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28 Fla. B. News 1 (2001)

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Tod
   Miami lawyer
ernors member 'V
elected as preside:
Bar for 2001-2002
. Aronovitz, who
firm specializing i
and wrongful dea
posed and becam
ignate on Decem
closed.
   He will be swor
in June as current
Russell assumes t
2002, Aronovitzw
dent.
   I'm truly grate
dent-elect, Arono
my clients that I
than my adversa
comes, and I will &
I really am look
Florida Bar presi


Aronovitz named president-elect
and Bar Board of Gov-    For the moment,Aronovitz said he has  elect Terry Russell. He is an outstand-
bd Aronovitz has been only one limited goal for his tenure:  ing attorney, and it is comforting to me
nt-elect of The Florida  That's to improve the practice of law for  to know that someone of his dedication
                      every Florida lawyer and to improve the  and quality and experience will serve as
oheads a four-lawyer  image of attorneys - and I put an excla-  president-elect during my term as presi-
in catastrophic injury mation point or two exclamation points  dent.
ath cases, was unop-   after that.                             Tod Aronovitz is a wonderful person
e president-elect des-   I love a challenge, he added. It's  and will be an outstanding president of
nber 15, when filing   time for the lawyers of the state of The Florida Bar, said President Herman
                       Florida to say enough is enough, and  Russomanno. It has been my pleasure
rn in as president-elect  we're proud of our profession, and we're  to serve with him on the Executive Com-
; President-elect Terry going to tell everyone about that.  mittee.
he presidency. In June   As for his immediate plans, My num-  He is an experienced trial lawyer and
will become Bar presi- ber one job is to support President-elect  deeply cares about the lawyers of this
                       Terry Russell and assist him in any way  state and the clients they represent.
ful I will become presi-  I can, Aronovitz said.              Aronovitz, 50, said when he was first
ovitz said. I tell all of  He's also interested in hearing from  elected to the board in 1996, he had no
will be more prepared  Bar members, and invited their e-mails idea he would eventually seek the presi-
ry when the trial day  at ta@aronovitzlaw.com.               dency.
lo the same for the Bar. We are truly fortunate thatTod       I told many of my friends I wanted


ing forward to being
ident.


Aronovitz has offered his time and tal-
ent to our profession, said President-


See Aronovitz, page 4


The Florida Bar News (,


  Volume 28, Number 1  www.FIABAILorg     January 1, 2001


   The Florida Bar

   Working for You

RPPTL Section tells
law students how to
keep the boss happy
   As a service to law students, the
Bar's Real Property, Probate and Trust
Law Section brought young lawyers to
give advice to law students at Florida
State University and the University of
Florida.
   At recent receptions, young members
of the Bar related firsthand how to win
the kudos and avoid the curses of super-
vising attorneys and clients dufing that
                   first year or so in
Newlawyers         law practice. The
should take        young lawyers ad-
                   dressed practical
rsponslibMtY       issues that may
forgood            arise during the
                   first few years as
commnulCtTL, a practicing attor-
organization       ney, said RPPTL
and time-          law school liaison
                  Phillip Baumann.
keeping to get     New    lawyers
ahead, the         should take re-
                   sponsibility for
young lawyers good communica-
counseled.         tion, organization
                   and time-keeping
                   to get ahead, the
                   young lawyers
counseled.
   I have seen young lawyers make
those kind of mistakes - like not being
careful with billing or not fully under-
standing the scope of what they're do-
ing, Baumann said. As a law student,
you spend as much time as you need to
studying or preparing a memo, butf
you're dealing with a legal matter that
is not ofgreat financial consequence, you
can't really afford to spend three full
days drafting a memo. You have to figure
out a way to be more efficient with your
time, which is not something that you
have to worry about as a student.
   Lannie Dalton Hough, Jr., an attor-
 ney in Carlton Fields' Tallahassee of-
 fice, advised students to become skilled
 in identifying the client's real prob-
 lems. He suggested they determine
 clearly what the client's goals are. The
 purpose of research projects in a law
 firm is not to show the client or the su-
 pervising attorney how much you know
            See RPPTL, page 11

 JUSTA REMINDER- The 2001-2002
 committee preference form inviting Bar
 members to list committees on which they
 would like to serve during the administra-
 tion of President-elect Terry Russell must
 be returned to the Bar by January 12.


Board approves Bar fee increase


By Gary Blankenship
Senior Editor
   Saying they had little choice, mem-
bers of The Florida Bar Board of Gover-
nors have approved overwhelmingly the
first increase in annual membership fees
in 11 years.
   If approved by the Supreme Court, fees
for the 2001-02 fiscal year will rise from
$190 to $265 for active members and from
$140 to $175 for inactive members.
   Board members, at their December 15
meeting in Coral Gables, said after they
examined the numbers provided by the
Budget Committee, they concluded
there was no alternative but to approve
the hike ifIRVtar were to remain an
effective voice for the public and the pro-
fession. Most, although not all, said the
lawyers they represent either sup-
ported the raise or at least did not op-
pose it.
   Budget Committee Chair Jesse Diner
said the only opposition the committee
received was six letters.
   He noted that without the fee in-
crease, the Bar is facing a period of in-
creasing deficits. The deficit was about
$50,000 two years ago, rose to more than
$1 million last year and could top $1.8
million for the current budget year, he
said.
   Diner also said that the $190 ap-
proved in the 1990-91 budget would re-
quire $252 because of inflation today.
   Board member Louis Buck Vocelle
said while he personally supported the
increase, he had gotten the most input
of any issue during his six years on the
board from his circuit members and
they are overwhelmingly against it.
   He said the 19th Circuit lawyers felt


it was too big of an increase at one time.
  I've had the exact opposite experi-
ence, said board member David Welch
of the 17th Circuit. To a person, every
lawyer that rve talked to in my area said,
This is a no-brainer; why didn't this hap-
pen before now?' You're talking about,
basically, a cost of living equalization as
opposed to a raise.
   National Bar Association Virgil
Hawkins Chapter President Craig Gibbs,
representative to the board, said his
members also opposed the increase.


They supported, he said, a two-tiered
system with lower dues for newer Bar
members.
  Diner said the Budget Committee
considered a tiered system, but decided
it wasn't practical. Budget Committee
chair-elect William Kalish said the main
Bar expenses were for the discipline
system and CLE programs, and those
help all lawyers.
   Board member John Hume noted he


See Fees, page 10


Bar governors reject three

insurance ethics opinions


By Gary Blankenship
Senior Editor
  After hearing there might be proce-
dural problems, the Bar Board of Gov-
                ernors has rejected
                three proposed ethics
                opinions dealing with
                attorneys hired by in-
                surance companies to
                represent   policy-
                holders.
                  The Board Review
                Committee on Pro-
                fessional   Ethics,
                which had heard from
   MORALES      several insurance
                company representa-
tives the day before the board's Decem-
ber   15  Coral   Gables  meeting,
unanimously recommended that the
opinions be rejected.
   We were concerned by the proce-


dures under which the opinions were
promulgated [by the Professional Eth-
ics Committee], said board member
Manny Morales, chair of the BRCPE.
One of the concerns that was raised by
a representative of the insurance indus-
try is our rules apparently do not allow
for the procedure that was carried out
here.
   Morales said the committee didn't
necessarily agree that an error was
made, but, We reached the conclusion
it was in the best interest of the Bar not
to go forward because the rules are not
100 percent clear.
   Insurance representatives said Bar
rules require opinions come from ques-
tions asked by Bar members who actu-
ally face the ethical dilemma they are
inquiring about. The three insurance
          See Insurance, page 14


Foundation grants $10 million to

legal aid to the poor programs
By Mark D. Killian                    1993 until 1998, annual grant allocations
ManagingEditor                        were kept relatively stable through the
   The Florida Bar Foundation awarded use of the IOTA contingency reserve -
close to $10 million in IOTA grants De-  which was established before bank inter-
cember 8 to Florida legal aid providers and  est rates began to drop - and by allocat-
devoted another $1 million to special ing more and more of the Foundation's
purpose programs to help meet the legal  income to legal assistance to the poor pro-
needs of the poor.                    grams and less to the administration of
   The grants represent an almost uniform  justice and law student assistance projects.
8.3-percent across-the-board cut in Foun- The Foundation was also able to offset
dation funding for legal aid programs or  declines in IOTA contributions by the fa-
almost$870,000 less than the Foundation  vorable returns it received on its invest-
was able to grant a year ago, according to  ments. The reserve funds, however, are
William H. Davis, chair of the Foundation's  now depleted, necedsitating the cutback
Legal Assistance for the Poor Grant Com-  of legal assistance grants.
mittee.                                  The applications for general support
   Cuts in bank interest rates over the  grants for local programs are based upon
past few years have taken a toll on the  a per capita formula, depending upon the
IOTA program. In the past, the program number of poor people in a county.
has raised as much as $19 million a year In 1999, the programs provided legal
to fund legal aid, administration ofjustice
and law student assistance projects. From              See IOTA, page 5
   S-                    .          .

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