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Michael J. Higer, President of The Florida Bar, 2017-2018
Born in Miami Beach, Florida, he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1982 from the University of Florida and his Juris Doctorate degree with honors in 1985 from the University of Miami School of Law where he served as the Executive Editor of the Law Review. Now, as a Partner of Berger Singerman’s Dispute Resolution Team, and an experienced litigator and trial lawyer who has devoted his practice to commercial litigation and civil trial work, he is A/V rated by Martindale Hubbell®, the highest available rating. The Best Lawyers in America®, Florida Trend magazine’s Florida Legal Elite™ and Florida Super Lawyers have all repeatedly recognized him in his practice areas. Notably, he is the only lawyer in the State of Florida recognized by the prestigious Chambers’ legal guide for his representation of policyholders in insurance disputes. And, he is widely regarded as one of the architects of the business courts established in Florida.
Message from President Higer
As your Florida Bar president, I am excited to update you on what the Florida Bar has been working on, including: advocating for the legal profession and the judicial system during the 2018 legislative session; educating Floridians about the Constitution Revision Commission; and promoting the improvement of lawyer mental health and wellness. Throughout the legislative session, the Florida Bar has monitored budget issues and bills of interest to our legal profession.
Due to the dedication and hard work of our legislative team, the session ended without further cuts in court funding, and the Bar retained its valuable role in nominating qualified candidates to Florida’s judicial nominating commissions. Thank you to all of our legislators for allowing our voice to be heard, for their commitment to Florida, and for supporting the third branch of government, the judiciary.
Your Florida Bar also continues to inform and engage the public and our members about the work of the Constitution Revision Commission through our educational program Protect Florida Democracy. Our constitution, our rights, our courts.
Protect Florida Democracy communications have achieved more than 70 million impressions, reaching Florida voters with information on this process and encouraging participation. I am proud to say that our members gave more than 100 presentations to community groups across the state on the importance of the Florida Constitution and the distinctions of the three branches of government.
On April 16, the Commission approved eight amendments for the November ballot. These joined five amendments from citizen initiatives and legislative resolutions. While we work to protect our justice system, we also prioritized helping Florida attorneys cope with the inherent stresses of the legal profession.
The Florida Bar partnered with local bar associations to host four town halls to have open conversations about mental health and how we can take better care of ourselves, to crease the stigma associated with mental illness and treatment, and seek help when needed without the fear of judgment or rebuke.
During my travels, I have talked to lawyers, law students, and judges across our state about the need to focus on health and wellness. We must continue to elevate this conversation. We must, and we will. Please be sure to watch for health and wellness tips, free CLE webinars, and other great resources from your Florida Bar and the Young Lawyers Division throughout the month of May in social media, website postings, and other member communications. It is an honor and a pleasure to serve you as the president of The Florida Bar.
Thank you for your commitment, your passion, and your dedication to the legal profession and the people of Florida.
Michael J. Higer, President
The Florida Bar