Annual Reports of Sections and Divisions of The Florida Bar
I am pleased to provide the 2017-2018 annual report for the Administrative Law Section. The section is currently composed of 1,123 members who practice administrative law at the local, state, and/or federal level. The membership is slightly down compared to the previous year, which was approximately 1,200.
The primary goal for the Administrative Law Section’s 2017-2018 term was implementing the newly adopted strategic plan, which is focused on growing the membership of the section by being relevant and adding value to members. We have aligned activities to increase the section’s relevance to our day-to-day activities as lawyers and to ensure the section is responsive to the needs of the members. Two ways we are pursuing our mission include increasing member engagement and improving our technology platforms.
Our profession and administrative law, specifically, are constantly changing. The legal profession is transforming to meet the needs of a more technology-proficient society. Administrative lawyers and all other legal professionals live in fast-paced environments, and content must be accessible quickly and across various platforms. Efficient networking and quick access to information is the expectation. We have improved the website by making it more user-friendly and accessible. We have improved the content found on the site in order to be supportive and useful for the practice of administrative law. Further, we have implemented social media in order to engage with our current membership and educate prospective members. The technology committee, led by Paul Drake, Judge Garnett Chisenhall, James Ross, Christina Shideler, Tabitha Harnage, Judge Suzanne Van Wyk, and Gregg Morton, worked hard to revamp the website, and it has been a success.
Our law school outreach committee has continued to display their tenacious work ethic and dedication to serving the section and its purpose. The committee chair, Judge Lynne Quimby-Pennock, continues to run this committee like a well-oiled machine, and has good support from her co-chair, Sharlee Edwards. This committee reached out to all Florida law schools and set up “networking noshes” for the up-and-coming lawyers. The noshes have been very successful in providing information about the many opportunities within the practice of administrative law. Much of the success of these events was due to the time spent organizing the events and the persistent follow-up by Judge Suzanne Van Wyk.
The section’s publications committee, led by Jowanna Oates, Stephen Emmanuel, and Judge Elizabeth McArthur, delivered above and beyond to produce another year of our section’s coveted and respected quarterly newsletter that provides a summary and analysis of recent state appellate administrative law cases, summaries of DOAH cases, articles of interest to administrative lawyers, and relevant announcements to keep our membership informed. Further, the section continues to focus on delivering high-quality continuing legal education courses that add value to administrative law practitioners. I would be remiss without thanking our section administrator, Calbrail Banner, for her dedication and hard work. If you would like additional information regarding the section, please visit the new website at http://flaadminlaw.org. Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to me at 850-222-6100.
Robert Hosay, Chair
Alternative Dispute Resolution
I am happy to report the Alternative Dispute Resolution Section is doing great. Our section membership has grown to 926 ADR practitioners. Our section has active and strong leadership. Chris Magee is our chair-elect, Kim Torres is our secretary, Michelle Jernigan is our treasurer, and Meah Tell is our immediate past chair.
Our executive council is very involved, and its members serve on at least one committee. We have standing committees for mediation, arbitration, ethics, and publications. We have special committees for CME/CLE, newsletter, legislation, and section liaison. Three new committees are forming as well: social media (working in tandem with our PR consultant to amplify the section’s presence across certain major social media platforms); mentoring (supporting the Bar’s long-standing tradition of paying forward and passing on experience and wisdom to other Bar members); and health and wellness (focusing on maintaining balance as an impartial neutral). As well as addressing the substantive issues in each area, the new committees are designed to allow an expansion of leadership opportunities and membership participation. We have telephonic executive council meetings the second Wednesday of each month and meet in person each year at the Bar annual and winter meetings.
We had a section retreat at the Hutchinson Shores Resort in November 2017. The main topic for the retreat was long-range planning. Our mission is to advocate for and educate the Bar and the public about all forms of dispute resolution. It is important that we function in a way that best serves the needs of our section members. This means staying on top of proposed legislation that impacts ADR, offering meaningful CME/CLE opportunities, and keeping our membership apprised about all things ADR. The retreat was a huge success. We had live or telephone attendance by a majority of our executive council members as well as representatives of The Florida Bar Board of Governors, the Dispute Resolution Center, and the ADR Rules and Policy Committee. This year’s retreat is scheduled for September 7-8 back at Hutchinson Shores.
The section has offered numerous CME/CLE opportunities to Bar and section members over the past year. At last years’ 2017 Florida Bar Winter Meeting, we co-sponsored with the Trial Lawyers Section and presented, “Advanced Mediation Practice; Casting Light on the Dark Art of Mediation.” In June 2017, we co-sponsored with the International Law Section and presented, “Escalation Clauses in Cross Border Dispute Resolution: Why Your Client Wants Mediation.” At last year’s annual meeting in Boca Raton, we presented a two-hour program on “Recent Trends in Mediation and Arbitration.” We have partnered with the Young Lawyers Division to present a series of short YouTube-type videos (two to three minutes) on selected topics of interest. At the upcoming annual meeting, our section will present the program: “Inside the Mediator’s Mind,” on June 14. The three-hour program participants will be Chris Magee, Kim Torres, Karen Evans, Lori Adelson, Bob Weisberg, Sandy Myers, and myself. In the program, we will mock mediate an employment law sexual harassment claim arising out of a workplace “#me2” setting. Immediately following the program, our section will host a cocktail reception for the seminar attendees and our section members.
The section recently filed a comment with the Dispute Resolution Center supporting proposed rule changes requiring mandatory certification of mediators in circuit civil and family law cases. This proposal is currently under consideration by the ADR Rules and Policy Committee. We plan to continue to be active in this process, which is of great importance to our section members.
Our Legislative Committee monitored two bills in the last session of the legislature that could have impacted mediation Florida procedures if enacted: Senate Bill 1034 (Steube) and House Bill 1043 (Metz). We worked with Aimee Diaz-Lyon of the Bar lobbying team as well as the legislation committees of other Bar sections. Neither of these bills passed in the 2018 session.
In order to improve our ability to communicate with our section members, other Bar sections, and the public, we have retained media consultant Lisa Tipton with PR Florida, Inc. We have a one-year agreement, and we are currently working on plans to improve our website, newsletter, social-media presence, and our overall ability to market what the ADR section has to offer its members. These are exciting times for our section. Our goal is to build upon our past successes and make the ADR section one of the top performing sections of The Florida Bar.
Robert A. Cole, Chair
The Animal Law Section (ALS) is the newest section of The Florida Bar. The 2017-2018 Bar year is only our second year in existence, and I am very pleased to report that we have continued building on the success of our inaugural year. As of the writing of this report, ALS has 488 active members, and it is consistently growing each month as more people hear about us. I invite everyone to join the ALS and participate in the development of this diverse and interesting area of law. The ALS is open to anyone interested in animal law, regardless of whether you practice animal law. ALS is also open to affiliate members, such as law students, paralegals, and others involved or interested in animal-related activities.
ALS had some exciting and significant achievements this year, starting with our first-ever legislative initiatives. During the 2018 legislative session, ALS was approved to take two legislative positions. One, known as Ponce’s Law, increased the severity of sentencing points for animal abuse convictions and allowed judges to prohibit certain offenders from owning or having custody or control over animals. The second required animal shelters and other animal rescue organizations to adopt written policies and procedures to help lost animals be quickly and reliably returned to their owners. Both positions were ultimately combined into S.B. 1576, which dramatically passed on the final day of the legislative session and was signed into law by Gov. Scott on March 23. Given our initial success, we look forward to taking more legislative positions in future years.
Additionally, the section was closely involved in the Constitution Revision Commission (CRC) process and supported the amendment to bring about an orderly end to greyhound racing in Florida. I thank all of our members, supporters, and the CRC commissioners who voted in favor of the proposal. We look forward to the opportunity to providing further support leading up to November when Floridians will have the opportunity to vote to end this cruel practice.
We also met a goal of providing more educational seminars and webinars on animal law in 2017-2018. We began the year by announcing a series of five webinars on various animal law subjects, which were spread throughout the year. On February 2, we had our first live Groundhog’s Day legal seminar in Tampa at Stetson Law School and the Second District Court of Appeal. Based on its success, we intend to hold a similar seminar next year, and we are currently planning for our seminar at the annual convention. All of our CLE offerings are available for aftermarket purchase for those who are interested in learning more about animal law.
We have also increased our outreach activities with regard to law schools and the judiciary. We are on target to have visited all Florida law schools this year. It has been exciting to engage with law students who are, in many ways, the driving force behind this growing area of the law. With regard to judicial outreach, in March, the ALS sponsored its first seminar for judges at The Florida Bar’s headquarters in Tallahassee. The seminar focused on current issues in animal law that would be of interest to the judiciary. It was very well-received by those in attendance, and we plan on taking it to other judicial circuits and offering continuing judicial education credits for our other seminars as well.
Our communications committee has also been busy this year with multiple submissions to The Florida Bar Journal and frequent editions of our popular Paw Review online blog and newsletter, which provides updates on interesting developments in animal law and news about the section. The ALS is also in the process of creating a Florida Animal Law treatise for members that will comprehensively cover animal laws relating to wildlife, companion animals, animals in entertainment, and farmed animals.
Our social media presence continues to grow as well. You can follow ALS on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. You can show your support for the ALS by purchasing t-shirts and other apparel for both adults and children. We are also in the process of redesigning our website, www.flabaranimals.org, to provide more information to our members and the public.
Finally, there are too many people to thank by name, but I specifically thank our executive council, committee chairs, Board of Governors liaison, and members. Without your support and dedication to the ALS, none of our success would be possible.
Gregg Riley Morton, C hair
If you are an appellate attorney or count an appellate attorney among your partners, family, or friends, you know they are great at advance planning, hardworking, and sticklers for every detail. These traits of Appellate Practice Section members means the section rarely rests and often accomplishes great things for its members, the Bar, and the community. This year has been no exception, and I’m honored to present this list of accomplishments made possible by the selfless work of so many of our members.
• Pro Bono Services — The section has consistently provided pro bono services on appeals through our pro bono committee, but this year, the committee went above and beyond. Partnering with the Statewide Guardian ad Litem office and with the assistance of Thomasina Moore, its director of appeals, section members provided over 1,000 hours of pro bono service as part of a Defending Best Interests Project. The section’s efforts received special recognition in The Florida Bar News, and the section was recently notified it will be receiving the GAL’s “I Am for the Child” Award. Section member Joe Eagleton has spearheaded this effort and deserves enormous credit. Thanks to Joe and the groundwork laid by Sarah Lahlou Amine, our incoming chair, the section’s pro bono efforts have been included in an American Bar Association publication and become a model for other states. Not enough, you say? Don’t worry — the Pro Bono Committee has recently started work on a new project with the Domestic Abuse Council Partnership assisting victims of domestic violence.
In addition to the pro bono services the section facilitates, the section also continues to update and distribute our Pro Se Appellate Handbook. This year, the handbook was translated into Spanish and Creole and distributed throughout the state thanks to the leadership of Bretton Albrecht.
• CLE — The section’s CLE team made a big leap this year, bringing what was traditionally monthly telephonic CLEs into the modern age and presenting them as webinars that members can now participate in live or at their convenience if a conflict arises. Unsatisfied with having to host a webinar once a month, CLE leadership Chris Donovan, Kansas Gooden, and Amanda Neff also put on a new CLE format, a four-hour webinar presented with the Criminal Law Section, and a number of live CLEs including Practicing Before the Second District (complete with appearances by 13 of the 14 judges on the court), and Appellate Certification Review. Before the year is out, they’ll be presenting Practicing Before the Florida Supreme Court. Their continual efforts make it easy for section members and others to receive affordable and convenient CLEs around the state on a variety of topics.
• Legislative Efforts — Section member Courtney Brewer had her hands full leading this year’s legislative efforts. The section tracked not only legislation but also proposals to the Constitutional Revision Commission, and even submitted a white paper on a CRC proposal thanks to the efforts of a group of retired appellate justices and judges brought together by section members Chris Altenbernd and Gerald Cope. The section continues to work with the Bar to support our profession and an independent judiciary.
• DCA Judges Conference and Section Retreat Planning — Every other year, section members have the honor of participating in the DCA Judges Conference with appellate jurists from around the state. This year was another successful event including a welcome reception and CLE and CJE programming. Next year, incoming chair Sarah Lahlou Amine has plans well underway for a one-of-a-kind section retreat in Washington, D.C.
• Outreach — The Outreach Committee did wonders this year. Through its efforts, the section was able to find new opportunities to work with other sections, and to participate in diversity and inclusion programs around the state. Jared Krukar put this committee into unprecedented action, and put the section in the forefront.
• 25th Anniversary Celebration and Dessert Reception — This is the 25th anniversary of the section, and we plan to celebrate it in style with the help of Carrie Ann Wozniak and Diane DeWolf. We have a special anniversary dinner planned for June 14 at Deep Blu Restaurant. We’ll cap it off with our annual not-to-be-missed dessert reception, where you will enjoy “An Evening in Paris” — mais oui! C’est magnifique!
• Communications — Appellate attorneys are rocking Twitter and Facebook these days, and the section’s in on the action thanks to Dineen Wasylik. We’ve also got a nice new online edition of The Record, thanks to Laura Triplett, and Thomas Seider keeps a regular stream of appellate articles going to The Florida Bar Journal. We continue to keep our members informed thanks to Jonathan Streisfeld’s ability to get an email out on a moment’s notice with the help of Lisa Graham.
My biggest fear, dear reader, is that I will leave off one of the many amazing people who have worked so hard for the section this year and deserve all the credit for the successful year we have had. That includes my fellow officers, Chair-Elect Sarah Lahlou Amine (who has done so much I have recognized her above also and promises to have an incredible year ahead); my rock of experience, Duane Daiker, past chair; my mentor and friend, Chris Altenbernd, and the ever-reliable Nick Shannin. The section is blessed to continue to have active support from all of its past chairs and appellate judges from around the state. None of this would go smoothly without the help of Bar staff, who spend countless hours keeping us organized and moving forward, so a special thanks to JoAnn Shearer, Dixey Teel, Ricky Libbert, all of whom had a hand in helping us at different events this year, and to our amazing new program administrator, Cheri Wright.
Kristin A. Norse, Chair
The Business Law Section had another outstanding year due in large part to the commitment and devotion of its members and depth of leadership. In the constantly changing business world, the section continues to stay at the forefront of monitoring and contributing to the development of laws and regulations as they evolve in Florida.
• Committees — Through the substantive committees in the section, members learned about changes to laws governing business, as well as kept updated on caselaw developments on a regular basis. The section’s nonsubstantive committees continue to tackle challenges facing the section such as membership, continuing education, communication, and technology. The section has demonstrated a profound sense of giving back through pro bono activities and a desire to improve diversity by the incredible work performed by the Inclusion, Mentoring, and Fellowship committees. working together, these substantive and nonsubstantive committees strive to provide Bar members an opportunity for growth and contribution, and a community of business lawyers working to make the profession better for its clients and community.
• CLE — In addition to the great programming offered at the section’s retreats discussed below. The section delivered premier continuing legal education sessions for the business legal community. This year, the section presented the Federal Securities Institute (thanks to amazing work of Greg Yadley). In addition, the section continued its tradition of presenting the View from the Bench by its Bankruptcy/UCC Committee and the Intellectual Property Symposium by the Intellectual Property Committee. Finally, the E-Discovery Program during the Bar’s annual meeting by its E-Discovery Committee was again sold out. Look out for this coming year’s events.
• Labor Day Weekend Retreat — The section held its showcase retreat, at the Eau in Palm Beach during the Labor Day weekend where we celebrated our 30th such a retreat by long back at the 1980s and the many section’s accomplishments over those years. Because this event is popular with section members, it has attracted dozens of sponsors. Hundreds of members and guests shared dinner on Friday and Saturday, culminating with a family casino night with fun for everyone. During the day on Saturday, the committees met to address business, and the members attended several CLE programs in the afternoon. The attendees shared the rest of the weekend at the beach or pool enjoying the facilities and each other’s company.
• Midyear Meeting — This year, the section worked with The Florida Bar and, following its lead, had a lunchtime program on wellness and happiness in addition to the substantive meetings.
• Spring Retreat — During the last week in April, about 50 members and their families met in Cartagena, Colombia, for a retreat to view the historic city, share the company of other section leadership, and the members participated in CLE regarding rule of law in Colombia as it relates to business disputes.
• The Florida Bar Annual Convention — The section will meet at The Florida Bar Annual Convention on June 13-15 with all of its committees also meeting. A number of CLE programs will be presented.
• Legislation — One of the most important services the section performs for the Florida business community is its legislative efforts. This year, the section proposed bills that update and modernize Florida’s fraudulent transfer statute, as well as provided technical advice regarding various legislative initiatives and opposed other initiatives the section concluded would be inconsistent or incompatible with long-standing business law. The section also addressed legislation on financial literacy and digital currency. The section will continue to oppose legislation seeking to impose judicial term limits and continues to work diligently on recommendations for revisions to Florida’s corporation’s statutes, Ch. 607.
The section has had a fruitful year because of the dedication of its members. Poised for the future, the section is ready to take on tomorrow’s challenges and issues. My confidence in the section’s future comes not only from its history and the ongoing commitment of its Long-Range Planning Committee consisting of past chairs, but also, from knowing the future leaders and members who give their time so generously. Although there are far too many people to thank in the limited space provided, I especially thank Michael Chesal (chair-elect); Jay Brown (treasurer), Leyza Blanco (secretary), Kacy Donlon (chair of legislation) for their help this year, and particularly thank JoAnn Shearer and Dixey Teel for their work with the section, without whom we would not be able to navigate the administrative processes of The Florida Bar.
Melanie Damian, Chair
City, County and Local Government Law
• Membership — The City, County and Local Government Law Section was founded in 1974 and has approximately 1,700 members. The section provides networking and educational opportunities for lawyers who practice in the area of local government law, whether as counsel to a city, county, or other local governmental entity or as counsel to clients appearing before local governmental bodies. Our membership is evenly split between lawyers in both the private and public sectors.
• Electronic Media — The section maintains a user-friendly website, which includes a Listserv (LocGovTopics) that serves as a virtual law library and forum and a Desk Book. Special thanks to Mark Moriarty and David Miller for their work this past year on the website and Listserv. The Desk Book is a comprehensive compilation of materials on local government law that was originally authored by Judge James R. Wolf and is now maintained and updated by our members.
• CLE Seminars — The section proudly sponsors several annual seminars for the benefit of local government practitioners, including the Sunshine Law, Public Records and Ethics Seminar for Public Officers and Employees (now relocated to Orlando), the Public Employment and Labor Relations Forum, which is co-sponsored with the Labor and Employment Law Section, the Land Use Seminar, the annual city, county and local government law seminar, the public finance seminar, and a certification review course. Many thanks to our members, including Glenn Thomas, Michele Lieberman, Isabelle Lopez, and Andy Lannon for their extraordinary and dedicated work on these seminars.
• Outreach and Internships — The section provides grants for local government law offices to hire interns. Twelve $500 scholarships are awarded to a law student in each of Florida’s law schools. The section also sponsors two mentoring picnics: one in South Florida (the Kozyak Minority Mentoring Picnic), and the second in Orlando (the Greater Orlando Diversity Mentoring Picnic). Many thanks to Don Crowell, Amber Slayton, and Hans Ottinot for spearheading this worthwhile effort.
• Publications — The section publishes the Agenda newsletter, sponsors the Stetson Law Review, and contributes articles to the Bar Journal . Special thanks to Craig Leen, Yaneris Figueroa, Amanda Coffey, and David Miller for their incredible work to disseminate published materials.
• Ethics and Professionalism — Each spring, the section distributes a draft resolution regarding civility to local governing bodies. The resolution asks local governments to recognize the importance of civility. Local governments are given a written proclamation that stresses the importance of civility.
• Leadership — The section has benefited by outstanding leadership of past chairs and the many hours volunteers have donated to the executive council. This year, Michele Lieberman takes the helm as the section’s new chair, and Andrew Lannon as vice chair. Ricky Libbert, the section administrator, continues as our steady and guiding hand, and we all greatly appreciate all that she does for our section.
Robert L. Teitler, Chair
Once again, the Criminal Law Section (CLS), its executive council, and committees were busy pursuing our goal of enhancing Florida’s criminal justice system. This year, we engaged in a broad range of services, including member outreach, law school recruitment, enhanced free and discounted CLE programs for our government lawyers, and tracking and addressing the myriad issues addressed by the legislature and the Florida Constitution Revision Commission (CRC). The CLS also supported the recent changes in the death penalty process yet remains committed to its further improvement. Thus, the section renewed its position supporting a comprehensive review of the death penalty process by all branches of government.
Our section is comprised of a diverse cross section of the profession, including judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, both public and private, and law professors. The executive council reflects that diversity.
The CLS recently amended its bylaws so former chairs of the section automatically become ex officio voting members of the executive council. This important bylaw change allows for increased opportunities for our younger members to join the executive council, while maintaining the collective institutional knowledge of our seasoned veterans. At last year’s annual meeting, five new members were elected to the council.
With another busy year in the legislature, the Legislative Committee has been tracking bills and keeping members of the CLS up to date with changes in the law. The Legislative Committee, led by Judge Bob Dillinger, will continue to apprise members of proposed changes from the legislature. The CLS also adopted a formal section position against the CRC proposal 96; Marsy’s Law. The executive council sought and received input from the CLS membership, and several EC members appeared at CRC meetings around the state to express the Criminal Law Section’s position on the proposed amendment. Special thanks to the many section members, led by Larry Turner, who worked diligently to ensure that our position was effectively communicated.
The Membership Committee, chaired by David Barksdale, continues to work hard to retain members and increase membership outreach, especially among young lawyers and law students. Toward this goal, the CLS sponsored and participated in both the Kozyak Minority Mentoring Picnic in Miami-Dade County and the Central Florida Diversity Mentoring Picnic in Orange County to reach out to law students interested in criminal law. Special thanks to those who participated at the Kozyak picnic and Warren Lindsey who led the efforts at the Central Florida Picnic. The Membership Committee is also actively working with the Young Lawyers Division, the Solo and Small Practice Section, and the Family Law Section to create new opportunities for joint membership in our sections.
In continuing to provide educational opportunities to our members, the section sponsored the annual Gerald T. Bennett Prosecutor/Public Defender Training Program under the direction of Jennifer Zedalis and Paul Zacks. The P/PD program is popular and unique in that it is one of the few programs nationally that brings prosecutors and public defenders together for training in litigation skills and trial advocacy. Since its inception in 1979, the program has trained over 2,100 government attorneys. The program maintains a faculty of over 30 judges, prosecutors, and defense attorneys, and we are honored each year to host three or four junior barristers from England and a Queen’s Counsel serving as guest faculty.
The CLE Committee, co-chaired by Judge Jeff Levenson and Susan Hugentugler, is sponsoring numerous CLE seminars. Presentations started in December and will continue throughout the year. They include the Criminal Law Update 2017, chaired by Michael Ufferman; Masters of DUI 2018, chaired by Carlos Canet; and Hot Topics in Evidence 2018, cosponsored with the Trial Lawyers Section. Continuing legal education opportunities will expand in the coming year with webinars, and the section will work on presentations so members can meet CLE requirements in ethics and technology.
The Communication Committee, chaired by Richard Polin, and the Website/Social Media Committee, chaired by Jason Blank, are working to expand communication with CLS members and other members of the Bar. Toward the goal of keeping in touch with the over 2,100 members of the section, the CLS is posting weekly criminal law updates on the CLS website. The CLS recently launched its new website to keep members informed of recent developments in the law and other matters affecting the criminal justice system. We will continue to improve our website, that now includes a members-only portal, through which members access CLE courses and other materials.
Supporting access to the judicial system for all Floridians is a goal of the CLS. To aid in this goal, this year the CLS contributed $25,000 to The Florida Bar Foundation earmarked to fund the Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP). These funds enhance the recruitment and retention of legal aid and legal services staff attorneys at organizations that receive general support funding from The Florida Bar Foundation.
The most prestigious award given by the CLS is the Selig I. Goldin Award. This year, the CLS recognized Judge Thomas K. Peterson and his 50 years as a member of The Florida Bar. His efforts as an assistant public defender, assistant state attorney, and as an 11th Judicial Circuit judge improved nearly every facet of the state’s criminal justice system.
As I finish my term as chair of the Criminal Law Section, I gratefully acknowledge and thank the members of the executive council, all section members serving on committees, and everybody who contributed to the successes of the CLS this year. I am particularly appreciative of the extraordinary efforts of the officers of the executive council, Joel Silvershein (immediate past chair), David Barksdale (chair-elect), Jennifer Zedalis (secretary), and Mac Heavener III (treasurer) for their insight on all matters affecting the CLS, and personal advice to me. I also thank our Board of Governors liaison, Sam Masters, and incoming Bar President Michelle Suskauer for keeping the CLS up to date with matters before the Board of Governors and other bar sections. Finally, I am truly grateful for the efforts of Florida Bar program administrator Chase Early, without whom the successful work of the section would not come to fruition.
In conclusion, the success of the Criminal Law Section is due to its members and its leaders that compose the executive council and committees, and our collective work has resulted in many united and worthwhile initiatives. Because of the dedication of the good people in the section, especially the executive council, the Criminal Law Section will continue to thrive. It has been a privilege to serve as its chair.
Marty McDonnell, Chair
The 2017-2018 bar year has been an exciting and rewarding one for our section.
• Legislative Efforts — We had an active and engaged legislative year. The section has without a doubt established itself as an educational resource to legislators regarding all topics that affect seniors, incapacitated, or vulnerable persons, and persons with special needs.
The section in conjunction with the Academy of Florida Elder Law Attorneys (AFELA) proposed legislation to protect Florida’s vulnerable adults. The bill’s sponsors were Rep. Burton and Sen. Passidomo. Throughout session, we met with legislators and testified before committees explaining the importance of the legislation and provided real examples of people who would have benefited from the provisions in the bill. We are grateful to Rep. Burton and Sen. Passidomo for their support and to the legislature for adopting this legislation the first year it was introduced! We are proud to announce that on March 23, H.B. 1059,
exploitation of a vulnerable adult, was signed into law by Gov. Scott. This legislation allows immediate ex parte access to the court without notice to the exploiter to immediately freeze accounts, similar to domestic violence injunctions. Specifically, the bill adds a new tool that has been missing in the efforts to stop exploitation, a quick, inexpensive mechanism for the temporary ex parte freezing of assets to prevent exploiters from emptying the bank accounts of our most vulnerable citizens. House Bill 1059 will provide meaningful protection to our vulnerable adults.
Additionally, our Legislative Committee held a series of conference calls and meetings with interested groups to discuss the issues. We also worked to resolve our concerns on several other bills, including guardianship/clerks of the court bill, H.B. 1187; vulnerable adults/security dealers, S.B. 662; remote notarization, S.B. 1042; and school safety, S.B. 7026, to name a few. Overall, the Legislative Committee reviewed more than 55 bills. We will continue to work with our lobbyist to reach out to our legislators and community leaders regarding the practice of elder law in order to build a greater awareness of who we are, what we do, and how we assist our clients.
• CLE Programs — Our section’s flagship CLEs, The Essentials of Elder Law and Annual Update were held January 11-13 at Portofino Resort in Orlando. Jason Waddell was program chair for this event. He, Sam Boone, and Marjorie Wolasky, co-chairs of the CLE Committee, worked hard to select an impressive lineup of speakers and topics. Additionally, Jason and Jill Ginsberg of our sponsorship committee secured awesome sponsors for this three-day event.
Our Mentoring Committee, co-chaired by Stephanie Villavicencio and Raiza Reyes, holds a mentoring call with CLE every other month over lunch with an expert in a particular area of elder law, and members can ask questions of the expert. The call is free to all section members. Our Veteran’s Benefits Committee co-chaired by Javier Centonzio and Jodi Murphy will hold a lunch and learn CLE in April.
We will have a much-awaited Medicaid CLE June 15 in Orlando at the Bar’s annual convention. Medicaid Committee Co-Chairs John Clardy and Heidi Brown are organizing this CLE.
• Section Retreat — In October, we held our section’s retreat in Jamaica. This was our first out-of-country retreat, and the general feedback from the attendees has been positive. We visited the Supreme Court and met with the island’s first female chief justice, Zaila Rowena McCalla, O.J., who gave our group great insights into the Jamaican legal system. While at the Supreme Court, we had an opportunity to meet with members of the Jamaican Bar and to observe the court in session. Brave members of our group climbed the world-famous Dunn’s River Falls, visited local sites, experimented with local cuisine, attempted the local dialect, made new friends, and had a very irie time. Our next retreat will be in October in Washington, D.C.
• Membership and Outreach — Our section membership has grown to over 1,728 lawyers. We also have increased the number of our law student members and will continue our outreach program into local law schools. On April 9, section member and president of the Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, Jill Burzynski, will represent our section at the Professional Association Networking Expo at Ave Maria School of Law in Naples. On April 17, section Chair Collett P. Small will speak at the sixth annual Elder Law Symposium at the St. Thomas University School of Law in Miami.
• Outstanding Section Members — Our section is a section of rock stars, too many to mention in one article. Special congratulations to our newest board certified elder law attorneys, Tommy G. Smith of Pensacola, Lawrence Levy of Davie, and Carolyn B. Norton of Vero Beach. With these three new additions, we are currently at 108 board certified elder law attorneys!
In June, our section awarded Twyla Sketchley with the Charlotte Brayer Award for Outstanding Public Service. This is Twyla’s second time taking home this prestigious award, which she won previously in 2009. Shannon Miller was named our section Member of the Year for all her hard work on legislative issues.
Alex Cuello, co-chair of our Law School Liaison Committee, has received the 2017 Pro Bono Award of the Year from the Foundation for Indigent Guardianships and the Florida Department of Elder Affairs, Office of Public and Professional Guardians. He received the awards for his contribution of legal expertise providing support, training, and legal services on behalf of public guardians, and the indigent, and cognitively disabled clients they serve.
• Joint Efforts with the Academy of Florida Elder Law Attorneys — The section continues to work closely with AFELA. Our Joint Public Policy Task Force meets weekly to review all issues affecting our client population and to help our members with any issue in their practice. The time commitment to the task force is huge and the individuals who serve do so selflessly, as their task force work is in addition to their section and AFELA board position requirements. In November, several of our members who are a part of the Elder Law Run Club (yes, there is an Elder Law Run Club) participated in the AFELA fundraising run to raise money for the Joint Public Policy Task Force. Members of the Run Club had a choice of running a 5K, 10K, or half marathon in St. Augustine on November 12. The Run Club raised over $5,000 for the Joint Public Policy Task Force. The task force works daily on behalf of Florida’s most vulnerable citizens and their families, as well as the practice of elder law, through advocacy, outreach, and education.
• Website and Technology — We have worked hard on revamping our section’s website. Please take a look at elderlawsection.org. We are happy to announce that the Elder Law Section has created a Facebook page and Twitter account. These will help promote upcoming section events as well as provide valuable information related to the field of elder law. We have been actively using our social media accounts to interact with our members and the public and to share section news. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FloridaBarElderLawSection and Twitter: @FlaElderlawSec. Our social media pages link back to our webpage.
The section is proud of our accomplishments this year. We will continue steadfast in our mission of cultivating and promoting expertise and professionalism in the practice of law affecting people as they age and individuals with special needs.
Collett P. Small, Chair
Entertainment, Arts, and Sports Law
The key to success in this past year for the Entertainment, Arts and Sports Law Section (EASL) has been collaboration. Our section has improved its reach and increased its impact through partnerships with other organizations and community events.
Last summer, we headed to the Space Coast for our annual retreat, “To Infinity and Beyond! An Interstellar Exploration of Entertainment and Sports Law” (2357R), at the Hilton Cocoa Beach Oceanfront June 9-11. The retreat weekend was filled with meetings, meals, relaxing by the pool and on the beach, karaoke, and a talent show. In addition, several CLE panels were offered, including Ziggy Played Guitar: Estate Planning and Post-Mortem Issues; The Aliens Are Coming!…Or Are They? Visa and Immigration Issues; Invasion of the Copyright Snatchers; and Wibbly-Wobbly, Timey-Wimey Stuff. Speakers included Lawrence Haber, Serona Elton, Solimar Santos, Stephen Carlisle, Richard Wolfe, and Suzanne Meehle.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, many EASL members opened their homes and offices to those members in need of a place to work, electricity, and internet access. I couldn’t have been more proud of our section than I was in those days following the storm. It is selfless acts like those that make our section seem less like a group of colleagues and more like a family.
With an eye toward helping others in the community, EASL also participated in the Thriller Video Challenge to donate money to hurricane/earthquake relief efforts. We competed against other voluntary bar associations to get the most “likes” for our video (check out our zombies…err, members…dancing here: https://youtu.be/Rh_4aNX2GYo ) and while we were not victorious, a great time was had by all. Special thanks to Charlotte Towne for taking the lead on this project and encouraging our members to get involved.
In December 2017, EASL suffered a massive loss with the passing of Richard Rappaport, our past chair and a longtime section member who devoted countless hours to EASL and numerous CLE programs. In his honor and with the desire to carry on his legacy, EASL is now offering the Richard Warren Rappaport CLE Scholarship, whereby a scholarship will be awarded to one law student for each in-person CLE hosted by EASL.
EASL worked in conjunction with other organizations to present additional events and CLE courses throughout the year, including: “Lights, Camera, Action: Preparing for Blockbuster Success” with NAWBO Orlando Foundation, which was organized by Cassi Willard.
EASL co-hosted the second annual Halloween Happy Hour on October 25, 2017, at ROK:BRGR in Hallandale Beach, joined by members of other organizations: the Intellectual Property Law Association of Florida, the Copyright Society of the USA, and the Dade County Bar Association.
This section also presented a 2017-2018 CLE Audio Webcast Series (2559R), which was comprised of four separate CLEs that are also available on demand: Practice Management Software and Apps, Ethical Concerns of Using Them on Smartphones and Laptops, And Maximizing Productivity, with an Emphasis on Cyber Security in Law Firms (2561R), presented by Suzanne Meehle on November 14, 2017; Handling Your Sport Client’s Legal Needs (2562R), presented by Alan Fertel on December 12, 2017; Film Finance (2599R), presented by Lawrence Haber on February 13; and All You Need to Know About Calculating Music Royalties (2601R), which was presented by Serona Elton on April 24. Special thanks to Kim Kolback and Tania Williams for their efforts in not only organizing this series, but also serving as moderators.
EASL once again participated at the Annual Kozyak Minority Mentoring Picnic on February 4 in Miami. Special thanks to Porpoise Evans for continuing to serve as the organizer of EASL’s involvement in the picnic and to Charlotte Towne for her endless enthusiasm and efforts in making it a success. EASL was also a participant at the Barry University School of Law Voluntary Bar Association Fair in March 2018. Through these events, the section had an opportunity to get involved with the community and increase awareness about the value the section has to offer law students and attorneys.
Additionally, EASL co-sponsored the ninth annual Miami Entertainment Law Symposium, presented by the ABA Forum on the Entertainment Industries in association with the Dade County Bar on April 5-6 in Miami Beach. Many EASL members were panelists and moderators, and the event was not only well-attended, but a fantastic opportunity to spend time with colleagues from all over the country while taking in a wealth of information.
Chair-elect Cassi Willard is currently planning our upcoming annual retreat and CLE, Ethics in the Digital Age: Don’t Let Technology Be Your Crypto-nite (2864R), at the 2018 Florida Bar Annual Convention at the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek on June 15.
EASL thrives and is able to offer value due to the efforts of its members and their commitment to offering their time and knowledge to others. In particular, I express my gratitude to our officers: Cassi Willard (chair-elect), Charlotte Towne (immediate past chair), Mark Ingram (secretary), and Tom Dobbins (treasurer).
Special thanks and heartfelt appreciation also go to our executive council: Porpoise Evans, Alan Fertel, Tom Player, Tim Warnock, Richard Wolfe, Kim Kolback, Marc Stolman, Brittney Trigg, Tania Williams, Elliot Zimmerman, and our student liaison, Gerard Duarte. Also, appreciation goes out to CLE Chair Kim Kolback, and CLE Vice Chair Tania Williams, Serona Elton for her work on the EASL website, Steven Eisenberg for his work on the EASL email Listserv, and last, but certainly not least, Angela Froelich, our section administrator.
It has been my honor and pleasure to serve as the EASL chair this year, and I express my gratitude to the members for their dedication to making this section a place for all to grow, thrive, excel, and be welcome. If you are interested in joining EASL, please visit our website, www.easl.info, for more information.
Davey Jay, Chair
Environmental and Land Use Law
The Environmental and Land Use Law Section (ELULS) produced a robust variety of continuing legal education programs this year that took the disruption of Hurricane Irma into a theme for an excellent CLE, Lessons on Hurricane Recovery and Resiliency. The program, held at Florida State University College of Law, addresses hurricane preparation and response issues, funding mechanisms for recovery projects, and resiliency projects to prevent future harm. Program Chairs Patrick Krechowski and Robert Volpe worked magic to design a program that appeals to state and local government lawyers involved with disaster response issues and law students, in addition to other environmental and land use law practitioners.
The section’s CLE Committee, chaired by Jon Harris Mauer, also developed a slate of six one-hour webinar programs: Legislative Preview 2018; Recent Developments on Your Property Development Rights; Nuts and Bolts of Permit Challenges: Planning Regional Water Supply Planning; Medical Marijuana and Land Use Update; and Water, Water Everywhere, But Where Should It Go? The section’s Energy Committee, led by George Cavros and Malcolm Means, produced a well-attended free webinar on legal and policy issues surrounding electric vehicle deployment. Susan Martin and Malcolm Means chair our Annual Update CLE that includes the popular agency general counsel roundtable, legislative, and administrative practice updates.
The section has organized three mixers during the year to facilitate networking opportunities for lawyers, affiliate members, and law students, including networking events in Tampa (Ulele at Waterworks Park) and Tallahassee (Edison at Cascades Park) where speakers highlighted successful brownfield-redevelopment projects. In April, the section organized a mixer following a Nova Law School Environmental Symposia for law students to network with attorney and affiliate section members.
An important goal of the ELULS section for the year has been to increase outreach efforts to law students and to encourage students to join the section. To this end, Joan Matthews organized two successful professional panels at FAMU and Nova Law Schools that introduced students to different kinds of environmental and land use practice. The section continues to provide substantial grants to law schools to fund symposia and other environmental/land use programming.
During the year, Jake Cremer and Nikki Williams produce a monthly ELULS reporter that contains articles on important case and practice updates in environmental and land use law as well as updates from law school environmental law programs. Florida Bar Journal columns published during the year include: “Why Climate Change Law Matters” and “Water Resource Compliance and Enforcement.”
Looking toward next year, the executive council enjoyed a productive long-range planning retreat organized by Chair-elect David Bass. Participants enjoyed a beautiful March weekend in Savannah, where members reconnected and planned upcoming 2018-2019 section programs and activities. We encourage all Florida Bar members to join us in participating in the activities and outreach of the ELULS.
Janet E. Bowman, Chair
The theme for the 2017-2018 Bar year has been appropriate advocacy. This year, as a section, we have continued to aggressively promote not only the substantive and procedural mastery of family law, but the ethical and professional restraints inherent and unique to our practice area, while at the same time promoting access to justice. I was honored to serve this year as chair of the section along with the other truly talented members of the Executive Committee, Abigail Beebe, Chair-elect Amy Hamlin, Treasurer Douglas Greenbaum, and Secretary and Past Chair Laura Davis Smith. We were also blessed this year with the assistance of multiple active, dedicated, and passionate trustees who never missed an opportunity to assist the section, as well as hardworking and organized executive council members, committee members, and committee leadership who dedicated countless hours to the section’s cause and who truly make this organization great.
We started the year with our biannual trial advocacy course at the beautiful Vinoy Renaissance in St. Petersburg. Our trial advocacy program was chaired this year by Douglas Greenbaum, Diane Kirigin, Carin Porras, and program Vice Chairs Joseph Hunt, Sarah Kay, and Michelle Klinger Smith. The course is put on as a section service, and it was put together this year with the help of over 60 volunteers. The program not only provides attendees a trial for purposes of board certification, but it provides lawyers of all skill levels a chance to hone their trial skills in a small group setting with both formal instruction and feedback from experienced attorneys board certified in marital and family law.
Next, with the assistance of program Chairs Carin Porras and Amy Hamlin, we spent time at our annual out-of-state retreat where we relaxed and received continuing legal education this year at the C Lazy U guest ranch located in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, just outside of the Rocky Mountain National Park. In October, we had our fall meetings in Bonita Springs, an area hard hit by Hurricane Irma. In January, we had our midyear committee meetings at the Loew’s Royal Pacific Hotel in Orlando. During those meetings, we heard from our hardworking substantive, organizational, and ad hoc committees in terms of what they had been working to accomplish. We will close the year at our instate retreat this year on Memorial Day weekend at the JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort. At this retreat, thanks to the help of Program Chair Sheena Benjamin-Wise and former Program Chair Andrea Reid, we will offer CLE on understanding the role of cognitive bias in case resolution.
Every year, we produce our marital and family law review course, a comprehensive survey review course that is co-presented with the AAML, Florida Chapter. The course sold out this year with over 1,600 attendees, and we had a wonderful event with the help of our many talented speakers. The Marital & Family Law Review Course Committee, chaired by Philip Wartenberg and its members Bonnie Sockel-Stone, Heather Apicella, and Sarah Kay, did a phenomenal job putting this program together. This year, the section offered 12 scholarships for selected individuals to attend the program. The section voted to pay for and provide these scholarships not only to assist attorneys who without financial assistance could not attend, but to pay for scholarships for hearing officers and magistrates unable to attend without financial assistance.
We had a very busy and productive legislative session in Tallahassee. Our Legislative Committee, through its co-chairs, Bonnie Sockel-Stone and Aimee Gross, as well as its general members and other volunteers, successfully promoted legislation to end underage marriage and to defeat bills that would harm Florida’s families. Additionally, with the help of former section Chair David Manz, this year’s Visionary Award Winner, the committee members ensured H.B. 639/S.B. 676 became law. While our Legislative Committee worked to address law changes, our Continuing Legal Education Committee furthered this year’s goal of education. With the guidance of our ultra-organized CLE chair, Sarah Kay, the Continuing Legal Education Committee has produced courses throughout the year for our members on a range of topics, including parenting plans, domestic violence, tax, enforcement of equitable distribution, and a family law legislative update.
The section was a proud platinum-level sponsor for The Florida Bar Diversity and Inclusion Committee’s Path to Inclusion Symposium. We also sponsored the FLAFCC organization, as well as participated in the Koziak Mentoring Picnic. Our long-time executive council member, Ronald Bornstein, who is presently chair of the section’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee, served as section representative within the Supreme Court’s workgroup to consider mediation fees for indigent litigants in Florida. The Family Law Section was also able to make another charitable donation to The Florida Bar Foundation of $75,000 for continued support of the Children’s Legal Services Grant Program. We presented the check to Foundation Executive Director Bruce Blackwell during our executive council meeting in January.
Finally, our ad hoc Bounds of Advocacy Committee and its chairs, Richard West and Melinda Gamot, completed a full-scale revision of the Bounds of Advocacy publication, a publication previously published by the section in 2004, which has now been updated to reflect changes in the law, ethics, technology, and our practice area. This publication is an important one that highlights and discusses ethical issues unique to the practice of family law. It is a critically important document that will assist any lawyers handling family law matters, and the publication will be ready for dissemination shortly.
In closing, due to the space limitations imposed by The Florida Bar, I have mentioned only a few of the many hardworking section committees, leaders, and members who contributed to the section’s activities this year. All of our volunteers are valuable and appreciated, and the section could not have any of its successes without their unwavering dedication and support. I am thankful for the opportunity to have served the Family Law Section as its chair during the 2017-2018 Bar year.
Nicole L. Goetz, Chair
The Government Lawyer Section’s theme for this year was “Back to Basics.” Across the various Florida Bar sections, surveys showed that members want the same basic deliverables for their dues money: discounted CLE programs, networking opportunities, and applicable practice information (DNA). The section leaders committed to DNA and I thank them for this year’s accomplishments. They are Chair-elect Steven Klinger; Treasurer and CLE Committee Chair Anthony Miller; and Secretary and Technology Chair Jacek Stramski.
To accomplish DNA this year, the section conducted two signature live CLE programs. The 2018 federal seminar took place in Washington, D.C., April 23-24. It had been a few years since the section conducted a seminar in the nation’s capital. CLE Committee Chair Anthony Miller led his committee consisting of Robert Shillinger, Jr., Michelle Buckalew, Michael Schmid, Francine Ffolkes, and John Maceluch, Jr., in a deliberate and consistent planning process. As a result, the federal seminar attendees were able to watch oral arguments at the U.S. Supreme Court, listen to speakers on various hot-button federal and state government topics, and end with a tour of the U.S. Capitol. Later in the year, the section co-sponsored the Practicing Before the Supreme Court CLE program on June 7. Program Co-Chair Russell Kent worked hard to ensure the success of this signature live CLE seminar. Participants were able to watch oral arguments before the Florida Supreme Court, and interact with the justices afterwards. Live CLE programs and the in-person executive council and section member meetings at The Florida Bar Winter Meeting in January and the annual convention in June presented excellent networking opportunities for section members.
Government lawyer news, articles of interest, and substantive practice information have always been hallmarks of the section’s newsletter. This year, after a short hiatus, the section published winter, spring, and summer issues of The Voice, currently available at the section’s website, www.flgovlawyer.org. All thanks to the Publications Committee for reviving The Voice !
Co-Editors Alvan Balent, Jr., and Bill Gwaltney along with Trey Nazzaro, conducted interviews, wrote articles, and pursued those who promised to provide content.
It’s been 28 years since the Government Lawyer Section was launched under the leadership of then Attorney General Bob Butterworth. This section remains unique among Florida Bar sections because instead of a substantive area of law, we are the voice for a demographic within the legal profession who practice at all levels of government — federal, state, and local. Thus, The Florida Bar and the section continue to recognize the commitment to public service of government lawyers with the recognition of the 2018 Claude Pepper Outstanding Government Lawyer. With the Selection Committee, led by Past Chair Keith Rizzardi, the section will also recognize government lawyer contributions with this year’s Distinguished Public Service Award. The Claude Pepper Outstanding Government Lawyer and the recipient of the Distinguished Public Service Award will be honored at the section awards reception on June 14 during the annual convention. Please join us!
Judge Francine M. Ffolkes, Chair
The Health Law Section is over 1,500 members strong, and represents Florida Bar members with an interest or practice in the dynamic, ever-changing field of health care law. Thanks to the hard work of the section’s executive council, 2018 was a successful year, marked by numerous accomplishments in the section’s educational programs, membership outreach, publications, and technology initiatives. Special thanks to the many chairs of the section committees for their continued devotion and hard work this last year, and to Cynthia Mikos, the chair of our Nominating Committee, for ensuring that our leadership vacancies were timely and capably filled. They enhance the quality of programs and resources for our members.
The section’s educational offerings are core to our mission. The popularity of our education programs continues to grow among our members, largely as a result of the hard work of Myla Reizen, chair of Continuing Legal Education and co-chair of the Health Care Regulatory and Compliance program; Grant Dearborn, chair of the “Eat and Educate” audio webcasts, and co-chair of the Health Care Regulatory and Compliance program; Kimberly Nowakowski and Amy Nath, administrators for the “Eat and Educate” webcasts; Lester Perling/Alan Gassman, co-chairs of the Representing the Physician program; and Robert Pelaia/Jodi Laurence, co-chairs of the Advanced Health Law Certification program.
The section sponsored three live CLE programs this past Bar year:
1) Representing the Physician: Ever Improving Your Practice and Knowledge was held on February 16 in Ft. Lauderdale and offered insight and observation on the difficulties often encountered with such representation.
2) On March 1-2, the section held its annual Advanced Health Law Topics and Certification Review in Orlando. This is our most popular and well-attended program. This year’s course continued the work of prior years in preparing health law practitioners to take the health law certification exam currently offered by The Florida Bar. This two-day course has been well attended and offers an in-depth review of areas likely to be tested, as well as offering advice and guidance on the structure and format of the exam to test takers.
3) The Health Care Regulatory Compliance program was held on March 23 in Ft. Lauderdale. This program is increasing in popularity and addresses timely developments in the areas of compliance, and state and federal regulation and oversight.
Hurricane Irma had us postpone this year’s FUNdamentals program, which will be held in September. The program will focus on legal emergencies in health care and feature interactive panel discussions on such issues as: orders for involuntary care; end-of-life litigation and enforcement of DNR orders; injunctions and TROs to prohibit violations of restrictive covenants or misappropriation of intellectual property; responses to federal and state criminal investigations, warrants, and civil investigative demands; HIPAA breach management with a focus on cybersecurity matters; and facility and individual provider license revocations. The section is grateful for Barry Herrin’s leadership of this program.
In addition to the live presentations outlined above, the section continued to offer the ever-popular monthly audio webcast series over this last year. Notable programs included Patient Safety Organizations and Protected Information; Medical Marijuana 101 for Florida’s Healthcare System; The Business of HIPAA Business Associate Agreements; Hot Topics in Healthcare Bankruptcy Cases; Labor & Employment Law Update for Healthcare Lawyers.
This year under the new leadership of Shannon Hartsfield, the section refreshed its regular newsletter. First, we shortened the lengths of the submission in order to make them more times and industry helpful. Additionally, we digitized the format in order to leverage technology and publish more frequently. This year we published three newsletters with a range of topics ranging from Taking Florida into the Future with Telemedicine and Florida v. Oxycodone, et al. to A Tattoo as an Advance Directive? and Choosing an Ethical Florida Substance Abuse Treatment Provider: Five Important Questions. Thanks to all of the talented attorneys who contributed to the success of this year’s newsletters.
The section continued to enhance its mentoring program for new and established attorneys with an interest in health law. The first group of mentors and mentees have been paired and continue to develop mutually beneficial professional bonds. In addition to the mentoring program, the section devoted a great deal of the last year to enhancing its relationship with law schools of the state, and in collaborating with some of the student associations affiliated with these schools.
This year, we celebrated the diversity and history of our past leadership by inviting all of the section’s past chairs to dinner at our annual meeting in Orlando. Particular thanks to Laurie Levin, Michael Bittman, and Cynthia Mikos for spearheading this successful event.
Special thanks to Adam Rabinowitz, the section’s board liaison, for his ardent and continuing support. The section congratulates President Michael Higer on his many successes in this last year, and wish the very best to President-elect Michelle Suskauer as she takes the helm of The Florida Bar in June.
Finally, it is important to acknowledge the Executive Committee for their service this last year. The section’s work cannot be done without them. Everett Wilson, JoAnn Guerroro, and Steve Grigas are the engine that drives this section. After years of selfless contributions, Greg Chaires will assume the chair in June and lead the section to another year of achievement and excellence.
And to Willie Mae Shepherd, the section’s program administrator, who has never failed to exceed expectations, and who has been a true friend and reliable resource for me this past year: Thank you for all you have done for the Health Law Section. We are forever in your debt.
Nicholas W. Romanello, Chair
It is a pleasure to submit this 2017-2018 annual report on behalf of the International Law Section. In the 2017-2018 Bar year, the section has continued its long-standing tradition of innovative programming and service to the Bar and larger community.
Last fall, in the wake of the devastating 2017 hurricane season, the ILS responded with a relief event featuring a silent auction to benefit charities working in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean, raising thousands of dollars for the benefit of those affected communities. In the fall, the ILS also spearheaded a very successful monthly Lunch and Learn series covering innovative topics of interest to its members in conjunction with Coral Gables-based FTI.
In November, the ILS held an event, A Seat @ The Table, organized by the Women in International Law Committee in conjunction with mediation services provider JAMS. As part of an initiative by the current chair, the ILS also held a sold out outreach lunch at the Orlando Citrus Club with members of the international law community in Central Florida during the same month. Finally, to close 2017, the section held a Holiday Cocktail Party where the Women in International Law Committee collected donations of business attire for the Dress for Success charity.
In January, the ILS sponsored the Bar’s Legislative Reception in Tallahassee and was represented there by its leaders and members of its legislative committee. On February 16, the ILS held its flagship CLE event, the iLaw 2018, at the Conrad Hotel in Miami. The iLaw 2018 is a forum on international law featuring three-tracks and as in years past attracted speakers and attendees from around the world. This event, which featured litigation, arbitration, and transactional CLE programming, was organized in conjunction with the AAA’s International Centre for Dispute Resolution (ICDR) for the arbitration track, as part of a partnership that helps attract luminaries from that field of legal specialization to our main annual CLE event.
On the day after the iLaw 2018, the ILS, hosted five Florida law schools at the 2018 Richard Dewitt Memorial Vis Pre-Moot in Miami. The ILS Vis Pre-Moot helped students prepare for a global competitions in Austria and Hong Kong, where Florida law schools have enjoyed great success over the years. In addition to the pre-moot itself, The Florida Bar ILS provided $3,500 to each participating Florida law school to help defray the costs of attendance at the main moot events in Vienna and Hong Kong. This commitment to future members of this section and to our state’s law schools has paid huge dividends over the years in fostering specialization and expertise in international commercial arbitration, as well as well-deserved recognition outside Florida. This year, the event was renamed in honor of the late Richard Dewitt, a dedicated ILS member, who first conceived of the idea of a Florida vis pre-moot and who helped launch what many now consider to be the ILS’ best event of the year. Mr. Dewitt’s wife and son were in attendance.
In March, the ILS’ NAFTA Committee organized a very successful Florida-Quebec Forum in Ft. Lauderdale. This CLE event attracted many attendees from Canada. Later in the spring, the ILS will hold its retreat and annual meeting May 18-20 at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort & Spa in Bonita Springs. The retreat, which will double as the section’s annual meeting, will again feature ILS Talks, informative presentations modeled on the popular TED Talks.
Our section’s mission is to Lead Globally with Information, Innovation and Insight. In furtherance of that mission, the ILS continued to publish its International Law Quarterly in 2017-2018. We are committed to amplifying the message that Florida is the place for international legal services and expertise, whether it be through the ILQ, recognized throughout the Bar for its quality and substance, through our redesigned and widely expanded website (internationallawsection.org), through our weekly Gazette, or through our various social media platforms. In addition, under the leadership of Pamella Seay of Port Charlotte, the section is well on its way to publishing the International Law Handbook and Desk Reference in 2018. This important resource will serve as the go-to source for international legal practitioners in and outside Florida and will serve to highlight the international expertise that resides here in our state.
Similarly, work to establish board certification in the area of international litigation and arbitration has recently been completed, and the initial international litigation and arbitration certification committee has been named. When coupled with the existing international law certification, this second certification will help to cement Florida as a hub for specialized international law services.
Finally, it bears noting that the ILS has very productive committees working on legislative issues, faculty issues, and foreign legal consultant issues, among others. Our members are also working on potential CLE programing focused on India and the EU, and we are working on cooperation agreements with the Hong Kong and Rome bars.
None of this work would be possible without our committed members and phenomenal committees. We look forward to a great 2018-2019 Bar year.
Arnoldo B. Lacayo, Chair
Labor and Employment Law
For the Labor and Employment Law Section, this year has been exciting, productive, and filled with good times.
As part of its commitment to continue strengthening the opportunities available through section membership and serve as a reliable source for its members, the section began several new projects and continued its ongoing high-quality programming and member gatherings.
This year, we had six webcasts on a myriad of subjects, covering immigration issues, LGBT law, workers compensation law, service animals, union formation, elections, and unfair labor practices.
We continued our popular annual series of live CLE seminars. Our first seminar, “Effectively Litigating Employment Cases from Inception Through Trial,” took place on August 18, 2017, at The Breakers in Palm Beach, and it was co-chaired by Sacha Dyson, Brian Lerner, and Ryan Barak. The seminar included the EEOC’s district director, Michael Farrell; the director of the Palm Beach County Office of Equal Opportunity, Pamela Guerrier; and Sean Flynn, deputy chief for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida.
The Annual Public Employment Labor Relations Forum on October 19-20, 2017, was co-chaired by Gregg R. Morton, deputy general counsel with the Florida Public Employee Relations Commission. This program was co-hosted with the City, County and Local Government Law Section, and this is the longest running joint section program, now running for its 43rd year in a row.
The section hosted the Annual Update and Certification Review on January 18-19. This program was chaired by Marlene Quintana and Robyn Hankins. This CLE encompassed a complete overview of recent developments throughout the scope of labor and employment law and is being approved for continuing judicial education credits. It is the section’s goal to continue to have this program approved for continuing judicial education credits in the years to come.
The Advanced Labor Topics Seminar is on June 1-2 at the JW Marriott in Marco Island. The co-chairs for the program are Kristen Foslid of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Greg Hearing. The speakers for this program included Judge Mary S. Scriven of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida and several leading labor and employment law experts from Washington, D.C., including the acting chair of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Victoria Lipnic; the senior policy advisor at the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division, Keith Sonderling; and the former administrator of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division, Tammy McCutchen.
The section will host the upcoming program, “Because Legal Practice Isn’t Always a Day at the Movies: Health, Wellness, and a Welcoming Workplace for Lawyers and Their Clients,” which was selected for the 2018 President’s Showcase Seminar, which will take place at The Florida Bar Annual Convention. This program was chaired by David Adams and will be moderated by Judges Alan Forst and Stephanie Ray. Only one or two seminars per year are recognized as a President’s Showcase Seminar, and the section was honored to have been chosen.
This year, the section started the Corporate Counsel Committee, which was chaired by Chelsie Flynn of Lockheed Martin and Leslie Stein. The goal of the committee was to serve as a resource center for corporate counsel while allowing the opportunity for a collaborative environment in which outside counsel and in-house counsel can communicate on matters impacting their business. We also started the Workplace Health and Safety Committee, which will be chaired by 2009-2010 section Chair Eric Holshouser. The goal of this committee was to enhance the education of attorneys concerning issues related to workplace health and safety laws and matters before the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
The section also co-sponsored programs with the American Bar Association. These included the Employee Benefits Seminar in Coral Gables on January 11-13 and the ABA Labor and Employment Law Section’s Employment Rights and Responsibilities Committee Midwinter Meeting in Clearwater on March 20-24.
This year, we brought to conclusion many years of work by a number of individuals, including Sherril Colombo, Marlene Quintana, Frank Brown, and Damon Kitchen on the proposed rule amendments by the Certification Committee for the Bar’s labor and employment law certification. The executive council communicated with the Certification Committee and provided feedback and input on these proposed amendments for several years and included the opinions of the membership in this process. The executive council had even requested input from the members on the proposed amendments through a section survey during the 2015-2016 Bar year, which was used through the process of reviewing the proposed rules. The amendments were recently approved by the Board of Governors on January 26.
Through the work of the section committees, the section continued its outreach efforts to maintain relations with the Bar, local, and national voluntary bar associations, employment law related regulatory agencies, the judiciary, and law schools through its various committees. For example, the Judicial Outreach Committee continued its seminars for judges throughout the state of Florida and David Adams led a CJE program for the judges in Tampa on various employment-related matters.
Cristina Velez, co-chair of the section’s Law School Outreach Committee; Cheyanne Costilla, general counsel of the Florida Commission on Human Relations; and Gregg R. Morton conducted a panel discussion for the law students at Florida State University. And on behalf of the section, Scott Atwood participated in the Professional Associations Expo at Ave Maria School of Law and shared his experience and insight with many law students.
The Local Bar Association Committee reached out to all the local bar associations throughout the state to assist in coordinating speakers from the section for local labor and employment committees.
This year, the section was a sponsor and active in The Florida Bar’s diversity symposium, “Path to Inclusion,” participating in focus groups and hosting a section table to encourage continued diversification in our section’s leadership and membership.
The section held its long-range planning retreat in St. Pete Beach at the Don CeSar on April 14-15. At the retreat, executive council members and committee co-chairs strategized about future goals and priorities, as well as areas that may be strengthened to better serve section members. The areas discussed included reinstating the Trial Academy, creating student chapters at the law schools, ways to continue to improve communication and delivery of information to the membership, as well as continuing to increase diversity, and strengthening our programing for the judiciary.
The Wage and Hour Administration Committee began compiling, as a resource for its members, a practice manual, which will contain orders, such as those relating to scheduling and settlement, from federal judges throughout Florida for cases under the Fair Labor Standards Act. This project was led by Robyn Hankins and Jay Lechner.
This year, the section began issuing regular 11th Circuit employment-related case updates, being emailed to the membership at no cost on a weekly basis. This project was spearheaded by Judge Frank Brown.
Under the leadership of Robert E. Eschenfelder, the section’s members regularly contributed labor and employment related articles to The Florida Bar Journal. The Checkoff, the section’s newsletter, published four editions during the year under the leadership of Carlo Marichal.
It has been an incredible year, thanks to the help of our officers, executive council members, and many committee co-chairs and members.
Zascha Blanco Abbott, Chair
Out of State Division
As I come to the last few months of my term, I am happy to provide our 2018 annual report. The Out of State Division (OOSD) has had a terrific year! The number of out-of-state Bar members continues to be significant. Currently, there are 886 members of the OOSD among a total of over 15,000 Florida Bar members who reside out of state.
The OOSD mission is to serve the varied needs of the Bar’s out-of-state members. The OOSD’s activities include networking among Florida lawyers nationwide; communicating with our members about Florida law issues, including via our State to State newsletter; helping out-of-state lawyers in administrative, educational, and practice development issues; promoting the new technology CLE requirement; assisting diversity opportunities for all lawyers; assisting pro bono activities by out-of-state members; providing a forum for the discussion of issues of common interest of particular interest of out-of-state lawyers; and seeking to improve the law and our legal system.
Unfortunately, the OOSD had to reschedule its normal fall meeting with The Florida Bar Board of Governors in Boston, Massachusetts, due to the devastation of Hurricane Irma. However, this did not stop the OOSD! On January 30, the OOSD executive council met in Atlanta, Georgia, at the offices of Morris, Manning and Martin LP. In addition to the executive council meeting, the OOSD offered a CLE and reception ceremony. The program first featured a basic overview of law firm data security, privacy, and cyber liability by the OOSD’s own immediate Past President Lawrence Kunin. Then, the program included a panel discussion regarding the Florida and Georgia lawyer discipline processes with features unique to each state. Topics included the disciplinary process, the complaint and investigation stages, trial and review/appeal stages; voluntary discipline, and available sanctions; and reciprocal discipline for discipline in another state. The panel also discussed common disciplinary violations and grievance and malpractice avoidance. The panel consisted of the OOSD’s own, Brian Burgoon and Pete Werdesheim.
In April, the OOSD met in Asheville, North Carolina, in conjunction with the Young Lawyers Division (YLD) Board of Governors. During that meeting, the OOSD and YLD were honored to host members of the North Carolina Bar Association and the local Asheville Bar Association to join the reception.
The OOSD is always looking for more members and more attorneys interested in joining the executive council. Out next meeting is during the annual Florida Bar meeting in Orlando on June 15 at 1 p.m.
Open communication with our members is a high priority for the OOSD, and our State to State newsletter continues to be our most visible communication initiative. The newsletter is published three times per year and is sent to all out-of-state Florida Bar members (not just OOSD members) electronically and free of charge. Through the editorial leadership of OOSD executive council members Donald Workman and Matthew Kahl, the newsletter serves an important educational role. Articles published in the newsletter focus both on Florida law developments and implications of national legal developments on Florida practitioners. This year, the OOSD added a new spotlight feature to highlight our members and the amazing things they are doing in their respective practices. We consistently receive positive feedback from Florida Bar leadership and our members about the quality of State to State.
Another highly important communications tool for our division is organized by our four out-of-state representatives to the Board of Governors (BOG), Brian Burgoon, Ian Comisky, Eric Meeks, and Edward Duffy Myrtetus. Shortly after each BOG meeting, our representatives circulate by email a summary of all the important developments that occurred at the meeting. These timely messages, which are sent to all Florida Bar members living outside Florida, allow the out-of-state practitioners to remain informed about the important work of the Bar and how it might impact us.
In keeping with its mission of serving the interests of Florida Bar members who reside out of state, the OOSD also has appointed a liaison, Richard Lawson of New York, to the Florida Constitution Revision Committee (CRC).
Finally, the OOSD is planning a CLE in conjunction with the next out-of-state Board of Governors meeting in Amelia Island in October.
The division thanks its officers, members of the executive council, the out-of-state representatives on the Bar’s BOG, our program coordinator, Willie Mae Shepherd, and the many others who have helped to make this year successful for the division and all out-of-state members of The Florida Bar.
Please visit our website for the contact information of our officers and executive council members. We want your thoughts on how we can provide more opportunities and better serve you.
Tiffany N. McKenzie, President
Public Interest Law
The Public Interest Law Section has taken an active role in promoting and supporting equal justice issues during the past Bar year.
Section members have taken leadership roles in supporting and promoting juvenile law board certification. The first cohort of juvenile law board certified attorneys, which included several section members, was qualified in 2017, with the second cohort slated to take the May examination. The section has developed a training curriculum, which will be offered each year to prepare test takers for the board certification examination, in recognition of the demand for highly qualified practitioners in juvenile dependency and delinquency courts.
The section was also very active in educating the Constitution Revision Commission regarding several proposed amendments that affect issues of interest to the section, and maintained a prominent presence in Tallahassee during legislative session, advocating successfully for important bills such as the Florida Pro Bono Matters Act, which was signed into law in March.
The Public Interest Law Section is proud of its involvement in the Special Committee on Parent and Child Representation, convened by President Higer, which worked diligently this year to develop recommendations for improving advocacy in dependency court systems. Section members represented the interests of parents, children, and state agencies on the committee, giving voice to the needs of all who are involved in the system and providing unique perspectives on the issues.
The section’s Children’s Rights Committee submitted written comments to the Florida Department of Children and Families and appeared at a public hearing in Tallahassee to advocate for the committee’s position on a proposed Florida Administrative Code regulation (F.A.C. 65C-28.015) impacting youth in foster care.
The Parents Advocacy Committee had the pleasure in the past year of creating networking opportunities for attorneys who represent parents in juvenile cases, bringing together practitioners from across the state to participate in roundtable discussions focused on improving best practices and highlighting the importance of zealous advocacy on behalf of clients.
Children’s Rights and Parents Advocacy worked collaboratively to draft a survey that was distributed to all Florida circuit court judges who oversee the appointment of attorneys who participate in the registry for children with certain special needs pursuant to F.S. §39.01305. The survey was distributed in late 2017, and the section will use outcomes to develop recommendations for best practices in children’s advocacy.
The Consumer and Tenant Committee hosted a three-part webinar series this past year that was extremely well received by participants and broke the record for attendance. The committee also continues to monitor legislation affecting consumer rights, and takes positions when appropriate.
As the Public Interest Law Section looks forward to a bright future, it is also undertaking a review of its history and current structure in order to ensure it is positioned to meet the needs of members, recruit new members, and promote access to equal justice for marginalized and vulnerable Floridians. The section looks forward to maintaining a robust presence in The Florida Bar, to collaborating with other sections, and to advocating on behalf of the communities it serves.
Whitney M. Untiedt, Chair
Real Property, Probate and Trust Law
The Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section (RPPTL) continues the traditions, embodied in its bylaws, of furthering the knowledge and practice of its 10,700 plus members, inculcating its members on the principals of duty and service to the public and improving the administration of justice and advancing jurisprudence. Our section is divided into three divisions with 60 individual committees, and in order to keep this report brief, only main highlights are included.
Through our Amicus Coordination Committee, the section participated in several cases at the request of the judiciary, includeding Ober v. Town of Lauderdale-By-The-Sea. The Fourth DCA, agreeing with the section, held: “This case involves the application of section 48.23, Florida Statutes (2014), the lis pendens statute, to liens placed on property between a final judgment of foreclosure and a judicial sale. We hold that such liens are discharged by section 48.23(1)(d).” In Smith v. Smith, the Supreme Court agreed with RPPTL analysis that a ward who married before getting approval of the circuit court could have the court approval of the marriage conferred after the marriage. In Rigby v. Bank of NY Mellon, the First DCA requested our appearance regarding the court’s en banc consideration of overruling the “standing-at-inception” doctrine. Ultimately, the First DCA agreed with our analysis that an en banc overruling of the doctrine was unwise.
Our CLE Seminar Coordination Committee continues to produce high-caliber CLEs. This year, in honor of former Florida Bar Executive Director Jack Harkness, the section donated the proceeds from the aftermarket sales of our convention seminar, “A Lawyer’s Guide to Disaster Preparedness,” to The Florida Bar Foundation. Other highlights include “Hurricane Irma — Now What Do We Do,” a webinar presented six weeks after Hurricane Irma that provided information and access to resources to assist those affected by that event.
The section fellows program currently has eight active fellows who apply for the two-year program that provides financial support for the fellows to attend section meetings. We have developed this program to encourage active participation by younger lawyers or those that might not otherwise be able to attend our four in-state meetings each year. The section has also been supportive of The Florida Bar’s Leadership Academy and has recommended an individual as the section-sponsored candidate for 2018.
The Membership and Inclusion Committee organized a course at Florida State University College of Law, “Florida Real Estate Law Practice: Beyond the Fundamentals.” The two-hour evening course is taught by leaders of the section. It is open to 2Ls and 3Ls and is intended to benefit students by ensuring they 1) learn advanced real estate topics; 2) adequately prepare for real estate topics on the Bar exam; 3) learn from leading industry experts; 4) experience a variety of teaching styles; and 5) are exposed to diverse attorneys practicing throughout the state. The program exposes students to the section and how membership and participation will help advance their careers in the real estate industry.
Our Professionalism and Ethics Committee, together with the section’s at-large members, last year adopted No Place Like Home (NPLH) as a clearing title project for homestead properties including mobile homes, for low-income Floridians. NPLH began as a pre-disaster pilot project of Bay Area Legal Services (BALS) and has now expanded statewide. The project was selected to receive a $307,573 grant from Legal Service Corporation and one local government in Southwest Florida also agreed to pay $100,000 in matching case costs, including filing fees and title searches. NPLH provides legal resources to perfect legal title to homestead real property at limited or no cost to Florida residents whose imperfect title undermines their continued occupancy and ownership of, and rights and benefits to, their homes. Section members train and are trained to provide title-related legal services in both the real estate and probate settings aimed at perfecting title and resolving title issues. These section members’ service is coordinated through legal aid offices throughout the state. The section and BALS organized a webinar in October 2017 to provide information on dealing with FEMA, home title issues and tenancies and resources such as NPLH.
The section’s Probate and Trust Law Division, comprised of 20 committees, had an active year. The Ad Hoc Estate Planning Conflicts of Interest Committee successfully advocated for an amendment to Rule 4-1.8 of the Rules Regulating The Florida Bar. The rule change prohibits lawyers from soliciting any gift from a client or preparing an instrument for a client leaving the lawyer any gift unless they are related to the client. The rule change also requires that lawyers obtain a client’s informed consent, confirmed in writing, before preparing an instrument that names the lawyer as a fiduciary for the client. The informed consent would require disclosure as to alternatives available to the client and the potential fees that may be earned by the lawyer. The section has actively and successfully lobbied the legislature and the governor’s office on a number of pieces of legislation of importance to our practice area, including proposed electronic will legislation that would have removed the safeguards of in-person witnessing for a will execution. The section’s efforts on electronic wills were ultimately successful in 2017 when Gov. Scott vetoed the legislation accepting the recommendations of the section. Similar legislation failed in the 2018 legislative session as well.
The Probate and Trust Law Division’s substantive committees continue to present cutting-edge seminars featuring top attorneys from around the state and country on issues arising in probate, trust, and guardianship law. The committee meetings themselves, which generally occur in conjunction with the section’s four in-state executive council meetings, are chock-full of practice updates and debates on legislative policy. It is often said that attending our meetings provide some of the best continuing legal education available. The committee meetings are open to all Florida lawyers.
The section’s Real Property Law Division, comprised of 18 committees, also had an active year. Its activities included the Construction Law Committee publication of its quarterly newsletter, CONSTRUCTive Talk, which contains articles and other information pertaining to recent cases and hot topics of interest in the construction industry, and the Insurance and Surety Committee publication of its quarterly newsletter, Insurance Matters!, which contains articles and other information pertaining to recent cases and hot topics of interest in the insurance industry. The Real Estate Leasing Committee conducted a four-part webinar on the basics of office leasing and the Real Estate Structures and Taxation Committee is working on issues involving the potential rewrite of Ch. 607 by the Business Law Section.
At the request of the Florida Supreme Court, the section has agreed to pay up to $7,500 in travel expenses incurred by members of the Supreme Court Guardianship Task Force in attending public forums throughout the state. The section continues its in-depth review and complete rewrite of the guardianship code in anticipation of presenting a revised code in the 2019 legislative session. The section had either section-approved legislative initiatives or provided technical assistance on at least 18 separate bills before the 2018 Florida Legislature. Those bills addressed a wide scope of topics including trusts, guardianship, homestead, marketable record title associations, tax deeds, taxation of interspousal transfers, condominiums and homeowners associations, unlawful detainer and ejectment and multi-parcel, and valorem taxation. The section also provided guidance to the Constitution Revision Commission on several proposed initiatives, including CRC proposal 15 (proposing the deletion of certain legislative restrictions on ownership of real property by aliens), CRC proposal 17 (proposing certain exemptions to homestead protecting for claims of creditors), and CRC proposal 30 (proposing the prevention of the removal of rights of a person based on mental incapacity or mental disability).
Our section’s mission is furthered through the invaluable assistance of our section’s administrator, Mary Ann Obos, whose knowledge, skills, and delightful personality greatly enhance the efforts of its volunteer leadership.
Andrew M. O’Malley, Chair
Solo and Small Firm
The Florida Bar Solo and Small Firm Section (SSF) had a truly great year. I am very proud to say that the executive council of the SSF continued its dedication to excellence through its outstanding commitment and devotion. I specifically thank immediate Past Chair Jennifer Dietz and our section administrator from The Florida Bar, Ricky Libbert, for their enthusiastic service to the section.
The Solo and Small Firm Section prides itself on educating members of The Florida Bar by providing substantive information to assist a lawyer’s technological edge, enhance law practice management skills, and improve client-service delivery. In addition to continuing our excellent CLE programming, this year, the section added an audio webcast series to deliver cutting edge CLE material to our members at a very low cost and in a format that is easily adaptable to busy practitioner. In addition, this year’s out-of-country trip to Ireland, included an exceptional CLE comparing the practice of law in Florida vs. Ireland. The CLE also included a guided tour through the historic King’s Inn in Dublin.
• Role of The Florida Bar Solo and Small Firm Section — The section produces a significant number of much-needed CLEs each year. The following are all live CLEs, which are also recorded for other members of The Florida Bar: annual Ethics Update Seminar (presented each November); annual Florida Law Update Seminar (presented each year at the annual convention of The Florida Bar); biannual Agricultural Law Update Seminar; Going Solo Seminar (presented every other November); the Florida Bar Tech Show (presented each year in conjunction with the winter meeting of The Florida Bar); and the out-of-country seminar.
Moreover, section members receive the QuickLINK, a bimonthly electronic newsletter containing information important to a solo or small-firm practitioner. Section members also receive The Link, a more expansive newsletter covering real-life topics dedicated to solo and small firm practitioners. The Link is a quarterly online newsletter informing section members of resources, including feature articles and section news. Furthermore, section members also have access to a variety of benefits, including free and discounted CLEs, an informative website, the opportunity to author highly visible articles for publication in The Link, and to join executive council committees.
The SSF formed several committees this year for members of the section to get involved without the time commitment necessary to join the executive council. Those committees include a Transition to Practice Committee, an Outreach Committee, and a Health and Wellness Committee. For any section member interested in serving on a committee, applications are available on our website.
The section expanded its executive council committee structure to include the following committees: CLE Programs, Law Schools, Membership and Benefits, Newer Lawyers, Paralegals and Legal Assistants (affiliates), Publications, Long Range Planning, Constitution Revision Commission, and Technology. The expansion of the committee structure encourages greater involvement by section members and offers leadership opportunities for members who are not on the executive council.
The SSF also gives out several awards each year in order to recognize and promote excellence in the profession. The awards are as follows:
1) Tradition of Excellence Award
2) Walter S. Crumbley Award
3) Paralegal of the Year
4) L. Michael Roffino Pro Bono Award Winner
5) SSF Grant to YLD AOC Award
6) Mentor of the Year Award
The executive council has also assisted in the establishment of Solo and Small Firm Societies at the University of Florida Levin College of Law and Stetson University College of Law. These societies offer law students venues where they can learn about the practice of law as solos or in small law firms. The societies also provide opportunities for the Solo and Small Firm Section to promote membership in the section. The executive council and section members regularly volunteer to make educational presentations at Florida law schools about solo and small firm law practice.
The section also provides networking opportunities within different geographical areas around the state throughout the year. Every time the executive council meets, it holds a post-meeting cocktail reception to which the lawyers, paralegals, and law students in the area are invited. Theses receptions are generally well-attended and help to promote the work of the section.
In conclusion, it is essential to note that the SSF could not do all that it does without the dedicated service of the members of the executive council who work diligently to make this section great. However, it is the membership of the Solo and Small Firm Section who really makes the section shine, and we thank all of our members for joining. The section is ready to take on all of the challenges that the years may bring and to assist our members in as many ways as possible. I am confident that the future section leaders will give their time generously in order to make the section even better than it has been. Although there are far too many people to thank in the limited space provided, I especially thank Jennifer Griffin (chair-elect), Pete Muschott (secretary), and Liz McCausland (treasurer) for their help this year. All the best to each member of The Florida Bar!
Sean T. Desmond, Chair
The Tax Law Section has had quite an active year. As in years innumerable, we began July with our organizational meeting, at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation. With visions of tax reform on the horizon, our Federal Tax Division created several committees to monitor reform proposals, so that the Tax Section would be prepared for anything. We also began making plans for a long-overdue long-range planning retreat, to be held later that year.
Unfortunately, we weren’t prepared for Hurricane Irma, which, of course, brought several feet of water to the Brickell area of Miami — planned location of our fall meeting. Fortunately, the area was resilient, and by the time of our meeting one month later, few signs of the hurricane remained. We held a half-day, mini-retreat, as well as a successful CLE, Tax Planning for Real Estate Developers and Investors. We also quickly organized a telephone CLE discussing the tax effects of hurricanes and tax provisions addressing disaster relief.
Two months later, we were hit by an epic event of a different nature: tax reform. The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (as it is commonly called) brought enormous changes to most areas of federal tax law. And, as I reported to the Board of Governors at its March meeting, the act potentially affects the practice of every private attorney. Each law firm, from the solo practitioner on up, needs to review its tax situation, and consider whether it should be unincorporated or incorporated, pass-through or C corporation. Please consult a tax attorney for advice.
Less than two weeks after the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was signed into law, we held a seven-hour webcast CLE, Introduction to the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act . While we all continue to digest the full impact of the act, the CLE gave everyone a great starting point. Only a week later, we held our 36th Annual International Tax Conference — our biggest CLE of the year. Thanks to perfect timing, we were able to cover many of the international tax provisions of the act.
Continuing what may have been our busiest January ever, we held our directors’ meeting and long-range planning retreat the following week, in beautiful (but cold) Savannah, Georgia. Planned with the invaluable assistance of Chair-elect Designate Janette McCurley, and Long Range Planning Committee Chair Michael O’Leary, we spent the weekend with our facilitator, Nancy Rabin, in assembling a long list of recommendations to move the section forward. We capped the weekend with a ghost tour/pub crawl.
Finally, winter turned to spring, and we held our final meeting in Sarasota with our annual meeting, where we held an estate planning-themed CLE, “Are Death and Taxes Still Certain?” The section also honored past Chair Mitchell Horowitz as our Gerald T. Hart Outstanding Tax Attorney of the Year. Our last live CLE event of the year, the Annual Wealth Protection Program, was held at the Tampa Airport Marriott.
The Tax Section provides many opportunities for its members to improve their professional practice. In addition to our major CLE programs, we held 16 telephone CLE programs this year, free to our members, which have averaged about 150 attendees. Four of these telephone CLEs were dedicated to the act. All told, we estimate that total attendance for our CLE programs was about 3,000. We arrange for and participate in liaison meetings with the IRS and Florida Department of Revenue to foster direct communication and air issues of concern. We contribute to the fair and efficient implementation of the tax laws, by participating in regulatory and legislative initiatives, volunteering at Tax Court Settlement Days and Tax Court Calendar Call pro bono projects, and numerous other ways. Led by Mitchell Horowitz, our Tax Court Calendar Call Pro Bono Program now covers regular and small Tax Court calendars in Jacksonville, Tallahassee, Tampa, and Miami. We also reach out to the public through social media. Several of our younger members have organized our Expanded Media Initiative (led by Chris Callahan), which operates in Twitter, podcasts, and other exotic lands. The podcast posts edited versions of many of our telephone CLEs, as well as a series, Hall of Champions, featuring interviews with outstanding Florida tax attorneys.
While there are simply too many active members to thank them here individually, I recognize by name the chairs of our major CLE programs: William Siegel, James Schmidt, Steve Hadjilogiou, Jason Havens, David Silberstein, Alan Gassman, and Les Share. Finally, we said goodbye to our former program administrator, Christopher Hargrett, without whom I could not have planned this year, and we welcomed our new program administrator, Leslie Reithmiller, who has already shown the versatility required to keep up with us.
Joseph Barry Schimmel, Chair
The Trial Lawyers Section (TLS) had another productive and successful year, completing its 51st year as a specialty section in The Florida Bar. The section continued its mission of enhancing excellence, ethics, and professionalism in the trial bar, providing educational opportunities for its members, promoting the art of advocacy, continuing in its efforts to preserve access to courts and judicial independence. Our ranks include a diverse cross-section of the legal profession, including personal injury, commercial and construction litigation, products and premises liability, insurance, family law, probate and intellectual property trial lawyers. As we approach 6,000 in membership, the following is only a brief highlight summary of the section’s activities this year.
• Publications — The Florida Handbook on Civil Discovery Practice, a joint project of the TLS with the Circuit and County Judges Conferences, was revised, and the 16th edition (2018) is planned for distribution this year through the efforts of Co-Chairs John Williams and Nick Mizell, with some judicial assistance from 13th Circuit Judge Elizabeth Rice. The Discovery Handbook is a reference for judges and lawyers to quickly access legal authority on common, recurring discovery issues, and is available on the TLS website. Kim Ashby has been chairing our quarterly publication, The Edge, to keep members informed of current events and meaningful topic discussions.
Chester H. Bedell Mock Trial Competition:
For over 30 years, the TLS has annually conducted the prestigious Chester H. Bedell Mock Trial Competition for all of Florida’s accredited law schools. The 2018 competition chaired by Wiley Hicks was hosted in Jacksonville at the Duval County Courthouse January 17-20. A total of five rounds were conducted, with each round of mock trials conducted by state court judges, scored by five lawyer jurors, all secured through the efforts of Courtney Grimm, Tom Bishop, and Braxton Gillam. The final round was judged by U.S. District Judge Marcia Morales Howard from the Middle District of Florida. Both teams in the final round were from the University of Florida. Marcus J. Knox was the recipient of the Best Advocate Award. Many thanks and much appreciation to the judges and lawyers of Jacksonville for volunteering their time for a successful mock trial competition, and to Chief Judge Donald Richard Moran for allowing the use of the Duval County Courthouse.
• Trial Lawyers Law School for Teachers — Wes Smith chaired our sixth Law School for Teachers at the Gaylord Plaza Hotel in Orlando on January 25-26, with a record attendance of over 130 middle and high school civics teachers from Duval, Clay, St. Johns, Putnam, Sarasota, Hillsborough, Palm Beach, and Orange counties. The two-day program provided teachers with lectures, presentations, programs, and instruction materials on the Constitution, the role of the judiciary, the importance of the separation of powers, independence of the judiciary, a history of the legal profession, highlights about criminal law, family law, and the First Amendment’s applicability to education issues. There were special presentations on topics such as Bush v. Gore, ABOTA, and the Constitution Revision Commission. The teachers were highly complimentary about the program and enthusiastic to share their experience with their students. The school is particularly rewarding for the speakers and the executive council members who devote so much time to create a successful program. Special thanks to David Roy, Orman Kimbrough, and Jeremy Branning for their leadership of this year’s Law School for Teachers.
• Legislation — The TLS continued its efforts to monitor and assist in the development of legislation falling within the legislative platforms that form the basis of the section’s involvement with the Florida Legislature: access to courts, independence of the judiciary, and adequate funding of the state court system. Wil Murphy and his Legislative Committee conducted phone calls with the section’s lobbyist, Bob Harris, each Friday morning to discuss pending bills and met with senators and representatives in Tallahassee on behalf of the TLS to enhance the section’s availability and influence. Most notable this year was the section’s white paper on the detrimental aspects of proposed legislation to open judicial deliberations to the public, led by Kim Ashby.
• CLE — Ed Cheffy chaired the section’s annual Civil Trial Update and Board Certification Review Course on February 1-2 in Tampa. The seminar provides excellent preparation for the civil trial board certification exam, as well as training and topics for enhancement of litigation and trial advocacy. Vicki Sproat and Mindy McLaughlin handled the section’s Advanced Medical Malpractice Seminar that took place January 12 in Ft. Lauderdale and provided the latest developments on the presuit process, electronic health records discovery issues, as well as the latest on legislative and caselaw updates. The Advanced Trial Advocacy Course was hosted May 15-19 at the University of Florida Levin Law Center and chaired by Dennis O’Connor and Chuck Ingram. An outstanding faculty of judges and notable trial lawyers from all over the state, as well as barristers from the United Kingdom provided hands-on, learning-by-doing trial skills training that included lectures, presentations, demonstrations, videotaping, and constructive critiquing. Only 60 lawyers are selected to attend. The TLS provides scholarships to legal aid lawyers in conjunction with The Florida Bar Foundation, as well as scholarships to honor past Chairs Glenn Burton and Bob Mansbach.
Many thanks to CLE Chair Vicki Sproat and her committee for the outstanding job done this year with all of the section’s continuing education programs.
• Chester Bedell Trial Lawyers Luncheon — The section again will jointly sponsor with the Criminal Law Section a luncheon at the annual Bar convention, featuring a prominent, well-known speaker, in addition to honoring a senator and representative for their outstanding service to Florida during 2018.
As my term as chair comes to a close, I thank each member of the TLS executive council for your hard work, as well as that of our Bar liaison, Wayne Helsby, and our section administrator, Chase Early. It’s been a privilege and pleasure to serve as chair of the TLS.
Skooter Kinman, Chair
Workers’ Compensation Section
The Workers’ Compensation Section has been quite active over the last 12 months. Following a year in which landmark decisions were handed down by the Florida Supreme Court and the First District Court of Appeal, the section focused its efforts on internal improvements designed to make the body more inclusive and more diverse. The section also championed legislation to assure that judges of compensation claims are reasonably compensated and to assure continued interest among practitioners to serve on the bench.
In an undertaking that began more than one year ago, the general membership approved a major rewrite of the section by-laws. The new by-laws are intended to create opportunities for service on the section council by affording past-chairs the option to step off the council and elect emeritus status. This emeritus status for past section chairs is accompanied by voting rights on all matters that may come before the section. The new by-laws are also intended to increase section diversity. I am proud to say that the section can already claim two new female attorneys among its ranks. The by-laws have moved through the approval process dictated by The Florida Bar and are presently pending final approval.
The section worked to fulfill a commitment to assist the judges of compensation claims in securing fair compensation for their services. Bill sponsors were secured in both the Florida House and Senate. The bill moved quickly through the Florida Senate, only to be derailed in the Florida House. While nothing ultimately passed, the section remains committed to assuring that judges of compensation claims are fairly compensated.
• January Executive Council Meeting — In January, the executive council held a meeting in Miami Beach. At this meeting, council members discussed all aspects of section life, especially the necessity for having an inclusive and diverse section, the need to attract the best-qualified applicants for judicial openings and the need to monitor the Constitution Revision Commission (CRC).
• Workers’ Compensation Forum — The Workers’ Compensation Forum took place April 12-13 at the Omni Orlando Resort at Champions Gate in Orlando. The forum is the preeminent workers’ compensation seminar in Florida for attorneys and claims adjustors, featuring highly qualified speakers covering every aspect of Florida’s workers’ compensation system and law. The efforts of forum chair (and soon to be section chair) Leo Garcia cannot be highlighted enough.
• Frierson–Colling Professionalism Award — The 2018 recipient of the section’s Frierson-Colling Professionalism Award for outstanding leadership and professionalism during his career is Judge Neal Pitts, judge of compensation claims. Judge Pitts has served the state workers’ compensation system since his initial appointment by then Gov. Charlie Crist.
• News and 440 Report — The section’s publication, News and 440 Report, continues to be a tremendous source of information, commentary, analysis, and insight for section members. The section is grateful to executive council member Rick Thompson who served as guest editor of this informative publication.
• The 2018 Legislative Session — The 2018 session of the Florida legislature commenced with the almost immediate passage of a workers’ compensation bill by the Florida House of Representatives. Largely addressing employer/carrier-paid attorneys’ fees, the bill would have effectively denied injured Floridians the ability to obtain legal counsel consistent with the Supreme Court’s decision in Castellanos v. Next Door Co., 192 So. 3d 431 (Fla. 2016), and the First DCA’s decision in Miles v. City of Edgewater, 190 So. 3d 171 (Fla. 1st DCA 2016).
Section lobbyist Fausto Gomez,
council member Richard Chait, and I worked during the session to assure that any legislative enactment addressing fees fairly compensate attorneys, while assuring injured workers have access to qualified council. The bill passed the Florida House, but was not heard in the Florida Senate.
• Annual Section Meeting & Section Elections — The section is preparing for its annual meeting. For the first time, the annual membership meeting and section elections will take place in conjunction with the Workers’ Compensation Forum in April. The section is not scheduled to meet in conjunction with the 2018 Annual Workers’ Compensation Educational Conference at the Orlando World Center Marriott.
This is indeed an exciting time to be a workers’ compensation lawyer. The Workers’ Compensation Section remains dedicated to diversity and inclusion, education, professionalism, and assuring the independence of the workers’ compensation judiciary. As chair, I thank every member of the section council for their efforts on CLE programs, section membership, our section website, legislative affairs, and everything else. Each and every one of you serve the section and our practice for the right reasons. I especially thank our section liaison, Willie Mae Shepherd, immediate Past Chair Alan Kalinoski, and Chair-elect Leo Garcia for their support over the past year.
Paul M. Anderson, Chair
Young Lawyers Division
This year, the Young Lawyers Division set out on an ambitious mission to provide meaningful tangible benefits to Florida lawyers, successfully brand our programming, and more effectively communicate with our constituents. With the helping hands of 65 governors, I am proud to report that we met our lofty goals.
The YLD created and launched our new Legal Accelerator website under the Herculean leadership of Santo DiGangi and Andrew Pickett. The Legal Accelerator is a virtual mentor, serving as a one-stop hub for obtaining advice on a variety of common issues encountered by young lawyers, and features approximately 1,000 mentoring videos covering more than 500 topic areas and over 100 experienced Florida practitioners. Like Google, the Legal Accelerator is easily searchable and organized in a user-friendly manner allowing lawyers to efficiently and effectively find answers to their questions. The Legal Accelerator is the first of its kind in the country and will continue to evolve with frequently updated videos and content.
Our Technology Committee Chairs Valerie Barnhart and Eric Everson embarked on another brand-new initiative, Technology Roadshows. The YLD provided free technology-based CLE programming to local affiliates in Tallahassee, Jacksonville, Ft. Lauderdale, Daytona, Orlando, and Naples, who hosted the events and retained any proceeds generated from the events. These Technology Roadshows educated lawyers across the state on topics such as cybersecurity threats for lawyers/law firms and practice management use to prevent malpractice claims. The committee overhauled the YLD’s technology webpage and created a “Trending in Tech” segment for the YLD newsletter, covering hot topics such as cryptocurrency and data breaches. These initiatives kept the YLD on the cutting edge of technology in the law.
We worked hard to improve communications both internally and externally. First, under Kevin Barr and Michael Lockamy’s leadership, our Communications Committee revamped our eNewsletter to more effectively reach young lawyers. We consolidated email communications promoting CLEs into a format that complimented our eNewsletter and reached more members than ever. All newly admitted Florida Bar members received a welcome letter from me explaining who we are, what we do, what helpful resources are available to them, and other important information for new lawyers. Second, the YLD created a new public relations position entrusted to Adam White, who consolidated and synergized all messaging sent from the YLD and its committees, and organized and consolidated internal communications to more effectively complete YLD work. This resulted in more efficient and effective work within the YLD. Governor White also drafted a three-minute elevator speech branding the YLD’s tangible resources and coordinated YLD governors giving that speech across the state to their local affiliates and before each Technology Roadshow, Basic CLE, and Practicing with Professionalism CLE. The YLD has never so effectively branded its work.
With so many helpful resources, it’s a tough job to stay up to date. Focusing on our web resources, the new Online Resources Committee, led by Travis Mydock and Schuyler Smith, took on the monster task of refreshing and updating the YLD website, the Start My Florida Law Firm website, and the Lawyers Advising Lawyers platform.
Legislative Affairs Chairs John Dicks and Nikki Fried worked all year assisting the Constitution Revision Commission (CRC), a process unique to Florida that allows 37 commissioners to examine and amend Florida’s Constitution. The committee produced 11 webinars educating the commission members on constitutional issues, and spearheaded an effort to oppose a CRC proposal to raise the age eligible to begin serving as judge. After months of work and political maneuvering, the proposal did not pass the CRC process.
Hurricane Irma unexpectedly devastated large parts of Florida causing our American Bar Association YLD designated representative, Anthony Palermo, to lead the launch of Florida’s Disaster Relief Hotline. In coordination with countless entities, the YLD opened a toll-free hotline, recruited volunteer Florida lawyers to answer questions of storm victims, and advertised the hotline to Floridians. 461 Florida attorneys volunteered and assisted on 1,929 cases. In addition to that great initiative, our ABA delegation also drafted and passed Resolution 18-3YL, Florida’s Parental Leave Rule, which would establish a presumption for a trial continuance to lead counsel for parental leave. We recruited 21 sponsors of the resolution and the ABA YLD Corporate Counsel Committee published an article highlighting our efforts to in-house counsel around the country.
The Pro Bono Committee, led by Stephanie Cagnet Myron and Eric Elms, furthered efforts to help fellow Floridians by assisting the Florida Bar Foundation to develop and promote a new search tool for pro bono cases and helped create a short video demonstrating how to use it: https://flayld.org/florida-probono-catalog. The YLD created a Virtual Food Drive for Hurricane Irma victims and raised over $1,500; raised over $300 in addition to hundreds of supplies donated to a woman’s shelter in Miami; adopted a Title I school in downtown Jacksonville, where over 70 percent of the students are on free or reduced lunch, and provided supplies for those who could not afford them; and, held a teddy bear drive for an organization that provides teddy bears to families with children who are in the hospital.
Our Webinars Committee kept the YLD consistently engaged with members under the leadership of Lara Bach and Robert Wohn. The committee hosted 10 free high-quality webinars to help lawyers be better personally and professionally, ranging on topics from Beyond Balance: Strategies for Professional and Personal Well-Being to Exiting Law Firms with Clients in Tow: Legal and Ethical Issues.
Alexandra Palermo and Paul Silvestri organized and welcomed more than 250 Florida lawyers and law students to our annual Affiliate Outreach Conference. The amazing weekend at The Vinoy in St. Petersburg featured Tampa Bay Rays GC John Higgins as the keynote speaker, a leadership roundtable, a night of fun, networking, and dancing at the Museum of Fine Arts, and a 5k fun-run honoring Martin Luther King, Jr. The YLD gave out almost $50,000 in grant funding and $30,000 for community outreach, morning/afternoon at the courthouse, and professional roundtable grants through the work of its Awards Committee, chaired by Joe Joyce and Annika Ashton, and the Local Bar Affiliates Committee, chaired by Jason Lambert and Nich Zbrzeznj.
The Quality of Life Committee was rebranded the Health and Wellness Committee to better reflect its mission and to better communicate to the entire Bar this great cause. Led by Ben Gibson and Natasha Dorsey, the committee added a regular health and wellness article in our eNewsletter; incorporated health and wellness activities into every meeting; added a “Good Stuff” portion to the beginning our board meeting highlighting the important work our board recently accomplished; worked with the BOG on the Special Committee’s objectives, including hosting town halls, increasing member benefits, and working with law students; hosted our fourth annual Health and Wellness Month by presenting weekly free webinars, profiling judges, attorneys, and law firms, pushing out daily social media links to articles about wellness; provided grants to affiliates for wellness activities; and, worked with the Lawyers Assistance Program to improve messaging and spread awareness of their services.
The YLD also worked to enhance educational opportunities for young lawyers. The YLD’s Practicing with Professionalism Committee, chaired by Cherine Smith Valbrun and Jen Smith, hosted 5 PWPs and completed a thorough review of the program since launching its online version. The CLE Committee, chaired by Margaret Good and Travis Santos, hosted six high-quality CLEs on several topics including family law, evidence, business litigation, transactional law, personal injury, and estate planning. Additionally, the YLD joined with the Solo and Small Firm Section to host the Small Firm Reboot: Gearing Up for Efficiency and Success at the annual Florida Bar winter meeting.
Law Student Division Chairs Paige Gillman and Iris Elijah worked with each Florida law school to create new programming relevant to law students, which enforced the rigors of the practice of law, including a new UMC Workshop pairing local judges, lawyers, and law students to work on issues common in the practice.
The YLD continued its efforts to increase involvement of law students through the annual Robert Orseck Moot Court competition, thanks to the work of Moot Court Chairs Andrew Manko and Dwayne Robinson. This year’s problem featured two civil law questions relating to federal and state debt collection acts and Florida’s offer of judgment statute.
On a personal note, it has been my honor to serve as president of the YLD. My colleagues worked selflessly this year to help Florida young lawyers, sacrificing time away from work and families, and I stand in awe of their accomplishments. As always, the YLD remains thankful for the steadfast leadership of Program Chair Tom Miller — nothing works without him. I must also thank President Michael Higer and President-elect Michelle Suskauer for trusting me as we tested new initiatives this year, and for allowing me the privilege to work with Scott Westheimer on the Bar’s new website.
I look forward to cheering on President-elect Christian George and President-elect Designate Santo DiGangi as they take the YLD to new heights in the coming years!
Zackary T. Zuroweste, Chair