Pursuant to Rule 1-12.1 and Standing Board Policy 1.60, the Board of Governors of The Florida Bar publishes this notice of intent to take final action on the following items at its July 26 meeting on Amelia Island. These amendments are governed by Rule 1-12.1, Rules Regulating The Florida Bar. Most amendments to the Rules Regulating The Florida Bar must be filed with the Supreme Court of Florida after the board takes final action, with further notice and opportunity to be heard, before they are officially approved and become effective. Procedures and section bylaws are final on Board of Governors final action. To receive a full copy of the text of any of these proposed amendments email firstname.lastname@example.org. Reference any requested proposal by its title or item number and date of this publication.
RULES REGULATING THE FLORIDA BAR
Chapter 2. Bylaws of The Florida Bar
Subchapter 2-7. Sections and Divisions
RULE 2-7.3 CREATION OF SECTIONS AND DIVISIONS
Proposed amendments delete subdivisions (a) and (b) listing the standing committees and divisions of the bar and replace them with a statement that the bar will maintain current lists of standing committees and divisions of the bar and will post those lists on the bar’s website.
Chapter 3. Rules of Discipline
Subchapter 3-5. Types of Discipline
RULE 3-5.1 GENERALLY [Disciplinary Suspensions]
Within subdivision (e), clarifies that suspension may be for a specified time as imposed by the Court’s order or until further order of the Court and adds that all suspensions except by contempt order must be for a finite period of time.
PROCEDURES FOR ISSUING ADVISORY OPINIONS RELATING TO LAWYER ADVERTISING OR SOLICITATION
Throughout the advertising procedures, references to the lawyer advertising rules were updated to reflect re-numbering of rules from a prior Court opinion and non-substantive amendments were made to conform the procedures to the Supreme Court of Florida style guide.
Family Law Section Bylaws
The Family Law Section by-laws were amended throughout for clarity and consistency with the Supreme Court styleguide.
Within Article I, Section 2, purpose has been clarified to indicate the section will advise substantive changes in the law to promote consideration of families in family law proceedings. Within Article 2, Section 1 has been clarified regarding eligibility and ineligibility for both active and affiliate membership.
Within Article II, Section 2, the classes of affiliate membership have been augmented to include students, graduates of accredited law schools, professors of accredited law schools, Florida legal assistants who have satisfied minimum requirements, persons having a masters or doctorate in social work or other mental health or behavioral scientists, family therapists, financial planners, Florida Supreme Court mediators, and any person authorized by the Executive Committee. Also within Article II, Section 2, further clarification of affiliate members includes that the number of affiliate members shall be limited to a certain number of the total Section membership, that affiliates not vote in any Executive Council or annual meeting, and shall not be eligible to serve on the Executive Council or hold office, or vote for the election of officers or members of the Executive Council. Article II, Section 3 has been edited to clarify the description of annual dues.
Within Article III, the title was changed from Officers to Executive Council, which is comprised of the Executive Committee Officers and the Executive Council members. This article was revamped to group together the definition of the Executive Committee and the Executive Council in new Sections 1-3. Section 1 was enlarged so that Executive Committee also includes the immediate past chair. In addition, a provision was added allowing the Section chair to designate a member with special expertise, experience or knowledge relevant to a vote on a particular issue or group of issues, to be a member of the Executive Committee for a particular vote. The appointment must have the approval of a majority of the Executive Committee, unless the appointee was the committee chair, program chair, or ad hoc committee chair relevant to the issue or group of issues. Sections 4-5 address the terms of the Executive Committee officers and the Executive Council and address what happens when a vacancy occurs during the term of an Executive Council or Executive Committee member.
The title of Article IV was changed to “Nominating Committee, Election of Executive Committee and Executive Council” and amended to include all provisions related to the eligibility of individuals for those positions, and how they are chosen.
Article V was expanded to include not just duties but a full explanation of the Executive Committee and how it functions as that was not previously delineated in the bylaws. The bulk of Article V additions were actually removed from the existing Article VII so that all duties are in one Article. However additions include procedure for how voting is to occur and a more detailed explanation of the specific duties and responsibilities of each member of the Executive Committee, including the immediate past chair. The duties of the Chair-Elect now include chairing the newly formed Long Range Planning Committee. The duties of the Treasurer now include chairing the newly formed Finance Committee.
Article VI has been expanded to more clearly delineate the responsibilities of members of the Executive Council. This includes a more specific explanation of the meetings and attendance requirements of each elected member to the Council. An attendance provision was added to Article VI whereby a member must seek approval for an excused absence from live meetings with an appeal process included. The duties of a member were clarified to provide what is expected during each Bar year for a member to complete, including lecturing, writing and involvement in committee work. The creation of a requirement to complete a Participation Disclosure form is included whereby the member confirms their compliance with the bylaw requirements. Section 3 more clearly explains when the meetings are held and how they are convened. A conflict of interest provision was added, which is purely aspirational in nature, but allows for a member who may have a conflict because of service on another board or as part of another organization to abstain from a vote because of same. A more clear structure for email voting is included in the new bylaws. A removal provision is added to the new bylaws that provides for a specific procedure to be followed in the event a member of the Council should be considered for removal if a member misses 2 of the 3 live meetings in a Bar year, without a prior approved excuse, a member may be subject to removal proceedings. A hearing will be required, voting requirements are included as well. Safeguards are in place so the member has numerous opportunities to express their interest in maintaining involvement without removal.
Article VII was removed in its entirety and incorporated into new Article VII.
Changes to Article VII included defining our operational committees vs. substantive committees. Committee chair appointments were clarified. Committees that have been formed over the past few years as either ad hoc or standard committees that have a specific makeup were defined and clarified: Finance Committee, Long Range Planning Committee, Marital and Family Law Review Course Committee, and the Legislation Committee.
Article VIII - Entirely new to the bylaws, this Article provides specific provisions for the Section’s Legislative activity. The Section’s legislative endeavors have grown significantly in the past few years and the Section felt it was appropriate to incorporate language regarding the purposes, standing positions.
Article IX - The changes to this section do not alter or amend the intent and purpose of the existing provisions. It sets out with specificity the number of live meetings that Executive Council members will be required to attend, based on the historical number of live meetings that have been held, and further specifies the approximate dates of each live hearing so Executive Council members may plan their attendance accordingly. The quorum provisions that were removed were included elsewhere.
Articles X and XI - These articles have not been altered or amended and the only changes were to existing typographical errors and conform to the Supreme Court style guide.