Friday, September 29, 2023
The Florida Supreme Court has adopted a number of rule revisions proposed by the Bar Board of Governors but rejected this one
we decline to delete from rule 3-5.1(d) the requirement that public reprimands be published in the Southern Reporter. Publication in the reporter remains integral to ensuring that a public reprimand is indeed public. The Bar proposed deleting the requirement because in recent years this Court’s public reprimands of lawyers have not, as a matter of course, been published in the Southern Reporter. We thank the Bar for bringing this oversight to our attention, and we will take steps to ensure that publication of public reprimands in the Southern Reporter occurs.
In rule 3-5.3, the Bar proposed the addition of new subdivision (h) (Diversion Before Formal Complaint is Filed). The subdivision the Bar proposed is essentially a mirror image of rule 3-7.9(a) (Consent Judgment; Before Formal Complaint is Filed) and would permit a lawyer and the Bar to enter into a consent judgment providing for diversion before a formal complaint is filed. However, we see no need to amend rule 3-5.3 to include a mirror image of a rule that already exists elsewhere. We, therefore, revise the Bar’s proposal to read:
(h) Diversion Before Formal Complaint is Filed. The procedures for approval of consent judgments provided elsewhere in these rules apply to diversion before the filing of a formal complaint.
Rule 3-6.1(a) is reorganized, and the rule’s scope is expanded to include persons who are suspended or have been disbarred in another jurisdiction. Also, under the amended rule, a person is now considered employed by an entity providing legal services if he or she “is engaged to provide services to the client arising from or related to the client’s legal representation at the recommendation of the entity or any of its members or employees.”
Rule 3-7.10(f) is amended to prohibit a referee from referring a petition for reinstatement to civil or grievance mediation. The Bar proposed amending subdivision (f)(4)(B) to establish when and for how long Florida Bar Examination and Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination scores are valid for reinstatement purposes. For added clarity, however, we revise the Bar’s proposal to read: “The results for both exams must be valid under the Rules of the Supreme Court Relating to Admission to the Bar when the petition is filed and will remain valid for at least 3 years after the filing of the petition.”
Lastly, we decline to amend rule 3-7.16(d) as proposed by the Bar.