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Chair's Message

June 2016

It's time to reflect on another productive year, and look forward to the year ahead.

Christopher V. Carlyle
Christopher V. Carlyle

The Florida Bar Annual Convention is once again upon us, and thus ends another year in the life of the Bar and of the Appellate Practice Section. As always, we are looking forward to our committee meetings, Executive Council meeting, discussion with the Florida Supreme Court and, of course, our annual dessert reception. It is also time to reflect on another productive year, and look forward to the year ahead.

The Section began the year by participating in the Florida Conference of District Court of Appeal Judges Annual Education Program held in Ponte Vedra Beach. It was a wonderful conference and provided a great opportunity to learn and interact with the appellate bench. The Section has been asked to once again participate in 2017. Also last Fall, the Section's Executive Council unanimously voted to make a $50,000 contribution to the Florida Bar Foundation to support its important work in providing of providing greater access to justice in Florida.

As the legislative session approached, the Section took an active role in opposing proposed legislation that would impose term limits on appellate judges and Supreme Court Justices. The Executive Council voted unanimously to take an official position opposing any attempt to impose judicial term limits at any level of the Florida court system. The legislation passed the House, but was not considered in the Senate.

Our committees continued to do outstanding work for the Section and its members. The Continuing Legal Education Committee, chaired Jessie Harrell, hosted day-long courses of Practicing Before the First District Court of Appeal and Advanced Certification Review. The CLE Committee also hosted a two-and-a-half day Advanced Appellate Workshop at Nova Southeastern University, organized largely by Judge May of the Fourth District Court of Appeal. The CLE Committee once again hosted 10 one-hour lunchtime telephonic CLEs (co-chaired by Chris Donovan and Kansas Gooden) on a wide range of appellate topics.

Tom Ward led the Outreach Committee, which contacted other sections and local bar organizations in an attempt to find opportunities to work with them on providing speakers for their meetings and events. Kimberly Jones once again chaired the Publications Committee, which oversaw materials published in various forums, including: the Florida Bar Journal (Brandon Christian, editor); The Record (June Hoffman, editor); The Guide (Rebecca Creed, editor) and the Pro Se Appellate Handbook (Bretton Albrecht, editor). Carrie Ann Wozniak led the Section's pro bono committee and did excellent work in finding section members to address various pro bono needs. Nick Shannin served as the Section's representative of the Council of Sections while also heading up our Public Policy/Legislation Committee. Kimberly Kanoff Berman chaired the Programs Committee which, among other things, hosts the dessert reception at the Florida Bar Convention each June. Jonathan Streisfeld continued to do excellent work in keeping the Section's website up to speed.

Assisting with all of these efforts were the section's officers. Chair elect Duane Daiker, vice chair Kristin Norse, secretary-treasurer Sarah Lahlou-Amine and immediate past chair Ceci Berman were tireless in their efforts to assist the Section, as was Bar Liaison JoAnn Shearer. Further, Ms. Berman, along with past-chair Matt Conigliaro, are heading up a committee that has been considering recommendations on how to handle the Section's monetary reserves.

We are happy to report that, after a break of many years, the Section is holding a retreat this Fall to plan its future. Nick Shannin, Wendy Loquasto and past chair Tom Hall worked on putting the retreat together, and we are excited to announce that it will be held on September 16 through 18 in Key West (details to follow). Make your plans now to attend, and I hope to see you in Key West. Thanks again to all Section members who worked so hard to make this another great year, and we look forward to next year under Duane Daiker's leadership as Chair.

At the Section's Executive Council meeting held during the conference, the council considered a request to make a contribution to The Florida Bar Foundation. Former appellate judges Emerson R. Thompson, Jr. and William A. Van Nortwick, Jr., and current Third District Court of Appeal judge Edwin A. Scales, III, spoke on behalf of the Foundation and the important work it does. The Executive Council voted unanimously to make a $50,000 contribution, and I had the privilege of presenting a check at the Foundation's October meeting in Orlando. An article about the donation ran in The Florida Bar News, and I received many positive comments about the Section's support of providing greater access to justice in Florida.

Christopher V. Carlyle
The Carlyle Appellate Law Firm
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