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, www.FLABAR.org. Submit articles, pictures or general comments to Maria Simmons Johnson, the Bar-to-Bar E-news editor and your voluntary bar liaison, firstname.lastname@example.org or 651 E. Jefferson Street, Tallahassee, FL 32399-2300. Photos sent by e-mail should come in jpg and gif format.
December 2010, Issue 58
FYI. . .
Beginning January 1, 2011, all voluntary bar officer information will be retrieved from your main Florida Bar member profile using your member number. Non-lawyer officers who do not have a customer number will be issued one. We are no longer able to maintain a separate database for the voluntary bar associations and officers due to the size of the database and the requests to use multiple addresses. This change will improve the efficiency of our mailing and e-mail correspondence to you. We still need all bar associations to help us keep your officer information updated. View and update your contact information at www.floridabar.org.
WHAT'S GOING ON AROUND THE BAR. . .
On behalf of the Special Committee on Diversity and Inclusion, bar associations are encouraged to take advantage of the new Florida Bar diversity grants program. The first deadline for grant applications is Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2011. A total of $50,000 is available to award to voluntary bar associations with individual grants up to $1,500 and up to $3,000 to multiple voluntary bars working together on a project. Funding priority will be given to coalitions of local bar associations within circuits, districts or geographic regions of the state. Bar associations are limited to one application/project per year. The grant program supports initiatives and programs that encourage diversity, diversity training and dialogue among lawyers in Florida through financial support of conferences, seminars, summits and symposia planned and hosted by local and specialty bar associations. The voluntary bar grants packet is attached. Share this information with your bar associations and leadership. The application and additional instructions are available on The Florida Bar website at www.floridabar.org/voluntarybars.
Take advantage of this opportunity today!
NAWL Midyear Meeting to be held in Miami - The Miami-Dade Chapter of the Florida Association for Women Lawyers will co-sponsor the National Association for Women Lawyers Midyear Meeting, which will be held in Miami on Feb. 16-17, 2011. This year's event will focus on leadership. Complete with a poolside reception, judge's panel and awards luncheon, you will not want to miss the opportunity for CLE and networking. For more information, contact Kristy Johnson at email@example.com.
PB County Chapter of FAWL Membership Luncheon - The November Membership Luncheon of the Palm Beach County Chapter of the Florida Association for Women Lawyers was held on Thursday, Nov. 18, at the West Palm Beach Marriott and featured a panel discussion of the benefits and pitfalls of social media for lawyers, law firms and judges. The panelists included Terra Spero of Real Time Marketing Group; Ethan J. Wall, Esq. of Richman Greer, P.A.; and Carrie Hanna of Gunster.
DCBA Legal Line - The Dade County Bar Association Legal Line, a free legal advice monthly call-in program, continues on Jan. 5, 2011, from 6 to 9 p.m. Residents of South Florida are invited to call the Dade County Bar Association at (305) 371-2220 inside Dade County or (888) 596-0399 outside Dade County where volunteer attorneys will answer simple legal questions, give brief legal advice or refer the call to the appropriate social service agency for further assistance. For more information or to volunteer, contact the Dade County Bar Association at (305) 371-2220.
BCBA reception a success - The Legislative Affairs Committee of the Broward County Bar Association recently held a reception for its local state legislators in Fort Lauderdale to strengthen existing relationships between local attorneys, judges and legislators. Because the reception was so well-attended, another one is planned for the spring.
WHWBA turns 14 - The Winter Haven Women's Bar Association is now 14 years old. The group's president, Winter Haven-based attorney Cynthia Rignanese, invites attorneys wishing to attend to call to reserve space at the monthly luncheon meetings. Rignanese noted that the group had grown through the years and now exceeds 35 registered members plus associate members. For details about the group, contact Rignanese at (863) 294-1114 or visit the Women's Bar Association website at http://jud10.flcourts/WHWBA/whba.htm.
Benjamin Nathan Cardozo Memorial Award to be presented - The Jewish Federation of Collier County Cardozo Society is pleased to serve as local host as Tau Epsilon Rho Law Society presents the prestigious Benjamin Nathan Cardozo Memorial Award to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Members of the Collier County Bar Association are encouraged to attend this very special event on Dec. 27 at the Naples Grande Beach Resort. For more information or to RSVP, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Heroes Among Us - The St. Petersburg Bar Foundation will host a very special dinner honoring the 2011 Heroes Among Us, Retired Circuit Court Judge Thomas E. Penick, Jr. and David R. Punzak and Rising Star: Michael J. Faehner. The Keynote Speaker will be XXXVII NFL Super Bowl Champion and Former Tampa Bay Buccaneer Derrick Brooks. The dinner will be held on Saturday, Jan. 29, 2011 at the St. Petersburg Yacht Club Ballroom. Cocktails will begin at 6 p.m. and the dinner and program at 7. For more information, contact the St. Petersburg Bar Foundation at (727) 823-7474 or email@example.com.
PBCBA participates in audio book recording for the Blind & Dyslexic - Members of the Lawyers for Literacy Committee recently volunteered at Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic (RFB&D), a national non-profit organization that produces educational audiobooks for students from Pre-K through graduate school with visual and learning disabilities. RFB&D relies heavily on its 5,400 active volunteers nationwide. At its Boca Raton location, the only RFB&D studio in Florida, 153 volunteers donated 6,819 hours last year , producing 258 books and serving 25,258 students. The Lawyers for Literacy Committee was established 10 years ago to help meet the needs of literacy in Palm Beach County. Since then, the group has distributed thousands of books to local schools, participated each year in the Literacy Coalition of Palm Beach County's Read Across Palm Beach County event and entered teams annually in the Great Grown Up Spelling Bee. The group also visits classrooms at the Adult Education Center in West Palm Beach to discuss the importance of education and staying in school.
LCBAYLD volunteers for a great cause - The Young Lawyers Section of the Lake County Bar Association recently volunteered at the Special Olympics State Bowling Championship held at the Boardwalk Bowl in Orlando. It included teams all over the state.
AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION
2011 Midyear Meeting!! - The 2011 ABA Midyear Meeting will be held Feb. 9-15, 2011 in Atlanta.
ABA Alexander Award - The American Bar Association Council for Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Educational Pipeline will host its Third Annual Raymond Pace and Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander Award for Excellence in a Pipeline Diversity Reception co-sponsored by the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession. The 2011 honoree will be Ronald H. Brown with the Prep Program for College Students in Queens, New York. The reception will be held on Friday, Feb. 11, 2011 at the Marriott Marquis in Atlanta. For more information on the award, visit the 2011 Alexander Award on the ABA website.
THE FLORIDA BAR
Committee Appointments - Each year the President-elect of The Florida Bar appoints interested bar members to serve on standing committees. The committee preference form is posted online from Dec. 1 to Jan. 14. All appointments begin July 1 of each year.
Attorneys can earn CLE for teaching civics to adult community groups - At its most recent meeting, the Board of Governors approved granting CLE credit for attorneys who make Benchmarks civics presentations to adult community, social and civic groups. Following the board’s action on Dec. 10, Benchmarks presenters will be allowed to earn one ethics credit hour for each presentation for up to three presentations in a three-year reporting period. An initiative of The Florida Bar’s Judicial Independence Committee, Benchmarks: Raising the Bar on Civics Education offers activities that attorneys can use to teach civic groups about the U.S. and Florida constitutions; the Bill of Rights, constitutionality and judicial review; the role of the judicial branch and judicial review; state budgeting and court funding; and judicial decision-making and threats to judicial independence. Each Benchmarks activity has an overview and supporting materials. Activity overviews, which guide attorneys in how to present a program, and supporting materials, such as PowerPoints, are available on The Florida Bar website at www.floridabar.org/judicialindependence. For more information, contact Zannah Lyle at (850) 561-5669 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lawyer Referral Service Panel Members - The Florida Bar Lawyer Referral Service online system for managing LRS case information is now available.
Law Day YouTube contest planned - With the recommendation of the Program Evaluation and Communications committees, the Bar Board of Governors has approved $1,000 for a Law Day YouTube contest for high school students. Communications Committee Chair Murray Silverstein told the board in October that students will be invited to post to the online video service a clip based on the Bar's Legal Guide for New Adults. The program will be run by the Law Related Education Committee. The winner will get $500 and an invitation to a Bar event.
Hoeveler Award nominations now being accepted - The Florida Bar Standing Committee on Professionalism is now accepting nominations for its William M. Hoeveler Judicial Award. The Hoeveler award is for "a judge who best exemplifies strength of character, service, and competence as a jurist, lawyer, and public servant. Nominees should be judges who have communicated their pledge to the ideals of justice and diligence in inspiring others to the mission of professionalism," according to the committee. The nomination form is available on The Bar's website at www.floridabar.org. From the menu, select Professional Practice, Henry Latimer Center for Professionalism, right hand menu, "In This Section," then Awards." Forms for the Hoeveler Award must be received by The Bar no later than Jan. 4, 2011. Mail nominations to the Henry Latimer Center for Professionalism, The Florida Bar, 651 E. Jefferson St., Tallahassee, FL 32399-2300. Nominations for the Hoeveler Award can also be e-mailed to email@example.com. The Award will be presented at the 2011 Florida Bar Annual Convention in June.
Proposed amendment for new e-service requirement - The Florida Bar's rules committees have filed proposed amendments to implement a new e-mail service requirement requiring lawyers to exchange pleadings and documents via e-mail. The Supreme Court invites comments on the proposed amendments by Jan. 18.
Certification Awards Nominations now being accepted - Nominations are now being accepted for certified lawyer or judge for the 2011 certification awards: The Justice Harry Lee Anstead Award for Florida Bar Board Certified Lawyer of the Year and the Excellence in the Promotion of the Board Certification Award. For more information, contact BLSE Consultant Lisa M. Tipton at (850) 561-5769 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
TFB Career Center offers assistance to unemployed and underemployed - In 2009, The Florida Bar launched its Career Center, a resource designated to help Bar members recruit legal and professionals or secure employment. The Career Center delivers qualified applicants and features local and relevant jobs dedicated to Florida's legal community. Bar members seeking employment can access new jobs posted daily on the Career Center and can be notified immediately of new opportunities by creating customized job agents. Resumes can be posted anonymously, allowing members to quickly apply for jobs and get discovered by employers searching for candidates. The Career Center is also a cost effective recruitment resource for Bar members who are hiring. Bar members looking for local legal jobs or cost effective recruitment strategies, can access the Career Center at www.floridabar.org.
Help in the foreclosure crisis - The Consumer Protection Law Committee has foreclosure information for families and their attorneys. If you face foreclosure, free housing counseling is available from www.hud.gov or NeighborhoodWorks America. If you have been served papers, contact your local legal office immediately: www.floridalawhelp.org (Find Local Assistance). The Florida Bar Lawyer Referral Service offers referrals to attorneys for low-fee consultations.
IN OTHER LEGAL NEWS
Lawyers to the rescue - Lawyers to the Rescue is a nondenominational humanitarian organization created by lawyers committed to bringing legal assistance and humanitarian support to people around the world in times of crisis regardless of their race, religion, sexual orientation or political affiliation. Lawyers to the Rescue was founded by attorney Spencer Aronfeld and Dina Aronfeld on response to the earthquake that struck Haiti. Lawyers to the Rescue have a monthly legal clinic at the Camillus House in Downtown Miami for the Homeless to answer legal questions and provide legal advice. Volunteer attorneys are needed in the following legal areas: Family Law, Criminal Law, Disability Law, Immigration Law, Personal Injury and Medical Malpractice Law and Human Rights Law. The most recent clinic was held on Dec. 18 from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Camillus House in downtown Miami. For more information on future clinics or the organization, contact Dina Aronfeld at (305) 491-1499 or visit the website at www.lawyerstotherescue.org.
St. Thomas offers new LL.M degree - St. Thomas University School of Law has launched a new master of laws in environmental sustainability, a one-year program equipping students with the legal knowledge to become leaders in the field of environmental law. The 24-credit program features a core curriculum including natural resource law and policy, environmental law, Earth jurisprudence, and ecology and ecosystems management for lawyers, with a practical focus on the cutting edge principals of environmental sustainability. For more information on St. Thomas University School of Law's LL.M degree in environmental sustainability, or to apply, visit www.stu.edu/law/environmentllm or call (305) 623-2389.
Tallahassee attorney pledges $100K to FSU - Tallahassee attorney Sean Pittman, a 1994 graduate of Florida State University College of Law, has pledged $100,000 to endow the Sean Pittman Scholarship at the law school. The income from this endowment will be used to award at least one scholarship each year to a minority student who is interested in pursuing a career as a governmental lawyer. The gift to endowment will be eligible for a 50 percent match from the state of Florida. The state match will be added to the permanent endowment, creating a total endowment of $150,000. “I am happy and fortunate to be able to support my alma mater,” said Pittman. “I appreciate the college of law very much and I am hopeful that this gift will assist students who will use their legal education for public service. Our personal investments in education are vital to the future of our communities and our nation.” “We are extremely grateful for this endowment and also for Sean’s support of Student Affairs and the Seminole Boosters,” said Dean Don Weidner. “He is an all-around champion of Florida State University.”
Don't get snagged by jury duty scam - Just in time for the holiday season - a revival of a long-running scam. In this one, fraudsters try to get your personal information by calling and saying that you have missed your jury duty summons. Just hang up!
Maria Simmons Johnson
Voluntary Bar Liaison
The Florida Bar