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Standing Policies of the Board of Legal Specialization and Education -100 Administration

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100 ADMINISTRATION (Download 100 PDF document opens in new window)

1.01 Board of Legal Specialization and Education

(a) Jurisdiction. The board of legal specialization and education (BLSE) has general jurisdiction over each certification committee and all matters pertaining to the administration of the Florida certification plan, the continuing legal education requirement (CLER), the basic skills course requirement (BSCR), and continuing legal education (CLE) accreditation as outlined in the Rules Regulating The Florida Bar, Chapter 6. Members are appointed by the bar president, for staggered terms and serve at the discretion of the board of governors.

(b) Rules and Policies. The BLSE has the authority to promulgate rules and policies, subject to approval by the Board of Governors of The Florida Bar (board of governors), to accomplish the responsibilities assigned to it as described in the previous section. These rules and policies will include, but not be limited to, the following:
    (1) administration of the certification program;
    (2) establishment of reasonable and nondiscriminatory standards concerning education, experience, proficiency, and other relevant matters for granting certification and recertification to lawyers in defined fields of law under the plan;
    (3) establishment of procedures for the investigation and consideration of applicant qualifications for certification and recertification and awarding certificates of special knowledge, skills, and proficiency, as well as character, ethics, and reputation for professionalism, based on recommendations by a certification committee; and
    (4) establishment of procedures and reasonable standards concerning the approval of continuing legal education, waivers, and other matters for determining compliance with the CLER and the BSCR.
(c) Policy Waiver. Subject to the continued direction and supervision by the board of governors, any provision of any policy may be waived by a two-thirds vote of those present at any meeting of the BLSE.

(d) BLSE Chair. The BLSE chair is designated by the president-elect to serve as the BLSE chair for a specified term. When the chair is absent, has requested recusal, or is otherwise unable or unavailable to serve, the vice chair or the chair's designee will perform the duties or exercise the discretion of the chair.

(e) Staff Duties. Staff will be responsible for all duties delegated by the BLSE as long as the BLSE retains responsibility for staff decisions. Such duties may include, but not be limited to:
    (1) accepting applications;
    (2) conducting preliminary review of applications;
    (3) contacting candidates for certification and recertification for additional information or clarification;
    (4) arranging meeting sites and preparing agenda(s) for the BLSE and certification committees;
    (5) administering examinations; and
    (6) processing and evaluating CLE credit requests in accordance with the BLSE's policies.
    1.02 Administrative Procedure
(a) Meetings. The BLSE chair will designate meeting times and places and disseminate a calendar of meeting dates to the members at the beginning of each fiscal year.

(b) Quorum. Eight members will constitute a quorum of the BLSE for the transaction of business.

(c) Executive Session. The BLSE will be in executive session concerning matters deemed confidential under the rules. During executive session, only members of the BLSE and staff as designated by the BLSE chair may be admitted, except under limited circumstances. Other individuals will be permitted to appear before the BLSE during executive session as permitted by BLSE policy or at the direction of the BLSE chair. The extent of that appearance will be determined solely in the discretion of the BLSE chair.

(d) BLSE Subcommittees. The BLSE may establish subcommittees to assist in the administration of its duties. Such subcommittees may include, but are not limited to: executive, standards, rules and policies, national accreditation, strategic planning, and communications. The BLSE chair will appoint the members and leadership for each BLSE subcommittee.

(e) Meetings of the Executive Subcommittee. Minutes will be prepared for all executive subcommittee meetings. The minutes will be distributed to members of the BLSE along with other agenda materials prior to the next regularly scheduled meeting of the BLSE or as the executive subcommittee directs. The actions taken will not be final until the minutes are approved at the next regular meeting of the BLSE, or by teleconference as the BLSE chair determines necessary.

(f) Liaisons. The BLSE chair may appoint a BLSE liaison to each certification committee.

(g) Removal of Members. The chair of each certification committee or the BLSE chair may petition the president of The Florida Bar to remove a certification committee member for good cause shown. The BLSE chair may petition the president of The Florida Bar to remove a BLSE member for good cause shown. Good cause includes, but is not limited to, absence from 3 meetings or conference calls or a lack of participation in committee or BLSE activities and assignments in any 12-month period. If a member is recommended for removal from the BLSE or a certification committee, the member will be notified in advance.

(h) Ex Officio Members. The chair of each certification committee is an ex officio member of the BLSE and entitled to attend the BLSE meetings and to participate in discussions, but is not entitled to vote or to be counted in determining the existence of a quorum. Ex officio members may not be present for executive session matters before the BLSE unless otherwise permitted under these policies or by a two-thirds vote of the BLSE.

[Revised: December 2013]