The Florida Bar

FULL TEXT SideBar January 2020

January 2020

In his December President’s Video Message, Florida Bar President John Stewart gives an update on The Florida Bar’s priorities for the year — including the proposed voluntary registration program for online legal service providers and the parental leave rule.

The SideBar provides monthly highlights of the incredible work of
Florida’s voluntary bars.

Voluntary Bar Leaders Matter. We Value What You Think.

It’s a new year and a great time to collect information to help raise the Florida voluntary bar program to the next level. In an effort to enhance Bar services to voluntary bar leaders, an online survey is being conducted now through Jan. 17. “The Voluntary Bar Liaison Committee works hard all year to support and enhance…

Reserve Your Room for VBLC 2020!

Forget resolutions, this year set an intention! Plan now to attend the Voluntary Bar Leaders Conference, July 10-11 at Margaritaville Resort Orlando. It will be time well spent. We’ve secured an incredible rate at $179 plus taxes and a $15 resort fee. You can book the nights you need at this link – 2020 Voluntary Bar Leaders Conference….

Keynote to Share Key to Leading Happy, Healthy and Successful Lives

Looking for the tools to overcome stress, focus your mind and improve relationships at work and home? Then attendance at the Voluntary Bar Leaders Conference to hear keynote speaker Mark Eiglarsh is a must for your 2020 agenda. Eiglarsh, a formerly unhappy guy, made a career out of solving everyone’s problems but his own.  Now,…

Leadership Academy Class VIII Application Deadline Extended to Jan. 31st

  The Application Period For The 2020-2021 Wm. Reece Smith, Jr. Leadership Academy Class VIII Extended to Jan. 31st! Want to be considered? Applications are now due by 5:30 p.m. on Jan. 31, 2020. The Wm. Reece Smith, Jr. Leadership Academy is a multi-session training program designed to help a diverse and inclusive group of…

Generous members in Hillsborough County

Toys and teddy bears were gathered by members of the Hillsborough County Bar Association for the annual Toys for Tots in Tampa. Asst. Executive Director Laurie Rideout is shown here dropping off some of the gifts to the Rough Riders on Dec. 13.


A special committee appointed by Bar President John Stewart is looking at how non-voting ex-officio members are appointed to the Board by Bar Presidents. As part of its review, the committee will be hosting a Town Hall at its February 7 meeting at the Bar’s Winter Meeting. The Town Hall is set for 8-10 a.m….

Unity in the Community

The board members of the Greater Orlando Asian American Bar Association and the National Association of Asian Professionals held a joint meeting on Dec. 1 to brainstorm and discuss future outreach projects to help serve the Asian American community.

Santa Comes Early in Martin County

Members of the Martin County Bar Association were honored to host children from the Gertrude Walden Child Care Center at its monthly luncheon in December. The children led the pledge of allegiance, followed by yuletide carols before being greeted by Santa.


Board of Governors members Michael Tanner of Jacksonville and Renée Thompson of Ocala have qualified to run for Bar president-elect. The winner will be decided in March balloting and sworn in as president-elect at the June Annual Convention, when current President-elect Dori Foster-Morales is sworn in as president, and for his or her own term…

Children Benefit from Broward Young Lawyers

A November golf outing and silent auction hosted by the Young Lawyers of the Broward County Bar Association benefitted the Nicklaus Children’s Hospital. During the holiday lunch, BCBA YLS a $35,000 check was presented to South Florida’s only hospital that focuses solely on the care of children. 

Holidays Without Hunger in Collier County

The Family Law Section of the Collier County Bar Association celebrated the season with a luncheon at Bone Fish to benefit Meals of Hope – Holidays Without Hunger Program. The section matched the total of member contributions made that day. Each dollar contributed provides nearly four meals and helps satisfy the one million meals needed…

Seasonal Assistance in Tampa

‘Twas the season for Tampa Hispanic Bar Association’s annual Holiday Fiesta and Toy Drive. The event was held on Dec. 12 at Spain Restaurant and Toma Bar.  Members shared sangria and festive appetizers and helped support the community with toys and donations. The following day, carts full of the unwrapped toys were delivered to Metropolitan…

Holiday Soirée in West Palm Beach

The F. Malcolm Cunningham Bar Association and Palm Beach County Hispanic Bar Association joined together for the 7th Annual Holiday Soirée on Dec. 18 at Batch New Southern Kitchen. Members from both organizations mingled and jingled and enjoyed great music, food and a wonderful night filled with holiday spirit.  

Jolly time for Justice Association

The Palm Beach County Justice Association held its annual board appreciation holiday dinner on Dec. 5 at Tapeo in West Palm Beach. Members enjoyed over-the-top Spanish cuisine to officially begin their holiday season.

An Artful Evening in Sarasota

Immersive artistic experiences with a blend of creative beverages and delicious bites describe the holiday party hosted by the Sarasota County Bar Association Young Lawyers Division.  The festive gathering at Art Ovation on Dec. 12 was topped off with gifts for Children First.

Judicial Reception hosted in Tallahassee

The Florida Government Bar Association hosted its annual Judicial Reception and Silent Auction on Dec. 4 in Tallahassee.  The keynote speaker was the Hon. John MacIver, Director and Chief Judge at the Division of Administrative Hearings. Legal Services of North Florida was the beneficiary of the financial support generated by items donated to the silent…

Students tour Federal Courthouse in Orlando

The Federal Bar Association, Orlando hosted Pace Brantley High School’s government class at the George C. Young Federal Courthouse in Orlando in early December. The students were treated to a tour by the U.S. Marshalls and attended a hearing before the Hon. Carlos Mendoza, United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the…

Festive Family Fun in Collier County

The Collier County Bar Association crafted their holiday party for an evening of fun and festivities for both the young and young at heart. A magician, face painting, crafts and a kid-friendly buffet was topped off with a visit from Jolly Ole St. Nick. The event was held on Dec. 11 at the Hilton Naples.

Seasonal Social for Perkins Bar

Members of the Paul C. Perkins Bar Association celebrated the holiday season with music, fun and fellowship! The annual holiday party was held on Dec. 12 at Novelty in Orlando with both judges and attorneys attending the event.

Bidding Seasons Greetings in St. Pete

The St. Petersburg Bar Association celebrated the holidays at Renaissance Vinoy Golf Club on Dec. 13. Members donated themed baskets and bid on those and other items to raise funds to support the Community Law Program.

Angel Tree – a tradition for CFAWL

Central Florida Association for Women Lawyers was happy to continue the time-honored tradition of giving at Rock Lake Elementary! The Angel Tree program continues to shine a light on those most in need during this season.

Sarasota Women Lawyers Yuletide Gathering

Taking time to pose for a group shot, members of the Sarasota Association for Women Lawyers Board of Directors enjoyed the annual holiday party on Dec. 9. Pictured here is Stephanie Fackender Murphy, Amber Slayton, Cathi Carson-Freymann, Jessica Unwin Farrelly and Julie Schrank Luhrsen.

Fa La Law helps Foster kids

The East Pasco Bar Association joined hands with Youth and Family Alternatives to bring some holiday cheer to local children in foster care. Gifts were provided by members at the inaugural Fa Law Law Holiday Party on Dec. 5.

Holidays celebrated by the Bay

The Colombian-American Bar Association hosted a reception on Dec. 20 at Casablanca Seafood Bar & Grill. It was a great time with great friends to enjoy an evening of local and international seafood on the historic Miami River.

Clearwater Bar celebrates holidays

Spreading the cheer this holiday season, members of the Clearwater Bar Association gathered at Bon Appetit for a holiday party and toy drive. Members brought a new unwrapped toy.

Hispanic Bar Helps Unity 4Kids

The board members of the Broward County Hispanic Bar Association collected gifts for children whose family members participate in the Unity 4Kids Preschool Program. Hispanic Unity has provided this dual-language service to help with early literacy and school readiness for more than 36 years. The BCHBA is honored to have played a role in helping make…

Head Start program gifted in Alachua County

The Eighth Circuit Judicial Bar Association provided wrapped gifts to seven Head Start classrooms during the Annual Margaret Stack Holiday Project to benefit Duval Early Learning Academy and Shell Elementary School. In addition, members of ECJBA provided gift packages, books and blankets to all 35 Alachua County Head start classrooms!  

Risk Avoidance in Broward, Palm Beach and Dade

Broward County Bar Association partnered with Palm Beach County Justice Association on a legal malpractice program on Dec. 18 in Delray Beach. Sponsored by Florida Lawyers Mutual Insurance Company, the joint effort provides a risk avoidance CLE. BCBA hosted a similar session with Dade County Bar Association on Dec. 10 in Miami. Pictured L to R: Sydnee Newman, Jeff Adelman, Dena…

Reddick Bar brings joy during the holidays

A holiday tradition is the TJ Reddick Bar Association’s annual Adopt A Family event. This year, Reddick Bar again partnered with MAST Academy and collected over 400 toys, clothes and gift cards.  In addition, toys were also provided to Children of Inmates, a domestic violence/homeless shelter, ChildNet and Food for the Poor for children in the Bahamas…

Artful holiday celebration in Miami

It was a beautiful night at the Zenith Art & Fashion Studio for The Bankruptcy Bar Association South Florida Chapter’s holiday party. No decorations were needed for the celebration as the venue showcases exceptional world-renowned exhibits that fuse fashion and art.

Granting family support in South Florida

During the first week of December, the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers Florida Chapter President John Schutz presented a $5,000 grant to Facing Adverse Childhood Experiences for Children on behalf of the AAML Foundation. This grant will assist children and families in the tri-County areas of Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Counties to restore family stability. Accepting…

Toy drive a success in Miami

The First Family Law American Inn of Court, the Collaborative Family Law Institute, and Kidside hosted their first-ever joint Holiday Party and Toy Drive at 601 Restaurant in Miami. The groups gathered more than 100 toys for the Lotus House, an organization dedicated to improving the lives of homeless women and children, and Family Court Services.

Holidays celebrated in St. Pete

The members of the Pinellas Florida Association for Women Lawyers celebrated the holidays with a gathering on December 3 at Hawthorne Bottle Shoppe. Members enjoyed craft beer, wine and locally sourced food and fare. A great time was had by all!

Joint Bar Event in Jacksonville

The inaugural A-League Of Their Own Joint Bar Event took place on Dec. 8 It was a fun-filled day of tailgating and Jags football! Participants included members from host Jacksonville Women Lawyers Association; Jacksonville Bar Association/Young Lawyers Section; Jacksonville Justice Association; Jacksonville Bankruptcy Bar Association; St. Johns FAWL; Clay County Bar and D.W. Perkins Bar.

Secret Santas Provide for Seniors in Jacksonville

It was beginning to look a lot like Christmas on December 19. That’s when The Jacksonville Bar Association and the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office delivered gifts to local senior citizens in the Jacksonville Community. Secret Santas from both organizations helped make this special event possible.

Judicial Reception is Merry in Miami

The lawyers of Miami Dade Association for Women Lawyers hosted area judges on Dec. 13 for the annual judicial reception. The event was held at the J.W. Marriott Marquis and was filled with holiday spirit.

Palm Beach County hosts Florida Bar Leaders

The Palm Beach County Chapter of FAWL hosted its annual State of the Bar Luncheon on Dec. 10 at the Kravis Center. Many distinguished guests, including several of the 15th Circuit Board of Governors members, enjoyed a candid and refreshing discussion of the state of The Florida Bar from President John Stewart and Immediate Past-President…

Palm Beach Cub Scouts Get Gifted

Giving to the children in the community was a natural for the members of Palm Beach FAWL.  The Diversity and Inclusion Committee adopted Cub Scout Pack #116 for a Holiday Toy Drive and each child received a gift. The toys were presented to the children at the Cub Scout’s Annual Holiday Party on Dec. 14th.

Ready to take on the world

The officers and board members of the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Tampa Bay met and had fun on Dec. 20 reflecting on 2019 events.  A successful year was celebrated and the group worked on planning and solidifying 2020 events. was also on the agenda. (Pictured: Debbie Sines Crockett, Zarra Elias-Wong, Alicia Whiting-Bozich, Jin Liu, Haksoo Stephen Lee.