Greetings from the President’s Desk
February has come and gone with three successful robings and one excellent luncheon to commemorate the investiture of these fine judges. Thirteen new judges have been installed in the Circuit and County Courts; some excellent photographs appear in the Barrister, on our website and our social media pages.
Your bar continues to grow with over 3,200 members as of mid-February. It is our expectation that we will hit 3,300 members by the close of this fiscal year. Our CLE and special event products continue at an unparalleled pace with over 160 seminars and programs offered a year to our members. In addition, our Young Lawyers Section has monthly educational, charitable and networking events. Both offer a myriad of opportunities to contribute to the legal practice via committee and practice section involvement. Literally, there is at least one calendared event almost every business day at the BCBA. In this, a bench bar convention year, some of these programs will be pared back in order to give the convention more weight and less fluff.
The Broward County Bar Association’s Lawyer Referral Service is now the most profitable in the state of Florida against all comers. This is truly a great achievement by Braulio Rosa and Lyssette, our Lawyer Referral Service Coordinator. Our collection efforts have paid off. Of all the voluntary bars in Florida, only two lost money last year. One of the two was the lawyer referral service hosted by The Florida Bar. They rely on the honor system to get paid on referral fees and that’s why they lost over $200,000 last year of your money. Somebody should fix that.
This makes an even stronger case for the Broward Bar’s position on the lawyer referral service contemplated Rule changes that the Florida Bar is floating before the Florida Supreme Court. Oral argument is set before the Florida Supreme Court the first week in April and I will argue on behalf of the Broward Bar to keep the lawyer referral service system aimed at the local voluntary bars rather than bringing in some huge corporation to manage the referral service, market the same with impunity and have every reason to push profits over people.
Our bar fielded over 21,000 calls last year – think about that for a moment – and had approximately a 14% conversion rate of calls to referrals. That means that the other 86% were referred to other appropriate resources in the community to help them, rather than having paid a fee through an electronic portal, up front and then finding out they just wasted their money.
I make no apologies for our position – it‘s the right way to go.
Charles A. Morehead III
BCBA President 2016-2017