The Florida Bar Board of Governors met on March 29, 2019, in Washington, D.C. The major actions of the board and reports received included:
The Budget Committee presented the proposed Florida Bar budget for the 2019-20 fiscal year to the Board. The spending plan includes $42.1 million in total revenues and nearly $44.6 million in total expenses. Lawyer regulation, at $21.7 million, will continue to represent one of the biggest single expenditures. That figure includes $2 million for intake services through the Attorney/Consumer Assistance Program (ACAP). Annual member fees, which represent the bulk of Bar revenue, are projected to increase by nearly $577,000, nearly topping $29 million. However, for the 18th straight year, annual fees are proposed to stay the same and the cost to practice law in Florida remains among the lowest for mandatory bars in the country. The budget is ultimately approved by the Florida Supreme Court. The full budget will be posted on The Florida Bar News site and published in the next print edition.
The Legislation Committee reported that there appeared to be no legislation that would negatively impact the legal profession or the judicial system at this point in the 2019 Legislative Session and Florida Bar legislative consultants predict that lawmakers will likely approve a measure that would increase the jurisdiction of county courts from the current $15,000 threshold. For weekly updates on proposed legislation, the session schedule, links to contact legislators and to other information sources, as well as the policies on Florida Bar advocacy and all approved legislative positions, please visit the Legislative Activity section.
The Board approved changes to rules, procedures, and policies, including clarifications and updates affecting grievance mediation fee arbitration, fees and costs for legal services, policies of the Board of Legal Specialization and Education, The Clients’ Security Fund rules and regulations. For information on rule changes, please visit The Florida Bar News.
A new member benefit, UniCourt, was approved and will soon be added to the more than 60 free or discounted products and services already offered to Florida Bar members. UniCourt is a nationwide case research, tracking, management, and analytics platform that integrates court data from federal (PACER) and state courts into a single, cloud-based application. More than a dozen member benefit providers offer free trials, demos or initial services, including practice resources, legal forms and legal research. Check out the growing list and start saving today.
APPOINTMENTS FOR MAY
The Board will consider nominees for the following May appointments:
- ABA House of Delegates: Two lawyers for two-year terms and one lawyer for a partial term.
- Florida Lawyers Assistance, Inc. Board of Dir.: Three lawyers and two nonlawyers for three-year terms. Deadline for applications has been extended to April 26, 2019.
- Florida Board of Bar Examiners: Two lawyers for five-year terms and one nonlawyer for a three-year term.
Applications can be found on The Florida Bar website.
Important Links & Reminders
In her Spring 2019 message, President Michelle Suskauer features the Young Lawyers Division’s #StigmaFreeYLD initiative, highlights the Bar Journal on diversity and inclusion and The Florida Bar legislative advocacy page. Lastly, she introduces the newest LegalFuel Speaker Series CLE video titled “Making the Jump: A Step-by-Step How to Launch Your Own Law Firm,” presented by Valerie Barnhart, co-founder of Perera Barnhart.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
The Florida Bar News digital version now publishes stories continuously, providing breaking news and updated information that can be viewed from both mobile devices and PCs. The print edition is now mailed once a month and includes the top stories of the month and all Official Notices.
Follow @FLBarNews on Twitter for new articles as they are posted.