Free Wednesday Wisdom CLE for Solo & Small Firm Section members* by Mark Doble, CEO and founder of Alexsi, a software company that uses artificial intelligence (A.I.) to produce legal research memos on demand. Moderator: Judge Jennifer Kuyrkendall Griffin. Course number and Technology CLE credit pending approval. REGISTER
It is commonly noted that “AI is not here to replace lawyers, but lawyers who use AI will replace lawyers who don’t”. AI is being used by solo lawyers and small firms across the USA to help them compete with larger firms, without the need for significant overhead or an army of associates. It can increase their output, while minimizing their non-billable time spent on repetitive tasks like legal research. Mark Doble, will outline some of the benefits of leveraging AI in your practice.
*Registration will be approved when section membership is confirmed.
Mark Doble is the CEO and founder of Alexsei, a software company that uses AI to produce legal research memos on demand. Mark received his J.D. from Queen’s University in Canada, where he split his time between building software and completing the requisite law school readings. During his brief stint in a law firm, Mark became convinced that software would positively impact the legal profession in ways not yet seen due to the rapidly evolving nature of AI, so he quit his job to start Alexsei.
UPDATE: Due to a schedule conflict, Rebecca J. Bandy is unable to serve as a presenter.
Free Wednesday Wisdom Zoom webinar for Solo & Small Firm Section members* by Don Blackwell, Lake Mary, and moderated by Judge Jennifer Kuyrkendall Griffin. Course number 7911 is approved for 1 CLE and 1 Mental Health & Wellness credit.
*Registration will be approved when section membership is confirmed. REGISTER
A candid and intimate look at some of the mental health challenges confronting our profession, including reflections on a ground-breaking panel discussion highlighting the lived experiences of several highly-accomplished legal professionals, aimed at inspiring attendees of the webinar to be more attentive and responsive to the mental health and wellness of their colleagues and loved ones.
You’re invited to the Solo & Small Firm Section’s inaugural book club! Join us on September 21 for a discussion about the book “Profit First: Transform Your Business from a Cash-Eating Monster to a Money-Making Machine” by Mike Michalowicz. In the book, which is available on Amazon, Michalowicz shows that by taking profit first and apportioning only what remains for expenses, entrepreneurs will transform their businesses from cash-eating monsters to profitable cash cows. REGISTER HERE
Our discussion leader is CPA Kelley Brubaker, the founder of Profit Scale Thrive, author of the book, “Stop Struggling and Start Thriving: A Guide To Transform Your Law Firm,” and a Certified Mastery-Level Profit First Professional. All details and the Zoom information are online at bit.ly/SSFS_9-21BookClub.
Upcoming sessions will be SSFS members-only and will be held on third Thursdays every other month. We hope to see you at book club!
Free Wednesday Wisdom Zoom webinar for Solo & Small Firm Section members* by Megan Murray, Underwood Murray, P.A., Tampa, and moderated by Judge Jennifer Kuyrkendall Griffin. Course number and CLE credit pending approval. *Registration will be approved when section membership is confirmed. REGISTER
This seminar will provide an introduction to bankruptcy nondischargeability and why it matters in state court. Megan Murray will discuss the framework surrounding nondischargeability and relevant bankruptcy laws, how to identify nondischargeable debts early in a case, how to manage the risks of a judgment debtor filing bankruptcy, and eliminating a judgment through the bankruptcy process. Judgment creditors who do not consider dischargeability in state court risk losing their judgment in bankruptcy if the debt is of a kind that may be subject to nondischargeability. Careful advance consideration is key.
Megan Murray, a founding shareholder of Underwood Murray, has over twenty years of reorganization and workout experience advising individuals, business owners, debtors, trustees, creditors’ committees, secured and unsecured creditors, and asset purchasers and sellers. She has experience both on the legal side and on the business side in a global financial institution. She counsels individuals and businesses and owners in a wide variety of disputes and industries including but not limited to real estate, hospitality, pharmaceutical, medical services, construction, insurance, transportation, logistics, aviation, and financial services.
In addition to her broad range of representations in core bankruptcy matters, Ms. Murray counsels her clients in making critical business decisions, while prosecuting and defending complex business disputes. She has been involved in director and officer liability litigation, bondholder disputes, shareholder and partnership disputes, court-appointed receiverships, assignment proceedings, recovery of large and small business assets, and lien priority disputes related to a variety of collateral including real property, equipment, aircraft and logistics-related assets.
Free Wednesday Wisdom live Zoom webinar by Michael Prendergast of FordHarrison, and moderated by Judge Jennifer Kuyrkendall Griffin, 3rd Judicial Circuit. Course number 8083; 1 General CLE. Open to all members of The Florida Bar. REGISTER
While the Occupational Safety & Health Administration has not yet issued regulations specifically addressing heat-related injuries and illnesses, OSHA has published an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking proposing an OSHA standard specifically related to these hazards. In the meantime, OSHA continues to address these issues through inspections, citations and enforcement proceedings under the Occupational Safety and Health Act’s “General Duty” clause. This course addresses the current and anticipated impact of these general industry enforcement procedures and regulations on agricultural employers and their workers in the Sunshine State.
Mike Prendergast is a partner in the Jacksonville, Florida office of FordHarrison LLP. Mike and his firm represent and counsel employers in litigation, administrative proceedings, and other matters related to employment law. Mike’s practice includes advising employers concerning their obligations under the Occupational Safety and Health Act. Mike also represents clients during OSHA inspections and in response to citations and enforcement proceedings brought by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
Live InReach webinar. Course number 7844 is approved for 5 CLE, 2 of which may be applied toward Ethics; 2 Professionalism, and 1 Technology. Solo & Small Firm Section members register for only $250. View the presenter bios here. REGISTER
Annual Ethics & Professionalism Update: Scary Tales of Unprofessional & Unethical Conduct
October 27, 2023
8:00 AM–12:35 PM
|8:10 AM–9:00 AM
Tricked or Treated: White Collar Ethics Issues for the Unwary Lawyer
Professor Ellen Podgor, St. Petersburg
|9:00 AM–9:50 AM
Villainy or Virtue: Unmask Your Client’s Story to Avoid Unethical Surprises
Andrew J. Oppenheim, Tampa
|9:50 AM–10:05 AM
|10:05 AM–10:55 AM
Toil or Trouble: Ensure that Technology Works Ethically for You – Not Against You
Marck Joseph, Miami
|10:55 AM–11:45 AM
Hocus or Pocus: How to Prevent and Defend Professionalism and Ethics Complaints
Gwen Daniel, Tampa
|11:45 AM–12:35 PM
Friend or Fiend: Building & Maintaining your Reputation Ethically & with Professionalism
Ret. Judge Greg Holder, Tampa
|Ret. Judge Emmett (Lamar) Battles, Tampa
Free Wednesday Wisdom Zoom webinar for Solo & Small Firm Section members* by Rebecca J. Bandy, Director of The Florida Bar’s Henry Latimer Center for Professionalism, and moderated by Judge Jennifer Kuyrkendall Griffin. Course number 8084 is approved for 1 CLE, 1 Mental Health & Wellness. REGISTER
While the holidays can be a beautiful time, many attorneys struggle with stress, depression, anxiety, and loneliness. Please join Rebecca Bandy as she gifts you with tangible ways to brighten your holidays and add cheer to your life so that you can be your best professional self during the season’s celebrations.
*Registration will be approved when section membership is confirmed. Free Wednesday Wisdom Zoom webinar for Solo & Small Firm Section members.
Rebecca J. Bandy serves as the Director of The Florida Bar’s Henry Latimer Center for Professionalism. She joined the Center as Assistant Director in March 2017.
Prior to joining The Florida Bar, Ms. Bandy was an associate attorney at the Law Offices of Thomas L. Powell, PA in Tallahassee, where she litigated in the areas of family and criminal law. She most recently taught college-level courses at Lawton Chiles High School, where she helped establish the school’s award-winning mock trial team along with The Honorable Mark Walker, The Honorable David Frank, and attorney David Grimes.
Ms. Bandy previously served as the Director of Alumni Relations at the Florida State University College of Business and as the Assistant Director of Alumni and Development at the Florida State University College of Law.
She earned her Juris Doctor from the Florida State University College of Law. A native of the tiny town of Hilliard in Nassau County, Florida, she earned her Bachelor’s in Communications with Honors from Jacksonville University and her teaching credentials at Georgia Southern University.
Since becoming director, Ms. Bandy has attended the National Legal Mentoring Symposium in Columbia, South Carolina; the Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute at Georgetown University; the National Mindfulness Summit in Washington, DC; resilience training at Johnson and Johnson’s Human Performance Institute; and has received a Mental Health First Aid certificate. She currently serves on the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Professionalism. She regularly speaks to legal professionals, law school students, and Florida Bar staff on general professionalism, mindfulness-based emotional intelligence, the impacts of loneliness, mentoring, networking, gratitude, resilience, interpersonal communications skills, active listening, implicit bias, and team building.
She is the 2021 recipient of the Champion of Professionalism Award given by the Office of Criminal Conflict and Civil Regional Counsel, 2nd District Court of Appeal.
Ms. Bandy is active in her church, is a community volunteer at an area elementary school, and she has supported causes including the March of Dimes, Epilepsy Association of the Big Bend, the Holocaust Education Resource Council (HERC), the Kearney Center, and Honor Flight Tallahassee.
Free Wednesday Wisdom Zoom webinar for Solo & Small Firm Section members* by John Maceluch, Jr., Panama City; Chrissy Davis, Tallahassee; and Zack Zuroweste, Clearwater. Moderator: Judge Jennifer Kuyrkendall Griffin, 3rd Judicial Circuit. Course number 8248 is approved for 1 CLE credit. Members may self-report credit through their Florida Bar member portals.
John Maceluch, Jr. operates an Estate Planning and Elder Law firm along the beautiful Florida Gulf Coast with offices in Panama City and Tallahassee. His experience covers a wide variety of practice areas with clients from every background. He appeared in almost all the 67 counties in Florida with over 70 jury trials. John has presented numerous CLEs and seminars on professionalism and productivity. He has served as Secretary of the Tallahassee Bar Association, on the 13th Circuit Grievance Committee, and the Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division Board of Governors. He is currently on the Judicial Nominating Commission for the 14th Circuit of Florida, is the President of the St. Andrew’s Bay Inn of Court, and Treasurer of the Solo & Small Firm Section of the Florida Bar. He is a graduate of Florida State University with dual degrees in Political Science and Economics and received his Juris Doctor from Loyola Law School in New Orleans.
Christine Davis is a Florida Bar board-certified appellate specialist who handles civil appeals and extraordinary writ proceedings in state and federal courts in all areas of civil law. She also regularly prepares amicus briefs in high-profile, precedential cases for industry groups and associations.
In addition to her traditional appellate work, Christine’s practice includes extensive participation at the trial court level. In this role, she has participated in lengthy, high-profile trials throughout the state during which she strategizes with trial counsel; ensures the record is properly preserved for appeal; prepares and argues legal motions; and handles post-trial issues, such as post-trial briefing and argument and securing stays through supersedeas bonds. Christine began her legal career in 2002 at the Florida Supreme Court through a clerkship with Justice Charles T. Wells. She then spent 17 years at a large, national law firm specializing in appellate practice before opening her own firm—Davis Appeals, PLLC—as a solo appellate practitioner.
Zack Zuroweste is Shareholder and Managing Partner at Persante Zuroweste, P.A., in Clearwater. He practices probate and trust litigation, business litigation, and securities litigation and arbitration.
Mr. Zuroweste graduated from Stetson University College of Law in 2006 with a joint degree in Law and Master in Business Administration. He is a Graduate of the Trial Lawyers College, Senior Fellow of Litigation Counsel of America, and Member of the Trial Law Institute.
Mr. Zuroweste maintains an AV Rating from Martindale Hubbell, and is named in Florida Trend’s Legal Elite, Florida Super Lawyers, and Best Lawyers in America.
Mr. Zuroweste has been very active in voluntary bar associations and other professional organizations across Florida, including The Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division Board of Governors, Clearwater Bar Association, Barney Masterson American Inn of Court, Pinellas County Trial Lawyers Association, and The Florida Bar’s Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section. He served as the 2017-2018 President of The Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division Board of Governors and is the Immediate Past President of the Clearwater Bar Association.
Make plans to join your Solo & Small Firm Section friends and colleagues at the TradeWinds Island Grand Beach Resort for meetings, networking and fun! The agenda and details will be available soon.
Tech Up: Transform Your Law Practice—and Your Life, the annual Solo and Small Firm Conference, is tailored to the technology needs of solos and small firm practitioners with an emphasis on incorporating A.I. and software into your practice. Our diverse roster of presenters will cover topics that allow you to work smarter, more productively, and more effectively so that you can live a healthier, happier life.
Special thanks to Co-chairs/Moderators: Camara Williams, Orlando, and Stephanie Cagnet Myron, Wellington. Course number 8219 is approved for 5 CLE, 3 of which may be applied toward Ethics; 1 Mental Health & Wellness; and 4 Technology. Solo & Small Firm Section members register for only $250. All registrants have 90-day, on-demand access. REGISTER
Agenda and Presenters
8:10 AM – 9:00 AM: UNPLUG BEFORE YOU PLUG IN: 10 STRATEGIES TO HELP YOU LIVE A HAPPIER, HEALTHIER, MORE RESILIENT LIFE
Nora Riva Bergman, Real Life Practice, Tarpon Springs. Technology and the advent of AI have given lawyers the tools to live the lives we choose and work when and where we want to. But to make the most of what technology and AI can offer, we’ve got to first take care of ourselves. In this interactive presentation, author, attorney, and business coach Nora Riva Bergman will share 10 strategies from her book 50 Lessons for Happy Lawyers: Boost Wellness. Build Resilience. Yes, you can! If you’re feeling burned out, stressed out, or just want to be happier and healthier, this presentation will give you tools to make positive changes in your life. You’ll not only learn these strategies, but you’ll also get tips on how to start living them right now. Get ready to shift your thinking and begin experimenting with research-based strategies to increase your personal and professional happiness.
9:00 AM – 9:50 AM: HOW AI WILL MAKE YOU A BETTER ATTORNEY
Mark Doble, Toronto, CEO of Alexi. AI can take the most stressful, tedious elements of being a lawyer, and provide you with a head start in everything you do. From the moment you open a file to the moment you settle or receive a verdict, AI can remove stress, automate frustrating and tedious tasks, and increase your bandwidth to provide better service to your clients. Mark Doble, CEO of Alexi (an AI company for litigators) will walk you through some tips and tricks on how to properly think about, and leverage AI.
9:50 AM – 10:40 AM: AI IN THE PRACTICE OF LAW
Tom Martin, Vancouver, Founder & CEO of LawDroid, a Generative AI Legal Technology company. AI is taking the world by storm, but how can it best be applied to the practice of law? In this session, Tom Martin will explain how generative AI works, discuss the ethical issues it raises, demonstrate a real use case, and explore the practical ways you can use AI today to get more done with less to grow a more profitable law practice.
10:40 AM – 10:55 AM: Break
10:55 AM – 11:45 AM: GENERATIVE AI FOR LAWYERS: WHAT IT IS AND HOW TO USE IT IN YOUR PRACTICE
Carolyn Elefant, Washington, D.C. Generative AI has infiltrated the legal profession faster than any legal tech change in recent memory. And while generative AI carries enormous promise, the speed of adoption has overwhelmed many lawyers. After providing the basics of generative AI technology, practice management specialist, Carolyn Elefant, will provide real-world examples of how generative AI can power substantive research, client relations and marketing and best practices for choosing the appropriate generative AI tools and incorporating them ethically and responsibly into your law practice.
11:45 AM – 12:35 P.M.: THE FLORIDA BAR AND NATIONAL PERSPECTIVE ON ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE
E. Duffy Myrtetus, Richmond, VA and Gordon Glover, Ocala, Co-Chairs of Florida Board of Governors Special Committee on Artificial Intelligence Tools & Resources. The Co-chairs of the Florida Board of Governors Special Committee on Artificial Intelligence Tools & Resources, Gordon Glover and E. Duffy Myrtetus will recap the Committee’s work while providing an update on The Florida Bar and Committee efforts in the areas of Lawyer Regulation, ethics and the Courts as impacted by AI. Additionally, they will share information on notable trends in AI affecting lawyers, ethics and on general developments in courts around the country involving the use of Artificial Intelligence.