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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February Message from the President

February 6, 2019

I am Michelle Suskauer, President of The Florida Bar.  As 2019 begins, The Florida Bar continues to work hard to recognize the good work of Florida lawyers and to better serve our members and the public.

Connecting our lawyers to the public is the goal of The Florida Bar Lawyer Referral Service which has made millions of referrals, either directly or by connecting them through local bars. Starting this month, our Lawyer Referral Service will be available 24/7 through our new enhanced website focused on making these connections more easily and efficiently for both attorneys and the public.  The site uses the latest in marketplace technology, with hundreds of data points to provide a quicker, more intuitive referral process. This helps LRS panel lawyers to grow their practices by continually improving the accuracy of matches of clients to attorneys. Through an easy-to-use online dashboard, participating lawyers can access their entire referral history, update their profile, complete case status reporting, and remit referral fees. Visit today to take a look!

As attorneys, we know how critical it is to connect to our communities and provide access to justice.  I am so thrilled to report that last year, Florida lawyers provided more than 1.5 million hours of pro bono services to those in need, and more than $5.8 million to legal aid organizations.  We celebrate some of these lawyers during the 2019 Pro Bono Awards Award ceremony on February 7th at the Florida Supreme Court. I will be recognizing 22 lawyers for their work on behalf of low-income, disadvantaged and other clients. Also, Chief Justice Canady will present the Tobias Simon, Distinguished Judicial Service awards, a Law Firm Commendation, and a Voluntary Bar Association award. A Young Lawyers Division award will be given as well. This event is always inspiring and is truly one of the highlights of the Bar year – and you can watch it live. [Watch live on the Florida Channel or on the Florida Supreme Court’s Facebook page.]

I am also pleased to present our latest LegalFuel Speaker Series CLE Video “Enhanced Results through Effective Communication” from acclaimed speaker Debbie Lundberg.  During this video, Debbie focuses on four discussion points: defining communication and what is effective, sharing reasons for things happening and not happening along with how to overcome them, exploring drivers and motivation and how to talk to people’s interest, and communicating professionally in difficult situations and with difficult people. Tune in to make a difference, make an impact, and make your communication both timely and lasting.

Thank you for all that you do and have a wonderful 2019.

Michelle R. Suskauer, President
The Florida Bar

Messages from the President


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