The Florida Bar

FULL TEXT SideBar March 2019

March 2019

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


Online registration for the 2019 Voluntary Bar Leaders Conference set for July 12-13 is now available. If you have not made your hotel reservation, please do so as soon as possible. Our room block is filling fast at the Tampa Marriott Water Street Hotel & Marina (formerly Tampa Marriott Waterside). All conference information and links, including sponsorship opportunities, can be found by clicking on the conference information button below.

Enter the Healthy Hour Challenge

In support of The Florida Bar’s emphasis on mental health and wellness of Florida lawyers, the Voluntary Bar Liaison Committee is encouraging voluntary bar leaders to host health and wellness-related events and share the success. Got a 5K planned? Or what about a yoga session or paddle board outing? Let us know what’s going on…

YLD Scholarships Offered

As many as 20 scholarships are being offered by The Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division (YLD) to assist aspiring young lawyers who want to attend the Voluntary Bar Leaders Conference. Members of The Florida Bar YLD interested in being considered for  scholarships in the amount of the conference registration fee should complete this Voluntary Bar Leaders…


The Voluntary Bar Liaison Committee is hosting webinar training workshops in 2019 designed to assist voluntary bar leaders in building and strengthening leadership, management and technical skills. The third webinar on enhancing member engagement will be focused on making social media relevant and meaningful using the Instagram platform. Join us at noon on April 25…


On March 2, the Criminal Law Committee of the Orange County Bar Association hosted a LAWn Day at Barry University School of Law in Orlando. Teams of four competed in games at multiple play stations and points were given with the three teams scoring the most points declared the winners. Games included: Double Shot Basketball,…

A better health beat in Sarasota

The Sarasota County Bar Association Health & Wellness Subcommittee and the Florida Association for Women Lawyers, Sarasota Chapter, presented “A Prescription To Save Your Life” on March 25. Guest Speaker Dr. Chippy C. Nalluri, M.D., FACC, nationally renowned cardiologist and speaker on heart health, gave the keynote address. Members of the SCBA also shared personal…

Sarasota Attorneys Take Their Best Shot

The 9th Annual Sporting Clays Event hosted by the Sarasota County Bar Association was a huge success and a sellout. Beautiful weather, bright blue skies, great food and an opportunity for fellowship with SCBA members made the shooting that much better.

A day for mentoring and family fun

The Jamaican-American Bar Association and the Caribbean Bar Association hosted a Family Fun Day in the park on March 9 in Pembroke Pines! Games for children and adults with food and drinks, provided the perfect setting for law students to connect with lawyers and judges in a casual setting.

Heels on the Hill

Voluntary Bar Liaison Committee member Kyleen Hinkle, left, who also serves as president-elect of the Florida Association for Women Lawyers and FAWL President Jenny Shoaf Richardson, right met with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to discuss judicial appointments at FAWL Lobby Days in Tallahassee on March 11. Hinkle will taking over the reins from Richardson at The…

Girls on the Run benefit in Tallahassee

The Tallahassee Bar Association Young Lawyers Section hosted “Raise It,” to increase awareness in the local legal community of the importance of health and wellness. The March 16 event started at Momentum Fitness with a competitive team circuit followed by a 1K run to Deep Brewing Company to celebrate! The event raised more than $1,200 for “Girls…

St. Pete attorneys aspire to Live Well, Give Well

Committed to its active promotion of mental health and wellness issues St. Petersburg Bar Association hosted actor Quinton Aaron for its March member meeting. Aaron, who starred as “Big Mike” in “The Blindside”, shared his personal path to success, despite facing relentless bullying as a child. His Tampa based anti-bullying non-profit, The Quinton Aaron Foundation is serving those in…

Black judges celebrated in Miami-Dade

Members of the Caribbean Bar Association joined friends at the Wilkie D. Ferguson, Jr. Bar Association for a judicial reception, recognizing the newly elected and ascending black judges in Miami-Dade County. The crowd included attorneys, judges, and law students. In fact, there were so many, it took a few minutes to line up the perfect group photo!

Celebrating past leaders in St. Pete

The St. Petersburg Bar Association celebrated 94 years of SPBA leadership at the Past Presidents’ Reception on March 22. It’s obvious from the organization’s continuing success that its bright future is made possible by the hard work of many leaders from its rich past.

Ribbon cut on new lactation room

The St. Pete Courthouse is the latest Florida law building to open a lactation room. The Pinellas County Chapter of the Florida Association for Women Lawyers and the Clearwater Bar Association worked to provide a space to not only serve attorneys but also litigants, employees and visitors to the courthouse, providing greater access to the justice system for…

Lucky Night for alums and more

The Miami Lakes Bar Association and the Dominican American Bar Association co-hosted the Saint Patty’s Day themed St. Thomas Law’s Alumni Happy Hour on March 14.  Alumni, students, faculty and administrators gathered at Miller’s Ale House in Miami Lakes for the shamrockin’ event.

Weston Bar View from the Bench

Members of the Weston Bar Association gathered on March 15 for the 2019 View from the Bench. Panelists discussed habits attorneys need to cultivate; habits that attorneys need to discard; and how to be prepared for court. As well there were questions for the judges. Judge David Haimes, center, one of the panelists, is shown with…

A top of mind issue in Palm Beach County

The Florida Association for Women Lawyers  Palm Beach County Chapter and Palm Beach County Bar Association YLD joined the F. Malcolm Cunningham, Sr. Bar Association and Palm Beach County Hispanic Bar Association for their coalition’s Inaugural Palm Beach County Legal Diversity and Inclusion Summit. Voluntary bar leaders met with leaders in both large and small…

Women Making History in Miami-Dade

The Miami-Dade Chapter of the Florida Association for Women Lawyers-MDFAWL hosted a Women Making History and Scholarship Awards reception on March 14. The organization awarded its Women Making History Award to Justice Barbara Lagoa, a trailblazer and presently the only woman Justice on the Florida Supreme Court. In addition, MDFAWL awarded scholarships to nine deserving young women.

Broward’s Women Legal Trailblazers Honored

In celebration of International Women’s Day on March 8, the female pioneers of Broward’s legal community were recognized for their groundbreaking contributions by the Broward County Bar Association. From the first Director of Coast to Coast Legal Aid, to the first the woman to sit as a judge on a Florida circuit court, all are pioneers in…

Fashion for a Cause

In celebration Derby style, members of the Gwen S. Cherry Black Women Lawyers Association used fashion for a cause. To raise awareness and support for minority law students and the legally disadvantaged, members donned fancy hats and brilliant bow ties on March 17 in Hallandale Beach. Proceeds benefit the GSCBWLA Fellowship at Legal Services of…

Becoming even better bar leaders

Several voluntary bar leaders report an amazing week at the American Bar Association Leadership Institute held March 11-15 in Chicago. Here, Teresa Conte, executive director and Shelly Beach, president-elect delegate, of the Clearwater Bar Association take a breakfast break during the conference.

Women lawyers advocate for change in Tallahassee

State Rep. Amy Mercado was among the many elected officials that members of Florida Association for Women Lawyers visited on March 10-12 during Lobby Days 2019 in Tallahassee. The participants heard from Attorney General Ashley Moody, Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried and Gwen Graham, a former U.S. Representative and candidate for governor in 2018. These leaders…

Diversity key to Pinellas County progress

The Fred G. Minnis, Sr. Bar Association and Clearwater Bar Association hosted a Diversity and Inclusion Symposium on March 14. The event featured a panel discussion on lawyering to a diverse client base and on how to increase and retain diversity in the legal profession. The joint bar event was designed to ensure that Pinellas County…

We love our voluntary bar leaders

It’s a Florida Bar tradition that spans decades! An evening breaking bread with executive directors and their officers at Gene & Georgetti’s in Chicago while attending the ABA Bar Leaders Institute. Here Broward County Bar Association Executive Director Braulio Rosa and President-Elect Michael Fischler enjoy the special time. Former Florida Bar Executive Director Jack Harkness started the “bar…

Dade Bar Board Guests at Marlins Park

Dade County Bar Association Board members enjoyed a night at the Miami Marlins ballpark on March 5. The evening focus was the unveiling of the new luxe lounge and sampling of palate-pleasing gourmet foods. The new space speaks directly to those seeking a unique Miami vibe and beckons fans to head to the Park during the…

Making Connections at Diversity Picnic in Orlando

The 2019 Central Florida Diversity and Inclusion Picnic held March 16 at Barry Law School matched law students from across the state with mentors in the hope of creating lasting connections. Many leaders of voluntary bar associations, including these from the Paul C. Perkins Bar, were among those who enjoyed raffles, prizes, and food trucks! The Orange…

Women of Distinction Honored

Hundreds of judges, attorneys, in-house counsel and corporate executives gathered at the Rusty Pelican in Key Biscayne on March 20 for the American Inns of Court Women of Distinction Judicial Reception. The annual Women of Distinction Gala honors the role of women judges and lawyers in the community and is the largest program of its kind…

Bar President welcomed in St. Augustine

A good-sized crowd was on hand to hear Florida Bar President Michelle Suskauer speak on Leadership in the Law and Gender Bias at the North Florida Marlin Club in St. Augustine on March 20. It was the first time St. Johns County Bar Association and the St. Johns Association for Women Lawyers hosted a joint event.

Honoring past presidents in Palm Beach County

The Palm Beach County Bar Association recognized their past presidents on March 8 with a reception. Here, current PBCBA president Greg Huber and Florida Bar President Michelle Suskauer pose for a photo during the festivities. Suskauer served as PBCBA president in 2009.

Record-setting donation to Best Buddies

The Jacksonville Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Section presented a check to Best Buddies for more than $18,000, proceeds raised from the Chili Cook-off held in February. According to the Jacksonville Daily Record, this amount set two records: one for the young lawyers, who raised more money than in any previous year, and another for the nonprofit…

Women’s history lauded by Jacksonville lawyers

A conversation with leaders who have advanced the cause of women lawyers in Jacksonville set the tone for a Women’s History Month celebration on March 14. The Jacksonville Women Lawyers Association hosted the event made possible in part with a grant from The Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division.

Members gather in Martin County

Martin County Bar Association members get a chance to visit with area colleagues each month at their member luncheon. On March 15, Florida Bar President Michelle Suskauer was the speaker at the CLE event.

Highlands County Bar welcomes John Stewart

Florida Bar President-elect John Stewart shared Bar Talk with leaders of the voluntary bar community in Highlands County recently. No doubt, he is gearing up for a fantastic year ahead and his love for the voluntary bar community is already showing.

Gettin’ their Ramen On!

The Greater Orlando Asian American Bar Association held a member luncheon at Jinya Ramen Bar on March 19. A great crowd enjoyed the creative cuisine and good company of Orlando area colleagues in one of the city’s trendiest food outlets.

Haitian Lawyers hold Gala

Members of the Haitian Lawyers Association celebrated a magical evening on March 16 in Miami. Keynote speaker was Kwame Raoul, the new attorney general for Illinois. A new executive board under the leadership of President Altanese Phenelus was sworn-in and scholarships were awarded during the event.

Connecting with St. Thomas Law School Students

The Office of Career Development at St. Thomas Law School hosted a Voluntary Bar Association Expo on March 7 to connect VBAs and local attorneys with students interested in networking and professional growth. Among those hosting a table was the South Asian Bar Association of Florida.

Career advice offered by Federal Bar members

The Federal Bar Association – Orlando Chapter was represented in full force at the Career in the Law Day at the Florida A&M University College of Law.  FBA Orlando members gave advice to law students about their careers and provided information on the perks and benefits of joining the FBA! 

Tampa Bay Voluntary Bar Leaders Summit

The Fourth Annual Tampa Bay Voluntary Bar Leaders Summit held on March 29 was another success. Held for the first time in Pinellas County,  leaders from four counties made this one of the largest of its kind. The Hon. Peter F. Estrada of the Tenth Judicial Circuit joined from Highlands County to present Maneuvering Toward Justice…

New name, officers for North Tampa Bar

The Carrollwood Bar Association is now the North Tampa Bar Association. The group recently elected new officers, Jared Krukar (president-elect) and Angelica DelosReyes Roselló (secretary). They join other officers – President Adria Dickey, Treasurer Bob Wise and Immediate Past President Mike Hancock – after elected by the board in early March to their new positions. 

Help recognize outstanding legal journalists

The media play an important role in how the public understands key legal issues. Recognition of those who work to inform the public is just as important. Do you know a stellar journalist who deserves to be recognized for outstanding legal news coverage? The deadline for The Florida Bar-sponsored media awards has been extended. The…

Recognizing Women’s History Month in Jacksonville

The D.W. Perkins Bar Association and the Jacksonville Women Lawyers Association celebrated Women’s History Month on March 18 at The River Club. Florida Bar President Michelle Suskauer was the guest speaker.

FAQ Fridays launched for family law

The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers – Florida Chapter has introduced a new video series answering frequently asked questions in family law. The FAQ Fridays features AAML members and can be viewed at    

RPPTL Fellowship Program- Now accepting applications

The Florida Bar Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section is now accepting applications for the Section Fellowship Program. The mission of the Fellowship Program is to attract and retain young lawyers to the Real Property Probate and Trust Law Section of The Florida Bar (RPPTL). Subsidized Fellowships up to $2,500 will be provided to four…

The Thrill of the Hunt

2019 MCBA Scavenger Hunt Imagine if you will, a lovely south Florida evening. Hints of jasmine and sea salt in the air. Manatees quietly munching on their evening sea grass while boaters ponder the coming sunset off to the west. Tourists meandering the quaint streets of the Friendly City as merchants tidy thier streetscapes and…