Thursday, June 4, 2009
The Florida Supreme Court has held that the Family Law Section of the Florida Bar may file an amicus brief on a matter of interest to the section. The ruling came in a lawsuit initiated to enjoin the brief. The court noted that membership in the section is voluntary and that permitting the brief thus does not violate the First Amendment rights of bar members. The suit was filed by two bar members and a public interest law firm.
A dissent would not grant the injunctive relief sought but would hold that the Bar had failed to comply with its policies regarding amicus briefs:
The Florida Bar's Standing Board Policy...provides that sections of the Bar may not submit an amicus brief in pending litigation if the issue involved "carries the potential of deep philosophical or emotional division among a substantial segment of the membership of the bar." The issue of homosexual adoption is undeniably divisive. The Florida Bar does not argue otherwise. The majority opinion does not hold otherwise.