Fourth Judicial Circuit Florida Bar Board of Governors candidates

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  • | 12:00 p.m. February 28, 2011
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Law Offices of Arthur Hernandez, P.A.

I am Arthur Hernández, a Trial Attorney. I completed college and law school in South Florida in 1990. In 1993, we moved to Jacksonville, as my wife, Dr. Catherine C. Madaffari, completed her residency program at Shands Hospital, where my kids were born. We have been actively involved in the legal, medical and sports communities of Northeast Florida since 1993 as Jacksonville is home.

As a Coach for the past 14 years, my coaching philosophy is simple:

1. Make sure the kids have FUN!

2. Challenge the athlete to train and play to the best of their abilities.

3. Build a consensus and develop strong teamwork.

4. Seize the opportunity and enjoy the moment.

Attorneys and athletes are similar, as youth sports leagues can sometimes be as adversarial, contentious and ultra competitive as some multiparty, multiweek trials, but we shouldn’t lose focus or sight of the goal and objective which should be “How can The Florida Bar better serve you?”

The Florida Bar is always changing. Membership increases by about 900 newly licensed attorneys every year. There are an equal number of attorneys over the age of 45 as under. There are an equal number of women attorneys as men. The percentages of minority attorneys and judges is increasing. Diversity is good for all, but one of the figures that remains constant: almost 60 percent of Florida Bar members of the Fourth Judicial Circuit are either solo practioners or practice in small (usually less than five attorneys) firms, therefore who is representing or addressing the concerns, the issues, the needs and the interest of these attorneys at The Florida Bar level?

Everyone can agree that the major issues facing The Florida Bar are: adequate funding for the judiciary, promoting professionalism, embracing technology, attorney advertising and encouraging pro bono service, however, the biggest difference I can make if elected as your BOG representative: I will serve YOU, the individual attorney, (regardless of big or small firm), to address your individual concerns, issues, needs, and interests at The Florida Bar. How? Just let me know via e-mail: [email protected]

If you believe in this fresh approach, a grounded perspective with strong emphasis of a traditional value, representation of the individual, then I respectfully ask for your vote as there is always room in my minivan! Thank you for your support!

For additional information on Minivan, see Florida Bar News, Feb. 1, 2011.

Reginald Luster, P.A.

I am seeking to be your representative on The Florida Bar Board of Governors, Seat 2, representing the Fourth Judicial Circuit and I respectfully ask for your support in March.

I have practiced law in the Fourth Judicial Circuit for more than 22 years. After graduating from the College of Law at Florida State University, I began my practice in 1988 with the insurance defense law firm of Mathews, Osborne, McNatt, Gobelman & Cobb where I became a partner with its successor law firm. From 1994-2001, I served as an Assistant United States Attorney, Middle District of Florida, Jacksonville Division, and later I was detailed to work with the Department of Justice, Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys in Washington, D.C. In the fall of 2001, I returned to the private practice of law, establishing three law firms including my current firm, Reginald Luster, P.A., representing corporations and individuals in state and federal courts.

I have also had the honor to serve our legal community at the local, state and federal levels. I was elected to serve as president of The Jacksonville Bar Association in 2004-2005, after having served on The JBA Board of Governors from 1998-2004. From 1993-1998, I served the Jacksonville Bar Association on the Strategic Planning Committee, Membership Committee and as assistant editor of The JBA Bulletin. I also served as a lecturer for The Florida Bar’s Symposium on Professionalism and Federal Court Practice. In 2002, I was appointed by the Florida Supreme Court to the Board of Governors of the Florida Bar Foundation, the charitable organization established by Florida lawyers and the Florida Supreme Court, to provide greater access to justice. In 2005, I was appointed to serve on the Advisory Committee on Local Rules for the U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida.

If elected to the Board of Governors, I will use my leadership and service experience to assure adequate funding for Florida’s judiciary, to encourage lawyers to fulfill our Oath of Admission by providing pro bono services in never rejecting “the cause of the defenseless or the oppressed” and to assist lawyers in using today’s technology in their law practice, which is vital to our everyday practice.

I respectfully ask that you cast your vote for me in March 2011 so that I may continue to provide my leadership and service to you as your representative on The Florida Bar Board of Governors.

Tanner Bishop

This circuit has a long history of effective Florida Bar leadership. I seek the privilege of a seat on the Board of Governors because I feel I’m well qualified to continue that caliber of leadership.

These are serious times for Florida lawyers. Adequate funding for the judiciary is critically important to us because without it, the administration of justice will suffer. The Bar and its membership can address judicial funding, in part, by becoming better stewards of our scarce judicial resources. This means greater emphasis on professionalism so that judicial resources are used where they are really needed – to decide real disputes, allowing cases to be resolved in a fair and timely manner.

Another key issue facing us is lawyer advertising. The Board of Governors will soon make recommendations for new advertising rules to be submitted to the Florida Supreme Court. Those new advertising rules – including, hopefully, rules addressing social media – will govern how we communicate with prospective clients and the public at large. As a principal in a small litigation practice, I understand the value of advertising in practice development. The advertising rules the Bar recommends must be flexible enough to allow lawyers to communicate sufficient information about themselves to the public so the public can make informed, meaningful choices when hiring counsel. But we are professionals, and lawyer advertising should be in keeping with the dignity of our profession.

I believe my experience makes me the best qualified candidate to represent the lawyers of this circuit on the Board of Governors. I have been a partner in a large (1,200+ lawyers) multi-office firm and I helped found my current firm which has fewer than ten lawyers. From 1992 through 2000 I served as an Executive Council member and later as Chair of The Trial Lawyers Section, which at that time was the second largest section of The Florida Bar. From 2004 through 2010 I served on the Board of Legal Specialization and Education which has oversight of CLE programs and the 24 certification areas. I served as Chair of the BLSE in 2007 and 2008.

It would be my privilege to represent the lawyers of this circuit on the Board of Governors and I ask for your support in the upcoming election in March.