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42 Fla. B. News 1 (2015)

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The Florida Bar News


Volume 42, Number 1


floridabar.org


January 1, 2015


Prather, Schifino vie for Bar presidency


By Jan Pudlow
Senior Editor
   Both are veteran Board of Governors members who
have chaired key committees and understand the inner
workings of The Florida Bar.
   Both are seasoned, board-certified lawyers rated AV
by Martindale-Hubbell, who have given back to their
communities.
   And both want your vote for president-elect of The
Florida Bar.
   Vying for the opportunity to lead Florida's more
than 100,000 lawyers in 2016-17 are 49-year-old David
C. Prather, of West Palm Beach, and 54-year-old Bill
Schifino, Jr., of Tampa.
   When qualifying for Bar elections ended December


15, 20 lawyers were also elected to the Board of
Governors without opposition, while four others are
running for two seats (see story, page 6).
   In addition, 16 lawyers have been elected to the
Young Lawyers Division Board of Governors without
opposition, while 17 others are contesting for seats in
five circuits (see story, page 10).
   Ballots for all the races will be mailed on or before
March 2, and must be returned prior to midnight, March
23. Voters will have the option of voting online in lieu
of returning their paper ballot.
   Here's a look at Prather and Schifino, who hope to be
sworn in as president of the Bar, following President-
elect Ram6n Abadin's 2015-16 term.
                          See Candidates, page 7


Bar drops past results guidelines for attorney ads

The move comes after a federal judge issued an adverse ruling


By Gary Blankenship
Senior Editor
   Amounts that clients have
won in lawsuits are again
permissible for lawyers to
use in television, radio, and
billboard advertising.
   The Bar Board of
Governors, following a
federal judge's ruling and
results from a Bar-sponsored
survey, have dropped
advertising guidelines
that said it was inherently
misleading to use past


results in those ads. These
ads, however, must still
be accurate and make no
material omissions.
   Bar President Greg
Coleman, after the board's
vote to withdraw the
guidelines at its December
12 meeting in Amelia
Island, also said it's time
to review other parts of the
Bar's advertising program,
including the requirement
that most ads be submitted
to the Bar for review before


they are published or aired.
   But Coleman emphasized
that none of the actions
change the latest version
of the advertising rules
that were adopted by the
Supreme Court in January
2013. Those rules, for the
first time, allowed lawyers
to refer to past results in their
advertising, as long as those
results were objectively
verifiable.
   In December 2013, the
board adopted guidelines


Bar's Practice Resource Institute

expected to debut in February

Program provides office operations and technology assistance


that said it would not provide
safe harbor letters for ads
referring to past results in
billboard, indoor display,
television, and radio ads
because those media did
not allow for explaining the
context of lawsuit awards.
   Coleman noted the
guidelines were adopted
after the Bar received a
number of complaints about
ads featuring past results,
particularly billboards that
often quoted clients as saying
their lawyers won them a
particular amount of money.
   The position of this
board [in adopting the
guidelines] was based on a
number of complaints from
       See Ads, page 5


BK PrESID ErTI I  R-E .ULIVIMNI, let, confers wlin t ar
outside counsel Barry Richard after the board's vote to with-
draw the past results guidelines at its December 1 2 meeting
in Amelia Island. Coleman also said it's time to review other
parts of the Bar's advertising program, including the require-
ment that most ads be submitted to the Bar for review before
they are published or aired.


By Gary Blankenship
Senior Editor
   Anew section of the Bar's
website geared to help Bar
members with law practice
office operations and to assist
members' use of technology
to improve their practices has
been previewed for the Board


of Governors.
   The board, at its December
12 meeting in Amelia Island,
got a first look at the Practice
Resource Institute, one of
the top priorities of Bar
President Greg Coleman, who
has vowed to help members
with technology issues. The


board also
approved 11
new providers
for the Bar's
Benefits
program,
with most of
those having    ISRAEL
a technology
product or service to help Bar
members.
   Those member benefits
will be listed as part of the
PRI, which will be unveiled
at the General Practice, Solo
and Small Firm Section's
seminar, Wild, Wild Tech:
Getting Down and Dirty with
Technology, January 23-24,
at the Winter Meeting.
   Coleman said PRI will go
live online around February 1.
   Jonathan Israel, the long-
time operations manager
for the Bar's Information
Technology Department,
has been named director
of the Practice Resource
Institute.
   We wanted to provide
our members with some
useful technological tools
that they could use to make
their practices more efficient
and more effective, Coleman
said.
   Coleman said he formed
the Special Committee on
Technology/Office Tools
& Resources and directed
it to have something ready
to present at the board's

See Resources, page 11


Portal's pro se tools to remain free

Court 'enthusiastically supports' ensuring access to the self-represented


By Mark D. Killian
Managing Editor
   The Florida Courts
E-Filing Authority has
assured the Supreme Court
that it won't charge self-
represented litigants to use
the Access to Justice tool
to prepare pleadings for filing
in Florida's courts through


the portal.
   The under-development
A2J tool is software
that will ask pro se filers
a series of questions and
then automatically produce
a Supreme Court-approved
legal form for filing.
   The assurance was given
when the authority met


December 11 and was in
response to a letter received
from Supreme Court Clerk
John A. Tomasino stating
that the A2J software project
has the full support of Chief
Justice Labarga, the other
justices, and the Judicial
     See Portal, page 10


THE FLORIDA FAM I LY LAW AMERICAN INN OF COURT in Jacksonville participated in a
community-service outreach project with the The Clara White Mission, a charitable organization
working to prevent and reduce homelessness through advocacy, housing, job training, and
employment. Many organizations here in Jacksonville provide care, support, and compassion for
the homeless in our city, and we were happy to contribute to one of those great organizations
this holiday season' said Ashley Myers, a member of the inn's executive board. Pictured from
the left are inn volunteers Nancy Adair Cleaveland, Dyvonnda Thurston, and Myers.


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