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25 Fla. B. News 1 (1998)

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Volume 25, Number I                                                  . Lr3v.y1' r                                             January 1, 1998

   worki ng       for' you

   Twenty-five years ago Linda Yates
spotted a trend. As editor of The
Florida Bar Journal since 1959, she
had seen the number of lawyers sky-
rocket. Bar membership topped
17,000, with no end in sight.
   The Florida Bar was beginning to
explode - in the number of lawyers
and the number of activities, she re-
calls. We weren't used to such rapid
   The Journal was published on the
15th of the month, and took a month
to produce, she says,
which meant our
calendar of events
and other things        ,
were dated by the     ?
time the lawyers re-  -.
ceived their maga- I        .-
   So she started a
   No other state
bar had a newspa-      YATES
per back then. We
had no model. We started from
scratch, she says.
   A scan of the headlines in the eight-
page inaugural issue of The Florida
BarNews brings to mind Mark Twain's
observation that it isn't really news,
they just change the names.
   Under the head Nation's Law Ad-
missions Set Record in 1973; Legal
Employment Lags, ABA President
Chesterfield Smith says of the 30,000
successful bar candidates nationwide,
I seriously doubt that all these law-
yers can be gainfully employed in the
law... but if we change the system so
people who need a lawyer can afford
to hire him ... .
   We ran the same story last month,
with the only change being, so people
can afford to hire him or her.....
   Linda wrote the copy betweenJour-
nal issues. Nancy McDaniel (now head
of the Bar's Office Systems Depart-
ment) set the type, and, Linda recalls,
we had a girl come in for the paste-up
who had to work on a drafting board
in the broom closet.

MV, How We've Grown
   Linda retired in 1989, after watch-
ing the newspaper grow steadily for 16
   We now have three full-time report-
ers writing for 66,500 readers, and a
four-person ad staff responsible for
generating $1.1 million of the paper's
$1.2 million budget. Computers have
replaced the typesetters and paste-up
   As we begin our 25th year, the fu-
ture of the paper looks bright. Bar sur-
veys rank the newspaper and
magazine as the two Bar services most
appreciated by the membership. The
Board of Governors and Budget Com-
mittee continue their support.
   Eighteen Circuit Judge Tom Free-
man was the liaison to our editorial
board when he served on the Board of
Governors, and now is serving his third
term as chair of the editorial board.
   The board will review the paper's
content later this year, and invites your
comments. Our address, fax number
and e-mail address are on page 2.

                  -Judson Orrick

 JUST A REPMuNDER- The Supreme
 Court has amended the continuing edu-
 cation requirement effective July 1998 to
 require that five of the 30 CLE hours re-
 ported each year must relate to ethics,
 professionalism or substance abuse. The
 new requirement applies to those report-
 ing next July, and thereafter.

Ecfoln th 1sLman nam@d

By Gary Blankenship
Associate Editor
   Veteran Miami Board of Governors
member Edith Osman has won election
without opposition as The Florida Bar's
president-elect designate when the nomi-
nation period ended December 15.
   She will take office in June as presi-
dent-elect and in June 1999 as Bar presi-
   Osman becomes the second woman to
lead the Bar, and the first to win with-
out opposition. This also marks the
fourth straight year a president-elect has
been chosen without opposition.
   I am honored and privileged to have
the opportunity to lead The Florida Bar,
the best bar in the country, Osman said.
I am gratified to have been elected to
the position of president-elect of The
Florida Bar without opposition.
   Osman said she worked hard prior to
the filing period lining up support and
garnered 3,200 signatures on her nomi-
nating petitions, far more than the 570
required by Bar rules.
   Her ascension to the top spot, Osman
said, is the culmination of more than 10

By Gary Blankenship
Associate Editor
   An opt-in and opt-out merit selection
and retention system for trial judges
appears likely to be headed to voters next
November, following action by the Con-
stitution Revision Commission.
   The commission, at its December 10-
12 meetings, also addressed several
other court-related issues.
   The CRC, after more than 90 minutes
of amendments and debates, voted to
send the merit selection plan to its Style
and Drafting Committee for preparation
of amendment language.
   Although it will come back to the com-
mission for final action, the amendment's
chances appear good: It takes, under
CRC rules, the votes of 22 of the 37 com-
missioners to send a proposal to voters
and it was approved by a 30-5 margin.
   As passed the amendment would go
to voters in November. If passed, on the
November 2000 ballot voters in each cir-
cuit would be asked whether they want
to keep electing trial judges or would
prefer to have merit selection and reten-
   Circuits with a majority favoring the
merit system would go to that immedi-
ately, others would retain an elected lo-
cal bench. Thereafter, a petition signed
by 10 percent of the number of voters
casting ballots in the most recent presi-

'We need to meet the 21st
Century with a revitalized
     outlook. We need to
communicate to the public
the spirit of our profession
     and the good things
          lavyers do.'

years of Bar work. That work has given
her some goals.
   First and foremost, I plan to support
the programs of President Ed Blumberg
and President-elect Howard Coker,
Osman said. I still have work to do
implementing the new grievance media-
tion program that I have been working
on this past year. (She is co-chair of the
committee overseeing that effort.)
   The new president-elect designate
also wants to improve the public percep-

                'If we don't

             V. offer the
             V people the
           Sright and
    ,       :.   ability to vote
                 Oilthis type of
             >   selection
                 system for
judges, I believe we have
not met the challenge we
were given when we
accepted appointment.'

           - Dexter Douglass
  Constitution Revision Commission

dential election would place the issue on
the ballot again. The amendment specifi-
cally allows those who would choose
merit selection in 2000 to return to an
elected system or those who opted for
elections to switch to merit selection.
   As originally proposed, the amend-
ment would not have allowed a switch
back to elections once a circuit's voters

By Mark D. Killian
Associate Editor
   Fourth DCA    Judge Barbara J.
Pariente was named to replace retiring
Justice Stephen Grimes on the Florida             t
Supreme Court December 10.
   Judge Pariente has had a long and
distinguished legal career and she has
all the skills necessary to be an excel-                          elf
lent and effective Supreme Court jus-
tice, Gov. Lawton Chiles said in
announcing the appointment. She is
fair, intelligent, dedicated to serving jus-
tice, well-respected not only in the legal
community but in her entire community.
She has certainly worked to make a posi-
tive difference, and I know she will con-
tinue to promote justice as a member of
the Florida Supreme Court.
   Pariente, 48, practiced law for 18
years before being named by Chiles to
the DCA four years ago. She is the sec-
ond woman to serve on the high court.
   Chief Justice Gerald Kogan said the
court already is familiar with Pariente,
having reviewed her work as a DCA
judge. The court also appointed Pariente  GOV. LAWTON CHILES announced t[
                                       appointment of Judge Barbara Pariente
            See Pariente, page 10      the Supreme Court December 10.

tion of lawyers. We have a great profes-
sion, but the decline in professionalism
and increased media ridicule have
             See Osman, page 5

had opted for the appointive system. But
CRC members approved an amendment
by member H.T. Smith to allow opting
out as well as opting in.
   The passage came after CRC Chair
Dexter Douglass relinquished the gavel
and made a plea for the amendment.
Douglass, a member of the 1978 CRC,
recalled that he opposed the amendment
that year to extend merit selection and
retention to al! trial judg;es, a  po: !;Pn
he came to regret.
   (All eight amendment packages as-
sembled by the 1978 commission were
rejected by voters, as was an initiative
amendment, but the merit selection pro-
posal came closest to passage, garnering
over 49 percent of the vote.)
   Douglass said when he finished law
school 43 years ago, he could 'name ev-
ery judge in the state. We are now liv-
ing in a different state with different
people with a large population, he said,
adding that in urban areas, it's impos-
sible for people to know all their judges,
although they might in a rural area.
   If we don't do anything else in the
judicial system, if we don't offer the
people the right and ability to vote on
this type of selection system for judges,
I believe we have not met the challenge
we were given when we accepted this ap-
pointment, Douglass said.
   He also said while the appointive sys-
tem has problems, it is less political and
fraught with conflicts than electing
        See Constitution, page 4


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