The Florida Bar

President’s Welcome

Welcome to The Florida Bar website, designed for Bar members to access virtually all Florida Bar information and services while also serving as an excellent source of information to the general public.

Introduction to the President

Michelle R. Suskauer is the president of The Florida Bar for 2018-19. She is the sixth woman to serve as Bar president and is the first former public defender to hold the office.

Suskauer is a partner with Dimond Kaplan & Rothstein, P.A., in West Palm Beach, where she heads the criminal defense practice. She practices in state and federal courts. She has been a member of The Florida Bar’s Board of Governors since 2010 and has chaired the Board Disciplinary Review Committee, Board Strategic Planning Committee, the Board Communications Committee and the 2013 Annual Convention Committee and she has served on the Executive Committee for the past four years. She has served as president of the Palm Beach County Bar Association and the Florida Association for Women Lawyers-Palm Beach County Chapter, and she is currently president of the Board of Directors of the Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County.

Suskauer earned a B.S. from Boston University in 1988 and her J.D. from American University in 1991. She began her legal career at the Office of the 15th Circuit Public Defender in West Palm Beach. In 1997, she joined her husband, Scott Suskauer, at Suskauer Law Firm, P.A.

Suskauer is a nationally recognized legal analyst. She has earned numerous awards, including being named in Florida Trend’s 500 Most Influential Business Leaders in 2018; ‘Fastcase 50’ Honoree 2018; 2017 Woman of the Year from the South Palm Beach County Women Lawyers Association; the Daily Business Review 2017 Top 10 Women in Law; the Serving Justice Award from the Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County; the Justice Barbara Pariente Award from FAWL, Palm Beach County; Leader in the Law from FAWL, Palm Beach County; Woman of Grace Award, 2016; Women in Power Award, National Conference of Jewish Women; and the Character Counts Award from the School District, Palm Beach County.

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Messages from the President

Dec. 2018 Video Message

Sept. 2018 Video Message

July 2018 Video Message

Nov. 2018 Video Message

August 2018 Video Message

Suskauer at Annual Convention

December 12, 2018

Since my installation, I have been proud of the Bar’s ongoing efforts to support our members in the day-to-day business of law, to improve our justice system and to help Floridians affected by Hurricane Michael.

This storm impacted thousands of families dealing with legal issues with property damage assistance and insurance claims.

Our members quickly stepped up to the challenge and volunteered to help with the FEMA Legal Disaster Hotline from the ABA and our Young Lawyers Division. Calls are still coming in for help, and I urge you to visit floridabar.org/hurricaneinfo to sign up.

In October, The Florida Bar convened the first ever Criminal Justice Summit. We brought together stakeholders across the legal system to collaborate and discuss how to improve the criminal justice system in Florida.

We addressed important topics such as pretrial release, sentencing reform, juvenile direct file and specialty courts.

Coverage of the summit is in the latest Bar News, online and in the January Bar Journal. Videos of all of the sessions will soon be available for CLE credit with additional information posted at floridabar.org/cjsummit.

Looking ahead, Florida’s 2019 Legislative Session, which begins on Tuesday, March 5th, will involve new elected and appointed officials across all three branches of Florida government.

We look forward to continuing our work with legislative and executive leaders on issues involving the legal profession and in support of improvements to the administration of justice.

Recently, The Bar launched LegalFuel: The Practice Resource Center of The Florida Bar offering the latest technology and firm management tools for Florida lawyers, especially small and solo firm practitioners.

The challenging business of practicing law is the focus of LegalFuel which also offers live chat, discussion boards and timely articles to get the information you need quickly and efficiently.

This month, we are releasing the newest LegalFuel Speaker Series CLE Video “Five Simple Lessons to Help You Earn More, Stress Less and Be Awesome” featuring Nora Bergman.

In this free one-hour program, Nora, a lawyer and nationally-known law firm coach, shares easy ways to improve your law practice and increase productivity while guarding your mental health and wellness.

For this and many other practice management resources, please visit LegalFuel.com.

With the holiday season upon us, The Florida Bar remains focused on helping lawyers to improve mental health and wellness and reduce stress. This time of year can be hectic and overwhelming, and we can all benefit from taking a moment to acknowledge this reality.

Please take care of yourself! The Florida Bar has several member benefits that can be particularly helpful:

Wellbeing Coaches – they can help you take small steps that lead to improved health and happiness;

and EVideo Counselor – which provides online face-to-face video counseling with licensed mental health therapists.

Visit floridabar.org/memberbenefits for more information.

Thank you for all that you do and have a wonderful holiday and a Happy New Year.

Sincerely,
Michelle R. Suskauer, President
The Florida Bar

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