The Florida Bar

Reporters’ Workshop Archive

2020-2021 Reporters Workshop — Web Series

Florida Courts, Redistricting, and Elections 2022

Thursday, Nov. 18, 2021, 11:00 a.m. ET

Redistricting of congressional and state legislative boundaries in 2022 will have a profound effect on Floridians’ representation and the possibility of swinging control of Congress. Florida’s already outsized influence grows even greater after apportionment from the 2020 census. There are now 28 congressional seats in the state, up one. The state’s demographics have changed considerably since the last redistricting.

Litigation following the 2010 census and redistricting was protracted and contentious. Is the same likely following the 2020 count? What will redistricting mean for voters and how will court challenges differ this cycle? How can reporters meaningfully cover the court challenges that may be ahead?

A panel of experienced players will offer their views of the process ahead and how it may intersect with the judicial branch.


Dr. Susan MacManus
Moderator: Distinguished Professor Emerita Susan MacManus, USF
Orange County Supervisor of Elections Bill Cowles
Bill Cowles, Orange County Supervisor of Elections
Polk County Supervisor of Elections Lori Edwards
Lori Edwards, Polk County Supervisor of Elections
Miami Herald Bureau Chief Mary Ellen Klas
Mary Ellen Klas, bureau chief, Miami Herald
Attorney Barr Richard
Barry Richard, shareholder, Greenberg Traurig

Public Records and the Courts

Thursday, September 30

This session focused on changes in Rule 2.420 of the Judicial Rules of Administration, which took effect July 1, “to eliminate the requirement that the clerk of court independently designate as confidential information filed in certain civil cases.” This was done, the Court said, “to address timely access to court records.” Attorney Carol LoCicero represented the consortium of media who advocated for the change. The consortium highlighted the issue in a self-published report, Tour of Florida Courthouses to Access Court Records cited in the Court’s opinion.


  • Pat Gleason, special counsel for Open Government for Attorney General Ashley Moody, has served as the advocate for the Florida Commission on Ethics and chief of the Administrative Law Section in the Attorney General’s Office. She is a graduate of the Florida State University College of Law. She also is currently the editor of the Sunshine Manual and the Public Records Guide for Law Enforcement Agencies.
  • Dara Kam has spent more than two decades reporting on Florida government, politics and courts for the New York Times Regional Newspaper Group, Gannett Co., the Palm Beach Post and the Associated Press, where she was part of the award-winning team covering the Florida recount in the 2000 presidential election. Kam’s body of work includes coverage of presidential, gubernatorial, U.S. Senate, congressional, state Cabinet and legislative races. She has provided complex and in-depth coverage of the death penalty, including detailed analyses of state and national court decisions regarding capital punishment, as well as stories that bring home to readers the emotions involved in executions. She has written extensively about gambling, medical marijuana, state government, guns, prisons, same-sex marriage, and has more than a decade of experience covering state and federal court decisions. Kam joined the News Service of Florida as senior writer in 2013.
  • Carol LoCicero, managing partner in TLo’s Tampa office, practices at the trial and appellate levels, handling litigation concerning defamation and privacy, the Public Records Act, the Government in the Sunshine Law, court access and cameras in the courtroom. She leads advocacy efforts on media issues, including cameras in the courtroom, and sealed court records.
  • Frank LoMonte, professor and director of the Brechner Center for Freedom of Information at the University of Florida, was executive director of the Student Press Law Center from 2008 to 17. He worked worked as a lawyer in every sector – government, private practice, nonprofit, education – after a career as an investigative reporter and political columnist. He was the capital correspondent for the Florida Times-Union, Washington correspondent for Morris News service, and the Atlanta bureau chief for Morris. He received his bachelor’s degree from Georgia State University in 1994 and his law degree from the University of Georgia school of law in 2000.
  • Dustin Metz, senior attorney, Office of the State Courts Administrator, is operations manager in the Innovations and Outreach Unit of the Office of State Courts Administrator after working in the Office of the General Counsel at OSCA. Previously he was an executive senior attorney at the Department of Financial Services, managing a team of 12 attorneys, and representing the Division of Workers’ Compensation. He has extensive appellate and litigation experience in public records & professional licensure cases. He graduated from Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana, the Florida State College of Law, and has been licensed to practice in Florida since 2009.
  • Erica White, general counsel, Office of the State Courts Administrator and member of the Media & Communications Law Committee, previously served as executive director of the Florida Board of Pharmacy and chief attorney and deputy litigation counsel for the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation. White will moderate the session.

Led by Executive Director Blan L. Teagle and General Counsel Alexander J. Williams, reporters and editors learned about Florida’s Judicial Qualifications Commission, the process of judicial discipline, and a review of how and when public documents become available.

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Moderated by Allison Carden Sackett, director, Florida Bar Division of Lawyer Regulation.

Restrictions in courthouses are being lifted, but post-pandemic, covering courts will never be the same. Post COVID-19 caseloads and months of suspended jury trials mean courts will be busy, both remotely and in person.

How can you best navigate the new and changing landscape of courts coverage? Find out in “Covering Trials After a Pandemic,” the first presentation in the 2021 Reporters’ Workshop Web Series.

The webinar will touch on public information, document access, and understanding current rules, restrictions and available technology. It also will feature a panel discussion with veteran reporters and court communicators on how to engage viewers and readers with lively court coverage.


  • Tara Green, Clay County Clerk of Court, president of the Florida Clerks of Court & Comptrollers
  • John Kennedy, Capitol reporter, Gannett
  • Troy Kinsey, Capitol reporter, Bay News 9 and News 13
  • Tricia Knox, deputy director, Florida Supreme Court Communications Office
  • Sara Miles, public information officer (PIO), Twentieth Judicial Circuit and president, Florida Courts Public Information Officers
  • David Ovalle, reporter, The Miami Herald
  • Eunice Sigler, PIO, Eleventh Judicial Circuit
  • Erica White (moderator), general counsel, Office of the State Courts Administrator, Media & Communications Law Committee member

2019 Reporters Workshop

The 2019 Reporters’ Workshop was held Oct. 28-29 in Tallahassee.

2019 Reporters’ Workshop Agenda

2019 Reporters’ Workshop Photo Gallery

2019 Workshop Materials

We have a little homework for you to prepare for session. We ask that read the Initial Complaint and Response and then be prepared to ask questions about it Monday afternoon when you will serve as members of a mock Grievance Committee of The Florida Bar.

Grievance Committees are composed of both attorneys and members of the public and consider complaints alleging misconduct by attorneys. Grievance Committees are set up by judicial circuit with there being 78 such committees around the state.

In this exercise, Ali Sackett, Division Director of Lawyer Regulation for The Florida Bar, and Patricia Ann Toro Savitz, Staff Counsel, will present a case to the Grievance Committee. The case stems from an actual complaint that a Grievance Committee considered. The committee will have two additional members – Ryan Davis, a Tallahassee attorney who chaired a Grievance Committee, and Shanee L. Hinson, a Florida Bar counsel in the Tallahassee Branch.

2018 Reporters’ Workshop

The 29th Annual Florida Bar Reporters’ Workshop was held in Tallahassee on Sept. 24-25, 2018.

The participants in the 2018 Florida Bar Reporters' Workshop.

The participants in the 2018 Florida Bar Reporters’ Workshop

Reporters’ Workshop agenda and awards program

Moderators, presenters and panelists

The Parker Thomson Awards for Outstanding Legal Journalism in Florida

2018 Workshop Materials

2017 Reporters’ Workshop

The 28th Annual Florida Bar Reporters’ Workshop was held in Tallahassee on Oct. 16-17, 2017.


Moderators, presenters and panelists

2017 Reporters’ Workshop Photos

2017 Workshop Materials

2016 Workshop Materials