The Florida Bar Board of Governors met on December 4, 2015. The major actions of the Board and the reports received included:
The board unanimously voted that The Florida Bar opposes term limits for judges at any level of Florida’s state court system. The position is in response to pending legislation for a constitutional amendment to impose term limits on Florida’s appellate judiciary. The 2016 legislative session begins on Jan. 12. To review The Florida Bar’s legislative positions, legislation of interest to the legal profession, weekly session updates, information about Bar advocacy and other links for those interested in the legislative process, please visit www.floridabar.org/legislativeactivity.
A recommendation by the Code & Rules of Evidence Committee was approved by a vote of 33 to 9 that the Supreme Court not adopt the amendments to Florida Statutes 90.702 and 90.704, as amended by Chapter 2013-107 (regarding the Daubert standard), as rules of evidentiary procedure to the extent they are procedural. All Florida Bar members and legal organizations were given the opportunity to provide feedback on the matter to the Board by Nov. 15 for review prior to the vote; all feedback and letters received are posted at www.floridabar.org/daubertfrye along with additional information including the board materials and the committee’s reports. The Code & Rules of Evidence Committee submits three-year cycle reports with recommendations regarding procedural adoption of statutory substance amendments to the Code. The next cycle report is due to the Florida Supreme Court by Feb. 1, 2016. The Board of Governors receives and must vote on all matters prior to submission to the Supreme Court pursuant to Florida Rule of Judicial Administration 2.140(b).
President-elect William J. Schifino, Jr., announced that committee preference forms are now available on the Bar’s website and must be submitted by Jan. 15. Florida Bar members are encouraged to request appointment to Bar committees to address the many challenges facing the legal profession. For more information on the process, the December 1 Florida Bar News includes details and instructions.
The Florida Bar Wm. Reece Smith, Jr. Leadership Academy, a multi-session training program designed to assist a diverse and inclusive group of lawyers in becoming better leaders within the legal profession and their communities, is accepting applications for the 2016-17 class. Applications are due Jan. 15; information on the program and the application form are available online at www.floridabar.org/leadershipacademy.
The Board Technology Committee announced that a special issue of The Florida Bar Journal will be published in January focusing on technology’s impact on the practice of law, and it will be available in an online dynamic digital edition at www.floridabar.org/journal as well as in print. In this issue, a diverse group of authors covers a variety of subjects of interest and concern facing the profession relating to technology. The goal of the special issue is to awaken the thoughts of Florida lawyers to the changing landscape and to encourage using collective wisdom to guide the practice of law through the technological gauntlet.
A proposed amendment to the Rules of Judicial Administration was approved with joint amendments of appellate and criminal rules allowing limited representation in cases and defining who is the lead attorney in cases and how associate and covering attorneys can appear in and leave cases. Also approved were proposed amendments to Family Law Rules that would end all references to Civil Procedure Rules. The proposed amendments will be filed with the Florida Supreme Court. Florida Rules of Court Procedure, proposed amendments, guidelines for rules submissions and rules of court procedure opinions are posted on the Bar’s website.
A proposed amendment to Bar Rule 4-1.5 was approved on using lien modification attorneys at the end of a personal injury or wrongful death case to handle negotiations over health liens. Under the proposed amendment, which must be approved by the Florida Supreme Court, those attorneys could be hired in extraordinary cases with disclosure and written approval of the client and with a judge’s approval. The judge would also be authorized to review and adjust the fees both of the main tort attorney and attorneys handling the liens.
The Florida Bar Board of Governors is seeking applicants for vacancies on The Florida Bar Foundation
Board of Directors: Deadline Dec. 11
Judicial Nominating Commissions: One lawyer vacancy for each of the 26 JNCs to be nominated by The Florida Bar: Deadline for applications : Feb. 26
Make plans to attend The Florida Bar’s Winter Meeting, Jan. 21-23 at the Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista.
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