The Administrative Law Section had another active and successful year, thanks to the hard work of section members and the section's Executive Council.
The section continues to emphasize providing continuing legal education opportunities for its members. This year, the Pat Dore Administrative Law Conference was offered as the biennial showcase seminar. The conference's theme was "In Search of Camelot," featuring as keynote speaker former Florida Supreme Court Justice Arthur England, and also featuring several administrative law judges and many of the best known administrative practitioners in the state speaking on a range of timely Florida administrative law topics. The section also hosted the Practice Before the PSC seminar, focusing on electric utilities and telecommunications. The section finished its year by hosting the State and Federal Government and Administrative Practice (SFGAP) certification exam review course in April 2011. This course consists of a one-day seminar on Florida administrative and governmental law. This course is offered annually to help prepare state and federal government and administrative law certification applicants for the certification examination and to provide continuing legal education for our section members who are board certified in this area.
The section also took the lead this year in drafting amendments to the Uniform Rules of Procedure to address recent legislation and to clarify and amend outdated rule provisions. The section's Uniform Rules Committee, chaired by Judge Linda Rigot, diligently worked to produce a package of rules amendments to be provided to the administration commission for consideration and adoption through the rulemaking process.
The section continues to publish the Administrative Law Section Newsletter on a quarterly basis. The newsletter always features informative articles on a range of administrative law topics, as well as administrative agency snapshots and administrative case law updates. This year, it was a particularly useful vehicle for timely informing our members of sweeping changes to the Florida Administrative Procedure Act that became law as a result of the legislature's override of Governor Crist's veto of House Bill 1656, which had passed during the regular session. Special thanks to editor Amy Schrader for her outstanding efforts in arranging the lead articles, riding herd (with a velvet riding crop, no less) over dilatory authors, and in everything else she does to produce an outstanding written product for our membership.
The section is proud to have been very active this year in producing articles for publication in The Florida Bar Journal. We started our year with an article by Judge Bram Canter addressing practice before the Division of Administrative Hearings. The passage of House Bill 1565 provided fodder for two Bar Journal articles, one providing a thorough analysis of the legislation and its impact on the rulemaking process, and the other providing a scholarly analysis of constitutional issues raised by the newly enacted legislative ratification process for certain administrative rules.
Once again, the section is working with the Bar to update the Administrative Practice Manual. This effort is being headed by Judges Lisa Nelson, Elizabeth McArthur, and Linda Rigot, and the chapters are prepared and updated by some of the best known administrative lawyers in the state. This manual continues to be the most useful com pilation of Ch. 120 "black letter law" available, and the section is proud and grateful to be an important part of its production.
The section hosted two law school outreach events this year to introduce students to Florida administrative law. Both events were hosted in connection with the Florida administrative law course offered at the University of Florida Levin College of Law in Fall 2010, and the Florida State University College of Law in Spring 2011. Special thanks go to Judges Charles Stampelos, Bram Canter, and John VanLaningham, and to Agency for Health Care Administration Clerk Richard Shoop for their participation in these events.
One of my goals as chair this year was to infuse "fresh blood" into the section's leadership, and particularly to encourage younger lawyers to become involved. I saw this as important to the relevance and continued vitality of the section to its members. I am pleased that we have made strides in this area over the past year with several new participants joining in the section's committee activities. We identified opportunities for outreach to voluntary bar associations and other organizations as a means to increase section membership and have initiated efforts to take advantage of these opportunities over the coming year.
Thanks to every member of our section's Executive Council for all of your hard work and for a job very well done.
CATHY M. SELLERS, Chair
Alternative Dispute Resolution
The Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Section was approved by the BOG in July 2010 and officially launched in August 2010. The section's effort was spearheaded by BOG member Jake Schickel and is off to a great start with more than 380 section members. The ADR Section will appear as an option on the Bar annual fee statement for the first time this year. This first year was a planning and development year for the newly launched section. Alan Bookman became the first section chair and organized the section's first meeting in September in conjunction with The Florida Bar midyear meeting. Bookman announced the members of the first ADR section Executive Council and empanelled several section committees, including Mediation, Arbitration, Collaboration, Publications, CLE, Legislation, Rules, Ethics & Professionalism, and Outreach/Omnibus. The section's first newsletter is in progress and is expected to be in circulation over the summer. The section cosponsored the ABA Mediation Conference in
South Florida, the WCCP Forum in
conjunction with The Florida Bar Workers' Compensation Section, and the "Managing Your First Arbitration" program in Miami. The ADR section is cosponsor of the "Arbitration Clauses & Class Action Waivers in Consumer Contracts" scheduled for June 24, 2011, in conjunction with The Florida Bar annual convention. For additional information on the ADR section or to become a member, check out the ADR section of The Florida Bar website (www.floridabar.org) under Inside the Bar, Sections & Divisions links. You can also contact Lani Fraser via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone at (850) 561-5622.
ALAN B. BOOKMAN, Chair
The Appellate Practice Section has been very active in the past year. The Executive Council met at the 2010 annual Bar convention as well as at the September Bar meetings. This year, for the first time in many years, The Florida Bar did not hold meetings in January. However, the section believed it had much business to take care of. Therefore, it held its first-ever meeting by video conference. All five Florida district courts of appeal volunteered to host venues for the video conference and provided the conference facilities. Executive council members attended the meeting from Tallahassee (First DCA), Tampa (Second DCA), Miami Third DCA), West Palm Beach (Fourth DCA), and Daytona Beach (Fifth DCA). We thank the district court judges, the clerks of court, and the marshals for coordinating this effort.
This past year, the section made efforts to develop more opportunities to interact with appellate judges. For the first time ever, the DCA Judges Conference--an annual conference of all appellate judges in the state--allowed the section to sponsor a welcome reception for the conference. This year, we are looking to expand the section's participation at the conference. This year, again for the first time, the district courts of appeal judges have invited the section to participate jointly in the DCA Judges Conference. Section members will attend a day-and-a-half of joint programs, including a moot court event in which judges will serve as the advocates, and section members will serve as the judges. The section will host a reception on the conference's opening night and is sponsoring a speaker, Professor James Gordley of Tulane Law School, for a presentation on comparative appellate law. The event is scheduled for September 2011. Funding for the DCA judges' aspect of the conference remains an issue that should be resolved soon.
One of the section's signature projects is the publication of our flagship newsletter, The Record, and the regular publication of articles in monthly editions of The Florida Bar Journal. The section's Publications Committee has been busy and productive and has submitted a column for every edition of the Journal published this year. The section's Journal columns covered a variety of topics related to appellate practice, including doctrines of finality, judicial notice on appeal, tips on effective brief-writing, PCAs, professionalism on appeal, and the essential requirements of the law in certiorari proceedings. The section has already released two issues of The Record and is set to release another during this Bar year. The Record is available to all section members online and has covered topics such as the application of privacy/confidentiality rules in the appellate context, appointment and retirement of appellate judges, tips to improve appellate advocacy, and "insider's guides" to our appellate courts written by appellate court staff attorneys with input from appellate judges.
Throughout the past year, we have worked to update the online Appellate Practice Guide. Links to Web pages that were incorrect, out of date, or otherwise not working have been replaced. Additional information has been added to the section of the guide devoted to the Supreme Court of the United States. The guide has worked to update the Inside the Courts articles, two of which have been published...