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This electronic digest of voluntary bar news is dedicated to the interaction of local, special interest and substantive bar associations. It will serve as a forum to share information and highlight the many activities of the voluntary bar associations of The Florida Bar and will be published at least once a month or as needed. You can view past and current issues by going to the bar's website, Submit articles, pictures or general comments to Jeff Doran, the Bar-to-Bar E-news editor and your voluntary bar liaison, or 651 E. Jefferson Street, Tallahassee, FL 32399-2300. Photos sent by e-mail should come in jpg and gif format.

September 2013, Issue 70
What's Going on Around the Bars

Annual Voluntary Bar Leaders Conference a success – The 2013 Voluntary Bar Leaders Conference, hosted by the Clearwater Bar Association, was held July 19-20 at the Sheraton Sand Key Resort in Clearwater Beach. Designed to promote leadership and improve existing programs of local and specialty bar associations, over 127 attendees from across the state participated in workshops related to the operation of their associations. Topics included issues affecting staffed, nonstaffed, and specialty bars; recruitment of members; complying with state and federal tax filing requirements; tapping into resources of the ABA, The Florida Bar, and The Florida Bar Foundation; and how to increase revenues without increasing dues. Michael J. Faehner, Conference Chair, thanked the attendees, the Voluntary Bar Liaison Committee and the Florida Bar leadership for their support. The Committee would like to thank our sponsors for their support: ABA Retirement Fund, BPC Financial, The Florida Bar Board of Legal Specialization and Education, CourtCall, LLC, Result Based Seminars, LLC, Internet LAVA, Florida Lawyers Mutual Insurance Company, LexisNexis, Odyssey Travel, StarChapter, The Florida Bar Foundation and The Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division. A special thank you goes to Clearwater Bar Executive Director Karen France for her great job hosting and for the support of the Clearwater Bar Association.

PFAWL is the recipient of 2013 Membership Recruitment Award – The Pinellas County Chapter of the Florida Association for Women Lawyers (PFAWL) is the recipient of the Florida Association for Women Lawyers’ 2013 Membership Recruitment Award. The chapter recognized its Membership Director, Joann Grages, for her time and hard work. PFAWL is one of 29 chapters of FAWL, which is a voluntary bar association that provides a statewide voice for Florida’s women lawyers. PFAWL’s mission is to provide networking opportunities to and support for women lawyers as well as to promote friendship among its members. Membership is open to every attorney who supports the organization’s mission and it encourages both men and women to participate in and attend socials and events. For membership inquiries, contact Joann Grages at

CBA Student Legal Intern Program Class of 2013 – On July 19, students and mentors gathered to summarize their experience and receive their certificates for completing the Clearwater Bar Association’s Student Legal Intern Program (SLIP). Florida Bar President Eugene Pettis of Ft. Lauderdale treated the SLIP Class of 2013 to remarks and congratulations at their closing ceremony. This Clearwater Bar program began in 2007 with the goal of providing a valuable work experience while giving students an appreciation for the role of the court system and the legal profession. The program gives the opportunity for the development of a mentor relationship for the students with the hope of increasing diversity in the legal profession. The interns provide various duties for their employers during the six week program and have the opportunity to observe a wide range of legal activities. Students in offices learn about office practice and culture, students in the court system observe hearings, and students in governmental agencies learn about the role of that agency or political subdivision. Workshops focus on confidentiality, professionalism, job skills and appearance. Along the way students hear from a variety of legal professionals and about their career path, mentors and life experience. Tours of various court and clerk’s facilities and the jail are also provided. The interns heard from speakers Judge George Jirotka, Rachel Bennett, Susan Demers, Connie Daniels and Myriam Irizarry. For more information, visit

OCBA New Lawyer Training Program – On Aug. 2 and 3, the Orange County Bar Association (OCBA) wrapped up its first two-day seminar developed to help new lawyers and second- and third-year law students bridge the gap between the study of law and professional practice. Fifty-six participants attended the bar's New Lawyer Training Program: The Fundamentals of Practice in Orange County. Nearly half the participants were law students, many of whom had taken the bar exam only days before the program began. The New Lawyer Training Program included sessions on courtroom practice and procedure in civil, business, domestic, and criminal courts, with presentations by Ninth Judicial Circuit judges Frederick J. Lauten, Wilfredo Martinez, Robert M. Evans, Patricia A. Doherty, and John Marshall Kest. In addition to specific information for each court and area of law, a common theme expressed by all presenters and applicable to all situations was that attorneys be prepared, be on time, and be professional. Class members learned about starting a law practice from solo practitioners as well as from legal services providers. The second day's sessions centered on everything from web development and branding, to office space options, malpractice insurance, and practice management aids such as legal research and billing software. Participants found information about attorney advertising rules and a session on how to avoid having a grievance complaint filed against them to be extremely helpful. Program attendees who were not current members of the OCBA received a free one-year membership and were encouraged to network by joining committees, assisting with the work of the Legal Aid Society and the OCBA Foundation, and becoming involved with other OCBA activities. Mentors were assigned to each participant. The OCBA will offer the program again next year. For information, please contact OCBA strategic marketing and membership manager Karen Fast at (407) 422-4551, ext. 225, or

South Florida bars co-host seminar with Dolphins – On Aug. 29 at 4 p.m., the Miami Dolphins, the Cuban American Bar Association, the Bankruptcy Bar Association and the Association for Corporate Counsel South Florida will present a seminar titled Reaching the Goal Line: Meeting the Expectations of Corporate Counsel. The seminar will be held in the Sun Life Stadium Gallery of Legends. The cost to register is $75 for hosting bar members, $100 for the general public and $65 for additional tickets purchased by registrants. Registration includes a Club ticket and parking pass for the Dolphins vs. Saints game at 7:30 p.m. For more information, visit

New Venezuelan bar is formed – A group of Miami attorneys with Venezuelan heritage have formed the Venezuelan American Bar Association, or VENAMBAR. The new group is a reflection of the growing influence of Venezuelan people, money and professionals in the U.S. The group will focus on networking, continuing education and pro bono work for Venezuelan Americans.
The group’s president is Daniel Vielleville of Dania-based Assouline & Berlowe. VENAMBAR plans a kick-off event with U.S. District Judge Federico Moreno as keynote speaker at 6 p.m. on Aug. 22 at Northern Trust Bank office, 700 Brickell Ave. For more information on the VENAMBAR, contact Daniel E. Vielleville, president at (305) 567-5576 or

Save the Date for the WDFJBA Gala – The Wilkie D. Ferguson, Jr. Bar Foundation will hold its Annual Scholarship and Awards Gala on Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014, in Miami. For more information, contact Yolanda P. Strader at , (305) 539-7332 or visit

Pettis to speak at PBCBA Diversity Luncheon – Florida Bar President Eugene K. Pettis will be the keynote speaker at the Palm Beach County Bar Association’s annual Diversity Luncheon at noon on Friday, Sept. 27, at the Marriott in West Palm Beach. The luncheon will be a forum to discuss the importance of getting involved in leadership, especially for minorities. Reservations are required and can be done on the Bar’s website at

Save the Date for the PRBA Gala – The Puerto Rican Bar Association of Florida will host its 10th Anniversary Gala at the Fontainebleau in Miami Beach on Oct. 26. For more information, contact Richard Robles at

TBA to host 2nd Annual Table for 8 – The Tallahassee Bar Association (TBA) will host its 2nd Annual Table for 8 at 5:30 p.m. on Sept. 3 at the Capital City Country Club, in conjunction with the TBA's September Membership Meeting. Table for 8 seats judges, senior attorneys, young lawyers, and law students together for a discussion of their experiences in the legal field. The event is $20 for TBA members and non-members have the opportunity to join TBA for free for the remainder of 2013 by purchasing a ticket to this event. As with all TBA meetings, dinner is included in the price. Please RSVP to Joann Capece at by Aug. 23 at

MD-FAWL to host Pay Disparity Seminar – On Sept. 26, from 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m., the Miami-Dade Chapter of FAWL will present a seminar discussing the myths and realities of pay disparity between men and women in the legal profession. Topics include efforts underway to close the gap and steps women can take to protect themselves when treated unfairly. The seminar will be held at the J.W. Marriott Marquis. For registration information, contact Sherril M. Colombo at

DCBA to present bankruptcy seminar – The Dade County Bar Association Bankruptcy Committee will present a panel titled Bankruptcy with the Experts on Sept. 20, from 8:30 a.m. to noon at the Hyatt Regency in Miami. For additional information, e-mail or (305) 371-2220.

BCJA to host networking event – The Broward County Justice Association will host its Annual Meet and Greet, from 6-8 p.m. on Sept. 10 on the 8th Floor of the Riverside Hotel. For more information, please call (954) 522-1662 or e-mail

South Palm Beach County Bar installs officers – The South Palm Beach County Bar Association recently held its 52nd Annual Installation Gala in Boca Raton. More than 220 lawyers, judges, and guests attended. Robin Bresky, of The Law Offices of Robin Bresky, P.A., was sworn in as president by Fourth District Court of Appeal Judge Jonathan D. Gerber. The 2013 Distinguished Jurist Award was presented to the 15th Circuit Judge Meenu Sasser by her husband, Thomas J. Sasser, of Sasser Cestero & Sasser on behalf of the association. Other 2013-14 officers include: Marc A. Kaufman of Marc A. Kaufman and Associates, president-elect; Mark R. Osherow of Buckingham, Doolittle & Burroughs, treasurer; and Patricia Alexander of the Law Offices of Patricia Alexander, P.A., secretary.

The Florida Bar

2014 Florida Bar Winter Meeting – Save the date for the 2014 Florida Bar Winter Meeting. The meeting will be held Jan. 23-25 in Orlando at the Hilton in the Walt Disney World Resort. Visit The Florida Bar’s website for updates and schedules.

Voluntary Bar Association Diversity Leadership Grant Application deadline approaching – Completed diversity grant applications may be submitted by mail or electronically to and must be received by Sept. 30, 2013 for consideration. For more information, contact Arnell Bryant-Willis, Diversity Initiatives Manager at

The Florida Bar’s CLEToGo – There are approximately 200 CLE Seminars available for audio-download, video-download, CLEToGo or Podcast download 24 hours a day/7 days a week through The Florida Bar 24/7 Online CLE link. The seminars are categorized by practice area. For a list of the currently available seminars in these easy to use formats, please access the 24/7 catalog. More than 40 CLE programs are available free of charge or at discounted or reduced prices. Other CLE seminars in the audio-CD and video DVD formats as well as seminar course books and live registrations can be accessed by going to

What is the Florida Lawyers Assistance Program? – Florida Lawyers Assistance, Inc. is a non-profit corporation formed in 1986 in response to the Florida Supreme Court’s mandate that a program be created to identify and offer assistance to bar members who suffer from substance abuse, mental health, or other disorders which negatively affect their lives and careers (Bar Rule 2-9.11). FLA is independent of The Florida Bar, although it does receive Bar funding. Paramount to FLA is the protection of confidentiality for those attorneys who contact FLA for help. Confidentiality in voluntary cases is protected by a written contract with The Florida Bar which guarantees the confidentiality of FLA records, as well as by Bar Rule 3-7.1(j), Chap. 397.482-486, F.S., and other state and federal regulations. Judges, attorneys, law students, and support personnel who seek the assistance of FLA need not worry that FLA will report them to the Bar, the Board of Bar Examiners, or their employer. Information is shared with these entities only if the participating individual signs a waiver of confidentiality. FLA’s primary purpose is to assist the impaired attorney in his or her recovery. To contact FLA, their toll-free hotline is (800) 282-8981 or

Business Law Section of TFB starts Diversity Fellowship Program – The Business Law Section of The Florida Bar has implemented a Diversity Fellowship Program. The Fellowship includes a $2,500 annual subsidy to defray the cost of attending Business Law Section meetings and is open to all members of The Florida Bar who are current members of the Section, who have been practicing fewer than 10 years or who are younger than 36 years of age and can demonstrate that a substantial portion of their practice is focused in the area of Business Law. Fellowship application can be found at The application deadline is Aug. 26.

Apply for the Academy - Applications for the 2014-15 Wm. Reece Smith, Jr. Leadership Academy class will become available in the fall of 2013. Questions regarding the Academy or becoming an Academy Partner should be directed to Arnell Bryant-Willis.

Bar offers new private health insurance exchange – Beginning October 1, The Florida Bar will launch a private health insurance exchange designed to assist individual members and employer groups in securing health insurance coverage as part of the Bar’s Member Benefits package. A series of webinars will soon be available to introduce the exchange and educate lawyers on how to participate. Members may call (800) 282-8626 to learn more or register for an upcoming complimentary webinar online at Enrollment begins Oct. 1 for coverage beginning Jan. 1, 2014.


2014 Law Day theme set – The 2014 Law Day theme will be American Democracy and the Rule of Law: Why Every Vote Matters. As we approach the 50th anniversaries of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the 2014 Law Day theme calls on every American to reflect on the importance of a citizen’s right to vote and the challenges we still face in ensuring that all Americans have the opportunity to participate in our democracy. For more information and resources, visit

Join the LGBT Bar Board of Directors – The National LGBT Bar Association is accepting statements of interest from individuals who wish to join the Board of Directors as an at-large Member. During the months of September and October, the Nominations Committee will select and interview potential candidates for inclusion on the slate of candidates for open board member positions. Recommendations by the Committee are submitted to the Board of Directors for election during the LGBT Bar Board meeting in November. Successful candidates will be notified following the November meeting and will begin their duties at the February meeting. Each Board Member is elected by the LGBT Bar Board of Directors for a two-year term which will begin in February 2014. Statements of interest and the questionnaire must be submitted to by 5 p.m. EDT on Monday, September 9, 2013. Additional information can be found at

ABA Midyear Meeting – The 2014 ABA Midyear Meeting will be held Feb. 5-11 at the Hyatt Regency in Chicago.

International webinar on Anti-LGBT propaganda laws in Russia – On Aug. 26, The National LGBT Bar Association will host an international webinar from noon to 1 p.m. EDT for the first 90 lawyers and law students to RSVP to learn about the "no promo homo" laws enacted in Russia in June, wherein "propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations among minors expressed in distribution of information…aimed at the formation… of…misperceptions of the social equivalence of traditional and non-traditional sexual relations." Further discussion will focus on Alekseyev v. Russia. This 2010 judgment of the European court of human rights requires Moscow to allow the kind of lesbian and gay pride event that is held in most major European cities. For more information, visit

In Other News

Bar Exam Results Release Scheduled – The Florida Bar Exam results will be posted on the Florida Supreme Court website on Sept. 23, 2013. Individual results will be sent by U.S. mail. The filing deadline for the February 2014 bar examination is Nov. 15, 2013.

10th year of Kozyak Minority Mentoring Picnic to be held Nov. 9 – The 10th Annual Minority Mentoring Picnic will be held Saturday, Nov. 9 starting at noon. In its 10th year, the Kozyak Minority Mentoring Picnic has grown exponentially each year and is well attended by many judges, established lawyers and law students from every school in Florida. The picnic is sponsored by many businesses, multiple voluntary bar associations, a bank and numerous law firms. Many sponsors rent tents where it is easy for students to meet lawyers, judges and potential employers. There is a “Leaders and Legends” tent where some of the very best lawyers in the country share their experiences. The picnic is a family-friendly event and there is an entire section dedicated to children with rock climbing walls, ring toss, games, face painting and much more. There is an extensive assortment of multicultural food. There will be a DJ spinning tunes and introducing lawyers and judges. The picnic is held at Amelia Earhart Park located in Miami at 401 East 65 Street, Hialeah, FL 33013. Although the picnic is free, there is a $10 fee for parking and donations and sponsorships are welcome to offset the costs. For more information, visit

E-filing reminder - E-filing through the statewide e-filing Portal is mandatory for all attorneys filing at the Florida Supreme Court. The Portal is at also, check out the new look of the Florida Courts E-Filing portal, including a new homepage, training information and FAQs.

FSU Law hosts Color Run – The Florida State University College of Law Placement Office will be hosting a run on Sept. 7. The Happiest 5k on the Planet – the Tallahassee Color Run, with students, faculty, local attorneys, friends, and family will start at 9 a.m. at the Tallahassee Color Run! The run will begin at 9 a.m. at the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center in Tallahassee. Join the FSU College of Law team’s ATHLITIGATION, by registering at or call (850) 644-7260.

Florida Coastal creates new program on legal technology – Florida Coastal School of Law has created a unit focused on preparing students for a legal marketplace that demands knowledge and skills related to technology and innovation, according to a news release. The Center for Law Practice Technology will offer a certificate in legal technology and law practice management. Richard Granat, a pioneer in online legal services and Stephanie Kimbro, who has written books on virtual law, have been appointed as co-directors of the CLPT. They will also serve as affiliate professors at Florida Coastal. Learn more about the CLPT from Florida Coastal School of Law’s website.

First year students at Ave Marie participate in community service orientation – First-year students at Ave Marie School of Law recently experienced a week of orientation at the Shelter for Abused Women & Children, St. Matthew’s House and Naples Equestrian Challenge. The service projects represent an integral part of the school. “We’re a Catholic law school and it is consistent with our mission and the respect that we want to accord to the dignity of every person to not only learn the law but to actually get out in the community and try to do good works,” said President and Dean Eugene Milhizer. Every student organization has a required community service project, and students can get those hours recognized on their transcripts.

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Jeff Doran
Voluntary Bar Liaison
The Florida Bar

[Revised: 10-01-2013]