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January 10, 2017


July 14-15

Disney’s Boardwalk Inn /
Walt Disney World Resort

Hotel at Disney World

Keynote speaker will help voluntary bar leaders to Succeed Like a Mouse!

photo of Mr. Millbower
    Walt Disney’s is an inspirational story. He was a poor student, a mediocre artist, a miser with compliments, and broke most of his life. He also lived through tumultuous times. The great depression, two world wars, and the creative destruction of new technologies wrecked havoc on Disney’s world.
    In spite of these odds, Walt Disney succeeded beyond everyone’s imagination. He transformed himself into an inspiring innovator, educator, storyteller, technology geek, customer service visionary, and exceptional team leader. How did Disney do it? Through a 4C success formula:
    Creativity of effort;
    Continuity of focus;
    Customerization of his people approach; and
    Confidence in his abilities and results.
    Lenn Millbower worked for Disney for 25 years. He ran attractions at Epcot and he opened Disney's Animal Kingdom. He wrote customer service materials for the Disney Institute. He even designed the training for becoming Snow White. Millbower knows firsthand that it was the Disney method that created all the magic!

    In this motivating and uplifting presentation, our keynote speaker for the 2017 Voluntary Bar Leaders Conference will share the details of this 4C success formula. His presentation will leave bar leaders inspired, exhilarated, and motivated to conquer the seemingly impossible challenges of the association world. He will show us how to create a magical career and life and how to succeed like a mouse.

January 13 is deadline to submit committee preference form

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The annual committee preference forms for Bar members seeking appointments for the term of President-elect Michael Higer are now available at

As president-elect, Higer will make 500 or so committee appointments, and he wants to make sure he has a diverse group of lawyers from which to choose.

“It is a privilege to practice law in this state, and with that privilege comes a responsibility,” Higer said. “We need the active engagement of our membership to work together to address the many challenges facing our profession.”

In making committee appointments in spring 2017, Higer said several factors will be considered, including:

• Prior service to the Bar and voluntary bar organizations; 

• The need to infuse new members into a particular committee; 

• Diversity, which includes, but is not limited to, gender, ethnicity, geography, practice area, and firm size; and

• Previous committee participation and contributions in conjunction with the evaluation of committee chairs. 

Higer said to provide more opportunities to serve on standing committees, members should not request more than one appointment. 

If you are currently serving on a standing committee, check The Florida Bar’s website to determine when your term on the committee expires. If your term expires in 2017, you must complete and submit your committee preference form to be considered for reappointment.

If you are not currently serving on a standing committee and wish to be considered, complete the form and return it prior to January 13.

“Serving on a Florida Bar committee can be a meaningful and rewarding experience,” Higer said. “It will also provide you with the opportunity to enhance our profession and to improve the services we provide the citizens of our state and our fellow members.”

If you are serving on a Florida Bar substantive law committee and wish to continue to do so, you must complete and return the committee preference form by Jan. 13 to be considered for reappointment.
Class V applications are due by Jan. 13

Leadership Academy logo

    The 2017-2018 Leadership Academy Applications are now availableApplications must be submitted by Jan. 13, by 5:30 p.m. Incomplete and late applications will not be accepted. Please read the instructions thoroughly. 

    The Wm. Reece Smith, Jr. Leadership Academy is a multi-session training program designed to assist a diverse and inclusive group of lawyers in becoming better leaders within our profession, in their chosen path, and while enhancing their leadership skills. Each year a select group of participants is selected to become Academy Fellows.

    Download the application here.
Jacksonville Bar Association to receive statewide award

Jacksonville Bar logo
    The Jacksonville Bar Association is the recipient of the 2017 Voluntary Bar Association Pro Bono Award. The award, which recognizes a Florida voluntary bar that has demonstrated a significant contribution in the delivery of legal services to individuals or groups on a pro bono basis, will be presented by Chief Justice Jorge Labarga at a Jan. 19 ceremony at the Supreme Court of Florida.

    The JBA’s commitment to pro bono service has spanned decades; the association also received the Voluntary Bar Association Pro Bono Service Award in 1997 and again in 2002, and its good works continue. Most recently, the JBA joined with the Fourth Circuit Pro Bono Committee to organize and implement the first circuit wide pro bono attorney recognition event at the Duval County Courthouse.

Fun seminar on civics education training to be held at Florida Bar Winter Meeting

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    At a complimentary CLE seminar at The Florida Bar Winter Meeting in Orlando, attendees will learn about the Constitution Revision Commission in the Benchmarks presentation called “Every 20 Years.” Additionally, they will get an overview of the other Benchmarks presentations about the Constitution and the Bill of Rights; the Courts and the Judiciary; and Special Topics.

    “Benchmarks: Raising the Bar on Civics Education” will be held on Friday, Jan. 27, 2017, from 9 to 10:30 a.m., at the Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center, Miami Room 3. To register, email Susannah Read Lyle at

    Benchmarks is a Florida Bar program that gives adults a refresher course on civics so they can better understand how government works, particularly the judiciary. Benchmarks presentations are fun as well as informative – and this seminar will be co-led by nationally recognized civics educator Annette Pitts, executive director of the Florida Law Related Education Association.

    Attorneys can receive CLE credit for making Benchmarks presentations: 1 ethics credit hour for each presentation for up to three presentations in a three-year reporting period.

    The Orlando seminar offers 2 General credits and .5 Ethics credits. At the intermediate level, the seminar course number is 1608936N.

    The seminar is presented by the Constitutional Judiciary Committee. To register: Email or call (850) 561-5669.
Jan. 27-28 in Orlando

Bar execs can earn free attendance to the all-new Tech Show

    Voluntary bar execs who recruit five, full-priced conference registrants for The Florida Bar’s all-new Tech Show, Jan. 27-28 in Orlando presented by The Florida Bar Solo & Small Firm Section, get one FREE conference registration. It’s easy! Recruit five of your association members to attend the conference, submit the Promoter Discount Form, and YOU attend the conference at no charge.

    The Tech Show is a two-track technology CLE conference featuring nationally recognized legal technology experts who demystify tech purchases and explain simple ways that lawyers can use technology to strengthen their practices and free up more time to practice law. The Tech Show is approved for 10 technology CLE credits in 1.5 days, perfect timing for those lawyers who want to fulfill The Florida Bar’s new tech CLE requirements. Online registration is available.

    Questions? Please contact Solo & Small Firm Section Administrator Ricky Libbert,, or call (850) 561-5631 for more information. All Tech Show information, including the promoter form is available at


Dade County Bar seeks Executive Director

Dade County Bar logo
    The Dade County Bar Association is seeking a versatile and dynamic individual to represent and manage the organization. This position requires vision, energy, diplomacy and creativity. Competitive salary and benefits. A complete description is provided at this link.

    Applicants should submit a cover letter, resume and contact information for at least two references to:

    Jeffrey Rynor
    Dade County Bar Association

    Application deadline is
    Jan. 30, 2017.

Fundraising goal for Haiti relief exceeded!

Caribbean Bar logo

    The Caribbean Bar Association has exceeded its fundraising goal for Hurricane Matthew relief aid! The group is thankful for the outpouring of love and support from those who have generously given to support our neighbors in Haiti.

    As a result of the support at CBA's 20th Scholarship and Installment Gala in October, enough funds were raised to build a home for a family in Haiti. The group also reports that they are very close to being able to build a second home to help another family that lost everything during the storm. A link is provided below for those who still want to help with that goal.

Award named for Janet Reno presented to Miami-Dade FAWL

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    Lawyers for Children America presented the inaugural Janet Reno Outstanding Community Partner Award to the Miami-Dade chapter of the Florida Association for Women Lawyers. The two organizations have worked together to recruit and train pro bono lawyers to represent and mentor teen girls in foster care.

    Reno, who died last month after a two-decade battle with Parkinson's disease, helped launch Lawyers for Children America in Washington in 1995 during her tenure as the nation's first female attorney general. She also spoke at the organization's first Miami luncheon 17 years ago, bringing along her successor, Katherine Fernandez Rundle.

    Rundle, now Miami-Dade state attorney, presented the Reno award at the Miami event.

Tallahassee honors Justice James E. C. Perry

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    Tallahassee Barristers, Tallahassee Bar Association and Tallahassee Women Lawyers partnered to co-host a retirement celebration reception for Justice James E.C. Perry on Dec. 6, at the Capital City Country Club. Justices, judges, attorneys and Perry family members attended to celebrate Justice Perry’s career and his retirement. Justice Perry was presented with three legal novels to enjoy at his leisure.
Judge Green honored by two bar associations

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    The Wilkie D. Ferguson, Jr. Bar Association co-hosted the Gwen S. Cherry Black Women Lawyers Association reception for the honorable Judge Melvia Green. Judge Green is the first and only black female Circuit Court Judge in Miami-Dade and the recipient of hte 2016 Legal Legends Award.

Holiday celebrated by minority bars in South Florida

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    Asian Pacific American Bar Association of South Florida was one of many minority associations that participated in the Annual Joint Minority Bar Association Holiday Party. Dade County Bar Association hosted the event, which brought together thirteen area minority bars to benefit Dade Legal Aid and Legal Services of Greater Miami. The event participants included the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers; Asian Pacific American Bar Association; Coral Gables Bar Association; South Florida Bar Association; Haitian Lawyers Association; Wilkie D. Ferguson Bar Association; Miami-Dade FAWL; Dominican American Bar Association; Caribbean Bar Association; Gwen S. Cherry Black Women Lawyers Association; Miami Lake Bar Association; South Miami Kendall Bar Association; and the South Asian Bar Association.

Brevard women lawyers host benefit

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    Yoga in the Dark, a benefit for the visually impaired, was hosted by Brevard County Association for Women Lawyer's on Dec. 17. Participants completed a yoga class while wearing an eye mask. The event was held at Aquarian Dreams in Indiatlantic.
B'nai B'rith members celebrate the holiday in Broward

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    Ugly sweaters made for lots of fun at the Annual Latka Party on Christmas Day, hosted by Justice Unit #5207, a local chapter of B'nai B'rith. Participants included attorneys and judges who are located primarily in Broward County.
Lights aglow at Broward Bar's end of year celebration

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    Wonderful end of year celebration at the Fort Lauderdale Antique Car Museum with the Broward County Bar Association members, board, sponsors, staff and friends! Participants were asked to bring a new and unwrapped toy for children ages 3-15 to benefit the YLS Annual Holiday in February event.

Charity is holiday focus of Broward County Hispanic Bar
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    Children and adults in Broward County who are visually challenged received financial support from the Broward County Hispanic Bar Association recently. The group held it Fiesta De Navidad at Lighthouse of Broward for a holiday evening of charity on Dec. 7 in Fort Lauderdale.
Broward Trial Lawyers honor retiring judges

    The Broward County Trial Lawyers Association honored retiring judges on Judges' Night, Dec. 15, in Fort Lauderdale. Honored for their distinguished service were:

    Hon. Arthur Birken
    Hon. Eric Beller
    Hon. Martin Dishowitz
    Hon. Renee Goldenberg
    Hon. Susan Lebow
    Hon. Jack Luzzo
    Hon. Thomas Lynch
    Hon. Alan Marks
    Hon. Linda Pratt
    Hon. Mary Robinson
    Hon. Dale Ross
    Hon. Peter Skolnick

    The group also used the holiday event to gather gifts for the Children’s Diagnostic and Treatment Center, a not for profit organization serving children with chronic illnesses and disabilities.

A clinical look at health for the New Year

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    Nursing and allied health was the topic of the second Aspire to Inspire hosted by the Caribbean Bar Association. The group hosted the event at Miami-Dade College North Campus on Dec. 8. Nadia Cuff, Director of Nursing at Cleveland Clinic Florida, and Dr. Carol Biggs, vice president and Chief Nursing Officer at South Miami Hospital, were guest speakers.
Bikes given to deserving students in Collier

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    Back in October the Collier County Bar Foundation named Collier County School students in several Title I schools as the beneficiaries of the annual Fishing Tournament proceeds. Carlo Zampogna, chair of the event, worked with principals at Manatee Middle School, Golden Gate Middle School, Mike Davis Elementary and Park Side Elementary to create a program to give bikes to students who reached academic, attendance and citizenship benchmarks created by the schools.

    A trailer load of bikes was delivered to the schools on Dec. 16. Reports are there were many happy students when the principals handed them out!

CABA shows their heart for the holidays

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    Through the help of its members and business partners, the Cuban American Bar Association delivered hundreds of toys to #ShareYourHeart foster children for a happy holiday!

Recognizing latino attorneys in Miami

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    A Privilege Toast to Latino Attorneys was given by the Dominican American Bar Association, Puerto Rican Bar Association and the Columbian Bar Association. Hennessy Privilege sponsored the Dec. 6 event in Miami.
Angels for youth in Jacksonville

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    D.W. Perkins Bar members served as holiday angels for the Mali Vai Washington Youth Foundation. The Foundation promotes academic achievement and positive life skills in Jacksonville youth through the game of tennis.

Two schools gifted with Eighth Circuit cheer

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    Members of the Eighth Judicial Circuit Bar Association helped spread holiday cheer at Irby Elementary and Newberry Elementary schools in Alachua County.
CFAWL enjoys fierce night of self care

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    Staying safe during the holiday season started with a Women Only Self-Defense Class for Central Florida Association of Women Lawyers. The UCF Police Department shared tips for knowing how to identify a suspicious situation and protecting yourself from harm.
Shopping for cause in Jacksonville

    Jacksonville Women Lawyers Association offered members a shopping opportunity at their Dec. 14 holiday party. Rethreaded, a local organization that is working to break the sex trade, brought new creations to sale. Rethreaded is a safe place where women are paid a living wage to become artisan seamstresses and “upcycle” donated T-shirts into new fashionable products. Globally, Rethreaded also operates as a distribution company that sells products made by women from all over the world who have found freedom from the sex trade. Learn more at
Giving tree for PACE girls in Pasco

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    The Women Lawyers of Pasco collected gifts and held an auction for the Pace Center for Girls to help spread holiday cheer in the Pasco community.

Tallahassee Women Lawyers help feed families in the Big Bend

    Tallahassee Women Lawyers (TWL) selected America’s Second Harvest of the Big Bend to feature at the group's annual holiday luncheon held on Dec. 7 at the FSU College of Law Rotunda. Second Harvest CEO Rick Minor, joined by TWL past president and Second Harvest board president Gigi Rollini, gave attendees an overview of the growing need for healthy food in our local community, and how donors can best help meet that need through funds, as well as food donations.

    Thanks to the generosity of TWL and others, the fundraising goal set by TWL was reached! By reaching that goal, TWL helped triple the number of meals during this holiday season for thousands of children, families, veterans and seniors who otherwise would have had no celebration of their own. An incredible gift to the local community!

Judge Hodges honored at reception in Gainesville
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    Federal Bar Association North Central Florida Chapter used their holiday reception to honor Senior U.S. District Judge Wm. Terrell Hodges for his 45th Anniversary on the Federal Bench! More than 100 attendees, including federal and state judges, former law clerks, attorneys, members of the Federal Bar Association, court staff and law students, celebrated Judge Hodges – a jurist who is truly a legend on the bench.

Government Bar recognizes attorney for service to Pulse victims

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    The Florida Government Bar Association presented a Tallahassee attorney an award for his efforts to help the victims of the Pulse Nightclub massacre. Andrew Fay was presented the 2016 Government Attorney of the Year Award by President David W. Grimes at the group's December luncheon. Fay's nomination, by Attorney General Pam Bondi, explained how he immediately left Tallahassee, went down to Orlando to help the victims of the Pulse massacre, and stayed there working for 18 hours a day, seven days a week for three weeks. On making the presentation, Grimes said “Andrew went above and beyond the call of duty in keeping with the best traditions of our legal profession and rendering aid and helping make sure that people understood the system and got the help they need.”
Surprise visit from Sen. Graham

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    Former U.S. Sen. Bob Graham and former Chris Hand stopped by to visit the Florida Justice Association on Dec. 9 to present them with autographed copies of Graham and Hand's new book America: The Owner's Manual!
Merry time for Young Lawyers

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    Hillsborough County Bar Association, George Edgecomb Bar Association and Hillsborough Association of Women Lawyers Young Lawyers mixed, mingled and were merry while supporting A Kid's Place at the YLD Holiday Happy Hour!

Elves for Elders event in Tampa

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    Hillsborough County Bar Association members, including President Kevin McLaughlin and his family, handed out presents and sang carols at the Elves for Elders event on Dec. 17. Gifts were donated by HCBA members as part of the Community Services Committee outreach program.

Officer installation and holiday gala in one night

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    The Hispanic Bar Association of Central Florida combined the holiday gala with an installation of the 2017 Board of Directors. The event featured a traditional Caribbean Christmas meal and special entertainment, along with a silent auction to benefit the HBACF Foundation. It was held at the Abbey in Orlando.
Packing it in for food drive

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    Jacksonville Asian American Bar Association volunteered and donated at the Night of Asia Food Drive Party with the River City Science Academy.

Loads of help from Lake County lawyers

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    Lake County Bar Association lawyers along with friends and families pitched in to assemble and package 35,000 meals for students in Lake County. The local effort was part of a larger outreach to help Feeding Children Everywhere.

Sobel Cup funds scholarships in Martin County

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    The Martin County Bar Association Golf Tournament 2016 Sobel Cup on Dec. 9 provided enough support to fund $5,000 worth of scholarships for local high school students. The future looks bright for the association and the students.

Installation of Miami Beach Bar board

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    Miami Beach Bar Association 2017 Installation Luncheon at Faena Theatre with NBC-6 Anchor Adam Kuperstein, U.S. Judge Beth Bloom, U.S. Attorney Wilfredo Ferrer, MBBA 2017 President Peter Valori and Michael Gongora.
Santa rocks with foster children in Palm Beach County

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    Palm Beach County Bar Association Young Lawyers Section held its holiday party for foster children in West Palm Beach. Seventy-five kids visited Santa and Palm Beach County Bar President John Whittles and his band entertained. The event was the fifth annual for the young lawyers.
Books gifted by young lawyers in South Palm Beach County

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    The South Palm Beach County Bar Association YLS donated six boxes of books and Publix gift cards to Pine Grove school. The gift cards were bought from the proceedings of a Happy Hour the YLS hosted in November and the books had been collected during the SPBCBA Annual Holiday Party. Here, YLS President Sean Lebowitz reads a book to the class.

Diversity Symposium a success in Tallahassee

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    The Tallahassee Bar Association Young Lawyers’ Section hosted the 2nd Annual Diversity Networking Symposium in late 2016. During the program, law students engaged with Tallahassee-area attorneys representing government agencies, the Florida Legislature, in-house counsel, attorney-lobbyists, judges, law clerks and attorneys from the non-profit sector and and private practice, in a speed-networking format. More than 100 judges, lawyers and law students attended the event, which was held at Florida State University’s College of Law. This event was made possible in part by a grant from The Florida Bar, as well as by sponsorships from the Tallahassee Bar Association, Northwestern Mutual, Florida Law Sites, and Hopping Green & Sams, PA.
Food, friends and festivity in Tampa

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    The Tampa Hispanic Bar Association ended the year with food and friends. THBA held its Holiday Party and 2017 Board Installation just before the holidays and members brought toys to donate to the Lawyers Autism Awareness Foundation.

Weston Bar Association celebrates

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    To get the holidays rolling, members of the Weston Bar Association gathered on Dec. 1 for their 4th Annual Holiday Party. This years event was held at the moon Thai Restaurant.

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[Revised: 01-12-2017]