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Board of Governors Meeting Preview – October 2021

The following items are up for action or discussion at the October 1, 2021, meeting of the Board of Governors as of today; changes may occur before the meeting. Please  if you have any input or questions. This  provides additional details.

The Board of Governors’ meeting agenda includes consideration of a proposed amendment to (Emergency Suspension and Interim Probation or Interim Placement on the Inactive List for Incapacity Not Related to Misconduct). Citing a “continuing need to protect the public,” the Supreme Court in June ordered the Bar to review the rule and create a procedure for temporarily suspending lawyers facing felony indictment. The court set an October 11 deadline for filing the proposal but said it would consider an extension. The Disciplinary Procedure Committee (DPC) expressed concerns but drafted proposed amendments, asking the board to urge the court not to consider emergency suspension a “default” position, and to weigh suspensions of indicted lawyers “on a case-by-case basis.” The DPC is scheduled to meet again September 23 to hear from the Criminal Law Section on the current proposal and to consider whether alternative amendments should be considered.

Board members are scheduled to hear a report from the , initially created in the summer of 2020 and extended for another year. One of three missions of the task force is to study the potential for an automated platform that could help unrepresented parties resolve certain small claims civil disputes.

Board members are also expected to receive an update on the progress of the , tasked with a comprehensive review of professionalism standards, including how they are defined, taught to new Bar members and through a lawyer’s career, and how they are enforced. The committee is considering recommending procedures for better promoting local professionalism panels and making them operate more uniformly. 

The agenda also includes a proposed amendment to Rule 4-5.5 (Unlicensed Practice of Law; Multijurisdictional Practice of Law). Requested by the t, the proposed amendment would add a comment regarding the ability of out-of-state lawyers working remotely while physically located in Florida.