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22 Fla. B. News 1 (1995)

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By Gary Blankenship
Associate Editor

  Overall, the budget for Florida's gov-
ernment tripled between the 1984-85
and the 1994-95 fiscal years.
  Florida's court system should have
done so well.
  On November 23, Florida TaxWatch,
a nonprofit government watchdog and
research group based in Tallahassee,
released a report showing state govern-
ment spending tripled in 11 years, while
Floridian's spendable income only
doubled.
  Separate data researched by the Bar
News showed for the same period the
budget for the court system doubled-
while inflation ate up much of that
increase and rising caseloads and de-
mands increased pressures on courts.


  Here's what figures showed. In the 11
fiscal years between 1984-85 and 1994-
95, Florida's budget grew from $13.3
billion to $38.8 billion, or slightly less
than tripling. At the same time, the
amount spent on county and circuit
courts, district courts of appeal, and the
Supreme Court went from $87.7 million
to $179.9 million-just more than dou-
bling.
  The state budget for state attorneys
went from $78.2 million to $191.1 mil-
lion, while public defenders' budget went
from $42 million to $88.2 million.
   If you think that's a generous raise,
consider this: According to Mike Ross,
the TaxWatch staffer who prepared the
report, inflation over the 11 years was
42.7 percent. That means, generally,
what cost the courts $1 in 1984-85 costs
               See ludge% page 14


  Year
1984-85
1985-86
1986-87
1987-88
1988-89
1989-90
1990-91
1991-92
1992-93
1993-94
1994-95
Percentage
Increase


State Budget
(in billions)
   $13.3
   $14.7
   $16.6
   $18.5
   $21.3
   $23.2
   $27.7
   $28.9
   $31.7
   $35.5
   $38.8

     192


Court Budget*
  (in millions)
  $ 87.7
  $ 95.0
  $104.4
  $120.1
  $140.0
  $144.2
    $155.2
    $160.5
    $163.4
    $168.4
    $179.9

      105


St. Atty.   Pub. Def.
$ 78.2       $42.0
$ 84.3       $45.5
$ 94.4       $51.0
$116.7       $59.2
$131.1       $66.4
$150.9       $73.7
$165.4        $80.0
$163.3        $83.5
$163.5        $84.4
$171.7        $86.7
$191.1        $88.2


*This figure includes what the state spent on the court system. It does not
include expenses paid by counties.


and Continuing Edmaton Gid


January 1, 1995 a Vol. 22, Mo. 1

                                         1994 in review


Dade County young lawyers' Kids
Club matches volunteers with at-risk
youth year-round.



  Representatives from nine local
young lawyer groups attended the
Young Lawyers Division 1994 Affili-
ate Outreach Conference December
9 in Ft. Lauderdale.
   The conference is an annual meet-
 ing of local bar leaders for the purpose
 of disseminating information about
 young lawyers' programs and activi-
 ties, according to Greg Snell of Day-
 tona Beach, conference co-chair. The
 event also establishes a liaison be-
             See Projects, page 4


   [,11a ,  1 -3s2 [1KSu ?


 SEVERAL IMPORTANT changes
 to Bar rules will be considered by the
 Board of Governors next month, and
 are summarized in an official notice.
 Pages 2-3
 MEMBERS AND CHAIRS have
 been picked for law-related commit-
 tees in the Florida Legislature. Page 7

 MERIT    SELECTION, Supreme
 Court jurisdiction, and court finances
 occupied the Article V Task Force at
 a public hearing in Orlando. Page 16

 YOUNG LAWYERS Division Board
 of Governors members J. Kevin Carey
 and Matthew J. Comisky are running
 for division president-elect. Page 18

 MEMBERS OF judicial nominating
 commissions discussed problems and
 ways to improve the appointing of
 judges at the recent 18th Institute for
JNCs. Page 22


By Gary Blankenship
Associate Editor

  There were the expected continuing le-
gal issues, such as battles over the unli-
censed practice of law, lawyer adver-
tising, and the operation of the volun-
tary pro bono plan.
   There were some new faces, including
 on flhe Flnridp. Supreme Court.
 A normally quiet agency, the Florida
 Board of Bar Examiners, found itself at
 center stage. Court decisions, notably on
 lawyer advertising and judicial elec-
 tions, were important.
   And for The Florida Bar itself, it was
 a year less of new initiatives than in
 finding new ways to reach and listen to
 members, and of reemphasizing basic
 Bar goals.
   That's how 1994 went, a mix of new
 and old problems and challenges, some
 high spots and some low.

 Meet the Court
   Perhaps the tone for the year was set
 early, during the January Midyear Meet-
 ing. At the All Bar Conference, the first
 day of midyear, participants as usual de-
 bated topical questions. But the after-
 noon session was devoted to a first-ever
 session with the full Florida Supreme
 Court.


  Lawyers at the conference could ask
any question they wanted of the seven
justices, who oversee the Bar, its opera-
tions, and the rules governing the prac-
tice of law. Many of the queries focused
on the pro bono program and mandates
on practicing lawyers.
   The justices emphasized they have to
 consider the public, the legislature, func-
 ,aning (if the cc_.!E, zr other issue
 when making Bar and court rules. Our
 number one goal:' Justice Parker Lee
 McDonald said, is how the public is go-
 ing to be best served.
   One topic receiving attention was the


new pro bono plan. The court-ordered
plan sets a voluntary goal of annually
providing 20 hours of service to the poor
or donating $350 to a legal aid office.
While the program is voluntary, Bar
members are required to report on the
dues statement whether they met the
goal.
  Justices told the lawyers the program
was not intended Lo force lawyerS to do
charitable -work; but to improve access
to the court for the poor.
   Both lawyers and justices praised the
 meeting after it was over.
                See Review, page 8


                                     Bar lawyers, State Attorney
   .-     ....   ~close 'Constitutional Court'
   A Tampa father and daughter team     stitutional Court of We the People.
who had set up their owvn court have gone Driver had been appointed by the Su-
to jail for violating a Florida Supreme preme Court as the referee in the case.
Court order to cease the practice.     This really is a classic example of
  Emilio L. Ippolito and Susan L. The Florida Bar protecting the public:'
Mokdad were sentenced to 160 days in Bar President Bill Blows said. 'These in-
the Hillsborough County Jail by Sixth   dividuals have preyed upon the weak-
Circuit Judge B.J. Driver on a contempt nesses of those in society who are the
charge for violating the Supreme Court disadvantaged, the poor, the unedu-
order. The court had ordered the pair, cated, the misinformed. They inflamed
and their associates, to cease activities the prejudice of those people against the
connected with their self-proclaimed Con-                   See      , pZ    6


THE 1995 Media-Law Conference will be March 3-4 in St. Petersburg. See the
brochure in this News for the schedule and registration information.


V,


F   (f v  di a's ! B, -  r sm t, a, ou o u v    u d g s  i o,

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