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Proposed board actions.

Pursuant to Standing Board Policy 1.60, the Board of Governors of The Florida Bar hereby publishes this notice of intent to consider or take final action at its December 10 meeting on the following items. These matters are additionally governed by Rule 1-12.1, Rules Regulating The Florida Bar, where applicable.

Most amendments to the Rules Regulating The Florida Bar that are finally acted upon by the board must still be formally presented to the Supreme Court of Florida, with further notice and opportunity to be heard, before they are officially approved and become effective.

To receive a full copy of the text of any of these proposed amendments call (850)561-5751--please reference any requested proposal by its title or item number and date of this publication.

RULES REGULATING THE FLORIDA BAR

Chapter 1 General

Subdivision 1-3 Membership

1. Rule 1-3.5 Retirement

Summary: Deletes requirement of board review and approval of petitions for retirement and for reinstatement therefrom; authorizes executive director to individually act on such matters instead but still allows for board action in cases of doubt; clarifies that denial of a petition for retirement or reinstatement by either authority may be reviewed by petition to the Supreme Court of Florida.

2. Rule 1-3.6 Delinquent Members

Summary: Reorganized and rewritten to more clearly specify those instances in which a member shall be deemed delinquent; includes delinquency language moved from rule 1-7.3(a) and adds failure to pay fees associated with diversion or a fee arbitration award as specific bases for delinquency.

Subdivision 1-7 Membership Fees and Fiscal Control.

3. Rule 1-7.3 Membership Fees; Membership Fee Requirement

Summary: Consistent with proposed changes in rule 1-3.6, deletes language in subdivision (a) relating to membership delinquencies, now relocated in rule 1-3.6; deletes other verbiage in (a), to effectively allow the Bar to accept membership fees from delinquent members.

Chapter 3 Rules of Discipline

Subdivision 3-5 Types of Discipline

4. Rule 3-5.1 Generally

Summary: Within subdivision (b)(3), adds language to clarify that respondent is responsible for $1250 administrative fee if guilty of minor misconduct.

5. Rule 3-5.2 Emergency Suspension and Probation

Summary: Revises subdivision (a) and creates new subdivision (b), to allow for separate criteria for petitions for emergency suspension or for interim probation; amends rule title and subtitles accordingly and reformats remainder of existing rule as necessary to accommodate these proposed changes; within former subdivision (d)--new (e)--deletes requirement that bar must proceed to trial within 60 days of any emergency order.

Subdivision 3-7 Procedures

6. Rule 3-7.2 Procedures Upon Criminal or Professional Misconduct; Discipline Upon Determination or Judgment of Guilt of Criminal Misconduct

Summary: Within subdivision (b), extends conclusive proof of guilt provisions regarding felony cases to all criminal cases; within subdivision (c), requires a member of the bar who is arrested on felony charges to give notice of such arrest to the executive director; also requires such notice from the state attorney's office assigned to the felony case if the defendant is known to be a Florida Bar member.

7. Rule 3-7.5 Procedures Before the Board of Governors

Summary: Within subdivision (a), clarifies that a request by a designated reviewer for grievance committee reconsideration or referral to the disciplinary review committee shall be submitted to bar counsel: defines "in writing" for purposes of this subdivision: clarifies how bar counsel processes requests for reconsideration, to include notice to respondent and complainant: confirms that procedures in rule 3-7.4 apply to reconsiderations, and that the bar--as a party in disciplinary matters--has no authority to adjudicate rights; other edits attempt to clarify current verbiage or reformat remainder of existing rule to accommodate these proposed changes.

Chapter 4 Rules of Professional Conduct

Subchapter 4-1 Client-Lawyer Relationship

8. Rule 4-1.5 Fees for Legal Services

Summary: Creates new subdivision (i)--"Arbitration Clauses"--that would add language permitting lawyers to contract with clients to resolve any fee dispute that may arise, through mandatory arbitration; prohibits such arrangements unless the lawyer first advises the affected person in writing of the opportunities of independent representation; sets forth required language for any such attorney-client agreement; proposed as companion to suggested amendments in rule 4-1.8(h).

9. Rule 4-1.8 Conflict of Interest: Prohibited and Other Transactions

Summary: Within subdivision (h), adds new language that would permit lawyers to contract with clients to resolve any fee dispute that may arise, through mandatory arbitration; prohibits such arrangements unless the lawyer first advises the affected person in writing of the opportunities of independent representation; sets forth required language for any such attorney-client agreement; proposed as companion to suggested amendments creating new rule 4-1.5(i).

Subchapter 4-8 Maintaining the Integrity of the Profession

10. Rule 4-8.6 Authorized Business Entities

Summary: Within subdivisions (b)-(g) and comment, adds "proprietor" and "proprietor of a solo practice" to those business entities in which lawyers are authorized to practice law.

Chapter 6 Legal Specialization and Education Programs

Subchapter 6-3 Florida Certification Plan

11. Rule 6-3.5 Standards for Certification

Summary: Within subdivision (c) adds new language to allow lawyers who have been practicing abroad and are applying for law certification to count that practice toward the 5-year practice requirement within the state of Florida, if provided for elsewhere within these rules.

Chapter 10 Rules Governing the Investigation and Prosecution of the Unlicensed Practice of Law

Subchapter 10-7 Proceedings Before a Referee

12. Rule 10-7.2 Proceedings for Indirect Criminal Contempt

Summary: Within subdivision (b), conforms requirements and determination of indigent status to new statutory criteria in [section] 27.52, F.S.; replaces "accused" with "respondent" to make rule verbiage consistent with other language used throughout the remainder of the rule.

STANDING BOARD POLICIES

600 Series--Continuing Legal Education

Subchapter 6.20 Authority for CLE Courses

13. Policy 6.21 Division, Section and Committee Programs

Summary: Deletes subdivision (d), "Section Certification Review Programs," which allows sections to provide certification review programs independent of CLE Committee control; reformats remainder of existing policy as necessary to accommodate these proposed changes.

Subchapter 6.30--Fees for CLE Courses

14. Policy 6.30 Fees for CLE Courses

Summary: Increases the base CLE course fee to not less than $105 per day, from the current $85 amount; amends the surcharge for non-members of sponsoring section attending Bar CLE courses to $25, from the current $15 amount.

15. Policy 6.31 Distribution of Proceeds

Summary: Adds new subdivision (a)(1)(B), to allow for the capping of proceeds if the total gross fees for a CLE course, after subtraction of allowable expenses, are less than the percentage share specified in subdivision (a)(1)(A); within subdivision (b), amends revenue sharing among The Florida Bar, CLE and Young Lawyers Division with regard to YLD courses, to allow the YLD 90 percent of net (rather than "attributed net") profit on all (rather than only live) presentations except the Practicing with Professionalism course--defined as the amount left after all direct and indirect expenses including internal Bar support; deletes current revenue sharing formula for YLD video presentations, also in (b); corrects various outdated or incorrect name references to Practicing with Professionalism course and Out-of-State Practitioners Division throughout; reformats remainder of existing policy as necessary to accommodate these proposed changes.

1500 Series--Lawyer Regulation Policies

16. Policy 15.10 Waiver of Disqualification as Attorney for Respondent

Summary: Adds new subdivision (c), to revise current prohibitions and allow a member of a board member's firm to represent a disciplinary respondent in limited instances--if the respondent is a member of the board member's firm, if representation of the respondent predated the board member's initial date of board service and refusal to allow continued representation would work a substantial hardship on the respondent, or if representation of the respondent predated the time when the board member and respondent's counsel became members of the same firm and refusal to allow continued representation would work a substantial hardship on the respondent; adds new subdivision (h), to clarify that if a waiver is granted hereunder the affected board member shall be recused from additional Bar participation in the matter per policy 15.20 and further screened from the law firm's files and representation; adds new subdivision (k), specifying procedures for review of and action on any request for waiver hereunder; other edits attempt to clarify current subdivision titles or reformat remainder of existing rule to accommodate these proposed changes.

17. Policy 15.20 Recusal of Board Members

Summary: Consistent with proposed changes in policy 15.10, adds language within subdivision (a) to clarify that the president or presiding officer may order recusal of a board member in a disciplinary matter upon concurrence of a majority of the board; further clarifies that a recused member may not participate in any manner of discussions with any member or group of members of the board concerning the matter; adds new language stating that a recused member should not be present when the matter is being debated by the board.

Subchapter 15.50 Administration and Admonishments

18. Policy 15.55 Deferral of Disciplinary Investigation During Civil or Criminal Proceedings

Summary: Adds new language to clarify that bar counsel, with concurrence of the chief branch discipline counsel, may close a civil or criminal discipline file and may decline to reopen the file.

Subchapter 15.70 Disciplinary Action on Malpractice/Incompetence

19. Policy 15.75 Policy on Review of Continuing Complaints

Summary: New policy, codifying procedures and policies regarding the review of closed inquiries and disciplinary files when further action is requested by a complaining witness or other individual.

BYLAWS

20. General Practice, Solo, & Small Firm Practitioners Section

Summary: Within Article II, (Membership), adds the definition and term of office for law professor, affiliate members.

21. Workers' Compensation Law Section

Summary: Within Article III (Officers) increases the size of the executive council, from 27, to 30 members; revises executive council membership to require at least 15 claimants' and 15 employers'/carriers' attorneys; revises the annual terms of office for all officers, to commence on July 1 of each year rather than at the conclusion of the council's annual meeting; within Article V (Nomination and Election of Officers and Executive Council) increases the number of council members separately nominated by both the council and membership, from 4 to 5; includes other non-substantive editorial or conforming changes throughout; within Article VI (Committees) revises names of "specialization" committee, to "board certification" committee, and "planning" committee to "long range planning" committee.

BLSE POLICIES

500 Series--Course Approval

22. Policy 5.01 Course Approval Administration

23. Policy 5.02 Member Submissions for Course Evaluation and Credit

24. Policy 5.03 Course Approval Standards

25. Policy 5.04 Credit Approval

26. Policy 5.05 Credit for Other CLE Activities

27. Policy 5.06 Complimentary Audiotapes

Summary: Throughout the 500 Series, proposes new fee structure for course evaluation; adds other minor adjustments to various policy provisions to specify credit assignments for particular educational activities.
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Title Annotation:Notice
Publication:Florida Bar News
Date:Nov 15, 2004
Words:1818
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