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Annual reports of sections and divisions of The Florida Bar.


Administrative Law

The Administrative Law Section had another active and successful year, thanks to the hard work of section members and the section's Executive Council.

The section continues to emphasize providing continuing legal education opportunities for its members. This year, the Pat Dore Administrative Law Conference was offered as the biennial showcase seminar. The conference's theme was "In Search of Camelot," featuring as keynote speaker former Florida Supreme Court Justice Arthur England, and also featuring several administrative law judges and many of the best known administrative practitioners in the state speaking on a range of timely Florida administrative law topics. The section also hosted the Practice Before the PSC seminar, focusing on electric utilities and telecommunications. The section finished its year by hosting the State and Federal Government and Administrative Practice (SFGAP) certification exam review course in April 2011. This course consists of a one-day seminar on Florida administrative and governmental law. This course is offered annually to help prepare state and federal government and administrative law certification applicants for the certification examination and to provide continuing legal education for our section members who are board certified in this area.

The section also took the lead this year in drafting amendments to the Uniform Rules of Procedure to address recent legislation and to clarify and amend outdated rule provisions. The section's Uniform Rules Committee, chaired by Judge Linda Rigot, diligently worked to produce a package of rules amendments to be provided to the administration commission for consideration and adoption through the rulemaking process.

The section continues to publish the Administrative Law Section Newsletter on a quarterly basis. The newsletter always features informative articles on a range of administrative law topics, as well as administrative agency snapshots and administrative case law updates. This year, it was a particularly useful vehicle for timely informing our members of sweeping changes to the Florida Administrative Procedure Act that became law as a result of the legislature's override of Governor Crist's veto of House Bill 1656, which had passed during the regular session. Special thanks to editor Amy Schrader for her outstanding efforts in arranging the lead articles, riding herd (with a velvet riding crop, no less) over dilatory authors, and in everything else she does to produce an outstanding written product for our membership.

The section is proud to have been very active this year in producing articles for publication in The Florida Bar Journal. We started our year with an article by Judge Bram Canter addressing practice before the Division of Administrative Hearings. The passage of House Bill 1565 provided fodder for two Bar Journal articles, one providing a thorough analysis of the legislation and its impact on the rulemaking process, and the other providing a scholarly analysis of constitutional issues raised by the newly enacted legislative ratification process for certain administrative rules.

Once again, the section is working with the Bar to update the Administrative Practice Manual. This effort is being headed by Judges Lisa Nelson, Elizabeth McArthur, and Linda Rigot, and the chapters are prepared and updated by some of the best known administrative lawyers in the state. This manual continues to be the most useful com pilation of Ch. 120 "black letter law" available, and the section is proud and grateful to be an important part of its production.

The section hosted two law school outreach events this year to introduce students to Florida administrative law. Both events were hosted in connection with the Florida administrative law course offered at the University of Florida Levin College of Law in Fall 2010, and the Florida State University College of Law in Spring 2011. Special thanks go to Judges Charles Stampelos, Bram Canter, and John VanLaningham, and to Agency for Health Care Administration Clerk Richard Shoop for their participation in these events.

One of my goals as chair this year was to infuse "fresh blood" into the section's leadership, and particularly to encourage younger lawyers to become involved. I saw this as important to the relevance and continued vitality of the section to its members. I am pleased that we have made strides in this area over the past year with several new participants joining in the section's committee activities. We identified opportunities for outreach to voluntary bar associations and other organizations as a means to increase section membership and have initiated efforts to take advantage of these opportunities over the coming year.

Thanks to every member of our section's Executive Council for all of your hard work and for a job very well done.


Alternative Dispute Resolution

The Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Section was approved by the BOG in July 2010 and officially launched in August 2010. The section's effort was spearheaded by BOG member Jake Schickel and is off to a great start with more than 380 section members. The ADR Section will appear as an option on the Bar annual fee statement for the first time this year. This first year was a planning and development year for the newly launched section. Alan Bookman became the first section chair and organized the section's first meeting in September in conjunction with The Florida Bar midyear meeting. Bookman announced the members of the first ADR section Executive Council and empanelled several section committees, including Mediation, Arbitration, Collaboration, Publications, CLE, Legislation, Rules, Ethics & Professionalism, and Outreach/Omnibus. The section's first newsletter is in progress and is expected to be in circulation over the summer. The section cosponsored the ABA Mediation Conference in

South Florida, the WCCP Forum in

conjunction with The Florida Bar Workers' Compensation Section, and the "Managing Your First Arbitration" program in Miami. The ADR section is cosponsor of the "Arbitration Clauses & Class Action Waivers in Consumer Contracts" scheduled for June 24, 2011, in conjunction with The Florida Bar annual convention. For additional information on the ADR section or to become a member, check out the ADR section of The Florida Bar website ( under Inside the Bar, Sections & Divisions links. You can also contact Lani Fraser via email at or telephone at (850) 561-5622.


Appellate Practice

The Appellate Practice Section has been very active in the past year. The Executive Council met at the 2010 annual Bar convention as well as at the September Bar meetings. This year, for the first time in many years, The Florida Bar did not hold meetings in January. However, the section believed it had much business to take care of. Therefore, it held its first-ever meeting by video conference. All five Florida district courts of appeal volunteered to host venues for the video conference and provided the conference facilities. Executive council members attended the meeting from Tallahassee (First DCA), Tampa (Second DCA), Miami Third DCA), West Palm Beach (Fourth DCA), and Daytona Beach (Fifth DCA). We thank the district court judges, the clerks of court, and the marshals for coordinating this effort.

This past year, the section made efforts to develop more opportunities to interact with appellate judges. For the first time ever, the DCA Judges Conference--an annual conference of all appellate judges in the state--allowed the section to sponsor a welcome reception for the conference. This year, we are looking to expand the section's participation at the conference. This year, again for the first time, the district courts of appeal judges have invited the section to participate jointly in the DCA Judges Conference. Section members will attend a day-and-a-half of joint programs, including a moot court event in which judges will serve as the advocates, and section members will serve as the judges. The section will host a reception on the conference's opening night and is sponsoring a speaker, Professor James Gordley of Tulane Law School, for a presentation on comparative appellate law. The event is scheduled for September 2011. Funding for the DCA judges' aspect of the conference remains an issue that should be resolved soon.

One of the section's signature projects is the publication of our flagship newsletter, The Record, and the regular publication of articles in monthly editions of The Florida Bar Journal. The section's Publications Committee has been busy and productive and has submitted a column for every edition of the Journal published this year. The section's Journal columns covered a variety of topics related to appellate practice, including doctrines of finality, judicial notice on appeal, tips on effective brief-writing, PCAs, professionalism on appeal, and the essential requirements of the law in certiorari proceedings. The section has already released two issues of The Record and is set to release another during this Bar year. The Record is available to all section members online and has covered topics such as the application of privacy/confidentiality rules in the appellate context, appointment and retirement of appellate judges, tips to improve appellate advocacy, and "insider's guides" to our appellate courts written by appellate court staff attorneys with input from appellate judges.

Throughout the past year, we have worked to update the online Appellate Practice Guide. Links to Web pages that were incorrect, out of date, or otherwise not working have been replaced. Additional information has been added to the section of the guide devoted to the Supreme Court of the United States. The guide has worked to update the Inside the Courts articles, two of which have been published in The Record. These articles will soon be available online, along with detailed biographical information on Florida's appellate judges.

The CLE Committee has been busy, and there is more to come before the Bar year ends. By the end of the year, the section will have sponsored five CLE programs, and one more in the summer of 2011. The section's CLE programs have covered a wide range of topics, including: a birds-eye view from the clerk's office, which included hot topics in Florida law, practicing before the Second District Court of Appeal, and the handling of criminal appeals in state and federal court. In addition, in late July 2011, the section will again offer at Stetson Law School the periodic, two-day seminar on brief writing and oral argument. Now in its eighth year, this intensive, three-day workshop provides participants at all skill levels with extensive feedback by program faculty on written and oral skills, and, for each participant, culminates in an actual oral argument before a three-judge panel.

On March 18, 2011, the section sponsored a program featuring an inside look at the clerk's offices of the 11th Judicial Circuit Court of Appeals (Atlanta), the Florida Supreme Court, the Third District Court of Appeal, and the 11th Judicial Circuit, Appellate Division (Miami). Either the clerks of court or their representatives participated, as did Immediate Past Chair Dorothy Easley and private appellate attorney Thomas Burns (Tampa). The seminar, which was attended by attorneys and legal assistants (including a former judge from the Third DCA) drew a very good attendance and provided attendees with an inside look at how their cases are processed in the different courts; how their appellate briefs could be better written; and how state and federal appellate rules differ. As a special plus, attendees were walked through the e-filing procedure for pleadings and appellate briefs. The seminar was chaired by Harvey Sepler, coordinated by Ceci Berman (our CLE chair), and held at the Third DCA.


As has been the case for the last few years, this past year, the CLE Committee also offered monthly one-hour lunchtime C LE programs by conference call. The telephone conferences provide an informal setting whereby participants can ask questions of the speaker in a relaxed forum. The speakers range from private practitioners to judges to government lawyers. This year, the calls addressed a wide range of appellate topics, including the current status of appellate mediation, practice before the U.S. Supreme Court, original proceedings, perspectives on oral argument, a "year in review" discussion of appellate decisions and issues from 2010, typography, and appellate ethics. Speakers included a broad range of appellate practitioners, and also included a former Florida Supreme Court justice, as well as Judges Peter D. Webster and William A. Van Nortwick, Jr., from the First District Court of Appeal.

The annual Bar convention in June will be the second year in which the section's annual discussion with the Florida Supreme Court will be conducted under the revised format. Under this format, the discussion will occur immediately after the Robert Orseck Moot Court Competition, but the winners of the competition will not be revealed until after the discussion. We have found that the new format provides law students with greater incentive to stay for the discussion with the Court. At the annual meeting, the section will once again sponsor the always-popular dessert reception and awards on Thursday evening. Delicious desserts, spirits, music, and fun professional networking is on the agenda.

The section's outreach committee continues to find new opportunities to provide mentoring to young lawyers and law students looking to become appellate practitioners. To that end, our outreach chair, Robin Bresky, is working on coordinating with the DCAs the attendance of such young practitioners at oral arguments and then holding question-and-answer sessions with the judges and lawyers after the arguments.


Business Law

The Florida Bar Business Law Section is having another exceptional year in 2010-11, thanks to its officers, Executive Council, committee chairs, members of the section's various committees, and the section's outstanding lobbyist, William B. Wiley. It's a great time to get involved in the Business Law Section, whether to gain further substantive knowledge in your area of practice or to build your network of attorneys around the state to share ideas and business.

Our section prides itself on the quality of our projects (both legislative and substantive), our CLE programs, our committee work, our friendships, and our ability to thoroughly and yet collegially discuss and come to resolution on many diverse matters within our purview.

With nearly 5,000 members and interests spanning the full spectrum of business law from transactions (cradle) to litigation and ultimately to bankruptcy (grave), we have the following substantive committees:

Anti-trust Franchise & Trade Regulation (Jason Murray, chair), Bankruptcy/UCC (Leyza Blanco, chair), Bankruptcy/Judicial Liaison (Judge Paul Hyman and Jason Burnett, cochairs), Business Litigation (Judge Edward LaRose and Ryan McCabe, co-chairs), Federal and State Judicial Liaison (Judge Thomas Smith, Judge Mary Scriven, and Steve Fender, cochairs), Intellectual Property (Joel Rothman, chair), Computer Law (Steve Milbrath, chair), and Corporations, Securities, and Financial Institutions (Roland Sanchez-Medina, chair).

In addition to our substantive committees, we have very active committees for CLE (Stefan Rubin, chair), Communications (Peter Valori and Steve Fender, co-chairs), Diversity (Judge Mary Scriven, Judge John Olson, and Jason Murray, co-chairs), FICPA Liaison (Diane Wells, chair), Legislation (Gary Teblum, chair), Membership (Alan Aronson, chair), and Retreat & Sponsorships (Alan Howard, chair).

This year, under the leadership of Melanie Damian and Judges William Van Nortwick and Laurel Isicoff, we added a pro bono committee in which we committed to 100 percent participation in pro bono service by our members and attorneys in their firms. We resolved to encourage this service by including a pro bono presentation as part of all of our programming.

Expanding the diversity of our section continues to be a top priority. This year, the Diversity Committee planned and organized the Diversity Program at the annual retreat of the Business Law Section, which featured Rick Palmore, the executive vice president, general counsel & chief compliance and risk management officer of General Mills. Palmore is a leader in the area of diversity within the legal profession and is the chair of the board of directors for the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity. In addition, the Diversity Committee coordinated the section's sponsorship and participation for both the Koyzak

Minority Mentoring Foundation Seventh Annual Picnic and the Fourth Annual Central Florida Diversity Picnic. During the course of the year, members of the Diversity Committee have spoken to numerous minority bar associations to discuss and publicize the Business Law Section's diversity initiative. We also launched the "Each One Reach One" campaign and encouraged committee chairs to identify, recruit, and mentor a minority candidate for leadership within their committees. The Diversity Committee has also conducted numerous meetings to discuss and develop a diversity strategic plan for the Business Law Section, which the committee will present to the Executive Council for adoption at the June 2011 meeting.

Meetings--The section will have held four meetings over the 2010-11 fiscal year.

Summer Retreat--Beginning with our now very popular Organizational Retreat over Labor Day weekend at the Ritz-Carlton in Naples, we use this as our kick-off meeting to set the section, committee, and task force agendas for the year. We also have invited the "business court" judges from around the state to attend and put on a panel discussion of activities in the business courts, along with a full agenda of CLE programs and committee meetings. The beach setting and holiday weekend encourages members to bring their families and we have a full plate of activities to keep everyone involved throughout the three- or four-day weekend.

Midyear-Tampa Airport--We had a "fly-in, fly-out" meeting at the Tampa airport in January, where we focused on the substantive matters of the committees.

Spring Executive Council Retreat --Our very special Spring Executive Council Retreat was held in Amsterdam in May. At this meeting, we travelled to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, toured Amsterdam, including its museums, and visited Anne Frank's house.

Annual Meeting--Our final meeting of the year will be in conjunction with the annual convention of The Florida Bar in Orlando in June where we will wrap up the year and transition to our new leadership. We expect a full complement of committee meetings, reception, and dinner.

Special Projects--The section has a number of special projects each year, but two are worthy of special note, the Opinions Standard Project and the LLC Act Revision Project.

* Opinion Standards--Thanks to the leadership of Philip Schwartz and his co-vice chairs, J.C. Ferrer and Robert Barron, the section has produced a new Opinion Standards Report that will effectively rewrite the legal opinion standards for Florida lawyers delivering third-party opinions. This has been a multi-year project, and the BLS was at the forefront of this effort, both within Florida coordinating with the RPPTL section, and nationally coordinating with the business bars of various states to bring some consistency to the critical area of transactional law for business lawyers within the state. The report is available on the section website.

* Ch. 608 LLC Drafting Task Force

--Under the leadership of Lou Conti as chair, and Greg Marks as reporter, we have been undertaking a thorough consideration and revision of the Florida Limited Liability Company (LLC) Act, by comparing our current LLC statute (Ch. 608) to the Revised Uniform LLC statute, the ABA Model LLC Act, the Delaware LLC Act, and selected LLC acts from other states like Colorado, Pennsylvania, and Texas. The task force is comprised of representatives from three sections of The Florida Bar: Business Law, Tax Law, and RPPTL. This task force hopes to have a revised LLC act ready for the 2012 legislative session in Florida.

Executive Council and Committees --The Executive Council is comprised of professors (Professor Marilyn B. Cane, Nova Southeastern University School of Law; Professor Stuart R. Cohn, University of Florida School of Law; Professor Jeffrey Davis, University of Florida School of Law; Manuel Utset, Florida State University) and judges (Judge Catherine P. McEwen, U.S. Bankruptcy Court; Judge Thomas Smith, Ninth Judicial Circuit; Judge Edward C. LaRose, Second District Court of Appeal; Chief Judge Paul G. Hyman, U.S. Bankruptcy Court; Judge Laurel Isicoff, U.S. Bankruptcy Court; Judge William A. Van Nortwick, Jr., First District Court of Appeal; Judge John Olson, U.S. Bankruptcy Court; Judge Mary Scriven, U.S. District Court; and Judge Michael Williamson, U.S. Bankruptcy Court), as well as attorneys from all of the geographic regions of our state. Lou Conti is our immediate past chair; Mindy Mora is chair-elect; and Brian Gart is secretary/treasurer. Our Long Range Planning Committee was again ably led by Co-chairs Roberta Colton and Judge Michael Williamson.

We continued our focus on more active interaction with the law schools throughout the state, including more law student receptions and attendance at our meetings. Gwynne Young served as the section's liaison to the Board of Governors, and Mindy Mora served as our representative to the Council of Sections.

CLE--Delivering the highest quality continuing legal education to our membership is one of the section's primary goals. The flagship CLE program continues to be the "View from the Bench," brought to you by the Bankruptcy/UCC Committee and under the always able leadership of Judge Michael Williamson and Judge Catherine McEwen. This year, the section again presented its annual Intellectual Property Symposium. The section also sponsored a CLE program addressing Cuba-related travel issues and a seminar on the fundamentals of franchising.

The section sponsored a number of half-day or full-day CLE programs throughout the year, including numerous short programs as part of their committee meetings--too many to acknowledge for fear of missing one or two. Special kudos to the CLE Committee for all of the CLE programming, but particularly for our highly successful lunch-'n'-learn CLE programs, which brought meaningful substantive continuing legal education to our members in a convenient one-hour format over lunch.

A number of our CLE programs are the result of the generous support of the section's numerous sponsors, many of whom have supported the section for multiple years, including Berger Singerman, PCE Investments, LexisNexis, Moecker & Associates, Navigant Consulting, Inc., and Management Planning Inc., among others.

Legislative Efforts--Perhaps the most important service the section provides to the Florida business community is our various legislative efforts. The section's 2011 legislative program consists of 32 "Big Bar" approved positions. The priorities in the current session are 1) adequate funding of Florida's judicial system; 2) supporting legislation to clarify and restore certainty with respect to Florida's LLC act, F.S. [section] 608.433, as a result of the Supreme Court of Florida's decision in Olmstead v. Federal Trade Commission--HB 253 by Stargel and others/SB 1152 by Simmons; 3) supporting legislation to clarify and provide viable procedures in F.S. [section] 213.758, with respect to transferee tax liability--HB 907 by Wood/SB 1384 by Altman; 4) opposing legislation providing for commercial nonjudicial foreclosure; and 5) monitoring/amending legislative proposals related to credit/debt counseling to provide clear definitions and language to exclude licensed Florida attorneys who are regulated by The Florida Bar. In addition, the section is actively assisting the "Big Bar" and its legislative team in responding to multiple bills proposing Art. V reforms. The section is indebted to Gary Teblum, chair of the Legislation Committee and past chair, and Louis Conti, both of whom have spent countless hours in support of the section's legislative efforts in 2011.

There is truly not enough space to mention all of the section's activities, projects, programs, or the many people by name that bring them to you. It is solely because of the selfless commitment of their time and talent that our section is one of the most active and effective in The Florida Bar.

In closing, it has been an honor and privilege serving as the section's chair. I have had the great good fortune of following in a long line of exceptional section chairs, and I particularly acknowledge and thank Lou Conti, my immediate predecessor who assisted greatly me throughout the year. I also acknowledge, with great gratitude, Mindy Mora, chair-elect, and Brian Gart, secretary/treasurer, who have worked very hard this year, and who will do a fantastic job in leading the section over the next two years. My thanks also to Valerie Yarbrough, who ably served as the section's Bar administrator during this year, and to Yvonne Sherron for pitching in, as she always does, to help whenever we asked for her assistance.

Please join us and get involved. We welcome everyone, and there is a place for everyone, in the Business Law Section!


City, County and Local Government Law

The members of City, County and Local Government Law Section are lawyers who practice local government law in private practice, both representing local governments, and representing clients dealing with local governments and as in-house counsel to municipalities, counties, and other local government agencies. The services the section provides to its members and their clients is more important than ever in this time of challenges resulting from the economic downturn and severely reduced local government revenues.

Education and Seminars--In the last few years, the section has scheduled some of our regular CLE programs in conjunction with other meetings or CLE programs to reduce travel costs associated with attending multiple seminars in person. We now hold our annual City, County and Local Government Certification Review course concurrently with our bi-annual Public Finance in Florida and Land Use Law seminars the day before our annual meeting and the annual Local Government Law in Florida seminar. For the first time last year, the annual Public Employment and Labor Relations Forum was held during the midyear meeting of The Florida Bar. This helps our attendees' financial ability to attend these seminars because of reduced travel costs.

The Public Employment and Labor Relations Forum took place in Orlando in September 23-24, 2010, and is sponsored jointly with the Labor and Employment Law Section.

The section was a co-sponsor of the fourth annual ethics seminar, "Continuing Our Exploration of South Florida's Culture of Corruption: Challenges for Land Use and Planning Professionals" held November 5, 2010, in Boca Raton.

We held the second annual "Sunshine Law, Public Records and Ethics" seminar in Tallahassee on February 18, 2011.

The City, County and Local Government Law Certification Review course was scheduled for May 5, 2011, concurrent with the Public Finance in Florida seminar, in St. Pete Beach, followed by the 34th annual "Local Government Law in Florida" seminar, scheduled for May 6-7, 2011.

Professionalism and Ethics--The Professionalism and Ethics Committee stayed actively engaged in negotiating compromise language for Proposed Advisory Ethics Opinion 09-01, relating to attorney contact with government agency employees. Committee Chair Marion Radson and Executive Council member Glenn Thomas volunteered many hours working with representatives of the Government Lawyer Section, the Administrative Law Section, the Florida Association of County Attorneys, and the Florida Municipal Attorneys Association to revise the proposed opinion to better protect the interests of our government agency clients.

Law Schools and Young Lawyers --In addition to the section's law student awards and internship opportunities, this year, the section started a law school liaison program. Section member volunteers act as liaisons between the section and the law schools. At least one, and in some cases several, members have volunteered for each law school in the state. The section is also starting a young lawyers committee.

Outreach--An interactive listserv is currently being implemented to allow section members to discuss cases, legislation, and other issues of importance to local government law practitioners.

Publications--The section pro vides financial and liaison support to Stetson Law Review for its annual Local Government Law Symposium issue, which is sent to section members free of charge. Our Florida Bar Journal committee submits articles to The Florida Bar Journal for publication throughout the year.

Membership and Finances--Section membership has held fairly steady, despite the effects of the financial downturn and an increase in section dues. The dues increase and successful CLE programs have improved the financial health of the section.

Overall, the City, County and Local Government Law Section has had a productive year, thanks to the efforts of its members, Executive Council, and our outstanding program administrator, Ricky Libbert. We look forward to an even better year in 2011-12, and invite those with a practice in or interest in local government law to join the City, County and Local Government Law Section.


Criminal Law

The Criminal Law Section of The Florida Bar was organized in 1976 and currently has about 2,500 members who are prosecutors, public defenders, private criminal defense lawyers, professors, and judges who work daily in the criminal courts of Florida. The section is dedicated to fostering high standards of ethical conduct in the administration of justice and to the improvement of individual trial skills.

The section has programs and continuing education seminars, detailed below, of which we are very proud. The current year, however, has been particularly troubling and has required us to focus our attention and concern on pending legislation that will have a substantially detrimental effect on the delivery of justice for the citizens of Florida.

Legislative Positions--The Criminal Law Section urges legislators to promote bills that encourage a strong, fair, and impartial judiciary. The section, however, is deeply concerned about proposed legislation that would either jeopardize or greatly alter the ability of the judiciary and government lawyers in criminal courts to perform the important function of public safety, justice, and due process, including proposed legislation that would 1) strip rulemaking authority from the Florida Supreme Court; 2) eliminate the existence of judicial nominating committees for all appellate courts; 3) eliminate judicial qualification committee confidentiality; 4) abolish the Florida Supreme Court in its present seven-member form; 5) eliminate the important role of The Florida Bar in the judicial nominating committee process; 6) raise the retention rate required for an appellate judge to continue in his or public service; 7) severely reduce the pay and benefits of all government lawyers and staff, affecting the competent representation of all people of the State of Florida and the ability to attract and retain qualified and experienced prosecutors, public defenders, assistant attorneys general, and judges; and 8) alter the structure for determining the pay of a member of the judiciary based upon that judge's ability to dispose of cases rapidly. The Criminal Law Section calls upon members of the Florida Legislature to consider our position, and at a minimum, postpone any vote to enact any of the foregoing measures until such time as the full opinion of those who work in the criminal courts may be heard and until public debate and consideration of alternatives has been allowed.

The Gerald T. Bennett Prosecutor/Public Defender Training Program --Since 1979, the Criminal Law Section has sponsored a unique and very successful summer training program for young prosecutors and public defenders. The program engages young lawyers to hone their skills in a week-long mock trial of two separate criminal cases. Students are critiqued in real time and on videotape by a team of experienced judges, prosecutors, and defense attorneys. The course has trained well over 2,000 government lawyers. The Florida Bar Foundation provides financial support for this program which enrolls some 72 lawyer students. British Barristers and Queen's Counsel are invited to attend and participate as students and faculty members. The Criminal Law Section recognizes Paul Zacks and Jennifer Zedalis for their dedication in co-chairing this event.

CLE--The section presents excellent CLE programs throughout the year. In September 2010, the Criminal Law Section and the Constitution Project from Washington, D.C., co-sponsored a thought provoking panel discussion titled "Justice Denied, America's Continuing Neglect of Our Constitutional Right to Counsel." This year alone, we presented the Advanced Federal Criminal Law seminar in Miami, the Masters of DUI program in Tampa, and co-sponsored the Advanced Evidence seminar with the Trial Lawyers Section. We will soon be presenting the 2011 Florida Criminal Law Update in Tampa and will co-sponsor a criminal appellate program with the Appellate Practice Section. We are planning a September program on mental health issues in criminal cases. Many thanks to H. Scott Fingerhut, our CLE chair, and to Kenneth Swartz, Calianne Lantz, Michael Catalano, and Jennifer Zedalis, who have devoted great time and effort as program chairs, and to all of our seminar speakers.


The Selig I. Goldin Award --Every year the Criminal Law Section presents its most prestigious award to one member of The Florida Bar who has displayed the talents and compassion possessed by the late Selig I. Goldin, a lawyer who was dedicated to justice, a zealous advocate for his clients, and who sadly died from cancer when he was just 40 years old. At the 2010 annual convention of The Florida Bar, the award was presented to Barry Krischer, recently retired from a legal career as a criminal defense lawyer and 30 years as a prosecutor, including four terms as state attorney for the 15th Judicial Circuit in Palm Beach County. At the 2011 Annual Convention, the Selig Goldin Award will be presented to Henry M. (Hank) Coxe III, former prosecutor, criminal defense lawyer, former president of the Jacksonville Bar Association, past president of The Florida Bar, and a board certified criminal trial lawyer since 1988.


Elder Law

This year, the Elder Law Section continued to accept new challenges and maintain proven formulas for success. Under the leadership of Leonard E. Mondschein, chair; Enrique Zamora, chair-elect; Twyla Sketchley, administrative vice chair; Jana McConnahay, substantive vice chair; Robert Morgan, treasurer; and John Clardy, secretary, the Elder Law Section accomplished the following:

* Held a well-attended retreat at the Eden Roc Hotel on Miami Beach with almost 100 in attendance, including local probate Judges Maria M. Korvick and Arthur Rothenberg. A CLE course, membership luncheon, committee meetings, and a spectacular evening party were held. In addition to our regular sponsors, the section brought in local sponsors who helped reduce the cost to the section.

* Enrique Zamora chaired a terrific certification review, featuring many new speakers, which contributed to the highest attendance in many years.

* John Clardy, treasurer, took over the responsibility of the Public Policy Task Force Advocacy Fund, which included all accounting and correspondence with contributors, thus, supporting the section's ability to advocate for legislative positions submitted to The Florida Bar. Beth Prather, president of The Academy of Florida Elder Law Attorneys (AFELA), assisted greatly in this effort to transition from the prior management company to the new advocacy fund model, including a five-year audit on previous advocacy fund activity.

* David Hook, as CLE chair, was responsible for overseeing all CLE programs, including the retreat, certification review, Fundamentals of Elder Law, and The Public Benefits Seminar.

* The Public Policy Task Force, comprised of an equal number of members from the Elder Law Section and AFELA, continued to work closely with the Department of Children and Families (DCF) on a wide range of issues, including updating the penalty divisor for Medicaid qualification, rewriting unpromulgated rules to benefit our clients, agreement to cease and desist from any further unpromulgated rulemaking, and advance notice to the Public Policy Task Force of future rulemaking. In addition, the Public Policy Task Force now meets regularly with the CARES unit of the Department of Elder Affairs to address issues that arise between the CARES unit and our members, as well as problems that need to be resolved between CARES and DCF. To date, we have been successful in resolving key issues such as the closing of files by DCF through no fault of our members or clients.

* Stephen Taylor served as chair of the Fund Security Trust subcommittee of the Special Needs Trust Committee, which resulted in a report to be distributed to the Probate and Guardianship judges of the state of Florida, describing a "best practices" procedure for appointing trustees to serve in special needs trusts situations. Carolyn Sawyer served as chair of a Pooled Trust Protection Subcommittee of the Exploitation and Abuse Committee and assisted in drafting part of this report regarding pooled trusts.

* Jack Rosenkranz successfully petitioned the Executive Council to amend the bylaws of the section to create a permanent Veteran's Rights By-laws Committee. He also won a significant fair hearing to have certain veteran's benefits excluded from the funding of qualified income trusts.

* David Lillesand continued working on the Name Change Special Committee's task of changing the name of the Elder Law Section to the Elder and Disability Law Section.

* Collette P. Small continued the work of the Law School Liaison Special Committee to increase membership in the section with law students by offering free membership as well as scholarships to CLE programs.

* Susan King and Jill Burzynski co-chaired the Public Benefits Seminar in Ft. Lauderdale on April 1, 2011.

* Melissa Lader Barnhardt and Manny Hillman, co-chaired the Elder Law Fundamentals in Ft. Lauderdale on March 31, 2011.

* Ellen Morris and Alexandra Rieman co-chaired the Legislative Committee. They were responsible for reviewing all proposed legislation by the Florida Legislature, drafting letters for the chair to send to legislators, and advising the Public Policy Task Force on legislation, which impacts the clients of elder law attorneys.

* The Nominating Committee chaired by Babette Bach, past chair, voted on a slate of officers for 2011-12, which were approved by the Executive Council: Enrique Zamora, chair; Twyla Sketchley, chair-elect; Jana McConnaughhay, administrative vice chair; John Clardy, substantive vice chair; David Hook, treasurer; Ellen Morris, secretary; Leonard E. Mondschein, immediate past-chair.

* John R. Frazier, chair of the Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee, submitted a draft of a request for a Florida Supreme Court advisory opinion defining areas of Medicaid planning services, which constitute the unauthorized practice of law when rendered by nonattorneys.

* Twyla Sketchley served as legislative liaison for another year and appeared in front of the Florida House of Representative's subcommittee on Medicaid reform. She worked with our lobbyist, Ken Plant and public policy advisor, Tom Batchelor. She also helped draft position papers on various Medicaid issues coming before the Florida Legislature. Emma Hemness, past chair and co-chair of the Medicaid Committee, assisted in drafting those position papers,

* Jason Wadell organized and conducted telephonic mentoring presentations on various areas of elder law, affording the opportunity to less experienced elder law attorneys to learn from the experts.

* Randy Bryan and Steve Kotler co-chaired the Public Policy Task Force, which included lively debate and week-by-week progress reports on a myriad of issues worked on by members of the task force.

* Marjorie Wolasky, Charlie Robinson, John Clardy, and Steve Kotler worked closely with the Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section to articulate the Elder Law Section's positions on the proposed amendments to the power of attorney statute and creditors' rights subcommittee's work.

* A joint Elder and Health Law Committee was formed between the Elder Law Section and the Health Law Section as the brain child of Babette Bach, immediate past chair, for the purpose of studying the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and presenting seminars to both elder law attorneys who represent the public and health care attorneys who represent the providers.

* Membership of the Elder Law Section is now approximately 1,600, and we have almost 90 board certified elder law attorneys.

* Tish Taylor and Arlee Colman continued to work together with both content and art to produce The Advocate, the section's newsletter.

* Our professional staff, which helps make up the Public Policy Task Force, has made an invaluable contribution to our ability to effectively advocate for our clients in the administrative as well as legislative arenas. They are Ken Plante, lobbyist; Tom Bachelor, legislative consultant; John Gilroy, administrative law litigator; and Al Rothstein, public relations.

The leadership of the Elder Law Section continues to engage its members with cutting edge CLE and passionate advocacy for the elderly and disabled our members represent.


Entertainment, Arts & Sports Law

"Back to the Future" is the most appropriate way to describe the activities of The Florida Bar Entertainment, Arts and Sports Law Section during the 2010-11 year. The section saw the return of many of the members that founded the EASL Section and guided it during its formative years during the late 1980s.

The annual meeting and retreat of the section was held May 27-30 at the classically elegant Colony Hotel in Palm Beach. This meeting saw the start of the term of Stephen M. Carlisle, the first two-time chair of the EASL Section, as well as the election of former Chair Joseph Z. Fleming as chair-elect, who holds the honor of being the very first chair of the EASL Section.

The annual meeting saw a major revision of the EASL bylaws, designed to give more oversight power to the Executive Council, encourage the participation of new members, as well as clarify procedural issues. These bylaws have been approved by The Florida Bar's Board of Governors.

The challenge of the chair at this meeting was to move beyond the mere provision of CLE to our members and to become an active force within the entertainment industry of Florida.

The early part of 2010 saw the EASL Section Legislative Committee, chaired by Emily Graham, engage in active lobbying on behalf of the Film and Television Tax Incentives bill. Once passed by the Florida Legislature, the success of this bill was immediate and astounding. The entire allocation for both general film and TV production and the independent film and emerging media were snapped up within days of applications being accepted. The anticipated economic impact of the incentives is over $418 million dollars spent and 38,110 jobs for Florida. The ratio of expenditures to tax credit is over eight to one.

The Hollywood feature films Transformers 3, A Dolphin's Tale, and Jack and Jill all came to Florida, with Rock of Ages up next. The TV series Burn Notice and The Glades filmed in Florida as well, and both were renewed by their respective networks. The remainder of 2011 sees the prospects of Magic City setting up shop here, along with Charlie's Angels, Royal Pains, and the Bones spin off, The Finders, all filming in Florida.

The annual meeting also saw the presentation of CLE involving cutting edge technology, from the theft of domain names, the legal issues surrounding cloud computing, and "alternative worlds," concluding with a discussion of how the Internet is affecting the laws of defamation. Albert Angel, Carolyn Herman, Chrissie Scelsi, Farnaz Alemi, Emily Graham, Edward Mullins, and Matthew Leish contributed to this outstanding program.

June 2011 saw EASL's first webinar, "Attorneys vs. Agents," presented by Ahmand R. Johnson. September brought "Labor Issues in the Entertainment and Sports Industries," presented by Joseph Fleming.

The fall was particularly busy for EASL. The month of October kicked off with the Fifth (Almost) Annual In dependent Film and the Law Seminar, chaired by Carolyn Herman. Julee Milham, Cassandra Willard, Joseph Fleming, Lawrence Haber, and Lawrence Najeem presented educational and insightful points about the industry.

November saw EASL co-sponsor the 22nd Annual North American Entertainment Sports and Intellectual Property Law Conference in Costa Rica, spearheaded as always by Darryl Cohen. This was quickly followed by EASL members Kim Kolback, David Rogero, and Joe Fleming participating in the 7th Annual Minority Mentoring Picnic on November 13.

That same weekend, EASL co-sponsored the three-day Miami Music Festival, presenting five separate CLE topics from "Copyright Law in a Nutshell" to the intricacies of music publishing, DMCA issues, and the latest trends in recording contracts. These topics were expertly presented by Richard Wolfe, Michael Katz, Jean Perwin, Marc Stollman, David Bercuson, Barry Oliver Chase, Ivan Parron, James Sammataro, and Stephen Carlisle.

Still to be implemented is the online form book the EASL CookBook, which is in the planning stages.

Thanks to everyone who helped what looked to be a very daunting year into a great success.


Environmental and Land Use Law

The ELUL Section has nearly 2,000 members, including approximately 100 nonlawyer affiliate members (primarily environmental consultants, land use planners, or soon to be law graduates). ELULS strives to maintain a highly diverse membership reflective of practitioners in private firms representing developers/industry, environmental public interest groups, and state and local agencies, which fosters respect among its members for the varying perspectives of advocacy, along with spirited collegial debate on substantive issues that impact member interests.

One exciting initiative that is just now getting underway is the formation of an Energy Committee. This new substantive committee will provide a forum for interested practitioners across the full spectrum of energy law --from utilities regulation and facility siting to the intersection with climate change and greenhouse gas regulation --to network and generate opportunities of common interest. With this initiative, ELULS is hoping to create a niche for energy law attorneys who may have, up to this point, felt "homeless" within the Bar.

If this committee appeals to you, we encourage you to get involved. The committee's inaugural gathering will take place at the upcoming Annual Update during the substantive committee luncheon scheduled for August 11. Information on the Energy Committee will be posted to the section website and a committee-specific email list will be opened shortly after the Annual Update. Instructions for joining will be provided in the future via the section email list. (If you are not currently subscribed to the section email list, you can do so at Until then, any questions regarding the Energy Committee can be fielded by committee co-chair Kelly Samek (

The ELULS continues to provide numerous "in-person" education opportunities, including the Annual Update in August in conjunction with its annual meeting. In an effort to provide CLE on topical and important current issues of interest to the section membership in a more cost-effective and informal format, the section is now providing more web-based programs. This year's Audio Webcast Series, which includes "Ethics --A Scholastic Perspective for the Environmental and Land Use Practitioner" and other compelling topics, including local government practice ethical considerations, mental health and substance abuse, and the annual legislative session retrospective.

We are also providing as a service to section members at least four one-hour, web-based CLE audio seminars available at no additional cost to the section members. These seminars will address topics suggested by the section's substantive committees (land use; pollution assessment, remediation, management and prevention; water, wetlands, wildlife, and beaches; and energy) as well as the CLE Committee. Topical subjects will be delivered timely in order to quickly inform section members of recent changes to the law.

ELULS provides financial and member support to several law school-related seminars, including the annual Public Interest Environmental Law Conference sponsored each February by the University of Florida College of Law, the Nelson Symposium at the University of Florida, the Environmental Justice Summit at Barry School of Law, and the Environmental Summit at Coastal School of Law. Section-written materials offer up-to-date practice resources: quarterly in the Reporter in which current case law, regulatory, and legislative topics are addressed; and in the annually updated Environmental and Land Use Law Treatise, maintained as a password-protected collection of articles by Florida's leading practitioners and exhaustively covering every conceivable subject impacting environmental or land use law in Florida. Only section members have access to this invaluable practice resource.

The ELULS officers and Executive Council continue to work diligently to provide these services to our members and we would welcome your feedback on how the section could better serve you. You can contact us through the section website or Facebook.


Equal Opportunities Law

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the creation of the Equal Opportunities Law Section. The last decade has seen significant progress toward the mission of the EOLS. We have been successful in heightening awareness of the presence and importance of diversity within our profession. While our mission has never faltered, our means of achieving it has evolved even as attitudes, resources, leadership, support, and involvement have. We have learned much and accomplished much.

As one of the newest and smallest sections of the Bar, we have also faced the same practical challenges as many of our sister sections, including an adverse economy and busy schedules of professionals trying to do many things at once. Our membership has dropped, but we are encouraged by the continued personal commitment and financial support of our hundreds of EOLS members.

The past year has seen the continued growth in the law student mentoring picnics started by John Kozyak and his firm earlier this decade in Miami. The annual event has become a staple of the November Bar events. The Miami events have led to creation of a similar annual mentoring picnic sponsored by the diversity sections of the Hillsborough, Pinellas, and Sarasota county bar associations. Their second annual picnic was held this year in February. Our section will also co-sponsor The Florida Bar convention's annual diversity lunch, where our section, the Florida Association for Women Lawyers, and the Virgil Hawkins Florida Chapter of the National Bar Association honor members of The Florida Bar who have made a significant contribution to the efforts of these organizations.

This year's efforts have included a tough reassessment of where we are on the diversity spectrum and how to refocus our future efforts. The diversity symposia, successful as they were, gave way to a broadened approach. For example, creation by The Florida Bar of the Special Committee on Diversity and Inclusion and its efforts, through grants, allowed for complementary action on a grassroots level. EOLS views these efforts, like all genuine efforts to encourage recognition of diversity, as a welcome and positive addition to our ongoing efforts. We recognize that money alone cannot change attitudes, but it can serve as an additional educational catalyst. The quick and varied response of local and voluntary bar associations can augment the long term efforts of EOLS.

In that vein, in the coming year, EOLS has committed to offering through its members, expertise to assist small bar associations whose grant writing experience might otherwise be an impediment to their securing future diversity grants. EOLS welcomes and encourages additional funding for such grants.

Moreover, EOLS will continue to monitor Bar-wide diversity activities and offer speakers and other assistance to other sections, committees, and bar associations. We will look for opportunities to partner with such groups to support and promote diversity.

We are starting to see the beginnings of a brighter economy and will renew our efforts to recruit more members into the section.

We are proud of what we have helped achieve during the last decade, but we have much work to do. EOLS will continue to be a resourceful, persistent, positive instrument of change within The Florida Bar.


Family Law

The Family Law Section's theme for the 2010-11 cycle has been "building better relationships." In retrospect, I don't think that I could have chosen a more appropriate theme. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines a relationship as "the state of being related or interrelated" and/or as "the relation connecting or binding participants in a relationship." The 4,100 attorneys, judicial officers, and affiliates who comprise our membership dedicate our professional lives to resolving and improving the relationships of Florida's families, while simultaneously promoting professionalism. In pursuit of these goals, section leadership and members have expended thousands of volunteer hours and have, in fact, built better relationships with and among ourselves and those we serve. It has been my honor to serve as chair of the Family Law Section for the past year.

It has been a busy and action packed year for the Family Law Section. The section conducts a leadership retreat in alternate years to encourage section members to become involved in leadership positions on the section's many standing and ad hoc committees, as well as on our Executive Council and Executive Committee.

This year's extremely well-attended leadership retreat was held in July 2010 at the beautiful Hammock Beach Resort in Palm Coast. A number of newly active section members from all over the state attended. The attendees and current leadership got to know each other better through the fun team building exercises led by Mary Curtis of Authentic Communication Techniques and a Family Law Section "Family Feud" game. We continued to build our relationships during various social activities, which included an evening cruise on the resort's Sundancer yacht and whacky mini-golf.

During our September 2010 committee meetings, to our delight, we learned that the Florida Supreme Court had affirmed the Third District Court of Appeal opinion Fla. DCF v. In Re: The Matter of Adoption of XXG and NRG. During our luncheon, former Chair Scott Rubin announced that the section's amicus brief was quoted at length in the Supreme Court opinion. The section would not have been able to submit its brief without the consent of The Florida Bar's Board of Governors who bravely and appropriately authorized the section to do so.

The section's in-state fall retreat was held at the beautiful Casa Marina Resort in Key West, together with the Florida Chapter, American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, from September 30 through October 2, 2010. Ironically, for a while it looked as though the retreat would live up to the name of its educational seminar: "A Perfect Storm: Legal Malpractice in Marital and Family Cases." Fortunately, the threatened hurricane avoided Key West, and attendees enjoyed the sunset catamaran cruise, a fiercely competitive scavenger hunt, and a "Pirates in Paradise" themed dinner-dance beautifully orchestrated by Kathryn M. Beamer as the retreat social chair. The section and academy went toe-to-toe in the sand, by the sea, in a "Battle of the Bartenders." When the roar of the crowd (and blenders) settled down, the section won decisively. Susan E. Greenberg chaired the seminar, where malpractice defense attorney Craig Hudson educated all of us on the potential pitfalls for malpractice facing family law attorneys, and liability insurance agent Blair Campbell gave us valuable information on malpractice insurance and risk management practices.

During this past cycle, the section renegotiated and extended its partnership with the Florida Chapter, American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, for a three-year period beginning 2011-12 to co-present the Marital and Family Law Review Course, the single largest marital and family law educational event in the state. This new partnership extension has brought with it an exciting change in the location of the event to the Loew's Royal Pacific Hotel. Save the dates (January 27-28, 2012) now for this event! We look forward with enthusiasm toward this change as it will enable us to take over virtually the entire occupancy of the Royal Pacific Hotel for our event, as well as provide a new and different venue, within easy access to the Universal Studios and the Islands of Adventure, including the immensely popular Wizarding World of Harry Potter, along with a number of restaurants and entertainment spots.

I would like to single out and thank each and every committee officer and recognize various individual members for their valuable services to the section during this past year. Their dedication and efforts have made this year a success and personally fulfilling for me. However, the length limitations imposed on this report prevent me from doing so with specificity here. I have drafted a more detailed annual report which should be posted to the section's website by the time this report is published. I reference you to that report at

In January 2011, at the Disney Yacht and Beach Club, a record 1,190 attendees participated in the 2011 Marital and Family Law Review Course. Kudos go to Carin M. Porras, who once again served as event chair, and her hard working vice chairs, Ingrid A. Keller and Patricia Alexander, for selecting a talented lineup of speakers and topics and for producing fabulous written materials. This year, the section fulfilled its mission to provide our membership with the best marital and family law survey course around. The course is also a major revenue source for the section. The financial success of this course has enabled us to expand our services and activities. During the seminar, it was my honor to present Deborah Day, Psy.D. (one of our most active affiliate members) with the chair's visionary award in recognition of all of her contributions both past and present to the section.

For me, one of the highlights of this year was the out-of-state Spring Retreat Escape to Wine Country held from April 6-10, 2011, in Yountville, Napa Valley, CA. The retreat had a very large turnout encouraged, in part, by seminar chair Deborah Day's unique program, "Addiction: Its Effects On Your Clients and Their Cases," as well as the availability of world-class vineyards, food, and spas. The retreat social chair Douglas Greenbaum arranged for some interesting excursions and a "corking" good time was had by all.

This year, I established an Ad Hoc Finance Committee to review the section's financial issues and to advise leadership on the establishment of certain financial policies to ensure the section's continued solvency in these hard economic times. Carin M. Porras and Melinda P. Gamot, along with their committee, formulated various policies and recommendations and I thank them for their hard work. As chair, I am singularly most proud of one of this committee's proposals, which was adopted and approved by Executive Council and Executive Committee, to give back economically to hard-working and deserving section members and those we serve by providing two scholarships to the leadership retreat, two scholarships to the trial advocacy course, as well as a $5,000 honorarium called "Chair's Choice" to be donated to an appropriate organization, entity, or program that fulfills the section's mission as stated within its bylaws.

In addition, to enhance the public perception of our members and our vocation and to encourage pro bono and volunteer service by other section members, we have established a public recognition program to honor attorneys, judicial officers, and affiliate members who provide pro bono services and/or volunteer services in their community. This is the "Making a Difference" public recognition program. News releases about the monthly award winners are furnished to media outlets in the winner's community. The monthly award winners will be recognized during the Family Law Section's June 22, 2011, meeting with the yearly award winner being announced in conjunction therewith and honored at our luncheon and/or cocktail party. Robin J. Scher and Kimberly Rommel-Enright have spent hours co-chairing this ad hoc committee. Susan W. Savard and Nicole Goetz have assisted them by writing profiles about each monthly award winner.

This year, the section revised its logo, and we have proceeded with branding our website, our publications, our materials, and meetings with that logo. Our website (www. has undergone a complete face lift. The changes have made it more colorful and easier to navigate. We have also expanded the website to incorporate historical information about the section and its past and current leadership, Executive Council attendance, current membership (including affiliates), standing and ad hoc committees, CLE seminars, meetings, and events and a sponsorship page. My thanks go to our wonderful webmaster, Brent Rainey, and program administrator, Summer Hall, for implementing these significant and extensive changes.

Likewise, the Publications Committee has completely revamped our section's various publications. Laura Davis Smith and Patricia Kuendig, editor and vice editor, are responsible for the enhancement of the section's quarterly print magazine, the Commentator, which is now available online in color and is disseminated in hard copy as well. I would be remiss in not recognizing the continuing efforts of editor, Lynn Brady, and our program administrator, Summer Hall, to the Commentator in facilitating the changes described above. FAMSEG, the section's electronic newsletter, has a new masthead and has finally begun publication on a consistent basis for the first time in many years. FAM SEG has included regular features on the section's monthly "Making a Difference" award winners, case law updates via Stephen's Squibs, and insights of section members on balancing the practice of marital and family law with the needs of their own families. Co-editors Luis E. Insignares and Eddie Stephens have consistently turned out a timely, quality product. Another benefit of the consistent issuance of the section's publications is our ability to provide a forum for sponsor and vendor advertising which, in turn, produces dollars for section work and activities. During this past year, the Family Law Section has also made contributions to The Florida Bar Journal as a result of the efforts of Sarah Sullivan and Amy Hamlin, who are serving as the co-editors of the section's Journal submissions. They have revitalized the section's inclusion in the Journal and have left no stone unturned while they aggressively secure authors. They have edited articles and generally ensured that the Family Law Section once again has a regular presence in the Journal. The Publications Committee has exceeded all of my expectations as chair and I thank the members and their various authors and contributors for their hard work.

Meanwhile, Thomas Duggar and Maria C. Gonzalez, co-chairs of the section's Legislation Committee, have led us through one of the most difficult legislative sessions in many years. Thomas and Maria have toiled many untold hours tracking legislation and working on emergency issues throughout this session. Special thanks go to Thomas J. Sasser and Elisha D. Roy for their travels to Tallahassee to provide their expertise to various lawmakers and their staff on both proposed section and nonsection legislation, as well as to our dedicated lobbyists, Nelson Diaz and Edgar Castro.

Matthew Capstraw continued to serve as senior chair of the section's busy Rules and Forms Committee this year. Much of what this committee does has no "bells and whistles" attached to it, but Matt and his committee were of unparalleled assistance to me this past year. Matt, who cannot say "no" when called upon for help, authored a number of insightful comments on behalf of the section under tremendous deadline pressures. As I write this, Matt is slated to appear before the Supreme Court in oral argument in June 2011, and I am certain he will be very persuasive on our behalf.

When Paul Hill, general counsel for The Florida Bar, called upon the sections and the divisions in Spring 2011 to assist the Bar in analyzing proposed legislation, which proposed to remove rulemaking authority from the Florida Supreme Court, the section answered the call. With the assistance of many of our past chairs, as well as General Magistrate Robert Jones, Matthew Capstraw, and Maria C. Gonzalez, we were the first section to respond and provide invaluable legal analysis in an expedited manner to the Bar. We also got the word out to our membership about the various legislation filed this session that threatened the funding of and independence of Florida's judicial branch. Hundreds of section members helped to "fight the good fight" to support adequate funding for the court system and to maintain judicial independence.

CLE Chair Douglas Greenbaum and his committee have produced a year of varied and successful telephonic and live seminars. In addition, the section expanded its focus this year to include a seminar geared to educate family law paralegals: "Building an Effective Legal Team--A Seminar for Attorneys and Their Staff." Sheena Benjamin-Wise and Odette Bendeck, co-chaired this inaugural paralegal seminar, which was held live and by webinar at the Tampa Marriott Air port. The seminar was well-attended and the reviews, which were very favorable, uniformly requested more paralegal seminars. It is our goal to accommodate those requests in the future.

Aside from membership dues, the review course, and CLE revenue, the section's operations are supported by sponsorship contributions. Section leadership explored the possibility of hiring a professional fundraiser, but the cost was prohibitive. Instead, co-chairs, Patricia Kuendig and Patricia Alexander, together with their Sponsorship Committee, formalized a sponsorship program with various sponsorship packages and levels which met with spectacular success in its first year of operation. This is a new learning curve for the section, and we will continue to develop our sponsorship program in the forthcoming year.

As a public service, the section has created and financed the production of the Guardian Ad Litem Training Manual for Family Law Proceedings and a professionally filmed DVD to be used around the state to train family law guardians ad litem. My thanks go to Yueh-Mei Kim Nutter, chair of the Ad Hoc Guardian Ad Litem Committee, as well as the dozens of members of her committee identified in the website report who were responsible for the massive undertaking of producing the manual and DVD. This has been a labor of love for all involved, and the children of Florida will ultimately benefit from this effort.

One of the specific goals I established for the section was to reinvigorate a committee that section leadership had previously considered eliminating--the Affiliate Membership Committee. I called upon Kathryn M. Beamer and David A. Riggs to undertake this challenge, and their efforts as co-chairs have proven fruitful. Committee membership has both increased and become more active. As I write this report, the section is redesigning a portion of our website. We intend to list the affiliate members by name, city, and specialty area to facilitate our members use of these valuable litigation support sources. Affiliate members have made tremendous contributions to the GAL manual and training video, as well as to all our publications this year and I sincerely hope that this participation will continue to grow as it benefits our membership tremendously.

At the close of this cycle, the Executive Council will be saying goodbye to two of its members. Lawrence Datz has been a stalwart council member, but will be cycling off due to term limits. For years Lawrence single-handedly spearheaded our parenting coordination efforts. Frank Zilaitis is leaving the Executive Council to spend more time with his children and his political pursuits. Frank has been a valuable member of Executive Council and has made major contributions with regard to the October 1, 2008, parenting changes. More recently, Frank has chaired the Mediation and ADR Committee, where he has championed the collaborative law legislation authored by the section. We will miss their presence on the Executive Council but hope that they will come and visit with us often.

As program administrator, Summer Hall has done an exemplary job administering the day-to-day section activities. Despite the demands made by each and every committee chair, the various officers and members of the section, the public, our sponsors, our vendors, and the Bar, Summer has always been responsive, responsible, helpful, and diplomatic in handling her many obligations to all of us. I thank her from the bottom of my heart for all of her help during my term as chair.

In conclusion, it has been my honor to serve as the Family Law Section chair for this past year. I could not have fulfilled my responsibilities as chair without the dedicated hard work and assistance of the Executive Committee. I consider each and every one of these folks to be a good friend.

Chair-elect David L. Manz, has admirably balanced his obligations to the section with his presidency of the Florida Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. His common sense, calm demeanor, and kindness will very well serve the section and help him guide it during the forthcoming year.

Treasurer Carin M. Porras answered every call I ever made to her this past year and helped in every way she could, including listening to me vent on those really tough days when everything went wrong. She also edited my various chair's messages (with the futile goal of making me less verbose), as well as other documents, sometimes on a moment's notice.

Secretary Elisha D. Roy, whom I have known since her early years as a "young lawyer," continues to lend her expertise and passion to the section's legislative agenda, and I have welcomed her candor and perspective.

Immediate Past Chair Peter Gladstone has not rested on his laurels but has continued to provide his unique insight and experience to Executive Committee leadership.

At the outset of this past year, the section's new goal was to "build better relationships," and as I believe the foregoing report on the section's accomplishments over the past year underscores that we have not only met that goal, but we have exceeded it. I sincerely hope that the section will continue to do so for many more years to come.


Government Lawyer

Government lawyers in Florida face unprecedented challenges. In its 20th year, the Government Lawyer Section remains honored to serve our members in public service through recognition of our individual and collective accomplishments, provision of quality continuing education programs, and advocacy within and beyond The Florida Bar. Despite the loss of the ability for state agencies to pay Bar dues in the last legislative session, section membership remains more than a thousand strong and we are grateful that our members continue to recognize the benefits the section provides.

Legislative tracking this session has kept our section especially busy. Proposed bills include threats to the independence of the judiciary, budget cuts, state employee pension contributions, and benefit reductions. The multitude of bills filed has been astounding. The section was pleased to help sponsor and attend The Florida Bar's Annual Legislative Reception in January 2011. GLS renewed its existing legislative positions seeking changes to Ch. 119 and adopted a new one to oppose any reductions in salaries or benefits to lawyers in the state retirement system.

The section signed a contract with Holmes New Media in the fall and launched its new website in March 2011, The website is a wonderful resource to current and prospective members with information on section activities, history, organization, and leadership.


The Government Lawyer Section has longed supported Florida Bar Rule 4-4.2, regarding communication with persons represented by counsel. To this end, our section was intimately involved in a lengthy debate over a proposed ethics opinion with the goal of ensuring government attorneys were not excluded from conversations with their clients that might directly impact their practice. Over many months of thoughtful negotiations (and multiple drafts of the proposed opinion), section members worked with others to reach a positive result. The Florida Bar Board of Governors unanimously approved Opinion 09-1 in December 2010. This opinion ensures that both government attorneys and private practitioners enjoy the same level playing field when it comes to communications with our respective clients.

We continue to support current and future board certified lawyers by providing necessary CLE programs through joint sponsorship of the annual certification review course, and our hugely successful Practicing Before the Supreme Court program. Also, this year, our section was selected to host the 2011 President's Showcase CLE program and will present "Florida and Federal Perspectives on Freedom, Confidentiality, and Access to Information" at The Florida Bar's annual convention.

Even through an increasingly tough climate for public servants, excellent lawyers continue to represent the interests of Florida citizens. In June 2010, the Government Lawyer Section gave the Claude Pepper Award to John S. Slye, deputy general counsel with the Department of Children and Families. Nominations are pending for the next award to be given at the annual meeting in June 2011, as we celebrate the 20-year anniversary of the section.

The Government Lawyer Section appreciates the cooperation and assistance received from The Florida Bar leadership this past year and seeks to continue to provide the perspective of government lawyers who comprise more than 15 percent of total Florida Bar membership.


Health Law

The 2010-11 year has been a very busy and exciting one for the Health Law Section. Early in the year, the section launched its new website, which it had been working on for well over a year. The section's goal with its new website was to make it so useful and informative that it became the home page for its members. Whether that has happened we cannot determine, but we can determine that the section's membership has been pleased with the new website and has found it to be significantly more useful than its predecessor. A health law listserv is planned to start in the next few weeks. This will provide a mechanism for members to communicate in real time and share with each other their special areas of expertise. The section certainly appreciates Bill Dillon for taking on the task of being the new website's first webmaster.

The section owes a significant debt of gratitude to its members that helped bring the new website to life, especially Troy Kisheaugh, immediate past chair, who led this effort beginning his term as chair of the section. Additionally, Ashlea Wiley, the section's program administrator, worked diligently to ensure that the process went as smoothly as possible. We encourage you to review it for yourselves at All Bar members may find it useful when issues come up that touch upon some aspect of health law.

This year has seen a continuation of efforts that began in 2009 to evaluate the section's activities. A publication committee was formed to review all of the section's print and online publications in order to make them more useful and meaningful to our membership and to ensure their relevance. Additionally, the section's Executive Council approved amendments to the section's bylaws, which are currently undergoing the approval process through the Board of Governors. The amendments to the bylaws are intended to make the section function more efficiently and to update the bylaws to reflect current section practices and activities.

The section's primary focus has been education. This mission has been fulfilled through the section's publications, including its newsletter and its continuing legal education programs. The section's Public Health Committee, led by Walter Cafora and Rodney Johnson, has begun presenting a series of telephone seminars on public health issues. These seminars have enjoyed significant participation by state agencies and have covered topics of concern to all of Florida's citizens. Additionally, the section's Health Reform Committee has teamed with the Elder Law Section to provide telephone seminars on health reform and is planning a full-day live seminar. The section is very pleased that beginning in May 2011, the section will be more responsive to important issues as developments occur. These webinars will allow members to obtain CLE credits and to stay current at a much lower cost than attending live programs. The section thanks Grant Dearborn for his efforts in bringing these programs to life.

Also in 2010-11, the section has begun exploring the possibility of obtaining commercial sponsors to help defray the cost of producing CLE programs and publications in order to bring these resources to its membership at a lower cost. Monica Rodriguez and Sandra Greenblatt have taken this task on and are actively soliciting sponsors to participate in this program.

In conjunction with the development of its new website, the section developed a new logo that you can see on the website and a new slogan, "The Resource for Florida Health Law." We hope that this will prove to be much more than a slogan in coming years, not only for the section's members, but for the entire Bar membership, who can call on the section as a resource when needed.

Finally, I want to thank the members of the Executive Council and the section's entire membership for their hard work during the past year in continuing the section's endeavor to provide a useful and valuable service to its membership.


International Law

On behalf of the Executive Council, I thank all those who worked hard to make the past Bar year so successful.

We have implemented a number of innovations to make the section run more efficiently and provide more service to members: weekly email communications to the membership, organizing the section into divisions headed by the various officers, and creating new committees, such as an Amicus Committee, an Asia/China Committee, and a Meetings Committee.

But the success of the section, as always, lies with our committee leaders. World-class seminars and conferences always have been an important part of the International Law Section, and 2011 got off to an impressive start with the International Law Section's ninth annual International Litigation and Arbitration Conference held on February 4 at the Westin Diplomat in Hollywood. The conference, which is the section's biggest annual conference, featured speakers from around the globe--including a recently retired justice of the Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal--on cutting-edge topics and included the signing of a cooperative agreement with the State of Parana (Brazil) Bar Association. These events were preceded the night before by a superb cocktail reception at the Viceroy Hotel's Club 50 and a special speakers' dinner with a keynote address from a Brazilian Supreme Court justice. This year's conference was organized by the section's ILAC Co-chairs Rafael Ribeiro and Arnoldo Lacayo, the ninth annual conference Co-chairs Santiago Cueto and Quinn Smith, and the conference steering committee members.

In addition to the section's annual International Litigation and Arbitration Conference, the section's midyear meeting, held in September in Miami, was preceded by a seminar presented by the section's Travel Law Committee, "Forbidden Places, Tourism and Trade." The seminar addressed a variety of regulations administered by the Office of Foreign Asset Control of the U.S. Department of the Treasury in an apolitical framework. This year's midyear meeting seminar was organized by Meetings Chair Ava Borrasso and Travel Committee Chair and former section Chair Larry Gore.

As well, in March the section hosted the Florida-Quebec Forum 2011. Designed to further improve relationships between Quebec and Florida, as well as inform the public, the forum optimized participation by attorneys, business people, and other professionals. It took place from March 18 to 19 at the Ft. Lauderdale Airport Hilton Hotel and brought together lawyers from Quebec and Florida, business people, bankers, accountants, and financial institutions, with renowned legal experts. The focus was the current issues involving business, immigration, taxes, real estate, mortgages, family law, and insurance.

Aside from world-class conferences and seminars, the section also hosted a number of educational online webinars, including: The BP Deepwater Horizon, China (the New Silk Road), Service of Process Abroad, and CrossBorder E-Discovery. If you missed one of our webinars, CDs can be purchased online, by fax, and by mail. Please go to The Florida Bar's website for order information. This is a great way to catch up on important international legal issues at your convenience.

The section's online publication, the International Law Quarterly, provided section members and readers a diverse array of articles on international legal topics by authors from all corners of the globe. This year, the ILQ featured two special issues on China and international litigation and arbitration. Alvin F. Lindsay served as editor-in-chief and Mary J. Hoftiezer as assistant editor.

In addition to providing valuable educational and networking opportunities, the section also takes great pride in reaching out to Florida's law students. A central component of the section's outreach is the sixth annual Florida Bar International Law Section Vis Pre-Moot Competition, which was held on February 26 at the University of Miami School of Law. The pre-moot tournament is organized by the section and prepares Florida's law students for the annual vis moot arbitration competition held in Vienna, Austria, and Hong Kong. This year's annual ILS pre-moot featured over 30 attorneys serving as arbitrators and judging students from six Florida law schools, plus students from Universite Pantheon Assas in France and Universidad Autonoma de Mexico. The section also awarded scholarships to the Florida law schools and special prizes were donated by the Miami International Arbitration Society and the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. Clarissa Rodriguez and Quinn Smith organized this year's ILS pre-moot.

Finally, the section's year winds up at The Florida Bar's annual convention in June at the Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center in Kissimmee. The section will sponsor a seminar on June 24: New Frontiers in Arbitration (1214R).

Anyone who is interested in joining the International Law Section can contact Membership Co-chair Judy Angulo at and visit our website at for all of the latest information on upcoming events.


Labor and Employment Law

I greatly appreciate the efforts of all those who made this a productive year for our section. In 2010-11, the Labor and Employment Law Section continued its tradition of sponsoring timely and informative legal education programs. Additionally, to facilitate greater access to our programs, we hosted a successful webinar series. Thanks to the hard work of our section's legal education director, Bob Turk, all seminars had excellent content and were well attended. I also want to thank Stephanie Ray and Damon Kitchen of our section's NLRB Liaison Subcommittee, who orchestrated a webinar on traditional public and private sector labor law.

In September 2010, the section again co-sponsored the 36th annual Public Employees Relations Forum in Orlando. Steve Meck co-chaired that conference, along with Mike Grogan from the Local Government Section. We had excellent attendance at the two-day program. In October 2010, we held our litigation/discrimination seminar "Double or Nothing: Litigating Employment Claims in Hollywood" at the Hard Rock Hotel. Chair Sherrill Columbo and Co-chairs Leslie Lanbein and Cathleen Scott organized and oversaw an outstanding program.

The section held its 11th annual certification review seminar in February 2011 as part of its ongoing commitment to The Florida Bar's board certification program. Again, we had high attendance, and Co-chairs Shane Munoz and Susan Dolin facilitated a program that was both comprehensive and thorough.

We are looking forward to our annual Advanced Labor Topics Seminar scheduled for June 10, 2011, at the Ritz Carlton in Naples. Chair Alan Forst and Co-chair Zascha Abbott have worked diligently to coordinate a conference with interesting and timely presentations. Additionally, we are pleased that our section has again been selected to make a presentation at the President's Showcase on June 24, 2011.

Our Long Range Planning Committee, chaired by Cary Singletary and Debbie Brown, prepared and initiated a member survey so that we can better serve our members needs. The information was compiled and discussed at our recent long-range planning meeting. An action plan was created, with the assistance of a facilitator, based on member responses.

In addition to sponsoring CLE programs, our section enhanced its involvement and relationships with Florida law schools. Under Law School Liaison Subcommittee Co-chairs Jason Vail and Jonathan Oliff, our section has awarded scholarships to promising labor and employment law students at Florida State University and Stetson University.


Our Communications Committee, chaired by Cathleen Scott, worked very hard all year. Shane Munoz spent countless hours overseeing and editing articles for our section's newsletter, The Checkoff, and Frank Brown again labored diligently soliciting, reviewing, and submitting articles for The Florida Bar Journal. Stephanie Ray has done a wonderful job coordinating and implementing the design of our new and improved website. Additionally, Zascha Abbott, chair of our Judicial Outreach Subcommittee, has made huge strides in establishing educational events with the judiciary in our state.

I am most grateful to all of our committee chairs and co-chairs, including William Cassidy, Jr., Scott Fisher, Alan Gerlach, Lindsay Hanson, Marguerite Longoria, Patrick Martin, Bruce Minnick, Kelly Parsons, and Leslie Stein, for their active participation and invaluable input. And last, but not least, our program administrator, Angela Froelich, deserves special mention for all that she does to help our section achieve its goals and objectives.

"Teamwork divides the task and multiplies the success," says the Japanese proverb.

It has truly been a privilege and an honor to lead our section. Together, we have accomplished many goals. I look forward to working with our 2011-12 chair Greg Hearing as we continue to increase our membership and make our section relevant and beneficial to labor and employment law attorneys.


Out of State Division

The Out of State Division represents the nearly 13,500 Florida Bar members who reside outside of Florida (about 17 percent of The Florida Bar's total membership). Recognizing the diverse interests and practice areas of out-of-state members, the division's multi-faceted purposes include assisting out-of-state lawyers in administrative, educational, and practice development issues; facilitating networking among out-of-state Bar members; encouraging pro bono activities by out-of-state members; providing a forum for the discussion of issues of common interest; and seeking to improve the administration and application of laws, rules, regulations, and our legal system. During the past year the division carried out this mission through a variety of activities.

The division continued to sponsor networking opportunities for its members. This past year, the division sponsored receptions in the Atlanta and Washington, D.C., areas, the loci of many of the division's members. Both receptions were well-attended and well-received. The division intends to organize and sponsor future networking events for its members.

Always seeking to be accessible to its members, the division held an Executive Council meeting and an open reception in conjunction with the Bar's Board of Governors' meeting in New Orleans, LA. A sizeable number of Florida Bar members from the New Orleans area attended the reception and talked with their board members and division officers. Due to the success of this event, the division is planning similar activities for the next out-of-state Board of Governors meeting.

This year the division continued its outreach program at several law schools in Florida. Based on the very positive response from students and administrators, this program will be expanded to other schools in Florida in the coming year.

Each year, the division helps its members maintain their awareness of professional responsibility issues by providing them with the opportunity to earn free CLE ethics credits. This year the credits were offered via an audio link on the division's website. The switch from mailing out tapes to providing streaming audio has been well-received.

The division encourages pro bono activities and each year nominates an out-of-state Bar member for the Bar President's Pro Bono Service Award. This year's award winner was Noah Clements of Washington, D.C. Over the last two years, Clements has taken a few notable pro bono cases. In one case, he helped a former sports star who had been tortured by the Yemeni government for 40 days get relief under the Convention Against Torture (a form of relief usually with a less than two percent success rate). In another high-profile case, he helped a 69-year-old Burmese man get asylum in immigration court. In 2009, Clement performed 332 hours pro bono service, and in 2010, he worked 598 hours pro bono. His work stems from the belief that he should use his skills to help others less fortunate than he.

Long-time service to the legal profession is also recognized by the division through its 50-year award that is bestowed on veteran Florida Bar members who have spent at least part of their careers practicing out of state. This award was presented to more than a dozen lawyers during a special luncheon and ceremony at the Bar's annual convention last June.

Finally, warm thanks are extended to the members of the division's Executive Council, the out-of-state representatives on the Bar's Board of Governors, and all others who have helped through their tireless efforts to make this year another successful one for the division and all out-of-state Florida Bar members.


Public Interest Law

The Public Interest Law Section was created in 1989 to provide organization within The Florida Bar for those attorneys who were interested in advocating for the constitutional, statutory, and other rights of individuals and the public. Our membership, though smaller than many sections, is comprised of a diverse group of dedicated practitioners and legal scholars who work, in various capacities, on issues pertaining to individual rights and the public interest. Our committees address a variety of topics: legal needs of children, civil rights, consumer protection law, disability law, and homelessness. As the range of legal and ethical concerns addressed by our committees often intersect with other areas of the law --especially family law, criminal law, education law, and immigration law --and have appeal and applicability beyond the public interest section, we encourage all members of the Bar to consider attending our meetings and continuing legal education courses.

The past year has been significant in that, after several years without leadership, we have a chair for our Civil Rights Committee. Dante Trevisani of Florida Justice Institute has agreed to take on this role and is eager to grow the committee to once again be an active committee within PILS. We also are working to reinstitute our lunchtime CLE series, led by CLE Committee Chair Maria Abate.

Continuing Legal Education--Our lunchtime CLE series began on November 17, 2010, with a one hour CLE by the Legal Needs of Children Committee. The CLE--titled "Florida's New Concurrent Custody Law: Will it Benefit Your Client?"--discussed recent revisions to Ch. 751 that allow parent(s) to maintain legal custody at the same time that a relative obtains concurrent legal custody. This new legal concept is intended to help relative caregivers who have physical custody of children without sufficient legal documentation to obtain services. The CLE reviewed the requirements for obtaining concurrent custody and discussed the circumstances under which this form of custody can be used.

On March 9, 2011, the Consumer Protection Committee presented a one-hour CLE titled "Consumer Protection Tips for Non-consumer Law Attorneys." This CLE provided basic information regarding a sample of consumers' options and potential pitfalls. The seminar was designed to help attorneys who do not generally practice consumer law to recognize potential consumer law violations and/or to provide basic consumer law advice and referrals to their clients.

The CLE Committee is currently planning additional lunchtime CLEs on topics related to homelessness, civil rights, and disability rights.

Committee Highlights--Beginning in 2008, The Legal Needs of Children Committee joined forces with the Bar's Legal Needs of Children Committee to co-sponsor a certification application for children's law. Such a certification would raise the standard for lawyers representing children in dependency, delinquency, education, immigration, and family law matters. The petition for certification is in the final stages of drafting. Once filed, the petition must be approved by both The Florida Bar and the Florida Supreme Court. We are hopeful that the certification will be approved and available to applicants by early 2012.

Led by the Consumer Law Committee, PILS signed onto an amicus brief filed in the Third District Court of Appeal, opposing a requirement that a class plaintiff be required to pay all costs of a class action. The briefs are currently pending before the court.

Other News--On October 26, 2010, the Public Interest Law Section honored our immediate past chair, Tracey McPharlin, by presenting her with the Hugh Glickstein Child Advocate Award at Florida Children First's event in Palm Beach County. With recipients selected on a statewide basis, the Hugh Glickstein Award is given to a child advocate judged as "tireless" by the Legal Needs of Children Committee of PILS. After graduating magna cum laude from Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad Law School, Tracey joined the law firm of Colodny, Fass, Talenfeld, Karlinsky & Abate, P.A., where she spent much of her career advocating for the rights of children in the foster care system. Tracey was an active member of PILS and the Legal Needs of Children Committee and was instrumental early on in the ongoing effort to create a certification in children's law. On November 6, 2010, Tracey quietly passed away in Ft. Lauderdale, following a courageous battle with cancer. She is greatly missed by all who knew her.

Executive Committee--The executive committee continues to focus on long-range planning, membership growth, and increasing the involvement of members. We are working to increase the activity and effectiveness of PILS and increase collaboration with other Bar sections.

Over the last three years, we have significantly improved the financial position of the section despite the challenges of the ailing economy and of financing section activities for an area of law which is, in large part, done pro bono, and frequently does not generate significant fees or commercial partnerships. An ongoing challenge has been increases in administrative costs of meetings and seminars. We continue to work to identify new ways to present CLE programs through technology and partnerships at a cost that permits all who wish to participate to do so.

We appreciate the work done on our behalf by Board of Governor Liaison Lisa Small. And I sincerely thank all committee chairs, Executive Council officers, at-large members, and Chair-elect Kirsten Clanton.


Real Property, Probate & Trust Law

The Real Property, Probate & Trust Law (RPPTL) Section continues to do much great work on behalf of the profession and the public at large. With over 9,500 members, we have many diverse interests that are served by the section and, in particular, our Executive Council that consists of almost 250 active and productive section members managing 18 real property division committees, 15 probate division committees, and 21 general standing committees. During the past year, we continued to make progress with respect to the goals and objectives set forth in our five-year strategic plan, which can be reviewed by all section members on the RPPTL Section's website, RPPTL_Strategic_Planning_Commitee_Report-05_11_09.pdf.

As one aspect of our section's strategic plan, in the past year we focused on reorganizing our Executive Council. That focus included efforts to make our circuit representatives more active and productive members of the section. As a part of that effort, our Executive Council approved changes to our bylaws that reclassify circuit representatives as at-large members and emphasize that the existence of the at-large member category is intended to help the section achieve the goal of maintaining active, productive members on the Executive Council, while preserving regional representation. We thank our probate division director Fletch Belcher, who chairs the section's bylaws committee, for all his work in getting the changes to our bylaws completed. Fletch wears many hats, but he spent countless hours over the last few years on this project alone.

Like The Florida Bar and other sections of the Bar, our section strives to provide quality, innovative, timely CLE programs. In the last year, that standard was put to the test when the oil spill disaster occurred in the Gulf of Mexico. RPPTL perceived the need to provide practitioners with a CLE program to address the developing issues associated with that disaster. In short order, under the leadership of our CLE chair, Debbie Goodall, the section provided a telephonic seminar. By all measures, it was a big success. The section had also been waiting for the shoe to drop on estate tax reform by the United States Congress. That occurred in late December 2010 when Congress passed estate tax legislation. Again, realizing the need to provide timely CLE on this important topic, in less than a few weeks, the section assembled the team and presented an outstanding audio webcast seminar. We could not have achieved these results without dedicated section members and without the very supportive staff at The Florida Bar including our own section administrator, Liz Gerstman.

I am also proud of the section's fellowship program, which continues to attract young, energetic, and talented attorneys interested in our practice area. Through this program, we hope to cultivate and develop future leaders of the section. We now have our second class of four fellows who receive a subsidy to defray the costs of their attendance at Executive Council meetings. The four fellows from our first fellowship class continue to remain actively engaged in the section's work. One of the graduates from our first fellowship class, Brenda Ezell, was recently appointed by The Florida Bar to the FAR/Bar joint committee. We are proud of all of our fellows and the time and effort that they are devoting to the section.

Dan DeCubellis, who acts as our section liaison with the Bar's Board of Governors, has done an outstanding job keeping the section informed of any developments at The Florida Bar that may impact the section. We learned through Dan that The Florida Bar was considering the issuance of an advisory opinion addressing a lawyer's duty of confidentiality to the lawyer's deceased client. When we received this information, we asked our section's Professionalism Committee to provide appropriate input to the Bar's Professional Ethics Committee, which was the committee responsible for drafting the opinion. One of our dedicated section soldiers, Barry Spivey, volunteered to act on behalf of the section to assist the Bar's Professional Ethics Committee. After giving the section an opportunity to provide input, the Bar's Ethics Committee issued Advisory Opinion 10-3. It is a must read for all lawyers. We thank Dan for keeping the section advised of Bar developments and Barry for the time he volunteered on this project. We truly appreciate the Bar's Professional Ethics Committee's efforts on this important issue.

The RPPTL section's legislative efforts are extensive. We have an enormously hardworking and effective lobbying team (led by Pete Dunbar and his remarkable team at the Pennington law firm). We are extremely appreciative of the help from Paul Hill and his staff at The Florida Bar. Through the efforts of our substantive law committees, our Legislative Committee, which is ably led by Michael Gelfand this year, our lobbyists, and Bar staff, we hope to continue to experience success in the legislative arena.

The RPPTL Section continues to perform a wide range of committee work, CLE programs, and legislative activities. We invite your active involvement and participation.



It is my pleasure to report that the Tax Section has completed another highly successful year and will end the year with a strong and improved financial foundation. The Tax Section's theme this year was "promoting professionalism." To achieve this goal, the Tax Section continued our almost 60 years of history in sponsoring advanced CLE programs to all members of the Bar and providing members with opportunities to attend free CLEs via telephone, at each of our major meetings, and through local educational and networking opportunities to benefit our new (and old) tax lawyers. The section also joined with other organizations to provide some of the highest caliber CLE programs found in the nation, such as the 2011 International Tax Conference held in Miami in January, co-sponsored with the FICPA; and the National Multi-state Tax Symposium, co-sponsored with Deloitte held in Orlando. For the "code heads" of the future, the section sponsors a National Tax Moot Court competition. Sixteen law schools throughout the nation competed, and our members Charles Callahan III and Eric Hall coordinated the competition. This year's winner was the University of Florida Levin College of Law (Go Gators!).


The section continued the tradition of arranging for and participating in liaison meetings with the IRS and Florida Department of Revenue to foster direct communication and expound on issues of mutual concern. Members of our section were active in writing comments and working on legislative initiatives throughout the year ranging from Florida tax issues on business successor liability and updating Florida's LLC statutes, to federal tax issues relating to practice before the IRS, foreign information reporting issues, and, as of this writing, comments on the definition of a "fiduciary" under ERISA. We continue to provide our members and the Bar with periodic updates on the section and current developments in tax law through our Tax Section Bulletin, published three times annually and by monthly articles published in The Florida Bar Journal. A special thanks to past chair, Mark Holcomb, for spearheading a review and update of the section's bylaws; the changes should take effect early in the next fiscal year.

Our organizational meeting was again held at the Amelia Island Plantation in conjunction with the July 4th Independence Day Holiday. Traditionally, a meeting for members and their families, the weekend offerings included receptions, a family dinner, a firework display, adult and family hospitality suites (thanks to Mike Jorgensen's and Ian White's herculean efforts), golf (sponsored by Management Planning, Inc.), and beach and spa facilities. Sam Ullman led a CLE given by many of our new tax lawyers in our annual CLE tradition, The Ullman Tax Year in Review. Additional hours of CLE were offered in our Federal Tax Division Meeting and in conjunction with our strategic partner, the American Association of Attorney-CPAs (AAA-CPA). The section also held a leadership training session with the assistance of Yvonne Sherron of the Bar staff.

At the organizational meeting, the section was pleased to present Jeffrey P. Kielbasa, deputy executive director, Florida Department of Revenue, with the Marvin C. Gutter Outstanding Public Service Award for 2010-11. The public service award was redesignated in August 2010, in honor of Marvin C. Gutter, a past chair and recipient of the Gerald T. Hart Outstanding Tax Attorney of the Year Award, in recognition of Marvin's many years of extraordinary public service on behalf of the government, the Bar, and charities for the severely disabled. On a sad note, the Tax Section mourned the loss of Marvin C. Gutter who passed from our presence, but not from our hearts, on December 23, 2010. This award is given annually to a government employee whose commitment to the public in promoting the fair administration of the tax laws meets the standards of excellence established by the section.

The fall meeting was held in Tampa at the Marriott Waterside. The meeting kicked off on Thursday with a directors' meeting followed by a bowling excursion (none of us are going pro). Friday we had an outstanding CLE with nationally renowned speakers on partnership tax issues organized by Cristin Keane and Richard Comiter, titled "Current LLC and Partnership Tax Strategies, Traps and Tips." Friday evening the attendees and the members enjoyed a cocktail reception and the hospitality suite had some of the more interesting stories of the year (thanks to our fall meeting chair, Mike O'Leary). Saturday was back to business with complimentary CLE programs in both our Federal and State Tax Divisions (Lowell Walters taught us what every tax lawyer should understand about deferred compensation and Russ Hale led a discussion on recent legislation regarding successor tax liability in Florida). In addition, the Tax Section and the AAA-CPA co-sponsored an excellent CLE on Captive Insurance Companies.

The annual meeting, April 28 through May 1, was held at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort & Spa in Bonita Springs. We kicked things off Thursday evening with a directors' meeting and dinner. On Friday, the section hosted American Transfer Tax Idols Revisited starring nationally recognized speakers, Jonathan Blattmachr, Jeffrey Pennell, Diana Zeydel, Lauren Detzel, David Pratt, Bruce Stone, and Donald Tescher. On Saturday, we had our business meetings with several hours of complimentary CLE.

The highlight of our weekend was the Gerald T. Hart Outstanding Tax Attorney of the Year award dinner. Each year, the Tax Section selects an individual who has made major contributions to the advancement of the practice of tax law and who exemplifies the highest standards of competence and integrity. This year's honoree, Richard B. Comiter, is one of those rare individuals who stands out among his peers, in service to his profession, his clients, and his community.

Thank you to all the members that said "yes" to every request on behalf of the section; although unnamed, you are the most appreciated, generous, and attractive tax attorneys in the nation. It has been my honor to serve as chair and I am confident that the good work of the section will continue and flourish under the leadership of my able and melodious successor, Dominick "Nick" Lioce.


Trial Lawyers

I will start this report by paying tribute to my two predecessors, Glenn Burton and Bob Mansbach. Glenn died suddenly and tragically the night before the 2009 Florida Bar meeting when he was to take over as chair of this section. Glenn's untimely death put the chairmanship in the lap of my good friend, Bob Mansbach of Orlando. Bob did a tremendous job as chair from June 2009 to June 2010. Unfortunately, Bob was diagnosed with cancer in January 2010, halfway through his term. Despite his personal health battle, he never batted an eye, and carried the gavel until June 2010, when I took over as chair. Bob died on December 25, 2010. Bob and Glenn were both tireless workers for the Trial Lawyers Section and believed in this section's mission to promote professional advocacy, access to courts, right to trial by jury, an independent judiciary, and a properly funded court system. I am proud to say that with the friendship and support of my fellow Executive Council members, we have carried the torch this past year in a manner that would make Bob and Glenn smile.

Given the economic and political turmoil of the last two years, one of our goals for this past year was to make the Trial Lawyers Section more relevant in the professional lives of our members. We have done this on several fronts, and I believe we have laid some good ground work for the section to grow and enhance its role as the leading section of the Bar.

Publications--The second edition of the section's Medical Malpractice Handbook came out last year. St. Pete attorney, John Williams, completed an overhaul and rewrite of the Florida Discovery Handbook. The new version includes chapters on electronic discovery and attorney client privilege. We distributed the volume to every circuit and county judge in Florida. The Discovery Handbook can be downloaded at the section's website at

The section's other publications, The Guidelines to Professionalism, and our quarterly newsletter, The Advocate, can be downloaded at the section website as well. Speaking of the website, Executive Council members Ted Eastmoore of Sarasota and Courtney Grimm of Jacksonville helped usher in the section's new and upgraded website. The site includes search engines for members, Facebook, and Twitter applications, news and announcements about section programs, and other useful information. Please visit

Programs--Consistent with our efforts to make the section more relevant in the professional lives of our members, Kim Ashby of Orlando and the Trial Lawyers Section leadership saw through our traditional CLE programs on evidence, and the section's Trial Board Certification Review Course directed by Naples attorney, Ed Cheffy. The section's annual Advanced Trial Advocacy Program at the University of Florida Law School was held in May. Jacksonville attorney Tom Bishop and Pensacola's Bob Palmer, along with numerous other faculty lawyers and judges, make this the best trial advocacy program in the state.

In January, we held the first Trial Lawyers Summit. In addition to the section's board certification review course, we sponsored the statewide Chester Bedell Mock Trial Competition for all of Florida's law schools. Orlando's Wayne Helsby, along with Miami's Kim Cook, coordinated with trial and appellate judges from all over the state to make this event happen. St. Thomas Law School won this year's competition, and the law student participants appreciated the chance to argue in front of real judges and juries.


We rounded out the summit with exceptional speakers, including Miami attorney, Neal Sonnett, who spoke on the very relevant topic of judicial independence and threats to the judiciary. CNN Legal Analyst, Jeffrey Toobin, spoke to a large crowd on Friday night of the summit, followed by a social with Sarasota Band Goodbye Eddie. We hope the summit will become an annual affair for the Trial Lawyers Section where members can socialize, network, and attend superior continuing legal education.

Legislation--Without a doubt, the biggest challenge our section has faced this past year has been in the legislative arena, convincing our legislators and the courts to keep the courthouse doors open and adequately funded. The section participated as an amicus in a major court funding lawsuit brought by legendary Tallahassee attorneys Bob Ervin and Davisson Dunlap. Trial Lawyer Section members Sidney Matthew and Dave Dunlap of Tallahassee argued the case and we all owe them a huge debt of gratitude for their efforts.

The courts have been challenged not only in their funding, but by the current legislature, which has sought to restructure the courts and the judicial selection process. Our legislative consultant, Bob Harris of Tallahassee, has worked to keep the Executive Council informed of the flow of bills coming out this year impacting the judiciary and the court system. Executive Council members have traveled to Tallahassee, and we have worked with this year's leadership of The Florida Bar to protect the integrity, independence, and fairness of Florida's court system.

It has been an incredibly rewarding year to serve as chair of the Trial Lawyers Section. I pass the gavel of leadership to Craig Gibbs of Jacksonville, who will be followed by Chair-elect Wayne Helsby of Orlando. The section will be in great hands under the leadership of Craig and Wayne, who have the maturity and good judgment to see through this section's important mission. I want to thank all of my fellow members of the Executive Council and the thousands of dedicated Florida trial lawyers who make up this section. You truly are members of a noble profession, and to serve as chair of this section has been one of the most humbling and gratifying experiences of my career. I look forward to continued service to the Bar and this section for the challenges head.


Workers' Compensation

In preparing the section's annual report, I took it upon myself to read several of our past annual reports. In doing so, I could not help but be reminded of the old Bill Murray movie, Groundhog Day. It is hard to believe, but it has been eight years that we have been debating and bemoaning the substantial statutory reforms which occurred in 2003. We all know that things have been challenging for our section since 2003. In fact, in my address to The Florida Bar Board of Governors in July 2010, I noted that our section membership has declined by 18 percent since the reforms. In addition to these wide-sweeping reforms, the linchpin of which was a restriction on the payment of claimant attorneys' fees, we have also endured the worst recession this country has seen since the Great Depression. These events have had a deep-reaching negative impact on the members of our section, injured workers, employers, and carriers as well. We are trained to be problem solvers and to handle adversity. Although much of the whining and complaining is understandable, and some even warranted; none of it is productive. Stop complaining and do something.

Many members of our section have been tirelessly working to improve their situations, both through the appellate and legislative process. Although it is not the section's role to advocate one side or the other on these issues, I commend those individuals who have taken it upon themselves to actively do something, even those whose interests may be adverse to mine or those of my employer. I also commend those members of our section who have taken it upon themselves to adjust the way they practice law. Those individuals are showing the perseverance and ingenuity that is needed in times like these. If you prepare for the worst, you will only be pleasantly surprised.

Perhaps the most significant event for this section this year involved the appeal of Kaufmann v. Community Inclusions (1DCA10-4046), which was argued before the First District Court of Appeal on January 13, 2011, and decided on March 23, 2011. Your Executive Council voted to file an amicus brief in the case as well as in a related appeal, B.F. vs. AMS Staffing Leasing (1DCA10-2688). I applaud those members of the Executive Council who contributed to the preparation of what I thought was a balanced amicus curiae brief which supported our legislative positions, while advocating for neither side. In essence, this case raised the same constitutional challenges to the attorneys' fee reforms as were raised in the Emma Murray appeal, but which were not addressed by the Supreme Court of Florida. As we know, the legislature "fixed" the statutory ambiguity identified by the Supreme Court in 2009. I refer to the 2009 legislation as "the attorney fee mulligan." In Kaufmann, the court upheld the JCC's order in rejecting the claimant's statutory construction and constitutional challenges. Motions for rehearing are sure to follow and will likely be decided by the time this report is published. Overall, the opinion is consistent with those rendered by the court in prior challenges to the attorneys' fee reforms prior to and including the Emma Murray decision. However, unlike all of those prior decisions, in this case, the court failed to certify the case to the Supreme Court as involving a question of great public importance. Regardless of which side of the issue you are on, the section and the industry need finality and predictability.

In addition to supporting our legislative positions, both through participation in ongoing cases and where appropriate, lobbying, our other main function as a section is to provide education for our members. I am very proud of what we have provided this past year.

As she has in years past, Dawn Traverso has continued to chair our CLE Committee. Her lunchtime telephonic seminars have been a "home run" in that not only are they providing efficient and convenient education for our members, but they are also providing a financial benefit to the section, which funds even more educational opportunities. I am pleased to announce that Dawn has been elected as incoming chair-elect. I know that she will perform as well in that function as she has as CLE chair. In addition to her duties as CLE chair, this year, Dawn took over the winter ski program which was held at the Ritz Carlton in Beaver Creek, CO. Dawn assembled an excellent panel of speakers and went beyond just workers' compensation subjects to include materials on related subjects, such as special needs trusts and guardianship issues. The program was a hit. Again, Dawn, job well done.

This year, your chair-elect, Jeff Jacobs, chaired the Workers' Compensation Forum Committee. The forum was held at the Championsgate Resort outside of Orlando on April 11 and 12. As you may recall, this program, formally known as the board certification review course, has evolved to a two-track seminar to accommodate a wider range of attendees, which include members of the Workers' Compensation Claims Professionals and the International Association of Rehabilitation Providers. Although the core courses tailored for those taking the board certification examination remain, and are still taught by the top practitioners in the state, the second track has provided additional educational opportunities with respect to issues that impact petitioners on a daily basis. To Jeff and his committee, nicely done.

I would like to take a moment to express my appreciation to one particular member of the Executive Council whose work is under appreciated in my opinion. During my tenure as chair, I have reviewed the newsletters of other sections. I can tell you that our newsletter, edited by Mike Winer, is by far the best in content and appearance. Mike, your work is truly amazing. Thank you.

Your Executive Council continues to work with Deputy Chief Judge David Langham through a joint committee of section members and judges who oversee the creation and dissemination of an annual survey that provides valuable input to judges, mediators, and their staff. The judicial survey has been a work in progress over the past few years, improving every year. As I look at the overall results of last year's survey, and compare it to judicial surveys of circuit and county judges that I have reviewed, it is clear that we are very lucky to have the current group of judges. My hat is off to Chief Judge Robert Cohen and Deputy Chief Judge David Langham. Your hard work has paid off and the section looks forward to working closely with all of the judges going forward in improving the system for the benefit of judges, lawyers, and all affected parties. We are on the right track.

I thank my Florida Bar liaison, Arlee Coleman. Arlee, you are knowledgeable, pleasant, and diligent in getting the job done. You made my year as chair a painless and rewarding time. Jeff, you are very lucky to have Arlee at your side. And she will keep you in line, too!

I thank my officers for this past year. Alan Kalinoski, our treasurer, has kept our finances an order. Jackie Steele, our secretary, has our attendance record and minutes well in order. Richard Chait, our immediate past chair, has been an invaluable asset over the past year. You can't get Richard "uninvolved," and that is a good thing. Richard, thank you for your advice and support. Finally, I have enjoyed working with Jeff Jacobs, my chair-elect. The section is fortunate to have someone as hard working and dedicated as Jeff Jacobs. He is a gentleman and a credit to the claimant's bar. Jeff, I know you will have a very successful year as our chair.

In closing, I would like to comment upon the only controversial issue raised during our Executive Council meetings this year. A motion was made to eliminate the 12-year term limits for Executive Council members. As you may recall, term limits were only instituted a little more than five years ago. A motion was made to eliminate them. In the spirited debate that followed the motion, it was pointed out that approximately half of the current Executive Council members would not be there had the term limits not been imposed. This very sobering and insightful comment resulted in the motion being voted down. The Executive Council is an ever evolving body. It is comprised of an equal number of lawyers from the claimant and defense bars and is geographically diverse as well. Clearly, the opportunity exists for any one of you to become involved in section leadership. In fact, with term limits it is imperative that we have new faces prepared to step up and lead this section.

As you read this report, I challenge you to ask yourself whether you have done anything to support or improve the practice of workers' compensation law. If the answer is no, then perhaps the time for you to take action is now. If you are a claimant lawyer, join the Florida Workers Advocates. If you are a defense lawyer, join the Florida Defense Lawyers Association. If you want to improve your section, then run for a seat on the Executive Council or volunteer for a committee. You have no right to complain about your situation unless you are willing to do something about it. I thank those that have.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve as your chair. It has been an honor. I look forward to working with all of you in the years ahead.


Young Lawyers Division

The Young Lawyers Division (YLD) is the largest section or division of The Florida Bar, serving over 22,000 members. With so many members to serve, the YLD is constantly challenged to meet the demands of its growing constituency. Nevertheless, despite these demands, the YLD has enjoyed an exceptional 2010-11 Bar year.

This year's Affiliate Outreach Conference (AOC) was the biggest and best ever, thanks to our AOC Chair Chelsie Flynn and her committee. This year's conference, held at Disney's Boardwalk Inn in Orlando, hosted representatives from over 30 young lawyer affiliates. The AOC provides an opportunity for young lawyer affiliates to secure funding for their various member and public service projects, helping them to make a difference in their local communities, and also involves participation in leadership programming. This year, the conference included an affiliate president's roundtable, and a leadership seminar hosted by Alexa Sherr Hartley. The relationship between the YLD and its local affiliates remains a division priority, and this year was no exception; thanks to our ongoing partnership with The Florida Bar Foundation, the YLD was able to award over $40,000 in grants to its young lawyer affiliates around the state at this year's AOC. Additionally, we were honored to be joined at this event by our Bar President Mayanne Downs.

In conjunction with the AOC, the division was proud to host a meeting of its Law Student Division's (LSD) Board of Governors. Each of the 11 Florida law schools sent their designated representatives to this meeting, where leadership and programming sessions were conducted to foster the LSD and the numerous projects they coordinate. LSD board members also had a special opportunity to participate in a first-ever, long-range planning event, hosted by former YLD President Michael Faehner.

This year, the LSD has continued to grow and make its presence known under the leadership of the YLD Law Schools Chair Melanie Griffin and LSD President Jason Silver. Griffin, along with her committee, and Silver, along with the LSD board, have taken the LSD to new heights, conducting member recruitment drives at orientation at each Florida law school, launching online member registration, hosting its annual statewide public service event "Raising the Bar," coordinating on-site programming for law school student members, and sponsoring a law student essay contest with Florida Lawyers Mutual Insurance Company. Further, Moot Court Chair Stephanie Bolton and her committee are currently preparing to host the annual Robert Orseck Moot Court competition, which will be held this summer in conjunction with the annual convention of The Florida Bar. By fostering tomorrow's leaders today, the future of The Florida Bar is in great hands!

Furthermore, this year, under the direction of PWP Chair Kimberly Law, new educational segments were added to the many Practicing with Professionalism programs held statewide. While the YLD launched many new initiatives this past year, it also continued many traditionally successful programs, such our basic CLEs, under the direction of our CLE Chair Paige Greenlee, and our government symposium, held in January under the leadership of our Legislative Affairs Chair Hunter Carroll. The YLD continued its sponsorship of both the South Florida Minority Mentoring Picnic, and the Central Florida Diversity Picnic, as well as other diversity initiatives under the direction of Diversity Chair Sue Ann Robinson, including a pre-law conference. Notably, the division's new Professionalism Committee, chaired by Christine Graves, hosted a Federal Judicial Roundtable CLE, held in conjunction with the 11th Circuit Judicial Conference. The YLD furthered its on-going efforts to identify new and innovative ways to communicate with our large constituency, which represents nearly one quarter of all Florida Bar members, by increasing the use of our website and other electronic means. The division is proud of our new video mentorship program for our members, "Mentoring with the Masters," which will launch under the leadership of our Transition to Practice Chair Adam Myron.

As I prepare to hand over the leadership of the division to President-elect Sean Desmond, and President-elect Designate Paige Greenlee, I want to thank each of the YLD Board of Governors for their hard work and determination this past year. I would also like to recognize the exceptional work of Program Administrator Tom Miller, who consistently exceeds all expectations in his work for the division. It was solely through their efforts that the projects mentioned herein, and so many more, were made possible, and it has been my privilege and honor to work with these outstanding individuals while leading this division.

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Author:McFadden, Joe
Publication:Florida Bar Journal
Date:Jun 1, 2011
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