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11th Circuit, Seat 1, Board of Governors Candidates’ Platform Statements

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Bar SealKarl Klein and Benjamin Mordes, both of Miami, have filed to run for an open 11th Circuit seat on the Board of Governors.

Qualifying for the vacancy created by the election of 11th Circuit board member Roland Sanchez-Medina, Jr., as president-elect designate ended February 14.

The office commences on June 23 and continues for a term ending June 21, 2024, or until a successor is elected and qualifies.

Here are the candidates’ platform statements.

Members in the 11th Circuit may vote by accessing the MyFloridaBar Member Portal on The Florida Bar’s website. Voted ballots must be received prior to 11:59 p.m. EST, March 21.

11th Circuit, Seat 1

Karl Klein

Karl Klein

Karl Klein

As your representative, I will have two main areas of focus: 1) improving lawyer mental health & wellness, and 2) supporting our members in achieving their professional goals. I believe these skills are necessary for lawyers to advocate effectively for their clients, communities, and themselves.

Currently, I serve as Chair of The Florida Bar’s Mental Health & Wellness of Florida Lawyers Committee. Throughout the past two decades I have worked as a corporate attorney in every private practice firm type: starting in Big Law, then in-house counsel, and transitioning from the thrill of starting my own firm to years later joining a small firm that has now grown into a mid-sized firm. I experienced, firsthand, the unique problems of each workplace type — and their common challenges.

I’ve also seen a change in how we practice law. Being constantly connected creates an always-on mentality that complicates meeting our personal needs, which often take a backseat to the pressures of the office. It feels like the practice of law has become harder, causing many experienced colleagues to leave our profession.

When the Bar created the Mental Health & Wellness Committee, I became involved because I recognized the need for its work. Now in my second year as Chair, I see how our initiatives, such as the Florida Lawyer’s Helpline, have positively impacted fellow lawyers. The goal of helping lawyers fuels myself and my fellow committee members to develop new initiatives and fulfill our mission.

I want to represent you and continue this work. We are fortunate to have many talented individuals among Bar staff, and a strong group of BOG representatives from our Circuit. Some of the ideas I would work with them on include:

– Increasing lawyer and FRP wellness offerings;

– Developing best practices for improving the quality of attorney life and experiences;

– Advocating for low-cost software tools to ease the administrative burden of running a firm;

– Supporting the Practice Resource Center, which is an outstanding Bar benefit and something every lawyer should utilize;

– Expanding development programming for young lawyers to become partners or start their own firm; and

– Preparing the Bar for a future where smart contracts and AI drafting tools will change how we practice law.

Being a member of the Board of Governors is more than Bar administration. It is a responsibility to look at trends and community needs, to consider our profession’s future and how to best prepare for it. I hope to represent your needs, as well as the ideas above, by becoming your representative. Thank you for taking the time to read my statement and for voting.

Benjamin Mordes

Benjamin Mordes

Benjamin Mordes

I am excited and honored to be a candidate for The Florida Bar Board of Governors representing the Eleventh Judicial Circuit (Miami-Dade County). I believe we have a special and diverse legal community that continues to grow and evolve – making Florida one of the best in the country.

For nearly 15 years, I have lived and practiced law in Miami. My practice has primarily involved insurance disputes, but I have also spent a significant amount of time devoted to protecting and serving the injured. I am also licensed to practice law in New York, where I obtained my LLM in Taxation. However, my home and heart are in Miami, and I moved back to my adopted home as soon as my program ended.

I welcome the opportunity to give back to the legal profession. I believe it is time to step up and make a positive difference. For the last few years, I have had the privilege of sharing a vast majority of my time with my partners at Jimenez Hart Mazzitelli Mordes. I believe that we provide exceptional legal service to our clients. However, my life has changed recently. As a new father, I began to think more and more about the future of our profession. What will the next twenty or thirty years look like? Am I doing my part to ensure that all individuals will have access to courts in Florida? Do Florida courts have enough resources to guarantee that every citizen will be treated fairly? Are we taking steps to enhance professionalism for the next generation of lawyers?

As you may know, the Board of Governors is responsible for managing the Bar’s lawyer discipline program, continuing legal education programs, legislative activities, and the overall administration of The Florida Bar. As a member of the Florida Board of Governors, I would labor to find solutions to preserve the strength of the judicial branch. Open communication would be paramount and I would encourage the thoughts and suggestions of my peers. How can we make the Bar better together?

I respectfully ask for your support. Voting begins on March 1, 2023.

Let’s move forward together.

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