as it is.
Maria Simmons Johnson

What’s Going on Around the Bars. . .

OCBA provides free legal aid – The Osceola County Bar Association officially opened the Legal Aid Society of Osceola County (LASO) program on Friday, Oct.11. The program is run by attorneys who work pro bono and will help Osceola County residents navigate through the legal system. For now, they will offer services in family law, covering divorces and parental cases. But once the association can gather more attorneys, it plans to expand its services to veteran and juvenile law. The office is inside the Community Legal Services of Mid-Florida office in Kissimmee. The Legal Aid Society of Osceola County began a year ago with a group of attorneys wanting to provide their services to low-income residents in the county. From there, the groups found ways to get the equipment, space and approval to operate as a legal aid society. For more information on this new program: .

South Florida Chapter of FBA to host seminar – On Nov. 7, as part of its new Women Lawyers Initiative, the South Florida Chapter of the Federal Bar Association will host a special lunchtime CLE seminar on Social Media and the Courtroom. Criminal defense lawyer David O. Markus, civil litigator and former judge Mary Barzee Flores, Assistant U.S. Attorney Barbara Martinez, and Assistant Federal Public Defender Sowmya Bharathi will discuss evidentiary issues surrounding the use of social media in trial and hearings, and relate practice pointers regarding the effective use of social media in the courtroom. The seminar is free to Federal Bar Association members and $10 for non-members. For more information:

TJRBA president-elect encourages young lawyers to get involved – In a recent business section feature in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Terrance Hill, president-elect of the T.J. Reddick Bar Association, discussed TJRBA which was established in 1982 as the first minority Bar association in Broward County to promote professionalism and assure that ethical standards of the law are upheld. Hill notes the importance of the organization, saying "it fills a major void by offering mentorship for young minority lawyers. It focuses on representing those who typically do not have much of a voice in the community and those who cannot speak for themselves, and is the only minority bar association in Broward County." His advice to young professionals is to "get involved by making yourself available and ready to perform any task required."

St. Pete and Clearwater Bar Associations to host Bench and Bar Conference – The St. Petersburg and Clearwater Bar Associations will present the 2013 Bench and Bar Conference on Friday, Nov. 15, from Noon to 6 p.m. with a bonus CLE Session from 10:45 a.m. to noon at Stetson University College of Law in Gulfport. The registration cost is $100 for members of St. Pete, Clearwater and West Pasco Bar associations; $200 for non-member attorneys and $50 for judges government attorneys and staff. Registration includes 4.5 hours CLE credit (including CJE and 1 hour ethic credit), bar-b-que buffet, materials and happy hour following the conference. The Bench Bar Conference is an opportunity for attorneys to interact with the judges and lawyers of the 6th Judicial Circuit. For more information and to register, visit

PBCBA Committee host drive to support reading – The Lawyers for Literacy Committee of the Palm Beach County Bar Association showed its thanks this season by hosting a Bear a Book Drive to benefit the 15th Judicial Circuit Guardian ad Litem Program. The bears and books will be given to newly adopted children as part of National Adoption Day. For more information, contact the Lawyers for Literacy Committee Chair, Abigail F. Jorandby at (561) 586-7116.

Delegation from French sister city visits Tampa – On Tuesday, Oct. 22, Tampa hosted its delegation from its French sister city, Le Havre on the north coast of France. The visitors were mostly lawyers, guests of the Hillsborough County Bar Association. They spent the day in the county's courts learning about the American judicial system. City Councilman Harry Cohen said the sister city program is a way to bridge the distance between countries and cultures, taking advantage of other people's creativity. Tampa and Le Havre has been sister cities since 1993 and the Hillsborough County Bar Association sent a delegation to Le Havre last year. For more information:

Joint resolution of South Florida VBAs regarding Lawyer Civility – South Florida voluntary bar associations have resolved to work together to actively promote the Oath of Civility and adherence to accepted standards of professional courtesy across the South Florida voluntary bar associations’ respective counties. The South Florida voluntary bar associations will jointly promote the Oath through a series of articles, seminars, membership lunches, press releases, and correspondence directed to members and non-members of the South Florida voluntary bar associations. For more information on the joint resolution, contact Anna Marie Hernandez, Treasurer, Cuban American Bar Association and Co-chair of the Joint Civility Project at (305) 789-7467.

The Florida Bar

Special Appointments to be filled – The deadline for December Special Appointments is Nov. 7 and the deadline for January Special Appointments is Dec. 13. Access the Special Appointments application from The Florida Bar website.

2014 Pro Bono Service Awards – The 2014 Pro Bono Service Awards nominations are due by Nov. 12. The awards ceremony will be held at the Florida Supreme Court at 3:30 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014.

The Florida Bar Winter Meeting – Make plans to attend your section or committee meetings during The Florida Bar’s Winter Meeting to be held to be held Jan. 22-25, 2014, at the Hilton Orlando in Lake Buena Vista.

Social Media – Follow the activities of The Florida Bar President on Facebook and Twitter including the president's schedule, attendance at activities on behalf of the Bar, and recent articles and announcements. Like The Florida Bar Facebook page and follow on Twitter.


ABA Midyear Meeting – The American Bar Association’s 2014 Midyear Meeting will be held at the Hyatt Regency in Chicago, IL, Feb. 5-11, 2014. The Midyear Meeting brings together more than 3,000 ABA members and their families. In addition to the House of Delegates convening at the Midyear Meeting to review recommendations submitted by various members and entities of the Association, many Section and Association committees will also meet to plan new activities and programs. The Midyear Meeting also hosts the Nominating Committee of the House of Delegates, which nominates the Association’s Officers and members of the Board of Governors. The Fellows of the American Bar Foundation also holds its Annual Meeting during the ABA’s Midyear Meeting. For more information, visit

2014 ABA BLI – The 2014 American Bar Association Bar Leadership Institute will be held March, 12-14, 2014. Registration will open in mid-November 2013.

In Other Legal News

NOVA Southeastern University in search of new dean – Athornia Steele, dean of the Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad Law Center, stepped down last month after exactly five years in the position. Steele, Nova's first black law school dean, will take a one-year sabbatical before returning as a law professor at Nova. Nova appointed Elena Langan, former associate dean of academic affairs, as interim dean effective Sept. 17. A nine-member national search committee has been appointed to find a replacement.

10th Annual Minority Mentoring picnic to be held Nov. 9 – The 10th Annual Minority Mentoring Picnic will take place on Sat., Nov. 9, 2013. Law students from all over the state — and even some from out of state — gather at noon at Amelia Earhart Park, at 401 East 65 St., Hialeah, hoping to receive advice from lawyers and judges while they work to get their law degrees and enter the legal profession. The picnic’s creator, Miami lawyer John Kozyak, grew up in a totally segregated community and was in high school when the 1964 civil rights legislation was implemented, sparking his longtime commitment to creating opportunities for minority students. The Kozyak Minority Mentoring Foundation is gearing up to fund four $5,000 scholarships so that minority students can intern for a judge or work for a nonprofit next summer. Along with the mentoring, there will be music and food galore. For more information and to R.S.V.P. for the picnic, go to

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Jeff Doran
Voluntary Bar Liaison
The Florida Bar

[Revised: 12-20-2013]