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April 2020

A Message from Florida Bar President John Stewart


We’ve received questions from several members about the statewide Safer at Home Executive Order 20-91 and how it applies to the legal profession. President John Stewart provides clarification in his latest message to the Florida legal community.

Everybody will be able to jump in

Plans for the 2020 Voluntary Bar Leaders Conference are continuing and the program is being finalized. With the stay at home orders and self-distancing in full effect now, voluntary bar leaders will be more than ready to travel to Orlando and engage with other bar leaders in July. All things VBLC 2020 can be found…

Scholarship covers cost of VBLC registration

The application deadline for a Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division (YLD) scholarship to attend the Voluntary Bar Leaders Conference has been extended to May 15. As many as 15 registration scholarships are being offered for the conference, to be held July 10-11 at Margaritaville Resort Orlando. Scholarships will be awarded by May 31, with priority…

Find Timely Resources on LegalFuel

Whether or not you were using LegalFuel: The Practice Resource Center of The Florida Bar before the coronavirus emergency, it’s definitely imperative to now get familiar with all the resources and assistance the site offers.

Board approves the creation of a mental-health helpline

Florida Bar members will get free access to a confidential, 24-hour mental health helpline, possibly this summer, under a contract approved March 20 by The Florida Executive Committee. The Executive Committee met via conference call to consider a host of agenda items from a Board of Governors meeting that was cancelled in the wake of…

Diversity Grants Application Deadline Extended

The deadline to apply for Voluntary Bar Leadership Diversity Grants has been extended to May 29, 2020. Applications must be submitted by email and received before that day. A total of $50,000 is available to award to Voluntary Bar Associations with individual grants up to $1,500 and up to $3,000 to multiple Voluntary Bars working together…

Tanner to become President-elect in June

Attorney Mike Tanner of Jacksonville has been elected president-elect designate of The Florida Bar. Tanner won over fellow Board of Governors member Renee Thompson, receiving 8,647 votes to Thompson’s 8,558. Tanner will become president-elect in June 2020 when Dori Foster-Morales of Miami is installed as president.

Judicial Staff Recognized in Palm Beach County

The Palm Beach County Florida Association for Women Lawyers recognized judicial staff for their hard work on March 10 in West Palm Beach. The Judicial Personnel Appreciation Lunch brought together judges, judicial staff and courtroom deputies for a time to say “job well done.”

Supporting each other in Dade

The Caribbean Bar Association was a proud co-sponsor of the Dade County Bar Association Annual Bench & Bar. A full day of panels, presentations, and pertinent information gave CBA members and other the opportunity to take advantage of a voluntary bar networking and educational opportunity.

Luncheon is Time for Celebration

On Feb. 28, the F. Malcolm Cunningham Bar Association held the  19th Annual William Holland Luncheon.  This year’s event honored the career of Judge Cunningham. Members were inspired by the words of voting rights/civil rights leaders Nancy Abudu and Desmond Meade, Executive Director of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition.  Many members, guests and sponsors attributed to…

Young Lawyers Help Children in Palm Beach County

Palm Beach County Bar young lawyer members enjoyed cooking dinner for the families of Quantum House last month. The Chef for a Day Program is one of the best ways to help care for the families whose children are receiving treatment in Palm Beach County for serious medical conditions.

Lawyers Get Viral Tips on Working Remotely

Adjusting to the new realities of Covid19, the Broward County Bar Association, Dade County Bar Association & St. Petersburg Bar Association hosted a live WEBINAR on Tech available to enable Law Firms to work remotely during these times. Keep Your Distance: Is Your Technology Prepared for Work From Home Operations? Discussion included topics on Remote Access Do’s and Don’ts; Keeping Secure…

Bench and Bar a Success in Dade

The Dade County Bar Association Annual Bench and Bar on March 6 in Coral Gables featured nearly 50 panelists, 40 sponsors, 16 VBA sponsors, and a large crowd. A full day of CLE was offered, including technology, ethics, professionalism and bias elimination credits. DCBA is uploading recordings of all the sessions online for those who…

Membership Madness with the St. Augustine Glory

As a perk to join or renew membership with the St. Johns Association for Women Lawyers, the organization offered one free ticket and four free months of membership at a recent St. Augustine Glory Pro Basketball game. STJAWL President, Ingrid Suarez Osborn, addressed the fans at the game’s half time sharing how excited the group was…

Race and Food Festival in Tampa

The 2020 Hillsborough County Bar Association 5KPro Bono River Run on Feb 29 supported pro bono legal services in Hillsborough County. Individuals who work in the local legal community ran down the Tampa Riverwalk and back. Immediately after the race, the HCBA hosted the 17th Annual Judicial Food Festival (formerly known as the Pig Roast) on…

Family farming in Pinellas

The Pinellas County Chapter of the Florida Association for Women Lawyers and the Hillsborough Association for Women Lawyers joined together to host a sustainable family farming event on March 7. The joint service project supported the Foundation for Sustainable Families and was held on a one-acre Urban Farm in the heart of Pinellas Park.

Aiming for Fun in Sarasota

More than 100 Sarasota County Bar Association members and friends enjoyed a beautiful day of Sporting Clays on March 6. Great fun was had by all!

Joint Celebration recognizes Black History Month

In honor of Black History Month, the George Edgecomb Bar Association and the Fred G. Minnis, Sr. Bar Association hosted a reception on Feb. 25 in Tampa. The program,  “Celebrating Black Legal Minds: Education is the Greatest Equalizer” featured keynote speaker Dean Michele Alexandre of Stetson University College of Law.

19th Amendment Centennial Celebration

Celebrating Black Women Suffragists’ Efforts to Ratify the 19th Amendment members of the Tallahassee Women Lawyers hosted a 19th Amendment Centennial gathering on March 11. The featured speaker was FSU College of Law Professor Carla Laroche.  The luncheon  also showcased the American Bar Association’s new traveling exhibit, “100 Years After the 19th Amendment: Their Legacy, and…

Fun and games in Tampa

The Tampa Hispanic Bar Association held its very first Dominoes night on March 12. Candamo Law hosted the event. An important link to Hispanic heritage, THBA members hope to preserve this part of their culture for generations to come.

Polk Women Make History

Polk Association for Women Lawyers, a voluntary bar association in the 10th Circuit, was honored to host a light breakfast and a circuit-wide luncheon for the bench and the local bar March 11. PAWL members also welcomed the Second District Court of Appeals judges to Bartow, where oral arguments were held in the 1908 courtroom…

Hot Times for Volusia Bar YLD

The Volusia County Bar Association young lawyers know how to throw a party! The group’s 1st annual Chili Cookoff was a hot success. With more than 200 in attendance, $1,125 was raised for the Giving Beck Fund to benefit Veterans Court vets. The fund honors Judge David Beck.

Special Recognition for Community Support

The Lakeland Bar Association honored Polk Association for Women Lawyers with the Honorable Oliver L. & Mona Green Spirit of Giving Award. PAWL President Brenda Ramirez accepted the award in recognition for all the support that PAWL attorneys give in service to the community.

Asian Fare at Judicial Food Festival

The Asian Pacific American Bar Association – Tampa Bay won second place for Best Fest Grub at the Hillsborough County Bar Association’s Judicial Food Festival held Feb. 29. A first time participant, APABA -Tampa Bay was led by Alicia Whiting-Bozich, Debbie Sines Crockett, Zarra Elias-Wong, Jin Liu, Sarah Lahlou-Amine, and Jeanie Kang. Members/former board members…

International Women’s Day Marked at the Movies

Sarasota Association for Women Lawyers had a great time supporting a great cause while viewing films at the Through Women’s Eyes film festival on International Women’s Day. “Female Pleasure,” a short film produced Suyoung Yang of Ringling College of Art & Design, explored how culture and religion in particular have been used to control women’s…

Implicit Bias is focus in Gainesville

The Eighth Judicial Circuit Bar Association Leadership Roundtable was held March 13. Getting to Know You: Implicit Bias in the Jury Process featured a panel discussion and workshop. The discussion centered on how the jury process illustrates the significance of implicit bias in all areas of the practice of law. The featured luncheon speaker was…

Golf outing benefits Guardian Foundation

The Eighth Judicial Circuit Bar Association’s Charity Golf Tournament, “The Gloria: In Memoriam of Gloria Fletcher,” was held February 28 at the Mark Bostick Golf Course at the University of Florida. Proceeds from the outing go to The Guardian Foundation, which provides resources to children who have been abused, neglected, or abandoned.

Winning Over a Jury in Orlando

The Greater Orlando Asian American Bar Association hosted a CLE luncheon presentation, “How to Persuade a Jury within 30 seconds,” presented by MileStone | Reporting Company president Mike McDonner on March 12. The presentation provided helpful tips on how to win over a jury during opening statement at trial. Milestone provided hand sanitizers placed at…

Justice teaching in Palm Beach County

The mission of the Palm Beach County Bar Association’s Law Related Education Committee is to teach civics to school age children with fun and interactive lessons through Justice Teaching. PBCBA member Bruce Blitman, who volunteers at Palm Beach Lakes Community High School, was joined recently by Retired Florida Supreme Court Justice Barbara Pariente who spoke…

Home teams draw Sarasota Bar YLD for baseball social

The Sarasota County Bar Association YLD hosted its annual Spring Training Baseball Social on March 10. The group chose the Atlanta Braves vs. Baltimore Orioles game, both teams now making Sarasota their spring training home. The Orioles are celebrating their 10th year at Ed Smith Stadium.

Latinas in Law

The Broward County Hispanic Bar Association and the Broward County Bar Association Hispanic Lawyer Committee presented Latinas in Law, a program honoring Latina women. The event was held March 4 in Fort Lauderdale.

Shadow Day in Tampa

George Edgecomb Bar Association organized a Courthouse Shadow Day with the Federal Bar Association for the students at Ferrell Middle Magnet School. Several volunteers and the courthouse staff made the event possible.

Law Week art content in Hillsborough County

The 13th Judicial Court celebrated #LawWeek2020 as middle school students from Hillsborough County visited the courthouse to help commemorate the event. The annual art contest entries were on display in the Edgecomb Courthouse lobby depicting this year’s theme, Your Vote, Your Voice and Our Democracy.

Diverse local bars in St. Pete

St. Petersburg Bar Association members enjoyed hosting Fred G. Minnis President Shaquana Harper and George Edgecomb Bar Association President Valeria Obi at the March Membership Luncheon.

Tallahassee Bar Association celebrates 100th year

Members of the Tallahassee Bar Association capped off their 100-year anniversary with a Centennial Gala on Tuesday, March 3. More than 125 members, event sponsors and guests gathered to commemorate the important milestone. TBA’s past presidents were honored; Sidney Matthew gave an entertaining history of the TBA; and Florida Bar President John Stewart gave a…

Connecting in the age of social distancing

Members of the Young Lawyers Section of the Orange County Bar Association held a Zoom Happy Hour to catch up and discuss various topics. Florida Bar President John M Stewart and Orange County Bar Association President Tony Sos joined and provided some uplifting words. It was a cathartic release for some and provided some social…

Using technology to ensure that legal services continue

How to use Microsoft Teams to Communicate in Today’s New Social Distancing World was the topic of a webinar offered to members of joint voluntary bars March 24. The hands-on info hour offered tips on Chat, Call, Video Conference, and Live Document Collaboration from any device, anywhere and anytime. The on-point webinar was hosted by…

Mental health triage in Jacksonville

In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Jacksonville Bar Association offered its members virtual continuing legal education March 25. Featured speakers for Mental Health Triage were Caren Coleman, MS, LHMC; Diana Davis, MS, RMHCI and Whitney George, Ph.D. Topics included how to triage yourself and identify common mental health issues; how to triage colleagues; common…

Paradise in the home office

Keeping the fun in the remote workplace, Orange County Bar Association brought some color to its staff meeting April 3. The Hawaiian themed virtual gathering brought to light how you can still find fun at the end of a busy week after working overtime to support your members and provide important information as things change…

Legal Implications of COVID-19 on Your Law Practice

On April 3, Orange County Bar Association hosted a webinar to review the Covid-19 health pandemic’s implications on the legal profession. The crisis has brought about rapidly changing legislation on the federal, state and local level, in addition to information overload on the topics of employment practices, bankruptcy and resources for solo and small firms….

Remote Rendezvous: A Virtual Table for Eight

Central Florida Association for Women Lawyers wants to maintain connections with fellow bar members. Respecting the social distancing and small group rules in place, the group chose to schedule remote gatherings every Tuesday and Thursday (for the foreseeable future). President Jamie Moses hosted the first two, Let’s Catch Up! on March 24 and Working Remotely…

A lift for women lawyers

Receiving an envelope in the mail with a friend’s name on the return address while hunkered down at home is exciting. To find a coveted Jamie Moses YOU ROCK rock inside was an extra special treat for Kim Hosley, a member of the Central Florida Association for Women Lawyers. Jamie is president of CFAWL this…

FDLA offering free webinars

The Florida Defense Lawyers Association is offering free webinars to help attorneys working remotely. Upcoming webinars include: Tips for Becoming a Productive (and Happier) Remote Worker, Apr 9, 2020, noon to 1:00 PM Handling Cases Remotely When “Home Alone,” April 23, 2020, noon to 1:00 p.m.

Government disaster relief funds webinar

Keeping a law business going in challenging times was the focus of a webinar jointly hosted by voluntary bars April 1. More than 500 attorneys from Broward County Bar Association, Dade County Bar Association, Escambia-Santa Rosa Bar Association, Hillsborough County Bar Association, Jacksonville Bar Association, Sarasota County Bar Association and St. Petersburg Bar Association participated…

Making a difficult time productive

For the safety of its members, staff, vendors and exhibitors in the wake of COVID-19, the Florida Justice Association made the decision to host the annual Workhorse Seminar on March 24-27 live and online. More than 60 speakers presented remotely and registrants watched and listened remotely. Technological advancements FJA made over the last few years…

Working together to reach the masses

More tools for attorneys to navigate during this storm! How to Present a Successful Client Webinar — Do’s, Don’ts and Product Use hosted by Broward County Bar Association, Dade County Bar Association, Hillsborough County Bar Association, Jacksonville Bar Association, Sarasota County Bar Association, St. Petersburg Bar Association and Escambia-Santa Rosa Bar Association. Thank you to…