2018 Florida Bar Convention

(SFPA thanks Yarelis Cabrera, paralegal at Hogan Lovells (Miami), for attending the Convention on behalf of SFPA.  Below are her notes.)

Recap - FRP Standing Committee Meeting at 2018 Annual Florida Bar Convention

June 15, 2018, 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.

The Florida Registered Paralegal (FRP) Standing Committee held a meeting on June 15, 2018, during the 2018 Florida Bar Convention.  A large chunk of the meeting was spent discussing the Program Evaluation Committee (PEC)’s possible restructuring of the FRP program. 

Specifically, the bifurcation of the current committee to two subcommittees. The first of which would function as it does now and oversee the program as far as applications/registrations, discipline, rule changes, etc. The second (and new) subcommittee would be would be named something along the lines of “the FRP Program Enrichment Committee” and would potentially oversee the expansion of the “Paralegal Corner” section of the Bar News and the development of free CLE programming targeted toward paralegals. This bifurcation was approved by the Board of Governors in their July meeting.

Recap - FRP CLE Seminars at the Convention

This year, for the first time, the Florida Bar, in an effort to reach out to paralegals, hosted free CLEs for paralegals at the Convention.  Below are summaries of the CLE presentations

Timely Technology, Professionalism, and Ethics for the Legal Professional

June 15, 2018, 1:15 p.m. – 4:10 p.m.

The Florida Registered Paralegal Committee hosted its first CLE seminar titled: Timely Technology, Professionalism, and Ethics for the Legal Profession.

The first presentation, “Technology: Effective and Practical Use of Case Management Software Available Today, and How to Make the Most of the Technology Available in Your Law Practice,” emphasized the importance of familiarizing yourself with the available technologies in order to best serve clients and get what you need done, done. 

The second presentation, titled “Professionalism: Professional and Ethics in the Real World,” was presented by Circuit Judge John Marshall Kest, who generally spoke about the importance of professionalism in the legal profession and who suggested that there be a mentoring committee set up within the FRP program which could potentially address on-going questions from FRPs on various topics including professionalism. 

The third and final presentation was the keynote presentation by American Bar Association President, Hilarie Bass.  It was titled “Ethics: #MeToo/#TimesUp Movements, Sexual Harassment and How the Legal Profession and the ABA is Reacting to It.”  President Bass mostly discussed the attrition of female lawyers and the impact of the #MeToo movement on the legal profession.  There was no discussion on whether the ABA has considered the impact of these movements on non-attorney, female-identified employees nor suggestions on how one could navigate the sometimes-treacherous power dynamics that exist in male-attorney/female-paralegal relationships.

August 20, 2018

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