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15 Fla. B. News 1 (1988)

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President's View

   Florida Lawyers Mutual Insurance Company schedules briefing sessions


ByRay Ferrero, Jr.
  This is the second
time I have used this
column to report to
you concerning mat-
ters of timely impor-
tance to the lawyers of
Florida.
  In 1985, our agent
advised me that INA
was not going to renew
my firm's malpractice
insurance because o
the nature of our firm's practice. Many of
you have received similar letters from INA
or other insurance companies in the past. At
the present time, CIGNA Insurance Com-
pany is notifying Florida lawyers that it has
discontinued writing professional liability
insurance and that their policies will not be
renewed.


   We can no longer allow ourselves to be sub-
ject to. such actions on the part of the com-
mercial insurance market. Jt is time to take
our destiny into our own hands!
  By the time this is printed, I will have met
with Bar leaders in 15 of our 20 circuits, to
explain F.MIC (Florida Lawyers Mutual In-
surance Company). My plans are to continue
these meetings in the remaining circuits dur-
ing the month of January. I invite you to one
of the following sessions:


Ft. Lauderdale
January 6, 1988
9:00 a.m. to II a.m.
Westin Cypress Creek
400 Corporate Drive
Miami
January 6, 1988
2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m
Omni International
1601 Biscayne Blvd


Jacksonville
January 8, 1988
2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Omni Jacksonville
245 Water Street
West Palm Beach
January7, 1988
10a.m. to 12noon
The Royce
1601 Belvedere Road


Orlando
January 13, 1988
1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Omni Hotel
400 W. Livingston St


Tampa
January 22, 1988
11a.m. to 12 noon
Hyatt Regency
211 N. Tampa Street


  As I travel around the state, the three most
frequently asked questions are:
  eWhen will FLMIC write coverage? The
answer is simple! Within 30 days of the date
we raise $3 million.

  *Will everyone be eligible for coverage?
That answer is also simple. No! We will not
accept lawyers who are bad underwriting
risks. Having said that, our experts tell us that
90-95 percent of Florida lawyers should be
eligible for insurance with the company.
  *What must I contribute to the surplus of
the company to be eligible for coverage?


Before 01131188:
  Dade, Broward and Palm Beach County
lawyers-$ 1,900 per lawyer
Remainder of lawyers in state - $1,425 per
lawyer.
After O113188:
  Dade, Broward and Palm Beach County
lawyers-S2,000 per lawyer
  Remainder of lawyers in state-$1,500 per
lawyer
  Checks made payable to Sun Bank Na-
tional Association, Escrow Agent and com-
pleted subscription agreements should be sent
to:
  Michael A. Tartaglia, Esquire
  The Florida Bar
  600 Apalachee Parkway
  Tallahassee, Florida 32301-8226
              (Please see FLMIC page 2)


The Florida Bar .News

Vol. 15, No. 1                                                                                                                             January 1, 1988




Court approves Board reapportionment plan


by Judson H. Orrick
Associate Editor


   While finding The Florida Bar need not
 meet a strict one person, one vote require-
 ment in Board of Governors elections, the
 Supreme Court of Florida agreed with a
 group of Miami lawyers December 10 that
 Bar members in the state's metropolitan ar-
 eas deserve greater Board representation, and
 added nine seats to be filled this year.
 -The 6-1 per curiam opinion will result in
 four new Board positions for Miami-area law-
 yers, as.well. as.one additional, seteach fbr
 nonresident lawyers and lawyers in the sixth,
 ninth, 13th, 15th and l7thjudicial circuits.
 One New York lawyer who had filed a brief
 supporting strict proportional representation
 for all Bar members said the third nonresi-
 dent seat was not satisfactory. John R.
 Varney of Syracuse said he is considering pe-
 titioning the U.S. Supreme Court to review
 the case.
 Meanwhile, lawyers in the.12th Circuit will
 lose one of their two seats when new Board
 members are sworn in June 17, and the presi-
 dent-elect of the Young Lawyers Division now
 will have a voice on the Board, but no vote.
 Because the effective date would have given
 members only nine days to meet the qualify-
 ing deadline for this year's Board elections,
 the court extended the deadline to February
 1. Issued after a motion for clarification was
filed by the Bar, the extension applies to the
new positions and those seats already sched-


uled for elections in 1988 (see petition form,
page 4).
  ASKED TO comment on the opinion, Bar
President. Ray Ferrero said, I'm extremely
satisfied with it, because it accomplishes what
is in the best interests of the Bar. It followed
almost completely the proposal outlined by
the Board of Governors, and will allow us to
provide additional representation to the popu-
lous areas while retaining some representation
in the smaller counties, which I feel is very
advisable.
  Chesterfield Smith, the past Florida Bar
president who filed the petition last Decem-
ber, said he was not completely satisfied with
the result, but called it a reasonable step for-


ward.
  I believe the opinion and the action of the
court and the Board of Governors go a long
way toward correcting the deficiencies on the
Board in the underrepresentation of lawyers,
Smith said. But they did not correct the prob-
lem we have with the overrepresentation of
lawyers in some circuits.
  Smith said he thought the Board would func-
tion best with about 20 members. A group
of 51 representatives presents special prob-
lems, he said.
  It's going to be.hard to get volunteers to
participate in a collegial way on resolving prob-
lems, Smith said. They're going to have to
go to full parliamentary procedure. They're


Service tax repealed

   Lawmakers respond to outcry


going to-have to wait their turn to speak.
They're going to have to put limitations on
presentations...and even then people won't
have an opportunity to be fully heard.
   He said he did not think any of the peti-
tioners he represented would take the case into
federal court. Further adjustments in the size
of the Board should originate within the
Board, Smith said.
  I hope that the new Board of Governors
  will consider whether the Bar would be bet-
  ter served by a smaller Board, and come back
  with a petition some time in the future not
dissimilar to the one we filed, Smith said.
  BEFORE THE reapportionment, the
  Board had 42 members: the president and presi-
dent-elect; the president and president-elect
of the YLD; two Bar members who reside out-
side Florida; two nonlawyers; one Bar mem-
ber from each of the state's 20judicial circuits;
and 14 additional Bar members apportioned
among the circuits based on the number of
bar members residing in each circuit.
  The petitioners' proposal would have kept
the president and president-elect, the nonresi-
dent members and the nonlawyers, and would
have had between 30 and 40 resident Bar mem-
bers elected from single-member districts
created by the Board of Governors.
  Their plan would have eliminated the YLD
representatives and required that the appor-
tioned seats be elected according to the one
person, one vote principle.
  Two Florida Bar members from New York
argued there should be more nonresidents on
the Board, but otherwise supported the peti-
tioners' proposal.
  Sandy D'Alemberte, dean of Florida State
University College of Law, endorsed the pe-
             (Please see Opinion, page 4)


House SpeakerJon Mills, D-Gainesville, talks
with reporters December 9 outside Bob Marti-
nez' office after meeting with the Governor to
discuss action on the servicetax. Several hours
later, lawmakers repealed the tax and hiked the
sales tax on goods from five percent to six per-
cent.


By Joe Bizzaro
Associate Editor
  Florida's tax on legal counsel and scores
of other services died today, the victim of a
political backlash unforeseen last April when
lawmakers enacted the levy.
  Repeal of the service tax was authorized
under legislation approved in special session
December 10. Replacement of the hundreds
of millions of dollars in potential revenues lost
through repeal will begin February I when
the sales tax on goods increases from five per-
cent to six percent.


  The tax on legal services is dead, but its
ghost could haunt the business ledgers of Flor-
ida lawyers for some time to come.
  That's because a provision in the repeal-
ing legislation requires that all services per-
formed or used prior to January I remain
taxable even if paid for after January 1.
  For the attorney being paid an hourly fee,
that means all the time he or she spends on a
case prior to January 1 is subject to the five


  The legal service tax's demise comes as a
relief to Florida Bar President Ray Ferrero,
Jr., who credits lobbying efforts by the Bar
and individual attorneys with helping bring
about repeal.
  I'm gratified that all the efforts of The Flor-
ida Bar, its legislative staff and our members
came to fruition on behalf of our clients, he
said.
  But while the Bar vigorously opposed the
legal fee levy by lobbying lawmakers and chal-
lenging its constitutionality in court, it was
              (Please see Repeal, page 5)


percent levy but time spent on the same case
after January I is not.
  The only exception would be in the rare
instance of a prepayment, says Jeff Kielbasa,
deputy general counsel for the Florida De-
partment of Revenue. In those cases, any
prepayment made prior to January I would
be entirely taxable even if the work performed
for that fee spilled over into the new year.
               (Please see Advice, page 5)


BEST COPY AVAILABLE


    The Supreme:Courtadopted a reapportionmentplanwhich
 . ,createstfouradditional Board ofiGovernors seats for the l1th
   Circuitoenwsat.or sets tr he61t
   cuitne:n        -for the 6th, 9th, 13th 1ithand 17th cir-
   illcut ,and one neW.seat fornOnresident Barlmembers, effec-
i iJanuaryiLawyers in the 12th Circuit will lose oneseat;

  and ithe presidfnt-elec t ofthe-,Young' Lawyers Division will
  become a  nor  v  ime'  ber of the  oad.

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DOR gives advice to lawyers


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