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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, www.FLABAR.org. Submit articles, pictures or general comments to Emilie Rietow, the Bar-to-Bar E-news editor and your voluntary bar liaison, erietow@flabar.org or 651 E. Jefferson Street, Tallahassee, FL 32399-2300. Photos sent by e-mail should come in jpg and gif format.

October 2010, Issue 56
FOR THE BARS

Minority Mentoring Picnic just a few weeks away! - Mark your calendars! The place to be Nov. 13 is Hialeah, where the 7th Annual Minority Mentoring Picnic unfolds from noon to 4 p.m. at Amelia Earhart Park, 401 East 65th St. Guests of honor are minority law school students from all law schools in Florida, invited to convene for an afternoon of great food and camaraderie with Florida’s lawyers and judges, who are willing to share reallife experiences. Lawyers and judges willing to be a mentor will link up with law students wearing “need mentor” stickers. The idea is that lawyers and judges initiate a conversation and possible mentoring relationships — some via e-mail and some in person. "Each year the Minority Mentoring Picnic gets larger and, somehow, the quality also improves,” said Miami lawyer John Kozyak, who created this fun mentoring opportunity out of his passion to expand the practice of law to include everybody. “I sincerely believe minority law students and young lawyers throughout the state look forward to it as the ultimate networking event.” Expect to find huge pots of paella laden with calamari and shrimp, grilled lamb, sausage dogs, soul food and roasting pigs. Music will fill the air as kids hoist themselves up a rock-climbing wall or ride ponies, and adults participate in volleyball and dominoes tournaments. Law firms and bar associations will set up tents to distribute information, and prizes are raffled off that include shadowing judges for a day, followed by lunch. For more information and to R.S.V.P., go to www.kmmfoundation.org. Park admission is $6 per car, and car-pooling is strongly encouraged.

WHAT'S GOING ON AROUND THE BARS. . .

PRBAF to host Eighth Annual Gala - The Puerto Rican Bar Association of Florida will host its Eighth Annual Gala at the Hyatt Regency in Coral Gables. The cocktail reception will begin at 7 p.m. and the dinner will follow at 8 p.m. For more information, contact Marisol Gomez-Decena at mgomez@gambalombana.com.

Wild, Wild West Bench and Bar-B-Que - The Clearwater and St. Petersburg Bar Associations will present the 2010 Bench and Bar Conference on Oct. 29 from high noon to 6:30 p.m. at the Stetson University College of Law in Gulfport. The Conference is an opportunity to interact with judges and lawyers in the 6th Judicial Circuit. Four CLE or CJE credits have been applied for. For more information, contact the Clearwater Bar Association at (727) 461-4869.

JBA partners with local corporation to offer 'Ask-A-Lawyer' - The Jacksonville Bar Association and the Grace and Truth Community Development Corporation have teamed up to offer an "Ask-A-Lawyer" event from 9 a.m. - noon on Saturday, Nov. 6, at Gateway Town Center, 5000 Norwood Ave. Ask-A-Lawyer will be held in conjunction with the Grace and Truth CDC's Empowerment and Health Fair. Ask-A-Lawyer is a relaxed, convenient place for people to come in and talk about their legal problems. In some cases, legal representation may not be required. In some cases, brief counsel and advice from a licensed attorney may be all the assistance a person needs. Herein lies the inspiration for the JBA Pro Bono Committee’s Ask-A-Lawyer event. During the event, attorneys will conduct individual, 10-to-15-minute consultations. People who participate in Ask-A-Lawyer must sign statements verifying that they understand that the interviewing attorney will not be opening a case. The interviewing attorneys are simply there to provide some legal guidance and information on additional community resources. For matters that may require full representation, persons may be referred to Jacksonville Area Legal Aid or to the Jacksonville Lawyer Referral Service. The participating attorneys have expertise in many areas of law and can provide direction regarding family law matters, employment, landlord/tenant, wills and estates, criminal law, bankruptcy, and foreclosures to name a few. Attorneys are encouraged to participate in this worthwhile event and can do so by contacting Kathy Para, chair of the JBA Pro Bono Committee, at (904) 356-8371, ext. 363, or by e-mail at kathy.para@jaxlegalaid.org.

Oktoberfest set for Nov. 6 - Mark your calendars! The St. Petersburg Bar Association Young Lawyers will host its annual casual mixer for the members of the St. Pete Bar. There will be food, spirits and entertainment. For more information, please contact Chip Collins, executive director of the St. Pete Bar, at (727) 823-7474 or email at ccollins@stpetebar.com.

CCBA Annual Immokalee Pro Bono Clinic - The Collier County Bar Association is sponsoring a Pro Bono Legal Clinic in Immokalee at the RCMA Charter School on Saturday, Nov. 6 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.This is the third year that this clinic is being offered in Immokalee, and once again Legal Aid Service of Collier County is proud to co-sponsor this important legal outreach event. For more information, or to volunteer, call Lisa Mead, CCBA executive director, at (239) 252-8711 or e-mail her at lmead@colliercountybar.org.

INTERESTED IN KNOWING ABOUT UPCOMING EVENTS FROM BAR-TO-BAR , CHECK OUT THE VOLUNTARY BAR EVENTS CALENDAR FOR AN OVERVIEW OF MEETINGS, CLE SEMINARS, ETC. TO SUBMIT EVENTS, SEND THEM TO MARIA S. JOHNSON at mjohnson@flabar.org.

AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION

Save the date - The 2011 ABA Midyear Meeting will be held Feb. 9-15, 2011 in Atlanta.

2011 BLI Scholarships - The ABA Standing Committee on Bar Activities and Services is delighted to offer five scholarships to help presidents-elect and other upcoming leaders of small bar associations attend the ABA Bar Leadership Institute (BLI) in Chicago, March 10-11, 2011. The scholarships consist of a registration waiver and a $500 reimbursement of meeting and travel expenses. 2011 ABA Bar Leadership Institute Scholarship Guidelines and Application. Scholarship deadline is Friday, Jan. 7, 2011.

THE FLORIDA BAR

Pro Bono Nominations due Nov. 3 - Each year, the Florida Supreme Court and The Florida Bar give special recognition to lawyers, groups and a member of the judiciary who have given their time and expertise by providing legal services to the poor. The 2011 Pro Bono Service Awards nominations are due by Nov. 3. The awards ceremony will be held at the Florida Supreme Court on Jan. 27, 2011.

Biannual Rules Filing - On Oct. 15, The Florida Bar submitted two filings regarding The Rules Regulating The Florida Bar with the Florida Supreme Court. Copies may be found on the Rules update page.

Do you need funding? The Florida Bar offers diversity grants to voluntary bar associations - 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. The purpose of this voluntary bar association grant program is to support 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. Bar associations are limited to one application/project per year. Grants will be awarded to underwrite multi-hour, half-day, full-day or multi-day diversity conferences. The application and additional instructions are available on The Florida Bar website at www.floridabar.org/voluntarybars.

Got pamphlets? - The Florida Bar consumer pamphlets are available for distribution during the speaking engagements. The complete list of pamphlets is available at www.floridabar.org/consumerpamphlets. If you would like to take some consumer pamphlets to your presentation, please contact Mirieth Valenciano at mvalencianomarin@flabar.org. The pamphlets must be related to the topic of the activity.

Merit Retention - The Florida Bar polled its members about whether the Supreme Court justices and appeals court judges who will be on the November General Election ballot should be retained. The poll results, biographies of the judges and frequently asked questions about merit retention are now available.

Judicial Candidates - Voters have a new means of learning about judicial candidates – The Florida Bar Judicial Candidate Voluntary Self-Disclosure Statement. It includes background information and a personal statement from candidates explaining why they believe they would serve the public well as judges. The Florida Bar supports maintaining a high quality judiciary and is committed to educating the public on the legal system. Therefore, the Judicial Administration and Evaluation Committee developed The Florida Bar Judicial Candidate Voluntary Self-Disclosure Statement. Through the Statement, The Florida Bar provides judicial candidates, both sitting judges and others, with the opportunity to provide information about themselves and their backgrounds to the public in preparation and anticipation of an election.

TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE FLORIDA BAR JOURNAL SPOTLIGHT PAGE DEDICATED TO VOLUNTARY BAR ASSOCIATIONS. EACH AUTHOR (BAR ASSOCIATION) IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE ACCURACY AND APPROPRIATENESS OF THE SUBMITTED ARTICLE. THE JOURNAL IS BEST ABLE TO USE ARTICLES WHEN THEY DO NOT EXCEED TWO DOUBLE-SPACED, LETTER SIZE PAGES. ARTICLES SHOULD BE E-MAILED TO mjohnson@flabar.org TWO WEEKS PRIOR TO THE FIRST OF EACH MONTH.

IN OTHER LEGAL NEWS

1,705 Graduates Authorized for Florida Bar Admission - Graduates from the University of Florida, Florida State University, and the University of Miami finished within a percentage point of each other for having the highest passage rate for those who took the July Florida bar exam. Overall the Supreme Court approved 1,705 candidates for admission to The Florida Bar. Congrats to all the graduates for passing the bar.

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Emilie Rietow
Voluntary Bar Liaison
The Florida Bar
850/561-
5773
850/561-5733(fax)



[Revised: 11-22-2010]