The Florida Bar Board of Governors met on September 30, 2016. The major actions of the Board and the reports received included:
The Supreme Court approved a three-hour increase in CLE requirements for each three-year reporting cycle and a new mandate to take technology-related CLE courses. With the September 29 opinion in case No. SC16-574, The Florida Bar becomes the first mandatory bar in the nation to require a CLE technology component because of the increased use of technology in law practices. Florida Bar members can take advantage of free technology courses offered by the Practice Resource Institute. In addition, 197 Florida Bar-approved CLE courses have been awarded technology credit representing 437 hours currently available. As of the release of the opinion, more than 2,386 Bar members have already satisfied the new technology requirement as part of their mandatory hours. For continuing education courses and information, visit www.floridabar.org/CLE.
In addition to current member communications tools, Bar members will soon be able to view brief weekly news-style videos highlighting key Florida Bar News stories. Recognizing that video provides more engagement and awareness and is easily sharable and accessible, the Board of Governors Communications Committee is launching this project through social media, the website and digital platforms beginning in late October.
President Bill Schifino has appointed a Special Committee on the Constitution Revision Commission (CRC) to focus on developing and delivering member and voter education about the process that occurs every 20 years in Florida. The Chief Justice, Governor and Senate President have announced that they are now considering their CRC appointments.
Scott Richardson, vice chair of the Florida Board of Bar Examiners, praised increased cooperation between The Florida Bar and the bar examiners on a variety of issues. He said that law students are being encouraged to apply for the bar exam during their first year so that all investigations can be concluded before they graduate or seek legal internships.
The Florida Bar is working with a software developer to study the possibility of deploying an optional trust accounting software for members. The software would assist with trust accounting technical compliance issues (see Rules Regulating The Florida Bar 5-1.1 and 5-1.2) that many small and medium size law firms have. More information will be available in future issues of The Florida Bar News.
A new member benefit was approved by the board, eFileMadeEasy, which helps law firms with the state court system’s electronic filing system. For a list of the more than 40 member benefits and discounts on bank programs, insurance, business needs, auto rentals and more, please visit http://floridabar.org/member/benefits/.
The Supreme Court received eight comments on proposed revisions to for-profit lawyer referral service rules that would create “qualifying providers.” A response was filed by The Florida Bar on Oct. 5. Filings are available on the case docket. Additional details on the proposed revisions are posted at www.floridabar.org/proposedLRSamend.
For Assistance with Practice-Related Issues Caused by Hurricane Matthew: floridabar.org/pri
Voter Resources for the 2016 Merit Retention Election: floridabar.org/thevotesinyourcourt
Schedule: 2016 Fall Meeting of Rules and Other Select Committees
Pro Bono Service Awards Nomination Deadline: Nov. 9