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COVID-19 Information and Resources

Court and Bar announcements, member resources and Bar event changes that may affect Florida Bar members, as well as general information for Floridians affected by the COVID-19 crisis.

Read the message sent on April 3 from Florida Bar President John Stewart with updates on Bar and court changes due to COVID-19.

Florida Bar offices closed March 19 with certain staff working remotely to continue essential functions. The Florida Bar News is also posting stories and updates on COVID-19.

Supreme Court Administrative Orders along with summaries explaining them can be found on the Supreme Court’s website.  The Supreme Court has also established an emergency web page where members can find a list of trial courts’ emergency directives and websites, and information about court operations from Florida’s District Courts of Appeal.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has been making regular announcements  and orders regarding the coronavirus pandemic. Here is a link to the Safer At Home order that was issued on April 1. Check his website for the latest news.

Most Recent Supreme Court Orders and Announcements

No. AOSC20-22, April 1: The Florida Supreme Court  issued an emergency order April 1 extending deadlines for reporting eFiling implementation under existing timetables.

No. AOSC20-21, March 31: The Florida Supreme Court also issued a separate order extending continuing judicial education requirements.

No. AOSC20-20, March 31:  The Florida Supreme Court issued an administrative order on March 31 extending a number of regulatory deadlines for court interpreters to ensure that state courts have sufficient foreign language interpretation services.

No. AOSC20-19, March 30: The Florida Supreme Court issued an administrative order suspending speedy trial deadlines in noncriminal traffic infraction cases.

No. AOSC20-18, March 27: The Florida Supreme Court issued an administrative order imposing health-related limitations on court-ordered child and family visitation through April 17 for children under the protective supervision of the Florida Department of Children and Families. Read the Bar News article here.

No. AOSC20-17, March 24: The Florida Supreme Court issued a new statewide COVID-19 emergency order suspending jury trials through April 17 along with a video message from Chief Justice Canady.

No. SC20-392 , March 20: The Florida Supreme Court has issued an order suspending deadlines in Florida Bar regulatory procedures governing the state’s legal profession. .

Supreme Court News Update, March 18: The Florida Supreme Court has postponed all April 2020 oral arguments to June 2020. Visit their Court News page for more updates.

No. AOSC20-15, March 17: The Chief Justice has issued a new statewide administrative order defining “essential” and “critical” court proceedings and directs the state courts to give those cases priority.

No. AOSC20-14, March 16: Chief Justice Charles Canady issued an administrative order on personal travel by state courts system judges, officers and employees.

Clerks of Court

Stay up to date about the coronavirus and Florida’s Clerks of Court: The Clerks of Court has created a web page with links to individual clerk’s offices, and frequently updated announcements and resources.

Court-specific resources

Main COVID-19 page from the Office of State Courts Administrator (OSCA): Visit this page for information and updates, resources for Florida courts and important links.

Recent news and updates from OSCA: This page provides information and brief write-ups about newsworthy events happening in and around the Florida court system.

Here are direct links to Federal Courts for the state of Florida:

The National Center for State Courts has created a data visualization that provides an at-a-glance look at what state courts are doing.

Florida court websites links for members to check for court changes in their area.

April 19-23:  Florida Supreme Court Teachers’ Institute – cancelled.

Read the message sent on April 3 from Florida Bar President John Stewart with updates on Bar operations and court changes due to COVID-19. You can also read his message from March 20 on this archive page.

Florida Bar offices closed on March 19. Certain Bar staff are working remotely and essential functions are continuing.

March 13: President Stewart sent a message to Bar sections and committee leadership encouraging them to limit non-essential travel and evaluate live events scheduled between now and April 30 to see if they should be cancelled, postponed, or made virtual.

STATUS OF BOARD CERTIFICATION DEADLINES AND EVENTS

2020 2nd Cycle Exams – The Florida Bar Certification Exams originally scheduled for May 7-8, 2020, have been rescheduled to September 10-11, 2020.

Certification Annual Fees – The April 6, 2020 deadline to pay annual Board Certification fees has been extended to May 15, 2020.

2020 Recertification Applications – Recertification applications have been given a three-month extension.  The new deadline for 1st cycle recertification applications is August 31, 2020.  The new deadline for 2nd cycle recertification applications is October 31, 2020.  If you complete your requirements and application before the new deadline, please do not delay in submitting your application, as this will assist staff and the certification committees.

  • 1st Cycle Areas: Admiralty & Maritime; Adoption; Appellate Practice; Aviation; Civil Trial; Condo & Planned Development; Education; Elder; Immigration & Nationality; International Law; Labor & Employment; Marital & Family; Tax
  • 2nd Cycle Areas: Antitrust & Trade Regulation; Business Litigation; City, County, & Local Gov.; Construction; Criminal Appellate; Criminal Trial; Health; Intellectual Property; International Litigation & Arbitration; Juvenile Law; Real Estate; State and Federal Gov. & Administrative Practice; Wills, Trusts, & Estates; Workers’ Compensation

STATUS OF UPCOMING MEETINGS & EVENTS

March 19-22: Solo & Small Firm Section Long Range Planning Meeting (Charleston, SC) – postponed until further notice.

March 23: Trust Accounting Workshops (Tampa, Fort Lauderdale, Tallahassee) – postponed.

April 1-5: RPPTL Out of State Meeting (Amsterdam, Netherlands) – cancelled.

April 2-3: Labor & Employment Law Section Executive Council Meeting (Washington, DC) – cancelled in-person meeting; will continue via conference call.

April 13-15: Board of Governors Strategic Planning Committee – cancelled.

April 15: Worker’s Compensation Section Executive Council Meeting (Orlando) – plans unknown at this time.

April 16-17: BLSE Committee Meeting (St. Petersburg) – cancelled in-person meeting; will continue via conference call.

April 17: Florida Commission on Access to Civil Justice (Tampa) – cancelled.

April 25-May 3: Business Law Section Executive Council Retreat 2020 (Santorini & Athens, Greece) – cancelled.

April 29: Ethics School (Fort Lauderdale) – postponed.

April 29-May 3: City, County and Local Government Annual Meeting (Orlando) – plans unknown at this time.

April 30-May 3: ELULS Long Range Planning Retreat 2020 (Sarasota) – plans unknown at this time.

April 30-May 3: Trial Lawyers Section Out of State Retreat (Chicago) – cancelled.

May 6-8: Tax Section Annual Meeting (Paradise Island, The Bahamas) – cancelled.

May 7-8, 2020: Cycle 2 Board Certification Exams (Tampa) – rescheduled for Sept. 10-11.

December 16: Trial Lawyers Section Advanced Trial Advocacy Workshop (Gainesville) – cancelled.

STATUS OF UPCOMING CLE EVENTS

If you were registered for any of these events, you will be contacted by The Florida Bar regarding refunds and future scheduling.

March 13: (3586) RPPTL Section Trust & Estate Symposium (Fort Lauderdale) – postponed until further notice.

March 26-27: (3508) Advanced Health Law Topics & Certification Review 2020 (Orlando) – cancelled.

March 27: (3523) 2020 Advanced Topics in Administrative Law (Tallahassee) – cancelled.

March 27: (3465) Basic Personal Injury 2020 (Fort Lauderdale) – postponed; plan to reschedule to fall, 2020.

April 2-3: (3510) Advanced Labor Topics 2020 (Washington, DC) – postponed; plan to reschedule to fall, 2020.

April 3: (3464) Criminal Law Update (Miami) – postponed until further notice.

April 3: (3509) Practicing Before the First District Court of Appeal 2020 (Tallahassee) – rescheduled to November 6, 2020.

April 15-17, 2020 – (0000) Worker’s Compensation Section Forum (Orlando) – plans unknown at this time.

April 16-17: (3512) 11th Annual IP Symposium (Miami) – postponed; plan to reschedule to fall, 2020.

April 17-18: (3588) Wills, Trusts & Estates Certification Review Course (Orlando) – postponed until further notice

April 17-18: (3590) Real Property Certification Review Course (Orlando) – postponed until further notice.

April 24: (3514) Basic Estate Planning (Orlando) – postponed until further notice.

April 24: (3585) RPPTL Section Guardianship 2020 (Tampa) – postponed until further notice.

April 30: (3516) Land Use 2020 (Orlando) – plans unknown at this time.

April 30: (3515) CCLG Certification Review Course 2020 (Orlando) – plans unknown at this time.

May 1: (3518) Estate and Wealth Preservation (Tampa) – postponed until further notice.

Florida Board of Bar Examiners

The deadline for fall 2019 1L students to file a late student registration has been extended to Tuesday, March 31, 2020 in light of the current COVID-19 pandemic. Visit the FBBE website for more information and updates.

FBBE has added a FAQ page to assist anyone with questions about Bar exams or other relevant topics.

Bar-related classes and events

Check our law school directory page for direct links to Florida law schools for announcements regarding moving classes online or making cancellations.

Check with your local voluntary bar association for local event cancellations.

Recent News

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has been making regular announcements  and orders regarding the coronavirus pandemic. Here is a link to the Safer At Home order that was issued on April 1.

The U.S. Department of Labor has created a page with resources for employers and workers, including workplace safety information, guidance regarding the  Fair Labor Standards Act and job-protected leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act, and updates on unemployment insurance flexibilities.

The CARES Act was passed by Congress and signed on March 27.  Here is a guide to the CARES Act provided by the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship. The Small Business Administration and  U.S. Department of Treasury have posted information on implementation. SBA also has a page called Coronavirus (COVID-19): Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources that may be helpful.

Congress approved the Families First Coronavirus Response Act on March 18, which was signed into law.  Here are materials provided by the U.S. Department of Labor on the Act. Among other things, the legislation provides for free coronavirus testing, as well as addressing emergency leave; unemployment insurance; and additional funds for Medicaid. Read the Bar News article here.

Deadlines to file and pay federal income taxes were extended to July 15, 2020 by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), go to IRS.gov to get more tax resources and information about taxpayer relief.

Ethics Updates

The Florida Bar has added a FAQ page on ethics concerns regarding the coronavirus crisis. Visit the page here. The Bar’s Ethics Hotline will be available from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday for members of the bar in good standing. Please defer non-emergency calls until Bar offices re-open. Florida Bar members can also email [email protected]. There may be delays in email response times due to limited staffing. Ethics Professor Timothy P. Chinaris has volunteered to answer ethics questions for free while The Florida Bar’s Ethics Hotline is limited. Please visit www.sunethics.com for more information. Professor Chinaris is not affiliated with The Florida Bar’s Ethics Hotline.

Upcoming Webinars from Florida Bar Member Benefit Providers

Law Practice Tips for Dealing With the Coronavirus

LegalFuel CLE

Mental Health and Wellness Resources

Remote Practice Management


Business Damage Survey and Bridge Loan Program

Bar members are advised to take the Business Damage Assessment survey, managed by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DOE) to help them evaluate the virus’s impact on the local economy and implement appropriate relief programs. Read the Governor’s news release for more details.

The Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program is currently available to Florida small business owners (between 2 to 100 employees) that experience economic damage as a result of COVID-19 (see news release). The business must fill out a bridge loan application. Visit FloridaDisasterLoan.org for more information and to apply.

Florida Bar Complaints

The Attorney Consumer Assistance Program office will be accepting new filings temporarily via email. Please email complaints against a Florida attorney while the Bar is closed. Here is a link to the complaint form.

Legal Assistance

Florida Bar Consumer Pamphlets: The Florida Bar’s consumer guide provides information for consumers on who to contact for legal assistance and how to protect their legal rights in the event of a disaster. The bar also provides 47 consumer pamphlets  in English and Spanish as a service for consumers. These pamphlets are not a substitute for hiring an attorney, but they provide basic legal information about the topics they cover.

Florida Free Legal Answers is an online advice clinic to match low-income Floridians with licensed attorneys who can answer basic legal questions at florida.freelegalanswers.org.

Florida Pro Bono Matters is an interactive website funded by The Florida Bar Foundation. You can view descriptions of available pro bono opportunities and indicate an interest in any of them; you then will be contacted by the posting organization with more information.

Financial Protection

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau offers resources to help consumers, students with loans and homeowners with mortgages.

Florida Government Resources

Governor Ron DeSantis has been making regular announcements regarding the coronavirus pandemic. Check his website for the latest news.

Price gouging: State law prohibits extreme increases in the price of essential commodities needed as a direct result of an officially declared emergency. Anyone who suspects price gouging during this declared state of emergency should report it to the Attorney General’s Office by calling (866) 9-NO-SCAM. Attorney General Ashley Moody has activated Florida’s Price Gouging Hotline for Florida consumers. Find out more on the myfloridalegal.com website.

Cybersecurity Consumer Alert: Attorney General Moody sent a consumer alert advising those working from home to guard against hackers and scammers that could access sensitive information on home computers. Read more here.

Florida Department of Health is posting updates and helpful information, and has created a resource kit.

Coronavirus Control & Prevention

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Please make sure you read the following information on the CDC’s website:

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services warns about fake coronavirus outbreak map being circulated by scammers to spread malware. Only Johns Hopkins is providing this data.