494 So.2d 977 (Fla. 1986), 65197, The Florida Bar re Rules Regulating The Florida Bar

Docket Nº:65197, 65877, 67085 and 68,293.
Citation:494 So.2d 977, 11 Fla. L. Weekly 365, 11 Fla. L. Weekly 481
Party Name:THE FLORIDA BAR RE RULES REGULATING THE FLORIDA BAR.
Attorney:Joseph J. Reiter, President, Ray Ferrero, President-elect, John F. Harkness, Jr., Executive Director, John T. Berry, Staff Counsel, Dennis S. Crowley, Ethics Counsel, John A. Boggs, Director of Lawyer Regulation, and Michael A. Tartaglia, Director of Public Interest Programs, D. Culver Smith III,...
Case Date:July 17, 1986
Court:Supreme Court of Florida
 
FREE EXCERPT

Page 977

494 So.2d 977 (Fla. 1986)

11 Fla. L. Weekly 365, 11 Fla. L. Weekly 481

THE FLORIDA BAR RE RULES REGULATING THE FLORIDA BAR.

No. 65197, 65877, 67085 and 68,293.

Supreme Court of Florida.

July 17, 1986

On Rehearing Sept. 11, 1986.

Joseph J. Reiter, President, West Palm Beach, Ray Ferrero, Jr., President-elect, Fort Lauderdale, John F. Harkness, Jr., Executive Director, John T. Berry, Staff Counsel, Dennis S. Crowley, Ethics Counsel, John A. Boggs, Director of Lawyer Regulation, and Michael A. Tartaglia, Director of Public Interest Programs, Tallahassee, D. Culver Smith III, Chairman, Special Study Committee on Lawyer Referral Services, Palm Beach, and Phyllis Shampanier, Chairwoman, Integration Rule and Bylaws Committee, Miami Beach, Bill Wagner, Chairman, Committee on Proposed Rules Regulating The Florida Bar, Tampa, Thomas M. Ervin, Jr., Chairman, Disciplinary Procedure Committee, Tallahassee, James P. Hahn, Chairman, Standing Committee on the Unauthorized Practice of Law, Lakeland, Catherine L. Dickson, UPL Counsel, Tallahassee, Stephen D. Busey, Chairman, Special Study Committee on the Model Rules of Professional Conduct, Jacksonville, Robert E. Livingston, Chairman, Program Evaluation Committee, Miami, and Stephen A. Rappenecker, Chairman, Bd. of Certification, Designation & Advertising, Gainesville, for petitioner, The Florida Bar.

Henry P. Trawick, Jr., Sarasota, Wilson Jerry Foster, Tallahassee, Andrew G. Pattillo, Jr., President and Jane E. Robertson, Executive Director of The Florida Bar Foundation, Orlando, Michael E. Allen, President, Florida Public Defender Association, Tallahassee, John C. Shepherd, Office of the President, American Bar Association, Chicago, Ill., J. Paul McGrath, Asst. Atty. Gen., Antitrust Div., U.S. Dept. of Justice, Washington, D.C., Jeffrey H. Barker, Executive Director, Florida Legal Services, Inc., Tallahassee, on behalf of Florida Clients Counsel, Common Cause, Florida Institutional Legal Services, Inc., Gulfcoast Legal Services, Inc., and Al Hadeed, Russell E. Carlisle, Chairman, Florida Bar Commission on Access to the Legal System, Fort Lauderdale, Stephen T. Maher, Attorney at Law, University of Miami School of Law, Coral Gables, and Neil Chonin, Coral Gables, responding.

Charles A. Kimbrell, Chairman, Florida State Committee, Miami, Robert M. Ervin, Sp. Florida Counsel, Tallahassee, and Gene W. Lafitte, President, New Orleans, La., for The American College of Trial Lawyers, amicus curiae.

PER CURIAM.

In November 1984 this Court heard oral argument in case numbers 65,197 and 65,877, encompassing a total revision of the bar rules. [*] Since that time, numerous petitions for revision of both the currently existing bar rules and of the proposed new rules have been filed with and considered by the Court, and the proposed new rules have been revised several times. After rearranging and revising portions of the bar's proposed rules, we now adopt these new rules, entitled "Rules Regulating the Florida Bar." As can be seen in the new rules, the integration rule, bylaws, and code of professional responsibility no longer exist as separate entities. Rather, all rules pertaining to the bar have been integrated, in a chapter format, into a single document. It is the revisers' hope, as well as the Court's, that this new arrangement will make it easier to find things in the rules.

Several noteworthy changes have been made from the current rules and from the board's proposals. For instance, while

Page 978

amendments to most of the rules still must be through petition to this Court, chapters 2, 7, and 9 can be amended by the board of governors without petitioning the Court. See rule 2-10. Dues, however, are still capped, and this Court will have to be petitioned for changes in the amount of members' dues. The new rules also provide for nonlawyer members of the board of governors; the period for disbarment has been raised to five years; and there are numerous changes in the disciplinary process, now set out in chapter 3.

A few of the changes made by the Court in the board's proposal include: an addition to rule 4-3.6 regarding persons making extrajudicial statements in criminal cases; a proviso regarding holding and maintaining property as a client wishes added to rule 4-1.15(a); and expansion of confidentiality in minor misconduct reports in 3-5.1(b). Also, rule 4-7.3, as originally proposed, prohibited direct mail solicitation of persons known to have specific legal problems. After studying this matter, we have concluded that such mailing cannot be prohibited. Instead, we have revised rule 4-7.3 to regulate, rather than proscribe, such communications. If this regulation proves unworkable or if a pattern of abuse in direct mailings is established, we will consider amending the solicitation rule.

The rules as finally adopted also include recent amendments regarding confidentiality for attorneys seeking treatment for alcohol abuse, 490 So.2d 937 (Fla.1986), contingent fees, --- So.2d ---- (Fla.1986), and graduation from an accredited law school for emeritus attorneys, 490 So.2d 947 (Fla.1986). The rules will be printed in both this year's edition of the bar Journal and the West rules pamphlet.

We express our thanks to all members and officers of the bar who worked on these revisions and who favored the Court with their comments and suggestions regarding the proposed rules. These rules will become effective at 12:01 a.m., January 1, 1987, and we urge all members of the bar to familiarize themselves with these new rules.

It is so ordered.

McDONALD, C.J., and ADKINS, BOYD, OVERTON, EHRLICH, SHAW and BARKETT, JJ., concur.

ON REHEARING GRANTED

The board of governors of the Florida Bar has filed a petition for rehearing or clarification regarding this Court's adoption of new bar rules. The board seeks amendment of the opinion itself as to the applicability of the new rules as well as changes in the text of the rules to correct errors in and omissions from the rules as submitted by the board and requests rewording of several provisions. After reviewing these matters we adopt the changes set out in the petition.

The last sentence of our original opinion is revised to read as follows:

These rules will become effective at 12:01 a.m. on January 1, 1987. Thereafter, the Rules Regulating the Florida Bar shall govern the conduct of all members of the Florida Bar. All disciplinary cases pending as of 12:01 a.m. January 1, 1987 shall thereafter be processed in accordance with the procedures set forth in the Rules Regulating the Florida Bar. We urge all members of the bar to familiarize themselves with these new rules.

The individual pages of the rules affected by the changes adopted hereby are attached to this rehearing opinion. [*]

It is so ordered.

McDONALD, C.J., and ADKINS, BOYD, OVERTON, EHRLICH, SHAW and BARKETT, JJ., concur.

Page 979

RULES REGULATING THE FLORIDA BAR

Chapter 1

GENERAL

The Supreme Court of Florida by these rules establishes the authority and responsibilities of The Florida Bar, an official arm of the Court.

1-1 Name. The name of the body regulated by these rules shall be THE FLORIDA BAR.

1-2 Purpose. The purpose of The Florida Bar shall be to inculcate in its members the principles of duty and service to the public, to improve the administration of justice, and to advance the science of jurisprudence.

1-3 Membership.

1-3.1 Composition. The membership of The Florida Bar shall be composed of all persons who are admitted by this Court to the practice of law in this state and who maintain their membership in good standing pursuant to these rules.

1-3.2 Active members. Active members of The Florida Bar in good standing shall mean only those persons licensed to practice law in Florida who have paid annual membership fees or dues for the current year and who are not retired, resigned, delinquent or suspended members. A practicing attorney of another state, in good standing, who has professional business in a court of record of this state may, upon motion, be permitted to practice for the purpose of such business upon such conditions as the court deems appropriate under the circumstances of the case.

1-3.3 Official bar address. Each member of The Florida Bar shall designate an official bar mailing address and business telephone number. If the address given is not the physical location or street address of the principal place of employment, then such information shall also be given. Each member shall promptly notify the executive director of any changes in any information required by this rule.

1-3.4 Resignation. A member of The Florida Bar in good standing may, upon petition to and with the approval of the board of governors, resign from The Florida Bar and thereupon, unless again admitted or reinstated, shall not practice law in this state nor be entitled to any privileges and benefits accorded to active members of The Florida Bar in good standing.

1-3.5 Retirement. Any member of The Florida Bar who shall have attained the age of seventy (70) years of age or who shall have practiced law in the State of Florida for thirty-five (35) years or who shall establish under rules of procedure adopted by the board of governors that the member is physically disabled to the extent that the member cannot engage in the practice of law may retire from The Florida Bar upon certification by the board of governors that such member meets the requirements of this rule and thereupon, unless again admitted or reinstated, shall not practice law in this state. A retired member shall be entitled to receive such other privileges as the board of governors may authorize.

1-3.6 Delinquent members. Any person now or hereafter licensed to practice law in Florida who...

To continue reading

FREE SIGN UP