Welcome to the City, County & Local Government Law Section of the Florida Bar. Our membership is comprised of a wide variety of skilled professionals representing local governments at all levels. Whether in-house counsel or private practitioners, our members represent cities, counties, special districts and school boards, as well as persons appearing before these entities, throughout the state. I invite you to join the section, or if you are already a member, to become more involved in the various committees and activities undertaken by the section on an annual basis.
Membership has rewards beyond the networking opportunities available at our various meetings and seminars. The section’s listserv is as active now as it has ever been and allows members to tap into the expertise of nearly 1,700 members. Questions posted have run the gamut from public records or meetings issues to Bert Harris to sovereign immunity – and everything in between! This benefit places the vast knowledge and experience of our membership at your fingertips and is proving to be a fantastic resource. As we continue to refine this tool, it will no doubt prove even more valuable.
Yet another benefit the section offers is continuing legal education seminars on topics of interest to its members at a reduced rate. We are already looking forward to September’s Public Employment and Labor Relations seminar, which is being hosted in conjunction with the Labor and Employment law section for the 38th year, making it the longest running seminar hosted jointly by two sections of The Florida Bar. February brings our Sunshine Law, Public Records and Ethics seminar, which is a one day seminar in Tallahassee that will be webcast for the convenience of those wishing to attend. Not only is this a great resource for our members, but also for those public officials with whom many of us work. Several more offerings are planned for the spring, including our Annual Local Government Law seminar, Public Finance and the Board Certification Review Course. The review course if a useful tool not only for those attorneys planning to become board certified, but also for attorneys new to the local government law field, as it covers a wide variety of topics unique to a government practice.
If you are not already a member, I invite you to join so you can take advantage of all these benefits and learn about those I have not touched on here. I encourage you to attend an executive council meeting or any other events we have planned for the year and to get involved with the City, County & Local Government Law section.
Hans Ottinot, Sr.