FIFTH CIRCUIT PROFESSIONALISM COMMITTEES

Welcome to the Fifth Judicial Circuit’s
Professionalism Committees home page.

The Fifth Judicial Circuit has divided the Professionalism
Committees into two divisions:

The Professional Practice Division and the Educational Division

Professionalism Practice Committee Chair:

The Honorable Ann Melinda Craggs,
Circuit Court Judge, Marion County

Administrative Order A-2016-13

The County by County Sub Committees in accordance with Florida Supreme Court Order SC13-688

The current professionalism movement in Florida began with a Florida Bar task force created in 1989 which generated a report to the Florida Supreme Court in 1996 that reported lawyers’ professionalism to be in a state of steep decline. In July of 1996, The Florida Bar requested that the Supreme Court create the Supreme Court of Florida Commission on Professionalism with the overarching objective of increasing the professionalism aspirations of all lawyers in Florida and ensuring that the practice of law remains a high calling with lawyers invested in not only the service of individual clients but also service to the public good as well.

Florida has traditionally followed a more passive, academic approach to enhance and improve professionalism. Continuing legal education programs, speeches, contests, meetings and other academic methods of addressing professionalism have been implemented on both state and local levels. During the last two years, the Professionalism Commission has studied and reviewed both the status and progress in advancing professionalism in Florida.   The Professionalism Commission has concluded that we continue to experience significant problems that are unacceptable, requiring further and more concrete action.  The Commission concluded that further integrated, affirmative, practical and active measures are now needed. The Florida Supreme Court accepted the proposal of the Professionalism Commission to create a structure for affirmatively addressing unacceptable professional conduct.

The Commission proposed, and the Court adopted, the collection and integration of our current and already existing standards of behavior as already codified in: (1) the Oath of Admission to The Florida Bar; (2) The Florida Bar Creed of Professionalism; (3) The Florida Bar Ideals and Goals of Professionalism; (4) The Rules Regulating The Florida Bar; and (5) the decisions of the Florida Supreme Court into and as part of the Code for Resolving Professionalism Complaints.

Presently, the mechanism for initiating, processing, and resolving professionalism complaints is the Attorney Consumer Assistance and Intake Program (ACAP) created by The Florida Bar. ACAP has been previously created and already accepts, screens, mediates and attempts to resolve any complaints concerning professional behavior. This structure exists to receive and resolve any complaints before and in the place of the initiation of formal grievance proceedings.

An Administrative Order issued on June 11, 1998, which required the Chief Judge of each circuit to create and maintain in continuous operation a Circuit Committee on Professionalism. SC13-688 imposes a local committee in each circuit to be activated to receive, screen and act upon any and all complaints of unprofessional conduct and to resolve those complaints informally, if possible, or refer to The Florida Bar if necessary. The Chief Judge of the Fifth Judicial Circuit has created a Local Professionalism Panel to receive and resolve professionalism complaints informally if possible. In the Fifth Circuit, this division is called the Fifth Judicial Circuit Professionalism Committee, Professional Practice Division.

Administrative Order A2013-45-B
AO Establishing Local Professionalism Panels and Procedures for Resolving Professionalism Complaints

TO FILE A PROFESSIONALISM COMPLAINT CLICK HERE

Professionalism Educational Division Committee Chair:

The Honorable S. Sue Robbins,
Circuit Court Judge, Marion County

In order to provide effective coordination of professionalism programs and activities throughout the Fifth Judicial Circuit and in accordance with the Florida Supreme Court’s Administrative Order entitled In Re: Commission on Professionalism, dated June 11, 1998, mandating the establishment of a local Professionalism Committee in each judicial circuit. In the interest of promoting professionalism, a Professionalism Committee allows the bench and the Bar to coordinate professional activities for lawyers and judges in furtherance of and in an effort to maintain the highest standards of professionalism in the Fifth Circuit.

Every two years the Fifth Judicial Circuit proudly hosts a Professionalism Conference.  Attendees travel from all over the State to attend.  Information below is from our most recent Conference.

The 2016 Professionalism Conference

GREAT EXPECTATIONS:
PROFESSIONALISM EXPECTATIONS FOR FLORIDA LAWYERS
Presented by the Fifth Circuit Professionalism Committee
-Friday, April 15th, 2016 at Hilton Hotel, Ocala, FL-
Registration at 7:30 a.m. Program from 8:15 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Breakfast and lunch provided

Presenting plenary presentations from Florida Chief Justice Jorge Labarga;
Renee Thompson, Esq., Gordon Glover, Esq., and Jacina Haston,
Director of The Florida Bar’s Latimer Center on Professionalism.
Also including workshops on:

Substance Abuse, Mental health and Aging;
Stress Management;
“LGBTQ Comes to Court;”
Judicial Ethics; and
Mindfulness in Judging and in the Practice of Law.

The 2018 Professionalism Conference

LET JUSTICE ROLL DOWN LIKE WATER:

 A Professionalism Program About Bias Elimination in the Courts

Please check back often for further information on this upcoming Conference.

Helpful resources on the Professionalism Committee

 

“The professional man is in essence one who provides service. But the service he renders is something more than that of the laborer, even the skilled laborer. It is a service that wells up from the entire complex of his personality. True, some specialized and highly developed techniques may be included, but their mode of expression is given its deepest meaning by the personality of the practitioner. In a very real sense his professional service cannot be separate from his personal being. He has no goods to sell, no land to till. His only asset is himself. It turns out that there is no right price for service, for what is a share of a man’s worth? If he does not contain the quality of integrity, he is worthless. If he does, he is priceless. The value is either nothing or it is infinite.

So do not try to set a price on yourselves. Do not measure out your professional services on an apothecaries’ scale and say “Only this for so much.” Do not debase yourselves by equating your souls to what they will bring on the market. Do not be a miser, hoarding your talents and abilities and knowledge, either among yourselves or in your dealings with your clients…

Rather be reckless and spendthrift, pouring out your talent to all whom it can be out of service! Throw it away, waste it, and in the spending it will be increased. Do not keep a watchful eye lest you slip and give away a little bit of what you might have sold. Do not censor your thoughts to gain a wider audience. Like love, talent is only useful in its expenditure, and it is never exhausted. Certain it is that man must eat; so set what price you must on your service. But never confuse the performance, which is great, with the compensation, be it money, power, or fame, which is trivial.

…The job is there, you will see it, and your strength is such, as you graduate… that you need not consider what the task will cost you. It is not enough that you do your duty. The richness of life lies in the performance which is above and beyond the call of duty.”

~ Judge Elbert Tuttle; Commencement speech at Emory University ~

For further information please contact:

Grace Fagan,  Fifth Circuit’s General Counsel

gfagan@circuit5.org

352-754-4860

352-253-1615