MIAMI — As president-elect designate for the Florida Bar in 2017, attorney Michael Higer brings a long history of service to the position.
Higer, who will succeed William Schifino Jr. of Tampa, has served on the association's board of governor’s since 2008, representing the 11th Circuit.
“I was fortunate to be elected because my colleagues and peers recognized me as someone with a long history of commitment and dedication to the bar and its members, someone who has repeatedly demonstrated an ability to lead, and someone who is passionate about the practice of law and the people we serve,” Higer recently told the Florida Record.
Higer has devoted his time outside his practice at Berger Singerman’s Dispute Resolution Team to working with several Florida Bar committees. Currently he is serving on the Executive Committee and the Strategic Planning Committee. He is also the chair of the Program Evaluation Committee and former chair of the board’s Budget Committee in 2014-2015.
With such vast experience, Higer knows the foundational values of The Florida Bar.
“The primary goals of The Florida Bar are always to protect and promote the interests of the approximately 100,000 lawyers who are its members, to serve the needs of the public to ensure their access to our legal system, and to foster and maintain a strong and independent judiciary,” Higer said.
Higer said that he will best help Florida’s judicial system by continuing to uphold the bar’s strategic plan, which, includes ensuring the judicial system is fair, impartial, adequately funded and open to all; enhancing the legal profession and the public’s trust and confidence in attorneys and the justice system;
Striving for equal access to and availability of legal services; and continuing to encourage and promote diversity and inclusion in all aspects of the profession and the justice system.
The Florida Bar has been a legal institution in the state since 1950 with earlier origins in the 1930s. Over the decades, the bar has expanded greatly from the original 3,758 lawyers it served to currently more than 100,000 members. Higer has plans to keep an eye on the bar’s history while meeting the demands of lawyers and citizens today.
“I will strive to continue the bar’s strategic plan of enhancing the value of bar membership while at the same time balancing the needs of not just the few but the many of our citizens to an accessible legal system,” Higer said. “Recognizing the staggering access to justice issues facing not only our citizens but people in need of legal services across the country, which is occurring paradoxically at the same time that lawyers are facing ever-increasing erosions of their practices from technology-based platforms."