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Proposed board action

Announcements

Florida Bar sealPursuant to Standing Board Policy 1.60, the Board of Governors of The Florida Bar publishes this notice of intent to consider the following items at its May 21, 2021, Board of Governors meeting. This is governed by Rule 1-12.1, Rules Regulating The Florida Bar. If approved by the board, most rules amendments must still be formally filed with the Supreme Court of Florida, with further notice and opportunity to be heard, before they are officially approved and become effective. Amendments to section bylaws and standing board policies are final on board of governors action.  Additionally, non-substantive edits to conform to the Supreme Court style guide are not noted in the summary. To receive a full copy of the text of proposed amendments, email [email protected] or call the Rules Administrative Coordinator at 850-561-5780. Reference any requested proposal by its title and date of this publication.

FINAL ACTION

RULES REGULATING THE FLORIDA BAR

Chapter 3 Rules of Discipline

RULE 3-5.1 GENERALLY

Summary: Within subdivision (d), removes references to publication in the Southern Reporter.

RULE 3-7.4 GRIEVANCE COMMITTEE PROCEDURES

Summary: Within subdivision (e), changes “board of governors” to “appropriate designated reviewer.”

RULE 3-7.1 CONFIDENTIALITY

Summary: Within subdivisions (a)(2), (3) and (5), clarifies when disciplinary information becomes public.  Within subdivision (a)(3), changes rule reference from “3-3.2(a)” to “3-3.2(b).”  Within subdivision (a)(5), adds “and fee arbitration” in title and rule text.  Within subdivision (j), changes “or might cause embarrassment in any future disciplinary matter” to “not be admitted as evidence in disciplinary proceedings under these rules.”

 Chapter 4 Rules of Professional Conduct

RULE 4-7.13 DECEPTIVE AND INHERENTLY MISLEADING ADVERTISEMENTS

Summary: Within subdivision (b)(6), divides subdivision into (b)(6) and (b)(7), makes disclaimers required only when necessary to avoid misleading a reasonable viewer, and makes wording of disclaimer discretionary.

RULE 4-7.14 POTENTIALLY MISLEADING ADVERTISEMENTS

Summary: Within subdivision (a)(4)(B), omits the requirement that lawyers certified by entities accredited by the American Bar Association, but not The Florida Bar, contain a disclaimer that the lawyer is “Not Certified as a Specialist by The Florida Bar.”

RULE 4-7.16 PRESUMPTIVELY VALID CONTENT

Summary: Within subdivision (a)(1), adds social media contact information including social media icons or logos.

RULE 4-7.19 EVALUATION OF ADVERTISEMENTS

Summary: Within subdivision (a), changes location of filing from the bar’s headquarters address in Tallahassee to “in the manner specified by The Florida Bar as posted on its website.

RULE 4-8.6 AUTHORIZED BUSINESS ENTITIES

Summary: Within subdivision (e), adds emergency and other indefinite suspensions that last 91 days or longer.

Standing Board Policies

SBP 1.41 Delegates to American Bar Association House of Delegates

Summary: Within subdivision (b) and (d), clarifies that delegates may vote on their own judgment and their statements, votes, or positions are not positions of The Florida Bar unless the board has determined and instructed them otherwise.  Within subdivision (c), clarifies that when the board takes a formal position on any political or ideological issues the ABA House of Delegates will be studying, the bar must comply with standing board policies, rules, and procedures, and not when the board is merely studying or discussing an issue.

Fee Arbitration Procedural Rules

Fee Arbitration Procedural Rule IV. Hearings

Summary: Within subdivision (e), adds attendance by electronic means.  Within subdivision (e)(2), adds method of administering the oath for persons attending telephonically or electronically.  Adds a comment that the oath will be consistent with the Florida Evidence Code.

FIRST READING

RULES REGULATING THE FLORIDA BAR

Chapter 2 Bylaws of The Florida Bar

BYLAW 2-9.7 INSURANCE FOR MEMBERS OF BOARD OF GOVERNORS, OFFICERS, GRIEVANCE COMMITTEE MEMBERS, UPL COMMITTEE MEMBERS, CLIENTS’ SECURITY FUND COMMITTEE MEMBERS, AND EMPLOYEES

Summary: Adds former board members, officers, grievance committee, unlicensed practice of law, and clients’ security fund committee members and former employees to those covered by insurance and indemnification for acts committed in their capacity doing bar work. 

Chapter 3 Rules of Discipline

RULE 3-5.2 EMERGENCY SUSPENSION AND INTERIM PROBATION OR INTERIM PLACEMENT ON THE INACTIVE LIST FOR INCAPACITY NOT RELATED TO MISCONDUCT

Summary: Adds new subdivision (o) which requires that a respondent sever all employment and financial ties with any law firm on entry of an order of emergency suspension.

RULE 3-6.1 GENERALLY

Summary: Within subdivision (a), clarifies who is subject to the rule.

RULE 3-7.16 LIMITATION ON TIME TO OPEN INVESTIGATION

Summary: Within subdivision (d), clarifies that the bar will not take action on a complaint against a constitutional officer while that person remains in office.  New commentary clarifies that only the governor has the authority to remove constitutional officers.

Chapter 6 Legal Specialization and Education Programs

RULE 6-8.4 CRIMINAL TRIAL RECERTIFICATION

Summary: Within subdivision (b) adds that  the criminal law certification committee may consider for good cause involvement in protracted litigation as defined elsewhere in this subchapter.

RULE 6-13.4 RECERTIFICATION

Summary: In subdivision (c), the requirement of 5 oral arguments is changed to 3 for the first recertification cycle and 2 for subsequent recertification cycles.

 Standing Board Policies

Standing Board Policy 3.20  Insurance for Board Members, Bar Officers, Grievance Committee Members, UPL Committee Members, Clients’ Security Fund Committee Members, and Bar Staff

Summary: Adds former board members, officers, grievance committee, unlicensed practice of law, and clients’ security fund committee members and former employees to those covered by insurance and indemnification for acts committed in their capacity doing bar work.

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