Monday, April 27, 2015

Thirteenth Judicial Circuit Professionalism Committee Submits 2014 Annual Report

The Thirteenth Judicial Circuit Court Professionalism Committee recently submitted its 2014 Annual Report on Professionalism. The report, submitted on January 30, provided a review of the Professionalism Committee’s current professionalism projects and featured the Thirteenth Circuit’s continuing commitment to professionalism, which was exemplified by the efforts of the Professionalism Committee and its organizational and individual members over the past year.  Highlights from the report include:

•    The Professionalism Committee created two additional subcommittees — the 2015 Professionalism Award Subcommittee and the Medical/Legal Subcommittee.

•    The Promotions Subcommittee of the Professionalism Committee created and distributed over 500 informational brochures on the Local Professionalism Panel. The court administrator has agreed to make 1,000 additional copies, which are to be distributed primarily at the Hillsborough County courthouses.

•    On October 30, 2014, the inaugural Thirteenth Judicial Circuit Professionalism Award was presented to Deborah Werner for her commitment to professionalism, involvement in the legal community, and promotion of young lawyer mentoring.

•    The Professionalism Committee offered various trainings and presentations in 2014, including a Continuing Judicial Education program and a professionalism presentation at the Hillsborough County Bar Association’s 18th Annual Bench Bar Conference.

As Justice Lewis explained in In re Code for Resolving Professionalism Complaints, 116 So. 3d 280 (Fla. 2013), “[P]rofessionalism or acceptable professional behavior is not simply a matter of character or principles nor is it simply an issue of rule-following or rule-violating.  To the contrary, unacceptable professional conduct and behavior is often a matter of choice or decision-making.” Through the efforts of the Professionalism Committee and its member organizations, the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit endeavors to continue improving overall professionalism by encouraging individual members of the local legal community to make ethical and professional decisions in their daily practice.

For a copy of the 2014 Annual Report on Professionalism, please contact Joan Boles or Elise Pautler.