TALLAHASSEE – The Florida Bar has elected two new members and one incumbent to the Bar’s board of governors after a runoff vote settled three of five contested races.
John H. “Jack” Hickey of Miami, an incumbent, won a runoff with Nikki Lewis Simon for the 11th Circuit. Jay Kim of Fort Lauderdale won a runoff with Charles A. Morehead III for the 17th Circuit.
A second seat in the 11th Circuit belonged to President-elect Michael J. Higer, whose election as an officer means his circuit seat needed to be filled a year early. After winning a runoff, Deborah Baker-Egozi of Miami will fill the seat until the term expires June 23, 2017.
A runoff was used to determine the winner of races where a single candidate didn’t garner a majority of the first-round votes. Two other contested races didn’t require a runoff. The 20 remaining open seats were filled without opposition.
The board is responsible for formulating and adopting policy for the Bar, and its decisions are subject to final approval by the Florida Supreme Court, Francine Andía Walker, director of public information, told the Florida Record.
“In this capacity, the board provides guidance on a wide range of issues impacting both the legal profession and the citizens they serve, including the regulation of attorney advertising, public service and pro bono initiatives, professional development and ethical conduct, and legal education among others,” Walker said.
Recently, the board approved added several “tech-driven programs” to support attorneys. Ravel Law helps analyze judges’ decisions and Lawcountability offers weekly cloud-based training programs to help lawyers develop their practice. Practice Resource Institute provides online tools to help lawyers as they build their business.
Soon, the board’s Citizens Advisory Committee, which is made up of citizen volunteers, will help educate the public about the state-appointed Constitution Revision Commission that will review state’s constitution and propose changes to voters, Walker said.
The bar holds elections every year to fill half of the board’s 48 elected seats. Forty-two people representing the state’s 20 judicial circuits and four out-of-state representatives serve two-year terms. The president, president-elect and two non-lawyer members are appointed by the Florida Supreme Court. The president and president-elect of the Young Lawyers Division also serve on the board.