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.FloridaBar.org. Submit articles, pictures or general comments to Jeff Doran, the Bar-to-Bar E-news editor and your voluntary bar liaison, email@example.com or 651 E. Jefferson Street, Tallahassee, FL 32399-2300. Photos sent by e-mail should come in jpg and gif format.
October 15, 2013, Issue 72
What’s Going on Around the Bars
The Isaac Anderson NBA Chapter hosts legal forum – The Isaac Anderson Chapter of the National Bar Association, in conjunction with the 21st Century Collaboration, hosted a free legal forum in September at the Quality Life Center in Ft. Myers. Topics included criminal record seals and expungement, child support, landlord-tenant rights, disability and workers’ compensation, immigration, and new changes in the law. Panelists included members of the Isaac Anderson Chapter of the National Bar Association: Donald Isaac, Vana Renejuste, Melissa Barris, Guichard St. Surin, Janese Caruthers, and Destiny Smith. Following a general session, attorneys met with attendees and provided individual legal counseling. For more information on this event, contact Don Isaac at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Join the Cunningham Bar Association for a legislative discussion – On Oct. 18, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., the F. Malcolm Cunningham, Sr. Bar Association will host a non-partisan discussion on the matters of interest from the legislative session. The goal of the panel discussion is to inform and engage the 15th Circuit legal community regarding legislative matters including, Legislative Priorities for 2014 and information regarding our Palm Beach County Legislative Delegation. To RSVP or for more information, contact Chioma Deere, Esq. at email@example.com.
FGBA to host monthly meeting and CLE presentation – The Florida Government Bar Association will host its monthly meeting on Oct. 23 at the Capital City Country Club in Tallahassee. The guest speaker will be Stephanie Daniel and she will address the topic, "Ethical Considerations and E-Discovery." Stephanie is board certified in state and federal government and administrative practice and has a wealth of experience in the areas. For more information, visit the FGBA website at www.floridagovernmentbar.org.
FACDL Tallahassee Chapter hosts first golf challenge – On Oct. 4th, the Tallahassee Chapter of the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (FACDL) hosted the first ever FACDL v. SAO Charity Golf Challenge at Capital City Country Club. According to event organizer, Matt Willard, the thought behind the outing was that it is hard to build positive relationships if opposing counsel only interacts within the adversarial process. Defense lawyers were paired with prosecutors in an effort to improve their existing working relationships, create new relationships, and build morale. At the end of the day, all 20 entrants agreed that the event was a success, and that it should become an annual event. Proceeds from the tournament were donated to Big Bend Hospice.
Local business to host professional headshots – To support the Legal Aid Foundation of the Tallahassee Bar Association, Light Photography is hosting a “Headshots for Tallahassee” fundraising event. Your professional headshots will be ready to take with you in just 15 minutes for just $35, 40% of which will go to support the Legal Aid Foundation. (Complete retouching will also be available for an additional fee.). The photo studio is conveniently located at the TBA/LAF lounge in the Leon County Courthouse. Make your appointment or learn more at www.availablelightphoto.com/headshots.
Palm Beach County Bar offers diversity placement database – The Palm Beach County Bar Association’s Committee for Diversity and Inclusion launched its Diversity Placement Database. The database, located on PBCBA’s website under the “Diversity” tab, will assist Palm Beach County employers seeking to recruit attorneys, including but not limited to those from diverse backgrounds, who are seeking new employment opportunities. Employers may obtain, free of charge, a user name and password from the Palm Beach County Bar Association and may post open attorney positions directly online on the database. The employer will describe the open position and the experience and qualifications required. PBCBA will then assign a unique job identification number for each job posting. Candidates are encouraged to review the listings, determine whether they meet the qualifications, and submit resumes directly to the employers, using the job identification number provided by the database. Candidates also will be able to save individual jobs as “favorites” for ease of reference. In PBCBA’s meetings with hiring partners and decision makers around Palm Beach County, PBCBA frequently heard that employers were eager to recruit diverse attorneys, but did know the best means to go about it. PBCBA hopes the database will be a helpful recruitment tool for employers and candidates alike. For more information about the database, contact Chioma Deere, at (561) 775-9822 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
PR Bar sets annual gala – The Puerto Rican Bar Association of Florida will host its 10th Anniversary Gala October 26, in conjunction with its moot court competition. The gala will begin at 6:30 p.m. at the Fontainebleau on Miami Beach. The keynote speaker for the event will be U.S. Congressman Pedro Pierluisi, D-Puerto Rico. The event will feature a cocktail reception followed by a dinner and dance. For more information, go to the PRBA website at www.prbaflorida.org or contact Richard R. Robles at email@example.com or call (305) 755-9200. Sponsorship opportunities are available.
NLADA recognizes Hogan Lovells – The National Legal Aid & Defender Association presented Hogan Lovells with its 2013 Beacon of Justice Award. The Beacon of Justice Award honors law firms for their accomplishments in advancing Gideon’s principles through law reform or individual representation. At its annual Exemplar Award Dinner in Washington, D.C., NLADA recognized Hogan Lovells lawyers for devoting considerable time and resources to delivering on the mandate of Gideon v. Wainwright, which 50 years ago established the right to counsel for people accused of a crime and facing a loss of liberty. Since 2008, lawyers from the Miami office have represented the Public Defender of the 11th Judicial Circuit of Florida in his effort to obtain relief from excessive caseloads. The caseloads — which on average were 500 non-capital felony cases per lawyer per year — impaired PD-11’s ability to meet the state’s obligation to provide its indigent clients with effective assistance of counsel, as required by the U.S. and Florida constitutions, and to provide competent, diligent, and conflict-free representation, as required by the Florida Rules of Professional Conduct. After dedicating more than 3,600 hours to the project, the Hogan Lovells team prevailed before the Supreme Court of Florida in Public Defender, Eleventh Judicial Circuit et al. v. State of Florida.
FDLA presents award to Clarke – The Florida Defense Lawyers Association presented its annual “Amicus Award to Michael Clarke of Kubicki Draper in Tampa.
CCWBA names “Woman Lawyer of the Year Award” – The Collier County Women’s Bar Association, Inc. presented Mary Beth Clary of Porter Wright in Naples with its “Woman Lawyer of the Year Award.” Congratulations Mary Beth!
Rignanese elected to WHWBA – The Winter Haven Women’s Bar Association has re-elected Cynthia Rignanese as president of the WHWBA and to the board of the Lake Wales Kiwanis Foundation Board.
The Florida Bar
You can track bills on The Florida Bar’s website – The 60-day annual legislative session in Tallahassee can seem a confusing, rushed, and hectic mishmash of activity. To access the information, click on Legislative Activity on the left side menu on the Bar’s home page at www.floridabar.org. On the resulting page, scroll down to “The Current Legislative Session” and then click the first link “Legislation of Interest to the Legal Profession.” That goes to a page with a list of all sections and committees that may be affected by legislation. Click on any section or committee to see bills that might fall into its purview.
In depth study of the future of the practice of law underway – Bar President Eugene Pettis said the legal profession is going through evolutionary changes, and that's the view for the 68-member Vision 2016 commission members, who met together for the first time in Tampa in September to begin a three-year comprehensive study of the future practice of law. To meet those challenges, Pettis has appointed Bar leaders to focus on four broad areas that will greatly impact how lawyers practice in the decades to come, Vision 2016. President-elect Greg Coleman will chair the technology subcommittee; Board of Governors member Ray Abadin will study the future of legal education; BOG member Lanse Scriven will chair the Bar admissions subcommittee; and former BOG member Adele Stone will lead the review of the delivery of pro bono/legal services. BOG member Jay Cohen will serve as the commission’s administrator and former ABA President Martha Barnett will serve as special counsel.
Board of Governors nominating petitions are due Dec. 16 – Nominating petitions for the 2014 election for the Board of Governors of The Florida Bar must be received in the headquarters office on or before 5 p.m., Dec. 16. All of the board positions are for two-year terms.
Persons interested in applying for any of these vacancies may click here to download the Application for Special Appointment from the Bar's website, or should call Bar headquarters at (850) 561-5757, to obtain the application form.
Three stand out in The Florida Bar’s 58th Annual Media Awards Competition – Two newspapers and one TV station are winners of The Florida Bar Media Awards competition. Florida Bar President Eugene K. Pettis presented plaques to journalists from the Orlando Sentinel, Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers and WESH-TV (NBC Orlando) on Oct. 14 at the Bar’s Reporters’ Workshop dinner in Tallahassee. The event was held on the 22nd floor of the Capitol, with six Florida Supreme Court justices among the attendees. The 58th annual contest, sponsored by the Media & Communications Law Committee of The Florida Bar, recognizes outstanding journalism highlighting the system of law and justice as it affects Floridians. Any newspaper, blog, radio station, TV station or wire service located in Florida is eligible to enter. The Orlando Sentinel won first prize in print for a series of editorials on the judicial system. Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers took second-place honors in print for a series of editorials on the judicial system. In the broadcast category, WESH-TV News Channel 2 of Orlando received a first-prize honor for “TextGate,” an investigative series of 16 reports in three weeks by reporter Greg Fox.
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.
2014 Pro Bono Service Award Nominations due by Nov. 12 – Each year, the Supreme Court of Florida and The Florida Bar give special recognition to lawyers, legal groups and a member of the judiciary who have freely given their time and expertise in making legal services available to the poor. The pro bono service awards ceremony will be held at the Florida Supreme Court at 3:30 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014. Nominations must be received by Nov. 12, 2013. The Chief Justice's Voluntary Bar Association Pro Bono Service Award recognizes a voluntary bar association that has demonstrated a significant contribution in providing legal services on a pro bono basis to individuals or groups that cannot otherwise afford them. Nomination forms are available at www.floridabar.org. For additional information, contact public information coordinator Dorohn A. Frazier at The Florida Bar, (850) 561-5764 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
2014 Winter Meeting – Save the date for The Florida Bar’s Winter Meeting, to be held Jan. 22-25, 2014, at the Hilton Orlando in Lake Buena Vista. Check back on the Florida Bar’s website later this month for hotel reservation information.
YLD nominating petitions now being accepted – Nominating petitions for positions on the Young Lawyers Division Board of Governors must be received in the headquarters office on or before 5 p.m., Dec. 16. Nomination petitions are available at www.floridabar.org.
Committee Preference forms will be available Dec. 1 – Committee Preference Forms for Florida Bar Members interested in serving on a standing committee will be available from Dec. 1, 2013 – Jan. 15, 2014 on The Florida Bar’s website. All appointments begin July 1, 2014. APPLY EARLY.
Mandatory criminal e-filing delayed – Voluntary electronic filing for criminal cases has begun for some Florida courts, but a Supreme Court administrative order has delayed mandatory filing until Feb. 3, 2014. Chief Justice Ricky Polston issued an administrative order on Sept. 27 following a readiness report compiled by the Florida Courts E-Filing Authority, which oversees the portal through which electronic filing is done. The order sets new deadlines for e-filing criminal cases, however, electronic service is now up and running through the statewide portal that handles electronic case filings for Florida courts. E-service through the portal became available Sept. 30, after a software upgrade to the portal. The Florida Courts E-Filing Authority, which oversees the portal, made e-service training materials available on its website. Among the resources under the help tab on the authority’s homepage are two training videos and the text e-service user guide. There is also a PowerPoint presentation on e-filing and e-service on the Bar’s E-Filing Resources page.
In Other Legal News
Veterans’ law CLE offered – The Florida Bar and Stetson University College of Law are co-sponsoring the 2013 Veterans’ Law Accreditation Training on Oct. 26 at Stetson’s Tampa Law Center. The Continuing Legal Education Committee, Military Affairs Committee, and Stetson University College of Law will present course work mandated by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for lawyers seeking departmental accreditation. Details regarding hours, costs, and credits are pending. The instructors from the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Board of Veterans’ Appeals, state and local veteran’s service organizations, and private practitioners are committed to providing current and accurate summaries of the topics required by the department for accreditation. Additional details regarding the CLE are available by contacting Mary Ann Obos, program administrator, at (850) 561-5630 or email@example.com.
July 2013 bar exam results – The Supreme Court of Florida released the following bar examination statistical information developed by the Florida Board of Bar Examiners. These results apply to the July 2012 General Bar Examination administered July 30-31 in Tampa.
Barry Law wins grant for Youth Defense Institute – The Public Welfare Foundation awarded $150,000 to the Youth Defense Institute at the Barry University Dwayne O. Andreas School of Law. The grant enables Barry Law to advance its community mission of protecting children’s rights. The foundation’s Juvenile Justice Program provides grants to promote systemic reforms aimed at ending the practice of trying, sentencing, and incarcerating youth as adults, and to promote equitable treatment of all young Americans. Because Florida prosecutes more children in the adult system than any other state, the Youth Defense Institute’s work falls squarely within the foundation’s interests. The institute was created by Barry Law Dean Leticia M. Diaz and the law school faculty. With support from The Florida Bar Foundation, its first activities included addressing Florida cases in which children were sentenced to life without parole. For the past three years, the institute has served as the statewide clearinghouse and support system for strategic litigation exclusively on juvenile life sentences without parole. The institute recently expanded its mission to the much larger realm of strategic litigation aimed at any process where children are at risk of being charged as adults. For more information, contact Barry Law Dean Leticia M. Diaz at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Voluntary Bar Liaison
The Florida Bar