FIFTEENTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT PHASE 2 – JURY TRIALS

 

The Fifteenth Judicial Circuit, one of twenty circuits in Florida, follows the directives of the Florida Supreme Court and the Chief Judge of the Circuit. On September 9, 2020, the Circuit met the Florida Supreme Court requirements needed to move from Phase 1 to Phase 2 ( of four phases). The Circuit shall remain in Phase 2 until the Chief Judge determines that the Circuit meets the Florida Supreme Court’s requirements needed to transition to Phase 3. It is important to know that the Florida Supreme Court phases are distinct and independent of the phases associated with the Governor’s plan for Florida’s recovery. The Governor’s recent Executive Order moving Florida counties into Phase 3 does not usurp the Chief Judge’s decision with regard to the courts. While in Phase 2, masks remain mandatory for all persons entering any of the five courthouses.

Chief Judge Krista Marx has announced that on October 14, October 27, November 4, and November 17, the Circuit will summons jurors for service. The Circuit, working with the County, the Clerk, and the Sheriff, have taken extraordinary measures to protect the health of persons summonsed for jury service. Potential jurors will enter a security door, separate from the public, and will be provided with personal protective equipment throughout their service. The seating in the jury selection room is properly spaced, according to the Centers for Disease Control guidelines. The trial courtrooms are outfitted with plexiglass and the jury deliberation rooms contain both plexiglass and air “scrubbers,” which are devices that eliminate airborne microorganisms. Additionally, all areas utilized by jurors will be frequently sanitized. With these safety procedures in place, jurors should feel confident that the Circuit is taking every precaution to ensure they can fulfill their important constitutional duty, safely.

NOMINATION DEADLINE FOR THE ANNUAL PRO BONO SERVICE AWARDS IS OCTOBER 22

Nominations are still being accepted for the annual pro bono service awards, which honor lawyers, judges, law firms, and associations that have contributed extraordinary pro bono service. The nomination deadline for all categories is Thursday, October 22, 2020, no later than 5 p.m.

Every year, in a ceremonial session of the Florida Supreme Court, more than two dozen lawyers and judges are honored by the court and The Florida Bar for the free legal assistance they have provided. For each of these members of The Florida Bar, as well as a law firm and a voluntary bar association, this honor underscores a professional commitment to service and acknowledges the many hours of pro bono work performed to help children, victims of human trafficking, the elderly, refugees, the poor and countless others who wouldn’t be able to afford the legal assistance they so badly need.

The 2021 pro bono service awards ceremony will be held at the Florida Supreme Court at 3:30 p.m., Thursday, January 28, 2021.

The road to this annual ceremony begins now, with the call for nominations.

The Florida Bar and the chief justice of the Supreme Court invite nominations from legal aid groups, civic organizations, fellow lawyers, and regular citizens who know of a special lawyer, judge, law firm or voluntary bar that has freely given of time and expertise in making legal services available to the poor.

Nominations must be received by Thursday, October 22. The online nomination forms are available on The Florida Bar’s website at for the following award categories:

 

THE TOBIAS SIMON PRO BONO SERVICE AWARD

Presented annually by the chief justice to a lawyer to recognize extraordinary contributions in ensuring the availability of legal services to the poor. Named for the late Miami civil rights lawyer Tobias Simon, the award represents the Supreme Court’s highest recognition of a private lawyer for pro bono service. All current recipients of The Florida Bar President’s Pro Bono Awards are considered for this prestigious award, as are direct nominees who have demonstrated exemplary pro bono service over the course of their careers.

THE FLORIDA BAR PRESIDENT’S PRO BONO SERVICE AWARD

This award is given to an outstanding attorney for each of the state’s 20 judicial circuits and to an outstanding attorney among the out-of-state Florida Bar members.

THE LAW FIRM COMMENDATION

This statewide award, presented by the chief justice, recognizes a law firm that has demonstrated a significant contribution in the provision of pro bono legal services to individuals or groups that cannot otherwise afford the services. This award recognizes extraordinary commitment on the part of a law firm to provide access to the courts for all Floridians.

THE VOLUNTARY BAR ASSOCIATION PRO BONO SERVICE AWARD

Presented by the chief justice, this award recognizes a voluntary bar association that has demonstrated a significant contribution in the delivery of legal services on a pro bono basis to individuals or groups that cannot otherwise afford the services. This award recognizes an extraordinary commitment to provide access to the courts for all Floridians.

THE DISTINGUISHED JUDICIAL SERVICE AWARD

Presented by the chief justice, this award is given for outstanding and sustained service to the public, especially as it relates to support of pro bono legal services.

DISTINGUISHED FEDERAL JUDICIAL SERVICE AWARD

This award, presented by the chief justice, recognizes an active or retired federal judge for outstanding and sustained service to the public, whether through legal or civic service or a combination of them, especially as it relates to the support of pro bono legal services.

 

BOARD OF GOVERNORS TO MAKE DECEMBER APPOINTMENTS

 

Florida Realtor-Attorney Joint Committee: Five lawyers, one from each state appellate district, are needed to serve two-year terms beginning Jan. 1, 2021. The Florida Bar president receives the recommendations of the Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section for consideration. The committee membership includes 11 lawyers appointed by The Florida Bar and 11 realtors appointed by the Florida Association of Realtors. The committee promotes cordial relations between realtors and attorneys and presents educational seminars.

Florida Rural Legal Services: One attorney is needed to serve a three-year term beginning Jan. 1, 2021, on its 20-member Board of Directors. Other appointing organizations are the NBA, Virgil Hawkins Florida Chapter, ACLU, voluntary bar associations and various other eligible client and community organizations. The mission of Florida Rural Legal Services is to empower low-income individuals, groups and communities by providing them with access to justice through legal advice, representation, and advocacy.

Eleventh Circuit Judicial Conference: One delegate is needed to represent the Southern District of Florida to serve a four-year term beginning Jan. 1, 2021. The biennial conference consists of educational opportunities and meetings (by state) on matters of mutual concern. The Bar’s three delegates contribute to planning and organizing an event during the conference in every odd-numbered year.

Persons interested in applying for these vacancies may click here to download the Application for Special Appointment or should call Bar headquarters at (850) 561-5757, to obtain the application form. Completed applications must be received by the Executive Director, The Florida Bar, 651 East Jefferson Street, Tallahassee, Florida, 32399-2300 or submitted via e-mail to specialapptapp@floridabar.org no later than the close of business on Friday, Oct. 23, 2020. Resumes will not be accepted in lieu of the required application. The Board of Governors will review all applications and may request telephone or personal interviews.

BOARD OF GOVERNORS TO MAKE DECEMBER APPOINTMENTS

 

Florida Realtor-Attorney Joint Committee: Five lawyers, one from each state appellate district, are needed to serve two-year terms beginning Jan. 1, 2021. The Florida Bar president receives the recommendations of the Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section for consideration. The committee membership includes 11 lawyers appointed by The Florida Bar and 11 realtors appointed by the Florida Association of Realtors. The committee promotes cordial relations between realtors and attorneys and presents educational seminars.

Florida Rural Legal Services: One attorney is needed to serve a three-year term beginning Jan. 1, 2021, on its 20-member Board of Directors. Other appointing organizations are the NBA, Virgil Hawkins Florida Chapter, ACLU, voluntary bar associations and various other eligible client and community organizations. The mission of Florida Rural Legal Services is to empower low income individuals, groups and communities by providing them with access to justice through legal advice, representation, and advocacy.

Eleventh Circuit Judicial Conference: One delegate is needed to represent the Southern District of Florida to serve a four-year term beginning Jan. 1, 2021. The biennial conference consists of educational opportunities and meetings (by state) on matters of mutual concern. The Bar’s three delegates contribute to planning and organizing an event during the conference in every odd numbered year.

Persons interested in applying for these vacancies may click here to download the Application for Special Appointment or should call Bar headquarters at (850) 561-5757, to obtain the application form. Completed applications must be received by the Executive Director, The Florida Bar, 651 East Jefferson Street, Tallahassee, Florida, 32399-2300 or submitted via e-mail to specialapptapp@floridabar.org no later than the close of business on Friday, Oct. 23, 2020. Resumes will not be accepted in lieu of the required application. The Board of Governors will review all applications and may request telephone or personal interviews.

FLORIDA JUDICIAL QUALIFICATIONS COMMISSION VACANCY

 

Florida Judicial Qualifications Commission: There is a vacancy for one attorney to serve a six-year term beginning on Jan. 1, 2021, and expiring Dec. 31, 2026.

The 15-member JQC is authorized under Article V, Section 12, Florida Constitution, to investigate complaints against judges whose conduct demonstrates a present unfitness to hold office and recommends disciplinary action to the Supreme Court. No member of the commission, except a judge, shall be eligible for state judicial office while acting as a member of the commission and for a period of two years thereafter. No member of the commission shall hold office in a political party or participate in any campaign for judicial office or hold public office; provided that a judge may campaign for judicial office and hold that office.

Persons interested in applying for this vacancy may click here to download the Application for Special Appointment or should call Bar headquarters at (850) 561-5757, to obtain the application form. Completed applications must be received by the Executive Director, The Florida Bar, 651 East Jefferson St, Tallahassee, Florida, 32399-2300 or submitted via e-mail to specialapptapp@floridabar.org no later than the close of business on Friday, Oct. 9, 2020. Resumes will not be accepted in lieu of the required application. The Board of Governors will review all applications and may request telephone or personal interviews.