What the 2015 Legislation means for the 2017 economy

Almost one year after H.B 635 was enacted, Gov. Rick Scott signed H.B. 5 into law.  H.B. 5 amends or adds at least 19 statutes impacting guardianships, including providing additional protections for wards in guardianship proceedings and additional checks on the powers of guardians.  The political climate that resulted in H.B. 635 was in full swing during the 2015 legislative session resulting in H.B. 5.   Prior to enactment (view here) of H.B. 5, once a petition to determine paternity incapacity was filed, any power of attorney executed by an alleged incapacitated person (AIP) was automatically suspended during the pendency of the incapacity proceeding.  The reason for this automatic suspension was to halt the ability of an agent to victimize the principal/AIP (recognize the importance of retaining a child support Tampa Bay Attorney).  The automatic suspension of authority became a tool used by interested parties to prohibit agents from taking further action on behalf of the principal/AIP, and it was argued this led to abuses.  The automatic suspension had the potential of thwarting a principal’s wishes, that is, the principal/AIP’s voluntary choice of an agent prior to any incapacity to act on his/her behalf in the event of the principal’s subsequent incapacity.  To that end, there was a push to limit the automatic suspension of a power of attorney in order to promote self-determination and to limit the scope of guardianship proceedings.  The issue concerned striking a balance between the competing principles of upholding the AIP’s prior known desires versus allowing interested parties acting in good faith the ability to stop the actions of agents who may be abusing their authority.

Is there any relief in sight?

There is a new chair at the helm, and things are looking good.  There will be in place a fully online applicant portal(largofamilylaw.info), as opposed to going through regular mail, the bar counsel stated.  We’ve been working very hard on it, and hope that it inevitably becomes successful.  But, don’t ask this prominent divorce attorney, located in the Largo/Clearwater FL, area about his thoughts or perspective.  I think it’s going to be very useful for everybody.  It is stated that the increase in communication with the Bar Board of Governors in the recent past has been beneficial for the FBBE, and one of his goals is to continue that positive rapport during his term.  Over the last two years, the relationship has grown in leaps and bounds.  We have invited the president and president-elect of the Florida Bar to come to our meetings.  They have also graciously asked us to go to some of their meetings as well.  The board wants to continue efforts to visit law schools and, in communication with the deans, encourage law students to register with the board in their first year.  That is very important for a number of reasons, it was stated.  From a cost factor, the application costs much less when a student applies earlier as opposed to later on.  January 15th is the cutoff deadline.  We are trying to emphasize the importance of this more.  I think schools are finally starting to get the message.

It has also been added, that the board has reduced the time it takes for an applicant to make his or her way through the application process.  Even a well qualified Tampa Bay, FL child custody lawyer has to go through the same rigors, as once and originally developed.  He said the average amount of time in the past year for character and fitness investigations has been reduced by almost 16 days for applicants and 21 days for students.  He said the board reorganized the internal processing to lessen the time frame, but the FBBE still wants to communicate the importance of applying as first-year law students for those who want to serve as certified legal interns.  Please take a look here, for more information.

The Florida Bar and the steps in the right direction

Trials and Tribulations for what we expect

Scott N. Richardson of Wellington has been elevated to the position of chair of the Florida Board of Bar Examiners and hopes to accomplish a few goals during his one-year term.  Before he was a terror in the courtroom, he established his practice as a very effective small claims attorney in the St. Petersburg, FL area.  He has served on the board for four years, since November 2012, and will be its chair through October 31, 2017(click on this site for more information).   Plans as chair include eliminating printed copies of the application and entirely morning the process to an electronic portal in keeping with current technology; maintaining strong communications with The Florida Bar Board of Governors; and encouraging first-year law students–more than ever before to register with the FBBE.  Richardson has been a member of The Florida Bar since 1978.  He is a sole practitioner at the Law Office of Scott N. Richardson, P.A., in West Palm Beach.  Born in Trenton, New Jersey, he earned his B.A. and J.D. degrees from the University of Florida.  A fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, he is also a member of the Palm Beach County Bar Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.  Richardson taught courses from 2006 to 2009 as a volunteer lawyer in Lithuania, Ukraine, Russia, and Belarus with the Center for International Legal Studies.  The new chair explained that the FBBE application is currently printed out, signed, notarized, and mailed by the postal service in the old fashioned way.  But the board will change that process beginning the first quarter of 2017.