I am pleased to provide the 2017-2018 annual report for the Administrative Law Section. The section is currently composed of 1,123 members who practice administrative law at the local, state, and/or federal level. The membership is slightly down compared to the previous year, which was approximately 1,200.
The primary goal for the Administrative Law Section's 2017-2018 term was implementing the newly adopted strategic plan, which is focused on growing the membership of the section by being relevant and adding value to members. We have aligned activities to increase the section's relevance to our day-to-day activities as lawyers and to ensure the section is responsive to the needs of the members. Two ways we are pursuing our mission include increasing member engagement and improving our technology platforms.
Our profession and administrative law, specifically, are constantly changing. The legal profession is transforming to meet the needs of a more technology-proficient society. Administrative lawyers and all other legal professionals live in fast-paced environments, and content must be accessible quickly and across various platforms. Efficient networking and quick access to information is the expectation. We have improved the website by making it more user-friendly and accessible. We have improved the content found on the site in order to be supportive and useful for the practice of administrative law. Further, we have implemented social media in order to engage with our current membership and educate prospective members. The technology committee, led by Paul Drake, Judge Garnett Chisenhall, James Ross, Christina Shideler, Tabitha Harnage, Judge Suzanne Van Wyk, and Gregg Morton, worked hard to revamp the website, and it has been a success.
Our law school outreach committee has continued to display their tenacious work ethic and dedication to serving the section and its purpose. The committee chair, Judge Lynne Quimby-Pennock, continues to run this committee like a well-oiled machine, and has good support from her co-chair, Sharlee Edwards. This committee reached out to all Florida law schools and set up "networking noshes" for the up-and-coming lawyers. The noshes have been very successful in providing information about the many opportunities within the practice of administrative law. Much of the success of these events was due to the time spent organizing the events and the persistent follow-up by Judge Suzanne Van Wyk.
The section's publications committee, led by Jowanna Oates, Stephen Emmanuel, and Judge Elizabeth McArthur, delivered above and beyond to produce another year of our section's coveted and respected quarterly newsletter that provides a summary and analysis of recent state appellate administrative law cases, summaries of DOAH cases, articles of interest to administrative lawyers, and relevant announcements to keep our membership informed. Further, the section continues to focus on delivering high-quality continuing legal education courses that add value to administrative law practitioners. I would be remiss without thanking our section administrator, Calbrail Banner, for her dedication and hard work. If you would like additional information regarding the section, please visit the new website at http:// flaadminlaw.org. Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to me at 850-222-6100. Robert Hosay, Chair
Alternative Dispute Resolution
I am happy to report the Alternative Dispute Resolution Section is doing great. Our section membership has grown to 926 ADR practitioners. Our section has active and strong leadership. Chris Magee is our chair-elect, Kim Torres is our secretary, Michelle Jernigan is our treasurer, and Meah Tell is our immediate past chair.
Our executive council is very involved, and its members serve on at least one committee. We have standing committees for mediation, arbitration, ethics, and publications. We have special committees for CME/CLE, newsletter, legislation, and section liaison. Three new committees are forming as well: social media (working in tandem with our PR consultant to amplify the section's presence across certain major social media platforms); mentoring (supporting the Bar's long-standing tradition of paying forward and passing on experience and wisdom to other Bar members); and health and wellness (focusing on maintaining balance as an impartial neutral). As well as addressing the substantive issues in each area, the new committees are designed to allow an expansion of leadership opportunities and membership participation. We have telephonic executive council meetings the second Wednesday of each month and meet in person each year at the Bar annual and winter meetings.
We had a section retreat at the Hutchinson Shores Resort in November 2017. The main topic for the retreat was long-range planning. Our mission is to advocate for and educate the Bar and the public about all forms of dispute resolution. It is important that we function in a way that best serves the needs of our section members. This means staying on top of proposed legislation that impacts ADR, offering meaningful CME/ CLE opportunities, and keeping our membership apprised about all things ADR. The retreat was a huge success. We had live or telephone attendance by a majority of our executive council members as well as representatives of The Florida Bar Board of Governors, the Dispute Resolution Center, and the ADR Rules and Policy Committee. This year's retreat is scheduled for September 7-8 back at Hutchinson Shores.
The section has offered numerous CME/CLE opportunities to Bar and section members over the past year. At last years' 2017 Florida Bar Winter Meeting, we co-sponsored with the Trial Lawyers Section and presented, "Advanced Mediation Practice; Casting Light on the Dark Art of Mediation." In June 2017, we co-sponsored with the International Law Section and presented, "Escalation Clauses in Cross Border Dispute Resolution: Why Your Client Wants Mediation." At last year's annual meeting in Boca Raton, we presented a two-hour program on "Recent Trends in Mediation and Arbitration." We have partnered with the Young Lawyers Division to present a series of short YouTube-type videos (two to three minutes) on selected topics of interest. At the upcoming annual meeting, our section will present the program: "Inside the Mediator's Mind," on June 14. The three-hour program participants will be Chris Magee, Kim Torres, Karen Evans, Lori Adelson, Bob Weisberg, Sandy Myers, and myself. In the program, we will mock mediate an employment law sexual harassment claim arising out of a workplace "#me2" setting. Immediately following the program, our section will host a cocktail reception for the seminar attendees and our section members.
The section recently filed a comment with the Dispute Resolution Center supporting proposed rule changes requiring mandatory certification of mediators in circuit civil and family law cases. This proposal is currently under consideration by the ADR Rules and Policy Committee. We plan to continue to be active in this process, which is of great importance to our section members.
Our Legislative Committee monitored two bills in the last session of the legislature that could have impacted mediation Florida procedures if enacted: Senate Bill 1034 (Steube) and House Bill 1043 (Metz). We worked with Aimee Diaz-Lyon of the Bar lobbying team as well as the legislation committees of other Bar sections. Neither of these bills passed in the 2018 session.
In order to improve our ability to communicate with our section members, other Bar sections, and the public, we have retained media consultant Lisa Tipton with PR Florida, Inc. We have a one-year agreement, and we are currently working on plans to improve our website, newsletter, social-media presence, and our overall ability to market what the ADR section has to offer its members. These are exciting times for our section. Our goal is to build upon our past successes and make the ADR section one of the top performing sections of The Florida Bar. Robert A. Cole, Chair
The Animal Law Section (ALS) is the newest section of The Florida Bar. The 2017-2018 Bar year is only our second year in existence, and I am very pleased to report that we have continued building on the success of our inaugural year. As of the writing of this report, ALS has 488 active members, and it is consistently growing each month as more people hear about us. I invite everyone to join the ALS and participate in the development of this diverse and interesting area of law. The 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.
ALS had some exciting and significant achievements this year, starting with our first-ever legislative initiatives. During the 2018 legislative session, ALS was approved to take two legislative positions. One, known as Ponce's Law, increased the severity of sentencing points for animal abuse convictions and allowed judges to prohibit certain offenders from owning or having custody or control over animals. The second required animal shelters and other animal rescue organizations to adopt written policies and procedures to help lost animals be quickly and reliably returned to their owners. Both positions were ultimately combined into S.B. 1576, which dramatically passed on the final day of the legislative session and was signed into law by Gov. Scott on March 23. Given our initial success, we look forward to taking more legislative positions in future years.
Additionally, the section was closely involved in the Constitution Revision Commission (CRC) process and supported the amendment to bring about an orderly end to greyhound racing in Florida. I thank all of our members, supporters, and the CRC...