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The Florida Bar

Florida Bar to hold Annual Convention in Orlando

June 12, 2012
Susannah Lyle; ,
The Florida Bar
(850) 561-5666

TALLAHASSEE – The Florida Bar will hold its Annual Convention in Orlando at the Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center from June 20 to 23.

Tampa attorney Gwynne A. Young will be sworn in as the Bar's 64th president and the fifth woman president at the General Assembly on Friday, June 22, while Eugene K. Pettis of Fort Lauderdale will be sworn in as president-elect during the same ceremony. Pettis will become president of the Bar and its first African American leader in June 2013.

"Then, Now and Always – A Heritage of Leadership" is the convention theme. Current President Scott G. Hawkins wrote in a letter to convention attendees that the theme encourages members "to lead by example at both the state and local levels as we promote equal justice and improve access for all."

The convention gives Florida Bar members a chance to choose from an array of seminars for Continuing Legal Education credit, meet with their committees and sections dedicated to advancing the Bar's work and attend special luncheons and events including:

    § "Choosing Our Judges" – U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor (Ret.) headlines this Presidential Showcase seminar Friday, June 22, that will discuss how judges are selected both in Florida and other states and how campaign money-raising can effect selection to judicial office. "Choosing Our Judges" is complimentary for Bar members and members of the public. Pre-registration is requested. While online registration closes June 13, those wanting to attend will be able to register at The Florida Bar desk in the Sun Lobby of the Gaylord Palms beginning at 7:30 a.m. on Wednesday, June 20.

      The seminar is part of the Bar's ongoing effort to educate the public about Florida's method of selecting judges for the Florida Supreme Court and state appellate courts. More information about "The Vote's in Your Court" is available at "Choosing Our Judges" will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. in Osceola Ballroom D.

    § The Judicial Luncheon on Thursday, June 21, is the stage for Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Charles T. Canady to deliver his State of the Judiciary address. Speaker for the luncheon is legal humorist and author Fred O. Knipe. The luncheon will be held from 12:30 to 2 p.m. in Sun Ballroom A & B. Tickets are required.

    § The 50 Year Member Luncheon honors attorneys who became members of The Florida Bar in 1962. Judge Robert J. Pleus Jr. of the 5th District Court of Appeal is the featured speaker at the luncheon, which takes place on Friday, June 22, from 12:30 to 2 p.m. in Sun Ballroom C. Tickets are required.

This year, convention attendees have 14 seminars from which to choose. Among them are:
    § "Social Networking and the Law" presented as a Presidential Showcase by the Entertainment, Arts & Sports Law Section. The seminar will be held from 1 to 5 p.m. on Thursday, June 21, in Miami 2 and 3.

    § "Significant Changes in Consumer Protection Law" presented by the Consumer Law Protection Committee. This seminar includes a discussion by former Mississippi Supreme Court Justice Oliver Diaz, whose travails while in office became grist for John Grisham's novel "The Appeal." Deepak Gupta, former Senior Litigation Counsel for Enforcement Strategy at the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, will also speak. The seminar will be held from 2 to 5 p.m. on Thursday, June 21, in Sanibel 1-3.

The Annual Convention includes a local charitable project for the Osceola Council on Aging. Convention attendees and Bar members are asked to make a donation to feed hungry and homeless Central Floridians of all ages. Donations can be made online through PayPal or at a table the council will have at the convention in the Exhibitors' Hall.

With more than 93,000 members, The Florida Bar is one of the largest Bars in the nation. It is charged by the Florida Supreme Court with regulating the practice of law in the state as well as promoting the administration of justice.

Registration fees and ticket costs and other details are available on The Florida Bar website at

News reporters interested in covering convention events can read coverage guidelines online. They also may contact Public Information Director Francine A. Walker ( or Assistant Public Information Director Zannah Lyle ( at (850) 561-5666.


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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: 06-12-2012]