Football toss helps Corey LaJoie connect with fans

first_imgSONOMA, Calif. — Corey LaJoie knows he’s still putting the pieces together and building a foundation at Go Fas Racing before he and his No. 32 team are in the mix for wins on a weekly basis.As such, it’s not the simplest task to work up a strong fan base with an average finish of 25.7. Sometimes a driver has to get creative and take things into his own hands – literally.LaJoie and buddy Bubba Wallace were the darlings of social media and the rain-soaked fans at Michigan International Speedway a few weeks ago, entertaining the crowd during the rain delay by tossing the football around on pit road – and over the catch fence to a delighted group of lucky race attendees.RELATED: Full schedule for Sonoma | Go on a 10-Minute Tour with LaJoie“I don’t quite have the opportunity to win any of these Cup races yet, we just try to do the things that we can control. A little bit behind on up-to-date cars and the motors aren’t quite as good so we’re relegated to somewhere in that 25th to 30th range on speed but anytime we can do better than that is the goal,” LaJoie said Friday at Sonoma Raceway, site of Sunday’s Toyota/SaveMart 350 (3 p.m. ET, FS1, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).“So any time I can get out there and mix it up with the fans, they were loving it. What was awesome was it just started as a natural thing just throwing the football, then we’d launch it up into the stands and they just loved it. Luckily for LaJoie, there was a two-week break in between pigskin practice sessions to parse over game film, fine-tune their skills and, most importantly, rest up.“My abs and my arms were pretty sore for the next 48 hours, but it was worth it.” “That was huge. I was talking with FOX and the video of me and Bubba throwing the football got almost double the views that Joey Logano winning the race did. That solidified my theory that I got more attention throwing the football than I would have if I’d won the race the next day. Whatever it takes, right?”The dynamic duo was back at it on Friday, tossing the ball around in the garage area with fans during practice.last_img read more

Corrected Bar rules proposals to be filed

first_imgCorrected Bar rules proposals to be filed Paragraphs 1-6 [no change]Under subdivision (c), the prohibition in this rule is imputed to other lawyers as provided in rule 4-1.10, but, under subdivision (d)(1), the prohibition and its imputation may be avoided if the lawyer obtains the informed consent, confirmed in writing, of both the prospective and affected clients. In the alternative, the prohibition and its imputation may be avoided if the conditions of subdivision (d)(2) are met and all disqualified lawyers are timely screened and written notice is promptly given to the prospective client. See Rule terminology (requirements for screening procedures). Paragraph Subdivision (d)(2)(i) does not prohibit the screened lawyer from receiving a salary or partnership share established by prior independent agreement, but that lawyer may not receive compensation directly related to the matter in which the lawyer is disqualified.[no further change]* * * SUBCHAPTER 4-2. COUNSELOR * * * RULE 4-2.4 LAWYER SERVING AS THIRD-PARTY NEUTRAL (a) Definition. A lawyer serves as a third-party neutral when the lawyer assists 2 or more persons who are not clients of the lawyer to reach a resolution of a dispute or other matter that has arisen between them. Service as a third-party neutral may include service as an arbitrator, a mediator, or in such other capacity as will enable the lawyer to assist the parties to resolve the matter. (b) Communication With Unrepresented Parties. A lawyer serving as a third-party neutral shall inform unrepresented parties that the lawyer is not representing them. When the lawyer knows or reasonably should know that a party does not understand the lawyer’s role in the matter, the lawyer shall explain the difference between the lawyer’s role as a third-party neutral and a lawyer’s role as one who represents a client. Comment Corrected Bar rules proposals to be filed The Board of Governors of The Florida Bar hereby provides this second corrected notice of its proposed filing with the Supreme Court of Florida, on or about a revised date of October 1 of a petition to amend the Rules Regulating The Florida Bar. Because of possible confusion from two prior notices regarding this filing, and newer developments affecting its contents, a complete republication of the corrected text of all the proposed amendments, as further explained in this notice, is printed below. This republication is intended to supersede the proposed amendments previously noticed in the August 1 News issue (that presentation has now been determined to have omitted proposed amendments within chapters 10, 14 & 17). This reprint otherwise reflects the intervening proposals for further revision of rules 3-7.2, 3-7.6 & 3-7.7, properly noticed in the August 15 issue and now incorporated into this new presentation. However, this second corrected notice is necessary because of yet further board action prompting withdrawal of proposed changes to rule 3-5.1(d) – see related News story on page 5 – but included within the Bar’s original August 1 notice. Because of these circumstances, a revised and corrected republication of all proposed rule amendments that would be less confusing — and identical to the Bar’s formal filing — was considered appropriate for the benefit of participants and others interested in these proceedings. Notably, two alternate proposals are offered to the court for revision of rule 10-7.1. Otherwise, some of the amen dments proposed in the Bar’s filing are substantive; others are merely editorial refinements. These items will constitute the Bar’s annual filing of virtually all rules changes favorably recommended by the board since June 2006 but held for this consolidated submission. A copy of this filing may be requested by contacting the Office of the General Counsel, The Florida Bar, 651 East Jefferson St., Tallahassee 32399-2300 or calling (850) 561-5600, Ext. 5751. Members who desire to comment on these proposed amendments may do so within 30 days of the filing of the Bar’s petition. Comments should be filed directly with the clerk of the Supreme Court of Florida, and a copy must be served on the executive director of The Florida Bar. Rule 1-21.1, Rules Regulating The Florida Bar, governs these proceedings.Rule 1-21.1, Rules Regulating The Florida Bar, governs these proceedings. RULES REGULATING THE FLORIDA BAR CHAPTER 1. GENERAL * * *1-3. MEMBERSHIP * * * RULE 1-3.6 DELINQUENT MEMBERSAny person now or hereafter licensed to practice law in Florida shall be deemed a delinquent member if the member: (a) [no change] (b) [no change] (c) [no change] (d) [no change] (e) fails to pay fees imposed as part of diversion for more than 90 30 days after the diversion recommendation became final, unless such time is extended by the board of governors for good cause shown; or (f) fails to pay an award entered in fee arbitration proceedings conducted under the authority stated elsewhere in these rules and 90 30 days or more have elapsed since the date on which the award became final, unless such time is extended by the board of governors for good cause shown. Delinquent members shall not engage in the practice of law in Florida nor be entitled to any privileges and benefits accorded to members of The Florida Bar in good standing. RULE 1-3.7 REINSTATEMENT TO MEMBERSHIP (a) Eligibility for Reinstatement. Members who have retired , been delinquent in the payment of membership fees, or been delinquent in continuing legal education requirements for a period of time not in excess of 5 years are eligible for reinstatement under this rule. Time shall be calculated from the day of the retirement , membership fees delinquency, or continuing legal education delinquency.Inactive members may also seek reinstatement under this rule. (b) Petitions Required. [no change] (c) Members Who Have Retired or Been Delinquent for Less Than 5 Years, But More Than 3 Years. [no change] (d) Members Who Have Retired or Been Delinquent for 5 Years or More. [no change] (e) Members Delinquent 60 Days or Less. [no change] (f) Inactive Members. [no change] RULE 1-3.8 RIGHT TO INVENTORY (a) Appointment; Grounds; Authority. [no change] (b) Maintenance of Attorney-Client Confidences. [no change] (c) Status and Purpose of Inventory Attorney. [no change] (d) Rules of Procedure. [no change] (e) Designation of Inventory Attorney. Each member of the bar who practices law in Florida shall designate another member of The Florida Bar who has agreed to serve as inventory attorney under this rule ; provided, however, that no designation is required with respect to any portion of the member’s practice as an employee of a governmental entity. When the services of an inventory attorney become necessary, an authorized representative of The Florida Bar shall contact the designated member and determine the member’s current willingness to serve. The designated member shall not be under any obligation to serve as inventory attorney.* * * RULE 1-3.10 APPEARANCE BY NON-FLORIDA LAWYER IN A FLORIDA COURT (a) Non-Florida Lawyer Appearing in a Florida Court. [no change] (b) Lawyer Prohibited From Appearing . No lawyer is authorized to appear pursuant to this rule or the applicable portions of the Florida Rules of Judicial Administration if the lawyer:(1) is disbarred or suspended from practice in any jurisdiction;(2) is a Florida resident , unless the attorney has an application pending for admission to The Florida Bar and has not previously been denied admission to The Florida Bar ;(3) is a member of The Florida Bar but ineligible to practice law;(4) has previously been disciplined or held in contempt by reason of misconduct committed while engaged in representation permitted pursuant to this rule;(5) has failed to provide notice to The Florida Bar or pay the filing fee as required by this rule; or(6) is engaged in a “general practice” as defined elsewhere in this rule. (c) Content of Verified Motion for Leave to Appear. Any verified motion filed under this rule or the applicable provisions of the Florida Rules of Judicial Administration shall include:(1) – (6) [no change](7) a certificate indicating service of the verified motion upon all counsel of record in the matter in which leave to appear pro hac vice is sought and upon The Florida Bar at its Tallahassee office accompanied by a nonrefundable $250 .00 filing fee made payable to The Florida Bar or notice of the waiver of the fee; and(8) [no change]* * * SUBCHAPTER 1-4. BOARD OF GOVERNORS* * * RULE 1-4.3 COMMITTEESThe board of governors shall create an executive committee composed of the president, president-elect, chair of the budget committee, chair of the communications committee, disciplinary review, and chair of the legislation committee s, president of the young lawyers division, 2 members of the board appointed by the president, and 3 members of the board elected by the board to act upon such matters as arise and require disposition between meetings of the board; a budget committee composed of 9 members with 3-year staggered terms; grievance committees as provided for in chapter 3; unlicensed practice of law committees as provided for in chapter 10; and a professional ethics committee.* * * SUBCHAPTER 1-7. MEMBERSHIP FEES AND FISCAL CONTROL * * * RULE 1-7.5 RETIRED, RESIGNED, INACTIVE, DELINQUENT MEMBERSA member who is retired, resigned, inactive, or delinquent shall not practice law in this state until reinstated as provided in these rules.* * * SUBCHAPTER 1-12. AMENDMENTS RULE 1-12.1 AMENDMENT TO RULES; AUTHORITY; NOTICE; PROCEDURES; COMMENTS (a) Authority to Amend. The board of governors of The Florida Bar shall have the authority to amend chapters 6, schedule A, thereto and 7 and 9, as well as the standards for the individual areas of certification ; 7; and 9 within chapter 6 of these Rules Regulating The Florida Bar, consistent with the notice, publication, and comments requirements provided below. Only the Supreme Court of Florida shall have the authority to amend all other chapters of these Rules Regulating The Florida Bar. (b) Proposed Amendments. [no change] (c) Board Review of Proposed Amendments. [no change] (d) Notice of Proposed Board Action. Notice of the proposed action of the board on a proposed amendment shall be given in an edition of The Florida Bar News that is published prior to the meeting of the board at which the board action is taken. The notice shall identify the rule(s) to be amended and shall state in general terms the nature of the proposed amendments. (e) Comments by Members. [no change] (f) Approval of Amendments. Amendments to other than chapters 6, schedule A thereto, and 7 and 9, as well as the standards for the individual areas of certification ; 7; and 9 within chapter 6 of these Rules Regulating The Florida Bar shall be by petition to the Supreme Court of Florida. Petitions to amend these Rules Regulating The Florida Bar may be filed by the board of governors or by 50 members in good standing, provided that any amendments proposed by members of the bar shall be filed 90 days after filing them with The Florida Bar. (g) Notice of Intent to File Petition. Notice of intent to file a petition to amend these Rules Regulating The Florida Bar shall be published in The Florida Bar News at least 30 days before the filing of the petition. The notice shall set forth the text of the proposed amendments, state the date the petition will be filed, and state that any comments or objections must be filed within 30 days of filing the petition. A copy of all comments or objections shall be served on the executive director of The Florida Bar and any persons who may have made an appearance in the matter. (h) Action by the Supreme Court of Florida. The court shall review all proposed amendments filed under this rule and such amendments shall not become effective until an order is issued approving them. Final action of the court shall be reported in The Florida Bar News. (i) Waiver. [no change] * * * CHAPTER 2. BYLAWS OF THE FLORIDA BAR * * * SUBCHAPTER 2-4. OFFICERS * * * BYLAW 2-4.5 NOMINATIONS FOR PRESIDENT-ELECT (a) Policies. [no change] (b) Nominations Process. Any member of The Florida Bar in good standing may be nominated as a candidate for president-elect by petition signed by not fewer than 1 percent of the members of The Florida Bar in good standing. Such nominating petitions shall be filed with the executive director at the headquarters office on or after November 15 and on or before 5:00 p.m., eastern time, December 15 of the year preceding the election. Nominees shall endorse their written acceptance upon such petition. In the event that no member of The Florida Bar in good standing shall be nominated, the board of governors shall thereafter nominate at least 1 candidate for the office of president-elect. Except as otherwise specified in standing board policies, no campaigning for the purposes of seeking support for the nomination of a candidate to the office of president-elect shall be conducted prior to November 15 of the year preceding the election. (c) Elections Process . Campaigns by nominees for election to the office of president-elect shall not commence until November 15 and shall end on March 21 as further specified in standing board policies. In the event of a runoff election, such activities may continue until April 22.* * * SUBCHAPTER 2-7. SECTIONS * * * BYLAW 2-7.3 CREATION OF SECTIONS AND DIVISIONSSections and divisions may be created or abolished by the board of governors as deemed necessary or desirable. (a) Sections. The following sections of The Florida Bar have been created by the board of governors:(1) – (6) [no change] change](7) Entertainment, Arts , and Sports Law Section;(8) – (15) [no change] change] (16) Practice Management and Development Section;(1 7 6 )Public Interest Law Section;(1 8 7 ) Real Property, Probate , and Trust Law Section;(1 9 8 ) Tax Section;( 20 19 ) Trial Lawyers Section; and(2 1 0 ) Workers’ Compensation Section. (b) Divisions. [no change] change]* * * CHAPTER 3. RULES OF DISCIPLINE * * * SUBCHAPTER 3-2. DEFINITIONS RULE 3-2.1 GENERALLYWherever used in these rules the following words or terms shall have the meaning herein set forth unless the use thereof shall clearly indicate a different meaning: (a) Bar Counsel. [no change] (b) The Board or the Board of Governors. [no change] (c) Complainant or Complaining Witness. [no change] (d) This Court or the Court. [no change] (e) Court of this State. [no change] (f) Diversion to Practice and Professionalism Enhancement Programs. [no change] (g) Executive Committee. [no change] (h) Executive Director. [no change] (i) Practice and Professionalism Enhancement Programs. [no change] (j) Probable Cause. [no change] (k) Referral to Practice and Professionalism Enhancement Programs. [no change] ( l ) Referee. [no change] (m) Respondent. [no change] (n) Staff Counsel. [no change] ( o ) Chief Branch Discipline Counsel. [no change] (p) Designated Reviewer. The designated reviewer is a member of the board of governors responsible for review and other specific duties as assigned with respect to a particular grievance committee or matter. The designated reviewer for a special grievance committee will be selected by the president and approved by the board. (q) Final Adjudication. [no change]* * * SUBCHAPTER 3-3. JURISDICTION TO ENFORCE RULES* * * RULE 3-3.2 BOARD OF GOVERNORS OF THE FLORIDA BAR (a) Responsibility of Board. [no change] (b) Authority to File a Formal Complaint. No formal complaint shall be filed by The Florida Bar in disciplinary proceedings against a member of the bar unless there shall first be 1 of the following conditions has been met: (1) Finding of Probable Cause . A formal complaint may be filed if there has been a finding under these rules that probable cause exists to believe that the respondent is guilty of misconduct justifying disciplinary action , or ; (2) Emergency Suspension or Probation . A formal complaint may be filed if the member is the subject of an order of emergency suspension or emergency probation that is based on the same misconduct that is the subject matter of the formal complaint , or unless ; (3) Felony Determination or Adjudication . A formal complaint may be filed if the respondent has been determined or adjudged to be guilty of the commission of a felony , or unless ; (4) Discipline In Another Jurisdiction . A formal complaint may be filed if the respondent has been disciplined by another entity having jurisdiction over the practice of law or, with the concurrence of the chair of the grievance committee, ; (5) Felony Charges . A formal complaint may be filed if a member has been charged with commission of a felony under applicable law that warrants the imposition of discipline and if the chair of the grievance committee agrees. A decision of the grievance committee chair to not file a formal complaint shall be reviewed by the full grievance committee. The grievance committee may affirm or reverse the decision. (6) Discipline on Action of the Florida Judicial Qualifications Commission . A formal complaint may be filed if the Supreme Court of Florida has adjudged the respondent guilty of judicial misconduct in an action brought by the Florida Judicial Qualifications Commission, the respondent is no longer a judicial officer, and the facts warrant imposing disciplinary sanctions. (c) Executive Committee. [no change] RULE 3-3.3 COUNSEL FOR THE FLORIDA BAR (a) Authority of Board of Governors. The board may employ staff counsel and bar counsel for The Florida Bar to perform such duties, as may be assigned, under the direction of the executive director. (b) Appointment of Bar Counsel. Staff counsel may designate members of The Florida Bar to serve as bar counsel to represent The Florida Bar in disciplinary proceedings. Bar counsel shall not be a member of the board or of a grievance committee, except that a (c) Appointment of Board Members Limited. A member of the board may represent The Florida Bar on any review proceeding under rule 3-7.7. (d) Appointment of Grievance Committee Members Limited. A member of a grievance committee may represent the bar in any proceeding before a referee and any review by the supreme court under rule 3-7.7 if the case was not considered by the grievance committee on which the member serves. (e) Compensation. Bar counsel may be compensated in accordance with budgetary policies adopted by the board. * * * SUBCHAPTER 3-5. TYPES OF DISCIPLINE* * * RULE 3-5.4 PUBLICATION OF DISCIPLINE (a) Nature of Sanctions. All disciplinary sanctions, as defined in rules 3-5.1 and 3-5.2, or their predecessors, of these Rules Regulating The Florida Bar in disciplinary cases opened after March 16, 1990 are public information. Admonishments for minor misconduct entered in disciplinary cases opened on or before March 16, 1990 are confidential. (b) Disclosure on Inquiry. All public disciplinary sanctions shall be disclosed upon inquiry. (c) Manner of Publication. Unless otherwise directed by the court, and subject to the exceptions set forth below, all public disciplinary sanctions may be published for public information in print or electronic media. (d) Limited Exception for Admonishments Issued by the Supreme Court of Florida. All admonishments issued by the court containing the heading “Not to be Published” shall not be published in the official court reporter and shall not be published in The Florida Bar News . Comment All disciplinary sanctions as defined in rules 3-5.1 and 3-5.2, or their predecessors, entered in cases opened on or after March 17, 1990 are public information. As such, an inquiry into the conduct of a member of the bar will result in a disclosure of all such sanctions. The public policy of this state is to provide reasonable means of access to public information. In furtherance of this policy, this rule is enacted so that all persons may understand what public information concerning lawyer disciplinary sanctions is available and in what format. This rule does not alter current court procedure or other requirements. Admonishments are issued for minor misconduct and are the lowest form of disciplinary sanction. An admonishment is often issued for technical rule violations or for rule violations that did not result in harm. The court’s orders imposing admonishments contain the heading “Not to be Published” and this rule directs that those admonishments not be published in the West’s Southern Reporter and directs The Florida Bar not to publish those admonishments in its newspaper, The Florida Bar News . The court does so in order to maintain a tangible difference between the sanctions of admonishment and public reprimand. This rule does not bar disclosure of admonishments upon inquiry, whether written, oral, or electronic, and does not bar publication of admonishments on any website of The Florida Bar.* * * SUBCHAPTER 3-6. EMPLOYMENT OF CERTAIN ATTORNEYS OR FORMER ATTORNEYS RULE 3-6.1 GENERALLY (a) Authorization and Application. An authorized business entity (as defined elsewhere in these rules) Except as limited in this rule, persons or entities providing legal services may employ suspended attorneys and former attorneys who have been disbarred or whose disciplinary resignations have been allowed [for purposes of this rule such attorneys and former attorneys are referred to as either “individual(s) subject to this rule” , “individual(s)”, or “employee(s)” ] . Subject to the exceptions set forth below these individuals may to perform those services that may ethically be performed by nonlawyers employed by authorized business entities. (a) Definition of Employment. An individual subject to this rule shall be considered as an employee of employed by an authorized business entity providing legal services if the individual is a salaried or hourly employee , or volunteer worker for an authorized business entity, or an independent contractor providing services to an authorized business the entity. (b) Employment by Former Subordinates Prohibited for a Period of 3 Years. [no change] (c) Notice of Employment Required. Before employment commences the employer entity shall provide The Florida Bar with a notice of employment and a detailed description of the intended services to be provided by the employee individual subject to this rule. (d) Prohibited Conduct. [no change] (e) Quarterly Reports by Employee Individual and Employer Required. The individual subject to this rule (employee) and employer shall submit sworn information reports to The Florida Bar. Such reports shall be filed quarterly, based on the calendar year, and include statements that no aspect of the employee’s work of the individual subject to this rule has involved the unlicensed practice of law, that the employee individual subject to this rule has had no direct client contact, that the employee individual subject to this rule did not receive, disburse, or otherwise handle trust funds or property, and that the employee individual subject to this rule is not being supervised by an attorney whom the employee individual subject to this rule supervised within the 3 years immediately previous to the date of the suspension, disbarment, or disciplinary resignation.* * * SUBCHAPTER 3-7. PROCEDURES * * * RULE 3-7.2 PROCEDURES UPON CRIMINAL OR PROFESSIONAL MISCONDUCT; DISCIPLINE UPON DETERMINATION OR JUDGMENT OF GUILT OF CRIMINAL MISCONDUCT ; DISCIPLINE ON REMOVAL FROM JUDICIAL OFFICE (a) Definitions. [no change] (b) Determination or Judgment of Guilt, Admissibility; Proof of Guilt. [no change] (c) Notice of Institution of Felony Criminal Charges. [no change] (d) Notice of Determination or Judgment of Guilt of Felony Charges. [no change] (e) Notice by Members of Determination or Judgment of Guilt of All Criminal Charges. [no change] (f) Suspension by Judgment of Guilt (Felonies). [no change] (g) Petition to Modify or Terminate Suspension. [no change] (h) Appointment of Referee. [no change] (i) Appeal of Conviction. [no change] (j) Expunction. [no change] (k) Waiver of Time Limits. [no change] ( l ) Professional Misconduct in Foreign Jurisdiction. (1) Notice of Discipline by a Foreign Jurisdiction. A member of The Florida Bar who has submitted a disciplinary resignation or otherwise surrendered a license to practice law in lieu of disciplinary sanction, or has been disbarred or suspended from the practice of law by a court or other authorized disciplinary agency of another state or by a federal court shall within 30 days after the effective date of the disciplinary resignation, disbarment or suspension file with the Supreme Court of Florida and the executive director of The Florida Bar a copy of the order or judgment effecting such disciplinary resignation, disbarment or suspension.(2) Effect of Adjudication or Discipline by a Foreign Jurisdiction. In cases of a final adjudication by a court or other authorized disciplinary agency of another jurisdiction, such adjudication of misconduct shall be sufficient basis for the filing of a complaint by The Florida Bar and assignment for hearing before a referee without a finding of probable cause under these rules. On petition of The Florida Bar supported by a copy of a final adjudication by a foreign court or disciplinary authority, the Supreme Court of Florida may issue an order suspending on an emergency basis the member who is the subject of the final adjudication. All of the conditions not in conflict with this rule applicable to issuance of emergency suspension orders elsewhere within these Rules Regulating The Florida Bar shall be applicable to orders entered under this rule. (m) Discipline Upon Removal From Judicial Office. (1) Notice of Removal . If an order of the Supreme Court of Florida removes a member of The Florida Bar from judicial office for judicial misconduct, the clerk of the supreme court shall forward a copy of the order of removal to the executive director of The Florida Bar. (2) Filing of Formal Complaint . Upon receipt of an order removing a member from judicial office for judicial misconduct, the bar may file a formal complaint with the court and seek appropriate discipline. (3) Admissibility of Order; Conclusive Proof of Facts . The order of removal shall be admissible in proceedings under these rules and shall be conclusive proof of the facts on which the judicial misconduct was found by the court. (4) Determination of Lawyer Misconduct . The issue of whether the facts establishing the judicial misconduct also support a finding of lawyer misconduct shall be determined by the referee based on the record of the proceedings.* * * RULE 3-7.4 GRIEVANCE COMMITTEE PROCEDURES (a) Notice of Hearing. [no change] (b) Complaint Filed With Grievance Committee. [no change] (c) Investigation. [no change] (d) Conduct of Proceedings. [no change] (e) No Delay for Civil or Criminal Proceedings. [no change] (f) Counsel and Investigators. [no change] (g) Quorum, Panels, and Vote. [no change] (h) Rights and Responsibilities of the Respondent. [no change] (i) Rights of the Complaining Witness. [no change] (j) Finding of No Probable Cause. [no change] (k) Letter Reports in No Probable Cause Cases. [no change] ( l ) Preparation, Forwarding, and Review of Grievance Committee Complaints. If a grievance committee finds probable cause, the bar counsel assigned to the committee shall promptly prepare a record of its investigation and a formal complaint. The record before the committee shall consist of all reports, correspondence, papers, and/or recordings furnished to or received from the respondent, and the transcript of grievance committee meetings or hearings, if the proceedings were attended by a court reporter; provided, however, that the committee may retire into private session to debate the issues involved and to reach a decision as to the action to be taken. The formal complaint shall be approved by the member of the committee who presided in the proceeding. The formal complaint shall be in such form as shall be prescribed by the board. If the presiding member of the grievance committee disagrees with the form of the complaint, the presiding member may direct bar counsel to make changes accordingly. If bar counsel does not agree with the changes, the matter shall be referred to the designated reviewer of the committee for appropriate action. When a formal complaint by a grievance committee is not referred to the designated reviewer, or returned to the grievance committee for further action, the formal complaint shall be promptly forwarded to and reviewed by staff counsel who shall file the formal complaint, and furnish a copy of the formal complaint to the respondent. A copy of the record shall be made available to the respondent at the respondent’s expense. If, at any time before the filing of a formal complaint, bar counsel, staff counsel, and the designated reviewer all agree that appropriate reasons indicate that the formal complaint should not be filed, the case may be returned to the grievance committee for further action. (m) Recommendation of Admonishment for Minor Misconduct. [no change] (n) Rejection of Admonishment. [no change] ( o )Recommendation of Diversion to Remedial Programs. [no change] (p) Preparation, Review, and Filing of Complaint. [no change]* * * RULE 3-7.6 PROCEDURES BEFORE A REFEREE (a) Referees. (1) Appointment . The chief justice shall have the power to appoint referees to try disciplinary cases and to delegate to a chief judge of a judicial circuit the power to appoint referees for duty in the chief judge’s circuit. Such appointees shall ordinarily be active county or circuit judges, but the chief justice may appoint retired judges. (2) Minimum Qualifications . To be eligible for appointment as a referee under this rule the judge must have previously served as a judicial referee in proceedings instituted under these rules before [the effective date of this rule], or must have received the referee training materials approved by the Supreme Court of Florida and certified to the chief judge that the training materials have been reviewed. (b) Trial by Referee. [no change] (c) Pretrial Conference. [no change] (d) Venue. [no change] (e) Style of Proceedings. [no change] (f) Nature of Proceedings. [no change] (g) Bar Counsel. [no change] (h) Pleadings. [no change] (i) Notice of Final Hearing. [no change] (j) The Respondent. [no change] (k) Complaining Witness. [no change] ( l ) Parol Evidence. [no change] (m) Referee’s Report. (1) Contents of Report. [no change](2) Filing. The referee’s report and record of proceedings shall in all cases be transmitted together to the Supreme Court of Florida. Copies of the report shall be served on the parties including staff counsel. Bar counsel will make a copy of the record, as furnished, available to other parties on request and payment of the actual costs of reproduction. The report of referee and record shall not be filed until the time for filing a motion to assess costs has expired and no motion has been filed or, if the motion was timely filed, until the motion has been considered and a ruling entered. (n) The Record. [no change] ( o ) Plea of Guilty by Respondent. [no change] (p) Cost of Review or Reproduction. [no change] (q) Costs. (1) Taxable Costs. [no change](2) Discretion of Referee. [no change](3) Assessment of Bar Costs. [no change](4) Assessment of Respondent’s Costs. [no change] (5) Time for Filing Motion to Assess Costs . A party shall file a statement of costs incurred in a referee proceeding and a request for payment of same within 15 days after written notice by the referee that the report of referee has been completed or at the time that a guilty plea for consent judgment is filed. Failure to timely file a motion, without good cause, shall be considered as a waiver of the right to request reimbursement of costs or to object to a request for reimbursement of costs. The party from whom costs are sought shall have 10 days from the date the motion was filed in which to serve an objection. Because costs may not be assessed against the respondent unless the bar is successful in some part and because costs may not be assessed against the bar unless the referee finds the lack of a justiciable issue of law or fact, this subdivision shall not be construed to require the filing of a motion to assess costs before the referee when doing so is not appropriate. Court Comment A comprehensive referee’s report under subdivision (m) is beneficial to a reviewing court so that the court need not make assumptions about the referee’s intent or return the report to the referee for clarification. The referee’s report should list and address each issue in the case and cite to available authority for the referee’s recommendations concerning guilt and discipline. Comment Provisions for assessment of costs in proceedings before the Supreme Court of Florida are addressed in rule 3-7.7. RULE 3-7.7 PROCEDURES BEFORE SUPREME COURT OF FLORIDAAll reports of a referee and all judgments entered in proceedings under these rules shall be subject to review by the Supreme Court of Florida in the following manner: (a) Right of Review. [no change] (b) Appointment of Bar Counsel. [no change] (c) Procedure for Review. Review by the Supreme Court of Florida shall be in accordance with the following procedures:(1) Time for Review. [no change](2) Record on Review. [no change](3) Briefs. [no change](4) Oral Argument. [no change](5) Burden. [no change](6) Judgment of Supreme Court of Florida. (A) Authority. After review, the Supreme Court of Florida shall enter an appropriate order or judgment. If no review is sought of a report of a referee entered under the rules and filed in the court, the findings of fact shall be deemed conclusive and the disciplinary measure recommended by the referee shall be the disciplinary measure imposed by the court, unless the court directs the parties to submit briefs or oral argument directed to the suitability of the disciplinary measure recommended by the referee. A referee’s report that becomes final when no review has been timely filed shall be reported in an order of the Supreme Court of Florida. (B) Form. The judgment of the court shall include, where appropriate, judgment in favor of: (i) the party to whom costs are awarded; (ii) the person(s) to whom restitution is ordered; or (iii) the person(s) to whom a fee is ordered to be forfeited. (7) Procedures on Motions to Tax Costs . The court may consider a motion to assess costs if the motion is filed within 10 days of the entry of the court’s order or opinion where the referee finds the respondent not guilty at trial and the supreme court, upon review, finds the respondent guilty of at least 1 rule violation and does not remand the case to the referee for further proceedings or where the respondent was found guilty at trial and the supreme court, upon review, finds the respondent not guilty of any rule violation. The party from whom costs are sought shall have 10 days from the date the motion was filed in which to serve an objection. Failure to timely file a petition for costs or to timely serve an objection, without good cause, shall be considered a waiver of request or objection to the costs and the court may enter an order without further proceedings. If an objection is timely filed, or the court otherwise directs, the motion shall be remanded to the referee. Upon remand, the referee shall file a supplemental report that shall include a statement of costs incurred and the manner in which the costs should be assessed. Any party may seek review of the supplemental report of referee in the same manner as provided for in this rule for other reports of the referee. (d) Precedence of Proceedings. [no change] (e) Extraordinary Writs. [no change] (f) Florida Rules of Appellate Procedure. [no change] (g) Contempt by Respondent. [no change] (h) Pending Disciplinary Cases. [no change] Comment Subdivision (c)(7) of this rule applies to situations which arise when a referee finds a respondent not guilty but the supreme court, on review, finds the respondent guilty and does not remand the case back to the referee for further proceedings. See, e.g., The Florida Bar v. Pape , 918 So.2d 240 (Fla. 2005). A similar situation may also occur where a respondent is found guilty at trial, but not guilty by the supreme court on review of the referee’s report and recommendation. * * * RULE 3-7.11 GENERAL RULE OF PROCEDURE (a) Time is Directory. [no change] (b) Process. [no change] (c) Notice in Lieu of Process. [no change] (d) Issuance of Subpoenas. Subpoenas for the attendance of witnesses and the production of documentary evidence other than before a circuit court shall be issued as follows:(1) Referees. [no change](2) Grievance Committees. [no change](3) Bar Counsel Investigations. Subpoenas for the attendance of witnesses and the production of documentary evidence before bar counsel when same is conducting an initial investigation shall be issued by the chair or vice – chair of a grievance committee to which the matter will be assigned, if appropriate. Such subpoenas may be served by an investigator employed by The Florida Bar or in the manner provided by law for the service of process.(4) After Grievance Committee Action, But Before Appointment of Referee. Subpoenas for the attendance of witnesses and the production of documentary evidence before bar counsel when same is conducting further investigation after action by a grievance committee, but before appointment of a referee, shall be issued by the chair or vice – chair of the grievance committee to which the matter was assigned. Such subpoenas may be served by an investigator employed by The Florida Bar or in the manner provided by law for the service of process.(5) Board of Governors. [no change](6) Confidential Proceedings. [no change](7) Contempt. (A) Generally. Any persons who without adequate excuse fail to obey such a subpoena served upon them may be cited for contempt of this court in the manner provided by this rule. (B) Subpoenas for Trust Accounting Records. Members of the bar are under an obligation to maintain trust accounting records as required by these rules and, as a condition of the privilege of practicing law in Florida, may not assert any privilege personal to the lawyer that may be applicable to production of such records in any disciplinary proceedings under these rules. (i) A respondent who has been found in willful noncompliance with a subpoena for trust accounting records may be cited for contempt under this rule only if the disciplinary agency that issued the subpoena shall have first found that no good cause existed for the respondent’s failure to comply. (ii) The disciplinary agency that issued the subpoena shall hear the issue of noncompliance and issue findings thereon within 30 days of a request for issuance of the notice of noncompliance.(8) Assistance to Other Lawyer Disciplinary Jurisdictions. [no change] (e) Oath of Witness. [no change] (f) Contempt. When a disciplinary agency, as defined elsewhere in these rules, finds that a person is in contempt under these rules, such person may be cited for contempt in the following manner: (1) Generally .( 1 A ) Petition for Contempt and Order to Show Cause. When a person is found in contempt by a disciplinary agency, bar counsel shall file a petition for contempt and order to show cause with the Supreme Court of Florida.( 2 B ) Order to Show Cause ; Suspension for Noncompliance with Subpoena for Trust Accounting Records. On review of a petition for contempt and order to show cause, the supreme court may issue an order directing the person to show cause why such person should not be held in contempt and appropriate sanctions imposed. On review of a petition for contempt and order to show cause for noncompliance with a trust accounting subpoena the supreme court may also issue an order suspending the respondent from the practice of law in Florida until such time as the member fully complies with the subpoena and any further order of the court.The order of the supreme court shall fix a time for a response. (C) Response to Order to Show Cause. (i) Generally. Any member subject to an order to show cause shall file a response as directed by the court. (ii) Noncompliance with a Subpoena for Trust Account Records. Any member subject to an order to show cause for noncompliance with a subpoena for trust accounting records may request the court: a. within 10 days of the filing of the petition for contempt and order to show cause, or such other time as the court may direct in the order to show cause, to withhold entry of an order of suspension; or b. at any time after entry of an order of suspension, to terminate or modify the order of suspension. The court may terminate, modify, or withhold entry of an order of suspension if the member establishes good cause for failure to comply with the subpoena for trust account records.( 3 D ) Failure to Respond to Order to Show Cause. Upon failure to timely respond to an order to show cause, the matters alleged in the petition shall be deemed admitted and the supreme court may enter a judgment of contempt and impose appropriate sanctions. Failure to respond may be an additional basis on which a judgment of contempt may be entered and sanctions imposed.( 4 E ) Reply of The Florida Bar. When a timely response to an order to show cause is filed, The Florida Bar shall have 10 days, or such other time as the supreme court may order, from the date of filing in which to file a reply.( 5 F ) Supreme Court Action. After expiration of the time to respond to an order to show cause and no response is timely filed, or after the reply of The Florida Bar has been filed, or the time therefore has expired without such filing, the supreme court shall review the matter and issue an appropriate judgment. Such judgment may include any sanction that a court may impose for contempt and, if the person found in contempt is a member of The Florida Bar, may include any disciplinary sanction authorized under these rules.If the supreme court requires factual findings, the supreme court may direct appointment of a referee as elsewhere provided in these rules. Proceedings for contempt referred to a referee shall be processed in the same manner as disciplinary proceedings under these rules, including but not limited to the procedures provided therein for conditional guilty pleas for consent judgments. If the court determines it necessary to refer a request to terminate, modify, or withhold entry of an order of suspension based on a petition for contempt in order to show cause for noncompliance with a subpoena for trust account records to a referee for receipt of evidence, the referee proceedings shall be expedited and conducted in the same manner as proceedings before a referee on a petition to terminate, modify, or withhold an order of emergency suspension, as elsewhere provided in these rules.( 6 G ) Preparation and Filing of Report of Referee and Record. The referee shall prepare and file a report and the record in cases brought under this rule. The procedures provided for in the rule on procedure before a referee elsewhere under these rules shall apply to the preparation, filing, and review of the record herein.( 7 H ) Appellate Review of Report of Referee. Any party to the contempt proceedings may seek review of the report of referee in the manner provided in the rule on appellate review of disciplinary proceedings under these rules. (2) Failure to Respond to Official Bar Inquiries . (A) Petition for Contempt and Order to Show Cause. When a respondent is found in contempt by a disciplinary agency for failure to respond to an official bar inquiry without good cause shown, bar counsel shall file a petition for contempt and order to show cause with the Supreme Court of Florida. (B) Response to Petition for Contempt and Order to Show Cause. The respondent shall have 10 days from the date of filing of a petition authorized by this subdivision in which to file a response. (C) Supreme Court Action. (i) Entry of Suspension Order. After a response has been filed, or the time for a response has expired, and unless otherwise ordered by the court, an order shall be entered suspending the respondent for failure to respond to an official bar inquiry until further order of the court. (ii) Assignment to Referee. If the supreme court requires factual findings, the supreme court may direct appointment of a referee as elsewhere provided in these rules. Proceedings for contempt referred to a referee shall be processed in the same manner as disciplinary proceedings under these rules, including but not limited to the provisions provided for conditional guilty pleas for consent judgments. (g) Court Reporters. [no change] (h) Disqualification as Trier and Attorney for Respondent Due to Conflict. [no change] (i) Proceedings After Disbarment. The respondent may consent to or the court may order further proceedings after disbarment, which may include: an audit of trust, operating, or personal bank accounts, the cost of which may be assessed as provided elsewhere in these rules; a requirement for the respondent to provide a financial affidavit attesting to personal and business finances; and maintenance of a current mailing address for a stated period of time.* * * RULE 3-7.13 INCAPACITY NOT RELATED TO MISCONDUCT (a) Proceedings Without Adjudication of Incompetence or Hospitalization Under the Florida Mental Health Act Classification and Effect of Incapacity . Whenever an attorney who has not been adjudged incompetent is incapable of practicing law because of physical or mental illness, incapacity, or other infirmity, the attorney may be classified as an inactive member and shall refrain from the practice of law for such reason even though no misconduct is alleged or proved. (b) Applicable Rules of Procedure. Proceedings under this rule shall be processed under the Rules of Discipline in the same manner as proceedings involving acts of misconduct. (c) Reinstatement to Practice. A member who has been classified as inactive under this rule may be reinstated in the same manner as in proceedings for reinstatement after suspension for acts of misconduct. ( b d ) Proceedings Upon Adjudication of Incompetence Incapacity or Hospitalization Under the Florida Mental Health Act or Under the Authority of Applicable Law . A n lawyer attorney who has been adjudicated insane or mentally incompetent as incapacitated from the practice of law or is hospitalized under the Florida Mental Health Act or the authority of other applicable law concerning the capability of an attorney to practice law shall may be classified as an inactive member and shall refrain from the practice of law. Upon receipt of notice that a member has been adjudicated incompetent as incapacitated or is hospitalized under the Florida Mental Health Act or the authority of other applicable law concerning the capability of an attorney to practice law, The Florida Bar shall file notice thereof with the Supreme Court of Florida. Thereafter the court shall issue an order classifying the member as an inactive member.If an order of restoration is entered by a court having jurisdiction or the lawyer attorney is discharged from hospitalization under the Florida Mental Health Act or the authority of other applicable law concerning the capability of an attorney to practice law, the lawyer attorney may be reinstated in the same manner as in proceedings for reinstatement after suspension for acts of misconduct. (e) Proceedings Upon Consent to Incapacity. An attorney may consent to incapacity not for misconduct in the same manner as provided in rule 3-7.9 of these Rules Regulating The Florida Bar. * * * RULE 3-7.17 VEXATIOUS CONDUCT AND LIMITATION ON FILINGS (a) Definition. Vexatious conduct is conduct that amounts to abuse of the bar disciplinary process by use of inappropriate, repetitive, or frivolous actions or communications of any kind directed at or concerning any participant or agency in the bar disciplinary process such as the complainant, the respondent, a grievance committee member, the grievance committee, the bar, the referee, or the Supreme Court of Florida, or an agent, servant, employee, or representative of these individuals or agencies. (b) Authority of the Court. Only the Supreme Court of Florida has the authority to enter an order under the provisions of this rule. (c) Procedure. (1) Commencement . Proceedings under this rule may be commenced on the court’s own motion, by a report and recommendation of the referee, or a petition of The Florida Bar, acting for itself, the grievance committees or their members, authorized by its executive committee and signed by its executive director, demonstrating that an individual has abused the disciplinary process by engaging in vexatious conduct. The court may enter an order directing the individual(s) engaging in the vexatious conduct to show good cause why the court should not enter an order prohibiting continuation of the conduct and/or imposing limitations on future conduct. (2) Order To Show Cause . The court, acting on its own motion, or on the recommendation of the referee or petition of the bar, may enter an order directing an individual to show cause why the court should not enter an order prohibiting continuation of the vexatious conduct and/or imposing limitations on future conduct. A copy of the order shall be served on the referee (if one has been appointed), the respondent, and The Florida Bar. (3) Response to Order to Show Cause . The individual(s) alleged to have engaged in vexatious conduct shall have 15 days from service of the order to show cause, or such other time as the court may allow, in which to file a response. Failure to file a response in the time provided, without good cause, shall be a default and the court may, without further proceedings, enter an order prohibiting or limiting future communications or filings as set forth in this rule, or imposing any other sanction(s) that the court is authorized to impose. A copy of any response shall be served on a referee (if one has been appointed), the respondent, and The Florida Bar. (4) Reply . The referee (if one has been appointed), the respondent, and The Florida Bar shall have 10 days from the filing of a response to an order to show cause entered under this rule in which to file a reply. Failure to file a reply in the time provided, without good cause, shall prohibit a reply. (5) Referral to Referee . The court may refer proceedings under this rule to a referee for taking testimony and receipt of evidence. Proceedings before a referee under this subdivision shall be conducted in the same manner as proceedings before a referee as set forth in rule 3-7.6 of these rules. (d) Court Order. (1) Rejection of Communications . An order issued under this rule may contain provisions permitting the clerk of the Supreme Court of Florida, referee, The Florida Bar, and/or any other individual(s) or entity(ies) specified in the order to reject or block vexatious communications as specifically designated in the order. The order may authorize the individual(s), entity(ies), or group(s) specified in the order to block telephone calls made or electronic mail sent by an individual subject to an order issued under the authority of this rule. (2) Denial of Physical Access . The order may deny access to specific physical areas or locations to an individual subject to an order issued under the authority of this rule. The order may also allow the individual(s), entity(ies), or group(s) specified in the order to deny access to those areas or locations. (3) Prohibition of or Limitation on Filings . The order of the court may include a requirement that an individual subject to an order issued under the authority of this rule may be prohibited from submitting any future filings unless they are submitted solely by a member of The Florida Bar who is eligible to practice law or another person authorized to appear in the proceedings. If a person who is subject to an order issued under this rule is a member of The Florida Bar, that member may be prohibited from co-signing and submitting future filings. (e) Violation of Order. Violation of an order issued under this rule shall be considered as a matter of contempt and processed as provided elsewhere in these Rules Regulating The Florida Bar. Comment This rule is enacted to address circumstances involving repetitive conduct of the type that goes beyond conduct that is merely contentious and unsuccessful. This rule addresses conduct that negatively affects the finite resources of our court system, resources that must be reserved for resolution of genuine disputes. As recognized by the United States Supreme Court, “every paper filed with the Clerk of this Court, no matter how repetitious or frivolous, requires some portion of the institution’s limited resources. A part of the court’s responsibility is to see that these resources are allocated in a way that promotes the interests of justice.” In re McDonald , 489 U.S. 180, 184 (1989). This concept has also been recognized in bar disciplinary proceedings by the Supreme Court of Florida when the court stated: “Kandekore’s actions create a drain on the Court’s limited time, for with each filing the Court has, as it must, reviewed and considered repetitious and meritless arguments. Therefore, we conclude that a limitation on Kandekore’s ability to file repeated challenges to his long-final sanctions would further the constitutional right of access because it would permit this Court to devote its finite resources to the consideration of legitimate claims filed by others.” The Florida Bar v. Kandekore , 932 So.2d 1005, 1006 (Fla. 2006). Kandekore engaged in vexatious conduct after the court entered an order of disbarment. The Supreme Court of Florida has also limited the ability of a lawyer to file further pleadings while that lawyer’ s disciplinary case(s) were in active litigation. The Florida Bar v. John Bruce Thompson , 979 So.2d 917 (Fla. 2008). * * * CHAPTER 4. RULES OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT SUBCHAPTER 4-1. CLIENT-LAWYER RELATIONSHIP * * * RULE 4-1.5 FEES AND COSTS FOR LEGAL SERVICES (a) Illegal, Prohibited, or Clearly Excessive Fees and Costs. [no change] (b) Factors to Be Considered in Determining Reasonable Fees and Costs. [no change] (c) Consideration of All Factors. [no change] (d) Enforceability of Fee Contracts. [no change] (e) Duty to Communicate Basis or Rate of Fee or Costs to Client. When the lawyer has not regularly represented the client, the basis or rate of the fee and costs shall be communicated to the client, preferably in writing, before or within a reasonable time after commencing the representation. A fee for legal services that is nonrefundable in any part shall be confirmed in writing and shall explain the intent of the parties as to the nature and amount of the nonrefundable fee. The test of reasonableness found in subdivision (b), above, applies to all fees for legal services without regard to their characterization by the parties.The fact that a contract may not be in accord with these rules is an issue between the attorney and client and a matter of professional ethics, but is not the proper basis for an action or defense by an opposing party when fee-shifting litigation is involved. (f) Contingent Fees. [no change] (g) Division of Fees Between Lawyers in Different Firms. [no change] (h) Credit Plans. [no change] (i) Arbitration Clauses. [no change] Comment Bases or rate of fees and costsWhen the lawyer has regularly represented a client, they ordinarily will have evolved an understanding concerning the basis or rate of the fee. The conduct of the lawyer and client in prior relationships is relevant when analyzing the requirements of this rule. In a new client-lawyer relationship, however, an understanding as to the fee should be promptly established. It is not necessary to recite all the factors that underlie the basis of the fee but only those that are directly involved in its computation. It is sufficient, for example, to state the basic rate is an hourly charge or a fixed amount or an estimated amount, or to identify the factors that may be taken into account in finally fixing the fee. Although hourly billing or a fixed fee may be the most common bases for computing fees in an area of practice, these may not be the only bases for computing fees. A lawyer should, where appropriate, discuss alternative billing methods with the client. When developments occur during the representation that render an earlier estimate substantially inaccurate, a revised estimate should be provided to the client. A written statement concerning the fee reduces the possibility of misunderstanding. Furnishing the client with a simple memorandum or a copy of the lawyer’s customary fee schedule is sufficient if the basis or rate of the fee is set forth.General overhead should be accounted for in a lawyer’s fee, whether the lawyer charges hourly, flat, or contingent fees. Filing fees, transcription, and the like should be charged to the client at the actual amount paid by the lawyer. A lawyer may agree with the client to charge a reasonable amount for in-house costs or services. In-house costs include items such as copying, faxing, long distance telephone, and computerized research. In-house services include paralegal services, investigative services, accounting services, and courier services. The lawyer should sufficiently communicate with the client regarding the costs charged to the client so that the client understands the amount of costs being charged or the method for calculation of those costs. Costs appearing in sufficient detail on closing statements and approved by the parties to the transaction should meet the requirements of this rule.Rule 4-1.8(e) should be consulted regarding a lawyer’s providing financial assistance to a client in connection with litigation. In order to avoid misunderstandings concerning the nature of legal fees, written documentation is required when any aspect of the fee is nonrefundable. A written contract provides a method to resolve misunderstandings and to protect the lawyer in the event of continued misunderstanding. Rule 4-1.5 (e) does not require the client to sign a written document memorializing the terms of the fee. A letter from the lawyer to the client setting forth the basis or rate of the fee and the intent of the parties in regard to the nonrefundable nature of the fee is sufficient to meet the requirements of this rule. All legal fees and contracts for legal fees are subject to the requirements of the Rules Regulating The Florida Bar. In particular, the test for reasonableness of legal fees found in rule 4-1.5(b) applies to all types of legal fees and contracts related to them. A retainer is a sum of money paid to a lawyer to guarantee the lawyer’s future availability. A retainer is not payment for past legal services and is not payment for future services. A retainer is property of the lawyer and the funds should be placed in the lawyer’s account and not in a trust account. A flat fee is a sum of money paid to a lawyer for all legal services to be provided in the representation. A flat fee is the property of the lawyer and the funds should be placed in the lawyer’s account and not in a trust account. An advanced fee is a sum of money paid to the lawyer against which the lawyer will bill the client as legal services are provided. An advanced fee is the property of the client and must be placed in the lawyer’s trust account. [no further changes] * * * RULE 4-1.8 CONFLICT OF INTEREST; PROHIBITED AND OTHER TRANSACTIONS (a) Business Transactions With or Acquiring Interest Adverse to Client. [no change] (b) Using Information to Disadvantage of Client. [no change] (c) Gifts to Lawyer or Lawyer’s Family. [no change] (d) Acquiring Literary or Media Rights. [no change] (e) Financial Assistance to Client. [no change] (f) Compensation by Third Party. [no change] (g) Settlement of Claims for Multiple Clients. [no change] (h) Limiting Liability for Malpractice. [no change] (i) Acquiring Proprietary Interest in Cause of Action. [no change] (j) Representation of Insureds. [no change] (k) Imputation of Conflicts. Comment Business transactions between client and lawyer [no change] Gifts to lawyersA lawyer may accept a gift from a client, if the transaction meets general standards of fairness and if the lawyer does not prepare the instrument bestowing the gift. For example, a simple gift such as a present given at a holiday or as a token of appreciation is permitted. If a client offers the lawyer a more substantial gift, subdivision (c) does not prohibit the lawyer from accepting it, although such a gift may be voidable by the client under the doctrine of undue influence, which treats client gifts as presumptively fraudulent. In any event, due to concerns about overreaching and imposition on clients, a lawyer may not suggest that a substantial gift be made to the lawyer or for the lawyer’s benefit, except where the lawyer is related to the client as set forth in subdivision (c). If effectuation of a substantial gift requires preparing a legal instrument such as a will or conveyance, however, the client should have the detached advice that another lawyer can provide and the lawyer should advise the client to seek advice of independent counsel. Subdivision (c) recognizes an exception where the client is a relative of related by blood or marriage to the donee or the gift is not substantial.This rule does not prohibit a lawyer from seeking to have the lawyer or a partner or associate of the lawyer named as personal representative of the client’s estate or to another potentially lucrative fiduciary position. Nevertheless, such appointments will be subject to the general conflict of interest provision in rule 4-1.7 when there is a significant risk that the lawyer’s interest in obtaining the appointment will materially limit the lawyer’s independent professional judgment in advising the client concerning the choice of a personal representative or other fiduciary. In obtaining the client’s informed consent to the conflict, the lawyer should advise the client concerning the nature and extent of the lawyer’s financial interest in the appointment, as well as the availability of alternative candidates for the position. Literary rights [no change] Financial assistanceLawyers may not subsidize lawsuits or administrative proceedings brought on behalf of their clients, including making or guaranteeing loans to their clients for living expenses, because to do so would encourage clients to pursue lawsuits that might not otherwise be brought and because such assistance gives lawyers too great a financial stake in the litigation. These dangers do not warrant a prohibition on a lawyer advancing a client court costs and litigation expenses, including the expenses of diagnostic medical examination used for litigation purposes and the reasonable costs of obtaining and presenting evidence, because these advances are virtually indistinguishable from contingent fees and help ensure access to the courts. Similarly, an exception allowing lawyers representing indigent clients to pay court costs and litigation expenses regardless of whether these funds will be repaid is warranted. Person paying for lawyer’s services [no change] Aggregate settlements [no change] Acquisition of interest in litigation [no change] Representation of insureds [no change] Imputation of prohibitions [no change] RULE 4-1.9 CONFLICT OF INTEREST; FORMER CLIENTA lawyer who has formerly represented a client in a matter shall not thereafter: (a) represent another person in the same or a substantially related matter in which that person’s interests are materially adverse to the interests of the former client unless the former client gives informed consent; or (b) use information relating to the representation to the disadvantage of the former client except as rule 4-1.6 these rules would permit or require with respect to a client or when the information has become generally known . ; or (c) reveal information relating to the representation except as these rules would permit or require with respect to a client. Comment Television is now one of the most powerful media for conveying information to the public; a blanket prohibition against television advertising, therefore, would impede the flow of information about legal services to many sectors of the public. However, the unique characteristics of electronic media, including the pervasiveness of television and radio, the ease with which these media are abused, and the passiveness of the viewer or listener, make the electronic media especially subject to regulation in the public interest. Therefore, greater restrictions on the manner of television and radio advertising are justified than might be appropriate for advertisements in the other media. To prevent abuses, including potential interferences with the fair and proper administration of justice and the creation of incorrect public perceptions or assumptions about the manner in which our legal system works, and to promote the public’s confidence in the legal profession and this country’s system of justice while not interfering with the free flow of useful information to prospective users of legal services, it is necessary also to restrict the techniques used in television and radio advertising.This rule is designed to ensure that the advertising is not misleading and does not create unreasonable or unrealistic expectations about the results the lawyer may be able to obtain in any particular case, and to encourage the provision of useful information to the public about the availability and terms of legal services. Thus, the rule allows lawyer advertisements in which a lawyer who is a member of the advertising firm personally appears to speak regarding the legal services the lawyer or law firm is available to perform, the fees to be charged for such services, and the background and experience of the lawyer or law firm. The prohibition against false, misleading, or manipulative advertising is intended to preclude, among other things, the use of scenes creating suspense, scenes containing exaggerations, or situations calling for legal services, scenes creating consumer problems through characterization and dialogue ending with the lawyer solving the problem, and the audio or video portrayal of an event or situation. Although dialogue is not necessarily prohibited under this rule, advertisements using dialogue are more likely to be misleading or manipulative than those advertisements using a single lawyer to articulate factual information about the lawyer or law firm’s services. The prohibition against any background sound other than instrumental music precludes, for example, the sound of sirens or car crashes and the use of jingles. RULE 4-7.7 EVALUATION OF ADVERTISEMENTS (a) Filing and Advisory Opinion. Subject to the exemptions stated in rule 4-7.8, any lawyer who advertises services through any public media or through written communications sent on an unsolicited basis to prospective clients shall file a copy of each such advertisement with The Florida Bar at its headquarters address in Tallahassee for evaluation of compliance with these rules.(1) Television and Radio Advertisements . The following shall apply to television and radio advertisements :(A) Prior Review of Television and Radio Advertisements . All television and radio advertisements required to be filed for review must be filed at least 15 20 days prior to the lawyer’s first dissemination of the advertisement so as to provide a 15-day evaluation period plus 5 days’ mailing time. (B) Voluntary Prior Filing. A lawyer may obtain an advisory opinion concerning the compliance of a contemplated television or radio advertisement prior to production of the advertisement by submitting to The Florida Bar a script, a printed copy of any on-screen text, a description of any visual images to be used in a television advertisement, and the fee specified in this rule. The voluntary prior submission shall not satisfy the filing and evaluation requirements of these rules, but The Florida Bar shall charge no additional fee for evaluation of the completed advertisement for which a complete voluntary prior filing has been made.(C) Evaluation of Advertisements. The Florida Bar shall evaluate all advertisements filed with it pursuant to this rule for compliance with the applicable rules set forth in this subchapter 4-7. The Florida Bar shall complete its evaluation and shall notify the lawyer whether the advertisement is in compliance with subchapter 4-7 within 15 days of receipt of a complete filing plus 5 days’ mailing time. If The Florida Bar does not send any communication to the filer within 15 days of receipt of a complete filing, the advertisement will be deemed approved.(D) Substantiating Information. [no change](E) Notice of Evaluation; Effect of Use of Advertisement. [no change](F) Reliance on Notice of Compliance. A finding of compliance by The Florida Bar in television and radio advertisements shall be binding on The Florida Bar in a grievance proceeding unless the advertisement contains a misrepresentation that is not apparent from the face of the advertisement.(2) Other Advertisements . The following shall apply to advertisements other than television and radio :(A) Filing and Review. [no change](B) Voluntary Prior Filing. [no change](C) Evaluation of Advertisements. [no change](D) Substantiating Information. [no change](E) Notice of Noncompliance. [no change](F) Reliance on Notice of Compliance. A finding of compliance by The Florida Bar shall be binding on The Florida Bar in a grievance proceeding, unless the advertisement contains a misrepresentation that is not apparent from the face of the advertisement. (b) Contents of Filing. A filing with The Florida Bar as required or permitted by subdivision (a) shall consist of:(1) a copy of the advertisement or communication in the form or forms in which it is to be disseminated and is readily capable of duplication by The Florida Bar (e.g., videotapes, audiotapes, print media, photographs of outdoor advertising);(2) a transcript, if the advertisement or communication is on videotape or audiotape;(3) a printed copy of all text used in the advertisement , including both spoken language and on-screen text ;(4) an accurate English translation, if the advertisement appears in a language other than English;(5) a sample envelope in which the written communication will be enclosed, if the communication is to be mailed;(6) a statement listing all media in which the advertisement or communication will appear, the anticipated frequency of use of the advertisement or communication in each medium in which it will appear, and the anticipated time period during which the advertisement or communication will be used; and(7) a fee paid to The Florida Bar, in an amount of $150 for submissions timely filed as provided in subdivision (a), or $250 for submissions not timely filed. This fee shall be used to offset the cost of evaluation and review of advertisements submitted under these rules and the cost of enforcing these rules. (c) Change of Circumstances; Refiling Requirement. [no change] (d) Maintaining Copies of Advertisements. [no change] Comment Every citizen of the state should have ready access to the legal system. A person’s access to the legal system is enhanced by the assistance of a lawyer qualified to handle that person’s legal needs. Many of the citizens of the state who are potential consumers of legal services encounter difficulty in identifying and locating lawyers who are willing and qualified to consult with them about their legal needs. Lawyer referral services can facilitate the identification and intelligent selection of lawyers qualified to render assistance. However, because a potential for abuse exists, the participation of lawyers in referral services must be regulated to ensure protection of the public.It is in the public interest that a person seeking the assistance of counsel receive accurate information to select or be matched with counsel qualified to render the needed services. Therefore, a lawyer should not participate in a lawyer referral service that communicates misleading information to the public or that directly contacts prospective clients about available legal services in a manner that constitutes impermissible solicitation.One who avails oneself of legal services is well served only if those services are rendered by a lawyer who exercises independent legal judgment. The division or sharing of a fee risks the creation of an obligation that impairs a lawyer’s ability to exercise independent legal judgment. Therefore, the public interest usually compels the ethical prohibition against the division or sharing of fees and that ethical prohibition should likewise apply to the division or sharing of fees with a lawyer referral service. The prohibition does not extend to the lawyer’s paying a pre-arranged, fixed-sum participation fee. Furthermore, the prohibition does not apply when the referring agency is a not-for-profit service operated by a bona fide state or local bar association under the supervision of and approved by The Florida Bar in order to ensure that such service fulfills the public-interest purposes of a lawyer referral service and to ensure that the risk of impairment of the lawyer’s ability to exercise independent legal judgment is in that circumstance minimal.It is in the public interest that a person receive legal services only from someone who is qualified to render them. Lawyers should strive to prevent harm resulting from the rendering of legal services by persons not legally qualified to do so. Therefore, a lawyer should not participate in a lawyer referral service that refers clients to persons not lawfully permitted to practice law in Florida when the services to be rendered constitute the practice of law in Florida.The quasi-institutionalization of legal services by a lawyer referral service implies that the service has screened the qualifications and financial responsibility of its participating lawyers. That implication may be misleading and does not exist when a prospective client directly selects a lawyer at arm’s length. Therefore, it is in the public interest that only lawyers who have established a certain amount of financial responsibility for professional liability participate in a lawyer referral service. Accordingly, a lawyer should participate in a lawyer referral service only if the service requires proof of that financial responsibility.To enable The Florida Bar to fulfill its obligation to protect the public from unethical or other improper conduct by those who practice law in Florida, The Florida Bar must have available to it the identity of all lawyers participating in a lawyer referral service. Therefore, a lawyer should participate in a lawyer referral service only if the service furnishes The Florida Bar with the names of its participating lawyers and complies with all other applicable rules. * * * SUBCHAPTER 4-8. MAINTAINING THE INTEGRITY OF THE PROFESSION * * * RULE 4-8.4 MISCONDUCTA lawyer shall not: (a) – (g) [no change]Except as stated otherwise herein or in the applicable rules, all times for response shall be calculated as provided elsewhere in these Rules Regulating The Florida Bar and may be extended or shortened by the inquirer bar counsel or the disciplinary agency making the official inquiry upon good cause shown ; . Failure to respond to an official inquiry with no good cause shown may be a matter of contempt and processed in accordance with rule 3-7.11(f) of these Rules Regulating The Florida Bar. (h) [no change] (i) engage in sexual conduct with a client or a representative of a client that exploits or adversely affects the interests of the client or the lawyer-client relationship . including, but not limited to: (1) requiring or demanding sexual relations with a client or a representative of a client incident to or as a condition of a legal representation; (2) employing coercion, intimidation, or undue influence in entering into sexual relations with a client or a representative of a client; or (3) continuing to represent a client if the lawyer’s sexual relations with the client or a representative of the client cause the lawyer to render incompetent representation. If the sexual conduct commenced after the lawyer-client relationship was formed it shall be presumed that the sexual conduct exploits or adversely affects the interests of the client or the lawyer-client relationship. A lawyer may rebut this presumption by proving by a preponderance of the evidence that the sexual conduct did not exploit or adversely affect the interests of the client or the lawyer-client relationship. The prohibition and presumption stated in this rule do not apply to a lawyer in the same firm as another lawyer representing the client if the lawyer involved in the sexual conduct does not personally provide legal services to the client and is screened from access to the file concerning the legal representation. Comment Lawyers are subject to discipline when they violate or attempt to violate the Rules of Professional Conduct, knowingly assist or induce another to do so, or do so through the acts of another, as when they request or instruct an agent to do so on the lawyer’s behalf. Subdivision (a), however, does not prohibit a lawyer from advising a client concerning action the client is legally entitled to take, provided that the client is not used to indirectly violate the Rules of Professional Conduct.Many kinds of illegal conduct reflect adversely on fitness to practice law, such as offenses involving fraud and the offense of willful failure to file an income tax return. However, some kinds of offense carry no such implication. Traditionally, the distinction was drawn in terms of offenses involving “moral turpitude.” That concept can be construed to include offenses concerning some matters of personal morality, such as adultery and comparable offenses, that have no specific connection to fitness for the practice of law. Although a lawyer is personally answerable to the entire criminal law, a lawyer should be professionally answerable only for offenses that indicate lack of those characteristics relevant to law practice. Offenses involving violence, dishonesty, or breach of trust , or serious interference with the administration of justice are in that category. A pattern of repeated offenses, even ones of minor significance when considered separately, can indicate indifference to legal obligation.A lawyer may refuse to comply with an obligation imposed by law upon a good faith belief that no valid obligation exists. The provisions of rule 4-1.2(d) concerning a good faith challenge to the validity, scope, meaning, or application of the law apply to challenges of legal regulation of the practice of law.Subdivision (c) recognizes instances where lawyers in criminal law enforcement agencies or regulatory agencies advise others about or supervise others in undercover investigations, and provides an exception to allow the activity without the lawyer engaging in professional misconduct. The exception acknowledges current, acceptable practice of these agencies. Although the exception appears in this rule, it is also applicable to rules 4-4.1 and 4-4.3. However, nothing in the rule allows the lawyer to engage in such conduct if otherwise prohibited by law or rule.Subdivision (d) of this rule proscribes conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice. Such proscription includes the prohibition against discriminatory conduct committed by a lawyer while performing duties in connection with the practice of law. The proscription extends to any characteristic or status that is not relevant to the proof of any legal or factual issue in dispute. Such conduct, when directed towards litigants, jurors, witnesses, court personnel, or other lawyers, whether based on race, ethnicity, gender, religion, national origin, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, age, socioeconomic status, employment, physical characteristic, or any other basis, subverts the administration of justice and undermines the public’s confidence in our system of justice, as well as notions of equality. This subdivision does not prohibit a lawyer from representing a client as may be permitted by applicable law, such as, by way of example, representing a client accused of committing discriminatory conduct.Lawyers holding public office assume legal responsibilities going beyond those of other citizens. A lawyer’s abuse of public office can suggest an inability to fulfill the professional role of attorney. The same is true of abuse of positions of private trust such as trustee, executor, administrator, guardian, or agent and officer, director, or manager of a corporation or other organization.A lawyer’s obligation to respond to an inquiry by a disciplinary agency is stated in subdivision (g) of this rule and subdivision (h)(2) of rule 3-7.6 (h)(2). While response is mandatory, the lawyer may deny the charges or assert any available privilege or immunity or interpose any disability that prevents disclosure of a certain matter. A response containing a proper invocation thereof is sufficient under the Rules Regulating The Florida Bar. This obligation is necessary to ensure the proper and efficient operation of the disciplinary system.Subdivision (h) of this rule was added to make consistent the treatment of attorneys who fail to pay child support with the treatment of other professionals who fail to pay child support, in accordance with the provisions of section 61.13015, Florida Statutes. That section provides for the suspension or denial of a professional license due to delinquent child support payments after all other available remedies for the collection of child support have been exhausted. Likewise, subdivision (h) of this rule should not be used as the primary means for collecting child support, but should be used only after all other available remedies for the collection of child support have been exhausted. Before a grievance may be filed or a grievance procedure initiated under this subdivision, the court that entered the child support order must first make a finding of willful refusal to pay. The child support obligation at issue under this rule includes both domestic (Florida) and out-of-state (URESA) child support obligations, as well as arrearages.Subdivision (i) proscribes exploitation of the client and or the lawyer-client relationship by means of commencement of sexual conduct. The lawyer-client relationship is grounded on mutual trust. A sexual relationship that exploits that trust compromises the lawyer-client relationship. For purposes of this subdivision, client means an individual, or a representative of the client, including but not limited to a duly authorized constituent of a corporate or other non-personal entity, and lawyer refers only to the lawyer(s) engaged in the legal representation and not other members of the law firm. Attorneys have a duty to exercise independent professional judgment on behalf of clients. Engaging in sexual relationships with clients has the capacity to impair the exercise of that judgment. Sexual conduct between a lawyer and client violates this rule, regardless of when the sexual conduct began when compared to the commencement of the lawyer-client relationship, if the sexual conduct exploits the lawyer-client relationship, negatively affects the client’s interest, creates a conflict of interest between the lawyer and client, or negatively affects the exercise of the lawyer’s independent professional judgment in representing the client. Subdivision (i) creates a presumption that sexual conduct between a lawyer and client exploits or adversely affects the interests of the client or the lawyer-client relationship if the sexual conduct is entered into after the lawyer-client relationship begins. A lawyer charged with a violation of this rule may rebut this presumption by a preponderance of the evidence that the sexual conduct did not exploit the lawyer-client relationship, negatively affect the client’s interest, create a conflict of interest between the lawyer and client, or negatively affect the exercise of the lawyer’s independent professional judgment in representing the client. For purposes of this rule, a “representative of a client” is an agent of the client who supervises, directs, or regularly consults with the organization’s lawyer concerning a client matter or has authority to obligate the organization with respect to the matter, or whose act or omission in connection with the matter may be imputed to the organization for purposes of civil or criminal liability. * * * CHAPTER 5. RULES REGULATING TRUST ACCOUNTS SUBCHAPTER 5-1. GENERALLY RULE 5-1.1 TRUST ACCOUNTS (a) Nature of Money or Property Entrusted to Attorney. [no change] (b) Application of Trust Funds or Property to Specific Purpose. [no change] (c) Liens Permitted. [no change] (d) Controversies as to Amount of Fees. [no change] (e) Notice of Receipt of Trust Funds; Delivery; Accounting. [no change] (f) Disputed Ownership of Trust Funds. [no change] (g) Interest on Trust Accounts (IOTA) Program. (1) Definitions. As used herein, the term:(A) “nominal or short term” describes funds of a client or third person that, pursuant to subdivision (3), below, the lawyer has determined cannot practicably be invested for the benefit of the client or third person earn income for the client or third person in excess of the costs to secure the income ;(B) [no change](C) [no change](D) [no change](E) “Interest or dividend-bearing trust account” means a federally insured checking account or investment product, including a daily financial institution repurchase agreement or a money market fund. A daily financial institution repurchase agreement must be fully collateralized by, and an open-end money market fund must consist solely of, United States Government Securities. A daily financial institution repurchase agreement may be established only with an eligible institution that is deemed to be “well capitalized” or “adequately capitalized” as defined by applicable federal statutes and regulations. An open-end money market fund must hold itself out as a money market fund as defined by applicable federal statutes and regulations under the Investment Company Act of 1940, and have total assets of at least $250 ,000,000 million. The funds covered by this rule shall be subject to withdrawal upon request and without delay.(2) Required Participation. All nominal or short-term funds belonging to clients or third persons that are placed in trust with any member of The Florida Bar practicing law from an office or other business location within the state of Florida shall be deposited into one or more IOTA accounts, unless the funds may earn income for the client or third person in excess of the costs incurred to secure the income, except as provided elsewhere in this chapter. Only trust funds that are nominal or short term shall be deposited into an IOTA account. The member shall certify annually, in writing, that the member is in compliance with, or is exempt from, the provisions of this rule.(3) Determination of Nominal or Short-Term Funds. [no change](4) Notice to Foundation. [no change](5) Eligible Institution Participation in IOTA. [no change](6) Small Fund Amounts. [no change](7) Confidentiality and Disclosure. [no change] (h) Interest on Funds That Are Not Nominal or Short-Term. A lawyer who holds funds for a client or third person and who determines that the funds are not nominal or short-term as defined elsewhere in this subchapter shall not receive benefit from interest on funds held in trust. (i) Unidentifiable Trust Fund Accumulations and Trust Funds Held for Missing Owners. [no change] (j) Disbursement Against Uncollected Funds. [no change] (k) Overdraft Protection Prohibited. An attorney shall not authorize overdraft protection for any account that contains trust funds. Comment [no change]* * * RULE 4-1.18 DUTIES TO PROSPECTIVE CLIENT (a) Prospective Client. [no change] (b) Confidentiality of Information. [no change] (c) Subsequent Representation. [no change] (d) Permissible Representation. [no change] Comment center_img [no change] RULE 4-7.5 ADVERTISEMENTS IN THE ELECTRONIC MEDIA OTHER THAN COMPUTER-ACCESSED COMMUNICATIONS (a) Generally. [no change] (b) Appearance on Television or Radio. Advertisements on the electronic media such as television and radio shall conform to the requirements of this rule. (1) Prohibited Content. Television and radio advertisement s shall not contain : (A) any feature that is deceptive, misleading, manipulative, or that is likely to confuse the viewer ; . (B) any spokesperson’s voice or image that is recognizable to the public; or (C) any background sound other than instrumental music. (2) Permissible Content . Television and radio advertisements may contain: (A) images that otherwise conform to the requirements of these rules; or (B) a non-attorney spokesperson speaking on behalf of the lawyer or law firm, as long as the spokesperson is not a celebrity recognizable to the public. If a spokesperson is used, the spokesperson shall provide a spoken disclosure identifying the spokesperson as a spokesperson and disclosing that the spokesperson is not a lawyer. Comment This rule has a dual purpose: to enhance the court’s and the bar’s ability to monitor advertising practices for the protection of the public and to assist members of the bar to conform their advertisements to the requirements of these rules.Television and radio advertisements are a special form of media requiring special regulation. The unique characteristics of electronic media, including the pervasiveness of television and radio, the numbers of viewers reached by the electronic media, the ease with which these media are abused, the passiveness of the viewer or listener, the short span of usage of individual television and radio advertisements, and the inability of the bar to patrol the airwaves, make the electronic media especially subject to regulation in the public interest. Advertisements in television and radio have short lifespans, sometimes running their course within weeks. Television and radio advertisements can reach thousands of viewers even with one showing. Therefore, review of electronic media prior to its use is justified in electronic media, but may not be appropriate for advertisements in the other media. Upon receiving a complete filing, prior to a television or radio advertisement’s first use, The Florida Bar will advise the filing lawyer in writing whether the advertisement complies with subchapter 4-7. The opinion will be binding on The Florida Bar in a grievance proceeding, unless the advertisement contains a misrepresentation that is not apparent from the face of the advertisement.For all other advertisements required to be filed for review, the rule gives lawyers the option of submitting their advertisements to The Florida Bar for review prior to first use or submitting their advertisements at the time of first use. In either event, The Florida Bar will advise the filing lawyer in writing whether the advertisement appears to comply with the rules. The Florida Bar’s opinion will be binding on The Florida Bar in a grievance proceeding. A lawyer who wishes to obtain a safe harbor from discipline can, therefore, submit the lawyer’s advertisement and obtain The Florida Bar’s opinion prior to disseminating the advertisement. A lawyer who voluntarily files an advertisement and obtains a notice of compliance is therefore immune from grievance liability unless the advertisement contains a misrepresentation that is not apparent from the face of the advertisement. A lawyer who wishes to be able to rely on The Florida Bar’s opinion as demonstrating the lawyer’s good faith effort to comply with these rules has the responsibility of supplying The Florida Bar with all information material to a determination of whether an advertisement is false or misleading. * * * RULE 4-7.10 LAWYER REFERRAL SERVICES (a) When Lawyers May Accept Referrals. A lawyer shall not accept referrals from a lawyer referral service , and it shall be a violation of these Rules Regulating The Florida Bar to do so, unless the service:(1) engages in no communication with the public and in no direct contact with prospective clients in a manner that would violate the Rules of Professional Conduct if the communication or contact were made by the lawyer;(2) receives no fee or charge that constitutes a division or sharing of fees, unless the service is a not-for-profit service approved by The Florida Bar pursuant to chapter 8 of these rules;(3) refers clients only to persons lawfully permitted to practice law in Florida when the services to be rendered constitute the practice of law in Florida;(4) carries or requires each lawyer participating in the service to carry professional liability insurance in an amount not less than $100,000 per claim or occurrence;(5) furnishes The Florida Bar, on a quarterly basis, with the names and Florida bar membership numbers of all lawyers participating in the service; and(6) furnishes The Florida Bar, on a quarterly basis, the names of all persons authorized to act on behalf of the service;(7) responds in writing, within 15 days, to any official inquiry by bar counsel when bar counsel is seeking information described in this subdivision or conducting an investigation into the conduct of the service or an attorney who accepts referrals from the service;(8) neither represents nor implies to the public that the service is endorsed or approved by The Florida Bar, unless the service is subject to chapter 8 of these rules;(9) uses its actual legal name or a registered fictitious name in all communications with the public; and(10) affirmatively states in all advertisements that it is a lawyer referral service. (b) Responsibility of Lawyer. A lawyer who accepts referrals from a lawyer referral service is responsible for ensuring that any advertisements or written communications used by the service comply with the requirements of the Rules Regulating The Florida Bar, and that the service is in compliance with the provisions of this subchapter. It shall be a violation of these Rules Regulating The Florida Bar and a failure of such responsibility if the lawyer knows or should have known that the service is not in compliance with applicable rules or if the lawyer failed to seek information necessary to determine compliance. (c) Definition of Lawyer Referral Service. A “lawyer referral service” is:(1) any person, group of persons, association, organization, or entity that receives a fee or charge any consideration, monetary or otherwise, given in exchange for referring or causing the direct or indirect referral of a potential client to a lawyer drawn selected from a specific group or panel of lawyers; or(2) any group or pooled advertising program operated by any person, group of persons, association, organization, or entity wherein the legal services advertisements utilize a common telephone number and potential clients are then referred only to lawyers or law firms participating in the group or pooled advertising program.A pro bono referral program, in which the participating lawyers do not pay a fee or charge of any kind to receive referrals or to belong to the referral panel, and are undertaking the referred matters without expectation of remuneration, is not a lawyer referral service within the definition of this rule. Comment Alternative dispute resolution has become a substantial part of the civil justice system. Aside from representing clients in dispute resolution processes, lawyers often serve as third-party neutrals. A third-party neutral is a person, such as a mediator, arbitrator, conciliator, or evaluator, who assists the parties, represented or unrepresented, in the resolution of a dispute or in the arrangement of a transaction. Whether a third-party neutral serves primarily as a facilitator, evaluator, or decisionmaker depends on the particular process that is either selected by the parties or mandated by a court.The role of a third-party neutral is not unique to lawyers, although, in some court-connected contexts, only lawyers are allowed to serve in this role or to handle certain types of cases. In performing this role, the lawyer may be subject to court rules or other law that apply either to third-party neutrals generally or to lawyers serving as third-party neutrals. Lawyer-neutrals may also be subject to various codes of ethics, such as the Code of Ethics for Arbitration in Commercial Disputes prepared by a joint committee of the American Bar Association and the American Arbitration Association, or the Model Standards of Conduct for Mediators jointly prepared by the American Bar Association, the American Arbitration Association and the Society of Professionals in Dispute Resolution. A Florida Bar member who is a certified mediator is governed by the applicable law and rules relating to certified mediators.Unlike nonlawyers who serve as third-party neutrals, lawyers serving in this role may experience unique problems as a result of differences between the role of a third-party neutral and a lawyer’s service as a client representative. The potential for confusion is significant when the parties are unrepresented in the process. Thus, subdivision (b) requires a lawyer-neutral to inform unrepresented parties that the lawyer is not representing them. For some parties, particularly parties who frequently use dispute-resolution dispute resolution processes, this information will be sufficient. For others, particularly those who are using the process for the first time, more information will be required. Where appropriate, the lawyer should inform unrepresented parties of the important differences between the lawyer’s role as third-party neutral and a lawyer’s role as a client representative, including the inapplicability of the attorney-client evidentiary privilege. The extent of disclosure required under this subdivision will depend on the particular parties involved and the subject matter of the proceeding, as well as the particular features of the dispute-resolution dispute resolution process selected.A lawyer who serves as a third-party neutral subsequently may be asked to serve as a lawyer representing a client in the same matter. The conflicts of interest that arise for both the individual lawyer and the lawyer’s law firm are addressed in rule 4-1.12. Lawyers who represent clients in alternative dispute-resolution processes are governed by the Rules of Professional Conduct. When the dispute-resolution process takes place before a tribunal, as in binding arbitration (see terminology), the lawyer’s duty of candor is governed by rule 4-3.3. Otherwise, the lawyer’s duty of candor toward both the third-party neutral and other parties is governed by rule 4-4.1. * * * SUBCHAPTER 4-3. ADVOCATE * * * RULE 4-3.3 CANDOR TOWARD THE TRIBUNAL (a) False Evidence; Duty to Disclose. A lawyer shall not knowingly:(1) make a false statement of material fact or law to a tribunal or fail to correct a false statement of material fact or law previously made to the tribunal by the lawyer ;(2) fail to disclose a material fact to a tribunal when disclosure is necessary to avoid assisting a criminal or fraudulent act by the client;(3) fail to disclose to the tribunal legal authority in the controlling jurisdiction known to the lawyer to be directly adverse to the position of the client and not disclosed by opposing counsel; or(4) permit any witness, including a criminal defendant, to offer testimony or other evidence that the lawyer knows to be false. A lawyer may not offer testimony that the lawyer knows to be false in the form of a narrative unless so ordered by the tribunal. If a lawyer , the lawyer’s client, or a witness called by the lawyer has offered material evidence and thereafter the lawyer comes to know of its falsity, the lawyer shall take reasonable remedial measures including, if necessary, disclosure to the tribunal. A lawyer may refuse to offer evidence that the lawyer reasonably believes is false. (b) Extent of Lawyer’s Duties. The duties stated in subdivision (a) continue beyond the conclusion of the proceeding and apply even if compliance requires disclosure of information otherwise protected by rule 4-1.6. (b) Criminal or Fraudulent Conduct. A lawyer who represents a client in an adjudicative proceeding and who knows that a person intends to engage, is engaging, or has engaged in criminal or fraudulent conduct related to the proceeding shall take reasonable remedial measures, including, if necessary, disclosure to the tribunal. (c) Evidence Believed to Be False. A lawyer may refuse to offer evidence that the lawyer reasonably believes is false. ( d c ) Ex Parte Proceedings. In an ex parte proceeding a lawyer shall inform the tribunal of all material facts known to the lawyer that will enable the tribunal to make an informed decision, whether or not the facts are adverse. (d) Extent of Lawyer’s Duties. The duties stated in this rule continue beyond the conclusion of the proceeding and apply even if compliance requires disclosure of information otherwise protected by rule 4-1.6. Comment This rule governs the conduct of a lawyer who is representing a client in the proceedings of a tribunal. See terminology for the definition of “tribunal.” It also applies when the lawyer is representing a client in an ancillary proceeding conducted pursuant to the tribunal’s adjudicative authority, such as a deposition. Thus, for example, subdivision (a)(4) requires a lawyer to take reasonable remedial measures if the lawyer comes to know that a client who is testifying in a deposition has offered evidence that is false. The advocate’s task is This rule sets forth the special duties of lawyers as officers of the court to avoid conduct that undermines the integrity of the adjudicative process. A lawyer acting as an advocate in an adjudicative proceeding has an obligation to present the client’s case with persuasive force. Performance of that duty while maintaining confidences of the client is qualified by the advocate’s duty of candor to the tribunal. However, an advocate does not Consequently, although a lawyer in an adversary proceeding is not required to present an impartial exposition of the law or to vouch for the evidence submitted in a cause ; , the lawyer must not allow the tribunal is responsible for assessing its probative value to be misled by false statements of law or fact or evidence that the lawyer knows to be false. Lawyers who represent clients in alternative dispute resolution processes are governed by the Rules of Professional Conduct. When the dispute resolution process takes place before a tribunal, as in binding arbitration (see terminology), the lawyer’s duty of candor is governed by rule 4-3.3. Otherwise, the lawyer’s duty of candor toward both the third-party neutral and other parties is governed by rule 4-4.1. Representations by a lawyer [no change] Misleading legal argument [no change] False evidence When evidence that a lawyer knows to be false is provided by a person who is not the client, the lawyer must refuse to offer it regardless of the client’s wishes. When false evidence is offered by the client, however, a conflict may arise between the lawyer’s duty to keep the client’s revelations confidential and the duty of candor to the court. Upon ascertaining that material evidence is false, the lawyer should seek to persuade the client that the evidence should not be offered or, if it has been offered, that its false character should immediately be disclosed. If the persuasion is ineffective, the lawyer must take reasonable remedial measures. Subdivision (a)(4) requires that the lawyer refuse to offer evidence that the lawyer knows to be false, regardless of the client’s wishes. This duty is premised on the lawyer’s obligation as an officer of the court to prevent the trier of fact from being misled by false evidence. A lawyer does not violate this rule if the lawyer offers the evidence for the purpose of establishing its falsity. If a lawyer knows that the client intends to testify falsely or wants the lawyer to introduce false evidence, the lawyer should seek to persuade the client that the evidence should not be offered. If the persuasion is ineffective and the lawyer continues to represent the client, the lawyer must refuse to offer the false evidence. If only a portion of a witness’s testimony will be false, the lawyer may call the witness to testify but may not elicit or otherwise permit the witness to present the testimony that the lawyer knows is false. The duties stated in this rule apply to all lawyers, including defense counsel in criminal cases. The prohibition against offering false evidence only applies if the lawyer knows that the evidence is false. A lawyer’s reasonable belief that evidence is false does not preclude its presentation to the trier of fact. Except in the defense of a criminally accused, t T he rule generally recognized is that, if necessary to rectify the situation, an advocate must disclose the existence of the client’s deception to the court. Such a disclosure can result in grave consequences to the client, including not only a sense of betrayal but also loss of the case and perhaps a prosecution for perjury. But the alternative is that the lawyer cooperate in deceiving the court, thereby subverting the truth-finding process that the adversary system is designed to implement. See rule 4-1.2(d). Furthermore, unless it is clearly understood that the lawyer will act upon the duty to disclose the existence of false evidence, the client can simply reject the lawyer’s advice to reveal the false evidence and insist that the lawyer keep silent. Thus, the client could in effect coerce the lawyer into being a party to fraud on the court. Perjury by a criminal defendant Whether an advocate for a criminally accused has the same duty of disclosure has been intensely debated. While it is agreed that the lawyer should seek to persuade the client to refrain from perjurious testimony, there has been dispute concerning the lawyer’s duty when that persuasion fails. If the confrontation with the client occurs before trial, the lawyer ordinarily can withdraw. Withdrawal before trial may not be possible if trial is imminent, if the confrontation with the client does not take place until the trial itself, or if no other counsel is available. The most difficult situation, therefore, arises in a criminal case where the accused insists on testifying when the lawyer knows that the testimony is perjurious. The lawyer’s effort to rectify the situation can increase the likelihood of the client’s being convicted as well as opening the possibility of a prosecution for perjury. On the other hand, if the lawyer does not exercise control over the proof, the lawyer participates, although in a merely passive way, in deception of the court. Although the offering of perjured testimony or false evidence is considered a fraud on the tribunal, these situations are distinguishable from that of a client who, upon being arrested, provides false identification to a law enforcement officer. The client’s past act of lying to a law enforcement officer does not constitute a fraud on the tribunal, and thus does not trigger the disclosure obligation under this rule, because a false statement to an arresting officer is unsworn and occurs prior to the institution of a court proceeding. If the client testifies, the lawyer must attempt to have the client respond to any questions truthfully or by asserting an applicable privilege. Any false statements by the client in the course of the court proceeding will trigger the duties under this rule. Remedial measuresIf perjured testimony or false evidence has been offered, the advocate’s proper course ordinarily is to remonstrate with the client confidentially if circumstances permit. If that fails, the advocate should seek to withdraw if that will remedy the situation. Subject to the caveat expressed in the next section of this comment, if withdrawal will not remedy the situation or is impossible and the advocate determines that disclosure is the only measure that will avert a fraud on the court, the advocate should make disclosure to the court. In any case, the advocate should ensure disclosure is made to the court. It is for the court then to determine what should be done – making a statement about the matter to the trier of fact, ordering a mistrial, or perhaps nothing. If the false testimony was that of the client, the client may controvert the lawyer’s version of their communication when the lawyer discloses the situation to the court. If there is an issue whether the client has committed perjury, the lawyer cannot represent the client in resolution of the issue and a mistrial may be unavoidable. An unscrupulous client might in this way attempt to produce a series of mistrials and thus escape prosecution. However, a second such encounter could be construed as a deliberate abuse of the right to counsel and as such a waiver of the right to further representation. This commentary is not intended to address the situation where a client or prospective client seeks legal advice specifically about a defense to a charge of perjury where the lawyer did not represent the client at the time the client gave the testimony giving rise to the charge. Constitutional requirements The general rule–that an advocate must disclose the existence of perjury with respect to a material fact, even that of a client–applies to defense counsel in criminal cases, as well as in other instances. However, the definition of the lawyer’s ethical duty in such a situation may be qualified by constitutional provisions for due process and the right to counsel in criminal cases. Refusing to offer proof believed to be false Generally speaking, Although subdivision (a)(4) only prohibits a lawyer has authority from offering evidence the lawyer knows to be false, it permits the lawyer to refuse to offer testimony or other proof that the lawyer reasonsably believes is untrustworthy false. Offering such proof may reflect adversely on the lawyer’s ability to discriminate in the quality of evidence and thus impair the lawyer’s effectiveness as an advocate. In criminal cases, however, a lawyer may, in some jurisdictions, be denied this authority by constitutional requirements governing the right to counsel.[no further change] Ex parte proceedings [no change] * * * SUBCHAPTER 4-7. INFORMATION ABOUT LEGAL SERVICES * * * 4-7.2 COMMUNICATIONS CONCERNING A LAWYER’S SERVICESThe following shall apply to any communication conveying information about a lawyer’s or a law firm’s services except as provided in subdivision (e) and (f) of rule 4-7.1: (a) Required Content of Advertisements and Unsolicited Written Communications.[no change] (b) Permissible Content of Advertisements and Unsolicited Written Communications. If the content of an advertisement in any public media or unsolicited written communication is limited to the following information, the advertisement or unsolicited written communication is exempt from the filing and review requirement and, if true and permitted by law, shall be presumed to be permissible and not to be misleading or deceptive under these rules. (1) Lawyers and Law Firms. [no change](2) Lawyer Referral Services. [no change](3) Public Service Announcements. [no change] (c) Prohibitions and General Regulations Governing Content of Advertisements and Unsolicited Written Communications.(1) Statements About Legal Services. [no change](2) Descriptive Statements. [no change](3) Prohibited Visual and Verbal Portrayals and Illustrations. [no change](4) Advertising Areas of Practice. [no change](5) Stating or Implying Florida Bar Approval. [no change](6) Communication of Fields of Practice. [no change](7) Disclosure of Liability For Expenses Other Than Fees. [no change](8) Period for Which Advertised Fee Must Be Honored. [no change](9) Firm Name. [no change](10) Language of Required Statements. [no change](11) Appearance of Required Statements. [no change](12) Payment by Nonadvertising Lawyer. [no change](13) Referrals to Another Lawyer. [no change](14) Payment for Recommendations; Lawyer Referral Service Fees. [no change] (15) Use of Celebrity Prohibited . A lawyer shall not include in any advertisement or unsolicited written communication any celebrity whose voice or image is recognizable to the public. (16) Prohibited Sounds . A lawyer shall not include in any advertisement or unsolicited written communication any sound that is deceptive, misleading, manipulative, or that is likely to confuse the listener. Comment [no change to existing comment] Use of sounds The prohibition against deceptive, misleading, or manipulative sounds precludes, for example, the sound of sirens or car crashes.* * * RULE 4-7.4 DIRECT CONTACT WITH PROSPECTIVE CLIENTS (a) Solicitation. Except as provided in subdivision (b) of this rule, a lawyer shall not solicit professional employment from a prospective client with whom the lawyer has no family or prior professional relationship, in person or otherwise, when a significant motive for the lawyer’s doing so is the lawyer’s pecuniary gain. A lawyer shall not permit employees or agents of the lawyer to solicit in on the lawyer’s behalf. A lawyer shall not enter into an agreement for, charge, or collect a fee for professional employment obtained in violation of this rule. The term “solicit” includes contact in person, by telephone, telegraph, or facsimile, or by other communication directed to a specific recipient and includes (i) any written form of communication directed to a specific recipient and not meeting the requirements of subdivision (b) of this rule, and (ii) any electronic mail communication directed to a specific recipient and not meeting the requirements of subdivision (c) of rule 4-7.6. (b) Written Communication Sent on an Unsolicited Basis.(1) A lawyer shall not send, or knowingly permit to be sent, on the lawyer’s behalf or on behalf of the lawyer’s firm or partner, an associate, or any other lawyer affiliated with the lawyer or the lawyer’s firm, an unsolicited written communication directly or indirectly to a prospective client for the purpose of obtaining professional employment if:(A) the written communication concerns an action for personal injury or wrongful death or otherwise relates to an accident or disaster involving the person to whom the communication is addressed or a relative of that person, unless the accident or disaster occurred more than 30 days prior to the mailing of the communication;(B) the written communication concerns a specific matter and the lawyer knows or reasonably should know that the person to whom the communication is directed is represented by a lawyer in the matter;(C) it has been made known to the lawyer that the person does not want to receive such communications from the lawyer;(D) the communication involves coercion, duress, fraud, overreaching, harassment, intimidation, or undue influence;(E) the communication contains a false, fraudulent, misleading, or deceptive statement or claim or is improper under subdivision (c)(1) of rule 4-7.2; or(F) the lawyer knows or reasonably should know that the physical, emotional, or mental state of the person makes it unlikely that the person would exercise reasonable judgment in employing a lawyer. (G) the communication concerns a request for an injunction for protection against any form of physical violence and is addressed to the respondent in the injunction petition, if the lawyer knows or reasonably should know that the respondent named in the injunction petition has not yet been served with notice of process in the matter.(2) [no change] Comment September 1, 2008 written contract Notices A lawyer must hold property of others with the care required of a professional fiduciary. This chapter requires maintenance of a bank or savings and loan association account, clearly labeled as a trust account and in which only client or third party trust funds are held.Securities should be kept in a safe deposit box, except when some other form of safekeeping is warranted by special circumstances.All property that is the property of clients or third persons should be kept separate from the lawyer’s business and personal property and, if money, in 1 or more trust accounts, unless requested otherwise in writing by the client. Separate trust accounts may be warranted when administering estate money or acting in similar fiduciary capacities.A lawyer who holds funds for a client or third person and who determines that the funds are not nominal or short term as defined elsewhere in this subchapter should hold the funds in a separate interest-bearing account with the interest accruing to the benefit of the client or third person unless directed otherwise in writing by the client or third person. Lawyers often receive funds from which the lawyer’s fee will be paid. The lawyer is not required to remit to the client funds that the lawyer reasonably believes represent fees owed. However, a lawyer may not hold funds to coerce a client into accepting the lawyer’s contention. The disputed portion of the funds must be kept in a trust account and the lawyer should suggest means for prompt resolution of the dispute, such as arbitration. The undisputed portion of the funds shall be promptly distributed.Third parties, such as a client’s creditors, may have lawful claims against funds or other property in a lawyer’s custody. A lawyer may have a duty under applicable law to protect such third – party claims against wrongful interference by the client. When the lawyer has a duty under applicable law to protect the third-party claim and the third-party claim is not frivolous under applicable law, the lawyer must refuse to surrender the property to the client until the claims are resolved. However, a lawyer should not unilaterally assume to arbitrate a dispute between the client and the third party, and, where appropriate, the lawyer should consider the possibility of depositing the property or funds in dispute into the registry of the applicable court so that the matter may be adjudicated.The obligations of a lawyer under this chapter are independent of those arising from activity other than rendering legal services. For example, a lawyer who serves only as an escrow agent is governed by the applicable law relating to fiduciaries even though the lawyer does not render legal services in the transaction and is not governed by this rule.Each lawyer is required to be familiar with and comply with the Rules Regulating Trust Accounts as adopted by the Supreme Court of Florida.Money or other property entrusted to a lawyer for a specific purpose, including advances for fees, costs, and expenses, is held in trust and must be applied only to that purpose. Money and other property of clients coming into the hands of a lawyer are not subject to counterclaim or setoff for attorney’s fees, and a refusal to account for and deliver over such property upon demand shall be a conversion. This does not preclude the retention of money or other property upon which a lawyer has a valid lien for services or to preclude the payment of agreed fees from the proceeds of transactions or collections.Advances for fees and costs (funds against which costs and fees are billed) are the property of the client or third party paying same on a client’s behalf and are required to be maintained in trust, separate from the lawyer’s property. Retainers are not funds against which future services are billed. Retainers are funds paid to guarantee the future availability of the lawyer’s legal services and are earned by the lawyer upon receipt. Retainers, being funds of the lawyer, may not be placed in the client’s trust account.The test of excessiveness found elsewhere in the Rules Regulating The Florida Bar applies to all fees for legal services including retainers, nonrefundable retainers, and minimum or flat fees. RULE 5-1.2 TRUST ACCOUNTING RECORDS AND PROCEDURES (a) Applicability. [no change] (b) Minimum Trust Accounting Records. The following are the minimum trust accounting records that shall be maintained : . These records may be maintained in their original format or stored in digital media as long as the copies include all data contained in the original documents and may be produced when required.(1) A separate bank or savings and loan association account or accounts in the name of the lawyer or law firm and clearly labeled and designated as a “trust account.”(2) Original or duplicate clearly legible copies of deposit slips if the copies include all data on the originals and, in the case of currency or coin, an additional cash receipts book, clearly identifying:(A) the date and source of all trust funds received; and(B) the client or matter for which the funds were received.(3) Original canceled checks or clearly legible copies of original canceled checks, all of which must be numbered consecutively, or, if the financial institution wherein the trust account is maintained does not return the original checks, copies that include all endorsements, as provided by the financial institution if the copies include all endorsements and all other data and tracking information. (4) [no change](5) [no change](6) [no change](7) [no change] (c) Minimum Trust Accounting Procedures. The minimum trust accounting procedures that shall be followed by all members of The Florida Bar (when a choice of laws analysis indicates that the laws of Florida apply) who receive or disburse trust money or property are as follows:(1) [no change](2) [no change](3) The above reconciliations, comparisons, and listing s shall be retained for at least 6 years.(4) The lawyer or law firm shall authorize , at the time the account is opened, and request any bank or savings and loan association where the lawyer is a signatory on a trust account to notify Staff Counsel, The Florida Bar, 651 East Jefferson Street, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-2300, in the event the account is overdrawn or any trust check is dishonored or returned due to insufficient funds or uncollected funds, absent bank error.(5) [no change] (d) Record Retention. [no change] (e) Audits. Any of the following shall be cause for The Florida Bar to order an audit of a trust account:(1) failure to file the trust account certificate required by rule 5-1.2(c)(5);(2) return of a trust account check for insufficient funds or for uncollected funds, absent bank error;(3) filing of a petition for creditor relief on behalf of an attorney;(4) filing of felony charges against an attorney;(5) adjudication of insanity or incompetence or hospitalization of the attorney under The Florida Mental Health Act;(6) filing of a claim against the attorney with the Clients’ Security Fund;(7) when requested by a grievance committee or the board of governors; or(8) upon court order, or; (9) upon entry of an order of disbarment, on consent or otherwise. (f) Cost of Audit. [no change] (g) Failure to Comply With Subpoena for Trust Accounting Records. Failure of a member to timely produce trust accounting records shall be considered as a matter of contempt and process in the manner provided in subdivision (d) and (f) of rule 3-7.11, Rules Regulating The Florida Bar. (1) Members of the bar are under an obligation to maintain trust accounting records as required by these rules and, as a condition of the privilege of practicing law in Florida, may not assert any privilege personal to the lawyer that may be applicable to production of same in these disciplinary proceedings. (2) Notice of noncompliance with a subpoena may be filed with the Supreme Court of Florida only if a grievance committee or a referee shall first find that no good cause exists for failure to comply. A grievance committee or referee shall hear the issue of noncompliance and issue findings thereon within 30 days of the request for issuance of the notice of noncompliance. (3) After notice is filed with the Supreme Court of Florida by The Florida Bar that a member of the bar has failed to fully comply with a properly issued subpoena directing the production of any trust accounting records that are required by these rules, unless good cause for the failure to comply is shown, the member may be suspended from the practice of law in Florida, by order of the Supreme Court of Florida, until such time as the member fully complies with the subpoena and/or until further order of the court. (4) Any member subject to suspension under this rule may petition the court, within 10 days of the filing of the notice, to withhold entry of the order of suspension or at any time after entry of an order of suspension may petition the court to terminate or modify the order of suspension. If the court determines it necessary to refer the petition to terminate or modify the suspension to a referee for receipt of evidence, the referee proceedings shall be conducted in the same manner as proceedings before a referee on a petition to withhold, terminate, or modify an order of emergency suspension, as elsewhere provided in these rules. CHAPTER 6. LEGAL SPECIALIZATION AND EDUCATION PROGRAMS * * * SUBCHAPTER 6-3. FLORIDA CERTIFICATION PLAN * * * RULE 6-3.5 STANDARDS FOR CERTIFICATION (a) Standards for Certification. [no change] (b) Eligibility for Application. [no change] (c) Minimum Requirements for Qualifying for Certification With Examination. Minimum requirements for qualifying for certification by examination are as follows:(1) [no change](2) [no change](3) [no change](4) Passing a written and/or oral examination applied uniformly to all applicants to demonstrate sufficient knowledge, skills, and proficiency in the area for which certification is sought and in the various areas relating to such field. The examination shall include professional responsibility and ethics. The award of an LL.M. degree from an approved law school in the area for which certification is sought within 8 years of application may substitute as the written examination required in this subdivision if the area’s standards so provide.(5) [no change](6) Peer review shall be used to solicit information to assess competence in the specialty field, and professionalism and ethics in the practice of law. To qualify for board certification, an applicant must be recognized as having achieved a level of competence indicating special knowledge, skills, and proficiency in handling the usual matters in the speciality specialty field. The applicant shall also be evaluated as to character, ethics, and reputation for professionalism. An applicant otherwise qualified may be denied certification on the basis of peer review. Certification may also be withheld pending the outcome of any disciplinary complaint or malpractice action.As part of the peer review process, the board of legal specialization and education and its area committees shall review an applicant’s professionalism, ethics, and disciplinary record. Such review shall include both disciplinary complaints and malpractice actions. The process may also include solicitation of public input and independent inquiry apart from written references. Peer review is mandatory for all applicants and may not be eliminated by equivalents. (d) Minimum Requirements for Qualification Without Examination. When certification without examination is available in an area, the minimum requirements for such certification are as follows:(1) A a minimum of 20 years in the practice on a full-time basis . ;(2) A a satisfactory showing of competence and substantial involvement in the particular area for which certification is sought during 5 of the last 10 years, including the year immediately preceding the application for certification. Substantial involvement in the particular area of law for the 1 year immediately preceding the application may be waived for good cause shown . ;(3) A a satisfactory showing of such continuing legal education in a particular field of law for which certification is sought as set by that area’s standards but in no event less than 15 hours per year . ;(4) S s atisfactory peer review and professional ethics record in accordance with subdivision (c)(6) . ; and (5) payment of any fees required by the plan. (e) Certification Without Examination. (5) When C certification without examination is available in an area, it may be granted only:( A 1 ) to individuals who apply within 2 years after the date on which the particular area is approved by the Supreme Court of Florida; or( B 2 ) as otherwise permitted in the particular standards for the area for which certification is sought. (6) Payment of any fees required by the plan. * * * RULE 6-3.9 MANNER OF CERTIFICATION (a) Listing Area of Certification. A member having received a certificate in an area may list the area on the member’s letterhead, business cards, and office door, in the yellow pages of the telephone directory, in approved law lists, and by such other means permitted by the Rules of Professional Conduct. The listing may be made by stating one or more of the following: “Board Certified (area of certification) Lawyer ; ” or “Specialist in (area of certification) . ; ” or use of initials “B.C.S.,” to indicate Board Certified Specialist. If the initials “B.C.S.” are used, the area(s) in which the member is board certified must be identified; if used in court documents or a non-advertising context, the initials may stand alone. (b) Members of Law Firms. [no change] * * * SUBCHAPTER 6-10. CONTINUING LEGAL EDUCATION REQUIREMENT RULE * * * RULE 6-10.3 MINIMUM CONTINUING LEGAL EDUCATION STANDARDS (a) Applicability. [no change] (b) Minimum Hourly Continuing Legal Education Requirements. Each member shall complete a minimum of 30 credit hours of approved continuing legal education activity every 3 years. Five of the 30 hours must be in approved legal ethics, professionalism, bias elimination, substance abuse, or mental illness awareness programs. Courses offering credit in professionalism must be approved by the center for professionalism. These 5 hours are to be included in, and not in addition to, the regular 30-hour requirement. If a member completes more than 30 hours during any reporting cycle, the excess credits cannot be carried over to the next reporting cycle. (c) Exemptions. Eligibility for an exemption, in accordance with policies adopted under this rule, is available for;(1) A a ctive military service . ;(2) U u ndue hardship . ;(3) N n onresident members not delivering legal services or advice on matters or issues governed by Florida law . ;(4) M m embers of the full-time federal judiciary who are prohibited from engaging in the private practice of law . ;(5) J j ustices of the Supreme Court of Florida and judges of the district courts of appeal, circuit courts, and county courts, and such other judicial officers and employees as may be designated by the Supreme Court of Florida . ; and,(6) I i nactive members of The Florida Bar. (d) Course Approval. [no change] (e) Accreditation of Hours. Accreditation standards shall be as set forth in the policies adopted pursuant to under this rule. If a course is presented or sponsored by or has received credit approval from an organized state bar (whether integrated or voluntary), such course shall be deemed an approved course for purposes of this rule if the course meets the criteria for accreditation established by policies adopted under this rule. (f) Full-time Government Employees. [no change] (g) Skills Training Preadmission. [no change] RULE 6-10.4 REPORTING REQUIREMENTS (a) Reports Required. [no change] (b) Time for Filing. The report shall be filed with The Florida Bar no later than the last day of such member’s applicable reporting period as set forth in the rules and regulations assigned by The Florida Bar. RULE 6-10.5 DELINQUENCY AND APPEAL (a) Delinquency. [no change] (b) Appeal to the Board of Governors. A member deemed delinquent may appeal to the b B oard of g G overnors of The Florida Bar. Appeals to the board of governors shall be governed by the policies promulgated under these rules. (c) Appeal to the Supreme Court of Florida. A decision of the board of governors may be appealed by the affected member to the Supreme Court of Florida. Appeals to the court shall be governed by the policies promulgated under these rules. Such review shall be by petition for review in accordance with the procedures set forth in rule 9.100, Florida Rules of Appellate Procedure (d) Exhaustion of Remedies. [no change] (e) Tolling Time for Compliance. [no change] RULE 6-10.6 REINSTATEMENTA ny member deemed delinquent for failure to meet the continuing legal education requirement may be reinstated by the executive director upon a showing that the noncompliance has been corrected and upon payment to The Florida Bar of a uniform reinstatement fee, as established by the board of governors in accordance with rule 1-3.7, Rules Regulating The Florida Bar. CHAPTER 10. RULES GOVERNING THE INVESTIGATION AND PROSECUTION OF THE UNLICENSED PRACTICE OF LAW* * * SUBCHAPTER10-6. PROCEDURES FOR INVESTIGATION* * RULE 10-6.3 RECOMMENDATIONS AND DISPOSITION OF COMPLAINTS (a) Circuit Committee Action. [no change] (b) Action by Bar Counsel. [no change] (c) Review by Designated Reviewer. A designated reviewer shall review recommendations by the standing committee that litigation be initiated. The designated reviewer shall act on the recommendation within 21 days following the mailing date of the notice of standing committee action, otherwise the standing committee action shall become final. If the designated reviewer disagrees with all or any part of the recommendation for litigation, the designated reviewer shall make a report and recommendation to the board of governors and the board will make a final determination regarding the litigation. The designated reviewer shall make the report and recommendation within 21 days following the mailing date of the notice of standing committee action, otherwise the standing committee action shall become final. SUBCHAPTER 10-7. PROCEEDINGS BEFORE A REFEREE RULE 10-7.1 PROCEEDINGS FOR INJUNCTIVE RELIEF OPTION A ( See Notice for Further Explanation) (a) Filing Complaints. [no change] (b) Petitions for Injunctive Relief. [no change] (c) Proceedings Before the Referee. [no change] (d) Referee’s Report.(1) Generally. At the conclusion of the hearing, the referee shall file a written report with the court stating findings of fact, conclusions of law, a statement of costs incurred and recommendations as to the manner in which costs should be taxed as provided elsewhere in this chapter, and a recommendation for final disposition of the cause which may include the imposition of a civil penalty not to exceed $1000 per incident and a recommendation for restitution as provided elsewhere in this chapter. The original record shall be filed with the report. Copies of the referee’s report shall be served upon all parties by the referee at the time it is filed with the court.(2) Costs. The referee shall have discretion to recommend the assessment of costs. Taxable costs of the proceeding shall include only:(A) investigative costs;(B) court reporters’ fees;(C) copy costs;(D) telephone charges;(E) fees for translation services;(F) witness expenses, including travel and out-of-pocket expenses;(G) travel and out-of-pocket expenses of the referee; and(H) travel and out-of-pocket expenses of counsel in the proceedings, including those of the respondent if acting as counsel; and (I) a litigation expense in an amount up to $1,000 per incident of unlicensed practice of law to encompass the cost of litigation not included in the specific items set forth above; and( I J ) any other costs which may properly be taxed in civil litigation.(3) Restitution. The referee shall have discretion to recommend that the respondent be ordered to pay restitution, which shall be paid before costs. In such instances, the amount of restitution shall be specifically set forth in the referee’s report and shall not exceed the amount paid to respondent by complainant(s). The referee’s report shall also state the name(s) of the complainant(s) to whom restitution is to be made, the amount of restitution to be made, and the date by which it shall be completed. The referee shall have discretion over the timing of payments and over how those payments are to be distributed to multiple complainants. In determining the amount of restitution to be paid to complainant(s), the referee shall consider testimony and/or any documentary evidence that shows the amount paid to respondent by complainant(s) including:(A) cancelled checks;(B) credit card receipts;(C) receipts from respondent; and(D) any other documentation evidencing the amount of payment. The referee shall also have discretion to recommend that restitution shall bear interest at the legal rate provided for judgments in this state. Nothing in this section shall preclude an individual from seeking redress through civil proceedings to recover fees or other damages.(4) Stipulated Injunction. Should the parties enter into a stipulated injunction prior to the hearing, the stipulation shall be filed with the referee. The referee may approve the stipulation or reject the stipulation and schedule a hearing as provided elsewhere in these rules. If accepted, the stipulation and original record shall then be filed with the court for final approval of the stipulation and entry of an injunction. A written report as described in rule 10-7.1(d)(1) shall be filed by the referee along with the stipulation. The respondent may agree to pay restitution in the stipulation. In such instances the amount of restitution, to whom it shall be made, how payments are to be made, the date by which it shall be completed, and whether interest as provided elsewhere in this chapter will be paid, shall be specifically set forth in the stipulation. (e) Record. (1) Contents . The record shall include all items properly filed in the cause including pleadings, recorded testimony, if transcribed, exhibits in evidence, and the report of the referee. (2) Preparation and Filing . The referee, with the assistance of bar counsel, shall prepare the record, certify that the record is complete, serve a copy of the index of the record on the respondent and The Florida Bar, and file the record with the office of the clerk of the Supreme Court of Florida. (3) Supplementing or Removing Items from the Record . The respondent and The Florida Bar may seek to supplement the record or have items removed from the record by filing a motion with the referee for such purpose, provided such motion is filed within 15 days of the service of the index. Denial of a motion to supplement the record or to remove an item from the record may be reviewed in the same manner as review of interlocutory rulings as provided in these rules. ( e f ) Review by the Supreme Court of Florida.(1) Objections to the report of the referee shall be filed with the court by any party aggrieved, within 30 days after the filing of the report , or in the case where a party seeks review of a referee’s denial to supplement or remove an item from the record, within 30 days after the court issues its ruling on that matter. If the objector desires, a brief or memorandum of law in support of the objections may be filed at the time the objections are filed. Any other party may file a responsive brief or memorandum of law within 20 days of service of the objector’s brief or memorandum of law. The objector may file a reply brief or memorandum of law within 10 days of service of the opposing party’s responsive brief or memorandum of law. Oral argument will be allowed at the court’s discretion and will be governed by the provisions of the Florida Rules of Appellate Procedure.(2) Upon the expiration of the time to file objections to the referee’s report, the court shall review the report of the referee, together with any briefs or memoranda of law or objections filed in support of or opposition to such report. After review, the court shall determine as a matter of law whether the respondent has engaged in the unlicensed practice of law, whether the respondent’s activities should be enjoined by appropriate order, whether costs should be awarded, whether restitution should be ordered, and whether further relief shall be granted. Any order of the court that contains an order award of restitution shall contain a requirement that the respondent provide a monthly written report send the restitution to the UPL Department of The Florida Bar detailing the complainant(s) to whom restitution has been made and the amounts paid. The restitution shall be made payable to the complainant(s) specified in the court’s order. The Florida Bar shall remit all restitution received to the complainant(s). If The Florida Bar cannot locate the complainant(s) within 4 months, the restitution shall be returned to the respondent. In the event respondent fails to pay the restitution as ordered by the court, The Florida Bar is authorized to file a petition for indirect criminal contempt as provided elsewhere in this chapter. ( f g ) Issuance of Preliminary or Temporary Injunction. Nothing set forth in this rule shall be construed to limit the authority of the court, upon proper application, to issue a preliminary or temporary injunction, or at any stage of the proceedings to enter any such order as the court deems proper when public harm or the possibility thereof is made apparent to the court, in order that such harm may be summarily prevented or speedily enjoined. RULE 10-7.1 PROCEEDINGS FOR INJUNCTIVE RELIEF OPTION B (See Notice for Further Explanation) (a) Filing Complaints. [no change] (b) Petitions for Injunctive Relief. [no change] (c) Proceedings Before the Referee. Proceedings before the referee shall be in accordance with the following:(1) [no change](2) Within 60 days of the order assigning the case to the referee, the referee shall conduct a case management conference. The purpose of the conference is to set a schedule for the proceedings, including discovery deadlines and a final hearing date. The referee shall enter a written order in the proceedings reflecting the schedule determined at the conference and, if civil penalties are requested, containing a notice to the respondent regarding the respondent’s burden to show an inability to pay a civil penalty as set forth elsewhere in these rules. (3) [no change](4) [no change](5) [no change] (d) Referee’s Report.(1) Generally. [no change](2) Costs. The referee shall have discretion to recommend the assessment of costs. Taxable costs of the proceeding shall include only:(A) investigative costs;(B) court reporters’ fees;(C) copy costs;(D) telephone charges;(E) fees for translation services;(F) witness expenses, including travel and out-of-pocket expenses;(G) travel and out-of-pocket expenses of the referee; and(H) travel and out-of-pocket expenses of counsel in the proceedings, including those of the respondent if acting as counsel; and(I) any other costs which may properly be taxed in civil litigation.(3) Restitution. The referee shall have discretion to recommend that the respondent be ordered to pay restitution , which shall be paid before costs. In such instances, the amount of restitution shall be specifically set forth in the referee’s report and shall not exceed the amount paid to respondent by complainant(s). The referee’s report shall also state the name(s) of the complainant(s) to whom restitution is to be made, the amount of restitution to be made, and the date by which it shall be completed. The referee shall have discretion over the timing of payments and over how those payments are to be distributed to multiple complainants. In determining the amount of restitution to be paid to complainant(s), the referee shall consider testimony and/or any documentary evidence that shows the amount paid to respondent by complainant(s) including:(A) cancelled checks;(B) credit card receipts;(C) receipts from respondent; and(D) any other documentation evidencing the amount of payment.The referee shall also have discretion to recommend that restitution shall bear interest at the legal rate provided for judgments in this state. Nothing in this section shall preclude an individual from seeking redress through civil proceedings to recover fees or other damages. (4) Civil Penalty . Except in cases where the parties have entered into a stipulated injunction, prior to recommending the imposition of a civil penalty, the referee shall determine whether the respondent has the ability to pay the penalty. The respondent has the burden to show the inability to pay a penalty. A respondent asserting an inability to pay shall file with the referee a completed affidavit containing the statutory financial information required to be submitted to the clerk of court when determining indigent status and stating that the affidavit is signed under oath and under penalty of perjury. In making a determination of whether the respondent has the ability to pay a penalty, the referee shall consider the applicable statutory criteria used by the clerk of court when determining indigent status and the applicable statutory factors considered by a court when reviewing that determination. If the referee finds that the respondent does not have the ability to pay a penalty, this shall be stated in the referee’s report along with a recitation of the evidence upon which the referee made this finding. If the referee finds that the respondent does have the ability to pay a penalty, this shall be stated in the referee’s report along with a recitation of the evidence upon which the referee made this finding. ( 4 5 ) Stipulated Injunction. Should the parties enter into a stipulated injunction prior to the hearing, the stipulation shall be filed with the referee. The referee may approve the stipulation or reject the stipulation and schedule a hearing as provided elsewhere in these rules. If accepted, the stipulation and original record shall then be filed with the court for final approval of the stipulation and entry of an injunction. A written report as described in rule 10-7.1(d)(1) shall be filed by the referee along with the stipulation. The respondent may agree to pay restitution in the stipulation. In such instances the amount of restitution, to whom it shall be made, how payments are to be made, the date by which it shall be completed, and whether interest as provided elsewhere in this chapter will be paid, shall be specifically set forth in the stipulation. (6) Timing of Payment . Should the referee recommend the imposition of restitution, costs, or a civil penalty, the respondent shall pay the award in the following order: restitution, costs, civil penalty. (e) Record. (1) Contents . The record shall include all items properly filed in the cause including pleadings, recorded testimony, if transcribed, exhibits in evidence, and the report of the referee. (2) Preparation and Filing . The referee, with the assistance of bar counsel, shall prepare the record, certify that the record is complete, serve a copy of the index of the record on the respondent and The Florida Bar, and file the record with the office of the clerk of the Supreme Court of Florida. (3) Supplementing or Removing Items from the Record . The respondent and The Florida Bar may seek to supplement the record or have items removed from the record by filing a motion with the referee for such purpose, provided such motion is filed within 15 days of the service of the index. Denial of a motion to supplement the record or to remove an item from the record may be reviewed in the same manner as review of interlocutory rulings as provided in these rules. ( e f ) Review by the Supreme Court of Florida.(1) Objections to the report of the referee shall be filed with the court by any party aggrieved, within 30 days after the filing of the report , or in the case where a party seeks review of a referee’s denial to supplement or remove an item from the record, within 30 days after the court issues its ruling on that matter. If the objector desires, a brief or memorandum of law in support of the objections may be filed at the time the objections are filed. Any other party may file a responsive brief or memorandum of law within 20 days of service of the objector’s brief or memorandum of law. The objector may file a reply brief or memorandum of law within 10 days of service of the opposing party’s responsive brief or memorandum of law. Oral argument will be allowed at the court’s discretion and will be governed by the provisions of the Florida Rules of Appellate Procedure.(2) Upon the expiration of the time to file objections to the referee’s report, the court shall review the report of the referee, together with any briefs or memoranda of law or objections filed in support of or opposition to such report. After review, the court shall determine as a matter of law whether the respondent has engaged in the unlicensed practice of law, whether the respondent’s activities should be enjoined by appropriate order, whether costs should be awarded, whether restitution should be ordered, whether civil penalties should be awarded, and whether further relief shall be granted. Any order of the court that contains an order the imposition of restitution or civil penalties shall contain a requirement that the respondent provide a monthly written report send the restitution or penalty to the UPL Department of The Florida Bar detailing the complainant(s) to whom restitution has been made and the amounts paid. The restitution shall be made payable to the complainant(s) specified in the court’s order. The Florida Bar shall remit all restitution received to the complainant(s). If The Florida Bar cannot locate the complainant(s) within 4 months, the restitution shall be returned to the respondent. The civil penalty shall be made payable to the Supreme Court of Florida. The Florida Bar shall remit all penalties received to the court. In the event respondent fails to pay the restitution as ordered by the court, The Florida Bar is authorized to file a petition for indirect criminal contempt as provided elsewhere in this chapter. ( f g ) Issuance of Preliminary or Temporary Injunction. Nothing set forth in this rule shall be construed to limit the authority of the court, upon proper application, to issue a preliminary or temporary injunction, or at any stage of the proceedings to enter any such order as the court deems proper when public harm or the possibility thereof is made apparent to the court, in order that such harm may be summarily prevented or speedily enjoined. RULE 10-7.2 PROCEEDINGS FOR INDIRECT CRIMINAL CONTEMPT (a) Petitions for Indirect Criminal Contempt. [no change] (b) Indigency of Respondent. [no change] (c) Proceedings Before the Referee. [no change] (d) Record. (1) Contents . The record shall include all items properly filed in the cause including pleadings, recorded testimony, if transcribed, exhibits in evidence, and the report of the referee. (2) Preparation and Filing . The referee, with the assistance of bar counsel, shall prepare the record, certify that the record is complete, serve a copy of the index of the record on the respondent and The Florida Bar, and file the record with the office of the clerk of the Supreme Court of Florida. (3) Supplementing or Removing Items from the Record . The respondent and The Florida Bar may seek to supplement the record or have items removed from the record by filing a motion with the referee for such purpose, provided such motion is filed within 15 days of the service of the index. Denial of a motion to supplement the record or to remove an item from the record may be reviewed in the same manner as review of interlocutory rulings as provided in these rules. ( d e ) Review by the Supreme Court of Florida. The judgment and recommended sentence, upon a finding of “guilty,” together with the entire record of proceedings shall then be forwarded to this court for approval, modification, or rejection based upon the law. The respondent may file objections, together with a supporting brief or memorandum of law, to the referee’s judgment and recommended sentence within 30 days of the date of filing with the court of the referee’s judgment, recommended sentence, and record of proceedings , or in the case where a party seeks review of a referee’s denial to supplement or remove an item from the record, within 30 days after the court issues its ruling on that matter. The Florida Bar may file a responsive brief or memorandum of law within 20 days after service of respondent’s brief or memorandum of law. The respondent may file a reply brief or memorandum of law within 10 days after service of The Florida Bar’s responsive brief or memorandum of law. ( e f ) Fine or Punishment. [no further change] f g ) Costs and Restitution. [no further change] RULE 10-7.3 ENFORCEMENT OF AWARD OF CIVIL PENALTY If the respondent fails to pay the civil penalty within the time ordered by the court, The Florida Bar may conduct discovery in aid of execution. If the discovery shows that the respondent no longer has the ability to pay the civil penalty, The Florida Bar shall file with the court a motion to dissolve the civil penalty. The court may dissolve the civil penalty or may order that the penalty stand. If the discovery shows that the respondent has the ability to pay the civil penalty, The Florida Bar may file a petition for indirect criminal contempt as provided elsewhere in this chapter. * * * CHAPTER 14. GRIEVANCE MEDIATION AND FEE ARBITRATION * * * SUBCHAPTER 14-4. INSTITUTION OF PROCEEDINGS RULE 14-4.1 ARBITRATION PROCEEDINGS (a) Institution of Proceedings. All arbitration proceedings shall be instituted by the filing of a written consent to arbitration either by written contract between the parties to the arbitration, by order of a court or other tribunal, including orders of this court in proceedings under these Rules Regulating The Florida Bar imposing a sanction or condition or probation, or by the consent form prescribed in the policies adopted under the authority of this chapter and signed by each party to the controversy. Proceedings hereunder may also be instituted by the terms of a disciplinary sanction imposed or a condition of probation entered in accord with these Rules Regulating The Florida Bar. (b) Position Statement and Relevant Documents. Each of such the parties shall provide the committee arbitrator(s) with a concise statement of that party’s position, including the amount claimed or in controversy, on the form prescribed and authorized by the standing committee. If there is a written contract regarding fees between the parties, a copy of that written contract shall accompany the request or submission. (c) Referral by Intake Counsel or Bar Counsel. Intake counsel with the consent of the parties and concurrence of staff counsel, or bar counsel, with the consent of the parties, and the concurrence of the chief branch staff counsel, may refer appropriate cases to the fee arbitration program. (d) Referral by Grievance Committees. Grievance committees, with concurrence of bar counsel and consent of the parties, may refer appropriate cases to the fee arbitration program. (e) Referral by Board of Governors. The board of governors, with the agreement of the parties and upon review of a file referred to it as authorized elsewhere under these Rules Regulating The Florida Bar, may refer appropriate cases to the fee arbitration program if they meet the criteria established by the policies adopted under the authority of this chapter. (f) Referral by Referees. Referees may recommend referral of files to the fee arbitration program if the files meet the criteria established by the policies adopted under the authority of this chapter. * * * CHAPTER 17. AUTHORIZED HOUSE COUNSEL RULE SUBCHAPTER 17-1. GENERALLY * * * RULE 17-1.2 DEFINITIONS (a) Authorized House Counsel. An “authorized house counsel” is any person who: (1) is a member in good standing of the entity governing the practice of law of each state (other than Florida), territory, or the District of Columbia in which the member is licensed; (2) is not subject to an outstanding order of reprimand, censure or disbarment, permanent or temporary, for professional misconduct by the bar or courts of any jurisdiction; (3) is not subject to a disciplinary proceeding; (4) has not been permanently denied admission to practice before the bar of any jurisdiction based upon such person’s character or fitness; (5) agrees to abide by the Rules Regulating The Florida Bar (including, without limitation, rules 6-10.1 et seq.) and submit to the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of Florida for disciplinary purposes;( 6 1 ) is exclusively employed by a business organization located in the state of Florida and is residing in Florida or relocating to the state of Florida in furtherance of such employment within 6 months of such application under this chapter and receives or shall receive compensation for activities performed for that business organization; and( 7 2 ) has complied with rule 17-1.4 . ; and (3) has been certified as an authorized house counsel by the Supreme Court of Florida. (b) Business Organization. A “business organization” for the purpose of this rule is a corporation, partnership, association or other legal entity (taken together with its respective parents, subsidiaries, and affiliates) authorized to transact business in this state that is not itself engaged in the practice of law or the rendering of legal services outside such organization, whether for a fee or otherwise, and does not charge or collect a fee for the representation or advice other than to entities comprising such organization by the activities of the authorized house counsel. For purposes of this rule, a “business organization” does not include : (1) a governmental entity, governmental subdivision, political subdivision, or school board , ; (2) or any other entity that has the authority to levy a tax.* * * RULE 17-1.4 REGISTRATION (a) Filing with The Florida Bar. The following shall be filed with The Florida Bar by an individual seeking to be certified as authorized house counsel:(1) A certificate from an entity governing the practice of law of a state, territory, or the District of Columbia in all United States jurisdictions in which the registrant is licensed to practice law certifying that the registrant : is in active status and (A) is a member in good standing; and or is in inactive status. If in inactive status, the certificate must certify that the registrant is in voluntary inactive status and was not placed on inactive status involuntarily. If available, the registrant must provide a certificate of good standing in addition to the certificate regarding the registrant’s inactive status. (B) has a clear disciplinary record as required by subdivision 17-1.2(a)(2);(2) a sworn statement by the registrant that the registrant:(A) has read and is familiar with chapters 4 and 17 of the Rules Regulating The Florida Bar as adopted by the Supreme Court of Florida and will abide by the provisions thereof;(B) submits to the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of Florida for disciplinary purposes, as defined in chapter 3 of the Rules Regulating The Florida Bar and rule 17-1.6 herein, and authorizes notification to or from the entity governing the practice of law of each state, territory, or the District of Columbia in which the registrant is licensed to practice law of any disciplinary action taken against the registrant; and(C) is not subject to a disciplinary proceeding or outstanding order of reprimand, censure, or disbarment, permanent or temporary, for professional misconduct by the bar or courts of any jurisdiction and has not been permanently denied admission to practice before the bar of any jurisdiction based upon such person’s character or fitness ;(3) a certificate from a business organization certifying that: it is qualified as set forth in subdivision (b) of rule 17-1.2 (b) ; that it is aware that the registrant is not licensed to practice in Florida; and it is not relying upon The Florida Bar in any manner in employing the authorized house counsel;(4) an appropriate registration application to The Florida Bar as promulgated by the executive director of The Florida Bar; and(5) an appropriate remittance of a filing fee prescribed and set by the executive director of The Florida Bar in an amount not to exceed the amount applicable for admission to the bar examination for an attorney licensed in a state other than Florida. (b) Review by The Florida Bar. Upon receipt of the items set forth in subdivision 17-1.4 (a) of this rule, The Florida Bar shall review the items for compliance with this chapter. Any application not meeting the requirements of this chapter shall be sent back to the applicant. Grounds for return include, but are not limited to, filing certificates that do not contain all of the information set forth in subdivision 17-1.4(a), filing a certificate from a business organization that does not qualify as a business organization as defined by these rules, and failure to remit the appropriate fee. (c) Certification by Court. Upon review of the application by The Florida Bar, The Florida Bar shall file with the clerk of the Supreme Court of Florida the name and address of those registrants complying with the provisions of subdivision 17-1.4 (a) of this rule along with a request that the registrant be certified as authorized house counsel. Permission for authorized house counsel to perform services under this rule shall become effective upon approval of the request for certification by the clerk of the Supreme Court of Florida for a person employed in Florida or, if the registrant is not yet in Florida, the effective date of employment but not later than 6 months from the filing of the items set forth above. (d) Annual Renewal. The registration pursuant to this section shall be annual in a manner consistent with that applicable to an attorney licensed to practice in the state of Florida including the annual fee therefor as if such authorized house counsel was so licensed, provided, however, such renewal shall include a statement that the registrant , if on active status, is in good standing in all states or United States territories in which licensed and is not subject to any disciplinary proceedings. (e) Duty to Update. Should an individual certified as an authorized house counsel choose inactive status in 1 or more United States jurisdictions after certification, the authorized house counsel shall provide a certificate as required by subdivision (a)(1) of this rule. RULE 17-1.5 TERMINATION OR WITHDRAWAL OF REGISTRATION (a) Cessation of Authorization to Perform Services. Authorization to perform services under this rule shall cease upon the earliest of the following events:(1) the termination or resignation of employment with the business organization for which registration has been filed, provided, however, that if the authorized house counsel shall commence employment with another business organization within 30 days of the termination or resignation, authorization to perform services under this rule shall continue upon the filing with The Florida Bar of a certificate as set forth in subdivision (a)(3) of rule 17-1.4 (a)(3) ;(2) the withdrawal of registration by the business organization;(3) the withdrawal of registration by the authorized house counsel;(4) the relocation of an authorized house counsel outside of Florida for a period greater than 180 days;(5) disbarment or suspension from the practice of law by a court or other authorized disciplinary agency of another state or by a federal court; or(6) the failure of authorized house counsel to comply with any applicable provision of this rule.Notice of one 1 of the events set forth in subdivision s 17-1.5 (a)(1)-(5) of this rule or a new certificate as provided in subdivision 17-1.5 (a)(1) of this rule must be filed with The Florida Bar by the authorized house counsel within 30 days after such action. An authorized house counsel disbarred or suspended from the practice of law by a court or other authorized disciplinary agency of another state or by a federal court shall within 30 days after the effective date of disbarment or suspension file with The Florida Bar a copy of the order or judgment effecting such disbarment or suspension. Failure to provide notice by the authorized house counsel shall be a basis for discipline pursuant to the Rules Regulating The Florida Bar. (b) Notice of Withdrawal Termination of Authorization. Upon receipt of the notice required by subdivision 17-1.5 (a) of this rule, The Florida Bar shall forward a request to the clerk of the Supreme Court of Florida that the authorization under this chapter be revoked terminated. Notice of the revocation termination shall be mailed by the clerk of the Supreme Court of Florida to the authorized house counsel, the business organization employing the authorized house counsel, and The Florida Bar. The Florida Bar shall mail notice of the termination to the authorized house counsel and to the business organization employing the authorized house counsel. (c) Reapplication. Nothing herein shall prevent an individual previously authorized as house counsel to reapply for authorization as set forth in rule 17-1.4.* * * RULE 17-1.9 CONTINUING LEGAL EDUCATION REQUIREMENT An individual certified as an authorized house counsel shall comply with rules 6-10.3, 6-10.4, and 6-12.3 of the Rules Regulating The Florida Bar unless the individual is eligible for an exemption to rule 6-12.3 pursuant to rule 6-12.4.last_img read more