IN RE: AMENDMENTS TO THE RULES OF THE SUPREME COURT RELATING TO ADMISSIONS TO THE BAR-RULES 3-23.1 AND 4-23.1.
Original Proceeding - Florida Rules Regulating The Florida
L. Baena, Chair, Michele A. Gavagni, Executive Director, and
James T. Almon, General Counsel, Florida Board of Bar
Examiners, Tallahassee, Florida, for Petitioner
B. H. Phaneuf, Deerfield Beach, Florida, Responding with
the Court is the petition of the Florida Board of Bar
Examiners (Board) proposing amendments to the Rules of the
Supreme Court Relating to Admissions to the Bar (Bar
Admission Rules). See Bar Admiss. R. 1-12. We have
jurisdiction. See art. V, § 15, Fla. Const.
Board's petition proposes amending Bar Admission Rule
3-23.1 (Failure to File the Answer) to "harmonize"
it with prior amendments to other Bar Admission Rules, and
amending Bar Admission Rule 4-23.1 (Transfer of Score) to
address issues regarding the transfer of Multistate Bar
Examination (MBE) scores. The proposed amendments were
published for comment. The Court received one comment from
Attorney Robert Phaneuf. The Board filed a response.
considered the amendments proposed by the Board, the comment
filed, and the Board's response, the Court hereby adopts
these straightforward amendments as proposed by the Board.
Admission Rule 3-23.1 is amended to clarify the Board's
procedure in the event an applicant fails to serve an answer
to specifications within twenty-five days under Bar Admission
Rule 3-23 (Specifications). The amendments harmonize Bar
Admission Rule 3-23.1 with the requirements of Bar Admission
Rule 3-23 by replacing the word "file" throughout
the rule with "serve," and by extending the
deadline to "serve" an answer from twenty days to
twenty-five days. Bar Admission Rule 4-23.1 is amended to
authorize the transfer of MBE scores from jurisdictions that
do not utilize the National Conference of Bar Examiners'
score reporting service. The rule is also amended to include
new language establishing a deadline for the transfer of MBE
scores of January 15 for the February bar exam, and June 15
for the July bar exam.
the Rules of the Supreme Court Relating to Admissions to the
Bar are amended as set forth in the appendix to this opinion.
Deletions are indicated by struck-through type, and new
language is indicated by underscoring. The amendments shall
become effective immediately upon release of this opinion.
CANADY, C.J., and POLSTON, LABARGA, LAWSON, LAGOA, LUCK, and
MUÑIZ, JJ., concur.
FILING OF A MOTION FOR REHEARING SHALL NOT ALTER THE
EFFECTIVE DATE OF THESE AMENDMENTS.
Failure to FileServe the
Answer. If an applicant or registrant fails to fileserve an answer to the
Specifications within the 2025-day deadline or within any
extension of time allowed by the board, the Specifications
will be deemed admitted, and the failure to fileserve an answer shall constitute a
waiver of the applicant's right to a formal hearing
before the board pursuant to rule 3-23.2. The board will
enter Findings of Fact, finding the Specifications proven,
and appropriate conclusions of law that may include a