Covering legal ethics, judicial ethics, bar admissions in Florida, Tennessee, and nationally.  See our Subject Index to past postings.

In Memoriam

G.A.C. 1925-2002

An order on rehearing finding one of 3 co-counsel not liable for 57.105 sanctions is reversed by the Third DCA . . . (see more) [Added 6/1/23]

The Sixth DCA concludes that the trial court erred in overruling a criminal defendant’s objection to a statement in a prosecutor’s closing argument, but rules that the error was harmless . . . (see more) [Added 5/30/23]

The Second DCA reverses a fee award to the bankruptcy trustee of a bankrupt law firm, “based upon the complete absence of competent substantial evidence”
. . . (see more) [Added 5/24/23]

The Third DCA issues an order to show cause to a lawyer representing himself in a civil case for, inter alia, impugning and disparaging judges . . . (see more) [Added 5/22/23]

The Third DCA denies a petition for writ of prohibition seeking to disqualify a successor judge . . . (see more) [Added 5/19/23]

The Supreme Court disbars a lawyer for double billing without providing proper refunds, as well as trust accounting violations . . . (see more) [Added 5/16/23]

A proposal for settlement made to the plaintiff in a derivative suit was valid and supported an award of fees . . . (see more) [Added 5/12/23]

A suit brought by alleged victims of a fraudulent scheme against a law firm that advised its client, an alleged perpetrator, to take the Fifth Amendment is dismissed due to the litigation privilege . . . (see more) [Added 5/10/23]

The Supreme Court suspends a lawyer for 3 years for not following his client’s directives and for putting his own pecuniary interests ahead of the client’s goals . . . (see more) [Added 5/7/23]

​In denying post-judgment motions, the Fourth DCA criticizes movant’s counsel for misrepresenting the holding in a case movant relied upon . . . (see more) [Added 5/5/23]

A trial court properly denied a request to interview a juror that was based on the juror’s “regret” over a guilty verdict in a criminal trial . . . (see more) [Added 5/3/23]

The Third DCA rejects disqualification of a law firm that hosted a fundraiser for the trial judge and whose lawyers made personal contributions to the judge’s campaign . . . (see more) [Added 5/1/23]

The Fourth DCA rules that “written notice identifying the public records request” that must be sent in order to recover attorney’s fees is something different than and in addition to the original request . . . (see more) [Added 4/26/23]

A trial court erred in not appointing conflict-free counsel for a defendant who moved to withdraw his plea after sentencing . . . (see more) [Added 4/24/23]

A summary judgment in a legal malpractice case is reversed after the trial court adopted verbatim the defendant’s lengthy proposed order . . . (see more) [Added 4/21/23]

The Supreme Court rules that a trial court erred in denying a convicted criminal defendant’s motion to disqualify the judge from presiding over his postconviction proceedings . . . (see more) [Added 4/17/23]

​The Third DCA reverses a criminal conviction due to improper argument and questioning by the prosecution . . . (see more) [Added 4/14/23]

Florida International leads the state in first-time bar passage results for the February 2023 general bar examination . . . (see more) [Added 4/11/23]

A court did not err when it declined a criminal defendant’s requests to consult with standby counsel
. . . (see more) [Added 4/10/23]

The First DCA denies the Public Defender’s motion to withdraw from representation of a convicted criminal defendant on an appeal due to alleged conflict reasons . . . (see more) [Added 4/6/23]

Bills are introduced in the Florida Legislature to regulate aspects of advertising for legal services
. . . (see more) [4/3/23]

The Third DCA denies a petition for writ of prohibition seeking disqualification of a successor judge . . . (see more) [Added 3/28/23]

The trial court erred in awarding an additional 5% for postjudgment work that was expended on an unrelated suit . . . (see more) [Added 3/24/23]

The Florida Supreme Court grants the Florida Bar’s petition to amend the confidentiality rule in two respects, including adding a provision addressing responses to negative online reviews . . . (see more) [Added 3/16/23]

The Supreme Court rules that the president of an insured’s public adjusting firm, which is compensated on a contingency basis for its adjusting services, cannot serve as a “disinterested” appraiser under the policy’s appraisal process . . . (see more) [Added 2/13/23]

Dismissal of a lawsuit against Florida Bar employees is affirmed based on immunity from suit for actions in their official capacities . . . (see more) [Added 1/6/23]

​The Supreme Court disbars, rather than suspends, a lawyer for mismanagement of his law firm, as well as violating fee and conflict of interest rules . . . (see more) [Added 1/2/23]

The First DCA reverses an order dismissing a legal malpractice claim on limitations grounds, rejecting an argument that the Supreme Court has receded from the bright-line rule set in Silvestrone v. Edell . . . (see more) [Added 12/9/22]

The Supreme Court suspends a lawyer for 91 days, rather than the recommended 60 days, for “dishonest” conduct related to a non-party subpoena . . . (see more) [Added 11/21/22]

The Florida Bar files 4 petitions to amend various Rules Regulating The Florida Bar with the Supreme Court, inviting comments from interested members . . . (see more) [Added 10/17/22]

Reversing an attorney’s fee sanction order, the Fourth DCA concludes that the trial court’s application of F.S. 57.105(8) would take the statute down “Swearing Match Lane" . . . (see more) [Added 9/18/22]

Responding to a petition from the Bar, the Supreme Court amends bar rules various subjects including lawyer advertising, dealing with clients with diminished capacity, inventory attorneys, and confidentiality in the disciplinary system . . . (see more) [Added 3/4/22]

The Supreme Court amends Rule 4-5.5 to conform to the UPL advisory opinion permitting lawyers licensed in other states to work remotely from Florida for extended time periods on matters not involving Florida . . . (see more) [Added 2/18/22]

Rejecting a lesser sanction, the Supreme Court suspends a lawyer for 2 years for making unfounded accusations of racial bias and failing to properly handle a misdelivered fax . . . (see more) [Added 12/10/21]

The Board of Governors votes to reject recommendations made by the Special Committee to Improve Delivery of Legal Services concerning non-lawyer ownership of law firms, fee sharing, and changes to advertising rules . . . (see more) [Added 11/8/21]

​​The Supreme Court rejects a referee’s recommendation for reinstatement of a suspended lawyer and asks the Bar to study whether civil mediation should be prohibited in Bar case . . . (see more) [Added 10/27/21]

The Supreme Court approves a unique rule creating a special disciplinary process for complaints against lawyers that were instigated by a judge’s complaint or comment . . . (see more) [Added 10/25/21]

The Supreme Court clarifies the scope of Worley and declines to apply it to permit discovery regarding the financial relationship between a defendant’s nonparty insurer and a defense expert witness . . . (see more) [Added 10/19/21]

A narrow Supreme Court majority rules that a company connecting drivers who get traffic tickets with lawyers who will defend the tickets engaged in the unauthorized practice of law . . . (see more) [Added 10/15/21]

The Supreme Court denies a claim of ineffective assistance based on alleged “disarray and division” among the defense team . . . (see more) [Added 8/30/21]

The Supreme Court amends the IOTA rules, adopting proposals of the Task Force on the Distribution of IOTA Funds with modifications
. . . (see more) [Added 6/21/21]

The Professional Ethics Committee approves for publication a proposed advisory opinion addressing the ethical obligations of a lawyer in responding to negative online reviews posted by someone who is not the lawyer's client or former client . . . (see more) [Added 6/11/21]

A unanimous Florida Supreme Court rules that an insurer has standing to bring a legal malpractice action against counsel it hired to represent its insured, based on the policy’s subrogation provision . . . (see more) [Added 6/4/21]

The Supreme Court approves an advisory opinion concluding that it is not the unlicensed practice of law for a lawyer licensed in other states but not in Florida to work remotely from his home in Florida on federal intellectual property matters . . . (see more) [Added 5/21/21]

The Supreme Court approves rule changes regarding appointments to Bar ethics and advertising committees, and expands electronic signatures to more aspects of Bar functions . . . (see more) [Added 5/14/21]

The Professional Ethics Committee approves a proposed confidentiality rule amendment to authorize limited responses to negative online reviews, adopts new proposed advisory opinions on using web-based payment processing services and the obligations of a lawyer appointed to represent an alleged incapacitated person in an emergency guardianship proceeding, and modifies a long-standing opinion on providing case file materials to clients and former clients . . . (see more) [Added 3/26/21]

The Supreme Court amends and renames the Rules of Judicial Administration, addressing judicial disqualification, creating disqualification through adding counsel, and appearance of “stand-in counsel” . . . (see more) [Added 1/27/21]

The Supreme Court rules that a unilateral attorney’s fee provision in a credit card contract is made reciprocal when the debtor prevails in an account stated action to collect unpaid debt . . . (see more) [Added 1/18/21]

The Florida Bar files its biennial rule change petition with the Supreme Court, seeking rule amendments relating to fees, clients with diminished capacity, client files, advertising, solicitation, and other topics . . . (more) [Added 10/8/20]

The Supreme Court remands a disciplinary case for further proceedings after clarifying that an “advice of counsel” defense may be available in limited circumstances . . . (see more) [Added 6/26/20]

The Supreme Court approves a rule permitting spouses of military service members to practice as certified legal interns while undergoing the character and fitness review pending authorization to practice in Florida . . . (see more) [Added 5/26/20]

The Florida Bar petitions the Supreme Court for approval of new rules creating a “Registered Online Service Provider” program . . . (see more) [Added 1/3/20]

The Supreme Court approves amendments to Rule 4-7.14 to permit non-certified lawyers, and law firms, to advertise that they specialize or have expertise in areas of practice . . . (see more) [Added 7/1/19]

NEW in Florida Legal Ethics . . .