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Martha Barnett

Florida Bar will focus on ‘protecting the courts’ during constitutional revision process

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The new president of The Florida Bar says the organization is standing by to offer “technical legal” support to the Constitution Revision Commission as it readies to amend the state’s governing document, which could include changes affecting the judicial branch. But Michael J. Higer, a partner in Berger Singerman’s Miami office, won’t say which public proposals already filed he favors—or fears. He assumed the Bar presidency on June 23. “It is too early in the process to focus on any…

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Personnel note: Joshua E. Doyle selected as head of Florida Bar

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The Florida Bar

Joshua E. Doyle, a Tallahassee-based special agent for the FBI, will be taking the reins from John F. “Jack” Harkness, Jr. as the next executive director of The Florida Bar, according to a Tuesday press release. Harkness, who’s been with the Bar for 37 years, will shift to an “ongoing consulting role.” They’ll start a six-month transition in July. The Bar is charged with regulating the state’s 104,000 licensed attorneys. Doyle, 37, who has spent seven years with the bureau, previously was a lawyer-lobbyist…

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Former ABA head warns of possible danger to judiciary from constitutional panel

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The upcoming Constitution Revision Commission will likely take on the state’s judicial branch, and “the focus will not be on strengthening it,” the former president of the American Bar Association said Tuesday. Rather, retired Florida lawyer Martha Barnett, who was a Holland & Knight senior partner, said she expects an effort to “restrict, narrow and weaken the judicial branch.” “And if that happens, it is to the peril of the life and liberty of the people of this state,” she…

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