Pursuant to Standing Board Policy 1.60, the Board of Governors of The Florida Bar publishes this notice of intent to consider the following items at its March 23, 2018 board of governors meeting in Sarasota. This is governed by Rule 1-12.1, Rules Regulating The Florida Bar. If approved by the board, most of these amendments must still be formally filed with the Supreme Court of Florida, with further notice and opportunity to be heard, before they are officially approved and become effective. Additionally, non-substantive edits to conform to the Supreme Court style guide are not noted in the summary. To receive a full copy of the text of any of these proposed amendments, email [email protected] or call Kelly Berglund at 850-561-5751. Reference any requested proposal by its title or item number and date of this publication.
RULES REGULATING THE FLORIDA BAR
Chapter 3 Rules of Discipline
RULE 3-5.5 DIVERSION PROGRAM FOR DISRUPTIVE LAWYERS
This rule proposes to implement a method by which disruptive lawyers, where appropriate, may be diverted out of the discipline system and into an evaluation and treatment program designed specifically to address the root causes and behaviors of disruptive lawyers. The proposed rule sets forth eligibility for diversion, requirements for diversion approval, service on the respondent lawyer, effects of acceptance and rejection of diversion, respondent's rights and responsibilities in the diversion, payment of costs of evaluation and treatment, and effects of completion and noncompliance with the diversion program.
Chapter 4 Rules of Professional Conduct
RULE 4-7.14 POTENTIALLY MISLEADING ADVERTISEMENTS
Within subdivision (a)(4) and the commentary, omits the terms "specialist" and "expert" as terms prohibited unless the lawyer is board certified. Adds new subdivisions (a)(5) and (a)(6) and commentary adding that lawyers may use of terms "specialist" and "expert" if they meet certain requirements and that law firms may claim specialization or expertise if they meet certain requirements, but requiring a disclaimer that the lawyer or law firm is not certified under certain circumstances.
Standing Board Policies
STANDING BOARD POLICY 2.20
Deletes the entirety of existing standing board policy 2.20 and replaces with new policy. Adds new subdivision (a), establishing an intent by the Board of Governors to adopt best practices for individuals campaigning for election to bar offices. Adds new subdivision (b), identifying an elections committee to oversee the conduct of candidates for election and provide guidance on best practices. Adds new subdivision (c), providing applicable definitions. Adds new subdivision (d), identifying specific best practices including campaign communication, advertisements, phone banks, Bar approval, endorsements, and membership data. Adds new subdivision (e), allowing a candidate to point out an opponents failure to follow the best practices.
STANDING BOARD POLICY 2.21
Deletes the entirety of existing standing board policy 2.21 and any content is moved to Standing Board Policy 2.20. Standing board policy 2.22 is renumbered as 2.21..
STANDING BOARD POLICY 2.22
Renumbers from 2.22 to 2.21 in light of changes to 2.20 and 2.21.
STANDING BOARD POLICY 15.71 DISCIPLINARY ACTION ON TRUST ACCOUNTING
Adds a new standing board policy regarding disciplinary action for technical trust accounting violations when the lawyer participates in the bar's approved trust accounting solution program.
BYLAWS - WORKERS' COMPENSATION SECTION
Within Article II, Section 1, removes honorary membership for judges of compensation claims. Within Article II, Section 3, adds a provision for reinstatement to membership for lapsed members. Within Article III, Section 2, adds qualification of claimant and defense to the composition of the executive council. Within Article III, Section 3, adds authority of the chair to appoint additional committees to standing committees with agreement of the council. Within Article III, Section 4 (d), adds that voting can take place by electronic means. Within Article III, Section 5 (d), adds that voting can take place by electronic means. Within Article V, Section 2 (b), adds provision for emeritus status.
Chapter 2 Bylaws of The Florida Bar
BYLAW 2-9.8 PRACTICE RESOURCE INSTITUTE
Deletes the bylaw in its entirety.
Chapter 4 Rules of Professional Conduct
RULE 4-5.8 PROCEDURES FOR LAWYERS LEAVING LAW FIRMS AND DISSOLUTION OF LAW FIRMS
Removes reference to the title of a specific bar program from the comment.
RULE 4-8.3 REPORTING PROFESSIONAL MISCONDUCT
Removes reference to the title of a specific bar program.
RULE 4-1.5 FEES AND COSTS FOR LEGAL SERVICES (editorial correction)
Within subdivision (f)(4)(B)(i)(d), makes an editorial correction to omit redundant language.
RULE 4-1.5 FEES AND COSTS FOR LEGAL SERVICES
Deletes prohibition against charging a service charge for use of a credit plan in subdivision (h) and the comment.
Chapter 20 Florida Registered Paralegal Program
RULE 20-3.1 REQUIREMENTS FOR REGISTRATION
This amendment creates new subdivision (a)(6), which expands the registration requirement for lawyers licensed in other states.