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  5. Board of Governors Meeting Preview – March 2021

Board of Governors Meeting Preview – March 2021

The following items are up for action or discussion at the March 5, 2021, virtual meeting of the Board of Governors as of today; changes may occur before the meeting. Please contact your board representative(s) if you have any input or questions. This Florida Bar News article provides additional details.

The board will consider a Disciplinary Procedures Committee proposal to amend Rule 5-5.1 to require eligible financial institutions to provide a minimum interest rate for IOTA accounts and tie the minimum rate to specific indexed rate points. Each extra basis point paid on IOTA accounts would yield an extra $670,000 for the Foundation and its grant programs. Read more in the Bar News.

The board also will review a Standing Committee on Advertising decision that a lawyer’s website displaying “500bankruptcy.com” is merely a URL and not a trade name under Rule 4-7.21(c). Bar staff concluded in October that the page URL did not comply with that rule, but the committee voted 9-3 in January to overturn the staff opinion. A board member has asked for a review of the committee decision.

In addition, the Board Review Committee on Professional Ethics will present, on first reading only, proposed amendments to advertising rules. A proposed amendment to Rule 4-7.16 would expand the definition of presumably valid content by adding social media contact information. The BRC is also presenting a proposed amendment to Rule 4-7.13 that would give advertising lawyers more discretion to decide whether to post, and how to state, a disclaimer when using actors to portray a person in an occupation or profession, or using a dramatization of an actual or fictitious event.

In other business, the board will consider possible additions to the Member Benefits Program:

  • Ally Bank: This digital service provides competitive pricing for new and refinanced mortgage loans.
  • AXEL Go: A private file-sharing platform using blockchain that helps attorneys mitigate breaches and prevent the inadvertent or unauthorized disclosure of, or unauthorized access to, information relating to the representation of a client.
  • LawMatics: This product assists with the automation of the client intake and marketing process, online custom forms, email marketing, SMS/text messaging automation, e-signatures and document automation, as well as marketing analytics and custom reporting.

The full agenda for this meeting is posted here.