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26 Fla. B. News 1 (1999)

handle is hein.barjournals/flabn0026 and id is 1 raw text is: 

                                  FINAL MIDYEAR SCHEDULE INSIDE

Vthe Floida BarJar

Volume 26, Number I                                            www.FLABAR.org                                                  January1, 1999

   The FloridaBar

   working for you-

Lawyer Referral
Service launches

   Attorneys participating in the Bar's
 Lawyer Referral Service reported
 earning more than $4 million in fees
 last year, and the Bar is looking to
 spread the wealth by encouraging
 more lawyers to participate in the pro-
 gram, according to LepAdams of Jack-
 sonville, chair of theBar's Lawyer
                 Referral Service
                   We are always
                 trying to improve
                 the service and one
                 rof the ways to im-
                 :1  provethe service is
                 to get more law-
                 yers to partici-
                 -  pate,Adams said.
                    Karen Kelly,
     ADAMS       manager of the
                 Bar's Public Ser-
 vice Programs, said while there are
 more than 58,000 members of the Bar,
 just over 900 lawyers participate in
 the service. In 1998, Kelly said, the
 service made more than 100,000 re-
                   ferrals to areas of
  The Bar          the state which
                   are not covered
 also Is           by local bar asso-
                   ciation lawyer re-
 woring to         ferral programs.
                   n~e.~~s .aid.the
  ........          ar also is work-
  the public       ing to encourage
  to look to       the public to look
                   to the Bar first
 the Bar           when they need
                   assistance find-
 first when        ing  a  lawyer
 they need         qualified to meet
                  their needs.
 assistance         One of the
 filidinga        thingswe learned
                 from the adver-
 lawyer.           tising campaign
                   we did last year
                   was that the pub-
 lic was not aware of the Lawyer Re-
 ferral Service and that when we told
 them about it, they felt that it was a
 significant benefit the Bar was pro-
 viding the public and they appreciated
   Last year the Bar ran a series of
 newspaper and radio advertisements
 in Alachua, Sarasota and Dade coun-
 ties that emphasized the need for
 those looking for a lawyer to learn
 about a lawyer's qualifications and ex-
 perience, explained the role of the
 Lawyer Referral Service and encour-
 aged consumers to look first to the Bar
 to help them find a lawyer.
   Adams said the referral service en-
 courages lawyers to recognize their
 obligation to provide services to the
 public and advises people of the value
 of lawyer consultations.
   Many lawyers say they joined the
 service as a public service because
 they want to help people for a mini-
 mum fee and possibly prevent legal
 problems from happening, Kelly said.
 Others join because they are solo
 practitioners or new lawyers who
 want to build up a client base.
   The referral program is computer-
 ized and panel members are grouped
 by county and area of practice. The ser-
 vicecovers counties that do not have
 a local bar association service, includ-
 ing Dade, Volusia, Lee, Polk, Alachua,
 Sarasota and Manatee. If calls come
 in from areas with local bar referral
 programs, the Bar refers those call-
 ers to the local service.
   Any member in good standing with
          See Referral, page 12

Candidates qualify for board races

Russomanno, Rydberg file for president-elect

  Herman Russom-
anno of Miami and
Marsha Rydberg of
Tampa have filed
nominating petitions
and qualified to run
for Florida Bar presi-
dent-elect. Filing
closed on Decem-
ber 15.
   Both candidates
are members of the
Board of Governors
and former local bar
presidents who have
been active in Bar,
legal and civic ac-
tivities and who say
they want to lead
the Bar as it faces
the challenges in a
changing legal, tech-            RY5
nological and soci-
etal climate.
   Ballots should be received by Bar
members around March 2 and must be
received back to the Bar's election com-
pany by midnight March 21. The winner
will be sworn in as president-elect dur-
ing the Bar's June Annual Meeting, and
will become president in June 2000.
   Candidates also have filed for Board
of Governors races. (See story page ?)
   Russomanno called it a privilege and a
responsibility to be both a lawyer and to
lead the Bar. I believe our legal profes-

sion has changed dramatically over the
past 25 years, causing every law firm and
lawyer to examine what drives his or her
organization, he said. As a leader of the
Bar, I would have the opportunity to be an
effective advocate and help shape the fu-
ture of our profession and this call to ac-
tion would be something I would welcome.
   Rydberg said the legal profession and
the justice system must be ready to deal
with coming changes that could radically
change how lawyers practice.
   I believe the third branch of govern-

Bar offers online Y2K help
By Mark D. Killian                      The 40-page handbook is divided into
Associate Editor                     several sections. The first, titled 'Educa-
  • Lawyers face a series of risks from the  tion and Awareness, outlines what the
Y2K problem and the time is now to as- year 2000 problem is and how it affects
sess your practice's vulnerability and  the law firm, going into detail about com-
take action to minimize those risks, ac- puter hardware and software and what
cording to J.R. Phelps, director of the  some of the problems may be. A section
Bar's Law Office Management Assis- on Inventory and Assessment enables
tance Service.                       lawyers to assess their firm's Y2K com-
   Those who don't heed the Y2K warn- pliance status, using worksheets, ques-
ing could find themselves confronting a  tionnaires, and summary sheets that
range of computer problems next year, allow them to determine whether they
from simple business interruptions to have a problem and how big of a problem
legal malpractice, Phelps said.      it is, saidAndrewAdkins, director of UFs
   That's why LOMAS and the Univer- Legal Technology Institute.
sity of Florida College of Laws Legal  Phelps said the handbook can be
Technology Institute have produced a downloaded free from the Internet at
self-help resource and a planning guide, www.FLABAR.org or from www.law.ufl
so lawyers can understand what the year .edu/lti/year2000 in WordPerfect,
2000 problem is and how it affects them. MicrosoftWord and HTML formats. Print
   Lawyers are so involved in their day- copies will be available through LOMAS
to-day involvement with clients that of- for $25.
ten their own needs and concerns don't   oIb beY2K compliant, you must assess
get the attention they should, Phelps every piece of equipment, said Adkins,
said, adding that's why LOMAS joined adding the handbook also can be used as
forces with LTI in trying to assist law- a budget tool to determine how expensive
yers and firms in understanding the di-              See Y2K page 12
mensions of the Y2K problem.

lll . i. l. rui s .  nOOUIaUUsI, I IoIUo Ljaa  IIUIItJay  IUI nIIoI IrUI I   L, IIIUI CII at  ja.I.&,
Jill Nursery in Broward County. The association also gave enough gift certificates for food to
feed 10 families whose children attend the nursery. Pictured at the luncheon is member
Kimberly K. Ward chatting with one of the youngsters.

                  ment, including the
                  legal profession, is
                  in a state approach-
                  ing crisis if not actu-
                  ally in a crisis, she
                  said. It is easy to
                  see the economic
                  and societal impacts
                  on other professions
                  like medicine and
                  banking. We are not
                  as aware sometimes
                  that the same forces
                  are challenging our
                  own profession.
                       I feel it is ab-
                  solutely critical that
                  we enter into the
                  dialogue as to how
                  our    profession
                  should change and
IANNO             how we can retain
                  that which is pre-
cious to our fundamental rights and to our
American system of government, while re-
sponding to the pressures of society.
Change will come. The question is
whether the Bar will be a participant in
the way it will occur. I want to help lead
           See President, page 6

Judicial diversity

is Chiles' legacy
By Mary Smith Judd
Associate Editor
   From his first appointment to a circuit
 court to his last on the Florida Supreme
 Court, the late Gov. Lawton Chiles sent a
 message loud and clear: Women and mi-
 norities are welcome here.
    During his eight years as the -state's
 chief executive, Chiles
 made more than 250
 judicial appointments.
 The judges appointed
 include 23 African
 American men, 16
 black women, 45 Cau-
 casian women, 21 His-
 panic men and four
 Hispanic women.
   Ten years from
now, that probably will
be looked at as his      CHILES
most significant accomplishment, said
friend and colleagueW Dexter Douglass,
who served as Chiles' general counsel
during much of his second term, until the
Governor appointed him to lead the Con-
stitution Revision Commission.
   Douglass said Chiles accomplished his
 goal of diversifying the courts without
               See Chiles, page 5

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