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The Florida Bar Podcast

Welcome to the Official Florida Bar Podcast. This monthly series is brought to you by the Florida Bar’s Practice Resource Institute and will feature esteemed leaders in law discussing new and innovative topics. Its purpose is to help members of the Florida Bar as well as attorneys from other states run better practices and provide better legal services to their clients.
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Jan 29, 2019

Many people are not aware that the Florida Bar and the Florida Board of Bar Examiners are two separate entities. In this episode of the Florida Bar Podcast, hosts Christine Bilbrey and Karla Eckardt talk to Missy Gavagni and Scott Baena about the roles of the Florida Board of Bar Examiners. They outline its various functions including character and fitness investigations and the development, administration, and grading of bar exams. They also discuss the processes of conditional admission, readmission of disbarred lawyers, and the new military spouse rule in Florida.

Missy Gavagni has been the executive director of the Florida Board of Bar Examiners since 2006.

Scott Baena began his term as chair of the Florida Board of Bar Examiners in November 2018 and will serve until October of 2019.

Dec 12, 2018

Nora Riva Bergman shows lawyers how her strategies can have a tremendously positive impact on their lives, both professionally and personally. In this episode of The Florida Bar Podcast, hosts Christine Bilbrey and Karla Eckardt talk to Nora about her book, “50 Lessons for Lawyers: Earn More – Stress Less – Be Awesome,” and her evolution from practicing attorney to law firm business coach. They discuss how Nora’s strategies for work-life balance can be experimented with and adapted to fit the needs of any firm or lawyer.

Nora Riva Bergman is a licensed attorney, law firm business coach, and author.

Nov 6, 2018

Lawyers are in the business of holding sensitive and personal information, so they are prime targets for data breaches. Do you know how to protect your firm and clients? In this episode of the Florida Bar Podcast, hosts Christine Bilbrey and Karla Eckardt talk to Al Saikali about how lawyers should prepare their firms for different types of cybersecurity threats. They discuss how cybersecurity has changed and give tips on different types of administrative, technical, and physical safeguards. Firms of all sizes can implement defenses tailored to their needs, and lawyers have an ethical and legal obligation to take cybersecurity seriously.

Al Saikali is a Chambers-ranked lawyer specializing in privacy and data security law.

Sep 25, 2018

When Florida lawyers behave unethically, The Florida Bar steps in to ensure that justice is served. In this episode of The Florida Bar Podcast, hosts Christine Bilbrey and Karla Eckardt talk to Adria Quintela about The Florida Bar’s Department of Lawyer Regulation and attorney discipline. She shares how an investigation works, from the filing of a complaint all the way to what happens after the trial. The episode also features tips for lawyers who have received complaints or wish to avoid them.

Adria Quintela is staff counsel and director of Lawyer Regulation for The Florida Bar.

Aug 13, 2018

Navigating social media can be murky territory for lawyers, especially in regards to ethics. But using it as a communication and marketing tool could make the payoff worth it. In this episode of The Florida Bar Podcast, hosts Christine Bilbrey and Karla Eckardt talk to Ethan Wall about how lawyers can use social media efficiently and ethically to promote their practice. For those hesitant to invest the time in social media, they share tips like separating your professional and personal accounts, focusing on the most relevant channels rather than trying to tackle all of them, and buying domains related to your practice even if you don’t plan on using them.

Ethan Wall is a social media law attorney, author, professor, consultant, and keynote speaker in Miami, Florida.

Jun 18, 2018

Part of what makes lawyer wellness so hard to achieve is the association of vulnerability with weakness. Attorneys feel they can’t ask for help or even admit they have a problem. In this episode of The Florida Bar Podcast from the 2018 Annual Florida Bar Convention, host Christine Bilbrey talks to Dori Foster-Morales and Mark Eiglarsh about attorney mental health and the importance of being vulnerable and open about your struggles as a lawyer. They discuss the advantages of meditation and how the Special Committee on Mental Health and Wellness of Florida Lawyers is helping attorneys learn how to be happier and healthier.

Dori Foster-Morales is a board certified marital and family lawyer and partner at Foster-Morales Sockel-Stone.

Mark Eiglarsh is the owner of the Law Offices of Mark Eiglarsh and also serves as an adjunct professor at the University of Miami School of Law.

Jun 18, 2018

Abiding by all ethical standards can be complex for lawyers, but with the resources available it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. In this episode of The Florida Bar Podcast from the 2018 Annual Florida Bar Convention, host Karla Eckhardt talks to Richard Bush, Steven Teppler, Henry Paul, Judy Rushlow, and John Berry about the 2018 Masters Seminar on Ethics including the most common ethics issues lawyers encounter. They discuss issues such as sole practitioners who don’t have as much accountability, internal cybersecurity issues in law firms, and how lawyers can often feel isolated both in and outside of ethics issues.

Richard Bush is the senior partner of Bush & Augspurger where he has been practicing law for 37 years.

Steven Teppler leads Abbott’s electronic discovery and technology based litigation practice and frequently co-counsels with other attorneys on electronic discovery issues.

Henry Paul primarily represents lawyers in all matters before The Florida Bar, and applicants before the Florida Board of Bar Examiners.

Judy Rushlow, who served as the assistant director of Florida Lawyers Assistance Inc. for twenty-two years, was appointed executive director by the Florida Bar Board of Directors in October 2017.

John Berry serves as The Florida Bar’s Legal Division Director supervising the lawyer regulation and professionalism efforts.

Jun 15, 2018

Meditation could be a helpful tool for lawyers struggling with crippling stress and anxiety, but most are intimidated by the idea or don’t know where to start. In this episode of The Florida Bar Podcast from the 2018 Annual Florida Bar Convention, host Christine Bilbrey talks to Jeena Cho about how meditation helped her with her stress and how other attorneys can implement it in their practice. She ends the episode with a two minute meditation practice for those who want to see what typical meditation feels like.

Jeena Cho is the author of two books: The Anxious Lawyer, An 8-Week Guide to a Joyful and Satisfying Law Practice Through Mindfulness and Meditation, and How to Manage Your Law Office.

Jun 15, 2018

As his two years as president comes to an end, there’s a lot for Michael Higer to reflect on. In this episode of The Florida Bar Podcast from the 2018 Annual Florida Bar Convention, host and president-elect John Stewart talks to Florida Bar President Michael Higer about his position. They discuss his initiatives, including his focus on lawyer health and wellness, and the challenges he overcame dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.

Jun 15, 2018

For this year’s annual Federal Judicial Roundtable, 28 judges from multiple districts allowed practitioners the unique experience of discussing hypothetical cases with experienced judges. In this episode of The Florida Bar Podcast from the 2018 Annual Florida Bar Convention, host Renee Thompson talks to John Barkett about the event and topics of hypotheticals practitioners discussed, which ranged from document possession to draft expert reports.

John Barkett is a commercial and environmental lawyer with x.

Jun 15, 2018

In honor of Elder Abuse Awareness Day, update yourself on what’s happening on the elder law forefront. In this episode of The Florida Bar Podcast from the 2018 Annual Florida Bar Convention, host Karla Eckhardt talks to Peggy Hoyt and Alex Douglas about the different forms of elder abuse and what advanced age persons can do to protect themselves. They discuss resources, including the elder abuse hotline, and the complexities of guardianship.

Peggy Hoyt is a founding partner of Hoyt & Bryan where she practices in the areas of family wealth and legacy counselling, including elder law.

Alex Douglas handles a wide variety of probate and trust litigation, fiduciary litigation, and contested guardianship cases with Shuffield, Lowman & Wilson.

Jun 15, 2018

For those confused or curious about how The Florida Bar’s e-filing portal works, here’s the information that you need to get started. In this episode of The Florida Bar Podcast from the 2018 Annual Florida Bar Convention, host Jonathon Israel talks to Amy Borman and Murray Silverstein about the Florida Bar’s e-filing portal, how it works, and how attorneys can get their documents properly e-filed. They explain document submission standards and offer resources to help Florida attorneys stay current on all things e-filing.

Amy Borman currently serves as the 15th Judicial Circuit’s first general counsel.

Murray Silverstein is managing partner in Greenspoon Marder’s Tampa office.

Jun 15, 2018

Most of the time our pets provide us with love and support, but sometimes our pets and other animals need legal support. That’s when animal lawyers step in. In this episode of The Florida Bar Podcast from the 2018 Annual Florida Bar Convention, host Karla Eckhardt talks to Ralph DeMeo, Matthew Deitz, and Gregg Morton about hot topics in animal law and the growing success of the Animal Law Section of the Florida Bar. They discuss programs the section is investing time in and the real difference they’re making in the banning of greyhound racing.

Ralph DeMeo is a shareholder at Baker Donelson with a concentrated practice on environmental and land use law.

Matthew Dietz is a founding member and current litigation director of Disability Independence Group.

Gregg Morton is chair of the Animal Law Section of The Florida Bar.

Jun 15, 2018

Criminal law saw some game-changing cases this year that cracked down on jury bias and developed exceptions to the exclusionary rule. In this episode of The Florida Bar Podcast from the 2018 Annual Florida Bar Convention, host Karla Eckhardt talks to Denis deVlaming about a couple important US Supreme Court cases including Pena Rodriguez v. Colorado, Birchfield v. North Dakota, and Utah v. Strieff and what their outcomes mean for future criminal law cases in Florida.

Denis deVlaming is a criminal defense lawyer. He is board certified in criminal law and has been approved by the Florida Bar to give continuing legal education seminars on every aspect of the criminal trial.

Jun 14, 2018

The Florida Bar has recently focused increasingly on health and wellness and how struggling lawyers can overcome the stigma that keeps them from asking for help. In this episode of The Florida Bar Podcast from the 2018 Annual Florida Bar Convention, host Christine Bilbrey talks to Judy Rushlow and Molly Paris about Florida Lawyers Assistance Inc. (FLA) and the resources it provides to attorneys with mental health or substance abuse problems. Florida lawyers can find help for any situations, no matter how serious, by calling the hotline.

For lawyers seeking help with wellness issues, call the FLA hotline: 1-800-282-8981

Judy Rushlow, who served as the assistant director of FLA for twenty-two years, was appointed executive director by the Florida Bar Board of Directors in October 2017.

Molly Paris began her work with FLA in September 2017 in the newly and much needed role of outreach coordinator, but transitioned into the assistant director position in October 2017.

Jun 14, 2018

The conversation surrounding artificial intelligence (AI) is shifting from the fear of it replacing human jobs to how firms are using it to streamline their processes. In this episode of The Florida Bar Podcast from the 2018 Annual Florida Bar Convention, host Jonathon Israel talks to Eric Ostroff about the impact artificial intelligence will have on the legal profession. They discuss how it can augment your practice by shortening time spent on things like document review and share tips on how to integrate AI into your practice.

Eric Ostroff, a partner at Meland Russin & Budwick, focuses his practice on business litigation and trade-secrets/noncompete law and litigation.

Jun 14, 2018

Cryptocurrency is quickly rising in popularity but should lawyers accept it as payment? In this episode of The Florida Bar Podcast from the 2018 Annual Florida Bar Convention, host Jonathon Israel talks to Drew Hinkes and David Silver about how lawyers can and should interact with cryptocurrency. They discuss the volatile aspects of the technology, how attorneys go about accepting cryptocurrency as payment, and the potential for a legal community coin in the future.

Drew Hinkes is the general counsel, chief legal officer, and co-founder of Athena Blockchain, a financial services advisory firm focused on the tokenization of investments.

David Silver is a founding partner of Silver Miller and is focused exclusively on representing aggrieved investors and cryptocurrency users worldwide who seek to recover their financial losses.

Jun 14, 2018

Though they are still in the early adoption phase, blockchain and smart contract technologies have the potential to change the practice of law. In this episode of The Florida Bar Podcast from the 2018 Florida Bar Annual Convention, host Jonathon Israel talks to Anessa Santos and Scott AllendeVaux about what blockchain and smart contracts are and how they will automate processes and address problems within the legal profession. They also discuss resources for lawyers interested in incorporating these technologies in their practice and what’s happening in the near future of blockchain and smart contracts.

Attorney Anessa Santos has 15 plus years' experience in the technology field of UC&C, specializing in providing legal and business consulting services.

Scott AllendeVaux is currently the senior partner at Allendevaux & Company, a risk management and regulatory compliance firm.

May 29, 2018

Various committees within the legal profession, such as the ABA’s Mental Health Committee and the Florida Bar’s Special Committee on Mental Health and Wellness, are brainstorming methods to address the increasingly sobering statistics of depression, severe anxiety, and substance abuse among lawyers . In this episode of The Florida Bar Podcast, host Christine Bilbrey talks to Joe Ankus about mental health first aid training and how it could positively impact the law firms that use it. They discuss the benefits of non-judgemental and undivided listening and give various other tips for mental health first aid.

Joe Ankus has been a legal search consultant since 1991 and is the president of Ankus Consulting, Inc.

Apr 26, 2018

Identity theft doesn’t just apply to stolen credit cards or social security numbers. For attorneys, scammers can steal names and even bar numbers in order to trick consumers. In this episode of The Florida Bar Podcast, hosts Christine Bilbrey and Karla Eckardt talk to Shanell Schuyler about attorney identity theft scams, what they look like, and what both lawyers and clients can do to prevent them. For victims of identity theft, they also share resources within and outside of the Florida Bar that can help attorneys recover from and report identity theft.

Shanell Schuyler is director of the Attorney Consumer Assistance Program (ACAP) and Intake Department of The Florida Bar.

Mar 27, 2018

While you hope to never experience workplace violence, it’s important to know what to do in such a situation. In this episode of The Florida Bar Podcast, hosts Christine Bilbrey and Karla Eckardt talk to Deputy M. Dean Crump about the different kinds of workplace violence and the importance of training employees to handle these issues properly. They discuss how to safely deal with terminations, physical security measures, and how to prepare for an active shooter situation.

Dean Crump is the deputy sheriff for Leon County Sheriff's Office.

Feb 28, 2018

The role of The Florida Bar’s Board of Legal Specialization and Education (BLSE) is to identify the attorneys who have special knowledge, skills, and proficiency in certified areas of practice. In this episode of The Florida Bar Podcast, hosts Christine Bilbrey and Karla Eckardt talk about the BLSE with Diana Kellogg, Jessica Malloy, and Steven Rubin including what the certification process looks like and why it’s important for attorneys. They discuss the examinations, cost, peer review, ethics evaluations, and other components that make the certification process a valuable learning experience as well as a means for accreditation.

Diana Kellogg is the director of the BLSE.

Jessica R. Malloy is the education compliance and accreditation manager of the BLSE.

Steven D. Rubin is the current chair of BLSE.

Jan 31, 2018

According to a Johns Hopkins University study of more than 100 occupations, more lawyers suffer from depression than any other occupation. In this episode of The Florida Bar Podcast, hosts Christine Bilbrey and Karla Eckardt discuss lawyer wellbeing with Larry Krieger, who expands on why attorneys often struggle with depression and the wellbeing factors that may lead to satisfaction in a legal career. Together, they also talk about why firms should care about their employees’ happiness and how to create a positive environment.

Professor Larry Krieger co-directs the Externship Program and supervises criminal justice externships at the Florida State University College of Law.

Dec 28, 2017

If you have questions about professional conduct, conflict of interest, or what information you can include in your advertising, The Florida Bar’s Ethics and Advertising Department is there with answers. In this episode of The Florida Bar Podcast, hosts Christine Bilbrey and Karla Eckardt talk to Elizabeth Clark Tarbert about the Ethics and Advertising Department, including their role with the Bar, common questions they are asked, and why lawyers shouldn’t be afraid to call them for advice. They also discuss advertising rules and how to keep track of these rules as they change.

Elizabeth Clark Tarbert has been ethics counsel for The Florida Bar since 1997, providing oral and written ethics opinions Bar members.

Nov 30, 2017

As the year comes to a close, there are a number of things both large and small firms need to think about, one of these things being insurance policies. In this episode of The Florida Bar Podcast, hosts Christine Bilbrey and Jonathon Israel talk to Chip Trefry about end of the year insurance planning for lawyers. They discuss what types of insurance lawyers should think about, including health and cyber insurance, and the details of group coverage and tax benefits.

Earl “Chip” Trefry is the owner and CEO of Member Benefits, a full-service insurance and financial services organization.

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