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Proposed board action

Proposed board action

Proposed board action

Proposed board action

Board of GovernorsPursuant to Standing Board Policy 1.60, the Board of Governors of The Florida Bar publishes this notice of intent to consider the following items at its May 10, 2024, Board of Governors meeting. This is governed by Rule 1-12.1, Rules Regulating The Florida Bar. If approved by the board, most rules amendments must still be formally filed with the Supreme Court of Florida, with further notice and opportunity to be heard, before they are officially approved and become effective. Amendments to section bylaws and standing board policies are final on board of governors action.  Additionally, non-substantive edits to conform to the Florida Supreme Court style guide are not noted in the summary. To receive a full copy of the text of proposed amendments, email Kelly Smith at [email protected]. Reference any requested proposal by its title and date of this publication.

FINAL ACTION

RULES REGULATING THE FLORIDA BAR

Chapter 1 General

RULE 1-3.6 DELINQUENT MEMBERS

Summary: Reorganizes rule into types of delinquency and effects of delinquency.  Under types of delinquency, adds timeliness requirement and adds nonpayment of all assessed costs to delinquency.

RULE 1-7.3 MEMBERSHIP FEES

Summary: Within subdivision (b), removes proration of fees and substitutes that new members admitted between July 1 and March 31 of each year must pay the full year of membership fees within 60 days of admission and new members admitted between April 1 and June 30 of each year pay no membership fees for that fiscal year.

RULE 1-3.10 APPEARANCE BY NON-FLORIDA LAWYER IN A FLORIDA COURT

Summary: Adds new subdivision (e) requiring lawyers admitted pro hac vice to annually report to the bar the status of cases (closed or pending), report to the bar when a case in which a lawyer is admitted pro hac concludes, and report to the bar when a lawyer withdraws from a case in which the lawyer is admitted pro hac.

RULE 1-3.11 APPEARANCE BY NON-FLORIDA LAWYER IN AN ARBITRATION PROCEEDING IN FLORIDA

Summary: Deletes fee information from subdivision (e)(6). Adds new subdivision (f) requiring the lawyer to pay a nonrefundable fee on application and an annual nonrefundable renewal fee. Adds new subdivision (g) requiring lawyers admitted pro hac vice to annually report to the bar the status of cases (closed or pending), report to the bar when a case in which a lawyer is admitted pro hac concludes, and  report to the bar when a lawyer withdraws from a case in which the lawyer is admitted pro hac.

Chapter 2 Bylaws of The Florida Bar

BYLAW 2-8.1 ESTABLISHMENT AND APPOINTMENT OF COMMITTEES

Summary: Adds that for court rules committees, the president-elect will appoint a chair-elect from the existing committee membership, who will serve as chair the year after the president-elect serves as president.

Chapter 3 Rules of Discipline

RULE 3-7.18 DISPOSITION OF INQUIRIES OR COMPLAINTS REFERRED TO THE BAR BY MEMBERS OF THE JUDICIARY (judges acting in their official capacity)

Summary: Within subdivision (a)(2) adds that the reporting member of the judiciary has to be reporting information obtained during the course of that person’s official duties as a member of the judiciary to be considered a judicial referral and excluding judicial election violations.

RULE 3-7.7 PROCEDURES BEFORE SUPREME COURT OF FLORIDA

Summary: Within subdivision (c)(3), changes the time for answer, reply, and cross reply briefs from 20 to 30 days.

Chapter 4 Rules of Professional Conduct

RULE 4-7.19 EVALUATION OF ADVERTISEMENTS

Summary: In subdivision (h), deletes the specific dollar amount and adds “set by the bar’s executive director as approved by the Board of Governors.” Also adds that The Florida Bar will provide the Florida Supreme Court with 30 days’ notice prior to the effectiveness of any increase in the amount of a fee or the imposition of any new fee.

RULE 4-7.20 EXEMPTIONS FROM THE FILING AND REVIEW REQUIREMENT

Summary: Adds new subdivision (h) creating an exemption for advertisements and other communications regarding legal services made by legal aid organizations.

RULE 4-8.6 AUTHORIZED BUSINESS ENTITIES

Summary: Within subdivision (a), adds not-for-profit authorized business entity as defined elsewhere in the Rules Regulating The Florida Bar.  Reorganizes subdivision (c) and adds shareholder, member, and equity owner as prohibited titles for nonlawyers in a law firm.  Adds that “a nonlawyer may not direct or supervise the work of lawyers, make decisions regarding a lawyer’s compensation, or perform any policy-making function that would impact the practice of law or the lawyer’s independent professional judgment in an authorized business entity.”

Chapter 7 Clients’ Security Fund

RULE 7-2.4 PREREQUISITES TO PAYMENT

Summary: Within subdivision (b), adds that failure to file a complaint within required time limits may be considered in denying a claim. Adds new subdivision (f) on jurisdiction that the underlying conduct to the reimbursable loss was engaged in while the lawyer was a practicing member of the bar, and the claim arises out of the practice of law in this state.

Standing Board Policies

Standing Board Policy 1.60 Board Action on Proposed Rule or Policy Amendments

Summary: Within subdivision (a), adds new subdivision (a)(16), Florida Bar committee internal operating procedures, to the list of amendments that must undergo Board of Governors review and approval.  A subsequent subdivision is renumbered.

Standing Board Policy 15.56 CASE PROCESSING GOALS

Summary: Adds new subdivision addressing requests for extension.

Board of Legal Specialization and Education Policies

BLSE Policy 5.09

Summary: Adds new subdivision (e)(3) that states lawyers are not eligible for credit for their individual mental or physical activity in individual health and wellness such as yoga classes, personal training, workout sessions, meditation sessions, or individual therapy. Courses must involve the process of transmitting knowledge of the disciplines of mental health and wellness.

BLSE Policy 5.10  Individual Credit Approval Guidelines

Summary: Within subdivisions (f) and (g), deletes the .5 professionalism credit hours and adds credit for the required 2-credit hour Florida Legal Professionalism course.

Professionalism Code 1.2 Referrals to The Florida Bar

Summary: Adds an exception for referral to a local professionalism panel when the bar and respondent agree to diversion.

FIRST READING

Chapter 3 Rules of Discipline

RULE 3-5.1 GENERALLY

Summary: Moves the circumstances of actual prejudice, actual or potential injury to the public or system, or discipline within the last 3 years to its own subdivision that is prefaced with the statement that when unusual circumstances or significant mitigation is present, a tender of minor misconduct can be accepted.

RULE 3-5.2 EMERGENCY SUSPENSION; INTERIM PROBATION; INTERIM PLACEMENT ON THE INACTIVE LIST FOR INCAPACITY NOT RELATED TO MISCONDUCT; AND FREEZING TRUST ACCOUNTS

Summary: Within subdivision (b), adds new subdivisions (4) and (5) adding procedures for motions for dissolution for interim probation and a ban on successive motions for dissolution. Moves current (b)(6) to mirror subdivision (a).  Within (a)(6), adds that the bar must show the respondent is causing great public harm.

RULE 3-5.4 PUBLICATION OF DISCIPLINE

Summary: Within the comment, adds the article “the” in front of Southern Reporter.

Chapter 6 Legal Specialization and Education Programs

RULE 6-3.5 STANDARDS FOR CERTIFICATION

Summary: Adds new subdivision (f) giving the Board of Legal Specialization and Education Authority to extend the application requirements completion time for specified events.

RULE 6-3.6 RECERTIFICATION

Summary: Adds new subdivision (f) giving the Board of Legal Specialization and Education authority to extend the application requirements completion time for specified events.

Chapter 7 Clients’ Security Fund

RULE 7-2.4 PREREQUISITES TO PAYMENT

Summary: Within subdivision (a), changes “suspended” to “under a rehabilitative suspension.”

Chapter 14 Grievance Mediation and Fee Arbitration

RULE 14-4.1 ARBITRATION PROCEEDINGS

Summary: Within subdivision (c), removes the requirement for consent of staff counsel for intake counsel referral to fee arbitration.

Chapter 20 Florida Registered Paralegal Program

RULE 20-5.1 GENERALLY

Summary: Within subdivision (a), adds on the inactive list due to incapacity.

Standing Board Policies

Standing Board Policy 15.55 Deferral of Disciplinary Investigation During Civil, Criminal and Administrative Proceedings

Summary: Policy is reorganized.  Within subdivisions (b) and (c), adds concurrence of staff counsel to defer disciplinary investigation during other proceedings.  Within subdivisions (b), (c), (d) and (e), removes intake counsel and ACAP/Intake Director. Within subdivision (d), adds procedure for board approval of deferral of disciplinary investigation for pending criminal or civil proceedings at a grievance committee’s recommendation noting the designated reviewer’s position.

Standing Board Policy 15.90 Review and Approval of Disciplinary Cost, Diversion Fee, Restitution, and Fee Arbitration Award Payment Plans

Summary: Within subdivision (d), deletes references to specific subdivisions of rule 1-3.6, as one of the references is incorrect.

 Standing Board Policy 8.10 Amicus Curiae Filings

Summary: Changes “bar groups” to ” voluntary Florida Bar groups.”

Standing Board Policy 8.20 RESPONSES TO BAR RULES PETITIONS

Summary: Changes “bar groups” to “Florida Bar voluntary groups.”

Originally published at https://www.floridabar.org/the-florida-bar-news/proposed-board-action-60/

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