The Florida Bar Board of Governors met on March 27, 2015. The major actions of the board and reports received included:
The Vision 2016 Access to Legal Services Committee recommended amendments to the civil rules of procedure and rules of judicial administration to allow lawyers to provide some unbundled legal services, also known as limited scope representation or limited appearance representation, in civil cases. This is a practice currently available in some other types of court cases. The recommendations now go to appropriate procedural rules committees for review. The Florida Commission on Access to Civil Justice is also studying how unbundled legal services could increase access to civil justice.
The Vision 2016 Technology Committee is working on a number of proposals, including: establishing a Standing Committee on Technology to study and advise on law practice technology applications and a board committee to liaison with the Florida Courts Technology Commission; developing referral and document services to help lawyers gain new clients and to provide legal services for the 60% of Floridians who do not qualify for legal aid but cannot afford traditional legal services; and increasing continuing legal education and other requirements to include technology competence.
The 2015-16 budget was approved, keeping annual membership fees at $265 for active members and $175 for inactive members. Bar revenues are projected to be $41.3 million and expenses at $44.2 million including $19.8 million for the regulation of the practice of law. The budget is being submitted to the Florida Supreme Court for approval. The Bar’s fiscal year begins July 1.
The Young Lawyers Division has designated May 2015 as “The Florida Bar YLD Health & Wellness Month” to coincide with National Mental Health Awareness Month and to start conversations on strategies for improving lives. YLD will be posting easy mental health and wellness challenges daily on social media with specific tips, video clips, and relevant articles. The main platforms for communication will be the YLD’s Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Members are encouraged to post photos or comments related to the May initiative hash tagged with #livewell. In addition, YLD affiliates will be sponsoring local quality of life activities.
The Florida Bar is tracking hundred of bills of interest to the legal profession and is advocating for court system funding matters. Florida Bar, section and committee legislative positions are posted on the website along with weekly session updates, bill tracking reports and other legislative session information.
The 2015 Annual Convention will feature a one-day legal technology and innovation seminar on June 24 powered by Clio, one of the leaders in cloud based practice management software and a Florida Bar member benefit provider. The program, “InSession: Transforming Practice Through Technology,” will provide the latest on law and technology issues presented by world-class speakers, with the keynote address provided by legal futurist Richard Susskind and topics including: practicing in the post-information age; video technology; technology trends for law firms; virtual communication and collaboration; the paperless firm; digital marketing for law firms; entrepreneurship in law; and content marketing for lawyers, among others.
The following appointments were made: Dwight O. Slater of Tallahassee for a two-year term on the Supreme Court Bar Admissions Committee; Frank A. Ashton of Jacksonville Beach, Thomas E. Glick of North Miami, and Maria T. Fabre of Orlando for four-year terms on the Statewide Nominating Commission for Judges of Compensation Claims; and Craig A. Dennis of Tallahassee for a four-year term on the Florida Patient’s Compensation Fund.
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2015 Annual Convention: June 24-27, Boca Raton, FL
Practice Resource Institute assisting Florida Bar members with office technology; finance and accounting; marketing; management; and new practices.