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BOG Meeting Summary – May 2019

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Report from BOG


The Florida Bar Board of Governors met on May 24, 2019, Palm Beach. The major actions of the board and reports received included:

The Board approved a proposed amendment to Rule 4-7.13, regarding misleading advertisements. At issue is a common approach, often through Google AdWords, that allows a lawyer to use a competitor’s name to trigger search engine results and drive internet traffic to the advertising lawyer’s website. The amendment prohibits “any statement or implication that a lawyer or law firm is affiliated or associated with the advertising lawyer or law firm when that is not the case.”

A new member benefit, Ross Intelligence, was approved and added to the more than 60 free or discounted products and services already offered to Florida Bar members. Ross Intelligence is a legal research platform powered by artificial intelligence for U.S. law. Using cutting edge Natural Language Processing (NLP), its technology can accurately determine the answers to your legal research questions in seconds. Members will receive a 10 percent discount on monthly subscription rates. ROSS will be in the Legal Marketplace at Annual Convention, June 24-26, for the first time. Visit the exhibit booth to learn more about ROSS Intelligence and EVA (ROSS’ document analyzer).

As an outgrowth of President Michelle Suskauer’s Criminal Justice Summit in October, the Board created a 10 to 15-member committee to “act as a forum for discussion and provide subject-matter expertise in criminal justice legislation, without advocating for a particular legislative position.” The committee is scheduled to begin work in July, and has a June 30, 2020 deadline.

The Board of Governors approved a $44.6 million budget, marking 18 consecutive years without a member fee increase. The General Fund Budget includes $42.1 million in total revenues and nearly $44.6 million in total expenses. The budget now goes to the Florida Supreme Court for final approval.

The Board made the following special appointments:

  • ABA House of Delegates: Scott M. Dimond, Miami; John F. Harkness, Jr., Tallahassee (reappointed); Richard P. Lawson, New York (remainder term)
  • Florida Lawyers Assistance, Inc. Board of Directors: Lawyers: Hillary B. Cassel, Hollywood; Natasha B. Dorsey, Chicago; Barnaby L. Min, Miami (reappointed). Non-lawyers: R. Fairlie Brinkley, Dunedin (reappointed); Louis P. Kalivoda, Jr., Gainesville
  • Florida Board of Bar Examiners: Nominated to Supreme Court (six nominated for two terms): Robert J. Alwine, II, Key Biscayne; Melinda L. McNichols, Miami; Bonnie Phillips-Williams, Miami; Paul J. Schweip, Miami; Caryn D. Shaw, Orlando; Stanley Wakshlag, Miami

In addition, the Board elected three members to the Board Executive Committee: Melissa VanSickle of Tallahassee, Wayne LaRue Smith of Key West, and Lorna Brown-Burton of Fort Lauderdale.



In her latest Video Message, Florida Bar President Michelle Suskauer talks about Health and Wellness Month and highlights the YLD’s #StigmaFreeYLD campaign once again, and she also details the upcoming Florida Bar Annual Convention in Boca Raton and spotlights the newest LegalFuel Speaker Series CLE video, featuring Past Florida Bar President Eugene Pettis.

Watch now!

President's Message VIdeo


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