Under Rule 2-9.3, Rules Regulating The Florida Bar (RRTFB), active members of the Bar may file a specific objection to any legislative position adopted by the Board of Governors.
Under RRTFB 2-9.3(c), objections properly filed within 45 days of this News issue will be considered for a refund of that portion of mandatory membership fees applicable to the contested legislative position. Forty-five days after the objection deadline, the Bar’s governing board has the option to grant the appropriate refund to an objector or to refer the matter to arbitration.
The arbitration process will determine solely whether the legislative position is within those acceptable activities for which compulsory membership fees may be used under applicable constitutional law. The objecting member’s fees allocable to the contested legislative position will be escrowed promptly upon receipt of the objection, and any refund will bear legal interest.
Any active member may provide written notice to the executive director of The Florida Bar, setting forth an objection to a particular legislative position. Failure to object within 45 days of this News issue will constitute a waiver of any right to object to a particular legislative position within this notice.
The policy requires the Bar to notice such legislative positions in the next available News issue following their adoption
Pursuant to Standing Board Policy 9.20, the Board approved the following new legislative positions on December 4, 2020:
The Florida Bar
1. Supports adequate funding of the state courts system, state attorneys’ offices, public defenders’ offices, court-appointed counsel, and the offices of the clerks of the circuit and county courts performing court-related functions
2. Supports a merit-based process for selecting Florida judges through independent judicial nominating commissions and opposes any changes to the current JNC process that would impair the independence of the commissions.
3. Supports legislation consistent with the Supreme Court of Florida’s certification of need for new judges.
4. Opposes term limits for judges at any level of Florida’s state court system.
5. Opposes amendments to the Florida Constitution that would alter the authority of the Supreme Court of Florida to regulate the admission of persons to the practice of law or the discipline of persons admitted.
6. Opposes amendment of Article V, Section 2(a) of the Florida Constitution that would restrict the Supreme Court’s authority to adopt rules for practice and procedure in all courts; further opposes any amendment of Article V that would change the manner by which rules of the Judicial Qualifications Commission, rules for judicial nominating commission, or rules for practice and procedure in all courts may be repealed by the legislature.
7. Supports language in the Legislative Appropriations Act to permit the payment of government attorneys’ Florida Bar membership fees and continuing legal education costs from funds within budget entities
8. Supports legislation to create reasonable financial student loan assistance for all government lawyers and legal aid attorneys who have served in that capacity for more than 3 years.
9. Supports adequate funding for civil legal assistance to indigent persons through the Florida Access to Civil Legal Assistance Act.
10. Supports the preservation of, and opposes policies and procedures that have the effect of eroding, the attorney-client privilege and work product doctrine, both of which are essential to maintaining the confidential relationship between client and attorney required to encourage clients to discuss their legal matters fully and candidly with their counsel so as to:
(a) promote compliance with law through effective counseling;
(b) ensure effective advocacy for the client;
(c) ensure access to justice; and
(d) promote the proper and efficient functioning of the American adversary system of justice.
11. To provide enhanced protection for attorney work product and attorney-client privilege, supports amendment of F.S. 119.071 revising the exemption from the attorney’s work product of a public agency and supports amendment of F.S. 286.011 revising the criteria for the attorney-client sessions of a public agency.
12. Supports adequate funding of the Legal Services Corporation by the federal government and opposes any funding cuts.
13. Supports an adequately funded federal justice system and judiciary.
14. If a stay at home (shelter in place) order is issued by a Florida state, regional or local governmental entity, such Order should state that law firms are essential businesses either entirely or when “necessary to assist in compliance with legally mandated activities”.
Board of Legal Specialization and Education Committee
1. Supports legislation which enhances compensation to attorneys in juvenile cases (dependency and delinquency proceedings) who are certified by Florida Bar BLSE.