The Florida Bar

December 2020 Meeting Summary

Report from BOG

The Florida Bar Board of Governors met via Zoom video conference on December 4, 2020. The major actions of the Board and reports received included:

The Board’s Technology Committee presented a draft best practices guide to assist Bar members with the expansion of the remote court proceedings caused by the pandemic and expected to continue in some capacity after court operations resume more in-person operations. The committee is now asking for feedback on “The Florida Bar Recommended Best Practices for Remote Court Proceedings” from interested Bar members, members of the judiciary, sections, committees and other potentially impacted groups. Compliance with the guide is not mandatory, so it is not being published for formal comment. Instead, feedback is welcome to improve the guide to benefit all justice partners. This online document will be updated continuously to address changes during and after the pandemic. Review the first draft of the best practices guide here and use this fillable form to provide feedback by Wednesday, January 20, 2021.

The Technology Committee is also working on additional ways to help members navigate the pandemic and will meet with Zoom representatives to discuss adding features to the videoconferencing platform requested by lawyers.

The COVID-19 Pandemic Recovery Task Force reported that it is working on a member survey to help determine which legal proceedings the Bar will suggest continuing remotely after the pandemic. The task force also continues to update the COVID-19 Information and Resources page on the Bar’s website at floridabar.org/covid19.A recommendation for a formal ethics advisory opinion from the Professional Ethics Committee regarding “the ethical obligations of a lawyer in responding to negative online posts by a person other than a client” was approved. It will supplement Florida Ethics Opinion 20-1 that offers guidance for responding to online posts by former clients and is expected to be of wide interest to a significant number of Florida Bar members.

The Board also approved a proposal to add more advertising to the website. Ten website areas were identified that are suitable for expanded advertising opportunities with the potential to serve over 1.7 million impressions per month. Existing website policies on advertising would apply. Read more about the plan in this Florida Bar News article. Special Appointments were made as follows:

  • Florida Judicial Qualifications Commission – Michael J. Higer (6-year term, commencing January 1, 2021)
  • Florida Realtor-Attorney Joint Committee – (2-year terms commencing January 1, 2021)
    • Colleen Coffield Sachs, Pensacola 1st Appellate District
    • John N. Redding, Tampa 2nd Appellate District
    • Roberto F. Fleitas, III, Miami 3rd Appellate District
    • Kristen King Jaiven, Boca Raton 4th Appellate District
    • Patrick T. Christiansen, Orlando 5th Appellate District
  • Florida Rural Legal Services, Inc. – Board Of Directors – Natchia Jules-Toussaint, Fort Pierce (3-year term, commencing January 1, 2021)
  • Eleventh Circuit Judicial Conference – Gregory S. Weiss, West Palm Beach (4-year term, commencing January 1, 2021)

The Board will appoint Bar members to the Florida Bar Foundation Board of Governors at the January board meeting. The schedule for future appointments, deadlines and applications is posted here.

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