The Florida Bar

President's Video Message June 2013 - Alternative Text

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June 2012 Video Message

Hello. I’m Gwynne Young, President of The Florida Bar.

It’s time to bring another bar year to a close. It’s been my privilege to work with members of the board of governors, section and committee chairs, and many able volunteers who have all contributed greatly to the advancement of our profession.

Over the past year, The Florida Bar again focused on its number one strategic plan objective to ensure that our judicial system is fair, impartial and adequately funded.

This was a very good year for the judicial branch in the Legislature. The courts received a total increase of 4.2 percent over their current budget and court employees will receive raises for the first time since 2006.

The courts also received 1.8 million extra dollars to cover criminal conflict counsel fees as well as significant funding for mortgage foreclosure assistance.

The legislature agreed to provide 10 million dollars from the national mortgage settlement for legal aid to assist low-income families facing foreclosure.

Unfortunately, the governor vetoed the Legislature’s one million dollar appropriation for the Florida Access to Civil Legal Assistance Act for the third year in a row . As a result, the challenges of assisting families in crisis, victims of domestic violence and fraud, and veterans and the elderly will be even greater.

Florida Bar members have an important opportunity to include a charitable donation to help provide legal assistance to Florida's most vulnerable children in the annual fee statement.

Last year, lawyers contributed enough to serve roughly 286 low-income children. This year's goal is to raise additional funds to serve 200 more than last year. Please take this opportunity to contribute to this very important program.

The Florida Bar also committed this year to assisting members with the new mandatory e-filing requirements. The Bar has posted helpful resources on a dedicated webpage including free CLE courses on-demand.

At the upcoming annual convention, June 26-29, at the Boca Raton Resort and Club, there will be an entire day’s worth of e-filing and technology seminars.

Download the Bar’s convention app today to learn more about all of the seminars, meetings, events and activities scheduled.

In closing, I want to express my strong support for the incoming leaders of The Florida Bar who will be installed at the annual convention.

Gene Pettis has already introduced several important initiatives for the Bar including a get involved program and the new William Reece Smith, Jr., Leadership Academy. During his year as president, he will also oversee the establishment of a three-year commission to study the future of the practice of law.

Gene will be joined by Greg Coleman, a longtime member of the Board of Governors, as president-elect. Greg will be closely involved in the commission on the future of law practice. He will also focus on the most effective uses of technology by the Bar and by Florida lawyers .

I would like to thank everyone who has participated in The Florida Bar’s activities this year. The opportunity to serve our profession as Bar president has been the most rewarding experience in my professional life. Thank you.

[Revised: 06-10-2013]