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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 July 19, 2024, 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 Florida Supreme Court style guide are not noted in the summary. To receive a full copy of the text of proposed amendments, email Kelly Smith at [email protected]. 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 3-5.2 EMERGENCY SUSPENSION; INTERIM PROBATION; INTERIM PLACEMENT ON THE INACTIVE LIST FOR INCAPACITY NOT RELATED TO MISCONDUCT; AND FREEZING TRUST ACCOUNTS

Summary: Within subdivision (b), adds new subdivisions (4) and (5) adding procedures for motions for dissolution for interim probation and a ban on successive motions for dissolution. Moves current (b)(6) to mirror subdivision (a).  Within (a)(6), adds that the bar must show the respondent is causing great public harm. Within subdivision (b)(4) (shown deleted), adds back the sentences on interim probation.

RULE 3-5.4 PUBLICATION OF DISCIPLINE

Summary: Within the comment, adds the article “the” in front of Southern Reporter.

RULE 4-8.6 AUTHORIZED BUSINESS ENTITIES

Reorganizes subdivision (c) and adds shareholder, member, and equity owner as prohibited titles for nonlawyers in a law firm.  Adds that “a nonlawyer may not direct or supervise the work of lawyers, make decisions regarding a lawyer’s compensation, or perform any policy-making function that would impact the practice of law or the lawyer’s independent professional judgment in an authorized business entity.”

Chapter 6 Legal Specialization and Education Programs

RULE 6-3.5 STANDARDS FOR CERTIFICATION

Summary: Adds new subdivision (f) giving the Board of Legal Specialization and Education Authority to extend the application requirements completion time for specified events.

RULE 6-3.6 RECERTIFICATION

Summary: Adds new subdivision (f) giving the Board of Legal Specialization and Education authority to extend the application requirements completion time for specified events.

RULE 7-2.4 PREREQUISITES TO PAYMENT

Within subdivision (a), changes “suspended” to “under a rehabilitative suspension.”  Amendments to the comment add “rehabilitative suspension” and “would be automatically reinstated to good standing.”

Chapter 14 Grievance Mediation and Fee Arbitration

RULE 14-4.1 ARBITRATION PROCEEDINGS

Summary: Within subdivision (c), removes the requirement for consent of staff counsel for intake counsel to refer complaints to fee arbitration. Within proposed subdivision (c)(2) changes “chief branch staff counsel” to “chief branch discipline counsel.”

Chapter 20 Florida Registered Paralegal Program

RULE 20-5.1 GENERALLY

Summary: Within subdivision (a), adds on the inactive list due to incapacity.

Standing Board Policies

Standing Board Policy 15.90 Review and Approval of Disciplinary Cost, Diversion Fee, Restitution, and Fee Arbitration Award Payment Plans

Summary: Within subdivision (d), deletes references to specific subdivisions of rule 1-3.6, as one of the references is incorrect.

FIRST READING

Chapter 6 Legal Specialization and Education Programs

RULE 6-12.4 DEFERMENT AND EXEMPTION

In subdivision (c)(1) and (2), adds “if the member has completed the Practicing with Professionalism course sponsored by the Young Lawyers Division as required by rule 6-12.3(a)(1).”

 RULE 6-12.7 CONFIDENTIALITY

The rule is re-written. Clarifies confidentiality applies to the basic skills course requirement and not CLER or certification.

RULE 6-13.2 DEFINITIONS

Within subdivision (b)(1), rewords rule to provide rule clarity.

RULE 6-13.4 RECERTIFICATION

In subdivision (f), adds judicial peer review waiver. In subdivision (f), changes substantial involvement from 5 years to 2 of the last 5 years.  In subdivision (g), corrects rule reference.

RULE 6-18.4 RECERTIFICATION

In subdivision (a), adds that time devoted to lecturing or authoring books or articles on city, county and local government law substitutes for the practice of law if the applicant was also engaged in the practice of law during that time period.  In subdivision (c), adds relatives and persons employed by the same educational institutions to the list of prohibited peer reviewers.

Board of Legal Specialization and Education Policies

BLSE Policy 6.02  Reporting

In subdivision (f)(2), adds “Of the required 10 credit hours, the member must complete 1 hour of technology and 2 hours of legal ethics, substance abuse or mental health and wellness, as well as the mandatory 2-credit hour Florida Legal Professionalism course produced by The Florida Bar and approved by the Supreme Court of Florida.”

BLSE Policy 2.09 Professional Ethics and Competence

In subdivision (a)(1), adds discipline “issued by a state judge, federal judge, an arbitrator, The Florida Bar, or another state bar association.” In subdivision (a)(2), adds complaints “initiated or pending with The Florida Bar or another state bar association, which resulted in a sworn complaint filed against the applicant by bar counsel.” In subdivision (a)(3), adds arbitrator. In subdivision (a)(4), Adds breach of fiduciary duty. In subdivision (a)(5), adds please of guilty or no contest and adds exclusion of civil traffic infractions.

News in Photos

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