Fair & Impartial Courts Benchmarks
CRC and Benchmarks webinar
Complimentary Benchmarks session will be held at Annual Convention in Orlando
At The Florida Bar Annual Convention being held at the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek, the Benchmarks seminar on Thursday, June 14, from 9 – 10:30 a.m., will focus on the five most important elements in the U.S. Constitution, in part by asking participants to name their top five. Benchmarks presentations are fun and informative – and this seminar will be co-led by nationally recognized civics educator Annette Pitts. The seminar offers 1.5 General CLE hours. Registration will open in April. Stay tuned.
Every 20 years in Florida the Constitution Revision Commission meets and puts amendments directly on the ballot for voters to consider. This year proposed amendments will be on the Nov. 6 ballot. In this Benchmarks webinar titled “Florida the Constitution Revision Commission – Every 20 Years“, Annette Pitts, executive director of the Florida Law Related Education Association, discusses the work of the CRC so far and reviews how to become informed about its work. After viewing the webinar, members can take the presentation, available at www.floridabar.org/Benchmarks, to their community clubs and civic groups.
Course number 1709080N. 1 Hour General credit. Login to report CLE credits online https://member.floridabar.org/.
We’re glad you want to make Benchmarks presentations! This Benchmarks Toolkit will help you get started!
Attorneys who become trained in Benchmarks – by attending a seminar – are eligible to earn CLE credits. Sign up with the Speakers Bureau to learn about presentation opportunities. To order free Constitution pamphlets for your presentation, call (850) 561-5834.
Tools included are:
- Why Benchmarks Matters
- Suggestions for groups to contact
- Benchmarks contact form for civics groups
- A Listing of Benchmarks activities
- Tips for making a good Benchmarks presentation
- An evaluation form to give to groups
- Information on how to apply for CLE credit
If you have questions, please contact Zannah Lyle at The Florida Bar at [email protected] or (850) 561-5669.
‘Benchmarks: Raising the Bar on Civics Education’ offers attorneys activities they can use when they are invited to speak to adult civic and community groups. Increasing public awareness of how the government and courts work is a critical mission for The Florida Bar. An informed public is the best defense of the rule of law and a fair and impartial judiciary. Benchmarks activities are available online, grouped in three categories:
Activities in this category examine methods of amending Florida’s Constitution and the limited role the courts have in that process; the method by which a judge would weigh a law whose constitutionality is being challenged; the rights included in the first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution; and an exploration of the courts and the Constitution through a case study.
Benchmark activities in this category include how judges approach making their rulings and the factors they must consider; how judges are elected in Florida and how Florida’s merit selection/retention process works; and the role of juries.
Benchmark activities in this category include a primer on the 2018 Constitution Revision Commission and how citizens can become involved; testing participants’ basic knowledge about the structure and function of the government; as well as an examination of voting practices historically and currently in the United States.
To request a speaker for your group, please fill out the online request form.
Attorneys can become Benchmarks speakers by attending a Benchmarks training, which are held locally by voluntary bar associations as well as at Florida Bar meetings. When training is completed, sign up with The Florida Bar Speakers Bureau. Presenters can earn one ethics credit hour for each presentation for up to three presentations in a three-year reporting period. Questions, please email: [email protected] Form to apply for credit.
Informed Voters-Fair Judges Project
The Informed Voters-Fair Judges Project of the National Association of Women Judges focuses on increasing the knowledge of citizens regarding the importance of a fair and impartial judiciary. Florida Supreme Court Justice Barbara Pariente serves as state coordinating committee co-chairperson for the initiative.
Learn more about the Informed Voters Project and download materials for presentations.
Benchmarks speakers may request up to 50 copies of the Constitution Pamphlet, which also contains the Bill of Rights and Declaration of Independence. Send requests to [email protected] or call (850) 561-5834.