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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.

December 20, 2013, Issue 74

Happy Holidays from The Florida Bar!

If you received this newsletter and are not the current president or executive director of a local bar association, please contact Emilie Rietow,, to update your records.


JBA - Thanks to mediators from the Alternative Dispute Resolution Section of the Jacksonville Bar Association, local low-income clients now have access to mediation services for their legal matters through the Pro Bono Mediation Project. After several months of successful planning, the project has hit the ground running with the implementation of its first mediations. The referral process has been effective and both JALA and the mediators are looking forward to reaching more clients with this pro bono service.

Jacksonville pro bono attorneys counseled nearly 40 people on more than 50 legal matters in one-on-one interviews during the Ask-A-Lawyer event on Dec. 7. The goals of the Ask-A-Lawyer program are to provide legal guidance and direction, as well as information on additional community resources for persons in need. Attendees may be referred to Jacksonville Area Legal Aid, The Jacksonville Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service, or to a community service agency. The event was possible thanks to the collaboration of the Jacksonville Bar Association, D.W. Perkins Bar Association, Hispanic Bar, Florida Coastal School of Law, Jacksonville Area Legal Aid and the City Council. For more information on both programs, visit the JBA's website.

HCBA's Ask-A-Lawyer Program - Attorneys from the Hillsborough County Bar Association’s Lawyer Referral & Information Service got up with the sun on Thursday, December 5, to take part in the monthly Ask-A-Lawyer morning segment on Fox 13 Tampa Bay. The segment, which runs from 7 to 9:30 a.m. the first Thursday of each month, features about 20 lawyers who earn pro bono hours while taking calls from the public on a variety of legal issues. The HCBA Lawyer Referral & Information Service is one of two ABA-accredited services of its kind in the state. About 115 HCBA members participate in the service. For information, call (813) 221-7780.

Tallahassee Bar Association - The Young Lawyers Section of the Tallahassee Bar Association held their 17th Annual Christmas in July event. At the event 43 local area foster children skated and enjoyed pizza and Dog Et Al hotdogs. Santa made an appearance and each child received a gift. The generous donations of the Tallahassee community continue to make Christmas in July an overwhelming success, and enabled the Young Lawyers Section to make a $1,000 donation to the Tallahassee Area Foster & Adoptive Parent Association. President Andrew Manko and board member Alyssa Cameron presented the donation to the association at its September meeting. For more information call (850)222-3292.

Lawyers, it’s O.K. to panic about a malpractice claim—at least at first. Advice on what to do next, like reviewing files and contacting your malpractice carrier, was part of the extensive information provided to lawyers at a Legal Malpractice Summit on November 5 in Tallahassee. The summit was a joint effort between Tallahassee Bar Association, Tallahassee Barristers Association and Tallahassee Women Lawyers to bring informative programming to the area's legal community. The program was sponsored by Florida Lawyers Mutual Insurance Company. For more information call (850)222-3292.

OCBA - The OCBA award-winning Leadership Law program is now accepting enrollment. The five-month program meets once a month from January through May 2014. Now in its third year, Leadership Law is a unique educational experience developed specifically to provide community leaders and interested citizens a behind-the-scenes 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 matters, 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. Classes, which begin on January 24, will be held at the OCBA center in downtown Orlando, meals, networking opportunities, and transportation to off-site locations will be provided. Enrollment ends on January 17. For more information or to enroll, visit the OCBA website at, or contact Chelsie Sloan, marketing and sponsorship coordinator, at 407-422-4551, ext. 244.

The OCBA will host E-Filing Portal Refresher seminars on January 13, 22, 28 at the OCBA Center, 880 N. Orange Ave., Orlando, FL 32801. The two-hour CLE seminars will be presented by Carolyn Weber, Senior Business Analyst and Trainer, Florida Court Clerks & Comptrollers. Topics to be covered include the Pending Queue, eService, 2nd DCA, Florida Supreme Court, Civil and Criminal. E-Filing is mandatory for all civil divisions and will be mandatory beginning February 1 for all criminal divisions. Attendees will have an opportunity to ask questions and learn some tips and tricks for e-filing. Fee: $10. To register, go to the OCBA online store at

The Tallahassee Chapter of the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers selected Matthew R. Willard as its President for 2014. This will be his second term. Over the course of 2013, the Chapter made several charitable donations, and enjoyed a 40% increase in membership.


Committee Appointments
The President-elect of The Florida Bar appoints Bar members to serve on standing committees. The committee preference form is online until Jan. 15. Appointments begin July 1, 2014.

Wm. Reece Smith, Jr. Leadership Academy - Applications are now available for the Leadership Academy Class II of Fellows.

JNC Vacancies - Two lawyer vacancies for each of the 26 JNCs due Feb. 10 and January Special Appointments to be filled - deadline Dec. 13.

FREE Benchmarks CLE Seminar - A seminar to teach attorneys how to make Benchmarks presentations to civic groups about concepts such as the rule of law will be held at The Florida Bar Winter Meeting on Friday, Jan. 24, from 3 to 5 p.m. Free registration. Contact:

CLE Credits from Historical Video Series – For voluntary bar associations looking to boost membership and provide members an excellent opportunity to interact while gaining CLE credits, the Henry Latimer Center for Professionalism has the answer. The Center offers more than 30 Historical Video Series (HVS) interviews, including Justice Barbara Pariente discussing changes she has seen in the practice of law during the course of her career and Judge Alan S. Gold discussing the importance of the daily practice of mindfulness and the significance of professionalism in the legal community, for $35 each. Each video covers a range of topics and is approved for one hour of Professionalism CLE. Voluntary bar associations can couple the video with a brown bag lunch and discussion as a great way to gain CLE credits. A full listing of videos and ordering instructions can be found on the Bar’s website.

Henry Latimer Center For Professionalism - The Florida Bar’s Standing Committee on Professionalism is now accepting nominations for its William M. Hoeveler Judicial Professionalism Award, its Group Professionalism Award, and the Law Faculty/Administrator Professionalism Award. The Hoeveler Judicial Award is for either a State or Federal judge "who best exemplifies strength of character, service, and competence as a jurist, lawyer, and public servant.” The purpose of the Group Professionalism Award is to find one organization that has an innovative program that can be implemented by other organizations to promote and encourage professionalism within the legal community. The Law Faculty/Administrator Award is intended to honor a faculty member or administrator who through teaching, scholarship, and service to the profession best supports or exemplifies the mission of the Standing Committee on Professionalism. The deadline for nominations and all supporting documents for the William M. Hoeveler Professionalism Judicial Award is February 1. The deadline for nomination packets for the Law Faculty/Administrator Professionalism Award and the Group Professionalism Award is February 14.

Developing a Mentoring Program? Is your voluntary bar association interested in creating a mentoring program? The Henry Latimer Center for Professionalism has created a Mentoring Toolbox that has all the essentials to make your program a success. The Mentoring Toolbox consists of a mentoring handbook, resource guide, PowerPoint presentation, and all necessary training materials. The Mentoring Toolbox is available upon request. If you or your organization are interested, please contact the Center at
The Florida Bar Henry Latimer Center for Professionalism’s Winter 2013 edition of The Professional is now available online.

Help raise awareness of an important funding source for your local legal aid - Local voluntary bar associations have been helping raise awareness of The Florida Bar Foundation’s support of local legal aid programs and of projects to improve the administration of justice. The Foundation is the only funder linking 31 legal aid programs in Florida to form a comprehensive, statewide legal services delivery system, and yet 43 percent of Florida Bar members say they are not aware of the Foundation, according to The Florida Bar’s 2011 Membership Opinion Survey. By publishing articles submitted by Foundation board members who are also members of the local Bar, bar associations can play a vital role in building awareness of the Foundation among their membership. If you would like to help educate Florida lawyers on the role of The Florida Bar Foundation in providing leadership and funding for justice in Florida, please contact Nancy Kinnally, the Foundation’s director of communications, at or (407) 960-7000. The Foundation wishes to thank the many bar associations who have supported its awareness effort already.

2014 Solo and Small Firm Conference - Online registration has opened for the January 2014 Solo and Small Firm Conference, "Back to the Future: Conquering the Technology Curve." The two-day conference features 11 presentations by eight tech experts – an excellent opportunity to learn about new technology developments and best practices that can benefit your bottom line. Participants earn 10 CLE credits, including one ethics credit. Ten scholarships are available from the Young Lawyers Division for attendees who are members of YLD and the GPSSF Section, and scholarships also are available for law students. "Conquering the Cloud" is Friday's theme, with presentations about tech purchasing, cloud computing ethics, paperless offices - and more. Meet professionals from your practice area during our popular networking luncheon and awards ceremony. Wind down to the amazing jazz sounds of Tampa Bay's La Lucha, named Best of the Bay 2013 for "Best Jazz Ensemble," while celebrating Florida Lawyers Mutual Insurance Company's 25th Anniversary. The program continues on Saturday with "Conquering the Practice," featuring practice management topics ranging from effective billing and hiring to a small firm guide to the Affordable Care Act. Don't miss this incredible educational and networking opportunity. View the conference webpage and brochure. Discounts are available for GPSSF section members, full-time law college faculty, paralegals and full-time law students.


The ABA’s 2014 Information Governance, Electronic Discovery and Digital Evidence National Institute will be at the Stetson University College of Law January 28-31.

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Jeff Doran
Voluntary Bar Liaison
The Florida Bar

[Revised: 02-19-2014]