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Federal Court Practice.

The Federal Court Practice Committee (FCPC) serves as The Florida Bar's liaison to our federal courts, Florida-based chapters of the Federal Bar Association, the 11th Circuit Judicial Conference, and federal practitioners throughout Florida (and beyond).

The FCPC hosts its signature event, the Federal Judicial Roundtable, annually at The Florida Bar's annual convention. In last year's roundtable, we invited the chief judge of each district court in Florida to give a brief state-of-the-district address. This is something we will continue at the 2019 roundtable, which is scheduled for June 27. This year's roundtable will be moderated by Professor Howard M. Wasserman from FIU College of Law and will focus on practical and challenging discovery issues and other aspects of federal practice, including issues created by use of technology, ethical issues, and judicial expectations in presenting and arguing motions. The roundtable historically draws dozens of federal appellate, district, magistrate, and bankruptcy judges from around the state. Thus, the roundtable offers a unique opportunity for practitioners (new and experienced) to interact with the federal judiciary in an informal setting and discuss issues of interest to the federal practitioners. Additionally, the roundtable will conclude with a reception that will allow additional interaction between our federal bench and bar. This year's roundtable is chaired by Dora Kaufman from Liebler, Gonzalez & Portuondo and Dan Newman from Nelson Mullins Broad and Cassel.

In addition to the roundtable, the FCPC has presented several CLEs for our members and also joined with several local chapters of the Federal Bar Association to co-sponsor CLE events. For example, the FCPC presented a CLE on how utilizing technology and design thinking can help "secure the just, speedy, and inexpensive determination of every action." Also, the FCPC has joined with the Federal Bar Association to prepare a joint, two-day CLE in Miami and Ft. Lauderdale taking a deep dive into witness preparation. The FCPC will also be hosting a statewide live webinar on April 30 featuring Judge Sheri Chappell discussing court technology and automation. Jason Kairalla from Carlton Fields served as a CLE presenter and co-chairs the Education Subcommittee along with fellow co-chair Mark Rankin from Shutts & Bowen.

Another key component of the FCPC is the preparation and maintenance of the Guide to Judicial Practices in Florida's Federal Courts, or as it is more affectionately known as "the guide." Through much effort, our committee members have polled our federal judiciary to learn their preferences in a wide array of topics in order to assist our federal practitioners (and the judiciary) in efficiently resolving matters in federal court. Jerry Gewirtz, a subcommittee chair, authored a full-page article about the guide that was published in the October 1, 2018, edition of The Florida Bar News. This subcommittee is also co-chaired by Anitra Raiford from Shook Hardy & Bacon and Barbara Junge, and the guide is available online at directories/courts/fcpc-guide/.

One of the newer components of our FCPC is its social media outreach. Our social media efforts create an active voice on various social media platforms in which the FCPC can better serve its role as liaison by blasting updates on relevant issues involving federal practice--everything from job openings in the courts, to relevant decisions, to court closures. Our social media team has also allowed the FCPC to deepen its ties with the local federal bar associations by marketing CLEs and other relevant events and programs to the Bar at-large. In addition to providing an active voice on several social media platforms, our group maintains the Federal Corner on The Florida Bar's website (http:// fed-corner). While every member of the FCPC serves as a "roving reporter" in helping us distribute relevant content to the Bar, our subcommittee is spearheaded by Co-chairs Andy Doyle and Erik Johanson from the Jennis Law Firm.

The FCPC's newest committee is the Pro Bono Subcommittee, which launched this year and has been lead admirably by April Walker of Upchurch Watson White & Max and Ana Martinez. As the FCPC has a large number of government attorneys and judges who are limited and often prohibited from performing pro bono services, April and Ana have been able to creatively navigate ways for the FCPC to provide and support meaningful pro bono services, projects, and clinics.

We would be remiss not to mention the efforts of our Long Range Planning Subcommittee that helps steer the FCPC forward and has been a key component to our committee's growth over recent years. FCPC Vice Chair Melissa Visconti of Damian & Valori also wears the hat of Long Range Planning Subcommittee chair. Also, we thank Judge Amanda Sansone and Jennifer Corinis for their efforts in leading our federal rules subcommittee and keeping FCPC members up-to-date with new and proposed rules in each of the districts.

This past year was a challenging year for many of our committee members, as we saw Florida's panhandle decimated by Hurricane Michael, which destroyed the federal courthouse in Panama City and affected numerous committee members and practitioners. Additionally, we experienced the longest federal government shutdown in history, something that had a unique impact on the FCPC with a significant percentage of our members employed by the federal government. I cannot thank enough our committee members for their efforts to make this year successful and productive despite the obstacles.

Finally, the FCPC also gives special thanks and recognition to our Bar liaison, Lani Fraser. Not even a hurricane could stop one of the hardest working people in Tallahassee! Her devotion to and relentless effort in all aspects of the FCPC's work this year and in years past have allowed the FCPC to continue to grow and better achieve its mission as the liaison between our federal judiciary and federal practitioners. Thank you Lani!

Matthew F. Hall, Chair
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Title Annotation:Annual Reports of Committees of the Florida Bar: 2018-2019
Author:Hall, Matthew F.
Publication:Florida Bar Journal
Date:May 1, 2019
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