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Florida Bar to hold president-elect candidates’ forum February 22

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Steve Davis and Gary LesserThe Florida Bar will present a live president-elect candidates’ forum February 22, from 12-12:30 p.m., via Zoom, to provide Florida lawyers an opportunity to virtually meet the candidates: Steve Davis of Miami and Gary Lesser of West Palm Beach.

Davis and Lesser, both current members of the Board of Governors, will present opening and closing statements about their qualifications and visions for the Bar. They will also answer questions submitted in advance by Bar members.

The forum will be moderated by former Justice Peggy Quince who served on the Florida Supreme Court from 1999-2019.

“Normally the candidates would travel the state attending local bar meetings and events to meet Bar members from Pensacola to Key West,” President Dori Foster-Morales said. “With the pandemic restricting travel and in-person events, this forum will give members another opportunity to evaluate the candidates prior to voting.”

Former Florida Supreme Court Justice Peggy Quince

Justice Peggy Quince

Ballots for the election will be emailed or mailed on March 1, and all votes must be received prior to midnight, March 22. The winner who receives the majority of votes will be sworn in as president-elect at the 2021 Annual Convention when current President-elect Michael Tanner is sworn in as president.

Links to register for the forum and to submit questions in advance are posted at floridabar.org/forum along with Florida Bar News resources including a question and answer feature article and the candidates’ platform statements. The forum will be recorded and placed on this webpage for members who are unable to view the live program.

Florida Bar bylaws provide that members in good standing as of February 15 are eligible to vote.

“Voting for the next president-elect each year is an important responsibility of members,” Foster-Morales said. “The president is the chief executive of The Florida Bar and has the duty and obligation to provide steady leadership in the accomplishment of the aims and purposes of our Bar.

“I encourage all eligible members to learn about these candidates through this forum and Bar News resources and to participate in the election of our next presiding officer,” she said.

In addition to conducting meetings and serving as the official spokesperson, the Bar president appoints committee leaders and members and, along with the Board of Governors, is responsible for overseeing an annual budget filed with the Supreme Court of more than $40 million.

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