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Since becoming involved with the Administrative Law Section in 2011, it has been a great privilege to work with many individuals who have devoted countless hours to furthering the practice of Administrative Law, and I am very honored to serve as the Section’s Chair for the next year. I would like to devote my first “From the Chair” column to recognizing a few of the Section’s long-standing members and their exceptional service to the Section. I would also like to recognize the work being done by some of our newer members.
During the June 2018 meeting, held in conjunction with the Florida Bar Convention, the Section honored Larry Sellers as the first recipient of the Curtis Kiser Administrative Lawyer of the Year Award and Administrative Law Judge Elizabeth McArthur as the first recipient of the Outstanding Service Award. Those in attendance were able to watch Mr. Kiser, one of the founding fathers of the modern APA, present Mr. Sellers with his award.
I could spend the next three “From the Chair” columns describing all of the work that Mr. Sellers and Judge McArthur have done for the Section. Instead, I will suggest that one or more of our Section members could interview Mr. Sellers and Judge McArthur and write profiles of our honorees for publication in a future edition of this Newsletter.
I was sad when retired Administrative Law Judge Linda Rigot notified me that she would no longer be serving as chair of the Section’s Legislative Committee. Fortunately, Judge Rigot will still be a member of that committee and available to share her considerable experience. I have gotten to know Judge Rigot very well over the last few years, and few people care more about the Section. I have no doubt that she will be a valuable resource for many years to come.
Stephen Emmanuel, as Co-Chair of our Publications Committee, has done an outstanding job encouraging Section members to write articles for the Florida Bar Journal. The Section’s profile has been significantly enhanced by the articles on Administrative Law that have been appearing in the Journal on a regular basis. Rather than soliciting articles, Stephen will be spending the next year monitoring our finances as the Section’s new Treasurer.
Lyyli Van Whittle, one of our newer members, has graciously agreed to assume Stephen’s former role. Ms. Van Whittle is very well qualified to act as a conduit between our Section and the Florida Bar Journal. She was an editor for Florida State University’s Law Review and worked at the Florida Supreme Court as a career staff attorney for over 15 years. Ms. Van Whittle currently serves as a hearing officer for the Public Employees Relations Commission. If you are interested in writing an article for publication in the Florida Bar Journal, please contact Ms. Van Whittle at Lyyli.VanWhittle@perc.myflorida.com.
Administrative Law Judge Lynne Quimby-Pennock recently notified me that she is stepping down as Co-Chair of the Law School Outreach Committee. Over the last three years, Judge Quimby-Pennock has traveled several thousand miles making law students aware of the Section via her “law school noshes.” We owe Judge Quimby-Pennock a tremendous amount of gratitude for all of the amazing work she has done.
The Section was very fortunate when Sharlee Edwards agreed to take complete charge of the Law School Outreach Committee. Ms. Edwards has also stepped up to take charge of a new effort to create a South Florida Chapter of the Administrative Law Section. The idea for a South Florida Chapter originated from a recent survey of Section members in which one of the respondents stated that the Section does not do enough for its members outside Tallahassee. Because the majority of the Section’s members and leadership are currently located in Tallahassee, it is understandable that many of the Section’s meetings and CLEs occur in Tallahassee. However, if the Section is to grow, then it must be responsive to the needs of Administrative Law practitioners throughout Florida. As a result, we are creating the South Florida Chapter so that there will be Section leaders in South Florida responsible for providing services such as CLEs and networking events to our South Florida members. I ask all of our South Florida members to contact Ms. Edwards and offer to assist her by speaking at a CLE event, serving as a mentor to a young attorney, or simply giving her ideas about how the South Florida Chapter can be of service. This is an exciting opportunity for young attorneys (and even those not so young) to give back to their profession.
Under Ms. Edwards’ leadership, I have no doubt that the South Florida Chapter will be a huge success, and I hope this leads to the creation of chapters in other parts of Florida.
Two former Section Chairs, Administrative Law Judge Cathy Sellers and Jowanna Oates, have been hard at work organizing the 2018 Pat Dore Conference. Judge Sellers, Ms. Oates, and their steering committee have done a terrific job organizing our Section’s flagship CLE event. While this year’s conference has several speakers we have come to expect to see, such as Patricia Nelson and Administrative Law Judge John Van Laningham (the two-time defending APA Jeopardy champion), several newer faces will be appearing. They include Tara Price, Tiffany Rodenberry, Marc Ito, Virginia Dailey, Jennifer Hinson, Tabitha Harnage, Rachelle Munson, Vinette Godelia, and Alexandra Marshall.
While the Pat Dore Conference has been a Section mainstay for many years, I was very happy to assist Brian Newman and Louis St. Laurent with producing a unique CLE for the Department of Health on June 28, 2018. The official title of the CLE that we gave to the Florida Bar was “The Nuts and Bolts of Administrative Litigation.” However, we unofficially referred to this CLE as “Stop Drop and Roll (How Not to be a Complete and Total Dumpster Fire at DOAH).” As those titles not so subtly imply, this CLE was focused on teaching basic (but invaluable) litigation skills. Mr. Newman, Ms. St. Laurent, and I thank Administrative Law Judges Li Nelson, Suzanne Van Wyk, and Hetal Desai for giving presentations. In addition, we thank the First District Court of Appeal for allowing us to use their facility and for providing technical assistance.
As many of you already know, Paul Drake and his Technology Committee have done a superb job implementing a complete redesign of the Section’s website, and they are in the process of giving us more reasons to add the website to our favorites list. For instance, you will start seeing descriptions of Section events (along with photographs) posted to the website on a regular basis. I am especially excited to see our Electronic Bulletin Board in action. At some point in the near future, Section members will be able to send an e-mail to ALSYoungLawyers@gmail.com describing a significant event in their professional or personal lives. Those e-mails could describe how a Section member just opened his or her own practice, made partner, earned a promotion, won a big case, or got married. We will let you know when this feature goes “live,” and we are counting on the Section members to make it a big success.
Tabitha Harnage is another of our new leaders and has been leading the effort to draw young attorneys to the Section. Ms. Harnage is in the process of formulating a series of Section events for the next year. Expect to see an event calendar posted on the Section’s website and other social medial platforms in the near future.
One of the primary benefits our Section has to offer is the opportunity for young attorneys to network with established Administrative Law practitioners. I urge all of our established members to turn out in support of the Section’s events. The Section will not grow without your help.
Finally, please join me in thanking Robert H. Hosay for his invaluable service as Section Chair over the past year. Mr. Hosay was the latest in a long line of outstanding section chairs, and his leadership will benefit the Section for many years to come. Prior to the outset of his term, Mr. Hosay announced at a Section meeting that he wanted to raise the Section’s profile so that administrative law practitioners would consider joining the Section to be an essential aspect of their professional development. While we have many long-standing members who have been of great service, it has been very encouraging to see Mr. Hosay’s vision become a reality as new leaders have emerged and brought new ideas and energy to the Section.
Please do not hesitate to reach out to me with any questions. I look forward to serving you as Chair during this 2018-19 term.
Administrative Law Judge, Division of Administrative Hearings
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