Annual reports of sections and divisions of The Florida Bar.

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Administrative Law

Thanks to the energy and dedication of the members of the executive council, as well as other volunteers, the Administrative Law Section is having a very active and productive year.

The section has always concentrated on continuing legal education, and this year has been no exception. Judge Li Nelson spearheaded our biennial Pat Dore Administrative Law Conference "Nursery Rhymes Style" on November 7 and 8, with S. Curtis Kiser, one of the "founding fathers" of Florida's APA, as keynote speaker. She put together a great group of seasoned private practitioners, agency counsel, and administrative law judges who expertly covered a host of current issues. Our CLE Committee Chair Bruce Lamb also organized a couple of excellent webinars, including "Deposing the Expert Witness" by Colin Roopnarine and Timothy Atkinson in December and "The Nuts and Bolts of Bid Protests" by Brian Newman and Robert Hosay in January, and the section has budgeted for an audio webcast series of three more programs next year. The Public Utilities Law Committee, under the direction of Cindy Miller, presented "Florida Energy, Cybersecurity, and Administrative Practice" in January to rave reviews. At the time of this writing, we are looking ahead to our biennial "Practice Before DOAH" seminar in the fall.

The section's recommendations for changes to the Administration Commission's Uniform Rules of Procedure have been largely accepted, and Judge Linda Rigot continues to monitor and assist in the commission's ongoing efforts. The rulemaking chapter was repealed in December. Most of the other recommended changes were adopted on February 5, 2013, with a few held over for more consideration. We will continue to follow these efforts and provide expertise and assistance to the Administration Commission as requested.

The section's goal to focus our Law School Liaison Committee's efforts this year has been a great success. Chair Patty Nelson organized a program on administrative law research, complete with pizza and presentations by several eminent agency counsel and private practitioners, and presented it to a standing-room-only crowd at the Florida State University College of Law. Patty videotaped the presentation, and plans to contact other law schools around the state to offer it to them. In the past, we have had some difficulty marshalling members to maintain liaison with all of the schools. Now, with one or two local section members to present the video and answer questions, we should be able to offer each school a helpful program.

In conjunction with Chief Judge Cohen of the Division of Administrative Hearings and John Fenno of Legal Services of North Florida, the section is participating in a program to assist pro se litigants at DOAH. Beginning February 1, 2013, DOAH initial orders going out within the Second Judicial Circuit have advised that free consultation with an attorney at LSNF may be available to qualified pro se parties. Under the leadership of Richard Shoop, the section has provided LSNF with some extra hotline volunteers and detailed reference materials outlining DOAH procedures. Other section volunteers have agreed to act as consultants with the hotline attorneys on specific administrative law topics. While it is too soon to fully evaluate this pilot project, hopefully it can be expanded to all of the circuits across Florida in the near future.

The section also began a project to improve access to agency orders. Jowanna Oates is heading up a committee that has been gathering information on how each agency meets current indexing requirements. The section's website will soon contain information on where each agency's orders may be found, describe how they may be searched, and provide Internet links when available. With this groundwork complete, hopefully in future years, the committee can undertake a detailed examination of F.S. [section][section]120.53 and 120.533 to see if the section can't offer suggestions to create more efficient and effective access to all orders.

Our publications have been going strong. Our quarterly ALS Newsletter has a new co-editor, Jowanna Oates, who is helping Judge Elizabeth McArthur. In addition to all of our regular features, Gar Chisenhall has organized a group to report on all of the interesting DOAH cases as they come out. We are also adding a short column on upcoming events at the FSU law school that might be of interest to our many Tallahassee members. The steering committee for the Administrative Practice Manual has put things on the back burner for a bit, with the next edition planned for the spring 2014. Francine Ffolkes has faithfully published her new "ALS E-News" with all of the latest information between newsletters. Paul Amundsen has done a great job lining up and editing articles for The Florida Bar Journal. "Practice Pointers for Administrative Hearings: Use of Exhibits" by Judge Bram Canter, was published in August; "Practice Tips for Private Attorneys New to Administrative Law" by Garnett Chisenhall, appeared in October; "Advancing the Legal Profession with Typography" by Suzanne Suarez Hurley was published in November; and "The Importance and Proper Use of Administrative Declaratory Statements" by Fred Dudley came out in March.

At the time of this writing, Judge Linda Rigot is carefully monitoring any developments affecting the practice of administrative law at the legislature, and her committee stands ready to organize and present the section's expert analysis to sponsors and legislative committees upon request. We are also looking forward to the section's long range planning retreat under the capable direction of Amy Schrader, our chair-elect. At that annual reassessment, we will decide on winding down some of our completed projects, maintaining and expanding others, and accepting new challenges for the coming year. We will end the year at our meeting during the Annual Bar Convention in Boca Raton with the election of some new executive council members and our new leadership team.


Alternative Dispute Resolution

The Alternative Dispute Resolution Section is completing its third year since officially launching in August 2010. As we come to the end of this third year, the ADR Section has more than 900 members. The section's newsletter, "ADR News & Tips," continues to be published with articles and links of interest to its members. "ADR News & Tips" can be read online at the ADR Section's page of The Florida Bar's website.

The executive council of the ADR Section worked tirelessly this year to make a recommendation to The Florida Bar Board of Governors for a change in the conflict rule that would allow a mediator to mediate after full disclosure of the conflict.

The ADR Section's CLE committee is planning an excellent program to be held in conjunction with the Annual Convention of The Florida Bar during June 2013, titled A.I.M. Mediation: Advocacy, Impasse & Marketing. Please plan to join us!

The ADR Section will continue to grow and succeed under the exemplary leadership of incoming Chair Karen Evans and Chair-elect Michael Lax. For more information on the ADR Section and opportunities to become more involved, please visit the section's page of The Florida Bar's website.


Appellate Practice

The section started its year by hosting a welcome reception at the Florida Conference of District Court of Appeal Judges Annual Education Program and held its first meeting immediately following the conference. This was the third time section members were offered the opportunity to attend the conference and interact with appellate judges from across the state while obtaining legal education credits. Participating in the conference was a terrific experience for practitioners, and the section has already committed to participating in the conference again next year.

The CLE committee, chaired by Jessie Harrell, organized and presented (or have upcoming) the following seminars: Practicing Before the Fifth District Court of Appeals, the Advanced Appellate Practice and Certification Review Course, which, for the first time was presented by webcast, the Eleventh Circuit Appellate Practice Institute Seminar, and Hot Topics in Appellate Practice. The section continued its monthly Telephonic Continuing Legal Education program, chaired by Duane Daiker. The telephonic seminars provided low cost and convenient legal education credit and encouraged informal dialogue regarding a broad range of topics.

The publications committee, chaired by Kristin Norse, with assistance from Florida Bar Journal Articles Editor Brandon Christian, "The Guide" Editor Rebecca Creed, and "The Record" Co-editors Anne Sullivan and Amy Miles, maintained a steady flow of appellate-related articles in The Florida Bar Journal and will publish at least two issues of "The Record" by the end of the year.

This year marked the 20th anniversary of the Appellate Practice Section, so the section decided to celebrate this milestone by planning a year-end dinner, organized by the section's anniversary committee and its principal committee chair, Dorothy Easley. The dinner, which will be held on June 27 at Ruth's Chris Steak House in Boca Raton, will immediately precede the section's annual dessert reception. The dessert reception is one of the section's signature events, and will be organized by the programs committee and its chair, June Hoffman.

The section also made efforts to reinvigorate the outreach committee. Committee Co-chairs Siobhan Helene Shea and Robin Bresky were tasked with revising the Outreach Program and preparing a mission statement. The outreach committee will advance the long-term goals of the section by improving the visibility of the Appellate Practice Section and its members and expanding the diversity of the leadership base within the section.

The section's pro bono committee, chaired by Sarah Lahlou-Amine, continued to...

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