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Virtual Town Hall

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Town Hall: COVID-19 Court Operations & Recovery

President Dori Foster-Morales hosted a statewide town hall meeting, “Florida Bar Town Hall: COVID-19 Court Operations and Recovery,” on March 30, 2021 to provide Florida lawyers with court operations updates and plans and a status report on the legal profession.

The program, CLE Course #4651, featured opening remarks by Chief Justice Charles Canady, followed by an update on the efforts of the Workgroup on the Continuity of Court Operations and Proceedings During and After COVID-19 by its chair, Judge Lisa Munyon of Orlando. Judge Margaret Steinbeck, chair of the Trial Court Budget Commission, discussed the branch’s legislative budget request for 2021-22, particularly portions that address the trial courts’ pandemic recovery plan and COVID-19 response needs. Florida Bar President-elect Mike Tanner also talked about the work of the Bar’s Pandemic Recovery Task Force.

Poll Results

In your law practice, what has been your greatest challenge during the pandemic from the perspective of practicing law?
Introducing and handling evidence 30%
Being able to collaborate with clients and experts during proceedings 27%
Effectively direct and cross exam witnesses 8%
Inability to have informal discussions to work on resolutions 35%
Which change to the practice of law would you like to see continue after the pandemic?
Virtual evidentiary hearings 17%
Virtual depositions 16%
Virtual mediations 14%
Virtual client consultations 9%
Increased work from home 39%
Reduced formal office space 5%
When it is safe, how should The Florida Bar handle meetings and/or seminars?
Hold events only virtually 7%
Hold events only in person 2%
Hybrid events – Offer option to attend virtually any in-person events 91%


Florida Supreme Court Justice Charles T. Canady
Chief Justice Charles Canady
Judge Lisa Munyon
Judge Lisa Munyon
Judge Margaret Steinbeck
Judge Margaret Steinbeck
President Dori Foster-Morales
Mike Tanner
President-elect Mike Tanner

Florida Bar News Coverage

Florida Bar President Dori Foster-Morales joined judges and Bar leaders around the state to discuss how Florida attorneys are coping during the pandemic and what the Bar can do to assist members in their legal practice and beyond. Find your circuit and watch below!

If you have any questions or need assistance, send us an email.

Today’s statewide town hall addressing COVID court operations begins at noon

As the pandemic continues and recovery plans progress, President Dori Foster-Morales will host a statewide town hall meeting March 30 to provide Florida lawyers with court operations updates and plans and a status report on the legal profession. This one-hour live continuing legal education credit Zoom program, titled, “Florida Bar Town Hall: COVID-19 Court Operations…

Foster-Morales reflects on lessons learned during her Town Hall tour

After 20 town hall meetings in 58 days devoted to finding out how lawyers are dealing with COVID-19 stresses, Bar President Dori Foster-Morales said one lesson is that “technology is not the biggest problem.” Since the courts stopped most in-person proceedings in mid-March, the rapid shift to online hearings has been taken in stride by…

Third Circuit talks pandemic ups, downs

There may be less in-person contact among clients, courts, and lawyers in the Third Judicial Circuit because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but there’s more, quicker, and less tense electronic and online communications. “We’re more connected than ever,” said Rachel Butler, who represents the Third Circuit on the Young Lawyers Division Board of Governors. “The response…

While much has changed, other pandemic accommodations may be necessary

Judges and lawyers in the 10th Circuit have made great strides in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic but the greatest challenge may be not knowing what’s next. “The biggest concern now is anticipating the unknowns,” said 10th Circuit Chief Judge Ellen Masters at the September 23 Town Hall meeting hosted by Bar President Dori Foster-Morales….

80% of Seventh Circuit Town Hall participants favor the continued use of remote technology

Senior judges in the Seventh Judicial Circuit weren’t eager to embrace online technology, and some practitioners are letting decorum slide. That’s the assessment Chief Judge Raul A. Zambrano gave President Dori Foster-Morales at a September 15 virtual town hall forum on the COVID-19 pandemic. “If you have a Zoom meeting, get out of bed, please,…

Ninth Judicial Circuit survives the ‘season of fear’

The Ninth Judicial Circuit adapted well to the COVID-19 pandemic, conducting nearly 60,000 remote hearings since jury trials were suspended in March, said Chief Judge Donald A. Myers, Jr. “Our primary backbone is on Cisco, but our users have the choice of Teams, Zoom, or WebEx,” he said. “I’m encouraged because our experience has been…

18th Circuit lawyers and judges discuss the pandemic and how it has impacted the profession

Adjusting to remote technology was a struggle at first, even for a legal community that includes the Space Coast, 18th Judicial Circuit Chief Judge Lisa Davidson told President Dori-Foster Morales. “Getting lawyers to accept change and use the technology,” was the biggest challenge after the COVID-19 pandemic struck in March, Judge Davidson said. “But now…

COVID-19 has drawn the Fifth Circuit’s already close-knit legal community closer

The COVID-19 pandemic has created administrative challenges, but it’s also forged stronger alliances in the sprawling Fifth Judicial Circuit, a five-county region of Central Florida that is roughly the size of Connecticut. That’s the message Chief Judge Daniel Merritt, Jr., gave President Dori Foster-Morales during an August 26 virtual town hall. Since the crisis forced…

Town Halls visit the panhandle

With a determination reflective of its large military population, the First Judicial Circuit is using teamwork and remote technology to soldier through the COVID-19 pandemic. That’s the message Northwest Florida lawyers, judges, court administrators, and voluntary bar leaders delivered to President Dori Foster-Morales during an August 19 Virtual Town Hall. “It’s been truly awe inspiring…

With jury trials still a ways off, is settlement an option?

“Settle your cases.” That’s the advice 19th Circuit Chief Judge Lawrence Mirman gave those Zooming in to President Dori Foster-Morales’ recent Virtual Town Hall meeting. Mirman said civil litigators are fooling themselves if they believe when the pandemic subsides and the courthouse doors swing open there will be extra senior judge time or additional resources…

Past Events

Circuit Date Video Link
First Circuit Aug. 19 Watch the First Circuit Town Hall
Second Circuit Aug. 25 Watch the Second Circuit Town Hall
Third Circuit Sept. 24 Watch the Third Circuit Town Hall
Fourth Circuit Sept. 9 Watch the Fourth Circuit Town Hall
Fifth Circuit Aug. 26 Watch the Fifth Circuit Town Hall
Sixth Circuit Sept. 10 Watch the Sixth Circuit Town Hall
Seventh Circuit Sept. 15 Watch the Seventh Circuit Town Hall
Eighth Circuit Aug. 17 Watch the Eighth Circuit Town Hall
Ninth Circuit Sept. 14 Watch the Ninth Circuit Town Hall
Tenth Circuit Sept. 23 Watch the Tenth Circuit Town Hall
Eleventh Circuit Aug. 5 Watch the Eleventh Circuit Town Hall
Twelfth Circuit Sept. 9 Watch the Twelfth Circuit Town Hall
Thirteenth Circuit Aug. 11 Watch the Thirteenth Circuit Town Hall
Fourteenth Circuit Sept. 2 Watch the Fourteenth Circuit Town Hall
Fifteenth Circuit Aug. 24 Watch the Fifteenth Circuit Town Hall
Sixteenth Circuit Aug. 20 Watch the Sixteenth Circuit Town Hall
Seventeenth Circuit Aug. 10 Watch the Seventeenth Circuit Town Hall
Eighteenth Circuit Aug. 31 Watch the Eighteenth Circuit Town Hall
Nineteenth Circuit Aug. 13 Watch the Nineteenth Circuit Town Hall
Twentieth Circuit Sept. 23 Watch the Twentieth Circuit Town Hall