Annual reports of sections and divisions of the Florida Bar.


Alternative Dispute Resolution

The ADR Section finished its fourth year and welcomed in its fifth year extending the plans and programs previously initiated and advancing new programs and opportunities for continued growth and participation in the section.

During The Florida Bar's 2014 Annual Convention, the ADR section hosted a working meeting for ADR section members. Those in attendance nominated new executive council members. The new members elected to the ADR executive council were Lori Adelson, Robert A. Cole, A. Michelle Jernigan, Lawrence Kolin, Mindy Miller, Alexander "Sandy" Myers, Pamela Perry, and Meah Tell.

Additionally, ADR section committees were established that plan and execute section activities, events, and programs to benefit section members. These working committees are Recruitment, CLE, Website, Newsletter, and Legislation. The Website Committee, working with the executive council, launched the new ADR section website, The goal is to make the ADR section and its benefits more accessible to all Florida Bar members, which will provide information on available CLE programs. In addition, each of the section's News & Tips issues can be viewed from the website.

The CLE Subcommittee plans to host programs with other Florida Bar sections that will not only benefit members of the ADR section, but all members of The Florida Bar. The CLE subcommittee recently presented a webinar on issues relating to mediation in Florida and plans to present additional webinars on ADR throughout the year. The ADR section will also present a seminar on mediation and arbitration at the 2015 Florida Bar Annual Convention in Boca Raton on June 24.

For additional information on how to join the Alternative Dispute Resolution Section, visit the ADR section website, You may also contact Lani Fraser via email at or phone at (850) 561-5707.


Appellate Practice

The Appellate Practice Section has had another busy and fulfilling year. Each of the section's committees worked hard to ensure that the section met its annual goals.

Starting with the CLE Committee, Chair Jessie Harrell has done an outstanding job with the section's CLE lineup. This year, the section held several courses, including the annual Advanced Appellate Certification Review, Practicing Before the Third District Court of Appeal, and Practicing Before the First District Court of Appeal. A special thanks to the First and Third DCAs for working with the section to ensure the success of these programs.

In the summer, the section is also looking forward to a multi-day Advanced Appellate Workshop with distinguished faculty, including some top appellate practitioners and wonderful appellate judges. Additionally, Tyler Pitchford has directed terrific monthly telephonic CLEs for the section's members. Lastly, Wendy Loquasto has worked hard to put on informative summer CLEs in Tallahassee on topics such as brief writing and administrative appeals.

Meanwhile, the section's Publications Committee, chaired by Kimberly Jones, has also been hard at work. With the aid of Brandon Christian, the section has contributed many articles to The Florida Bar Journal. Likewise, due to June Hoffman's strong leadership, many great articles have appeared in The Record, which is the section's internal periodical. Bretton Albrecht continued to diligently take on the herculean task that is overseeing the section's Pro Se Appellate Handbook (also known as the Self-Represented Litigant's Handbook), which needs constant updating and dissemination in Florida's prisons, law schools, and other libraries. Finally, Rebecca Creed ensured that The Guide, another section publication, remained up-to-date and useful for section members.

A shining star of the section this year has been the Pro Bono Committee, chaired by Sarah Lahlou-Amine. This committee's members have been expanding their collective reach around the state of Florida, handing multiple appeals and working hand-in-hand with local legal aid organizations and courts to provide appellate representation to those in need. Kudos to Sarah and her committee members.

The Outreach Committee continued its rejuvenation efforts with Thomas Ward chairing what has become an active and vibrant committee. His committee assisted with the section's presence at events such as the Central Florida Diversity Mentoring Picnic while also acting as liaisons between the section and many legal organizations around the state.

In the coming year, the section anticipates many more exciting events, including the ability to again participate in the District Court of Appeal Judges Conference in September. In the meantime, the section looks forward to the annual meeting in June, which includes the section's annual dessert reception, where the section presents its Atkins and pro bono awards. This year's annual meeting is also special because of the presentation of The Florida Bar Foundation's Medal of Honor to William Van Nortwick, Jr., who the section nominated for this honor.

Last, but not least, many thanks to the section's judicial liaisons, including Florida Supreme Court Justice Peggy Ann Quince, First DCA Judge Stephanie Ray, Second DCA Judge Morris Silberman, Third DCA Judge Richard Joseph Suarez, Fourth DCA Judge Alan Orantes Forst, Fifth DCA Judge Wendy Williams Berger, and 11th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Charles R. Wilson. Additionally, thank you for a great year to the section's officers: Christopher V. Carlyle, chair-elect; Duane Daiker, vice chair; Kristin Norse, secretary-treasurer; and Caryn Lynn Bellus, immediate past chair. Very special thanks goes to Jonathan Streisfeld, who manages the section's website and email blasts and in doing so, makes everything appear effortless and seamless. Finally, the section appreciates all of the hard work of its Bar liaison, JoAnn Shearer.


City, County and Local Government Law

* Membership--The City, County and Local Government Law Section was founded in 1974 to provide networking and educational opportunities for lawyers who practice in the area of local government law, whether as counsel to a city, county, or other local governmental entity or as counsel to clients appearing before local governmental bodies. Current membership is just over 1,600 with an equal number of lawyers in the public and private sectors. The growth of the section over the years is attributable to the leadership of past chairs and members of the executive council, as well as numerous educational and outreach activities, which have been undertaken by the section over the years.

* Listserv and Desk Book--For many years, the section has maintained a growing Listserv, which is an email service allowing members to post questions and engage in discussion on topics of interest to other local governmental lawyers. The popularity and usefulness of the Listserv cannot be understated. The section also uses the Listserv to post job opportunities or to solicit legal referrals. The section also recently posted on the section's homepage an updated Local Government Lawyer's Desk Book, which is intended as a resource for section members. Many thanks to Chair-elect Mark Moriarty and section member David Migut for their work on the Listserv. Special thanks to the original Desk Book author, Judge James R. Wolf, for sharing his work and to past chairs Susan Churuti, Jewel White, and Herbert Thiele, and many other contributors, for their commitment to updating the Desk Book.

* CLE Seminars--The section sponsors several seminars each year. In February, the section again sponsored the annual Sunshine Law and Public Records Seminar in Tallahassee. Conference chair, Rob Teitler, did a spectacular job assembling the speakers and putting on a very successful conference. Many attended live, but a number of attendees participated via webinar. As we close out the year, special thanks go to Mike Grogan who, in October 2014, stepped down after 30 years of co-chairing the Public Employment Labor Relations Forum in partnership with the Labor and Employment Law Section. The forum will continue to be offered each fall as a joint effort between the sections and will continue under the capable leadership of executive council member Glenn Thomas. Each spring brings the annual City, County and Local Government Law Seminar. In 2015, conference Chair Mark Moriarty, did a fabulous job lining up distinguished speakers on very timely topics for the 38th annual conference. In conjunction with the annual conference, the section sponsored the public finance seminar and the certification review course. Sandy MacLennan and Herb Thiele chair these seminars annually and we are grateful for their continued service to the section.

* Law School Outreach and Internship Stipends--In order to ensure future growth, the section continues to invest a significant amount of time and resources to provide opportunities for and engagement with law students and young lawyers. Annually, the section provides grants to assist local government law offices in hiring law students as interns each summer. Demand for this program has generally exceeded the resources available so, this year, the section voted to increase the grant amount to $25,000. The section also provides a $500 scholarship to a law student at each of the state's 12 law schools. Eligible students must excel in law school classes related to local government law and are invited to receive their scholarship at the annual section meeting. The section also participated in two mentoring picnics over the past year--the 11th Annual Kozyak Minority Mentoring Picnic in Hialeah and the Third Annual Greater Orlando Diversity Mentoring Picnic in Orlando. Participation in events such as these enable section members to spread the word about local government opportunities to young lawyers and law students. Special thanks to Secretary-Treasurer Jeannine...

To continue reading