Administrative Law Section
The primary goal for the Administrative Law Section's 2016-2017 term was increasing our membership through a focus on recruitment, retention, and reclamation. Over the past several years, the Administrative Law Section, like many other smaller sections primarily comprised of public sector attorneys, has seen a decline in membership. In order to reverse this trend, the section established an ad hoc committee to develop a strategic plan. The committee, chaired by Judge Gar Chisenhall, created a plan that establishes priorities and focuses resources to ensure that the section's leadership is working toward common goals for the next five years. The section will begin implementation of the strategic plan next year.
Additionally, the section's membership efforts have included interacting with our members through social media. Without question, social media is an essential tool for marketing and reaching potential members. As such, the section has an active Facebook page and established a LinkedIn group this year. The section regularly updates its website and is currently in the process of revamping it in order to provide additional features of interest to administrative law practitioners.
This spring, the section continued its outreach to young lawyers through its ad hoc young lawyers committee, chaired by Christina Shideler. The committee sponsored its popular "Afternoon at DOAH" in April. The section is also working to provide services to more established lawyers through the efforts of Judge John Van Laningham's committee, which is creating a study guide for the state and federal government administrative practice (SFGAP) examination.
The section's continuing legal education (CLE) committee, chaired by Bruce Lamb, started the year off with the section's signature event, the Pat Dore Administrative Law Conference. The conference was held on October 7, 2016, in Tallahassee. For the first time in many years the conference was a sold-out event. On October 28, 2016, the public utilities law committee put together an excellent CLE program on solar energy and renewables in Gainesville. On January 31, 2017, the section, in conjunction with the Young Lawyers Division (YLD), presented a webinar on basic administrative law. The section's CLE Committee, in conjunction with the Environmental and Land Use Law and the Government Lawyer sections, presented an advanced-level CLE on April 21, 2017, in Tallahassee.
The section's newsletter editors, Judge Elizabeth McArthur and Jowanna N. Oates, have produced the section's quarterly newsletter, providing summaries of recent state appellate administrative law cases, summaries of DOAH cases, articles of interest to administrative practitioners, legislative updates, and announcements concerning section activities. Stephen Emmanuel, the Publications
Committee co-chair, has actively recruited authors for the section's submissions to The Florida Bar Journal; this year, five articles were submitted.
For the past several years, the section has made a concerted effort to increase interest in administrative law by interacting with the state's 12 law schools. The Law School Outreach Committee, chaired by Judge Lynne Quimby-Pennock, and co-chaired by Sharlee Edwards and Vilma Martinez, put together informative panel discussions at the University of Florida Levin College of Law, Thomas M. Cooley School of Law, Barry University School of Law, University of Miami School of Law, St. Thomas University School of Law, Florida Coastal College of Law, Florida A&M University College of Law, and Florida State University College of Law.
September 17, 2016, marked the section's annual "Day of Service." For the second year in a row, the executive council volunteered at America's Second Harvest of the Big Bend. Second Harvest feeds the hungry in 11 counties in the Tallahassee area. One of Second Harvest's specialized programs is the backpack program, which gives children a backpack of food each Friday to ensure that they have sufficient food over the week. Each week, approximately 700 children receive these food backpacks.
As the Administrative Law Section enters its 40th year, it remains focused on delivering exceptional educational and professional development programs to its members. For additional information about the section, please visit our website at www.flaadminlaw.org. Jowanna Nicole Oates, Chair
Alternative Dispute Resolution
One of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Section's goals this year was to reach out to other Florida Bar sections to create programming that would be helpful to all members of The Florida Bar. Members of our executive council agreed to liaise with other sections, and we recorded two videos for the Young Lawyers' Division website on "How to Prepare for and Successfully Advocate in Mediation" and "How to Prepare for Arbitration." We cosponsored a seminar with the Trial Lawyers Section, and are cosponsoring a seminar at the 2017 Florida Bar Annual Convention with the International Law Section. We are working on co-sponsoring a seminar with the Animal Law Section and the Family Law Section. We have presented seminars on employment law and mediator engagement letters.
This year, for the third time, the ADR Section will present a three-hour program at the June Florida Bar convention. The first half will be an interactive program designed to elicit dialogue between mediators on current issues regarding mediation. The second half will update on developments in the field of arbitration in both the federal and the Florida courts. We have also been involved with local groups, such as the Hillsborough County Bar, the Broward County Bar, and the Association of South Florida Mediators and Arbitrators, to provide programming related to alternative dispute resolution.
We recognize that ADR means more than just me diation and arbitration, and our newsletter editor has been working to include articles on other forms of alternative dispute resolution in our newsletters. This year, we published two newsletters and are working on a third newsletter. All contributions are welcome and anyone interested in submitting an article should contact Gabrielle Tollok at gtollok@ floridabar.org. We have also decided to sponsor articles for The Florida Bar Journal, and two members of our executive council have volunteered to serve as editors. We can sponsor up to five articles per year.
The Florida Supreme Court ADR Rules and Policy Committee is a standing committee that recommends changes to Florida Supreme Court rules and legislation regarding ADR in Florida. We are working collaboratively with the Florida Supreme Court ADR Rules and Policy Committee and sent out a survey to our members regarding mediator ethics and certification. We received a large response and the executive council passed two motions, which were sent as recommendations to the ADR Rules and Policy Committee. The first would require all mediators mediating cases filed in the family and civil circuit divisions of the state court to adhere to the Florida Supreme Court's Standards for Professional Conduct for Certified and Court-Appointed Mediators. The second would require them to be certified by the Florida Supreme Court as either family or civil mediators. The ADR Rules and Policy Committee has also reached out to us to get feedback regarding interpreters and ADR processes, and has asked if there are any rule changes or other areas of concern to ADR practitioners that should be considered by them.
The executive council provided comments to the Florida Supreme Court on the ADR Rules and Policy Committee's proposed revisions to the Certification and Disciplinary Rules for Certified and Court-Appointed Mediators. Although the ADR Section opposed these revisions, some of our comments were responded to favorably by the ADR Rules and Policy Committee and by the Florida Supreme Court. The new rules are effective January 1, 2017. The Florida Supreme Court proposed a revision to the Rules of Judicial Conduct regarding senior judges serving as trial resolution judges in the same county in which they are serving as senior judges. We commented on the proposed revision, and the Florida Supreme Court adopted our proposed revision. If you know of any proposed legislation or any proposed rule changes that affect alternative dispute resolution in the state of Florida, please let us know, so that we can provide input from our section.
We are working on revising our bylaws, and a committee is looking into Florida Bar board certification for ADR practitioners. It has been a busy year. Please consider contributing your talents to our section so that we can continue to improve all forms of alternative dispute resolution in Florida--for the benefit of lawyers and all participants in alternative dispute resolution processes.
Meah Rothman Tell, Chair
I am very pleased to report that 2016-2017 saw the former Animal Law Committee (ALC) transform into the new Animal Law Section of The Florida Bar (ALS). As of the writing of this report, ALS has over 450 active members and is growing. I invite everyone to join our new and exciting section and participate in the development of this diverse and interesting area of law. ALS is open to anyone interested in animal law, regardless of whether you practice animal law. ALS is also open to affiliate members, such as law students, paralegals, and others involved or interested in animal-related activities.
Since The Florida Bar Board of Governors gave final approval to ALS in 2015, our members and leaders have worked hard to make our inaugural year a great success, which it has been by any reasonable measure. There are many people to recognize and thank, especially our BOG liaison, Scott Westheimer, our Bar administrator, Jeremy Citron, and our ALS executive council members, Gregg Morton (chair-elect), Gil Panzer (secretary), Bonnie Malloy (treasurer), Sarah Taitt, Jennifer...