DEADLINE EXTENDED TO APPLY FOR BOARD OF BAR EXAMINERS

Florida Board of Bar Examiners Vacancies: Lawyer applicants are being sought to fill three vacancies on the Florida Board of Bar Examiners. A joint screening committee of Florida Bar Board of Governors members and Board of Bar Examiners members will recommend nine nominees for three lawyer vacancies. The nominations will be forwarded to the Supreme Court to fill three five-year terms commencing November 1, 2020 and expiring on October 31, 2025.

New deadline is no later than the close of business on Thursday, April 9.

Link to news release here.

EX PARTE PROBATE DOCKET SUSPENDED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE

IN THE CIRCUIT COURT FOR PALM BEACH COUNTY, FLORIDA

If you are in possession of original documents (Wills –including Notarial Wills, Codicils, Death Certificates, Authenticate/Exemplified Copies of Court Documents as required by law, Commissions etc.). These documents must be delivered to the Clerk of Court in the location where your ex parte hearing is scheduled. The ex parte docket is suspended until further notice. If you are scheduled for an Ex Parte hearing, you should proceed as follows:

  • These documents must be delivered to the Clerk of Court in the location where your hearing is scheduled no later than three (3) business days prior to the scheduled hearing. The package must include a cover letter clearly showing that the matter is set for ex-parte Hearing and the scheduled date. (it may be best to utilize a courier service to ensure your documents are delivered in time)
  • Orders must be uploaded in OLS (showing “Ex-parte” as the event) no later than three (3) business days prior to the hearing.
  • Complete the appropriate checklist in OLS for the motion/petition scheduled.
  • If you receive a status order or deficiency memorandum, the deficiency must be cured (filed and docketed) prior to the scheduled date.
  • Make arrangements with the Clerk’s Office for certified copies of the order.
  • Please check the divisional suspension calendar prior to setting your case on the ex-parte calendar.

AOSC20-13—-IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Dear All:

Please find the attached Administrative Order from Chief Justice Canady.  In the order, he directs that all grand jury proceedings, jury selection proceedings, and criminal and civil jury trials are suspended beginning Monday, March 16, 2020 through Friday, March 27, 2020.  The order does not require the courts to suspend hearings or non-jury trials.  At this point in time, we are proceeding with all court events with the exception of those outlined in paragraph 2 on page 3.

The Chief Judge has directed judges who are currently presiding over a jury trial that has already commenced, to attempt to proceed to completion.    The Chief Judge will reach out to our court partners next week with more information related to court operations beyond March 27, 2020.

Click here for the Administrative Order from Chief Justice Canady:

Thank you,

Barbara Dawicke

Trial Court Administrator

Fifteenth Judicial Circuit

FL BAR LAUNCHES COVID-19 INFORMATION WEBPAGE

The Florida Bar is providing information and updates via a webpage at www.floridabar.org/covid19 to centralize communications to all Bar members including important links, court announcements, event cancellations, rescheduled meetings, and any other matters that may affect lawyers and their clients. Please note that this morning President John Stewart contacted the Bar’s section and committee leaders asking them to consider canceling meetings scheduled through April 30 – his memo is linked from the floridabar.org/covid19 webpage.

 

BENCH BAR CONFERENCE POSTPONED – NEW DATE AUGUST 14TH, 2020

Conference Postponed to August 14, 2020

Dear Members, Conference Registrants and Sponsors:

After careful consideration for the health and safety of our members, sponsors, and staff, the Palm Bar County Bar Association’s Board of Directors made the difficult decision to postpone the Bench Bar Conference previously scheduled for Friday, March 20th. This was based upon a host of factors from a variety of sources, including Florida Governor DeSantis’ request that large gatherings be postponed.

Bench Bar is the largest event hosted by the Palm Beach County Bar Association and the event offers our members the opportunity to further their legal education as well as engage with their peers and our local judiciary.

We take this time to thank the Bench Bar Co-Chairs, Salesia Smith-Gordon and Michael Pike, the session chairs, the panel participants, and bar staff for the preparation they made to ensure the success of this event. We do not want this hard work to be forfeited, therefore, please mark your calendars for the new scheduled date of Friday, August 14, 2020.

While we regret the postponement of Bench Bar 2020, we look forward to seeing you in June.

PBC SUMMONSED JURORS UPDATE

First, the Chief Judge and the other Judges are very concerned for the safety of the court’s staff, the clerk’s staff, and the citizens during this difficult time.  Therefore, effective Monday, March 16, and for the next 30 days no jurors will be summonsed to appear on a Thursday or Friday.  The Chief asked that the clerk staff call in only 200 jurors on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays (reduction of panel).    All large panels shall be canceled for the next 30 days unless the Chief Judge is informed that all parties agree that it is necessary to proceed and she approves the panel.  Criminal cases will take priority over other trials.

2020 BENCH BAR CONFERENCE INFORMATION UPDATE

With the safety of our members in mind, the Palm Beach County Bar Association has been in communication with the Palm Beach County Convention Center concerning the recent news story regarding an individual who tested positive for the COVID-19 virus after visiting the Palm Beach County Convention Center on February 28th.

Specifically, we were informed by the Convention Center that the risk of an attendee contracting the virus, based on this individual’s presence in their facility over a week ago, is low. Further, as the Conference is scheduled to take place on March 20th, well outside the two week incubation period set forth by the CDC, the 2020 Bench Bar Conference will take place as scheduled on Friday, March 20th. We will, of course, continue to monitor this situation and any changes or updates will be communicated to our members.

Please see the letter below written by Dave Anderson, General Manager of the PBC Convention Center:

Late Saturday night, the Palm Beach County Convention Center was notified by officials from the Florida Department of Health (FDH) that an individual who recently tested positive for COVID- 19 was a guest at a conference hosted in the building on Friday, February 28.

Through the Pennsylvania Department of Health, the FDH informed us that the individual contracted COVID-19 at a conference in Boston immediately prior to arriving in West Palm Beach and was exhibiting symptoms while onsite. It was also reported that another convention attendee who spent time with the individual has also shown symptoms of COVID-19, and they are currently on self-quarantine awaiting testing in the coming days.

It is the highest priority of the Palm Beach County Convention Center and Discover The Palm Beaches to ensure the health and safety of our guests and employees. We are currently working closely with the FDH and the Palm Beach County Health Department to understand potential impacts to our guests. However, the FDH has assured me that the current risk of contracting COVID-19 based on this individual having been present in the building seven days ago is low.

As we continue to closely monitor the situation, we still stay focused on upgraded daily cleaning of the building and preventative measures in the front- and back-of-the-house. Prior to and during your event, we have been thoroughly and frequently disinfecting and sanitizing the building, including elevator buttons, escalator handrails, and bathrooms.

Your guests may notice heightened food service policies to reflect a proactive approach to housekeeping, sanitation, hygiene and food handling:

 

Concessions:

·     All condiment tables will be removed

·     All food products will be removed from the front concession stand counter and placed on the back counter to create an air barrier

·     All employees will wear protective gloves at all times

·     All napkins and condiments will be handed by staff wearing protective gloves

·     All packaged snacks and whole fruits will also be handed by staff wearing gloves

·     Hand sanitizer stations will be added to all F&B locations

·     Additional housekeeping staff will be walking the building and wiping down solid surfaces and food service areas throughout the day

·     Staff will review proper hand washing techniques and instructions on how to avoid touching face and mouth areas

 

Catering/Culinary:

·     Utility staff will re-wash all banquet plates and serving utensils, and sanitize all chafe rs and coffee urns in the morning

·     All solid surfaces in kitchen, prep areas and concession areas will be wiped down and sanitized

Additionally, we have implemented the following preventive measures as it pertains to all future food and beverage events:

·     All buffet stations will have sneeze guards over utensils, plates, chaffers and any open food displays

·     All serving utensils will be changed out every 30 minutes

·     An employee will serve guests from the buffet stations at all functions

·     Single-use plate and utensils will be used when serving buffets

·     During all coffee breaks, PC creamers and sugars will be present under a sneeze guard with serving tongs

·     For all concession hosted events, there will be a sneeze guard over the condiment stations with tongs to retrieve condiments. Tongs will be switched out every 30 minutes.

·     All employees are required to wear gloves and change whenever they change their job duty, or touch any part of their body or clothing

I wanted to provide you the most up-to-date information as quickly as possible, and will continue to share new facts provided by the local and state health authorities as they become available. Please know that I am here to answer your questions and make sure your guests feel informed.

For information on COVID-19 in Florida: www.FlHealth.gov/COVID-19.

The staff at the Palm Beach County Convention Center and Discover The Palm Beaches is committed to the safety, well-being and enjoyment of our guests, and we are thankful for your business.

FLORIDA BOARD OF BAR EXAMINERS MAY APPOINTMENTS TO BE FILLED

ABA House of Delegates: Two lawyers (one under 36 delegate) to serve two-year terms commencing Aug. 2020, at the conclusion of the ABA Annual Meeting. Applicants must also be ABA members.

Florida Legal Services, Inc. Board of Directors: One lawyer to serve a three-year term commencing July 1. This 15-member board provides judicial advocacy through co-counseling with local program attorneys and volunteer pro bono attorneys and provides legislative and administrative advocacy on policies impacting the legal rights of the poor, as well as providing civil legal assistance to indigent persons who would not otherwise have the means to obtain a lawyer.

Florida Lawyers Assistance, Inc. Board of Directors: Three lawyers and two non-lawyers to serve three-year terms commencing July 1. This 15-member Board assists the legal community in securing counseling and treatment for emotional and chemical dependency problems for lawyers.

Florida Medical Malpractice Joint Underwriting Association Board of Governors: One lawyer to serve a two-year term commencing July 1. This is a nine-member board of governors that develops a means of obtaining loss and expense experience in medical malpractice issues.

Persons interested in applying for these vacancies may download the Application for Special Appointment or should call Bar headquarters at (850) 561-5757, to obtain the questionnaire. Completed applications must be received by the Executive Director, The Florida Bar, 651 East Jefferson Street, Tallahassee, Florida, 32399-2300 no later than the close of business on Friday, April 17. 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.