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Annual Reports of Sections and Divisions of The Florida Bar

Annual Reports

Annual Reports of Sections and Divisions of The Florida Bar Administrative Law
The Administrative Law Section had another active and successful year thanks to the hard work of section members and their Executive Council. The work of the section has continues to focus on education with several seminars and publications, as well as a continuation of its recent efforts to offer pro bono assistance to those who find themselves in need of help with Florida’s Administrative Procedure Act, but cannot afford representation. The section is also proud to report that, at the time of this publication, it has significantly upgraded its presence on the web with a revised and hopefully far more useful page and links.

Under the leadership of Administrative Law Judge Linda Rigot and former Administrative Law Judge T. Kent Wetherell II (now serving as an appellate judge with the First District), the section and the Bar published the eighth edition of its popular Florida Administrative Practice Manual. This represents the first significant update of the manual since 2004. The manual provides chapters on several administrative procedures and on substantive areas, such as environmental regulation and bid protest law. The manual combines the work of more than 20 authors and will serve as a current and very useful resource for administrative law practitioners for some years.

As it has always done, the section continues to publish regular editions of its newsletter. These quarterly publications are always full of information about the most recent APA case law (thanks to Mary Smallwood), insights into administrative agencies and judges, and lively debate on topics of interest to administrative law practitioners. The section greatly appreciates the diligence of its most recent editor, Amy Schrader, for keeping the newsletter on time and informative.

The section offered an active roster of continuing education programs. Seminars conducted this year included “The New Era in Public Records and Government in the Sunshine Law” (held in conjunction with the Government Lawyer Section) and an introductory course on administrative law sponsored by the Young Lawyers Division. The section also worked with the Government Lawyer Section to offer a preparatory course in connection with the certification exam for State and Federal Government and Administrative Practice. Finally, the section offered its biannual “Practice Before DOAH” course this past October. This course offered live lectures as well as a mock trial presided by sitting administrative law judges and litigated by active APA practitioners. The section thanks Bruce Lamb for his work as chair of the CLE Committee and the dozens of lawyers that dedicated their time and efforts to prepare written materials and offer live lectures. If you didn’t have a chance to attend any of these CLEs, we encourage you to buy or stream them from your friendly Bar CLE staff.

As it has over the past couple of years, the section continued its pro bono efforts. Under the leadership of Andy Bertron, the section is coordinating efforts to assist the developmentally disabled as they struggle to understand and litigate the changes made to their benefits as a result of budget constraints imposed by the legislature, the Agency for Persons with Disabilities’ responses to those mandates, and interpretations made to those responses by both Florida appellate and federal district courts. Seminars offered by the section are available through a link on its website, as is a link to sign up individual lawyers willing to volunteer their time to the disabled community.

Speaking of websites, the section is very proud to report a significant improvement to its Florida Bar Section page. Thanks to some tireless help from Daniel Nordby and input from several members of the section, we believe that the improved site offers a much improved source of information regarding the APA, recent section newsletters, and case developments and continuing education units. We encourage you to visit the site and make use of its resources.
Seann Frazier, Chair

Appellate Practice
We have been honored to see our judicial representative, Peggy A. Quince installed as chief justice of the Supreme Court of Florida and the installation of many of our members to the appellate judiciary. Returning as chair-elect of the section was retired Supreme Court Justice Raoul G. Cantero III, who has been extremely active as an officer of the section and as liaison to the Supreme Court’s Historical Society. Retired Supreme Court Justice Kenneth Bell joined the section and serves as our liaison to the Real Property Section.

As part of our section’s effort to improve and expand the quality of its appellate education for its members, the section moved in two directions this year: It strengthened its relationship with the ABA Appellate Judges Conference, which covers the ABA Appellate Judges, ABA Council of Appellate Lawyers, and ABA Council of Appellate Staff Attorneys, and strengthened the section’s relationship with Florida appellate judges.

As to the first prong, in November 2009, the section hosted a joint ABA-APS welcome reception and heavily participated in the ABA Appellate Judges Education Institute Summit (AJEIS), under the leadership of our programs chair, June Hoffman, and our joint ABA-APS liaison co-chairs, Harvey Sepler and Siobhan Shea. In November, more than 300 appellate judges, staff attorneys, and appellate practitioners from around the country met in Orlando for the summit. The ABA’s Appellate Judges’ Conference, the Council of Appellate Staff Attorneys, and the Council of Appellate Lawyers developed the annual four-day summit. Our Fourth District Court of Appeal Judge Martha Warner chaired the ABA Appellate Judges Conference. The section hosted a joint “AJEIS-Florida APS Welcome Reception” to 325 attendees, including state and federal appellate judges from Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas, Virginia, Washington, the Sixth, Seventh, Ninth, and 11th circuit courts of appeals, and appellate judges and justices traveling as far as Guam and Trinidad and Tobago. Our section also had a strong showing at the summit, both in attendance and in speaker presentations from our section members including five of Florida’s seven Supreme Court justices, and most of Florida’s district court of appeal judges, including all 12 judges from the Fourth District, 11 of the 14 judges from the Second District, and more than half of the judges from the First, Third, and Fifth districts.

Building on that outreach momentum, the section is currently working with the Florida Appellate Judges Conference to advance a similar format to promote greater appellate educational efforts with the Florida appellate judges for the coming year.

Also to that end, the Florida appellate judges have been active in the section, most notably in the area of continuing appellate legal education. Under the leadership of Henry Gyden, chair of the Appellate Telephone Seminar Series subcommittee, we have hosted seminars every month this year. We are enormously grateful for the regular participation of our Florida appellate judges in our continuing appellate legal education seminars, chaired by Ceci Berman, and telephone seminars this educational year for our members, including CLEs on appellate ethics, appeals of post-judgment orders, appeals of orders denying the workers’ compensation immunity defense, other workers’ compensation appeals issues, pass-through jurisdiction of Florida’s appellate courts, premature appeals and abandonment of post-trial motions, federal appellate issues, federal and state criminal appeals, preservation of error, better appellate brief writing, and oral arguments.

This July, Raoul Cantero spoke on ethics in appellate practice. In August, Judge William D. Palmer of the Fifth DCA, chair of the Supreme Court Committee on Alternative Dispute Resolution Rules and Policy, discussed the proposed changes on appellate mediation in Florida, as well as provided information on the appellate mediation program in effect in the Fifth District since 2001.

In October 2009, Deputy Chief Judge of Compensation Claims David W. Langham; Judge of Compensation Claims John J. Lazzara, Tallahassee district; Judge of Compensation Claims, Kathryn Pecko, Ft. Lauderdale district; Judge of Compensation Claims Thomas W. Sculco, Orlando district; and Judge Charles Kahn and Judge Peter Webster, First District Court of Appeal, spoke in Tampa on “The Art of Appellate Advocacy in Workers’ Compensation,” as well as via a live webcast.

In February 2010, Chief Judge Paul Hawkes spoke on “Updates at the First District Court of Appeal.” Also in February 2010, Chief Judge Hawkes spoke on the first of a two-part series on electronic filing in Florida’s courts, with an emphasis on e-filing in the First District Court of Appeal. In February, our section produced its Advanced Appellate Practice Certification Review Course for all section members.

In March, Tom Hall, clerk of the Florida Supreme Court, spoke on Florida Supreme Court jurisdiction. Also in March 2010, we had participation and instruction from almost the entire Fifth District Court of Appeal: Chief Judge David Monaco, Judge Jay Cohen, Judge Kerry Evander, Judge Alan Lawson, Judge Richard Orfinger, Judge William Palmer, Judge Thomas Sawaya, Retired Judge Robert Pleus, Jr., and the clerk of the Fifth District, Hon. Susan Wright, who taught us about practice before the Fifth District.

In April, Judge Judith Kreeger and Tom Hall spoke on the second of the two-part e-filing series regarding developments in a statewide portal on e-filing. In May, we had the participation of Florida appellate judges from around the state to teach us about “The Art of Objecting: A Trial Lawyer’s Guide to Preserving Error for Appeal,” including, in order of speaker appearance, Chief Judge David Monaco, Judge Melanie May, Judge Edward LaRose, Judge Mark Polen, Judge Bradford Thomas, and Judge Alan Lawson.

In June, the Florida Supreme Court justices have approved a revised format to our annual discussion with the Florida Supreme Court, and the justices will be educating us on 1) the future of court funding; 2) the status of e-filing for the appellate courts and the court system in general; 3) improving or streamlining the process of amending the rules of procedure; 4) recent trends in lawyer discipline; and 5) recent trends in death penalty appeals. We are looking forward to the annual discussion and the dessert reception and awards at the annual convention of The Florida Bar.

The Appellate Practice Section has energized its CLEs. Under the leadership of Ceci Berman, and subcommittee chair, Henry Gyden, the section is improving its CLEs and appellate telephone seminars through better use of technology, moving toward more cutting edge topics, in addition to our customary, vital topics on appellate practice. We are reaching out more to the district courts of appeal to keep our CLEs interesting, appellate-appropriate, and timely.

The section has reinvigorated its Appellate Pro Bono Committee. Under the leadership of Pro Bono Committee Chair Bryan Gowdy, the committee has expanded its network of appellate lawyers willing to undertake pro bono representation in all the district courts and the Supreme Court. These appellate lawyers represent a diverse array of appellate expertise. The clerks of all the appellate courts have been informed of the availability of these volunteers and increasingly directing more pro bono appeals to our committee. The committee is also exploring working with a pro bono clinic at Florida law schools.

The Appellate Practice Section has further renovated our website. Under the leadership of Website Committee Chair Jonathan Streisfeld, we are successfully expanding ways of providing electronic access to the section’s information and CLE. We successfully completed our second CLE webinar, and our monthly telephonic CLEs are more expansive now and provide appellate legal education. To reduce printing costs and make the guide more accessible and up to date, we are producing the Appellate Practice Guide online, under the editorship of Rebecca Creed. The Record, along with the guide, is also online through our website, as is the section’s Pro Se Appellate Handbook, which is translated into Spanish and Creole with grant assistance from The Florida Bar Foundation. We are also exploring production of all of our CLE materials electronically.

Consistent with the section’s own cost-saving measures, we have adopted a resolution to restore plans for statewide electronic filings in appeals. To that end, the section is working on a proposal with the chief judges of the five district courts of appeal and with law schools to increase the use of videoconferencing for meetings and for alternatives to live CLEs.

The Appellate Practice Section has called upon its members to take action in the current budget cuts and freezes directed to “elected officials.” In March, the section, after researching this issue through the Bar and the Office of State Court Administrators, circulated contact information of Florida House and Senate leadership for individual section members to reach out to our legislature regarding further reductions to judicial salaries and benefits.

We also voted as a section to support the Florida Law Related Education’s moot court program, both with funding and volunteer appellate lawyers to serve as judges. We are working with the Florida High School Moot Court Competition and with the Young Lawyers Division to expand and participate with an even more supportive, collaborative role.

With continued tightened state court budgets, the section encouraged the continued participation of our judicial representatives and government lawyers by voting to allow a limited stipend for judges to attend the annual convention. The section also approved scholarships for government and legal aid attorneys to attend the Advanced Appellate Advocacy CLE and reduced rates for other CLE. The section also provides further support with attendance by telephone with the use of better technology.

To that end, the section had its fourth Appellate Practice Section Retreat and divided our tri-annual retreat into a two-part mini-retreat coinciding with our regular meetings, with Hala Sandridge serving as our Retreat Committee chair. Our goal was to encourage our appellate practitioners and judiciary to engage in vision-building for the section’s future without the time and costs of a stand-alone retreat.

On September 10, we held part one of the mini-retreat at the midyear meeting in Tampa. After a delicious buffet working lunch, three prior section chairs facilitated a discussion of the hottest issues facing our section: 1) section leadership and goals, 2) section finances, and 3) technology and e-filing. A lively discussion ensued, from which we obtained detailed feedback from the judiciary and attorneys.

On January 21, part two of the mini-retreat continued at the Bar’s midyear meeting in Orlando. During another Italian working-lunch buffet, we had three break-out groups to vet these ideas generated from the previous mini-retreat. We assigned information-gathering tasks to be reported at the June annual convention for further action.

The section reaches out to younger members and engages in targeted efforts to reinvigorate its membership. The section has obtained approval for a bylaw change to allow law students and law professors to join the section’s affiliate membership. The section has established liaisons for the Florida law schools, as well as liaisons to each of the sections, which have been established over the course of this year to promote networking and communication among with the other sections. The section is further evaluating its bylaws to improve clarity in procedures for meeting and voting electronically.

It has been a great honor and wonderful learning experience to serve as chair of the Appellate Practice Section. Though far too many names to list, I must thank the section members who actively participated to make this year, despite significant economic hurdles, an incredible success. I recognize our section liaison, Valerie Yarbrough, for all her hard work. I have had the benefit of a great team of seasoned appellate lawyers and jurists on my board: Past-chair Siobhan Shea, Chair-elect Raoul Cantero, Vice Chair Matt Conigliaro, Secretary/Treasurer Jack Reiter, and editor of The Record Alina Alonso. I am proud of the commitment the board has demonstrated to the Bar, to the administration of justice, and to the advancement of appellate practice in our state. I know I leave the section in very able hands in their leadership.
Dorothy F. Easley, Chair

Business Law
The Business Law Section is having another exceptional year thanks to its officers, Executive Council, committee chairs, members of the section’s various committees, and the section’s outstanding lobbyist, William B. Wiley. It’s a great time to get involved in the Business Law Section, whether to gain further substantive knowledge in your area of practice or to build your network of attorneys around the state to share ideas and business.

Briefly, our section prides itself on the quality of our projects (both legislative and substantive), our CLE programs, our committee work, our friendships, and our ability to thoroughly, and yet collegially, discuss and come to resolution on many diverse matters within our purview.

With nearly 5,000 members and interests spanning the full spectrum of business law from transactions to litigation and ultimately to bankruptcy, we have the following substantive committees: Anti-trust Franchise & Trade Regulation (Jason Murray, chair); Bankruptcy/UCC (Judge Catherine McEwen and Jason Burnett, co-chairs); Bankruptcy/Judicial Liaison (Judge Paul Hyman and Lori Vaughan, co-chairs); Business Litigation (Judge Edward LaRose and Jon Polenberg, co-chairs); Federal and State Judicial Liaison (Judge William Van Nortwick, Judge Mary Scriven, David Ackerman and Steve Fender, co-chairs); Intellectual Property (Joel Rothman, chair); Computer Law (Steve Tepler and Steve Milbrath, chair and vice chair); Corporations, Securities and Financial Institutions (J.C. Ferrer, chair, Roland Sanchez-Medina, vice chair).

We have very active committees for Legislation (Brian Gart, Gary Teblum, and William Wiley); CLE (Alan Aronson, chair); Publications and Communications (Peter Valori, communications chair; Leora Herrmann, chair of publications); FICPA Liaison(Diane Wells, Nick Lioce, and Stef Rubin); Retreat and Sponsorships (Lisa Schiller, chair, and Alan Howard, vice chair).

This year, we added a new Diversity Committee(under the leadership of Jason Murray and Judges Mary Scriven and John Olson)to assure all members of the section that it is actively committed to enhancing diversity within our leadership and membership, making a place for everyone to join section activities, and making everyone feel comfortable that we are truly a special place which values character, competence, and commitment. We strive to put inclusion and openness into everything we do and welcome and encourage your involvement.

The section held five meetings over the 2009-10 fiscal year.

Summer Retreat: Naples Ritz-Carlton Beginning with our now very popular organizational retreat over Labor Day weekend, we used this as our “kick-off” meeting to set agendas for the year. We also have invited the “business court” judges from around the state to attend and put on a panel discussion of activities in the business courts, along with CLE programs and committee meetings. The beach setting and holiday weekend encourages members to bring their families, and we have a variety of activities to keep everyone involved.

Fall: Renaissance Hotel Tampa Our second meeting is a concentrated business meeting held Nov. 4-5, 2009. We used this meeting for substantive matters, and we start with an LLC drafting session, an EC reception and dinner, and series of meetings, allowing an opportunity to move along important matters while not imposing too much on their schedules.

Midyear: Hilton Orlando — Our third meeting was held in conjunction with The Florida Bar’s Midyear Meeting, Jan. 20-21, 2010. This meeting focuses on substantive committee and EC meetings, special projects like the Third Party Opinion Standards, and LLC drafting sessions, our very important legislative initiatives, and another very popular panel program of state and federal judges.

Spring Executive Council Retreat: Four Seasons Hotel Toronto At the very special Spring Executive Council Retreat on April 28-May 2, 2010, we met with leaders of the Ontario Bar Association and judges from the Ontario bench at receptions hosted by two of Canada’s leading law firms Blake, Cassels & Graydon and Stikeman Elliott. A visit to the law courts, a tour of the Canadian side of Niagara Falls, and visits to some of the best wineries and vineyards of Niagara were arranged.

Annual Meeting: The Boca Resort — Our final meeting of the year will be in conjunction with the annual convention, June 22-23, 2010, where we will wrap up the year and transition to new leadership. We expect a full complement of committee and CLE meetings, an LLC drafting session, a reception, and dinner.

The section has a number of special projects each year, but two are worthy of special note: The Opinions Standard Project and the LLC Act Revision Project. These projects are both long-term, requiring tremendous hours and hard work over a period of years. The first project has resulted in a new opinion standards for Florida lawyers rendering third-party legal opinions. The second project is still in progress, but we hope to have a new LLC act result from it next year.

Opinion Standards — Thanks to the leadership of Philip Schwartz and vice chairs J.C. Ferrer and Robert Barron, the section has produced a new Opinion Standards Report, which will effectively rewrite the legal opinion standards for Florida lawyers delivering third-party opinions. A multi-year project, BLS was at the forefront of this effort, both within Florida coordinating with the Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section, and nationally coordinating with the business bars of various states to bring some consistency to the critical area of transactional law for business lawyers within the state. The report is available on the section website.

Chapter 608 LLC Drafting Task Force — Under the leadership of myself as chair, and Greg Marks as reporter, we have been undertaking a thorough consideration and revision of the Florida Limited Liability Company (LLC) Act by comparing our current LLC statute (Ch. 608) to the Revised Uniform LLC statute, the ABA Model LLC Act, the Delaware LLC Act, and selected LLC acts from other states like Colorado, Pennsylvania, and Texas. The task force is comprised of representatives from three sections: Business Law, Tax Law, and Real Property, Probate and Trust Law. We hold drafting sessions more or less monthly, and we have had several all-day sessions, and one special two-day drafting session in Miami with nationally prominent LLC experts. Our guest experts have included Bob Keatinge (ABA advisor to NCCUSL and the author of Ribstein and Keatinge on LLCs), Paul Altman (chair of the Delaware committee charged with drafting Delaware’s LLC Act), and Professor Carter Bishop and Professor Dan Kleinberger (the two co-reporters of the Revised Uniform LLC Act), as guest speakers and panelists. This task force hopes to have a revised LLC Act ready for the 2011 legislative session.

Executive Council and Committees The Executive Council this year encompassed 98 members, including many younger lawyers, professors, and judges, as well as attorneys from all geographic regions of our state. Our officers were Russ Blain as immediate past chair; Michael Higer as chair-elect; and Mindy Mora as secretary/treasurer. They were invaluable in their efforts. Our Long Range Planning Committee was ably led by Co-chairs Roberta Colton and Judge Michael Williamson.

We maintained the position of judicial chair in connection with four of the section’s committees: Bankruptcy/UCC (Judge Catherine P. McEwen, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Middle District); Business Litigation (Judge Edward C. LaRose, Second DCA); Judicial Liaison Committee — Bankruptcy Courts (Chief Judge Paul G. Hyman, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District); and Judicial Liaison Committee — State and Federal Courts (Judge William A. Van Nortwick, Jr. and Judge Mary Scriven). We also maintained academic chairs as resources to other committees: Antitrust, Franchise and Trade Regulation (Professor Marilyn B. Cane, Nova Southeastern University School of Law); Corporations, Securities & Financial Services(Professor Stuart R. Cohn, University of Florida School of Law); and Legislation (Professor Jeffrey Davis, University of Florida School of Law). We also added younger appointees to our Membership and Law Student Relations Committee (under the leadership of Doug Bates) with a focus on more interaction with the law schools throughout the state, including more law student receptions and attendance at our meetings. Gwynne Young served as the section’s liaison to the Board of Governors. Marsha Rydberg served as our representative to the Council of Sections.

CLE Delivering the highest quality continuing legal education to our membership is one of the section’s primary goals. The section’s flagship CLE program continues to be the “View from the Bench,” brought to you by the Bankruptcy/UCC Committee and under the always able leadership of Judge Michael Williamson and Judge Catherine McEwen. This year, the section also presented the “First Annual Intellectual Property Symposium” in Tampa March 25-26, under the leadership of program Chairs Joel Rothman, Leora Herrmann, and Ury Fischer. It was a sold-out success. The Intellectual Property & Computer Law Committee should be very proud of this first IP symposium, and it will certainly set a standard for what will become a significant annual event for IP lawyers throughout the state for years to come.

The section committees sponsored a number of CLE programs, including numerous short programs as part of their committee meetings. Special kudos to CLE Chair Alan Aronson and members of the CLE committee for all programming, but particularly for our highly successful lunch-and-learn programs, which brought meaningful substantive continuing legal education to our members in a convenient one-hour format over lunch. My thanks to all of the coordinators, speakers, sponsors, and participants.

A number of our CLE programs are the result of the generous support of numerous sponsors, many of whom have supported the section for multiple years, including PCE Investments, Lexis-Nexis, Citibank, Navigant Consulting, Inc., and Management Planning, Inc., among others.

Legislative Efforts Perhaps the most important service the section provides to the Florida business community are our various legislative efforts. This year, we advocated several positions on bills, monitored over 50 additional bills, and conducted weekly conference calls during the session. All of the legislation we sponsored or opposed was important, but of particular note were the section’s opposition to a re-enactment of the Bulk Sales Act, support for funding of the state court system, opposition to imposition of a corporate tax on LLCs, support for legislation approving the creation of new state judges, support for the passage of a Revised Model Trademark Act, support for modernizing revisions to Fla. Ch. 617 (the “not-for-profit” statute), support for glitch amendments to clarify various provisions of Fla. Ch. 620 (Florida’s Revised Uniform Limited Partnership Act), support for glitch and clarifying and technological improvement amendments to Fla. Ch. 607 (business corporations), and Fla. Ch. 608 (LLCs), and Fla. Ch. 727 (the “assignment for the benefit of creditors” statute). The section actively works with the judiciary and business community to strive for an independent judiciary with adequate court funding, and an adequate number of judges and support personnel to ensure equal access to justice for all.

Publications and Communications The section produces The Florida Bar Business Law Section Journal. Special thanks to Leora Herrmann, Peter Valori, Stef Nagin, Melanie Damian, Bridget Heffernan, and others for obtaining the sponsorship to produce this resource, and the countless hours of hard work as leaders of the Communications Committee. Thanks also to the Journal’s various contributing editors for their work on the review of 2009 Florida state and federal case law relevant to business law.

Our website has improved dramatically this year, and special thanks go to the Communications Committee and Tracey Eller for their work on the new website, Tracey has also been instrumental in facilitating e-mail blasts of important upcoming events, legislative initiatives, and other important information.

There is truly not enough space to mention all of the section’s activities, projects, programs, or the many people by name that bring them to you. It is solely because of the selfless commitment of their time and talent that our section is one of the most active and effective sections in The Florida Bar. My deepest apologies if I have omitted (as I am sure I have) acknowledging the work of anyone.

In closing, it has been an honor and privilege serving as chair. I have had the great good fortune of following in a long line of exceptional section chairs, and I particularly acknowledge and thank Russ Blain and Rick Gross, my two immediate predecessors as past-chairs of the section who greatly assisted me. I acknowledge, with great gratitude, the able assistance of Michael Higer and Mindy Mora, as chair and chair-elect respectively, who worked very hard this year, and who will do a fantastic job in leading the section over the next two years. My thanks also to Valerie Yarbrough, who ably served as the section’s Bar administrator during this year, and to Yvonne Sherron for pitching in, as she always does, to help whenever we asked for her assistance.

Please join us and get involved. There is a place for everyone in the Business Law Section!
Louis T. M. Conti, Chair

City, County, and Local Government Law
Bar Activities The section is ably supported by Section Administrator Ricky Libbert and advised by Bar Liaison Ed Scales. The section membership is engaged in Bar initiatives and issues. Attendance at The Florida Bar Leadership conference, Bar leaders Kaye Collie and Mary Hellen Farris (both on the Council of Sections), and Jewel White Cole (CLE Committee/Young Lawyers Section/Bar Board of Governors) keep us advised, and a hard-working Executive Committee communicates with section members. Through member participation in local circuit court pro bono committees, the section distributed form proclamations for local government use in support of the ABA’s declaration of October 25-31, 2009, as Pro Bono Week.

Professionalism and Ethics In addition to launching a statewide civility initiative for local government implementation, this committee presented written and oral argument before the Bar’s Professional Ethics Committee regarding proposed Advisory Opinion 09-1, which would permit lawyers to contact local government officials and employees on represented matters without the knowledge or consent of the government attorney. After hearing argument of this section and other government attorneys, the opinion was approved by a vote of 15-11. Joining the Office of Financial Regulation of the State of Florida and the Florida Association of County Attorneys, the section filed an appeal of that opinion to the Board of Bar Governors. The matter will be considered by the BOG late this spring.

On another proposed Opinion 10-1 before the Professional Ethics Committee, this committee is submitting written and oral comments. Proposed Opinion 10-1 would permit a lawyer, who is represented by a law firm in a lawsuit against the government, to request public records directly from city officials and employees relating to the represented matter without the knowledge or consent of the government attorney. Much praise and thanks for the hard work of Marion Radson and Glenn Smith of the section’s Professionalism and Ethics Committee for pursuing these issues on behalf of our clients. Many thanks again to Marion Radson for his service on the Attorney-Client Privilege Task Force in keeping the section advised on issues impacting the privilege.

Outreach to Law Schools and Firms The section values its collaboration with its many private firm members and provides speaking and sponsorship opportunities at all our seminars. Through the strong leadership of Hans Ottinot and Cynthia Everett, the section provides law student and intern awards and supports local government and private intern programs through Grants/Scholarship and Awards Committees.

Seminars 1) The Public Employee Labor Relations Forum, Oct. 2009, was sponsored jointly with the Labor and Employment Law Section; 2) The annual Sunshine Law, Public Records, and Ethics Seminar, Feb. 12, 2010, under Rob Titler’s leadership, was the section’s first web-based seminar; 3) City, County and Local Government Law Certification Review Course, May 6; 4) Land Use Seminar, May 6; 5) The 33rd annual Local Government Law in Florida seminar, May 7-8; 6) Public Finance Seminar will be held in May 2011 concurrent with three and five, above. Concurrent scheduling accommodates the economic impact on travel budgets.

Publications Space does not allow giving the names of contributors to our publications but our thanks for those generous efforts leading to the publications listed below.

Thanks to Pam Dubov’s longstanding leadership, the Stetson Law Review Symposium Committee provided liaison support between the section and the Stetson Law Review Editorial Board for the final steps in the production and distribution of the 2009 Local Government Law Symposium. Over 2,700 local government attorneys in addition to other Stetson Law Review subscribers received the symposium.

Under Jewel White Cole’s editorial pen, the section edited 10 articles and published six for the Florida Bar Journal. Those articles were “The Effectiveness of Home Rule: A Preemption and Conflict Analysis”; “Perspectives on the 2009 Growth Management Legislation”; “Public-Private Contracting in Florida Survives”; “Catch the Tiger by the Tail: Counseling the Burgeoning Government Use of Internet Media”; “Modern Sunshine: Attending Public Meetings in the Digital Age”; “Honest Services Fraud: Federal Prosecution of Public Corruption at the State and Local Levels.” All articles are available online at

Many thanks to past Chair Mary Helen Farris for securing the following for the newsletter, The Agenda: “Senate Bill 360 Version 2.0: Growth Management for the 21st Century?”; “Have Licensed Professionals Lost Contractual Caps On Liability?, Intern Experience — Summer 2009 Miami-Dade Commission on Ethics” (This article detailed the work and experiences of an intern sponsored by a section grant); and “New Focus on an Old Topic: Is That Worker an Independent Contractor or Employee…? Waving the Red Flags: Local Government Obligations under the Red Flags Rule.”

The format of this resource book, the Local Government Law Notebook is presently being evaluated for more effective ways of tapping into available resources.

Outreach The section’s website/listserv is a primary networking tool between individual members of the section. It is here, on a daily basis, that much of the exchange of ideas between and among local government lawyers occurs. This password-protected resource provides for daily collaboration.

Membership and Member Recognition The section continues its initiatives for expanding its membership to both special districts and school board entities since the groups have a significantly common community of professional interests. Members recognized in the past year include John C. Randolph (Marsicano Award 2009) and Jewel White Cole (Paul S. Buchman Public Service Award 2009).

Finances During the past year, a projected budget shortfall has been resolved, and the section’s budget summary shows a projected four-fold increase in the ending fund balance over the fiscal year 2009-10 budget.

Space limitations do not permit adequate appreciations for the work of the Executive Council, committee chairs, and members, but I urge your continued support of next year’s Executive Committee led by Chair-elect Vivian Monaco and Secretary/Treasurer Ken Tinkler. It has been my honor to serve.
James L. Bennett, Chair

Elder Law
This has been a dynamic year of growth and expansion for the Elder Law Section. The organization was catapulted into action by our past chair, Linda Chamberlain, who set up a half-day training session for all committee chairs in June 2009, which had never been done before. During this meeting, procedures, roles, and expectations for all committees were detailed to enable our committee chairs to tackle the new year with confidence and clear direction. Thank you, Linda. Your plan worked, and our committees were more productive and successful than in the past. Our committees are the engine of the section, doing all the heavy lifting to accomplish our goals.

We had a talented and energetic executive committee consisting of Len Mondschein, Enrique Zamora, Twyla Sketchley, Jana McConnaughhay, Robert Morgan, David Lillesand (honorary member), and myself. This deep leadership pool led to an aggressive agenda.

A hallmark of the Elder Law Section is its work with governmental agencies, such as Department of Children and Families (DCF). We have continued to improve our relationships with DCF so that we can work cooperatively whenever possible. It is our firm belief that our feedback to the agency will lead to better implementation of the Medicaid program in this state.

We also have a unique partnership with the Academy of Florida Elder Law Attorneys, the state affiliate of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. Together we have created a task force which was co-chaired this year by Randy Bryan and A. Stephen Kotler. The task force met weekly all year and was instrumental in advocating for our clients with DCF and our state legislators.

We have made it a priority to work more closely than ever with the Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section committees on numerous issues of common interest. Our goal is to provide the elder law perspective to RPPTL to avoid duplication or adversity whenever possible.

Our CLE chair, David Hook, did a splendid job coaxing us into the electronic CLE age. We hosted two full-day CLEs on veterans’ benefits and public benefits and a two-day CLE for certification review. Additionally, we took advantage of the telephone to host free mentoring phone seminars every other month.

The most controversial issue this year was a proposal to consider a name change for our section to include disability. A blue ribbon panel of current and past leaders met for six months to analyze the pros and cons of renaming the section the Elder and Disability Law Section. In January, a vote was held and the majority approved recommending the name change to the Board of Governors, which would expand our section to include attorneys in Florida who practice before the Social Security Administration in disability cases. The majority of our executive counsel felt that it is our mission to represent the under age 65 disabled population in addition to the elderly. David Lillesand was appointed chair of the name change committee.

Some of the highlights of our year are listed below.

• Congratulations to Howie Krooks and the task force for the recent change to the DCF manual on promissory notes. For details, see Howie’s article in our most recent Advocate.

• The new leadership for 2010-11 was elected and will assume command on June 25, 2010: Len Mondschein, chair; Enrique Zamora, chair-elect; Twyla Sketchley, administrative chair; Jana McConnaughhay, substantive chair; John Clardy, secretary; and Robert Morgan, treasurer.

• Twyla Sketchley did a terrific job as the ELS legislative liaison in Tallahassee. Our legislative committee is chaired by Ellen Morris, and we were more active than ever this legislative session.

• Len Mondschein chaired a super successful certification review two-day CLE in Orlando in January.

• Collette Small and John Griffin co-chaired a wonderful public benefits seminar on March 12 in Tampa.

• Numerous ELS speakers were very active in a recent CLE in Tampa sponsored by the Young Lawyer Division. We have deliberately increased our visibility with YLD.

• We are progressing on indexing the Medicaid fair hearing reports for our subscribers.

• Membership in the section is now over 1,600, and we have over 80 board certified attorneys in our section.

• ELS is working with AFELA and the task force to discuss various problems with the long-term care diversion program and CARES. Charlie Robinson is our inspired leader on this project.

• Floyd Faglie has been appointed to the Board of Governors’ special committee to study lien resolutions and elder law attorneys’ fees for special needs trusts in personal injury cases.

• Enrique Zamora and Jennifer Quesada have volunteered to work on a series of pamphlets to be produced by ELS for elder law attorneys on a wide variety of topics. This will be a free marketing tool for our members.

• We are working on some new out-of-state locations for CLE like Montana and Belize. Unfortunately, our year-long effort to get State Department approval to go to Cuba was rejected, despite Enrique Zamora’s valiant efforts.

• ELS continues to maintain its position, on behalf of its members and the elderly and disabled clients, in opposition to any enhancement of creditors’ rights against nonprobate assets, which is being drafted for consideration as proposed legislation by RPPTL’s ad hoc creditors’ rights committee.

• Our free mentoring calls are a huge success due to Angela Warren’s terrific leadership. We regularly had over 30 attendees per call and very positive feedback.

• Most committee meetings now qualify for CLE credits.

• The ELS guardianship committee is going to promote an increase in funding for public guardians and working in cooperation with DCF.

• Law students can now become ELS members for free!

• We welcome Mark Mazzeo as the new president of AFELA and sincerely thank Randy Bryan for the amazing job he did last year.

• A new joint committee has been established with the Health Law Section to study the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. This is the first time ELS and the Health Law Section have had a joint committee. Many thanks to Troy Kishbaugh for chairing this committee.

Thanks to everyone for dazzling participation and impressive results. All this, and we still practice law!
Babette B. Bach, Chair

Entertainment Arts and Sports Law
The 2009-10 administration ushered in a new era of compliance with Florida Bar regulations with respect to venue booking/reservations that had been ignored in past administrations. The Florida Bar Entertainment, Arts and Sports Law Section (EASL) utilized the Bar meetings department to book the EASL Annual Retreat at Amelia Island Plantation with superb results. The retreat was a complete success with participants welcoming the return to EASL’s camaraderie, conspicuous by its absence in recent meetings.

For the first time in many years, a new leadership paradigm emerged that embraced inclusion for the good of the entire section. EASL’s Memorial Day Weekend 2009 Annual Retreat held at Amelia Island Plantation was a hard won courtesy to fellow practitioners. They had, on various occasions, expressed their discontent at having the majority of EASL events in South Florida. That practice had the effect of excluding attendance by practitioners residing outside of Miami-Dade and Broward counties.

Our retreat was enhanced by our special guest speakers: L. Londell McMillan, Entertainment Law Group Partner at Dewey LeBouef, and Max Siegel, formerly of Dale Earnhardt Enterprises, who brought a fresh perspective to our CLE. These two entertainment law titans gave dynamic presentations on the subjects of “Representing the Multi-Faceted Entertainer” and “Representing the Multi-national Entertainment Entity.” Mr. McMillan is also known as lead attorney in the matters involving the estate of the late Michael Jackson. Mr. Siegel has distinguished himself by raising the profile of NASCAR and its related properties. A lecture on the subject of “branding” was presented by Jean Perwin, Carolyn Herman, and Nick Nanton. Webmaster Elliot Zimmerman closed out the CLE with an innovative animated feature titled “Hurdles to Website Owner Liability.” A different demographic was represented at the retreat with the result of attracting more minorities with renewed interest in the section. This administration is dedicated to presenting substantive material that improves EASL membership rather than vanity pageants catering to the few.

On September 11, 2009, EASL presented “One for the Road: Touring, Talent, Venues and More.” This seminar was one of the best attended that the section has ever offered with subject matter that had never been treated in an EASL lecture. The majority of those present were infrequent EASL attendees who commented favorably on the breadth and scope of knowledge presented by the panelists, all of whom possess extensive experience with issues related to venue agreements. Practitioners, promoters, and law students benefited from the useful information. The Adrienne Arscht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami hosted the event. Former Chairs Louis Tertocha and Steven Eisenberg and Chair-elect Stephen Carlisle served as moderators.

Our midyear seminar “Copyright Termination — You Thought You Bought It, But You Only Rented It” was a workshop given by former Chair Julee Milham and Chair-elect Stephen Carlisle. Several attorneys and law students expressed their appreciation for the concise, useful information that the CLE presented during The Florida Bar midyear meeting in Orlando.

This has been a year of many initiatives. A Webinar Committee, Legislation Committee, and a database repository were all commenced to provide EASL members with increased value for their membership dollars. The Webinar Committee, charged with creating web-based seminars germane to the diverse areas of the practice of entertainment law, planned its initial lecture to take place in the latter part of April 2010. The Legislation Committee did a yeoman’s job of mobilizing state representatives to support the Entertainment Industry Economic Development Act. Committee members performed exhaustive research on comparable bills in competitive states. They subsequently crafted a letter and position paper, with the Board of Governors’ approval, which meticulously detailed the benefits, and projected impact and importance of the measure. That bill, when implemented, will provide attractive tax credits for companies that produce films, music videos, and other entertainment products in Florida. Florida currently ranks seventh among states that have a state office dedicated to cultivating an entertainment/media business presence. The legislation has the ability to revive the presence of entities now extant and to attract new enterprises to the sunshine state. The practical effect of the law will be to create a more “business friendly” environment for the multi-billion dollar entertainment industry while providing employment opportunities for Floridians.

EASL members have often requested assistance on the EASL listserv from more seasoned attorneys when faced with unfamiliar topics and/or issues. The venerable Professor Ira Abrams has agreed, along with colleagues Jean S. Perwin, Jay Willingham, and William Whitacre, to create a database where certain forms, draft agreements, and contracts will be available to EASL members. This undertaking is another instance where the section will provide an invaluable service that improves the level of cooperation and professionalism among our constituents. This is, as it should be, EASL’s primary goal. Chair-elect Stephen Carlisle has dubbed the project “The EASL Cookbook.”

Florida A&M University College of Law invited the chair to be keynote speaker at their Entertainment and Sports Law Symposium on April 10, 2010. As the first African-American to chair this section, it was an honor to be recognized by this storied institution, a cornerstone among historically black colleges and universities. This event presents a perfect opportunity to implement a diversity initiative as previously requested by The Florida Bar.

EASL held the annual retreat at The Colony Palm Beach on Memorial Day weekend. Among the activities was a CLE entitled “Domain Name Theft,” presented by Albert Angel. At that time, our annual meeting and election of officers also took place.

In closing, I must say that my tenure represented an education of a different sort for me. It has been an interesting year during which the old guard found it difficult to accept that EASL is a Florida Bar section that should operate from the perspective of serving the best interests of the whole and not the few. Such operation marks a clear departure from the immediate past and a welcome return to civility. I wish you all God speed.
Nina-Dawne Williams, Chair

Environmental and Land Use Law
The Environmental and Land Use Law Section (ELULS) has nearly 2,000 members, including approximately 100 nonlawyer affiliate members (primarily environmental consultants, land use planners, or soon to be law graduates). ELULS strives to maintain a highly diverse membership reflective of practitioners in private firms representing developers/industry, environmental public interest groups, and state and local agencies, which fosters respect among its members for the varying perspectives of advocacy, along with spirited collegial debate on substantive issues that impact member interests.

A major topic among the Executive Council this year has been how to supply better delivery of CLE on topical and important current issues of interest to the section membership. Restrictions and pressures on travel budgets are a hard fact. So is the long lead time required to organize and implement a full-day seminar, half-day seminar, or even our current one-hour lunchtime, web-based audio seminars. As a result, starting next year, as a service to section members, there will be at least four one-hour, web-based CLE audio seminars available at no additional cost to the section members. These seminars will address topics suggested by the section’s substantive committees (land use; pollution assessment, remediation, management and prevention; and water, wetlands, wildlife, and beaches) as well as the CLE Committee. Topical subjects will be delivered timely with the possibility of the seminar occurring within four weeks of inception.

The section’s current web-based seminar program will also continue. However, we anticipate a shift in focus of that program series toward ethical considerations (and ethics credits) on relevant substantive land use and environmental subjects. No change to the section’s live CLE programming is anticipated. The ELULS continues to provide numerous education opportunities, including the annual update held in August in conjunction with its annual meeting and a telephonic legislative update in May in conjunction with the end of the legislative session.

The section provides financial and member support to several law school-related seminars, including the annual Public Interest Environmental Conference sponsored each February by the University of Florida Levin College of Law, the Nelson Symposium at the University of Florida, the Environmental Justice Summit at Barry School of Law, and the Environmental Summit at Coastal School of Law.

Section-written materials offer up-to-date practice resources: quarterly in the Reporter, in which current case law, regulatory, and legislative topics are addressed, and in the annually updated Environmental and Land Use Law Treatise, maintained as a password-protected collection of articles by Florida’s leading practitioners, exhaustively covering every conceivable subject impacting environmental or land use law in Florida. Only section members have access to this invaluable practice resource.

Thanks in large part to the efforts of our law school liaison chair, James M. Porter, making law students aware of the opportunities and the importance of the environmental and land use areas of practice has received continued emphasis. Student membership brochures are distributed to law schools electronically, and a section member is appointed as school liaison for each of Florida’s accredited law schools. The ELULS sponsors the annual Maloney Memorial Writing Contest, soliciting scholarly papers in the areas of environmental, land use, or zoning law applicable to issues in Florida. Another program for law students is the fellowship program. Currently, ELULS sponsors two fellowships: the Florida Environmental Public Interest Fellowship, and the ABA Section of Environment, Energy and Resources Diversity Fellowship in Environmental Law. These programs consist of an eight- to 10-week summer internship at a government agency or public interest organization in Florida. Through this continued interaction by established practitioners with the next generation of attorneys, the section is raising awareness of the environmental and land use issues that inevitably impact our daily lives.

It has been my privilege to serve as section chair this year. I appreciate the professional commitment and dedication of the entire Executive Council and officers of the section.
Paul H. Chipok, Chair

Equal Opportunities Law
The Equal Opportunities Law Section (EOLS) continues its mission to foster a forum that is committed to increasing diversity in the legal profession. The goal is to ensure that the section continues to provide an outlet for all segments of our professional population to participate in their Bar. The section reaffirmed its commitment to improving the opportunities available to minorities in the legal profession. Through increased diversity, the legal profession can more effectively address societal and individual needs by the consideration of varied perspectives, experiences, and understanding in the administration of justice. Inclusion and full participation of all elements of society in law firms, government and corporate law departments, courts, and law schools will better serve the ends of equal justice to which the legal profession is dedicated. With that in mind, the EOLS welcomes Florida Bar members to review and sign the Statement of Principle in support of those principles. In addition to the Statement of Principle form, a list of those individuals, firms, and agencies that have affirmed this commitment may be found on our page within the Bar’s website.

The EOLS along with the Florida Association for Women Lawyers (FAWL) and the Virgil Hawkins Florida Chapter of the National Bar Association (VHFCNBA) co-sponsored the annual joint awards luncheon. FAWL recognized Judge Nikki Ann Clark; VHFCNBA recognized Detra Shaw-Wilder with their president’s award; the D.W. Perkins Bar Association with the Affiliate Chapter of the Year award; and EOLS recognized Sen. Ted Deutch and Rep. Kelly Skidmore. A joint award was presented to Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Peggy Quince.

We are proud of the continuation of the minority mentoring picnics in Hialeah and Tampa. On November 14, 2009, EOLS legend and picnic organizer, John Kozyak and his firm, Kozyak, Tropin & Throckmorton, held their annual mentoring picnic in Hialeah, which as always, was well attended. In addition, the Third Annual Central Florida Diversity Picnic was held on February 27 at the Tampa campus of the Stetson University College of Law and was also well attended.

In addition to working with existing members of the Bar, we are exploring options to work with local law schools to initiate a summer diversity internship program. This program envisions placing first year law students from minority and other underrepresented backgrounds in internships with law firms and other legal departments throughout Florida. Through this program, participants will be given access to mentors and program support to enhance both their experience and their ability to support their placement organization. The end result will be to markedly increase the participation of underrepresented groups within the Florida legal community from an early point in their education and enhance their ability to make the effective transition into the practice of law upon their graduation and admission to The Florida Bar.

Through rule changes and active involvement in the Bar itself, the EOLS, through former EOLS Chair Matthew Dietz, has advocated for the rights of lawyers with disabilities to be fully integrated in the practice of law in Florida. The final proposed Rule of Judicial Administration 2.540 should be ruled upon by the Florida Supreme Court shortly. This rule would codify the federally endowed rights and obligations of the court system to provide all persons with disabilities access to the courts. In addition, the EOLS assisted the Member Outreach Committee in developing materials so lawyers and law firms can better accommodate persons with disabilities both as colleagues and as clients.

In addition to advocating for lawyers with disabilities, the EOLS proposed a change to Rule Regulating The Florida Bar 6-10.3 Minimum CLE Standards to add within subdivision (b), “unlawful bias elimination” to the list of approved CLE topics. Addition of this CLE topic promotes racial and ethnic diversity in the legal profession, promotes full and equal participation in the profession of women and persons with disabilities, and the elimination of all forms of bias in the profession. We are happy to report that this rule change was approved by the Florida Supreme Court with an effective date of February 1, 2010.

In addition to the annual joint luncheon, diversity initiatives, and minority mentoring picnic, we continue working with other sections, voluntary bar associations, and other outside groups to increase the focus on diversity issues as well as impress on members to apply for judicial openings and seek Bar leadership positions and become members of EOLS.
Pamela Guerrier, Chair

Family Law
With great pride I write to report on the state of the Family Law Section of The Florida Bar. any measure, the section’s 2009-10 year has been a tremendous success.

Our year began at our annual installation luncheon this past June, where we enjoyed a keynote presentation delivered by M. Gary Neuman, author of Helping Your Kids Cope with Divorce. Mr. Neuman’s presentation, dedicated to the children of separated and/or divorced parents, was as gripping as it was informative. He eloquently reminded those in attendance how damaging criticism of the other parent can be to a child, how important it is for parents to maintain a united front for their children even as they grapple with their differences, and the benefits that children enjoy from observing their parents communicate, collaborate, and co-parent. It is one of the primary goals of the section to instill in our members a profound appreciation for the difficulties that children of divorced or separated parents face so as to counsel their clients in a fashion that minimizes the collateral damage to children. Mr. Neuman’s presentation certainly helped us get off on the right foot for this Bar year.

In August, the section presented its highly acclaimed and well-attended Trial Advocacy Seminar at the Ritz- Carlton Golf Resort in Naples. This program, produced entirely by the section on a biennial basis, is an intense series of lectures and workshops held over a three-day period. Comprised of many board certified family law attorneys and highly experienced mental health professionals, the faculty of 26 tended to 80 registered participants, all of whom agreed that the program enhanced their advocacy skills and raised their practice to the next level. I wish to thank past chair of the section, Allyson Hughes, and her co-chairs, Carin Porras, Ingrid Keller, and Deborah O. Day, Psy.D., as well as all of the workshop leaders and faculty who participated.

The section’s fall retreat this year was held at the Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami Beach from October 22-25. Our program featured Debbie Ford, author of Spiritual Divorce: Divorce as a Catalyst for an Extraordinary Life. Those in attendance not only enjoyed the amenities of Miami Beach, but came away from Ms. Ford’s presentation with extraordinarily useful strategies and insights designed to empower them to counsel their clients with a greater understanding of the practical implications of divorce and separation on their clients.

Among our most sacred duties as a voluntary section of the Bar is to educate our members and constituents in order to enhance their capacity to counsel their clients in the most effective and insightful manner possible. We do this through an extensive series of programs on a wide array of important topics. I thank our CLE Committee co-chairs, Doug Greenbaum and Eddie Stephens, for their diligent work and dedication to ensuring the success of the multiple seminars and leading the section’s transition to more electronic based seminar formats (i.e., telephonic and webinars).

The section’s pride and joy is the annual Marital and Family Law Review Course, which has become the largest and most well-attended seminar offered throughout the entire Florida Bar. This year, the section secured the sponsorship of the Florida Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers to present this most substantive and thorough review course. Our thanks goes to the academy leadership, its executive director, Susan Stafford, and all of its fellows for supporting this joint venture, which continues to be a production of which all section members can be extraordinarily proud. It is our sincere hope that this partnership will endure for years to come. Our new venue at Disney’s Yacht & Beach Resort handsomely complimented this premier event, and we hope it remains our site in the future.

One of the high points of our two-day program is the presentation of the chair’s Visionary Award. The section was very proud to have bestowed this prestigious honor upon Judge Amy Karan of the 11th Judicial Circuit. Judge Karan’s tireless service to the section over the past years made her a unanimous nominee for this year’s award. As a former member of our Executive Council, Judge Karan not only served the section with distinction, but she made a positive impact in the lives of thousands of everyday citizens as a caring and devoted sitting judge. With great pride, I express the section’s heartfelt appreciation and gratitude for Judge Karan’s contributions to family law in Florida.

The section held its spring retreat in New York City. “Springtime in New York” had our members invading the streets of Manhattan and enjoying the ambiance of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel. A high point of that trip was the section’s joint cocktail reception with members of the New York State Bar Association’s Family Law Section and the New York Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, hosted by the president of the latter group, Alan Mayefsky. Attendees earned CLE credits thanks to presentations from some of New York’s most preeminent family law attorneys.

The section is most proud of its lobbying efforts and the relationships that it has forged with many of the state’s legislators. Each year, the section undertakes a significant effort to improve the laws that mold our practices with the similar purpose of reducing and/or eliminating the harmful impact that conflict over child-related or financial issues can have on the families of our great state. Co-chairs Elisha Roy and Patricia Alexander oversaw the exhaustive work of this committee, flanked by the invaluable handiwork of the section’s lobbyists, Nelson Diaz and Edgar Castro of Becker & Poliakoff. As this issue goes to print, we are hopeful that a multi-year legislative initiative to improve the state’s child support laws will pass by the end of this legislative session. The section worked closely with the Bar’s Standing Committee on the Legal Needs of Children, chaired by Howard Talenfeld, to improve and promote proposed legislation representing a longstanding project providing for the appointment of attorneys ad litem on behalf of children involved in certain classes of dependency proceedings. Much thanks to all who have worked on these and so many other worthy legislative initiatives for the section.

While limits on space preclude my mentioning all of the section’s capable committee chairs, I note my appreciation for Luis Insignares and his diligent efforts to keep our Publications Committee running, Jack Moring for revitalizing our Family Law Section e-mail group publications, and Sheena Benjamin-Wise for her invigorating oversight of our Membership Committee.

Additionally, one of my own special projects initiated this year has been to evaluate and improve the mandatory parenting class that is statutorily required of all divorcing parents in Florida. Susan Savard and Michael Gilden have done an outstanding job co-chairing the ad hoc committee, and I hope this long-term project continues under the direction of future section leadership.

Finally, I thank all of the dedicated and talented people who volunteer their time to the Family Law Section through its many substantive and operational committees, as well as Executive Council, themselves leaders of many of the same committees, who spend countless hours devoted to the section’s purpose. It has been my distinct honor and privilege to serve as chair of the Family Law Section. I thank past, present, and future leadership for their devoted efforts and stewardship on behalf of the section, and am confident that Chair-elect Diane Kirigin, section Treasurer David Manz, and section Secretary Carin Porras will ensure the section’s continued success.
Peter L. Gladstone, Chair

General Practice, Solo Small Firm
The year 2009-10 found the General Practice, Solo Small Firm Section (GPSSF) well-settled in its integration with the Practice Management Section, a decision made by the Bar a few years ago. As a result, we’ve expanded our continuing education focus to include more practice management and technology-focused programs. In the past, our educational endeavors have centered primarily on ethics and the Florida Law Update.

This year we’ve had a renewed dedication to our membership, completely updating our website to reflect the trends and motivations of younger members. We also plan to publish a book of 101 Helpful Hints for Solo and Small Firm Practitioners. This is a contributory book project, and we are still soliciting contributions.

The American economy has seen significant layoffs in the large law firm environment, resulting in an increasing number of lawyers becoming solos or forming smaller practices. These events pose a challenge as well as an opportunity for the section and its membership. More than ever, we must focus on the needs of a growing population of smaller firms. Our recent conference, “Everything You Need to Know About Being a Successful Attorney You Learned in Kindergarten” (a post-law school refresher course) reflects that commitment. More than 100 people attended, including practicing lawyers, law students, paralegals, and exhibitors. We attracted nationally known speakers from across the country, all of whom were well-received. These speakers included Julie Fleming from Life at the Bar, Susan Cartier Liebel from Solo Practice University, Molly Hall and Laney Lyons-Chavis from The Ultimate Smart Solution, and Stephanie West Allen from Brains on Purpose. We also featured local attorney experts, several Executive Council members, and Judith Equels with LOMAS. Our conference paid particular attention this year to law students and included a panel discussion titled, “What Smaller Firms Need from New Associates.” The panel was comprised of seasoned lawyers and upcoming graduates. The paralegals were highlighted with their own networking breakfast and program.

The conference repeated our popular Small Firm Interview Program, where prospective employers and law students have the opportunity to connect. We recognize most small firms can’t or don’t attend the on-campus interview programs, and this is our response to that need for the smaller firm. Each year we are proud to participate in the successful pairing of employee and employer. This year we had 31 law students from across the state who interviewed with potential employers for summer or permanent positions.

This Solo Small Firm Conference continues to grow and offers an unsurpassed opportunity within the Bar for networking and practice management education. Our CLE chair is Teresa Byrd Morgan, who was responsible for this event. Other significant contributions were made by Camille Iurillo, the sponsorship chair, and Linda Calvert Hansen, the Small Firm Interview Program chair.

The GPSSF Section continues its outreach efforts to Florida law students. This year, GPSSF Executive Council members visited the University of Florida Levin College of Law, Florida International University College of Law, Florida State University College of Law, and Nova Southeastern Law School to present the program “Exploring Small Firm Practice with the GPSSF,” where we found many students interested in learning more about small firm practice. We provided information on how to prepare for practice, what skills small firms look for when employing a new lawyer, and how to obtain small firm positions. The section intends to continue our outreach to law students and to visit all 11 Florida law schools next year.

Our annual ethics program, offering five hours of ethics credit, had a technology focus. “The Ethical Use of Technology” explored the ethical use of case management systems, securing client data, understanding metadata, and avoiding the top 10 technology ethics mistakes. We will carry this theme into our out-of-country program, where we will cruise the Mediterranean while learning new ways to integrate Outlook into our practice, master the intricacies of Acrobat, and become “paperless.” These programs have been primarily taught by Adriana Linares with LawTech Partners and co-speaker Debbie Foster of InTouch Legal.

We continue to offer our Florida Law Update at the annual Bar convention in June. This year’s program provides all practitioners with a one-stop opportunity to update their legal knowledge in a variety of substantive law areas. The chair for this program is Jack Merritt.

Annually, the section makes several significant awards. This year the Michael Roffino Pro Bono award was given to Brevard County Legal Aid, Inc. Runners-up included the Community Legal Services of Mid-Florida and “Put Something Back.” Chair of our awards committee is Gerald Currington. The Walter S. Crumbley Award (and we are fortunate to have the actual Walter Crumbley as a member of our Executive Council) recognizes a member of our legal community who has rendered outstanding service to the profession of the practice of law or the management of the practice of law. This year the award was given to Mary Cagle. Our Tradition of Excellence Award, acknowledging an outstanding individual for their exceptional contributions to the legal profession and to general practice, solo, and small firm practitioners, was given to Ernest A. Sellers. We are pleased to recognize these individuals and organizations for their contributions to the legal community.

The Website Committee has been working to produce a new website with a cleaner look, easier navigation, and more interactivity. We reviewed several different proposals, conducted interviews, and ultimately selected Elyk Innovation to produce and maintain the new website. Elyk has produced a draft framework and the color scheme, and we have provided Elyk with the content that will be going onto the site. Elyk is in the process of incorporating that into the final draft. Once reviewed and approved, the new and improved website will “go live.”

We want all section members to give us feedback. The site will contain a useful search engine to allow users to locate a section member in a particular city or in a particular field of practice, so that section members can find other solo, small-firm, or general practice practitioners in a particular area of the state and refer them work or ask for assistance with particular issues. This should improve our members’ ability to network effectively.

There will be an easy-to-use calendar of events for upcoming seminars and conferences. We will also have blog posts on topics of interest, so please remember to check back for new information from time to time. We believe the new website will be a big step forward in providing timely and useful information to section members. It should also facilitate our members’ ability to network and communicate with each other.

Our electronic newsletter, the Link, is published four times annually. It is archived on our website for further review. The chair for this endeavor is Monica Elliott. Craig Ferrante is the chair for the section’s submissions to The Florida Bar Journal. Submissions are welcome from all Bar members, students, and paralegals. Partnerships with service providers serving the solo and small firm community are also appreciated.

On November 20, 2009, the Agricultural Law Committee, working with the Environmental & Land Use Law Section, sponsored a CLE titled “Agricultural Law Update” at the Florida Farm Bureau Federation Building in Gainesville. Topics included “Farm and Ranch Estate Planning,” “Employment Laws Affecting Farm Operations,” “Management of Agricultural Wastes: Regulatory & Public Health Consideration,” and “Agricultural Legislative Update.” The CLE was very well-attended. The next update is scheduled for 2011. Dr. Michael Olexa chairs the Agricultural Law Committee.

The section thanks and acknowledges each of our members, the Executive Council, our program administrator, Ricky Libbert, and all those who continue to contribute to our success. We look forward to welcoming our incoming chair, Kirk Kirkconnell, and look forward to many more significant accomplishments.
Peggy R. Hoyt, Chair

Government Lawyer
As an organization representing over 1,000 state and federal agency lawyers, the Government Lawyer Section provides essential leadership for the public sector. Our section brings a vital public sector oriented perspective to policy discussions within The Florida Bar. We file amicus briefs, appear before the Florida Supreme Court on rule revisions, comment on legislation and ethical matters, and otherwise serve the needs of government lawyers.

For example, in an ongoing ethics debate regarding communications with represented parties, our section offered a very simple and important caveat: If a lawyer is litigating with a governmental entity, and seeks to communicate with an official or staff person from that governmental entity, the lawyer should disclose the communication to agency counsel. We understand that lawyers may need to communicate with agency personnel on other, non-litigation matters. Still, those communications can become a path, whether intentional or inadvertent, to discovery. The Government Lawyer Section believes that a simple disclosure of all communications can help prevent barred communications from improperly affecting ongoing litigation.

Fundamentally, we recognize that the practice of law for a governmental entity client can be a unique endeavor. As a result, we staunchly support board certification. Inaugurated in 2007, the certification in State and Federal Government and Administrative Practice (SFGAP) has already reached a critical mass of nearly 100 board certified lawyers. We look forward to working closely with the Administrative Law Section and the SFGAP Certification Committee on efforts to revise the exam and encourage even more applicants to the program.

To support the current and future board certified lawyers, the Government Lawyer Section provides necessary CLE programs, covering relevant topics such as ethics, open government laws, and §1983 litigation. This year also marked our fourth edition of The Federal Seminar, our highly successful program in Washington, D.C., including an opportunity to be sworn into the U.S. Supreme Court and to witness oral arguments. Chief Justice Peggy Quince personally appeared before the Court, moving for the admission of some of the Florida lawyers attending the program.

Recently, we have also been a voice of support for changes to F.S. Ch. 119 and Ch. 286. Under Florida law, the traditional privileges of attorney work product and attorney-client communications are very limited, with significant litigation consequences. Minor modifications to Florida’s public records and Sunshine laws could repair this problem while protecting both Florida’s traditional commitment to open government and The Florida Bar’s commitment to preventing erosion of the attorney-client privilege. We remain grateful to the Board of Governors for recognizing the importance of this reform, and for endorsing it as part of its platform for the 2010 legislative session.

Finally, in these lean budgetary times, the Government Lawyer Section thanks the many hard-working public servants for their commitment to representing the interests of the people of Florida. In 2009, we were especially delighted to present our highest accolade, the Claude Pepper Award, to Gerald B. Curington, a long-time employee of the Florida Attorney General’s Office and former deputy general counsel to the governor, who today serves as general counsel for the Department of Children and Families. We are honored to count him among our members who serve an honorable tradition.
Keith W. Rizzardi, Chair

Health Law
The Health Law Section had another busy year keeping our members abreast of significant issues affecting health law, which included, among other things, newsletters outlining current health law topics, seminars (in-person, teleconference, and webinar), e-blasts, a new Health Law Handbook, and a new health law journal. The Health Law Section is extremely thankful for the continuing support and hard work of several section members, as well as the dedication and leadership of the Executive Council who made this past year a huge success. We are also thankful for the hard work and efficiency of our new program administrator, Ashlea Wiley. Without her oversight and dedication, along with the tremendous assistance of her supervisor, Yvonne Sherron, the success of the section this past year would not have been possible.

During the 2009-10 year, the section focused on providing better access to section resources to our membership. Following the September 2009 Florida Bar General Session in Tampa, the section held a one-day Long Range Planning Retreat (as well as a supplemental telephone conference in March 2010) to determine ways to provide better access to our members. The ever-changing technological world requires our section to be more accessible to our members. Consequently, our retreat included a very aggressive agenda that highlighted, among many other things, improving technology and updating the section’s website to be more informative and user-friendly; expanding seminars and CLE programs to include teleconferences and webinars; updating section bylaws and policies; reviewing and updating committee structure; adding telephonic and video conference calls for Executive Council meetings due to the reduction in the number of Florida Bar meetings; and redefining the section with a new logo and new tagline. Websites are the “storefronts” for every facet of news, business, industry, civic organizations, and trade associations. Consequently, the section engaged an independent firm to assist us in developing and revamping our section website. We plan to unveil and showcase the new Health Law Section website at the upcoming annual convention in Boca Raton, which will include our new logo and new tagline: “The Resource for Florida Health Law.”

Along with other technological considerations, the section decided to no longer print the newsletter, but, rather, it is available via e-mail blast to the membership and on the section’s website. The newsletter published some very interesting articles this past year concerning hot topics in health law. Tom Clark, newsletter editor, has done an outstanding job obtaining articles and publishing the newsletter.

In January 2009, the section approved the publication of a new journal that is designed to provide an in-depth analysis of health law issues facing health care providers and their counsel. Over the past year, James “Chet” Barclay and his team (the editorial board, authors, and student editors) have worked at an amazing and dedicated pace to put together this one-of-a-kind health law journal. At the January 2010 Florida Bar Midyear Meeting in Orlando, the section publicly unveiled the Florida Health Law Journal, aptly subtitled as “the healthcare law journal for Florida lawyers.” Chet Barclay dedicated the inaugural edition of the journal to the late Barbara J. Pankau. Present at the unveiling were section members, Executive Council, journal authors, and student editors, as well as Florida Bar President Jesse Diner, President-Elect Mayanne Downs, and Director of Programs Division Terry Hill. President Diner gave a very engaging speech during the journal’s unveiling.

Notwithstanding some very tough economic times, the section’s CLE seminars and programs have continued at a strong pace under the leadership of Charmaine Chiu. We thank Charmaine for her efforts and look forward to some cutting edge CLE seminars and programs in 2010-11.

Aside from the numerous accomplishments by the section this past year, the Executive Council has a significant new challenge ahead following the passage of landmark health care legislation signed into law by President Obama. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) presents new struggles for health law attorneys in advising their respective clients on, among numerous other things, health insurance coverage mandates, Medicare adjustments, quality metrics and incentives, and revised fraud and abuse provisions. As a result of the new PPACA legislation, the Executive Council voted to create the Health Care Reform Committee to provide guidance and assistance to our membership as this new and groundbreaking area of health law develops.

Finally, I want thank the section for giving me the opportunity to lead such a great organization with such an extraordinary membership over the past year. Consequently, and as I pass the torch to the section’s incoming chair, Lester Perling, I wish him the best of luck for a successful 2010-11 year.
Troy A. Kishbaugh, Chair

International Law
Florida’s role as a gateway to the world, coupled with the irreversible push toward global integration, makes it a natural leader for international matters such as trade, tourism, immigration, and many other areas of the law. As the world becomes more interconnected, Florida’s international lawyers will play an ever more important part. As the section is charged by The Florida Bar with taking the lead on international matters for Florida’s lawyers, the International Law Section is here to help.

We have been particularly fortunate this past year to put on a solid slate of section events and have had some fun in the process. These events are described in greater detail in the chair’s report to the Board of Governor’s, available on our section website, Here is just a brief listing:

• International Income Tax and Estate Planning Conference, Oct. 2, 2009.

• ILS Reception at the ABA Section of International Law Fall Meeting, Oct. 27, 2009.

• ILS Membership Drive and Cocktail Reception, Nov. 5, 2010.

• Immigration Law for the International Practitioner, Jan. 22, 2010.

• The Haiti Earthquake Relief Project, Jan. 2010.

• The Eighth Annual International Litigation and Arbitration Conference, Feb. 12, 2010.

• Vis Pre-competition Moot Debate, Feb. 26-27, 2010.

• International Days: The Florida Chamber of Commerce, Apr. 13-14, 2010.

• The Third Annual International Business Transactions Conference, May 27, 2010.

• The Florida-Quebec Forum, June 3-4, 2010.

• View from the End of the Table: Inside the Mind of the Mediator, June 25, 2010.

This year, I was fortunate to work with some of the finest international lawyers — both seasoned veterans and new lawyers. What we accomplished as a section was a team effort, proving that the section is more than the sum of its parts, and that our greatest asset is our people. While I include the following section officers and committee chairs, there are many, many more people who deserve mention. Together, we made the section better and all of us better lawyers in the process.

Section Officers Edward Mullins, chair-elect; Nicolas Swerdloff, secretary; Richard Lorenzo, treasurer; Brock McClane, immediate past-chair.

Section Committees and Chairs — Amicus Committee, Stanley Bailey and Raquel Rodriguez; Board of Governors Representative, Stephen Echsner; Certification Committee, Theodore Walters; China/Asia Law Committee, Malcolm Riddell; Customs & Trade Law Committee, Peter Quinter; Educational/CLE Committee, Mark Weiner; Faculty Council Committee, Pamella Seay; Foreign Lawyers Committee, Antonio Castro; Immigration Law Committee, Larry Rifkin; International Business Transactions Committee, Miguel Zaldivar; International Legal Exchange Liaison, Edward Davis; International Litigation and Arbitration Committee, Amanda McGovern; International Litigation and Arbitration Conference, Rafael Ribeiro and Arnoldo Lacayo; Intellectual Property Committee, Penelope Perez-Kelly; Legislative Committee, C. Ryan Reetz; Membership Committee, Judith Angulo and Veronica Tejada-Lacayo; Publications and Newsletter Committee, Rima Mullins; Sponsorship Committee, Brock McClane; Taxation Committee, William Newton; Travel Law Committee, Laurence Gore; Vis Pre-competition Moot Committee, Santiago Cueto; Website Committee, Elliot Zimmerman; Young Lawyers Division Representative, Wade Bowden; and my section administrator, Angela Froelich, who put up with me this year with a smile.

The section is continuously working to improve operations, deliver more value to our members, and better serve Florida’s lawyers. This upcoming year, in addition to continuing our tradition of strong CLE conferences, you will see a greater incorporation of technology into how we operate as a section. We will unveil our video CLE projects and our two-way communications system to give our members even greater access to the collective knowledge of our members. You may even see an event on Cuba.

If you are an international lawyer, we need to hear from you. If you are already a section member — thank you for the results we achieved this past year and the momentum we have built. Keep moving forward.
Francisco Corrales, Chair

Labor and Employment Law
In 2009-10, the Labor and Employment Law Section focused on continuing its tradition of sponsoring timely and informative continuing legal education programs. Thanks to the hard work of our section’s legal education director, Sherrill Colombo, all seminars had excellent content and were well-attended. I appreciate the efforts of those named below and others who made this a productive year for our section.

Last August, we started out with the “A+ Seminar: Accommodation, Access and Affirmative Action” in Hollywood. Co-chairs Zascha Blanco Abbott and Frank Shooster organized and oversaw that successful program.

In October 2009, the section again co-sponsored the 35th annual Public Employees Relations Forum in Orlando. Jeff Mandel and Steve Meck co-chaired that conference, along with Mike Grogan from the Local Government Section. Over 60 lawyers attended the two-day program.

The section held its one-day certification review seminar in February 2010 as part of its ongoing commitment to The Florida Bar’s board certification program. Again, we had solid attendance, and the co-chairs, Stephanie Ray and William Mitchell, worked hard to make the program comprehensive and thorough.

We wrapped up our section’s live CLE seminar schedule in April with the Advanced Labor Topics seminar in Captiva Island. Jim Craig and Patrick Martin worked diligently to put together interesting and timely presentations. In May, we co-hosted the 28th annual Tulane Multi-State Labor and Employment Law Seminar Conference with labor and employment law sections of the bars of several other southeastern states. This year, it was held on our home turf at the Don Cesar Resort in St. Petersburg Beach, and our section’s chair-elect, Jill Schwartz, and I presented.

I specially mention and thank Alan Orantes Forst, Damon Kitchen, and Stephanie Ray. Damon and Stephanie, co-chairs of our section’s NLRB/PERC Liaison Subcommittee, orchestrated a webinar on traditional public and private sector labor law in April. Alan prepared a webinar in May on Florida unemployment compensation law. In this regard, we placed a priority on making sure to include in our section’s CLE menu web-based and remotely accessible programs to provide convenient and cost effective CLE services to our members and other attorneys.

Alan Forst has also been working with the section’s Special Projects Committee chair, Leslie Langbein, to establish a law school clinical program for unemployment compensation hearings. Clearly, the need for those services has increased dramatically with the downturn in the economy.

In addition to sponsoring CLE programs, our section enhanced its involvement and relationships with Florida law schools. Under Law School Liaison Subcommittee Co-chairs Jason Vail and Jonathan Oliff, our section has awarded scholarships to promising labor and employment law students at Florida State University, Stetson University, and Florida International University. Stephanie Ray was instrumental in those efforts as well.

Our Communications Committee, chaired by Cathleen Scott, worked very hard all year. Shane Munoz spent countless hours overseeing and editing articles for our section’s newsletter, The Checkoff, while Frank Brown again labored diligently soliciting, reviewing, and submitting articles for The Florida Bar Journal. Marc Snow continued to keep our website timely and functioning with the help of our website administrator, Elyk Innovations.

Jeannette Albo and Zascha Abbott, co-chairs of our Judicial Outreach Subcommittee, made huge strides in establishing educational events with the judiciary in our state. Past efforts had met with some resistance, but Jeannette and Zascha were able to open doors to initiate some worthwhile educational programs.

And last, but not least, our program administrator, Angela Froelich, deserves special mention. Early in the year, we had some challenges scheduling seminars, but Angela went above and beyond to make sure everything was arranged and ran smoothly.
Eric J. Holshouser, Chair

Out of State Division
The division represents the interests of the 14,000 members of The Florida Bar who reside primarily out of state. The officers are William A. Lee III, Waterville, Maine, president; Michael G. Busenkell, Wilmington, Delaware, president-elect; Ward P. Griffin, Washington, D.C., secretary; Donald A. Workman, Washington, D.C., treasurer.

The division presented the Presidential Showcase Seminar: “Techniques and Strategies for Successful Advocacy” at the Annual Convention last June. This March, the division co-sponsored the Federal Bar Seminar in Washington, D.C., where participants received an in-depth exposure to the operations of the three branches of government. On March 25, the division co-hosted a reception with the Board of Governors at its meeting in New York City.

During the year, William Lee and out-of-state Governor Eric Meeks created a listserv for members of the division to exchange ideas and information on legal matters. Now a member of the division can consult with another member on the law in almost every state.

This year, the division started an outreach program at several law schools in Florida. In March, William Lee spoke at Stetson University and the University of Florida to out-of-state law students on obtaining Florida Bar membership, multi-jurisdictional practice issues, and strategies for obtaining employment out-of-state. Out-of-state Governor Richard Tanner spoke to out-of-state students at Florida State University on these issues in late March. Based on the very positive response from students and administrators, this program will be expanded to other schools in Florida in the coming year.
William A. Lee III, President

Real Property, Probate and Trust Law
The Real Property, Probate & Trust Law (RPPTL) Section has grown steadily since its establishment 55 years ago to nearly 10,000 lawyers. With 18 real property division committees, 16 probate law committees, 20 general standing committees, 23 liaisons with other sections or organizations, and several representatives from each judicial circuit, it is easy to understand why our Executive Council consists of more than 250 actively involved section leaders and has an annual budget of nearly $1,000,000. Recognizing that our large size presents both significant opportunities and unique challenges, our Executive Committee assembled a diverse group of section leaders last year to formulate a comprehensive five-year strategic plan that was ultimately adopted at our annual convention last May. We have continued to make progress with respect to the goals and objectives set forth in that 21-page plan, which includes provisions addressing: 1) section governance, 2) membership, 3) legislative and advocacy efforts, 4) section communications, 5) CLE, and 6) finances.

The plan can be reviewed by all section members on the RPPTL website at This annual report will focus on the first three areas addressed in that plan, as well as several ongoing section projects.

Section Governance — Our Executive Council meets five times a year; four times within Florida, and once outside of the state, and several committees, such as probate law, condominium law, trust law, and construction law, often have over 100 members in attendance at their committee meetings. During this past year, we had very successful Executive Council meetings in Palm Beach (which was held in conjunction with our annual Legislative & Case Law Update that featured a presentation by Chief Justice Peggy Quince to our 500 attendees), Naples, St. Augustine, and Maui, and we concluded the year with our annual convention in Tampa over the Memorial Day weekend (which featured a half-day seminar offered at no charge to RPPTL section members).

We are extremely fortunate to have a well-defined organizational structure, a very long leadership track and an extremely active cadre of former section leaders, so our strategic plan only seeks to make minor modifications with respect to section governance. Our officers and the leaders of our Strategic Planning Committee recently met in Coral Gables to refine that aspect of our plan addressing our section’s circuit representatives, and the Strategic Planning Committee expected to present those suggestions at our section convention in May and to seek adoption of those suggestions through approval of appropriate revisions to our bylaws at our Palm Beach Executive Council meeting in August.

Membership Our section’s substantive law committees and liaisons work to continually improve our practice areas. Those committees monitor and draft legislation, provide high-quality and relevant continuing legal education programs, and provide forums, both during committee meetings and, increasingly, through the use of listservs, for the discussion and establishment of the best practices in each of our substantive legal areas. Our general standing committee members work tirelessly to improve our section, member benefits and outreach efforts, and to address other section administrative issues. The vast majority of the excellent work of our section originates in the section’s numerous committees.

Our Law School Liaison program continues to flourish, with student chapters at each of the Florida law schools. In addition, our first “class” of RPPTL fellows will be completing its two-year term in May, and we are about to select the members of our next fellows “class.” The section’s fellowship program provides financial support to young and diverse lawyers wishing to become actively involved in the RPPTL Section to help defray the cost of attending our Executive Council meetings. We have been very pleased with the program and the contributions of our existing fellows, and we fully expect several of our future section leaders will be drawn from the ranks of our former fellows.

Legislative and Advocacy Efforts The RPPTL Section’s legislative efforts are extensive and well-organized and have, therefore, been very successful in the past. In many instances, we spend several years on a single project, producing detailed “white papers” and slowly building consensus. We have an enormously hardworking and effective lobbying team (led by Pete Dunbar and his remarkable team at the Pennington law firm), and we are extremely appreciative of the help that Paul Hill and his staff at The Florida Bar provide. Through the efforts of our substantive law committees, our Legislative Committee, which is ably led by Michael Gelfand, our lobbyists, and Bar staff, we hope to continue to experience success in the legislative arena.

In addition to specific legislative initiatives, the RPPTL Section has been requested to provide significant assistance with respect to several task forces or councils established by the legislature or the Supreme Court over the past year. That assistance included active involvement with the Title Insurance Study Advisory Council (which included former RPPTL Section Chair Melissa Murphy, and our Title Insurance Committee Chair Homer Duvall, as RPPTL Section designated members, as well as several other active section members who were designated to serve on that council by others). Chief Justice Quince also asked former RPPTL Section Chair Sandra Fascell Diamond to serve on the Mortgage Foreclosure Task Force (which issued a report that has had significant impacts upon the foreclosure process in our state). Finally, former RPPTL Section Chairs Laird Lile and Rohan Kelley were asked to join the Data Elements Subcommittee of the Electronic Court Filing Committee (which was created in order to offer technical and practical assistance to the Florida Courts Technology Commission with respect to the uniform implementation of e-filing in the courts on a statewide basis), and our section also provided funding to facilitate face-to-face meetings of that subcommittee.
In addition to providing substantial assistance to the “Big Bar’s” court funding initiatives, as well as significant technical assistance to the legislature when requested (which is often), our section must continually monitor legislative developments, advocate the passage of its own initiatives, and seek to prevent the enactment of legislation which the section and its leaders do not believe will be in the best interests of the citizens of our state. Issues that are currently being addressed by the RPPTL Section include nonjudicial foreclosure initiatives proposed by the Florida Bankers’ Association and the American Resort Developers’ Association, estate and trust tax “patches,” and legislation affecting the administration of trusts, life insurance, guardianship, probate, condominiums and homeowner associations, documentary stamp taxes in “short sale” transactions, adverse possession, title insurance, the marketable record title act, construction law, and municipal liens.

Another successful facet of our advocacy efforts is reflected in our amicuspositions. Last October, the Third DCA issued its decision in the Skylake v. NMB Plaza case involving witness requirements in connection with the execution of commercial leases, which specifically adopted “the views of the Real Property, Probate & Trust Law Section of The Florida Bar.” In a footnote, the court also expressed its appreciation to the section for submission of its brief. Undoubtedly, due to the phenomenal work product produced by our Amicus Committee Chairs Bob Goldman and John Little, we have received several more requests to submit amicus briefs from the Third and Fourth DCAs. In order to assist with their workload, Bob and John convinced one of their law school classmates, retired Florida Supreme Court Justice Ken Bell, to serve as another Amicus Committee chair this last year. In February, the Fourth DCA’s decision in the JPG Enterprises v. McLellan case adopted the section’s position which urged that the escrow deposit requirements set forth in F.S. §501.1375 do not apply to general contractors building a residence upon land owned by a consumer. In its opinion, the court acknowledged the expertise and experience of the section in this area and expressed gratitude for its assistance.

Other Projects In addition to extensive CLE and legislative efforts, the section’s committees are involved in a variety of other substantive activities. The Legal Opinions Committee has worked closely with the Business Law Section’s Legal Opinions Committee to update and integrate standards for legal opinions in real estate secured transactions. The Title Standards Committee continues to revise the Florida Title Standards, and a copy of all the approved title standards is posted on the section’s website. Significant section energy continues to be devoted to the Florida Attorneys Saving Home program, a joint project of the RPPTL Section, The Florida Bar Foundation, and Florida Legal Services, which seeks to counsel and assist low income homeowners facing foreclosure.

The RPPTL Section continues to undertake a wide range of committee activities, CLE programs, and legislative initiatives, and we invite your active involvement and participation.
John Neukamm, Chair

The focus of our Tax Section year was professional development for all ages. With that in mind, the Organizational Meeting at the Amelia Island Plantation served as the perfect kickoff. The weekend included the Sam Ullman year in review, a presentation by national speakers on the timely topic of foreign bank accounts, and a workshop on section leadership organized by Mike Lampert. In addition, the section honored Anita Friedlander as the recipient of the 2009 Outstanding Public Service Award. Once the organizational, educational, and leadership portions of the weekend were completed, we enjoyed the music of a local Jacksonville band, Freeze Frame.

The section sponsored, or co-sponsored, several free-standing continuing legal education seminars, including: Representing the Physician 2010; Tax Practitioners’ Annual Review & Update; Annual International Tax Conference; National Multistate Tax Symposium CLE; and the Annual Wealth Protection Seminar. Many thanks to the steering committees of each of these successful programs. The section experimented with replacing live CLEs with webcast/audio/DVD presentations. There are kinks to work out and thoughtful analysis that must be done as to whether advanced tax programs done in only these mediums meet the needs of tax lawyers and the exchange of ideas, thoughts, and perspectives. The trial balloon was the Annual Review and Update, which had mixed reviews. Andrew Huber did a herculean job in launching this program and testing the waters. The section will continue to pursue the viability of these types of presentations.

As part of the fall meeting and the annual meeting, the section presented two comprehensive advanced tax procedure seminars. The first, “Tax Controversy — How to Avoid it, Litigate it and Keep it Civil,” was held in conjunction with the fall meeting at Hutchinson Island Marriott. This seminar explored the life cycle of federal tax, from how to avoid issues with return preparation, audit, Tax Court litigation, and finally, criminal issues involved with assessment of the tax. The second half of the series, “IRS: We’ve Got What it Takes to Take What You’ve Got,” was held in conjunction with the annual meeting in Hollywood. This seminar covered collection issues after the tax has been assessed. It included appeals collection procedures, collection alternatives, bankruptcy, and Tax Court and district court litigation, as well as ethical responsibilities when practicing before the IRS. Both seminars featured many government speakers, nationally recognized practitioners, Chief Judge Colvin, U.S. Tax Court, and Bankruptcy Judge Raymond Ray. The steering committee for these seminars worked for over a year to bring them from idea to reality. I cannot thank them enough. They are Harris Bonnette, Jr., Mike Jorgensen, Mark Scott, Michael Lampert, Janette McCurley, Joseph Schimmel, Andrew Huber, and most of all, the education chair, Mark Scott.

In cooperation with the Young Lawyers’ Division, the section provided speakers and the presentation materials for the “Basic Tax Practice 2010” CLE, as part of the basic skills requirement courses. The program was presented in Miami and Tampa in April. The goal of the program was to provide selected tax topics with which all lawyers should have a familiarity.

The National Tax Moot Court Competition for 2010 hosted the maximum number of teams, and had a waiting list. Chad Callahan and Eric Hall chaired the competition and were able to get top notch judges for both the oral arguments and briefs. This competition provides the Tax Section a national reputation for excellence.

Rick Josepher is the 2010 recipient of the Gerald T. Hart Outstanding Tax Attorney of the Year Award. In addition to being one of the rocks in the foundation of the section, Rick was instrumental in assisting with the legislation that allows LLCs to operate competitively in Florida.

Finally, to help the leadership gain perspective, the section held a mini-retreat after the director’s meeting in Tampa in February, with the help of Janette McCurley, Cristin Keane, and Mark Brewer. We, as a section, faced several administrative challenges, including having three different Bar administrators during this year, and a declining fund balance that went from $279,949 on July 1, 2008, to $65,756 on July 1, 2009, the beginning of my term as chair. These challenges were met with determination, cooperation, and a resolve to make it our mission to learn more about how our finances work, as well as making each project either a break-even or profit-making endeavor. The fund balance is back on the rise ($117,201), and the section is on its way to fiscal responsibility.

I want to thank each of the directors and members of the section who answered every request for help this year with an immediate “yes.” You all make the section what it is, a group of tax lawyers dedicated to professionalism. I am humbled to have served as chair of the section, and turn it over to the able hands of my successor, Guy Whitesman.
Frances D. Sheehy, Chair

Trial Lawyers
This column should not have been mine. Glenn Burton of Tampa was to have been the chair of the section this year, and his untimely death dropped the chairmanship in my lap. The Trial Lawyers Section’s Executive Council dedicated its year to Glenn. I thank the roughly 7,000 paying members of the section for staying in the section despite the horrendous economy. This is my chance to give you all a recap of what we have accomplished this year, as well as thank some of those that have made it another productive year for our Trial Lawyers Section.

Change Yes, we are all going through it. Since before I can remember, the Bar has met for a midyear meeting in Miami every January. But in January 2010, we met for the first time (and perhaps the last, since the midyear meeting has been cancelled for 2011). That meant reorganizing our successful mock trial competition for all of Florida’s law schools. Kudos go to Kim Cook of Miami and Wayne Helsby of Orlando both of whom worked tirelessly to line up the many judges and lawyers that also helped make this competition a huge success. In that competition, the University of Florida bested Florida Coastal in the finals. Speaking of change, we still intend to host the competition in January 2011, even without a Florida Bar meeting. In honor of Glenn Burton, it is the intent of your section to begin hosting an annual Glenn Burton Trial Lawyers’ Summit, either in Orlando or Tampa. This is a huge undertaking for the section and was Glenn Burton’s dream. It is our attempt to combine top notch speakers, excellent CLE, some social outings, and the trial team competition into one multi-day event that all trial lawyers, regardless of type of practice, would enjoy and want to attend.

CLE This past year was another profitable and educational year for the section. My thanks go to Kim Ashby for chairing the CLE Committee, which runs along so well in large part due to the hard work of those chairing each of the seminars. For example, our 26th annual Board Certification Seminar (always in February in Tampa) was again chaired by Naples’ Ed Cheffy and was again sold out. Cheffy once again lined up top notch trial lawyer speakers that make this seminar a must not only for those taking the board certification exam (which should be the goal for every trial lawyer), but for those of us, regardless of being board certified, that want to get the case updates and stay current. I know one board certified lawyer who goes every year, not because he has forgotten last year’s program, but because he likes to stay ahead. Many other busy trial lawyers order the CDs or the MP3 versions for their cars or iPods, and the written materials are also available. Go to to order.

As I write this, Bob Palmer of Pensacola and Tom Bishop of Jacksonville have again put together an impressive list of state and federal judges and top trial lawyers from around the state to present what I view as our “crown jewel,” the annual Trial Advocacy seminar, held in Gainesville every May. I attended the course over 25 years ago, have been on the faculty for the last 10 years, and would recommend it for all to take. The interactive format, where each attendee presents direct and cross examination, opening and closing statements, and participates in voir dire, ends up providing actual courtroom experience and makes you a better lawyer. One-on-one critique with top trial attorneys and judges is rare, and is what causes those reviewing the program to call it the “best seminar ever.” This seminar counts as a trial for those up for certification or recertification, and further gives one enough credits for a three-year CLE cycle.

Publications We publish and mail out The Advocate quarterly, and my thanks to Professor Michael Richmond for continuing to edit that publication. You will find on our website,, links to the most recent versions of our other two publications, the Discovery Handbook and our Guidelines for Professional Conduct. My thanks to St. Petersburg’s John Williams for organizing and expanding the new version of the Discovery Handbook. Paige Graham continues to work as the section’s administrative liaison to The Florida Bar, and I thank Paige for her efforts.

Legislative One of our primary functions is to monitor legislation that may affect the trial practitioner, from new statutes on evidence to what is again our biggest issue: maintaining adequate court funding. Bob Harris of Tallahassee, our legislative consultant, has worked hard not only to keep us advised of potential bills that will affect trial practice, but to lobby hard for maintenance of adequate funding for our court system. The Executive Council also has weekly phone conferences with Bob Harris to keep abreast of potential changes, and the chair and chair-elect have also spent time in Tallahassee trying to persuade the legislature to keep our system adequately funded and manned so that justice is accessible and obtainable for our clients. Our practices have already been affected by the cuts from last year, and with the avalanche of foreclosure cases, most of us have found hearing time scarce and getting to trial harder. All of our clients, from the smallest personal injury case to the huge construction cases involving a slew of defendants, depend on access to the courts to resolve their disputes, so adequate judicial funding and an expeditious process to bring cases and move them to trial is always worth fighting to maintain.

Joint Venture In June, our section will again join the Criminal Law Section in presenting the Chester Bedell Trial Lawyers Luncheon at the Bar’s meeting in Boca Raton. The speaker will be Stephen B. Bright, president and general counsel of the Southern Center for Human Rights in Atlanta. He will discuss the independence of the American lawyer, a topic near and dear to every trial lawyer in our state.

Transition At the June meeting of the Trial Lawyers Section, I will pass the gavel of leadership to our capable chair-elect, Cliff Higby of Panama City, who will in turn be followed by the very talented Craig Gibbs of Jacksonville. While the names and faces change from year-to-year, the hard working men and women who serve on the Trial Lawyers Executive Council have never stopped serving the needs and best interests of the trial lawyers of Florida. I have been privileged to serve the section and look forward to serving you in other capacities in the future.
Robert Earl Mansbach, Jr., Chair

Workers’ Compensation
The ongoing existence of the Workers’ Compensation Section is the epitome of perseverance. As chair, I could not be prouder of our Executive Council and general membership. Similarly to many other areas of the legal profession, our members are required to rely upon their survival skills on a daily basis. The residual effects of the sweeping 2003 legislative reform coupled with the turbulent economy have certainly shaken the core of the workers’ compensation practice. Nevertheless, we have not allowed these challenges to impact our spirit, wisdom, or leadership goals.

In October 2008, our section received an element of relief from the aforementioned legislative reform. Specifically, the Florida Supreme Court ruled in the case of Emma Murray v. Mariner Health that an injured worker was entitled to recover “reasonable” attorneys’ fees from the employer/carrier/self-insured when it was established that benefits were wrongfully denied and were ultimately secured through litigation. As a result of this opinion, the attorneys’ fees caps arising from the 2003 reform would not apply in those instances when an employer/carrier/self-insured was required to pay attorneys’ fees. Since the law imposes no limitations upon legal fees paid for the defense of workers’ compensation claims, it appeared from this opinion that the playing field for litigation had been somewhat leveled.

Unfortunately, the Florida Legislature and numerous special interest groups made an “Emma Murray Fix” a top priority during the 2009 legislative session. After spending the entire session making every viable attempt to prevent unfavorable reform, including having markedly different bills passed out of the House and Senate, our section was the victim of a “trade” during the final hours of session. The end result was for the legislature to pursue a “quick fix” by removing the word “reasonable” from F.S. §440.34, which governs attorneys’ fees. All other compromised positions that were offered during the session were flat out rejected without reason.

As a longstanding practitioner and the presiding leader of our section, I am deeply troubled by the prospect of practicing under a workers’ compensation law that has become overwhelmingly complex and imbalanced, yet the standard for contingency attorneys’ fees no longer contains the word “reasonable.” It seems that the Florida Legislature has ignored the well-founded opinion of the Florida Supreme Court and has blatantly disregarded the well-established criteria cited in Rule 4-1.5(b) of the Rules Regulating The Florida Bar.

The 2009 legislation has manifested a chilling effect on an injured worker’s ability to secure legal counsel and adequately present their case in court. However, the employer/carrier/self-insured has retained unbridled access to defend all workers’ compensation claims without limitation. Notwithstanding these dire circumstances, the Workers’ Compensation Section is convinced that it is only a matter of time until we have another opportunity to present our sound legal arguments to the Florida Supreme Court. Moreover, we will continue to support any measures that promote access to court and the unfettered ability of the injured worker and employer/carrier/self-insured to obtain legal representation in the handling of workers’ compensation claims.

Over the past several years, our section has reached out to the judiciary in an ongoing effort to engage in dialogue and establish a mutual understanding of the challenges that we face as practitioners. We have developed a very favorable rapport with Director and Chief Judge of DOAH Robert S. Cohen, Deputy Chief Judge of Compensation Claims David W. Langham, and many of the judges of compensation claims. In fact, our section had more judges and dignitaries in attendance at our last judicial luncheon during the FWCI Convention than at any other time during my tenure with the Executive Council.

The leadership of our section is actively working with Judges Cohen and Langham to formulate favorable amendments to Ch. 60Q – 6, Rules of Procedure for Workers’ Compensation Adjudications. Recently, Judges Cohen and Langham held workshops around the state via video-teleconference to encourage open dialogue pertaining to this amendatory process. We ensured that adequate representation was present at each of these meetings. Our intent is to continue serving as an integral piece in the rule-making process so that we can have a direct impact on improving the procedural aspects of our daily practices. While the legislative outcome may be temporarily out of our control, we are striving to maintain an instrumental role in this important rule-making process.

We have also established a relationship with members of the First District Court of Appeal. For the past two years, a panel of judges has traveled to South Florida to conduct oral arguments, which has presented an unprecedented opportunity to fortify our relationship with the court outside of Tallahassee. This year, the court held oral arguments on the University of Miami campus, which allowed law students to attend and obtain valuable exposure to our practice of law. Several Executive Council members were in attendance. At the conclusion of the arguments, the floor was opened to questions from the students, and the judges engaged various Executive Council members in the audience to interact.

The Executive Council hosted a dinner reception for the court on the eve of oral arguments. We were privileged to have several local judges of compensation claims join, and several other judges indicated their desire to attend had their schedules allowed. Such an occurrence provides a unique opportunity for the members of the Bar, the trial judges, and the appellate court to gather in a relaxed atmosphere to share thoughts and ideas, as well as become better acquainted. It appears that a trend has now been established whereby the court will attempt to visit South Florida on an annual basis. It is our hope and intention that by continuing to enhance these professional relationships, the various members of the judiciary will develop an even better appreciation for the quality of practitioner that exists in the Workers’ Compensation Section.

Our section has also forged a relationship with the State of Florida insurance consumer advocate, Sean M. Shaw, who recently formed a Workers’ Compensation Advisory Group, which is comprised of a diverse representation of stakeholders in the workers’ compensation system. Consumer Advocate Shaw expressed an interest in having several of our leaders become involved. Recognizing the importance of this advisory group and the need for it to contain members of the workers’ compensation bar, we eagerly agreed to participate. Our intent is to bring an important focus on the radical changes that have made an impact on the workers’ compensation system and to provide keen insight from the perspective of the practitioner. Chair-elect Richard “Rick” Thompson, Executive Council member Christopher Smith, and attorney James “Jim” Fee have joined me in serving.

Continuing legal education has always been a focal point. We recently held The Florida Bar’s Annual Workers’ Compensation Forum (formally known as the board certification review course). This year’s venue was Champions Gate in Orlando. The forum is widely recognized as the preeminent advanced legal training course for the education of attorneys and claims professionals. The forum provides focus toward beginning and intermediate attorneys, as well as adjusters and rehabilitation professionals. The co-chairs of the forum, Jeffrey Jacobs and Herb Langston, have worked tirelessly to ensure that this program is better this year than ever before. We appreciate their efforts, as well as the commitment and dedication of the outstanding faculty which is made up of many section leaders.

We continue to host the workers’ compensation winter conference which has now been successfully chaired by Eric Stiffler for several years. This year’s conference took place in Snowmass, Colorado. Once again, it provided the unique opportunity of combining a relaxed educational platform with the chance to ski in a world class location. The conference also allows section members to bring their families, which promotes the building of relationships outside the practice of law.

Additionally, our section remains dedicated to sponsoring lunchtime telephonic seminars under the auspices of Dawn Traverso. These seminars have proven to be more efficient and less costly than live seminars, allowing for us to focus on a variety of “hot topics” in a timely manner.

It was recently determined that the longstanding Trial Advocacy Workshop would take a sabbatical this year. Many of us, including myself, have participated in this rigorous and challenging program over the years. The benefits derived from this program are extraordinary. I thank Ray Malca, who has chaired this program from its inception, along with the faculty comprised of judges and fellow practitioners, for their valued service over the years. The section looks forward to resuming it in the near future.

The News & 440 Report remains a mainstay of our section. This, in large part, is due to our editor, Mike Winer, who has done an amazing job securing authors for articles as well as compiling pivotal information for all practitioners. We continue to distribute this impressive publication via e-mail.

Our section remains fortunate to have Jake Schickel as our Florida Bar Board of Governors liaison and Arlee Colman as our Florida Bar administrative liaison. Jake is a wealth of information and serves as a valued conduit with the Board of Governors. Moreover, he is an active participant in our section’s activities. Arlee has been a catalyst in organizing our meetings and other functions and serves a critical role in implementing our ongoing agenda.

We continue to hold three live meetings of the Executive Council during the year. One of the meetings is in conjunction with the annual FWCI Convention. A second meeting takes place on South Beach at Joe’s Stone Crab. Historically, the venue for the third meeting is the choice of the chair. New York City was the chair’s selection this year. In addition to engaging in fine dining, shopping, theatre, and a wealth of museums, many Executive Council members congregated in a suite at the new Yankee Stadium where we watched the New York Yankees host the Tampa Bay Rays.

I thank the members of the Executive Council, especially the chairs of the various committees, for their commitment, professionalism, and friendship. We have strived to attain balance and leadership with our Executive Council, and I sincerely believe that we have achieved that goal. Many of us have developed relationships to last a lifetime. I am greatly appreciative of the support that the general membership has demonstrated throughout my tenure. To my officers, Chair-elect Rick Thompson, Secretary Jacque Blanton, and Treasurer Alan Kalinoski, I owe you a debt of gratitude for your year of service. Our section certainly has outstanding leadership qualities in our chair-elect.

Despite the ever present challenges that face today’s workers’ compensation practitioners, our section is committed to remaining vigilant and professional. We must continue to treat each other with the utmost degree of respect and civility so that we command the respect, recognition, and support of the bench, the governor’s office, the legislature, and most importantly, each other. It has been my sincere pleasure serving in the capacity as leader and chair of such an outstanding organization.
Richard E. Chait, Chair

Young Lawyers Division
With over 20,000 members, the Young Lawyers Division (YLD) is the largest section or division of The Florida Bar. With so many members to serve, it is no wonder the YLD continues to be so productive. From educating new lawyers, to encouraging them to embrace pro bono work, to providing a new voice to Florida’s next generation of new lawyers — its law students — the YLD is constantly challenged to meet the demands of its constituency. The 2009-10 Bar year has been no exception, and the YLD has had an extremely productive year.

This year’s Affiliate Outreach Conference (AOC) was the biggest and best ever, thanks to Jaqueline Simms Petredis and the rest of the Affiliate Outreach Committee. Over 30 affiliates were represented at the AOC, taking advantage of the opportunity to secure funding for member and public service projects, as well as participate in leadership programming.

Also at AOC, the elected representatives of each law school that comprises the Law Student Division (LSD) of the YLD met, elected new representatives, and planned for the upcoming year. The LSD coordinated and ran its first statewide community service project called “Raising the Bar.” At events around the state, law students and lawyers in their communities performed various community service projects, including helping out at Metropolitan Ministries in Tampa, cleaning up the City of Jacksonville, and many other worthwhile causes from Tallahassee to Miami. The LSD plans on making this an annual program to serve the citizens of Florida. If the energy and enthusiasm of these law students is any indication, the future of The Florida Bar is bright!

Thanks to our ongoing partnership with The Florida Bar Foundation, the YLD was able to award
over $40,000 in grants to affiliates around the state. These grants will help YLD affiliates continue their tradition of member and public service projects that make a difference in their local communities. To read more about these worthy projects, go to

The YLD also launched the Pro Bono and Community Service Committee (PBCSC) this year. The committee oversaw projects by the YLD Board of Governors during YLD board meetings around the state and also coordinated partnerships with various pro bono programs, including with Florida’s Children First to assist children aging out of the foster care system, and supported the roll out of the One Campaign. Although in its infancy, the PBCSC has quickly become one of the most active committees of the YLD.

While the YLD launched many new initiatives this year, it also continued many traditionally successful events. It ran its annual Government Symposium, this year on the topic of e-filing. The YLD sponsored both the South Florida Minority Mentoring Picnic and Central Florida Diversity Picnic, as well as other diversity initiatives. We are currently preparing for the annual Robert Orseck Moot Court competition, held this summer in conjunction with the annual convention of The Florida Bar. The YLD also expanded the options for new lawyers to fulfill their Basic Skills Course requirements. New lawyers are still required to attend the one-day Practicing with Professionalism seminar in person during the 12 months before or after admission to The Florida Bar, but the three basic skills courses that new lawyers take within their first three years of practice can now be viewed online through the Bar’s website, effective in March of this year. The change has been extremely well received by new members who save the travel cost and can view the Basic Skills Course CLEs at any time. The Basic Skills Course CLEs can also still be attended in person in Tampa and Miami. This year, the YLD presented 13 live basic CLEs and 21 live Practicing with Professionalism seminars throughout the state.

As I prepare to hand over the leadership of the YLD to President-elect Renee Thompson, and President-elect Designate Sean Desmond, I thank each of the YLD board members for their hard work and dedication. Without their efforts, none of the projects mentioned in this report or the numerous others that are not discussed here would have been possible. I also thank the employers of the board members, without whose understanding and dedication to the profession our division would not be able to function.

Also, on behalf of the YLD, I thank the judges and other leaders in the profession throughout the state that have provided guidance to me and other members of the division. Thanks also go to Jesse Diner, The Florida Bar Board of Governors, and The Florida Bar staff, especially the YLD program administrator, Tom Miller, for the invaluable support and assistance provided during this and every Bar year. I look forward to watching the accomplishments of the YLD for years to come.
R.J. Haughey II, President