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.

4TH DCA JNC NOTICE OF ACCEPTANCE OF JUDICIAL APPLICATIONS

The Fourth District Court of Appeal Judicial Nominating Commission announces that it is accepting applications to fill the vacancy on the Fourth District Court of Appeal created by the retirement of Judge Carole Y. Taylor. The application deadline for this vacancy is Friday, April 3 at 12 p.m.

Qualifications of Applicants:

Applicants must have been members of The Florida Bar for the preceding 10 years, registered voters, and must reside in the territorial jurisdiction at the time of assuming office.

Instructions for Submission:

  1. The current Judicial Application form must be used and can be downloaded in Word version from The Florida Bar’s website at:

https://www.floridabar.org/directories/jnc/applications/

or:

https://www.flgov.com/judicial-and-judicial-nominating-commission-information/

  1. The completed application must be typed, bound and signed. The application must include a photograph.
  2. The applicants must provide the following: (i) one original of the signed and completed application, (ii) one redacted copy of the signed and completed application excluding all exempt information under Chapter 119 of the Florida Statutes or other applicable public records law; and (iii) an electronic copy of the application on nine (9) individual flash drives in PDF format with the applicant’s name on the exterior of the flash drives. No other attachments or files are to be included on the flash drives. All printed copies should be two-sided.
  3. The completed application, copies, and flash drives must be delivered to Debra A. Jenks, Jenks & Harvey LLP, 1555 Palm Beach Lakes Blvd, 16th Floor, West Palm Beach, Florida 33401.
  4. The deadline for submission of the completed application is Friday, April 3, at 12 p.m. Applications submitted after the deadline will not be considered.

Additional Information:

After the deadline for submitting applications, the commission will contact each applicant regarding the date and time for interviews, and the commission will publish by press release that information. All interviews of the commission will be held at the Fourth District Court of Appeal Courthouse and are open to the public, except for deliberations.

If an applicant is nominated, all materials attached to the original application will be submitted to Gov. Ron DeSantis.

A list of members of the Fourth District Court of Appeal JNC is available from The Florida Bar’s website at:

https://www.floridabar.org/directories/jnc/commissions-fl/

or:

https://www.flgov.com/wp-content/uploads/judicial/Current%20JNC%20List%20(March%203,%202020)%20ADA.pdf

Members of the bench, the Bar, and the public are urged to contact the members of the commission concerning applicants for this vacancy.

If you have any questions, please call Debra A. Jenks at 561-346-98545, or e-mail at djenks@jenksharveylaw.com.

FLORIDA SUPREME COURT DISCIPLINES 11 ATTORNEYS

Summaries of orders issued from Jan. 25 to Feb. 21, 2020

The Florida Bar, the state’s guardian for the integrity of the legal profession, announces that the Florida Supreme Court in recent court orders disciplined 11 attorneys, disbarring two, reprimanding two, admonishing one, placing one on probation and suspending six.

As an official arm of the Florida Supreme Court, The Florida Bar and its Department of Lawyer Regulation are charged with administering a statewide disciplinary system to enforce Supreme Court rules of professional conduct for the more than 108,000 members of The Florida Bar. Key discipline case files that are public record are posted to attorneys’ individual online Florida Bar profiles. To view discipline documents, follow these steps. Information on the discipline system and how to file a complaint are available at www.floridabar.org/attorneydiscipline.

Court orders are not final until time expires to file a rehearing motion and, if filed, determined. The filing of such a motion does not alter the effective date of the discipline. Disbarred lawyers may not re-apply for admission for five years. They are required to go through an extensive process that includes a rigorous background check and retaking the Bar exam.

 

Gerald Brett Berg, 1350 Main St., Suite 1113, Springfield, Mass., public reprimand, effective immediately following a Feb. 13 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1977) Berg represented both the buyer and seller in a real estate transaction in which the seller provided the financing to the buyer.  At closing, the buyer discovered that the terms of the loan substantially favored the seller. Berg acknowledged the conflict and requested the buyer execute a waiver of conflict of interest, which she refused to do. The buyer did not receive the representation that she should have received through independent counsel. (SC19-1390)

 

Anthony Gilbert Bossone, P.O. Box 2194, Palm Harbor, suspended until further order of the court effective 30 days from a Feb. 12 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1989) Bossone failed to respond to an official Bar inquiry so the Bar filed a Petition for Contempt and Order to Show Cause with the Supreme Court of Florida. The court issued an Order to Show Cause to Bossone, but he failed to respond. (Case No. SC19-1827)

 

Richard Luther Bradford, P.O. Box 6999, Brandon, disbarred, effective immediately following a Dec. 30 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1995) Bradford was held in contempt of the court’s April 11, 2019 order for failing to notify clients, opposing counsel and tribunals of his suspension. (Case No. SC19-1906)

 

Sonya Charmaine Davis, 6356 Cypress Gardens Blvd., Winter Haven, admonished, effective immediately following a Feb. 13 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2001) Davis, who was hired to replace the counsel of record in a client’s pending dissolution of marriage, sent a Joint Motion for Substitution of Counsel to the counsel of record, who declined to sign the motion without a hearing.  After three months, Davis had not followed through, so the client terminated Davis’s representation.  Davis failed to timely respond to The Bar’s written inquiries. (Case No. SC19-1447)

 

Amie Katherine Dilla, 3219 Audubon Ct., Tarpon Springs, suspended until further order of the court effective March 1. (Admitted to practice: 2010) Dilla failed to respond to an official bar inquiry so the Bar filed a Petition for Contempt and Order to Show Cause with the Supreme Court of Florida. The court issued an Order to Show Cause to Dilla, but she failed to respond. (Case No. SC19-1827)

 

Howard Hunter Ellzey, Jr., 4807 U.S. 19, Suite 202, New Port Richey, public reprimand and probation for three years effective immediately following a Feb. 20 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2007) Ellzey was arrested for DUI and refusal to submit to testing. He was charged with felony driving under the influence of alcohol, his third offense within 10 years. Ellzey pled guilty to misdemeanor DUI and misdemeanor refusal to submit to testing and was adjudicated guilty of both charges. Ellzey completed the terms of his criminal probation. (Case No. SC20-173)

 

Eric Charles Feasley, 3777 Countryside Rd., Sarasotasuspended for 45 days effective 30 days from a Feb. 20 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2009) Feasley failed to comply with the terms and conditions of his probation, specifically he failed to comply with his Florida Lawyers Assistance, Inc. contract. (Case No. SC19-167)

 

Mark S. Scott, 600 Coral Way, FL 12, Miamisuspended until further notice effective 30 days from a Feb. 3 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1998) On Nov. 21, 2019, at the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, a jury returned a unanimous guilty verdict against Womack on two felony counts, conspiracy to commit money laundering and conspiracy to commit bank fraud. (Case No. SC20-160)

 

Nathaniel H. Speights, P.O. Box 33152, Washington, D.C., disbarred effective immediately following a Dec. 24 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1976) Speights was held in contempt of the court’s order dated April 18, 2019, for failing to notify clients, opposing counsel and tribunals of his suspension. (Case No. SC19-1890)

 

Sabrina Starr Spradley, 207 Tropic Isle Drive, Apt. 107, Delray Beach, suspended for three years effective immediately following a Feb. 11 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2009) Spradley was held in contempt of the court’s orders dated March 28, 2018, and April 25, 2019, for failing to notify clients, opposing counsel and tribunals of her suspension. Spradley also failed to comply with the conditions of her suspension including, paying restitution and contacting Florida Lawyers Assistance, Inc., for an evaluation. (Case No. SC19-1954)

 

Jeffrey Robert Thibault, P.O. Box 342434, Tampasuspended effective 30 days following a Feb. 10 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2011) Thibault misappropriated client funds, failed to communicate and act with reasonable diligence, and failed to respond to The Florida Bar.

Florida Board of Bar Examiners Vacancies

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 at its May 15 meeting. The nominations will then be forwarded to the Supreme Court to fill three five-year terms commencing Nov. 1, 2020, and expiring on Oct. 31, 2025.

Attorney members must have been an active member of The Florida Bar for at least five years, maintain active membership while serving on the board, and be deemed qualified by the Court to assess whether applicants meet the essential eligibility requirements for admission under the Rules of the Supreme Court Relating to Admissions to the Bar. Appointment or election to the bench at any level of the court system will disqualify any applicant. Law professors or trustees are ineligible.

Board members of the Bar Examiners must be able to attend approximately 10 meetings a year in various Florida locations. Members should be willing and able to devote the equivalent of three to four days’ work a month, or up to 350 or more hours per year on Board business, depending on committee assignments. Actual travel expenses connected with the meetings and examinations are reimbursed.

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 or submitted via email to specialapptapp@floridabar.org no later than the close of business on Monday, March 23. Resumes will not be accepted in lieu of the required application. A joint committee of Florida Bar Board of Governors and Florida Board of Bar Examiners members will review all applications and may request telephone or personal interviews.

FLORIDA BOARD OF BAR EXAMINERS VACANCIES – MAY APPOINTMENTS TO BE FILLED

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 at its May 15 meeting. The nominations will then be forwarded to the Supreme Court to fill three five-year terms commencing Nov. 1, 2020, and expiring on Oct. 31, 2025.

Attorney members must have been an active member of The Florida Bar for at least five years, maintain active membership while serving on the board, and be deemed qualified by the Court to assess whether applicants meet the essential eligibility requirements for admission under the Rules of the Supreme Court Relating to Admissions to the Bar. Appointment or election to the bench at any level of the court system will disqualify any applicant. Law professors or trustees are ineligible.

Board members of the Bar Examiners must be able to attend approximately 10 meetings a year in various Florida locations. Members should be willing and able to devote the equivalent of three to four days’ work a month, or up to 350 or more hours per year on Board business, depending on committee assignments. Actual travel expenses connected with the meetings and examinations are reimbursed.

Persons interested in applying for these vacancies may download the Questionnaire for Public Member Vacancy 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 or submitted via e-mail to specialapptapp@floridabar.org no later than the close of business on Monday, March 23. Resumes will not be accepted in lieu of the required application. A joint committee of Florida Bar Board of Governors and Florida Board of Bar Examiners members will review all applications and may request telephone or personal interviews.

Petition for Reinstatement of S. Tracy Long, TFB File No. 2020-50,444(15E) FRE

Pursuant to R. Regulation Fla. Bar 3-7.10, Mr. Long has petitioned the Supreme Court of Florida for reinstatement to The Florida Bar. Mr. Long was suspended from the practice of law for 1 year effective December 22, 2014, for failure to supervise nonlawyer staff and neglect of numerous cases. Please advise the membership of the Palm Beach County Bar Association that if anyone has any knowledge bearing upon Mr. Long’s fitness or qualifications to resume the practice of law to contact me at edeutsch@flabar.org within thirty (30) days of your publication.

LEGAL AID SOCIETY OF PALM BEACH COUNTY, INC. ENCORE ATTORNEY INITIATIVE

The Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County is pleased to announce the formation of its Encore Attorney Initiative whereby retired attorneys are invited to handle in-house cases on behalf of Legal Aid. This endeavor is made possible by the generosity and foresight of the Florida Bar Foundation, which recognizes that members of the bar can continue to make meaningful legal contributions to the community far beyond when they decide to end their private practices.

All volunteer attorneys will be fully covered by Legal Aid’s liability insurance and Legal Aid will provide office space and supplies.    Cases will be civil in nature, as opposed to criminal, but can include advocacy in the areas of: Elder Law, Family Law, access to health care, fair housing rights, Consumer Law, wage dispute resolution, immigrant rights, guardianship matters, domestic violence mitigation, the provision of services in the public school system, and legal assistance to at-risk juveniles.

Participants in the Encore Attorney Initiative will receive recognition at the premier social event for the legal community in Palm Beach County – Legal Aid’s annual Pro Bono Recognition Gala – not to mention the satisfaction of knowing they have made a positive difference in the lives of many to whom life has not been kind. For information on how to become part of the Encore Attorney Initiative, please call: 561-822-9776.

MAY FBBE APPOINTMENTS TO BE FILLED

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 at its May 15 meeting. The nominations will then be forwarded to the Supreme Court to fill three five-year terms commencing November 1, 2020 and expiring on October 31, 2025.

 

Attorney members must have been a member of The Florida Bar for at least five years. They must be practicing lawyers with scholarly attainments and have an affirmative interest in legal education and requirements for admission to the Bar. Appointment or election to the bench at any level of the court system will disqualify any applicant. Law professors or trustees are ineligible.

 

Board members of the Bar Examiners must be able to attend approximately 10 meetings a year in various Florida locations. Members should be willing and able to devote the equivalent of three to four days’ work a month, or up to 350 or more hours per year on Board business, depending on committee assignments. Actual travel expenses connected with the meetings and examinations are reimbursed.

 

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 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 Monday, March 23. Resumes will not be accepted in lieu of the required application. A joint committee of Florida Bar Board of Governors and Florida Board of Bar Examiners members will review all applications and may request telephone or personal interviews.


About The Florida Bar

Founded in 1949, The Florida Bar serves the legal profession for the protection and benefit of both the public and all Florida lawyers. As one of the nation’s largest mandatory bars, The Florida Bar fosters and upholds a high standard of integrity and competence within Florida’s legal profession as an official arm of the Florida Supreme Court. To learn more, visit FloridaBar.org.