TALLAHASSEE – Continuing its practice of public involvement, The Florida Bar seeks a new nonlawyer to serve on its governing board.
Since 1987, two public members have served on the Bar’s 52-member governing board, after the Supreme Court of Florida approved the organization’s request to have nonlawyer representation on the board. Only 12 other state bar associations have public members on their governing boards.
The board member will replace Sharon Middleton, Ponte Vedra Beach, whose second two-year term expires June 2020.
A screening committee of The Florida Bar Board of Governors has been appointed to review the applications for the public member position, conduct final interviews, and make recommendations to the Bar’s governing board during its March meeting. The board will then recommend three persons to the Supreme Court of Florida and the court will appoint one of the three nominees to the board.
The Board of Governors oversees the Bar’s lawyer discipline program, continuing legal education programs, legislative activities, and the overall administration of The Florida Bar. Board members, who are all volunteers, average 200-300 hours per year on Bar business depending on committee assignments. Although attorney members of the Bar’s governing board pay their own expenses related to their attendance at six board meetings and other events held each year, nonlawyer board members are reimbursed for “reasonable travel and related expenses for attending official bar functions.”
The new board member would serve a two-year term commencing June 19, 2020. Public members are not allowed by rule to serve more than two consecutive terms. Most of the Bar’s board is apportioned according to Florida’s 20 judicial circuits, with attorney members elected by lawyers in their locality. There are four additional out-of-state representatives. The other public member currently serving on The Florida Bar’s Board of Governors is Joseph “Jody” Hudgins, Naples.
Persons interested in serving as a public member may complete and submit the application online (insert link to .pdf) at the Bar’s website, or should call The Florida Bar headquarters at 850-561-5759, to obtain the application. Completed applications must be received by Joshua E. Doyle, Executive Director, The Florida Bar, 651 East Jefferson Street, Tallahassee, 32399-2300, no later than January 24, 2020.