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Master List of Legislative Positions 2014-16

Current positions of The Florida Bar, sections and committees.

On This Page

I. FLORIDA BAR LEGISLATIVE POSITIONS

II. COMMITTEE LEGISLATIVE POSITIONS


III. SECTION LEGISLATIVE POSITIONS IV. DIVISION LEGISLATIVE POSITIONS
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I. FLORIDA BAR LEGISLATIVE POSITIONS

Consistent with official policy, all legislative positions of The Florida Bar and its committees for the 2012-2014 biennium were formally sunset at the July 25, 2014 meeting of the Board of Governors of The Florida Bar. A new slate of positions for the 2014-2016 legislative biennium will be developed shortly.

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II. COMMITTEE LEGISLATIVE POSITIONS

Code and Rules of Evidence Committee

Consistent with official policy, all legislative positions of The Florida Bar and its committees for the 2012-2014 biennium were formally sunset at the July 25, 2014 meeting of the Board of Governors of The Florida Bar. A new slate of positions for the 2014-2016 legislative biennium will be developed shortly.


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III. SECTION LEGISLATIVE POSITIONS

Administrative Law Section

July 25, 2014

1. Opposes any amendment to Chapter 120, Florida Statutes, or other legislation to deny, limit or restrict points of entry to administrative proceedings under Chapter 120, Florida Statutes, by substantially affected persons.

2. Opposes exemptions or exceptions to the Administrative Procedure Act, but supports requiring that any exemption or exception that is enacted be included within Chapter 120, Florida Statutes.

3. Supports voluntary use of mediation to resolve matters in administrative proceedings under Chapter 120, Florida Statutes, and supports confidentiality of discussions in mediation; but opposes mandatory mediation and opposes imposition of involuntary penalties associated with mediation.

4. Opposes amendments to Chapter 120, Florida Statutes, or other legislation that limit, restrict, or penalize full participation in the administrative process without compelling justification.

5. Supports adequate funding of the Division of Administrative Hearings and other existing state administrative dispute resolution forums in order to ensure efficient resolution of administrative disputes.

6. Opposes any amendment to Chapter 120, Florida Statutes, or other legislation, that undermines the rule-making requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act.

7. Supports uniformity of procedures in administrative proceedings under Chapter 120, Florida Statutes.

8. Opposes legislation which undermines generally-accepted principles of Florida administrative law by altering the balance between the rights of citizens to participate in the administrative process and the responsibility of an agency to implement and enforce the agency's statutory responsibilities.

9. Opposes legislation which deviates from generally-accepted principles of Florida administrative law by hindering an agency from promulgating otherwise-authorized rules to interpret statutes within the agency's area of responsibility or to efficiently administer its statutory responsibilities.

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Appellate Practice Law Section

July 25, 2014
1. Supports maintaining an independent judiciary in the appellate courts.

2. Supports pay raises for appellate judges and support personnel consistent with the Supreme Court of Florida's budget requests.


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Business Law Section


    Bankruptcy / Uniform Commercial Codes / Debtor-Creditor Issues

    July 27, 2012

    1. Opposes legislation that would re-enact the Bulk Sales Act, Article 6 of the Uniform Commercial Code, or similar legislation.

    2. Supports Revised Article I of the Uniform Commercial Code, as developed by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (NCCUSL).

    3. Supports amendment to §222.25 F. S. providing an exemption from legal process of not to exceed $4,000 in personal property, provided a resident debtor does not claim or receive the benefits of a homestead exemption under Article X, Section 4 of the Florida Constitution.

    4. Supports legislation to update or modernize the assignment for benefit of creditors in Chapter 727, Florida Statutes.

    5. Supports the creation of §702.55 Florida Statutes, providing for notice to homeowner in mortgage foreclosure action of possibility of relief under U. S. Bankruptcy Code.

    6. Supports regulation of auctioneers consistent with language of HB 17 (2008 Session).

    7. Opposes the following proposed amendments to the Uniform Commercial Code: (1) addition of words "or otherwise" to §673.4201, Florida Statutes, re conversion of instruments; and (2) addition of the following language to §673.1021 and 673.102 re subject matter and applicability, respectively: "Where the provisions of this article address a particular subject or provide a particular remedy, then displacement of the common law occurs so that a party's exclusive remedy is pursuant to this article."

    8. Opposes HB 119 (2008 Session) regarding the Department of Financial Services to establish an Internet registry of all of vacant, abandoned, or foreclosure-proposed real properties.

    9. Opposes definitions of “Credit Counseling Services” in SB 1132 (2009 Session), HB 959 (2009 Session) and HB 1045 (2009 Session), and supports clear definitions and language to exclude licensed Florida attorneys, including bankruptcy attorneys who represent debtors, from the scope of the bills.

    10. Supports Revised Article 7 of UCC developed by NCCUSL relating to electronic documents of title, warehouse receipts, and bills of lading.

    11. Supports SB 1858 (2010 Session) providing federal bankruptcy exemption for alimony, support or separate maintenance, that has already been received, to the extent necessary for the support of the debtor or his/her dependents.

    12. Opposes any amendment to existing Florida law governing real property foreclosures unless those amendments carefully preserve and protect the property rights and due process rights of the holders of interests in or affecting Florida real property.

    13. Supports proposed updating and clarifying Uniform Law Commission / NCCUSL amendments to Article 9 UCC/FS Ch. 679.

    14. Opposes SB 458/ HB 451 (2012), as filed, re proposed non-uniform amendments to the Uniform Fraudulent Transfers Act, but supports amendments to bills incorporating protections of federal bankruptcy laws – §§ 548(a)(2), and (d)(4) into F.S. §726.109.

    15. Supports HR 1021 re: Temporary Bankruptcy Judgeships Extension Act of 2011.

    16. Supports HR 2533 re: Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Venue Reform Act of 2011.

    January 31, 2014

    17. Supports enactment of a separately credited financial literacy course as a prerequisite for high school graduation and a standard high school diploma, consistent with the requirements set forth in HB 367 and SB 212.

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    Business Entities / Securities / Financial Services

    July 27, 2012

    1. Opposes legislation to impose income tax on limited liability companies and subchapter S corporations.

    2. Supports proposed technical, clarifying and modernizing revisions to Chapter 617 F. S. re not for profit corporations. The scope of such amendments includes changes to Ch. 617 that will conform that chapter to changes made in Ch. 607 re for profit corporations since 1990.

    3. Supports "glitch" amendments of a technical, corrective and clarifying nature to Florida Statutes Chapter 620 re Uniform Limited Partnership Act.

    4. Supports legislation to eliminate duplicate names among limited liability companies, paralleling existing Delaware corporate law: (1) providing that an LLC name not distinguishable from the name of an existing corporation or partnership without permission of the prior name holder not be permitted; (2) providing a "grandfather" clause that would permit existing names on record to remain; (3) applying to both domestic and foreign corporations; and (4) conforming the amendments to partnership and corporate statues.

    5. Supports RPPTL position "supports limitation of creditor remedies against partner interest in general and limited liability partnerships and member interests in limited liability companies to charging liens and to prohibit foreclosure against such interests"-- provided that single member LLC's are eliminated from the scope of the legislation.

    6. Supports glitch amendments of a technical, corrective and clarifying nature to Florida Statutes, Chapter 607 re: Corporations and Chapter 608 re: Limited Liability Companies.

    7. Supports amendment of F.S. §607.1620 allowing Florida corporations to take advantage of technological improvements by utilizing electronic financial statements and e-proxies.

    8. Supports SB 382 (2008 Session) permitting a director 15 years of age or older if provided in articles of incorporation or bylaws, or by resolution of board of directors.

    9. Supports legislation amending F.S. Ch 607 to allow for variations from the plurality voting standard that governs the election of directors, and clarifying aspects of the law regarding contingency or later-date resignation by a director.

    10. Opposes legislation that would transfer the functions of the Division of Corporations in the Department of State to the Department of Revenue.

    11. Opposes “sunset” of the Division of Corporations of the Department of State.

    12. Supports amendments to section 608.433, F.S., to clarify the charging lien and other rights of judgment creditors with respect to members of Florida Limited Liability Companies (LLC's).

    13. Supports clarification of Florida Statutes, Section 213.758 "Transfer of tax liabilities" in order to streamline the transfers of businesses and stocks of goods.

    14. Provide technical input to HB 757 regarding Benefit Corporations.

    February 1, 2013

    15. Supports legislation to include social purpose corporations and benefit corporations as business entity choices in Florida.

    16. Supports a comprehensive update and modernization of Florida's LLC statutes, F.S. Ch.608.

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    Business Litigation / Alternative Dispute Resolution

    July 27, 2012

    1. Supports the replacement of word “files” and “filing” with “serves” and “serving” wherever they appear in subsection (1) of §768.79, the Offer of Judgment and Demand for Judgment Statute.

    2. Supports changing the substantive law that governs international commercial arbitration in Florida, specifically by adoption of the UNCITRAL model international commercial arbitration law.

    3. Opposes HB 1135 (2009 Session) and SB 2192 (2009 Session) proposing creation of the “Florida Consumer and Small Business Arbitration Act.”

    4. Supports legislation providing for award of attorney’s fees for time incurred litigating the amount of attorney’s fees a prevailing party may recover pursuant to a fee-shifting provision of a statute, rule or contract.

    5. Opposes SB 1294 & HB 1273 (2011) or similar legislation regarding the choice of foreign laws, legal codes, or systems that declare certain court decisions rendered under such laws, codes, or systems are void, that certain choice of venue or forum provisions in contracts are void, or that claims of forum non conveniens or related claims must be denied under certain circumstances.

    6. Supports update and modernization of the Florida Arbitration Code, F.S. Ch. 682, via enactment of the Revised Uniform Arbitration Act ("RUAA").

    April 3, 2013

    7. Opposes amendments to F.S. §48.031 re service of process, and to F.S. §56.27 re executions and payment of money collected, as proposed in SB 1268 (2013) and HB 1379 (2013).

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Intellectual Property / Computer Law

July 27, 2012

1. Supports Revised Model Trademark Act, Ch. 495, Florida Statutes.

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Judiciary / Administration of Justice

July 27, 2012

1. Supports adequate funding of the state courts' system, state attorneys' offices, public defenders' offices, and court-appointed counsel.

2. Supports legislation consistent with the Supreme Court of Florida’s certification of need for additional judges.

3. Supports the funding and allocation of appropriate and necessary resources to fund complex business litigation pilot projects in the 9th, 11th, 13th, and 15th judicial circuits, provided that pilot project funding is to be in addition to existing court funding.

4. Supports adequate funding for civil legal assistance to indigent persons through the Florida Access to Civil Legal Assistance Act.

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Criminal Law Section

July 25, 2014

1. Supports a comprehensive review of Florida's entire death penalty process by all branches of government.

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Elder Law Section

July 25, 2014

1. Opposes legislation that would limit awards, attorney's fees and costs in liability actions brought against nursing homes or assisted living facilities.

2. Supports legislation that would increase staffing ratios, governmental oversight and Medicaid reimbursement rates to improve the general quality of care for residents in any long term care facility, and opposes legislation that would decrease staffing ratios, governmental oversight and Medicaid reimbursement rates or otherwise decrease the general quality of care for residents in any long term care facility. (Revised January 30, 2009)

3. Opposes legislation that would restrict or revoke driving privileges based solely upon aging factors.

4. Supports legislation that would enhance enforcement of existing provisions to revoke driving privileges from persons who are determined to be impaired.

5. Opposes legislation that would eliminate or diminish the rights of residents of any long term care facility.

6. Opposes any legislation that would allow the clerks of court in any and/or all circuits to assess and collect audit fees or other fees in guardianship or probate cases that would be a percentage of the total amount or value of the respective guardianship or probate estate.

7. Opposes any legislation that would decrease current court authority and control over guardianship or probate matters while increasing, correspondingly or otherwise, the clerk of courts authority over these same matters.

8. Opposes the adoption of summary guardianship proceedings outside the protections of Chapter 744, Florida Statutes.

9. Supports the development and implementation of a public education program stressing the need for screenings for memory impairment and the importance of early diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders; and supports the mandate that the Department of Elder Affairs conduct, or provide support for, a study on the benefits of memory screenings and the scientific evidence on the techniques for memory screening.

10. Supports adequate funding of the state courts system, state attorneys’ offices, public defenders’ offices, and court-appointed counsel.

11. Supports legislation which provides for designation of a health care representative.

12. Supports legislation that protects an individual’s rights relating to their health care decisions regardless of incapacity, and opposes any legislation that erodes such rights.

13. Supports legislation that enhances and increases the protection of vulnerable adults wherever they reside, and opposes any legislation that erodes or decreases such protection.

14. Supports legislation to provide residents of assisted living facilities a process for administrative hearings and administrative review of discharge decisions.

15. Supports legislation that increases the personal needs allowance to qualified individuals residing in any long term care, health care and/or residential facility.

16. Supports legislation requiring a specific pleading against a vulnerable adult defendant.

17. Opposes legislation requiring filial responsibility for long term care of adults.

18. Supports legislation recognizing the economic value of care provided to vulnerable adults by family members and friends.

19. Supports legislation that would increase and enhance the rights of residents of any long term care facility and which would restrict the use of over-burdensome and onerous provisions in admissions contracts used by long term care facilities.

20. Supports public access to long term care insurance at reasonable and affordable costs with adequate and reasonable benefits.

21. Supports adequate funding for programs that allow Florida’s seniors to age in place and opposes reduction or elimination of funding for programs that allow Florida’s seniors to age in place.

22. Opposes the expansion of creditors’ rights beyond the current statutory and common law rights available to creditors under Florida law.

23. Supports legislation that exempts the addresses and telephone numbers of long term care ombudsmen volunteers from public records law.

24. Supports legislation that aligns State Law with Veterans Administration Federal Law, with regard to the treatment of low income pension with Aid and Attendance and opposes legislation that impoverishes spouses of veterans living in the community.

25. Supports legislation which would include "The Right to Bear Arms" as on of the enumerated rights to be addressed by the court when determining which rights may be removed under F.S. §744.3215. The proposed legislation would also include "The Right to Bear Arms" as a right which may be restored under F.S. §744.464.

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Entertainment, Arts & Sports Law Section

July 25, 2014

1. Supports full and complete state funding for the arts and the arts education programs in Florida, as well as the continued existence of the Corporations Trust Fund, and urges the Florida legislature to continue and increase the funding of these arts programs and organizations.

2. Supports the passage of legislation which would provide increased corporate income tax, sales and use tax credits to qualified entertainment entities instead of reimbursements from appropriations.

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Family Law Section

July 25, 2014

1. Supports amendments to Florida's domestic violence laws that would include amending §741.30(6)(a)7, Florida Statutes, to authorize the court to enter relief to protect minor children of a domestic violence victim as well as the victim.

2. Opposes legislation that would seek to remove from the courts in any way the establishment, modification or enforcement of family support, and/or that would seek to place consideration, effectuation or adjudication of these issues under the jurisdiction of the Department of Revenue or any other governmental or administrative body.

3. Supports adequate funding for dependency courts and for all Chapter 39, F.S. proceedings relating to children.

4. Supports the establishment and funding of programs to provide dependency mediation services in each judicial circuit.

5. Opposes creation of an evidentiary privilege for parent-child communications.

6. Supports amendment of §61.13(1), Florida Statutes, to clarify that a court may require either or both parents to carry life insurance or to otherwise secure child support obligations.

7. Opposes removing or deleting the word "imminent" from §741.30(1)(a), Florida Statutes.

8. Supports amending Chapter 61, Florida Statutes, by adding a new § 61.406, Florida Statutes
, authorizing an award of reasonable fees and costs to a duly appointed guardian ad litem, and further authorizing the guardian to apply for and enforce such an award in his or her own name without the necessity of counsel.

9. Supports amending § 742.045, Florida Statutes, allowing the award of appellate fees and costs in paternity matters, consistent with existing language of § 61.16,
Florida Statute.

10. Opposes any proposed legislation that disturbs the finality of judgments determining parentage of children without consideration or inclusion of a statute of repose, a best interests of child standard consistent with established public policy of the State, and the elements and burden of proof of fraud.

11. Supports an amendment to §61.30 (1) (a), Florida Statutes (Child Support Guidelines; Retroactive Child Support), deleting the words ““or mediation agreement”” in the second to last sentence.


12. Opposes any extension of administrative procedures for a determination of paternity outside of the constitutionally established judiciary branch of state government.

13. Supports the amendment of §63.042, Florida Statutes, to permit a court to excuse the consent of an adoptive parent's spouse when the court finds that an adoption is in the best interests of the child. The court, rather than the Department of Children & Families, should be vested with the authority to determine whether an adoptive parent's disability should prohibit the person from adopting.

14. Supports adequate funding of the state courts system, state attorneys' offices, public defenders' offices and court-appointed counsel.

15. Supports amending Florida Statutes, Chapters 61 and 742, Florida Statutes, to make it clear that the court has the appropriate discretion and authority to, upon good cause shown by a party, modify temporary support orders on a retroactive basis, even in the absence of a showing of a substantial change in circumstances.

16. Opposes legislation deleting the term “repeat violence” in F. S. 784.046 for purposes of protective injunctions.

17. Supports the statutory recognition of collaborative law as a form of alternative dispute resolution in family law cases and the establishment of a privilege regarding the disclosure of information related to collaborative proceedings.

18. Supports legislation to create a rebuttable presumption for the purposes of imputation of income in a child support case that every parent in the State of Florida can earn minimum wage.

19. Supports the establishment of supervised visitation program standards.

20. Supports the amendment of Florida Statutes 61.08 and 61.14 to fix certain “glitches” created by the 2005 amendment of the Florida Statutes which provided for the termination or modification of alimony based upon a finding that a
de facto marriage occurred.

21. Supports an amendment to Florida Statutes 61.14 to include subparagraphs (1)(a)1, (2), (3) (a) and (b), as well as (4) to enable a court to temporarily reduce support under certain defined circumstances post-judgment.


22. Supports the amendment to Florida Statutes section 61.30 (16) to adjust the child support statutory guidelines no less than every 3 years to ensure that Federal Poverty Guidelines are properly adjusted within those statutory guidelines.

23. Supports amending §61.30(6) F.S. which would provide that when the parents combined income exceeds the child support guidelines schedule amounts that the percentages contained at the end of subparagraph (6) not be used as a basis for awarding child support beyond the reasonable needs of the parties’ children.

24. Supports an amendment to §61.30 11 (d) F.S. which would codify current case law addressing the formula for calculating child support in split custody cases.

25. Strongly opposes any amendment to 61.30 F.S. which would delegate the obligation to review and if appropriate, reconfigure the child support guidelines schedule in Florida Statutes, Chapter 61, to the Supreme Court of the State of Florida or the State of Florida, Department of Revenue.

26. Opposes the incorporation of Family Team Conferencing as an alternative dispute resolution mechanism unless it incorporates the appropriate procedural safeguards.

27. Supports the inclusion of the definition of "incarcerated parent" in Chapter 39, Florida Statutes.

28. Supports the inclusion of limiting language in setting aside paternity based upon fraud or misrepresentation for child support termination purposes.

29. Supports an amendment to §61.30(2)(b) to include subparagraphs 1.,2., 3. and 4. which defines the criteria for imputation of income for child support calculation purposes under the statutory child support guidelines, assigns the evidentiary burden to the party seeking to impute the income; makes mandatory the obligation to make findings of fact when imputation of income occurs; creates a rebuttable presumption pertaining to imputation of the minimum wage to parties residing in the State of Florida and outside of the State of Florida; and finally limits those circumstances when a court may not impute income beyond minimum wage requirements.

30. Supports an amendment to Chapter 39 F. S. applying Florida’s Putative Father Registry to all termination of parental rights actions. An unmarried biological father’s consent is on required when he acts to protect his parental rights by legally establishing his rights or registering with Florida’s Putative Father Registry prior to the date the petition to terminate parental rights is filed with the court.


31. Supports amendment to Chapter 39 F. S. which would clearly set forth the intent that application of the Florida Putative Father Registry would differ in Dependency/Shelter proceedings and Termination of Parental Rights Proceedings as the interests of the child were different in each proceeding.

32. Supports an amendment to Chapter 39 F. S. which would provide juvenile judges with the authority to enter legally recordable paternity judgments, child support order and income deduction orders.

33. Supports amendment to Chapter 339 F. S. that applying Florida’s Putative Father Registry to Dependency/Shelter proceeding by personally providing a father identified as a result of §39.503 F. S. inquiry with a disclosure on his paternal responsibility to register with Florida Putative Father Registry, support his child and legally establish his rights to the child. Such a father would have 30 days from personal receipt of the disclosure to assert his rights by registering with Florida’s Putative Father Registry.

34. Supports legislation intended to clarify the nature of marital and non-marital assets in Florida Statutes
Chapter 61 proceedings.

35. Supports legislation allowing trial courts to temporarily reduce, suspend or abate child support in temporary circumstances necessitating a reduction of support.

36. Opposes legislation removing the need for a father to be current in his support to seek disestablishment of paternity.

37. Opposes legislation re attorney ad litem representation that seeks to regulate the profession, instruct and/or train lawyers on how they should represent their clients, and that allows another governmental branch agency to train lawyers.

38. Opposes legislation that remedies barriers to remarriage through equitable distribution.

39. Supports legislation designed to promote and implement a Unified Family Court.

40. Supports legislation that expands the range of both civil and criminal sanctions imposed against those who violate existing injunctions for protection against domestic, repeat, sexual and dating violence.


41. Supports amendments to F.S. §61.14 & 742.08 regarding the enforcement and accrual of interest on child support, alimony, and spousal support judgments.

42. Supports amendments to F.S. §61.30 to streamline, simplify, and clarify the methodology of calculating child support.

43. Supports amendments to F.S. §61.13001 streamlining the requirements and criteria governing relocation.

44. Supports amendments to §61.075, F.S. to allow for the assessment of interest and award of security regarding delayed equitable distribution payments.

45. Supports amendments to F.S. §61.08 (alimony statute) to recognize the court’s discretion to fashion alimony awards that are appropriate based upon the statutory factors including bridge-the-gap, rehabilitative, durational, and permanent alimony.

46. Supports legislation to allow not-for-profit legal aid associations to certify guardians ad litem who have taken a uniform statewide training program for cases under F.S. Chapter 61 where there are no well-founded allegations of abuse, abandonment or neglect; to not require such legal aid associations to certify guardians ad litem; and to penalize for false statements or omissions on a guardian ad litem application. Opposes legislation allowing lay guardians ad litem without the foregoing safeguards.

47. Supports legislation providing for notice to relatives of the existence of proceedings and investigations under Chapter 39 so long as the added burden of giving notice does not result in attorneys, investigators and others working for DCF having less time to work directly to protect children.

48. Opposes legislation allowing one party to obtain assignment of a retired judge or justice with payment of the retired judge or justice by the prevailing party in a matter governed by the Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure.

49. Supports legislation allowing sheriffs to serve faxed copies of previously certified domestic violence injunctions.

50. Opposes legislation granting immunity from suit to mental health professionals licensed under Chapter 491 who disclose confidential communications when they believe there is a clear and immediate probability of certain harm.

51. Supports the expansion of actions which constitute violations of injunctions for protection to include coming into close proximity of the petitioner’s dwelling, vehicle, school or place of business; defacing or destroying petitioner’s vehicle or refusing to surrender firearms or ammunition after being ordered to do so by the court issuing the injunction.

52. Supports legislation specifying that transfers of homestead property between husband and wife, whether incident to a dissolution of marriage or otherwise, are not to be considered a “change of ownership” for homestead exemption purposes.

53. Opposes legislation regarding child support which creates a presumption that health insurance is affordable if it is 5% or less of a parent’s gross income.

54. Supports mandatory and discretionary appointment of attorneys for children predicated on the understanding that funding for any attorney ad litem program does not jeopardize funding of the Statewide Guardian ad Litem program, that the administration of the program is not through the Statewide Guardian ad Litem program or any other executive branch agency, and that any funding of the program does not jeopardize other court programs.

55. Supports the discretionary appointment of attorneys for children in the following situations: where the court has a concern that the child has a need for developmental disability, mental health or substance abuse services; and in any Chapter 39 proceedings when the Court deems it appropriate.

56. Supports the mandatory appointment of attorneys for children in the following situations: in cases where the state is seeking to administer or administers psychotropic medications to a child subject to a Chapter 39 proceeding; where the child is the subject of a proceeding in which the state is seeking the commitment or placement of the child for longer than 72 hours to a secure residential treatment facility, including licensed care under chapters 39, 393, 394, and 397 of the Florida Statutes; to a child involved in a Chapter 39 proceeding at the age of 16 years; in any case where someone is asserting a psychotherapist-patient waiver on behalf of a child; or for a child who is the subject of an application for services pursuant to Chapter 393, Florida Statutes, where the application was denied and the matter proceeds to the administrative appellate level.

57. Supports legislation that maintains current uniform laws that have been enacted in Florida that pertain to Marital & Family Law.

58. Supports legislation regarding child abduction prevention.

59. Supports legislation that will allow a duly licensed attorney acting as a guardian ad litem in Chapter 61 proceedings to also act as the attorney for the guardian ad litem.

60. Supports legislation that requires the court to allow an adoption entity to intervene in dependency proceedings where the parent has executed a consent for adoption.


61. Opposes legislation that requires only a best interests standard in allowing a third party to be delegated or awarded timesharing or visitation with a minor child.

62. Supports legislation in F.S. chapter 39 proceedings that would facilitate the establishment of paternity to achieve permanency for children.

63. Supports legislation removing subsection (14) from § 61.30 of the Florida Statutes.

64. Supports legislation that establishes a coveture fraction formula to determine the value of a marital contribution to non-marital property.

65. Supports legislation that would advance funding for the development of a uniform objective statewide program for certifying and training Guardian Ad Litems under F.S. Chapter 61 cases.

66. Supports continued consideration of both marital and non-marital assets in determining need and ability to pay for alimony awards.

67. Supports codification of existing case law that an award of life insurance to secure an award of alimony can only happen in exceptional circumstances after determining need and ability to pay.

68. Opposes any proposed legislation that would allow modification or termination of existing awards of alimony based solely on legislative changes to 61.08.

69. Supports amendment of chapter 88 to fix certain "glitches" created by the 2011 amendments of the statute which provided for adoption of the 2008 version of Uniform Interstate Family Support Act.

70. Opposes any rule or proposed legislation which attempts to limit the Court’s discretion in limiting suit money in temporary matters.

71. Supports the codification of existing case law providing that retroactivity as to modification or termination of alimony awards shall be discretionary with the trial court.

72. Supports the amendment of F.S. §61.08, to allow the court to consider adultery in determining the amount of alimony based upon specific findings that the adultery caused a significant depletion in the marital assets or caused a significant reduction in income

73. Opposes bifurcation of dissolution of marriage actions except with a reservation of jurisdiction in exceptional circumstances when it is clearly necessary for the best interests of the parties or their children.

74. Supports the codification of existing case law relating to the modification or termination of alimony awards consistent with
Pimm v. Pimm, 601 So.2d 534 (Fla. 1992).

75. Opposes legislation that would change the definition of “abandonment” under Chapter 63, Florida Statutes.

76. Opposes amendments to Chapter 63, Florida Statutes, relating to adoption proceedings which contradict or conflict with Chapters 39 and/or 742, Florida Statutes, relating to paternity proceedings.

77. Opposes amendments to the definition of unmarried biological father under Chapter 63, Florida Statutes.


78. Opposes amendments to Chapter 63, Florida Statutes relating to the date the birth mother identifies the putative father.

79. Opposes any amendments to the definition of “parent” under Chapter 63, Florida Statutes.

80. Opposes removing or eliminating any requirement that a party search the putative father registry.

81. Opposes excepting “safe haven” adoptions from DCF investigation.

82. Opposes any amendments eliminating or reducing DCF’s responsibility to investigate any possible abuse, abandonment or neglect of a child.

83. Opposes removing the court’s discretion to order scientific testing
.

84. Opposes any amendments reducing a father’s opportunity to establish his legal rights to a child.

85. Opposes any requirement which reduces an identified putative unmarried biological father’s right to due process under Chapter 63, Florida Statutes.

86. Opposes legislation that would seek to limit, to remove or to prohibit a party’s right to contract where no violation of the public policy of this state exists.

87. Supports amending Section 61.30(11), FL. Stat. to allow for the consideration of the parenting plan, court-ordered timesharing schedule or the particular timesharing schedule exercised by formal or informal agreement of the parties when the Court is determining whether to deviate from the Child Support Guidelines pursuant to Section 61.30(a)(10) or adjust child support pursuant to Section 61.30(b), FL. Stat.

88. Supports legislation that provides more predictability and certainty to courts in making alimony determinations.

89. Opposes legislation that would completely eliminate judicial discretion in making alimony determinations.

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Government Lawyer Section

July 25, 2014

1. Supports language in the Legislative Appropriations Act to permit the payment of government attorneys' Florida Bar membership fees and continuing legal education costs from funds within budget entities, and further supports amendment to general law to authorize all Florida government agencies to pay their government attorneys' Florida Bar membership fees and continuing education costs.

2. Supports amendment to §119.07(3)(x), Florida Statutes, to exempt from disclosure under the public records law, the home addresses and telephone numbers of all current and former government agency employees.

3. Supports full legislative funding of the Prosecutor/Public Defender Training Program.

4. Supports legislative intent language to clarify that statutory restrictions or prohibitions on the private practice of law by government lawyers (other than judges and their staff) do not preclude such lawyers from providing pro bono legal services as contemplated by the Supreme Court of Florida in
Amendments to Rules Regulating The Florida Bar, 630 So. 2d 501 (Fla. 1993), which establishes an aspirational goal of 20 hours per year of such services by each Florida lawyer.

5. Oppose all efforts to reduce the salaries and currently authorized benefits, including any change to the Florida Retirement System that would result in reduced benefits, for government lawyers.

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Health Law Section

July 25, 2014

1. Supports confidentiality of Professional Resource Network and Intervention Project for Nurses records.

2. Opposes legislation that imposes onerous financial burdens on health care licensees: who elect or are required to participate in the state’s impaired practitioner programs; who elect to exercise rights provided pursuant to Chapter 120, F.S.; who are subjected to the unilateral assessment of costs, rather than those limited to a non-prevailing party; or who are subjected to mandatory disciplinary fines incapable of discretionary adjustment by an agency.

3. Supports amendment of §456.072, Florida Statutes; to provide health care licensing practice boards with discretion regarding the imposition of costs against any party; to permit assessment of costs on an individual basis; to provide a mechanism for determining such costs; and to exclude attorneys’’ fees from costs, as in matters of civil litigation.

4. Opposes any amendment to Chapter 120, Florida Statutes, or other legislation, that undermines the rule-making requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act by allowing statements of agency policy without formal rule-making.

5. Opposes any amendment to Chapters 120 or 393, Florida Statutes, or other legislation to deny, limit or restrict points of entry to administrative proceedings under Chapter 120, Florida Statutes, by substantially affected persons.

6. Opposes exemptions or exceptions to the Administrative Procedure Act, but otherwise supports a requirement that any exemption or exception be included within Chapter 120, Florida Statutes.

7. Supports voluntary use of mediation to resolve matters in administrative proceedings under Chapter 120, Florida Statutes, and supports confidentiality of discussions in mediation; but opposes mandatory mediation and opposes imposition of involuntary penalties associated with mediation.

8. Supports uniformity of procedures in administrative proceedings under Chapter 120, Florida Statutes, and supports modification of such procedures only through amendment of or exceptions to the Uniform Rules of Procedure.

9. Opposes amendment to Chapter 120, Florida Statutes that limits, restricts, or penalizes full participation in the administrative process, in the absence of compelling justification or non-anecdotal evidence which demonstrates that the existing provisions of law are not adequately protecting the administrative due process rights of all participants.



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International Law Section

July 25, 2014

1. Supports legislation recognizing the state's legal obligation to provide medical, mental health and developmental services to all children in state custody who need such services.

2. Supports adequate funding for mandated programs under the state's Families in Need of Services and Children in Need of Services legislation pursuant to Chapter 984, Florida Statutes.

3. Supports legislation prohibiting discrimination in employment, housing and accommodations on the basis of sexual orientation.

4. Opposes any legislation that would eliminate, impair, or change the Interest on Trust Accounts (IOTA) Program.

5. Supports extending foster care and jurisdiction of the juvenile courts through age 21 for young adults who wish to remain in foster care beyond their 18th birthday.

6. Supports legislation to clarify that children in shelter or foster care be accorded the protections of § 39.4085, Florida Statutes.

7. Supports legislation to extend child health insurance coverage, including special health care needs, dental care, vision care, presumptive eligibility and continuous eligibility, to all children who are eligible for coverage under KidCare.

8. Supports legislation to allow relatives with custody of a child pursuant to any court order to receive financial assistance under the Relative Caregiver Program.

9. Supports legislation to restore a convicted felon's right to vote one year after completion and satisfaction of all sentences and court obligations, unless the majority of the Board of Executive Clemency objects.

10. Supports a legislative prohibition against executing a mentally retarded capital felon.

11. Supports legislation providing for court-appointed attorneys for children who are subject to abuse and neglect proceedings, to advocate for the children's interests in legal proceedings affecting their placement and needed services.

12. Resolves to call upon the state of Florida to not carry out the death penalty until Florida implements policies and procedures that are consistent with the following policies intended to

1) ensure that death penalty cases are administered fairly and impartially, in accordance with due process, and 2) minimize the risk that innocent persons may be executed through:

a. Implementing the American Bar Association's "Guidelines for the Appointment and Performance of Counsel in Death Penalty Cases" (adopted February 1999) and ABA policies intended to encourage competency of counsel in capital cases (adopted February 1979, February 1988, February 1990, and August 1996);

b. Preserving, enhancing, and streamlining state and federal courts' authority and responsibility to exercise independent judgment on the merits of constitutional claims in state post-conviction and federal habeas corpus proceedings; and

c. Striving to eliminate discrimination in capital sentencing on the basis of the race of either the victim or the defendant.

FURTHER RESOLVED, that in adopting this recommendation, apart from the policies enunciated above, the Public Interest Law Section of The Florida Bar take no position on the death penalty, other than that relating to offenders who are mentally retarded or under the age of 18 at the time of the offenses.


13. Opposes the expansion of the use of detention for purposes other than in response to charges for alleged acts of delinquency of a child.

14. Supports legislation that would allow children, convicted and sentenced in criminal court, to serve their sentences under the jurisdiction of the Department of Juvenile Justice.

15. Consistent with the final report of the Special Committee on the Legal Needs of Children, supports legislation giving the public access to information to properly scrutinize the Department of Children and Family Services' and the Department of Juvenile Justices' performance of its statutory duties to protect children from harm while protecting the confidentiality of the individual children and families involved.


16. Consistent with the final report of the Special Committee on the Legal Needs of Children, supports legislation to provide for procedures to ensure that psychotropic medications are administered to children in the custodial care of the Department of Children and Families or in the juvenile justice system only when medically necessary and appropriate, rather than to control behavior of children who simply need mental health counseling or non-medication services.

17. Consistent with the final report of the Special Committee on the Legal Needs of Children supports the following principles concerning school discipline: schools should have strong policies against gun possession and be safe places for students to learn and develop; in cases involving alleged student misbehavior, school officials should exercise sound discretion that is consistent with principles of due process and considers the individual student and the particular circumstances of misconduct; and alternatives to expulsion or referral for prosecution should be developed that will improve student behavior and school climate without making schools dangerous.

18. Opposes, in principle, "zero tolerance" policies that have a discriminatory effect, or mandate either expulsion or referral of students to juvenile or criminal court, without regard to the circumstances or nature of the offense or the student's history.

19. Supports modification of the statutory provisions of the Road to Independence Act to enhance and expand the transition program to provide an option for continuation of foster care to youth ages 18 through 23, and to provide reasonable accommodations for youth with disabilities.

20. Supports legislation stating that persons with any disabilities should not be deprived of any right guaranteed by law and should be free from any discrimination because of such disability.

21. Supports the repeal or amendment of 775.0837 F. S. Habitual Misdemeanor offenders to the extent that it affects Florida’s homeless population.

22. Supports legislation to reduce the use, by the state and private providers, of physical restraints on minors.

23. Supports legislation that prohibits the use of tasers on minors.

24. Supports legislation to facilitate unaccompanied, abused, neglected, or abandoned immigrant minor’s ability to access services including juvenile visas.

25. Supports legislation to require that a child have a meaningful opportunity to consult with an attorney before waiving his/her right to counsel in a delinquency proceeding.

26. Supports legislation to assure that state funding, resources and policies are directed to provide adequate housing for extremely low income persons, including persons with special needs.

27. Opposes the indiscriminate use of chains and shackles by the Department of Juvenile Justice or others in transporting children.

28. Consistent with the final Report of the Special Committee on the Legal Needs of Children, the Public Interest law Section supports legislation to implement an array of sentencing options for children in adult court, including blended sentences.

29. Consistent with the final Report of the Special Committee on the Legal Needs of Children, the Public Interest law Section supports legislation to restore judicial authority to determine the appropriateness of whether a child should be prosecuted in adult court.

30. Supports a foreclosure process that adequately protects homeowners’ rights and ensures access to due process.

31. Supports legislation that regulates the debt collection industry to ensure that consumers are not unfairly taken advantage of and are dealt with truthfully in providing any debt relief services.

32. Supports a clarifying amendment to Florida's garnishment statute, F.S. §222.11, and any related sections to assure adequate protection to the family's income in the garnishment process, by eliminating ambiguity in the definition of terms, including "head of household," and clarifying time periods.

33. Supports legislation to provide meaningful protections to Florida residents in litigation commenced by out-of-state plaintiffs, by amending Florida's nonresident cost bond statute, F.S §57.011, to adjust the amount of bond to account for inflation and to provide clear repercussions for failing to timely post a cost bond; in addition, in the interest of fairness, to create an exception to the cost bond requirement for out-of-state indigent plaintiffs.

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Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section
    Probate, Trust & Guardianship / Estate Planning

    July 25, 2014

    1. Supports limitation of creditor remedies against partner interest in general and limited liability partnerships and member interests in limited liability companies to charging liens and to prohibit foreclosure against such interests.

    2. Opposes the expansion of classes that are to serve as agents under a power of attorney beyond the current class of individuals and financial institutions with trust powers.

    3. Supports legislation to provide for alienation of plan benefits under the Florida Retirement System (§121.131 and §121.091 Florida Statutes) Municipal Police Pensions (§185.25 Florida Statutes) and Firefighter Pensions (§175.241 Florida Statutes) in a dissolution proceeding and authorizing such alienation of benefits in a dissolution of marriage under §61.076 Florida Statutes.

    4. Supports legislation to (1) change the titles of §222.11 Florida Statutes to clearly reflect that this statute applies to earnings and is not limited to “wages” (2) provide an expanded definition of “earnings” because the term “wages” is not the exclusive method of compensation and (3) add deferred compensation to the exemption statute.

    5. Supports legislation which provides that a waiver of the statutory exemption from creditors’ claims afforded to certain death benefits payable to trusts must be clear and specific, including amendments to F.S. §§733.808(4) and F.S. 736.05053(1)


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    Probate, Trust & Guardianship / Guardianship & Advance Directives

    July 25, 2014

    1. Supports legislation to amend the Baker Act to include a provision under which a guardian may request that the court grant the guardian the authority to involuntarily hospitalize a ward pursuant to the Baker Act.

    2. Supports legislation to amend F.S. §394.467 to add as criteria for involuntary placement the substantial and imminent likelihood of inflicting serious emotional or psychological harm on another person, and the causation of significant damage to property in the recent past with substantial and imminent likelihood of doing so again.

    3. Supports amending 29.007 F. S. to provide authority to appoint and compensate attorneys and professional guardians to serve as guardian advocates and guardian ad litem for indigents in civil commitment and treatment proceedings in proceedings under the mental retardation statutes (ch. 393), Baker Act (ch. 394) and Marchman Act (ch. 397).

    4. Supports legislation to amend Chapter 765, Florida Statutes, to improve the law concerning advance directives and to integrate federal HIPPA privacy laws with Florida law.

    5. Opposes the adoption of summary guardianship proceedings outside the protections of Chapter 744, Florida Statutes.

    6. Opposes amendments to F.S. §393.12 that would (i) remove the existing requirement that a guardian advocate for a developmentally disabled adult must be represented by an attorney if the guardian advocate is delegated authority to manage property, (ii) remove the existing requirement that the petition to appoint a guardian advocate must disclose the identity of the proposed guardian advocate, and (iii) expand the list of individuals entitled to receive notice of the guardian advocate proceedings.

    7.
    Supports clarification of the definition of “income” for calculating Veterans guardianship fees, including an amendment to §744.604, Fla. Stat.

    8. Opposes the adoption of the Uniform Adult Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Act.

    9. Supports legislation to allow a parent, legal guardian or legal custodian of a minor child to designate a health care surrogate to make health care decisions for the minor if the parent, legal guardian or legal custodian is not reasonably available.

    10. Supports proposed amendment to Florida Guardianship Law to clarify payment of attorney’s fees from the ward’s assets and to provide that the court may determine the reasonableness of compensation to the guardian, the guardian’s attorney, any person employed by the guardian, any attorney rendering services to the ward and any court appointed attorney without the necessity of receiving expert testimony.

    11. Supports proposed amendment to the Florida Guardianship Law to allow members of the guardianship examining committee to be paid by the state as court appointed experts pursuant to F.S. §29.004(3) in those circumstances in which the petition for incapacity is dismissed by the court and no guardian is appointed.

    12. Supports amendments to the Florida Guardianship Law to protect the interest of incapacitated persons, especially minor wards, by making settlements on their behalf confidential.

    13. Supports adoption of clarifications to F.S. Ch. 709, the Florida Power of Attorney Act.

    14. Opposes amendments to guardianship statutes that (a) would change the criteria and limit the discretion of the court in awarding fees in guardianship proceedings for services that benefit the ward, (b) seek to significantly change established guardianship laws and procedures concerning the qualification of examining committee members and the content and requirements of their reports, and (c) would criminalize certain conduct in guardianship proceedings, including proposed amendments to F.S. §§744.108, 744.331, and 744.4461.

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    Probate, Trust & Guardianship / Probate

    July 25, 2014

    1. Opposes any efforts to enact a statutory will.

    2. Supports legislation to repeal §734.1025, Florida Statutes, because the dollar amount for summary administrations found in § 735.201-2063, Florida Statutes, has been increased thus, making §734.102, Florida Statutes, duplicative.

    3. Opposes amendment to §733.302, F. S., to expand the class of non-residents which may serve as personal representative because of a concern that any addition to the class may subject the entire statute to a renewed constitutional challenge.

    4. Opposes changes to Florida Statute 732.103 that would extend the intestate distribution scheme to the level of the decedent's great-grandparents.

    5. Supports clarification of a person’s rights to direct disposition of his or her remains, providing guidance to courts and family members, especially when disputes arise, and absent specific directions, clarifying who is authorized to decide the place and manner of the disposition of a decedent’s remains, including an amendment replacing F.S. § 732.804.

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    Probate, Trust & Guardianship / Trust

    July 25, 2014

    1. Opposes legislation abrogating a trustee's duties of loyalty and duties of full and fair disclosure in connection with affiliated investments by a corporate trustee.

    2. Supports amendment of F.S. §736.0813 to clarify the meaning of the requirement that a trustee furnish qualified beneficiaries with a “complete copy” of a trust document.

    3. Supports legislation that would (i) amend F.S. §736.0207 to clarify that in an action to contest the validity or revocation of all or part of a trust, the contestant has the burden of proof to establish grounds for invalidity, and (ii) amend F.S. §733.107(2) to clarify and confirm its applicability in all circumstances in which the presumption of undue influence is established, including trust contests as well as challenges to inter vivos gifts.

    4. Supports legislation that would create legislation that authorizes families to form and operate licensed and unlicensed family trust companies and to authorize out of state licensed family trust companies to operate in Florida, including the creation of proposed F.S. Ch. 659, Family Trust Companies.

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    Real Property / Condominiums and Planned Developments

    July 25, 2014

    1. Supports amendments to Chapter 718, Florida Statutes, Condominiums, and Chapter 719 Florida Statutes, Cooperatives, to require that engineers, architects and other design professionals and manufacturers warrant the fitness of the work they perform on condominiums or cooperatives.

    2. Opposes amendments to §718.1255, Florida Statutes
    , or targeted budget reductions or other governmental action having the purpose or effect or diminishing or eliminating the jurisdiction of the Arbitration Division of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation's Division of Land Sales.

    3. Supports condominium unit owner’s ability to exercise self-government and undertake fair and efficient community administration, including the exercise of basic contract and investment decisions.

    4. Supports legislation to permit condominium unit owners to further subdivide or partition their interest in the condominium and common elements appurtenant thereto pursuant to a sub-declaration of condominium, which subdivided units shall remain subject and subordinate to the existing declaration of condominium, provided such existing declaration of condominium allows for the subdivision.

    5. Opposes amendments to Chapter 720, F.S., that would require both pre-suit mediation and pre-suit arbitration before filing a civil action over homeowners’ association disputes.

    6. Supports legislation providing for electrical elements to three-year warranty, extend subcontractor and supplier warranties to the contractor and to clarify start date for five-year warranty deadline set forth in F.S. §718.203(1)(e).

    7. Supports amendment of F.S. §718.403 to permit the addition of proposed phases to a condominium beyond 7 years from the recording of the declaration of condominium upon association membership approval and recorded amendment to the declaration of condominium.

    8. Supports additional guidance and regulation respecting the creation of a condominium within a condominium unit, through creation of Section 718.406, F.S.; to provide an effective date.

    9. Supports clarification of Ch 718, F.S.: to confirm that certain operational provisions do not apply to nonresidential condominium associations; to define "nonresidential condominiums;" to clarify that the Division's arbitration program only pertains to residential condominiums; to provide an effective date.

    10. Supports amendments to F.S. Chapter 718: to replace the date triggering certain obligations; to clarify when a condominium unit is created; to permit extending the period for adding phases to a condominium; and, to provide an effective date.

    11. Supports legislation to standardize procedures and to clarify the timing, content and preparation fees relating to estoppel letters issued by condominium and homeowners’ associations, including amendments to F.S. §§718.116 & 720.30851.

    12. Supports legislation to remove the requirement that statutory late fees must be set forth in a condominium or homeowners’ association declaration or bylaws in order for those charges to be imposed, to allow for the collection of such fees by all condominium and homeowner associations, including amendments to F.S. §§718.116 & 718.3085.

    13. Supports legislation to differentiate the administration of nonresidential condominiums from residential condominiums and to eliminate for nonresidential condominium associations certain provisions not appropriate in a commercial setting, including amendments to F.S. Ch. 718.

    14. Supports an amendment to F.S. §712.05 of the Marketable Record Title Action to correct an error created by an inadvertent requirement imposed by the 2010 amendment to F.S. §712.06, clarifying existing law, removing the costly, time consuming, and unnecessary requirement to mail a copy of the notice of preservation to each owner in a homeowners’ association, who would have already been notified of the preservation.

    15. Supports an amendment to the Florida Condominium Act for a one-year extension of the expiration date to July 1, 2016, for Part VII of the Act and F.S. §718.707, dealing with distressed condominiums.

    16. Supports amendments to the Florida Condominium Act which set forth the rights and obligations of purchasers and lenders that acquire multiple units, but who are not creating developers of the condominium, including creating a Part VIII, and eliminating application of Part VII, of the Condominium Act to transactions recorded after the effective date July 1, 2016.

    17. Opposes legislation that changes the definition of the practice of law to exclude from the definition a community association manager’s interpretation of documents or statutes that govern a community association, determination of title to real property, or completion of documents that require interpretation of statutes or the documents that govern a community association, including opposition to SB1466, SB1496, HB7037 and CS/HB7039 (2014).


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    Real Property / Contracts and Disclosures

    July 25, 2014

    1. Opposes legislation requiring multiple disclosures by sellers of real property, creating contract rescission rights for buyers and seller liability for damages.

    2. Opposes legislation requiring parties to record notices, warnings or reports regarding the physical condition of land or improvements in the public records regarding the title to real property.


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    Real Property / Corporations and LLCs

    July 25, 2014

    1. Opposes legislation requiring a Florida corporation or limited liability company to publish notice of its proposed sale of assets other than in regular course of business, or to publish notice of dissolution, including changes to F.S. §607.1202 and §608.4262.


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    Real Property / Courts

    July 25, 2014

    1. Oppose the creation of “pilot” court divisions without funding, evaluation criteria, rules of procedure, and competency criteria for magistrates without consideration for current alternate dispute resolution processes.

    2. Supports procedures to preserve due process by providing courts with authority to appoint attorney, administrator and guardian ad litems to serve on behalf of known persons, or unknown persons, having claims by, though, under or against a person who is deceased or whose status is unknown, and confirming the sufficiency of prior proceedings in which ad litems have been appointed, including amendment of F.S. §49.021.


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    Real Property / Environmental

    July 25, 2014

    1. Supports continuation and improvement of the Florida brownfield redevelopment program, including the voluntary cleanup tax credit (VCTC) program pursuant to F.S. §376.30781.

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    Real Property / Foreclosures and Judicial Sales

    July 25, 2014
    1. Oppose legislation which would require a foreclosing creditor to notify the debtor that filing a bankruptcy petition before the foreclosure sale may permit the debtor to retain the property and reorganize the indebtedness.

    2. Opposes any amendment to existing Florida law governing real property foreclosures unless those amendments carefully preserve and protect the property rights and due process rights of the holders of interests in or affecting Florida real property.

    3. Supports expanded publication of notices of judicial sales, permitting notices to be posted on the Internet, including amendments to F .S. Chapters 45, 50 and 702.

    4. Supports foreclosure reform which expedites and streamlines the judicial foreclosure process while preserving and protecting fundamental fairness and the property rights and due process rights of the holders of interests in or affecting Florida real property. [Revised 4/18/13]

    5. Supports requirements for electronic publication of legal notices that address due process concerns, including amendments to F.S. §50.0211, 50.041, and 50.061.

    6. Supports correction of procedural issues relating to trustee foreclosures of timeshares, including amendments to sections 721.82, 721.855, and 721.856 of the Florida Statutes.

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    Real Property / Liens and Encumbrances

    July 25, 2014

    1. Supports amendment to §162.09(3), Florida Statutes, to clarify the relative priority of recorded municipal code enforcement liens created pursuant to the Local Government Code Enforcement Boards Act.

    2. Opposes efforts to create a lien on real property for work that does not add value to the property, and would permit liens against the property of a person other than the party owing a debt.

    3. Supports amendment to F.S. §695.01 and ch 162 to reduce problems regarding hidden liens by: (i) requiring all governmental liens (other than taxes, special assessments and those for utility services) to be recorded in the official records and to state their priority; (ii) clarifying the priority of liens asserted by local governments; and (iii) expanding the homestead determination mechanisms of F.S. §222.01 to apply to other types of lien.

    4. Supports amendments: to s. 95.11(2) and (5), F.S., as to the statute of limitations for actions on payment bonds; to s. 713.08(3) (the statutory form for a claim of lien) to include the separate statement required by F.S. 713.08(1)(c); to s. s. 713.13, F.S. to delete the requirement that the notice of commencement be verified and to clarify the timing of the expiration date of the notice of commencement; to s. 713.18, F.S. as to electronic confirmation of delivery through the U.S. Postal Service.

    5. Supports amendment of: F.S. §713.10(2)(b) to provide that a blanket notice recorded by a landlord remains valid and the landlord’s property interest will not be liable for liens arising from tenant improvements even if the leases contain different versions of the lien prohibition language or no lien prohibition language at all, under certain circumstances; and F.S. §713.10(3) to require inclusion of specific language in any claim of lien premised on a landlord’s failure to comply so as to provide record notice of the basis of such a claim by a lienor, and to provide that any lien will not take effect as to third parties without notice until 30 days after the recording of the claim of lien.

    6. Opposes selective increase of recording expense to only construction claims of lien, adding additional filing requirements, and concluding that filing a lien beyond the statutory 90-day period is an act of fraud, including opposing amendments to F.S. §§28.24 & 713.08.


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    Real Property / Mobile Homes

    July 25, 2014

    1. Supports amendment to Chapter 723, Florida Statutes, specifying that each mobile home owner/owners shall have only one vote at elections or meetings, and to allow association bylaws to specify less than a majority for a quorum.

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    Real Property / Miscellaneous

    July 25, 2014

    1. Supports amendment to §673.3121, Florida Statutes, to provide a cross reference in it to §673.4111, Florida Statutes, stating that if an official check is not paid, then the person entitled to enforce the official check is entitled to compensation from the obligated bank for refusing to pay.

    2. Opposes abolishment of causes of action for architect, engineer, surveyor and mapper professional negligence and other professional breaches of duty.
    3. Supports execution curative provisions to cover instruments, other than deeds or wills that convey a fee simple interest in real estate, including an amendment to F.S. §95.231.

    4. Supports clarification that an otherwise valid power of attorney executed in compliance with the laws of the state of execution to convey or encumber Florida real property, applies to all Florida real property including homestead property, including amended F.S. §709.2106.

    5. Supports issuance of separate property tax folio numbers for separately described portions of a multiple parcel building and providing for allocation of underlying land value among the separate building parcels, including amendment of F.S. Chapter 193.

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    Real Property / Notary

    July 25, 2014

    1. Opposes Section 2 of Senate Bill 298 creating §117.055, which requires that notaries keep a detailed journal of all notarial acts including: the date, time and type of notarial act; the date, type and description of each document; the name of the signer; and description of the evidence of identity.

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    Real Property / Property Rights

    July 25, 2014

    1. Opposes any legislation limiting property owners' rights or limiting attorneys' fees in condemnation proceedings.

    2. Opposes legislation expanding the definition of sovereign beaches, public beaches or beach access rights over privately owned property without due process of law or compensation for taking of private property rights.


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    Real Property / Recording

    July 25, 2014

    1. Supports legislation to maintain the integrity of the recording system in the State of Florida.

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    Real Property / Title Insurance

    July 25, 2014

    1. Opposes any portion of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners Title Insurers Model Act and Title Insurance Agent Model Act that may adversely affect Florida attorneys' ability to participate in real estate closing and the issuance of title insurance.

    2. Supports the regulatory approval of a proposed ALTA Junior Loan Policy Form, but opposes legislation that would exclude from the statutory definition of title insurance the insuring of mortgage liens covering second mortgages and home equity line mortgages.

    3. Opposes adoption of a “file and use” system for the determination of title insurance rates in the State of Florida, supplanting a promulgated rate system in which the state regulatory agency determines rates based on actuarial analysis of statutorily determined criteria.

    4. Supports recommendations to the Title Insurance Study Advisory Council concerning the providing and regulation of title insurance.

    5. Opposes elimination of the requirement that title insurance agencies deposit securities having a value of $35,000 or a bond in that amount for the benefit of any title insurer damaged by an agency's violation of its contract with the insurer.


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Tax Section

July 27, 2012
1. Supports amendments to §213.015 F. S. to delete the contingency in the current bill of rights and direct the Department of Revenue to implement all listed taxpayers’ rights through rulemaking.

2. Supports amendments to the taxpayer bill of rights to require the Department of Revenue, when auditing taxpayers, to look for both overpayments and underpayments and specifically require that the Department advise taxpayers of any overpayments and explain the taxpayer’s rights to recover the same by offset, refund or otherwise.

3. Supports amendments to the taxpayer bill of rights and appropriate refund statutes to allow purchasers to apply for and receive sales tax refunds directly from the Department. The Department would be required to look solely to the dealer, as its collection agent, for verification of remittance of taxes to the State.

4. Supports legislation to provide for accrual of interest from receipt of refund application with proviso that no interest is payable if the refund is paid within 90 days of filing of the refund application. Legislation also conforms handling of the other refund applications to current law governing corporate income tax overpayments, and changes interest rate payable on refunds paid by Department without audit and later determined to have been paid in error.

5. Supports legislation to simplify the venue statue for taxpayer actions to permit the filing of an action either in Leon County or in any other county in the state where the taxpayer is a resident or has an office, store or other fixed business location.

6. Supports amendments to the taxpayers’ bill of rights to require that the Department of Revenue maintain an index of judicial decisions and maintain this index in a form which taxpayers can utilize.

7. Supports legislation to allow taxpayers to submit evidence of the exempt status of a sale in litigation under Chapter 72 or Chapter 120, Florida Statutes, even if that evidence was not previously submitted to the Department of Revenue during audit or any informal protest proceeding.


8. Supports legislation granting Department of Revenue authority to promulgate administrative rules regarding bond waiver rulemaking authority.

9. Supports amendments to the Florida Statutes that instill certainty in the labeling and effect of tax assessments and refund denials issued by the Florida Department of Revenue (“DOR”) so that documents intended by the DOR to be proposed assessments or proposed refund denials are clearly labeled as such, documents intended to be a final assessment or final refund denial are clearly labeled as “final,” and that a concise statement of taxpayer rights, including formal and informal administrative and judicial remedies available to challenge DOR’s actions, accompany each notice of assessment and notice of refund denial issued by DOR.

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Trial Lawyers Section
March 6, 2013

1. Opposes legislation that would increase the burden of proof in cases of medical negligence based upon the failure of the health care provider to order, perform, or administer supplemental diagnostic tests, from a preponderance of the evidence standard to a clear and convincing evidence standard.

2. Opposes legislation that would authorize health care providers to offer patients or prospective patients binding arbitration agreements for current or future claims for medical negligence, or to otherwise enter into binding arbitration agreements with those patients that would limit damages in arbitration awards.

3. Opposes legislation relating to nursing home litigation that provides exclusive remedies and limits the rights of an injured party to bring a claim only against the nursing home's licensee or management company.

March 26, 2013

4. Supports amendments to F.S. §61.08 (alimony statute) to recognize the court’s discretion to fashion alimony awards that are appropriate based upon the statutory factors including bridge-the-gap, rehabilitative, durational, and permanent alimony.

5. Opposes any rule or proposed legislation that would substantially alter the current structure of permanent alimony in Florida.

6. Opposes any proposed legislation that would allow modification or termination of existing awards of alimony based solely on legislative changes to F.S. §61.08.

7. Opposes any proposed legislation that caps the duration of an award of permanent alimony.

8. Opposes any proposed legislation that provides a statutorily authorized automatic termination or reduction of permanent alimony other than death or remarriage.

9. Supports the codification of existing case law relating to the modification or termination of alimony awards consistent with Pimm v. Pimm, 601 So.2d 534 (Fla. 1992).


April 24, 2013

10. Opposes legislation that eliminates the similar specialty component of the expert witness rule, leaving only the same specialties available to medical malpractice lawyers and their clients, or otherwise limiting the ability to access experts and, thereby, the courts.

March 28, 2014
11. Supports funding for the Chester Bedell Foundation, to operate the Justice Sandra Day O'Connor Teachers Law School Program.

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Workers' Compensation Section

July 25, 2014

1. Supports any changes in the current workers' compensation law that would: ensure the independence of the judges of compensation claims' ability to discharge the duties of their office in the adjudicatory process, including a reappointment process that promotes and ensures the independence of the judiciary; and ensure the right of injured workers to have their cases reviewed by an Article V court.

2. Supports any legislation that would streamline and make more efficient the administration of justice in the workers' compensation system.

3. Supports any legislation that would further enforce the insurance coverage requirements of the Workers' Compensation Act.

4. Supports the elimination of exemptions to workers' compensation coverage within the construction industry.

5. Opposes the creation of a specialty panel of the First District Court of Appeal to exclusively hear workers' compensation appeals.

6. Supports legislation which promotes access to courts and the ability of employer/carriers, self-insureds and employees to obtain legal representation in the handling of workers' compensation claims.

7. Supports legislation which would ensure the independence of the Consumer Advocate within the office of the Chief Financial Officer.

8. Opposes legislation restricting the payment of attorney's fees - either to the attorney of the injured worker or to the attorney for the employer/carrier/self-insured.

9. Supports an increase in the salaries of Judges of Compensation Claims.

10. Opposes any legislation that abolishes the statewide nominating commission for judges of compensation claims.


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IV. DIVISION LEGISLATIVE POSITIONS

Out of State Division

July 25, 2014

1. Supports amendment to §§733.302 and/or 733.304, Florida Statutes, to expand the class of nonresidents who may be appointed to serve as a personal representative of a Florida domestic probate estate to include nonresident Florida Bar members.

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Young Lawyers Division

July 27, 2012

1. Supports legislation to create reasonable financial student loan assistance for all government lawyers and legal aid attorneys who have served in that capacity for more than 3 years.

[Revised: 08-04-2014]