IN RE: AMENDMENTS TO THE RULES OF THE SUPREME COURT RELATING TO ADMISSIONS TO THE BAR.
Proceeding - Rules of the Supreme Court of Florida Relating
to Admissions to the Bar.
Elizabeth J. Walters, Chair, Scott N. Richardson, Past Chair,
Michele A. Gavagni, Executive Director, and James T. Almon,
General Counsel, Florida Board of Bar Examiners, Tallahassee,
Florida, for Petitioner
Leticia M. Diaz, Dean, Barry University - Dwayne O. Andreas
School of Law, Orlando, Florida; Angela Felecia Epps, Dean,
Florida A&M University College of Law, Orlando, Florida;
Scott DeVito, Dean, Florida Coastal School of Law,
Jacksonville, Florida; Tawia Ansah, Acting Dean, R. Alexander
Acosta, Past Dean, Florida International University College
of Law, Miami, Florida; Jon M. Garon, Dean, Nova Southeastern
University - Shepard Broad College of Law, Fort Lauderdale,
Florida; Christopher M. Pietruszkiewicz, Dean, Stetson
University College of Law, Gulfport, Florida; Alfredo
García, J.D., Dean, St. Thomas University School of
Law, Miami Gardens, Florida; Laura Ann Rosenbury, Dean,
University of Florida - Fredric G. Levin College of Law,
Gainesville, Florida; Patricia D. White, Dean, University of
Miami School of Law, Coral Gables, Florida; and Timothy P.
Chinaris, Nashville, Tennessee, Responding with Comments
matter is before the Court for consideration of proposed
amendments to the Rules of the Supreme Court Relating to
Admissions to the Bar. We have jurisdiction. See
art. V, § 15, Fla. Const.
Florida Board of Bar Examiners (Board) has filed a petition
to amend the Rules of the Supreme Court Relating to
Admissions to the Bar (Rules) 3-14 (Bar Application and
Supporting Documentation), 3-23 (Specifications), 4-13.4
(Alternative Method of Educational Qualification), and 4-23.1
(Transfer of Score). After submission to the Court, the
proposed amendments were published for comment in The
Florida Bar News. The deans of multiple Florida law
schools filed a comment supporting the proposed amendments to
rule 4-23.1. Florida Bar member, Timothy P. Chinaris, filed a
comment supporting the proposed amendments to rules 3-14,
3-23, and 4-23.1.
consideration of the Board's petition and the comments
filed, we adopt the amendments as proposed by the Board.
3-14 (Bar Application and Supporting Documentation)
petition, the Board explains that it is developing an
applicant portal to allow all communications between the
Board and applicants for admission to The Florida Bar to be
done electronically. Thus, under rule 3-14 as amended, in
lieu of a notarized paper copy of the bar application, an
e-signature is required and the jurat on the application is
modified to reflect this. Further, rule 3-14.1 (Filed as an
Applicant) and rule 3-14.2 (Filed as a Registrant) are
amended to delete the requirement that the bar application be
"sworn, " and rule 3-14.1(f) is amended to require,
instead of an "affidavit . . . attesting that the
applicant has read Chapter 4, Rules of Professional Conduct,
and Chapter 5, Rules Regulating Trust Accounts, " an
online form "acknowledgement of compliance . . .
declaring" the same. The name of this form is changed to
"Acknowledgement of Compliance, " and the statement
therein is amended to reference an e-signature PIN, rather
than notarization. Rule 3-14.3 (Defective Applications) is
amended to remove a reference to notarization.
to the amendments to rule 3-14, rule 3-23 is amended in order
to accommodate electronic communication and submission of
documents. Currently, Specifications are served on applicants
by certified mail, and a sworn and notarized response, with
four copies, is required to be provided to the Board by mail.
The Board states that it wishes to allow the service of
Specifications by both mail and electronically through the
portal. Rule 3-23 is amended to replace the requirement that
a response to Specifications be "filed in the form of a
sworn, notarized answer, " with the requirement that it
be "served in the form of a verified answer." This
will allow applicants to serve the answer on the Board
through the portal, without having to mail the original to
4-13.4 (Alternative Method of ...