Monday, September 24, 2007

Board endorses three-year cycle rule amendments


The Bar Board of Governors has endorsed three-year cycle rule amendments for the Rules of Appellate Procedure, the Rules of Judicial Administration, and the Family Law Rules.

The board received reports from the three rules committees at its August meeting and unanimously supported all of the recommendations. The rules now go to the Supreme Court for its review.

The family rules had the most proposed changes, although many were technical, correcting cross references to renumbered Rules of Judicial Administration.

A change to Rule 12.040 requires an attorney representing the Department of Revenue in a child support enforcement action to file a notice giving the attorney’s relationship with the custodial parent and stating the issues the attorney is authorized to address in the proceedings.

An amendment to Rules 12.490, 12.491, and 12.492 provides that exceptions to a special magistrate’s report should be filed within 10 days of service. A change to Rule 12.410 clarifies that prior court approval must be obtained before a minor child is subpoenaed to appear at a hearing.

Two out-of-cycle rule amendments were also presented and endorsed. One clarifies that under Rule 9.149(c)(4)(B), a petition for ineffective assistance of counsel must be filed within two years in a case where the district court affirms a conviction but remands the case for resentencing. The second adds new provisions to Rule 9.142 to address instances where a prisoner in postconviction proceedings in death penalty cases seeks to dismiss counsel and dismiss pending proceedings.

Board member Tim Sullivan presented the Rules of Judicial Administration amendments.

Those include requiring other rule committees to send changes to the RJA Committee within 30 days, allowing challenges to elections and referendums on constitutional amendments to be handled as priority cases, and requiring someone filing a motion to disqualify a judge to list all prior such motions they have filed. Another change would allow a Florida resident who is licensed to practice law in another state to move to appear pro hac vice in a Florida case if that attorney has an application pending to join The Florida Bar and has not previously been denied admission to the Bar.

The only other amendment is technical, Sullivan said.

The board cannot amend a committee’s proposed rule amendments and can only endorse or reject them, although it can make comments when the rules are submitted to the Supreme Court.

— Courtesy of The Florida Bar news

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