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Board expects to hear best practices for remote proceedings report

Senior Editor Top Stories

Board of Governors SealThe Board of Governors is expected to weigh proposed best practices for remote proceedings, and receive reports, including one from the Access Commission, when it convenes an interim meeting February 23.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Board of Governors has called several interim meetings with abbreviated agendas — in addition to regular meetings — as a means of avoiding the “Zoom fatigue” that can accompany long videoconferences.

At the February 23 meeting, Board Technology Committee Chair Jay Kim is expected to present the latest version of “The Florida Bar Recommended Best Practices Guide for Remote Court Proceedings.”

The board in December agreed to circulate a first draft to the judiciary, Bar sections and committees, and other potentially impacted groups for feedback to be received by January 20.

The latest version was updated February 16 to reflect the responses. Comprehensive but not mandatory, the guide includes recommended practices for everything from proper attire and lighting, to screen sharing and evidence submission.

It is divided into five sections:

  • Remote Procedures Applicable to All Proceedings
  • Remote Procedures Applicable to Non-Evidentiary Hearings
  • Remote Procedures Applicable to Evidentiary Hearings
  • Remote Deposition Procedures
  • Remote Mediations

The board is also scheduled to receive a report from former Bar President Greg Coleman, chair of the Florida Commission on Access to Civil Justice.

The report is expected to touch on the Access Commission’s latest focus, including COVID-19 resources, business community education, the Court Navigator, and eviction assistance.

Former President John Stewart, chair of the Special Committee on the Delivery of Legal Services, is also scheduled to present an update.

Among other things, the committee has been studying a potential rule change that would allow non-lawyer law firm employees to become partners and ease fee-sharing rules with nonlawyers.

At a February 16 meeting, the committee voted “in concept” to approve a proposed simplification of Bar advertising rules, including doing away with the mandatory review of ads instead of making filing voluntary.

“The biggest change is the removal of the filing requirement of an advertisement by The Florida Bar,” said Santo DiGangi, who chairs a subcommittee that studied the advertising rules.

Bar rules require ads that contain more than basic information and are not firm websites to be reviewed by the Bar before they are aired or published.

 

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