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FLORIDA BAR ANNOUNCES INAUGURAL CLASS OF BOARD CERTIFIED STATE AND FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AND ADMINISTRATIVE PRACTICE LAWYERS


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 19, 2007
CONTACT:
Lisa Garcia,
The Florida Bar
TELEPHONE:
850/228-4321 or 850/561-5769


TALLAHASSEE– Fifty-six lawyers now are Florida Bar board certified in the nation's first state and federal government and administrative law specialty. Board certification evaluates attorneys' special knowledge, skills and proficiency in various areas of law and professionalism and ethics in practice.

"Board certification is a valuable credential that is becoming a significant trend in the legal profession," said Florida Bar President Frank Angones Jr. "Specialization recognizes lawyers' expertise and professionalism, and is a natural progression for lawyers who can demonstrate high skill levels in particular areas of law."

Certified attorneys are the only Florida lawyers allowed to identify or advertise themselves as specialists or experts. Certification is the highest level of evaluation by The Florida Bar of the competency and experience of attorneys in areas of law approved for certification by the Supreme Court of Florida.

Florida currently offers 22 specialty areas of practice for which board certification is available – the largest number of state-approved certification areas in the nation.

State and federal government and administrative practice includes but is not limited to rulemaking, adjudication or advocacy for state or federal government contracts, licenses, orders, permits, policies, or rules. The specialty also includes appearing before or presiding as an administrative law judge, arbitrator, hearing officer, or member of an administrative tribunal or panel over a dispute involving an administrative or government action. The area can encompass environmental regulation and land use planning.

Attorney Bill Williams of Gray Robinson in Tallahassee chairs The Florida Bar's SFGAP certification committee.

"State and federal government law and administrative practice are distinct legal practice areas, and differ greatly from local or municipality law," said Williams. "Rule-making, licensing and regulatory matters are becoming increasingly more complex; as the practice area has grown, so has the public's need to identify legal experts in the field."

Background: The Florida Supreme Court in July 2006 amended Florida Bar rules to add state and federal government and administrative practice to the existing certification program. Applications were due Feb. 28, 2007. The exam was Oct. 1 in Tallahassee. Fifty-eight lawyers submitted applications for the newly established certification area.

Minimum requirements for SFGAP board certification include:
    ­- At least five years of SFGAP law practice preceding application. Years of law practice need not be consecutive.
    ­- Substantial involvement in state and federal government and administrative practice during three of the five years immediately preceding application.
    ­- Experience during the five years immediately proceeding application as lead advocate for a private client or government entity in one or more categories (details at FloridaBar.org/certification) based on a points system. Examples include administrative hearings, administrative actions or rulemaking proceedings; legislative or Florida Legislature Joint Administrative Procedures Committee staff service, or service to an administrative law judge, arbitrator, hearing officer, or other administrative panel.
    ­- Satisfactory peer review assessment of competence in the state and federal government and administrative practice field as well as character, ethics and professionalism in the practice of law.
    At least 50 hours of continuing legal education within the three years preceding application; and
    ­- Passage of a written examination demonstrating knowledge, skills and proficiency in the field.

Applicants during the first two filing periods who have been substantially involved in state and federal government and administrative practice for a minimum of 20 years and who otherwise fulfill the minimum standards were exempt from the examination.

Board certification is valid for five years, during which time the attorney must continue to practice law and attend Florida Bar-approved continuing legal education courses. Recertification requirements are similar to those for initial certification. Not all qualified lawyers are certified, but those who are board certified have taken the extra step to have their competence and experience evaluated.

State and federal government and administrative practice board certification standards are available on The Florida Bar Web site at www.FloridaBar.org/certification. More information on the 22 legal specialty areas also is available by contacting The Florida Bar's Legal Specialization & Education Department at 850/561-5842.

Lawyers newly certified in state and federal government and administrative practice, by city:

Fort Lauderdale
Luna Phillips
Glenn Miller

Gainesville
Barbara Wingo

Jacksonville
Thomas Delegal
Wayne Flowers

Orlando
Frank Kruppenbacher

Tallahassee
Michael Alderman
Silvia Alderman
Elizabeth Alsobrook
Paul Amundsen
Edwin Bayó
Foster Scott Boyd
Bernice Bradley
Martha Chumbler
Robert Cohen
Stephanie Daniel
Virlindia Doss
Edward Early
Stephen Ecenia
William Furlow
Michael Glazer
Allen Richard Grossman
Lee Gustafson
Susan Harrell
Keith Hetrick
Eleanor Mitchell Hunter
David Kahn
Daniel Lake
M. Catherine Lannon
Douglas MacInnes
Frank Matthews
John Menton
Joseph Mellichamp
Robert Newell
Lynne Pennock
James Peters
James Richmond
Ryland Rigsby
Michael Riley
John Rimes
Colin Roopnarine
Cathy Miller Sellers
Mary F. Smallwood
Charles Aristides Stampelos
Douglas Sunshine
John Terrel
William Watkins
George Lee Waas
William Eldred Williams

Tampa
Bruce Lamb

West Palm Beach
Kirk Burns
Susan Martin
Douglas MacLaughlin
Keith William Rizzardi
Elizabeth Ross

Winter Park
Jed Berman
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EDITORS: Please note The Florida Bar is not an association and "Association" is not part of our name. Proper reference is "The Florida Bar." Local bar organizations are properly termed "associations."


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EDITORS: Please note The Florida Bar is not an association and "Association" is not part of our name. Proper reference is "The Florida Bar." Local bar organizations are properly termed "associations."

[Revised: 11-20-2007]