EDITOR'S NOTE: Due to the COVID-19 health crisis, some of the events described below have been rescheduled or cancelled since this issue went to press in early April. Please consult The Florida Bar's COVID-19 resource page at https://www.floridabar.org/news/releases/covid19/for updated information.
The 2019-2020 term was a busy one for the Administrative Law Section. We worked on suggested revisions to the Uniform Rules of Procedure, generated numerous feature articles for publication, and rolled-out the first trial school for administrative law. We also continued our efforts to reach out to young lawyers and to give back to the community with a series of networking events in Tallahassee and through our South Florida Chapter. Finally, we continued the section tradition of sponsoring quality CLE programs dedicated to administrative law.
An ad hoc committee of the Administrative Law Section was tasked with reviewing the Uniform Rules of Procedure and recommending appropriate changes. The committee was chaired by Larry Sellers and included Judge Yolanda Green, Judge Elizabeth McArthur, Judge Li Nelson, Judge Dave Watkins, Paul Drake, Seann Frazier, and Shaw Stiller. The Uniform Rules of Procedure were last updated in 2013 based on recommendations from the section. Beginning in January 2019, the committee solicited suggestions and developed a draft revision that was distributed for comment. The committee received and reviewed numerous comments and has prepared more revisions, the latest of which is available for review on the section website. The suggested revisions will ultimately be considered at an executive council meeting. Any recommended changes approved by the executive council will be submitted to the Administration Commission, which has the exclusive authority to propose and adopt changes to the Uniform Rules of Procedure.
Thank you to Richard Shoop for writing a thoughtful article on qualified representatives. "Parties Beware: Your Qualified Representative in an Administrative Proceeding might not be Qualified to Represent You if You Decide to Pursue an Appeal" was published in the November/December 2019 edition of The Florida Bar Journal. Mr. Shoop was busy. He also contributed a feature article for the December 2019 edition of the Administrative Law Section Newsletter, an ALJ Q&A with the new Chief Judge John MacIver. Many others contributed feature articles to the newsletter, including Gregg Morton ("Off to a Great Start: the Administrative Law Section's Inaugural Trial Academy"); Jowanna Oates and Cathy Sellers ("The End of an Era: Judge Scott Boyd Retires"), and Brittany Adams Long, Donna Blanton, and Travis Miller ("Practical Implications of Amendment 6 in Administrative Law Disputes"). Jowanna Oates and Tiffany Roddenberry are the co-editors of the newsletter and continue to do an outstanding job producing this first-rate publication. Before we leave the newsletter, I must recognize other regular contributors: Tara Price, Larry Sellers, and Gigi Rollini write the appellate case notes and Judge Gar Chisenhall, Mathew Knoll, Dustin Metz, Virginia Ponder, Christina Shideler, Paul Rendleman, and Tiffany Roddenberry prepare the DOAH case notes. Finally, thank you Lyyli Van Whittle for continuing to lead our section publication efforts.
The section held its first trial school, the DOAH Trial Academy, in fall 2019. The week-long academy was held at DOAH and was modeled on other immersive trial preparation training courses with a focus on skills that attorneys need for practicing in an administrative forum. The first class was limited to 20 students to ensure there was enough time for instructors to spend with each participant individually. The students participated in workshops to practice litigation skills, and the program culminated on its final day with a mock trial in front of ALJ Bob Cohen. The coaches also selected students for awards based on the skills taught during the academy: Virginia Edwards (best opening statement); Amanda McKibben (best direct examination); Johnny El Hachem (best cross examination); and Kristen Bond (best PRO). Thank you to the ALJs and coaches who made the program a success: Judge Suzanne Van Wyk, Judge Bob Cohen, Judge Gar Chisenhall, Judge Bruce Culpepper, Judge Yolanda Green, Judge Li Nelson, Ralph DeMeo, Seann Frazier, Kathy Hood, Gregg Morton, Louise St. Laurent, and Richard Shine. We plan to repeat the program in the fall with certain content improvements.
While this annual report is being drafted, we are unsure whether the COVID-19 pandemic will prevent the section from moving forward with two of its premiere live CLE events before the end of the 2019-2020 term. The Advanced Topics CLE, previous scheduled for March 27, is presently being rescheduled. We hope to move forward with the Pat Dore Administrative Law Conference presently scheduled for May 14-15. If the pandemic prevents us from moving forward as scheduled, the section is committed to presenting these CLE programs in live lecture formats before the end of 2020. The section sponsored CLE programs on interesting administrative law topics that are available now on demand on The Florida Bar website. For example, Judge John Van Laningham and Professor Mark Seidenfeld prepared a presentation on the status of deference to state and federal agencies in "Deference to Agencies: State and Federal Update and Forecast for the Future." Thank you, Angela Morrison, for chairing this program. The section will present webinars in the spring on the following topics: administrative appeals, the role of the general counsel, proposed recommended orders, professionalism, section 1983 lawsuits, technology in administrative law, and overview of the Administrative Procedure Act and rulemaking. Thank you, Bruce Lamb, for chairing the section's CLE committee this term.
The section continued its efforts to grow membership through networking/charitable events, including a backpack drive and "Yappy" Hour event co-sponsored with the Animal Law Section. Thank you to Tabitha Jackson, Matt Bryant, James Ross, Paul Drake, Ross Vickers, Virginia Ponder, Patty Nelson, Amy Schrader, and Judge Gar Chisenhall for their continued work in promoting these events. Special recognition is also warranted for Sharlee Edwards and Paula Savchenko for their efforts to kickstart the section's South Florida Chapter.
The section recognized Judge Bob Cohen and Jowanna Oates for their contributions to the section and to the field of administrative law. Judge Cohen received the section's Curtis Kiser Administrative Lawyer of the Year Award and Jowanna Oates received the section's Outstanding Service Award for 2019. Their accomplishments and contributions are too many to list here, but can be found in the September 2019 edition of the newsletter.
I close this annual report by recognizing Calbrail Banner, the section's program administrator. Ms. Banner is the behind-the-scenes support for all section activities. She never complains (well, almost never) and never lets us down. We could not have accomplished these tasks without her support.
Thank you, Ms. Banner.
BRIAN NEWMAN, Chair
Alternative Dispute Resolution
The Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Section of The Florida Bar has enjoyed a vigorous stage of growth for the past year. By engaging more members and offering new programing, we were able to increase our membership. By following the goals of providing more meaningful membership experiences and raising awareness of ADR processes with other organizations, we were successful in adding members to our section. These objectives were complemented by a deliberate effort to maximize our resources of funds and talent and to advance professionalism within the field of conflict resolution.
* Membership--1) Who We Are: The ADR Section of The Florida Bar is uniquely comprised of only attorney-mediators and attorney-arbitrators, with a smaller contingent of other attorney-dispute resolution professionals. It is our mission to address the needs of and provide services for this uniquely qualified segment of conflict resolution professionals.
2) Membership Recruitment: Through targeted efforts we contacted attorney-mediators who are not members of the section and attended various events of other sections and attorney-mediator groups. Membership in the section increased over the past year, much of it due to the creative efforts of our membership chair, Christy Foley. The ADR Section participated as an exhibitor in conferences of the YLD, Contract Law Institute, and DRC. We are looking at reduced or free dues for new members of The Florida Bar to encourage interest in the ADR Section from the beginning of the lawyer's career.
3) Membership Survey: To better understand the needs and interests of our members, we conducted a survey (prepared by Michelle Jernigan and Lawrence Kolin) to guide us through a long-term planning process at our midyear meeting. Based on the responses, we created a plan on the best use of our energy, focus, and resources to provide for those expectations.
4) Updated Bylaws: The ADR Section raised the number of members on the executive council to allow for more interested conflict resolution professionals to participate. The revision of the bylaws also cleaned up the membership terms and provided for emeritus memberships. Thanks to Kelly Overstreet Johnson and Tom Bateman.
5) CLE Offerings: Targeted webinars are offered on an almost monthly basis, with dual CLE/CME credits for mediator certification, when appropriate. A series on tech webinars has been well-received and focuses on tech issues in a mediation, law, or arbitration practice. Mediation ethics is also a popular topic. A link to our webpage of CLE offerings has been posted on the DRC website. The Florida Bar has created a separate category for mediation within its list of on-demand CLE programs.
For more information on specific courses, credits, and...