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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.

May 2011, Issue 60

2011 VOLUNTARY BAR LEADERS CONFERENCE -- The 2011 Voluntary Bar Leaders Conference will be held at the Hyatt Regency Sarasota, July 15-16. Hotel accommodations can be made at the Hyatt Regency Sarasota. A room block has been reserved for Conference attendees at a rate of $125. To make reservations, contact the hotel directly at (941) 953-4321. This Conference is a must for local and specialty bar association governing boards and staff. The Florida Bar recognizes the importance of local voluntary bar associations in the legal profession. It is now more important than ever for bar associations to share information, to identify current trends and best practices. Don't miss this great opportunity. Make sure your bar association is represented! Registration brochures will be available Monday June 6. For more information, contact Maria Simmons Johnson, Voluntary Bar Liaison, at (850) 561-5648 or at

Miami-Dade FAWL Annual Installation -- Join Miami-Dade FAWL for the Installation of their 2011-12 officers and board of directors, as well as the presentation of the 2011 Mattie Belle Davis Award. More information coming soon.

CCBA to cohost 5K Race Judicata -- In honor of Memorial Day the Collier County Bar Association will cohost the 5K Race Judicata on Monday, May 30 at the North Collier Regional Park in Naples. There will be several age divisions. For more information, call (239) 434-9786.

The Voluntary Bar Liaison Committee will meet on Friday, June 24 from 8 - 10 a.m. in St. George 104 at the Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center, during the 2011 Florida Bar Annual Convention.

OCBA legal seminar focuses on techniques for handling commercial disputes -- The Orange County Bar Association (OCBA) will present "War and Peace: Negotiating Battles and Peace Treaties in ADR, Business Litigation, Appellate Courts and the Legislature," a six hour continuing legal education (CLE) seminar, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday, June 10, 2011, at the OCBA Center, 880 North Orange Avenue, Orlando, FL 32801. Attendees will be provided information about the most effective techniques for handling commercial disputes. Featured speakers include retired Florida Supreme Court Justice Charles T. Wells and judges John Antoon, II; Jay P. Cohen; Kerry I. Evander; Jacqueline R. Griffin; Frederick J. Lauten and Thomas B. Smith. The seminar includes CLE hours in ethics, professionalism, business litigation certification and appellate practice certification. The cost to attend is $35 and includes a boxed lunch and post-seminar reception. Registrations are requested by June 3. To register, contact Marie West at or (407) 422-4551, ext. 233. See details on the OCBA website at

FACDL to host Annual Meeting -- The Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (FACDL) will host its 24th Annual Meeting at the Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach, June 9-12. For more information, contact FACDL President-elect Nellie King at or FACDL Executive Director Kathryn Bradley at (800) 369-9503.

PBCBA to host Annual Installation Banquet -- The Palm Beach County Bar Association will host its Annual Installation Banquet on Saturday, June 4 at the Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach. A reception will be held from 7 - 8 p.m. with dinner and dancing immediately following. Celebrate this special occasion as John Howe is sworn into office by retired Judge Edward Rodgers. Howe will serve as the bar's first African-American president. Law firms interested in sponsoring should contact Lynne Poirier at the Bar Office at (561) 687-2800.

15th Annual Florida Liability Claims Conference -- The Florida Defense Lawyers Association (FDLA) will host its 15th Annual Florida Liability Claims Conference June 1-4 at Disney's Contemporary Resort In Lake Buena Vista. Based on previous years the FDLA expects this program to provide 15.0 CLE credits and 10.0 insurance credits. For more information, go to


2011 ABA Annual Meeting -- Mark your calendars for the 2011 ABA Annual Meeting, Aug. 4-9 in Toronto, Canada.

Behind Bars: A New Shade of Service -- The Division for Bar Services is using social media to bring a new level of support to your bar. Use their BehindBars blog, Twitter account and Facebook page to stay informed, in touch and entertained.


Online Registration is open for the 2011 Annual Florida Bar Convention -- Share the Vision, and Leave a Legacy at the 2011 Florida Bar Annual Convention, June 22 - 25, at the Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center, Orlando. Choose from 19 CLE seminars and many special events and luncheons. Make your hotel reservations early, special discounted rate available until June 3.

The Struggle of the Century: How the AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion case will affect our civil justice system and your practice -- If any percentage of your law practice involves civil litigation, the U.S. Supreme Court's monumental decision in AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion will affect you. It opens the door to the possibility that a business can insulate itself from lawsuit based on consumer, employment or civil rights class action claims, and limit a consumer’s right to seek effective injunctive or declaratory relief, even in arbitration. At the Florida Bar Annual Convention, Paul Bland of Public Justice and Andrew Sandler, partner of Buckley Sandler LLP, two of the most respected national experts on arbitration, preemption and class action bans, will square off in a great debate moderated by Florida Supreme Court Justice R. Fred Lewis. “Arbitration Clauses and Class Action Waivers in Consumer Contracts: Perspectives from the Bench and Litigants” is being held on Friday, June 24, from 1 to 5 p.m. Register for this important CLE on the Florida Bar website. A reception will follow with a chance to meet panelists and discuss this pivotal topic with fellow Bar members.

Did you know? -- Consider contacting The Florida Bar Speakers Bureau. Around 4,000 Florida attorneys are ready to speak to civic and community groups on a variety of topics related to the role of lawyers, the Constitution, the U.S. justice system and many more. There is no charge for these presentations. For booking details and additional information, visit

Donate to The Florida Bar Foundation's Children's Legal Services -- Help support the legal rights of Florida’s low-income children by donating to The Florida Bar Foundation’s Children’s Legal Services on your annual Florida Bar Fee Statement. Scott Hawkins, president-elect of The Florida Bar, encourages Florida lawyers to make voluntary contributions to support Children’s Legal Services and help bring legal representation to Florida’s most vulnerable children. One hundred percent of all donations go directly to the Foundation’s Children’s Legal Services Grants. “These grants have helped nearly 3,000 children get the legal assistance they need each year, including foster children and children with special health-care and education needs,” said Hawkins. “Those of us who care about children and believe in justice have the opportunity to make a real difference in kids’ lives through our contributions. The easiest way for lawyers to give is to enter their contribution for Children’s Legal Services in the voluntary contributions section of their Florida Bar Fee Statement and add the contribution to their total. Gifts can also be made anytime at Given funding challenges presented by declines in IOTA revenue, the Foundation is asking lawyers to make the voluntary suggested contribution of $100 – or more if possible. Every dollar counts in ensuring that as many children are helped as possible.

Pay annual fees online -- Members of The Florida Bar may now pay 2011-12 fees, join sections and report pro bono online.

LAST CHANCE for Education Law Certification Exam Waivers - Education lawyers with more than 20 years of experience: Apply for education law certification by Aug. 31, 2011, and take advantage of the last opportunity for attorneys who have been substantially involved in the practice of education law for a minimum of 20 years as of Dec. 31, 2011, and who otherwise fulfill the standards, to request exemption from the examination. Applications for 2012 education law certification are available online and the filing period for 2012 certification is July 1 - Aug. 31, 2011. Not sure if you qualify? Review the standards in Rule 6-27; contact the Legal Specialization & Education Department at (850) 561-5842 for a current printout of your approved education law CLE hours, and contact education law certification specialist Julie Coiro at or (850) 561-3143 for application information or questions.

Fastcase Webinars -- In 2011, Fastcase will offer web tutorials to teach Florida Bar members how to better make use of this free benefit. The webinars cover "Fastcase Research Tips"; "Case Law Nuts & Bolts (Overview)"; and "Search for Statutes (Overview)."

Certification Awards applications available at - Download the forms to nominate a certified lawyer or judge for the BLSE's 2011 certification awards: The Justice Harry Lee Anstead Award for Florida Bar Board Certified Lawyer of the Year and the Award for Excellence in the Promotion of Board Certification. You or one of your colleagues could be among the distinguished group of lawyers who are previous recipients of these awards. Application deadline has been extended to May 31, 2011. Contact BLSE Consultant Lisa M. Tipton at (850)561-5769 for more information.

2011 Legislative Session -- For legislative alerts, Florida Bar positions and talking points, go to


Save the Date! - The 8th Annual Minority Mentoring Picnic will be held Saturday, Nov. 12, 2011 at the Amelia Earhart Park in Hialeah. For more information, visit

Paralegal Association formed in Jacksonville -- The First Coast Chapter of the Paralegal Association of Florida hosted its first monthly meeting on Thursday, May 19. The association will focus on substantive continuing legal education for paralegals and legal assistants, professional networking and mentoring paralegal students. Additionally, the association will support the activities and charitable events sponsored by The Florida Bar, The Jacksonville Bar Association and other bar groups in Northeast Florida.

Ongoing help in the foreclosure crisis -- There are resources for Florida homeowners who are out of work, facing financial problems and trying to save their homes.


As a reminder, all voluntary bar officer information is being retrieved from your main Florida Bar member profile using your member number. Non-lawyer officers who do not have a member number have been issued a customer number with their current contact information. This change will improve the efficiency of our mailing and e-mail correspondence to you. We still need your help to keep our bar association officer information updated. When your bar association installs new officers, please let us know so that we have the most current information on hand for mailings, e-mail blasts and other notifications. You can view and update your officer contact information or e-mail me, Maria S. Johnson, Voluntary Bar Liaison at

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Jeff Doran
Voluntary Bar Liaison
The Florida Bar

[Revised: 06-18-2013]