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Dori Foster-MoralesDori Foster-Morales never wanted to be a lawyer. A dentist, maybe. Her family insisted she go to law school, which she did not enjoy, and she was unhappy when her mother gave her a briefcase. But then Foster-Morales, who has just become president-elect designate of The Florida Bar, graduated from law school and began practicing. The world changed. I love being a lawyer, it’s the greatest profession in the world,” she said of a career that includes nearly 10 years in government work and 20 years as managing partner in a small firm.

Hurricane damaged office
YOUNG LAWYERS DIVISION Board of Governors member Kevin Barr of Panama City, who represents the 14th Circuit, which bore the brunt of Hurricane Michael in October, was forced to move out of his home and law office, pictured above, and now commutes from neighboring Panama City Beach. Declaring that “this is our new normal,” ABA President Bob Carlson came to Tallahassee on December 11 to find out how Hurricane Michael recovery efforts, particularly those requiring lawyers, are going. Carlson, during a whirlwind set of meetings, met with The Florida Bar, Young Lawyers Division, FEMA, legal aid, and other government and nonprofit officials, to assess the Category 4 storm’s aftermath, how the legal system is responding — particularly the ABA’s efforts to help victims with their legal problems — and how those responses can be improved in the future.
The Board of Governors has unanimously approved an ethics advisory opinion regarding for-profit qualifying providers, otherwise known as lawyer referral services, and related payment methods.



Heather Fitzenhagen, Michelle Suslauer, and Amira Dajani Fox
BAR PRESIDENT MICHELLE SUSKAUER, center, along with Rep. Heather Fitzenhagen, R-Ft. Myers, left, and 20th Circuit State Attorney-elect Amira Dajani Fox, the first woman elected to that position in the circuit, at the Board of Governors recent meeting in Naples. Fitzenhagen, a lawyer and member of the House since 2012, chairs the Business & Professions Subcommittee and sits on the Criminal Justice Subcommittee and Judiciary Committee.

The Florida Bar Leadership Academy is accepting applications for the incoming 2019–20 Academy, which will be Class VII. The deadline to submit an application is January 15. The Florida Bar Leadership Academy is a year-long leadership training program designed to foster professional growth and enhance the leadership skills for a diverse group of attorneys. The mission of The Florida Bar Leadership Academy is a multi-session training program designed to assist a diverse and inclusive group of lawyers in becoming better leaders within our profession, in their chosen path, while enhancing their leadership skills.

Guidelines for setting up clinics to assist veterans and local courts to help those who have lost their driver licenses get them back have been prepared for the Supreme Court’s Commission on Access to Civil Justice.
The Board of Governors has re-approved a slate of 2018-2020 legislative positions as lawmakers gear up for the March 5 start of the regular session. “The committee unanimously voted to recommend to this board that those be reactivated and asserted in the next biennium,” Legislation Committee Chair Michael Tanner told fellow board members December 14 in Naples.

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  • Florida Bar CLE

    Basic Appellate Practice 2019
    Friday, February 22, 2019 - 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM, Tampa Airport Marriott.

    Advanced Health Law Topics & Certification Review 2019
    March 7 - 8, Wyndham Grand Orlando Resort Bonnet Creek.

    Solo & Small Firm Conference : Minding Your Business - Best Practices for Solos & Small Firms
    Friday, January 18, 2019 - 7:45 AM - 3:40 PM, DoubleTree by Hilton Orlando at SeaWorld.

    iLaw2019 The ILS Global Forum on International Law
    Friday, February 22, 2019 - 8:46 AM - 5:30 PM, JW Marriott Marquis, Miami.
    Essentials of Elder Law 2019
    Thursday, January 17, 2019 - 7:15 AM - 5:20 PM, Lowes Portofino Bay Hotel, Orlando.

    Representing the Physician Entrepreneur and Innovator 2019
    Friday, January 18, 2019 - 8:00 AM - 7:00 PM, Hyatt Regency Sarasota.

    The Hidden Essentials of Appellate Law 2019
    Friday, February 1, 2019 - 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM, Florida Fourth District Court of Appeal, West Palm Beach.

    Labor and Employment Law Annual Update and Certification Review 2019
    Thursday, January 17, 2019 - Friday, January 18, 2019, DoubleTree at Sea World, Orlando.

    37th Annual Federal Securities Institute
    Monday, February 11, 2019 - Tuesday, February 12, 2019, The Ritz Carlton Coconut Grove.

    Elder Law Annual Update & Hot Topics
    Friday, January 18, 2019 - Saturday, January 19, 2019, Lowes Portofino Bay Hotel, Orlando.

    Annual ITC Boot Camp
    Wednesday, January 9, 2019 - 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM, JW Marriott Hotel, Miami.

    37th Annual International Tax Conference 2019
    Thursday, January 10, 2019 - Friday, January 11, 2019, JW Marriott Hotel, Miami.

    Civil Trial Update & Board Certification Review 2019
    Thursday, February 14, 2019 - Friday, February 15, 2019, Tampa Airport Marriott.

    Practicing with Professionalism
    Friday, February 8, 2019, - 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM, Renaissance Fort Lauderdale Hotel.

    January 2019

    Gary Miller
    GARY MILLER OF TAMPA in December won a gold medal at 800 meters and a silver at 1,500 meters at the Florida Senior Games in Clearwater. This was the sixth consecutive year Miller was the top Floridian in his age group at 800 meters.
    Twenty-four years after posting its first website, the Florida Supreme Court December 27 unveiled its first smartphone-friendly website. The new design gives the state’s highest court room for growth and for phone app development as 21 century communications technology continues to evolve.

    John StewartThe annual committee preference form for Bar members seeking appointments for the term of President-elect John M. Stewart are available at and are due no later than January 15, 2019. President-elect Stewart will make about 500 appointments to over 70 committees and he wants to make sure he has a diverse group of lawyers from which to choose.
    The Florida Board of Governors could soon be asked to consider another proposal to regulate a common internet advertising tactic that some Bar members consider unethical.

    Ted OlsonFormer U.S. Solicitor General Ted Olson will be keynote speaker at the Florida Supreme Court Historical Society’s annual dinner February 7 at the University Center Club in Tallahassee.

    Adam Rabin
    THE PALM BEACH COUNTY BAR'S Young Lawyers Section recently kicked off the holiday season by celebrating the end of “No Shave November” during a networking mixer for more than 400 business leaders at iBar in Palm Beach Gardens.

    LegalFuel: The Practice Resource Center of The Florida Bar has launched its Speaker Series, which features well-known and respected Florida lawyers discussing relevant topics from technology to work-life balance and social-media marketing. The latest installment of this free CLE video series is, “Five Simple Lessons to Help You Earn More, Stress Less, and Be Awesome” presented by Nora Bergman. It is available at

    A rewriting of one of the most complex of Florida’s court procedural rules —governing the handling of confidential and sensitive information in court records — is moving forward in the Rules of Judicial Administration Committee.

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    Leaving work at work
    The Mindful LawyerThe New Year is here, and with it important reminders of the challenge and promise of transitions. Whether it’s transitioning from the holiday season to the busy work week, from a well-intended New Year’s resolution to the practical realities of seeing it to fruition, or the daily balancing of work and family, transitions are not always easy. Mindfulness practices can play a meaningful role in navigating periods of transition, allowing us to be a little more effective at bringing about the outcomes we desire. This month’s question is posed by an attorney interested in how mindfulness practice can help balance the interests of work and family.

    Presidential Perspectives Chief Justice CanadyJudges don’t have to automatically recuse themselves from cases where a lawyer appearing before them is a Facebook friend, according to a majority of the Florida Supreme Court, but a different majority would be happy if judges stayed off the social networking site.
    Arbitrators and mediators who work with the Bar’s Grievance Mediation and Fee Arbitration Program are being offered free separate two-hour training programs by The Standing Committee on Grievance Mediation and Fee Arbitration on January 17 at the Bar’s Winter Meeting. The arbitration training carries two hours of CLE credit and the mediator program has two hours of CLE/CME (including CME ethics) credit.

    Eleven judges and lawyers have been nominated by the Supreme Court Judicial Nominating Commission to fill three upcoming vacancies on Florida’s top court.

    Florida’s November midterms triggered an unprecedented string of statewide recounts, and the legal conflict that followed helped bolster voter confidence in the outcome. At least that’s the conclusion of Florida Bar members from both sides of the political aisle who joined the fray when some of the races were initially deemed too close to call.

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    [Revised: 01-03-2019]