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Proposed rule would require members to disclose all jurisdictions in which they are licensed to practice

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The Florida Bar Protecting Rights, Pursuing Justice, Promoting Professionalism sealThe Board of Governors has signed off on a proposed rule amendment that would require Florida attorneys to report other jurisdictions where they are licensed to practice law.

At a January 27 meeting in Tallahassee, the board voted unanimously, without discussion, to approve the proposed amendments to Bar Rule 1-3.3 (Official Bar Name and Contact Information).

In addition to changing the title of the rule, the proposed amendment would add a subdivision (b), “Notice of Admission to Other Jurisdictions.”

The subdivision would state “Each member of The Florida Bar must notify The Florida Bar of all other states, including the District of Columbia, in which that member is licensed to practice law.”

The Disciplinary Procedure Committee voted unanimously October 27, 2022, to recommend board approval.

A staff analysis notes that most jurisdictions require lawyers to report specified disciplinary actions to the other jurisdictions.

However, “for lawyers who are disbarred or disciplinarily revoked, it is unlikely that the bar member, who has already engaged in serious misconduct, would report that disciplinary action to other jurisdictions,” the analysis states.

The Florida Bar participates in an ABA-sponsored nationwide database to report discipline, the analysis notes.

“However, adding a requirement that Florida Bar members report their other law licensures to the bar would give the bar another tool to report disciplinary action to those other jurisdictions,” the analysis states.

The proposed amendment goes next to the Florida Supreme Court for a final determination.

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