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41 Fla. B. News 1 (2014)

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Committee Preference Forms Are Due January 15 - FloridaBar. org


R0                                                                                                                               _est. 1974




                      The Florida Bar News


   Volume 41, Number 1                                                  floridabar.org                                                      January 1, 2014





 'I am really in awe of this country. I am an immigrant. I never forget that.

 By Jan Pudlow                                         are the lawyers upon whose shoulders my generation and I
Senior Editor                                          stand.
   In 1961, when Ram6n Ray Abadin III was 2 years old,  But Abadin's father ended up doing odd jobs and selling
his father left his law practice and his mother said goodbye  real estate and insurance instead of practicing law in their
to her beloved home in Cuba. They packed a suitcase and the  new homeland of two years in Atlanta, followed by a decade
trio boarded a plane for the United States and never went back,  in New Orleans, and finally Miami.
leaving behind everything they knew.                      Living the immigrant experience is a big part ofAbadin's          Ram6n Ray Abadin III
   Fifty-two years later, Abadin, a partner at Sedgwick LLP's  answer when asked why he wants to be president of The
Miami office, reflects on coming to America as a toddler, and  Florida Bar, a career milestone that will become a reality in  his second language, as well as his native tongue, Spanish, and
carrying on a love for the rule of law instilled by his father,  June 2015. When no one ran against him, and the deadline  Portuguese, which he minored in as an undergrad at Tulane
Ram6n Abadin, Jr.                                      passed December 16 for candidates in the election, Abadin University.
   Some of his father's law school friends in Cuba were able  officially became president-elect designate.      My parents left Cuba under harsh circumstances. The
to continue practicing law in Florida- such as Luis Figueroa,  I am really in awe of this country. I am an immigrant. I
Osvaldo Soto, and Mario Goderich, and Abadin said, Those  never forget that, said Abadin, who speaks perfect English as                      See Abadin, page 8


Board moves forward with posting

more disciplinary information online


By Gary Blankenship
Senior Editor
   More information about grievance cases
nearing conclusion will be posted on the Bar's
website following approval by the Bar Board
of Governors of recommendations from the
Communications Committee.
   The board acted at its December 16
meeting in Ft. Lauderdale. The changes will
result in public information being posted on
member profile pages on the Bar's website
when a consent judgment or referee's report
with a finding of guilt in a grievance case is
filed with the Supreme Court.
   They will also make more information
from those grievances and those in which
the Supreme Court has taken final action
available online.
   Communications Committee Chair
Michelle Suskauer presented the four


policies to the board. The
first two, amended slightly
by the board, provide that
when a consent judgment
or referee's report with
a finding of guilt is filed
with the Supreme Court, a  SUSKAUER
Bar member's status on the
Bar's website will be changed from Member
in Good Standing to Member in Good
Standing/Disciplinary Proceeding Pending.
   The third recommendation has the Bar
posting links to the referee's report or consent
judgment, the complaint and response, and
other relevant documents from the case once
the referee's report or consent judgment is
filed. The final recommendation allows for
links to case documents once the Supreme
                   See Online, page 6


   The Bar Board of
Governors has narrowly
decided not to issue a
proposed advisory opinion
relating to the deceptive use
of hidden text and metatags
on attorney websites but has
authorized a committee to
explore preparing an opinion
on lawyers using the business
networking site LinkedIn.


   While that opinion is
being considered, the board
also withdrew a Bar staff
opinion that advised an
attorney that using LinkedIn
violated Bar advertising
rules.
   Even as the board acted
at its December 16 meeting
in Ft. Lauderdale, board
members bemoaned the


difficulty of keeping board
rules and policies up to date
in a fast-changing digital
online world.
   Our rules are the rules,
said Carl Schwait, chair of the
Board Review Committee on
Professional Ethics, which
reported to the board on the
  See Linkedin, page 19


ad mos  n m@RG~o


By Gary Blankenship
Senior Editor
   Billboards, radio, and
 TV ads will be presumed
 misleading if they refer to
 past results of cases and give
 a monetary amount won by
 clients, following action by
 the Bar Board of Governors.
   The board, at its
 December 13 meeting in
 Ft. Lauderdale, approved a
 recommendation from the
 Board Review Committee on
 Professional Ethics to adopt
 guidelines for Bar lawyers
 who review ads submitted
 by attorneys.
   While the board was
 concerned mostly with
 billboard and electronic ads,.
all lawyer ads that mention
past results must comply
with the new guidelines.


   The guidelines are
intended to clarify recent
advertising rule amendments
that allow lawyers to refer
to past results if they are
objectively verifiable.
They also refer to claims
in criminal cases or success
in other types of cases if
relevant information is
omitted.
   Bar staff now will review
ads that contain claims
about past results that
were approved since new
ad rules went into effect
May 1, and report on when
noncomplying ads can be
changed. They will contact
lawyers and law firms if
those ads are deemed not to
comply.
   The problem, according to
BRCPE Chair Carl Schwait,


is when these ads that are
seen briefly by consumers,
such as on billboards, or
in short
duration,
like 15- or
30-second
television
or radio
ads, the
.message

adequately

that    an
award mentioned in the ad
is a gross amount and not
the net amount received by
the client after attorneys' fees
and costs.
   We have found that those
types of advertisements do

          See Ads, page 5


Board agrees to expand Leadership Academy
Applications for the second Leadership class are due January 15


   As the Bar accepts
applications for its
second class, the Board of
Governors has approved
expanding the size of the
Wm. Reece Smith, Jr.,
Leadership Academy.
   The board at its recent Ft.
Lauderdale meeting agreed
with the recommendation
of the Program Evaluation
Committee to expand the


number of
participants from   -
60 to 75 and also
give sections
more say in
the selection of
some academy
members.        TWoMPSON
   We have alot ofenergetic
individuals. These folks are
getting involved in our Bar
and our communities, and


we're thrilled to have a little
more room next year, said
PEC Chair Ray Abadin.
   Board member and
Leadership Academy Chair
Renee Thompson reminded
the board that applications
for the second class are on
the Bar's website on the
Leadership Academy page

See Leadership, page 4


PHELPS DUNBAR IN TAMPA was hard at work this holiday season gathering toys and other
appropriate gifts for children living with autism and developmental delays. They brought the
gifts as well as a monetary donation to the Lawyers Autism Awareness Foundation's Sensory
Frien fly Santa event that took place December 7. The'event, held at the Charles H. Ferguson
LaW Center, featured arts and crafts, a toy giveaway, and photos with Santa all geared to ac-
commodate the special needs of children on the autism spectrum. Elements that comprise
traditional visits with Santa,-including bright lights, loud Christmas music, and long lines, can
cause stress and anxiety for children with autism. The Sensory Friendly Santa Event provided a
calmer environment, including natural light, low noise, and appointed blocks of time to minimize
waiting for Santa. The firm also has a special connection to the event, as one of the attorneys
in the Tampa office has a child with autism. 'I am grateful for Phelps Dunbar's leadership and
generous assistance on this event, said Luis Viera, co-founder and president of LAAF 'Up
to this year, 100 percent of the toys that are distributed to the children come from Phelps and
the Tampa Hispanic Bar Association. Without their support, this event would not be possible.


Board wrestles with Linkedin issues
Declines to issue opinion dealing with hidden text and metatags

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