The Florida Bar Board of Governors met via Zoom video conference on January 29, 2021. The major actions of the Board and reports received included:
Chief Justice Charles Canady gave the Board of Governors an update on pandemic recovery efforts and legislative priorities telling the board members that he was optimistic after recent meetings with House and Senate leaders, including the chairs of the appropriations committees that deal with court funding. Read more in the Bar News about his briefing.
The Board of Governors voted 24-22-2 to recommend the Florida Supreme Court accept a Criminal Procedure Rules Committee proposal to amend Rule 3.800 that would allow prosecutors to request a resentencing hearing at any time. Under the Rules of Judicial Administration, board members could only vote to recommend that the Court accept, reject, or amend the proposed amendment. It goes next to the Court for public comment and final consideration
The amendment would add a subsection (d) that states, “Upon stipulation of the state attorney and the defendant, and after hearing with proper notice to the victim, or victim’s next of kin, should there be any, the trial court may modify or reduce a sentence at any time.” Learn about the different positions on the amendment in the Bar News.
The Board of Governors voted unanimously to convert all Fall Meetings — one of three major events on the Bar’s annual calendar — to a virtual format. The conversion would reduce Bar expenditures alone by $62,000 annually, according to staff estimates.
The Board also approved:
- Proposed amendments from the Disciplinary Procedure Committee to Rule 14-4.1 Arbitration Proceedings. The proposal would permit the Bar’s voluntary fee arbitration program to resolve disputes over costs that are common in fee disputes and include disputes over such things as office charges for photocopies or online research as well as out-of-pocket costs for experts, deposition transcripts, filing fees and service of process.
- Proposed amendments to Florida Standards for Imposing Lawyer Sanctions 3.2 Aggravation. The amendment would add “failure to complete a practice and professionalism enhancement program required as part of diversion,” to a list of aggravating factors.
- A new standing board policy to address bar election recounts when a candidate for a Board of Governors office is defeated by one-half of 1 percent or less of the votes cast for that office.
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