Board to meet in Coconut Grove October 25

first_img Board to meet in Coconut Grove October 25 Board to meet in Coconut Grove October 25 Two-year procedural rule amendments, considering adequate funding for the courts, a report from a special committee on Bar Rule 4-4.2, and reports from new and ongoing committees will occupy the Bar Board of Governors at its October 25 meeting in Coconut Grove.The board, under the leadership of President Tod Aronovitz, will consider five sets of two-year cycle rule amendments at the meeting. Last year, the Supreme Court and Bar went to a new procedural rule review system. Instead of reviewing the 11 sets of procedural rules once every four years, the rules are now reviewed on a staggered two-year cycle.Last year, the Bar committees proposed and the board reviewed and forwarded to the court amendments in six areas.At this meeting, the board will review Civil Procedural, Probate, Family Law, Judicial Administration, and Small Claims rules. The proposed amendments, as well as some out-of-cycle rule changes going to the board, are noticed in this News. The court funding issue is being raised by the Criminal Law Section, which has forwarded three resolutions to the board asking it to adopt them as Bar-wide legislative positions. The resolutions address the state’s taking over more funding of the trial courts, which must happen by constitutional mandate on July 1, 2004.The section’s recommendations include making sure that the rights of parties in criminal procedures aren’t affected by the fiscal change, ensuring adequate monies for court operations, including technological improvements, and guaranteeing there is enough money for hiring competent defense counsel in conflict cases. (See story on page 1.)In a letter to section Chair Stephen M. Everhart, Bar General Counsel Paul Hill said the Bar will be taking a position on the court funding issue at the October 25 meeting. “If the Bar is consistent with its prior stances on appropriations issues, I could imagine a politically flexible position that may track Article V, Section 14’s verbiage and. . . express support for ‘adequate funding’ of ‘the state courts system, state attorneys’ offices, public defenders’ offices, and court-appointed counsel,’” Hill wrote.He added that general language would leave sections with the flexibility to adopt more specific recommendations.The Special Committee to Review Rule 4-4.2 is recommending an editorial change to the comment of the rule, clarifying that parties who are suing government agencies can speak with public officials, under their rights as citizens to address their government.Some civil and criminal practitioners had suggested major changes in the rule, specifically on when prosecutors can approach represented defendants and when attorneys can approach government bodies they are opposing in court. But after extensive testimony and discussion, the committee settled on the comment change, as most lawyers said they are comfortable dealing with the current rule.The proposed change in the legislative format is: “ Communications authorized by law Permitted communications include, for example, the right of a party to a controversy with a government agency to speak with government officials about the matter.”Two new or revamped committees will have their first meetings prior to the board gathering, and then report to the board. Those are the Ancillary Business Special Committee, which succeeds the former Commission on Ancillary Business/MDP, and the Multijurisdictional Practice of Law 2002 Commission, which will be reviewing recent ABA recommendations on MJP issues.The board is also scheduled to get an update from the Technology Task Force on the proposed new Bar Internet portal. That panel is working to nail down costs for the planned free service to Bar members, which will include e-mail, free legal research, scheduling programs, and other services that can be customized to a lawyer’s specific practice areas and interests.The task force and the board hope to offer the service before the end of the current Bar year.The board is tentatively set to hear reports from the Labor and Employment Law Section and the Entertainment, Arts and Sports Law Section, and will appoint a lawyer to the Supreme Court’s Judicial Management Council.center_img October 15, 2002 Regular Newslast_img

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