Board to work on Bar budget

first_img Board to work on Bar budget No membership fee increase planned April 1, 2006 Regular News A 2006-07 Bar budget that produces a surplus and requires no increase in annual membership fees will be presented to the Board of Governors at its April 7 meeting in Coral Gables.The board will approve next year’s spending plan but will hear member comments at its June 2 meeting. An official notice with complete budget details will be in the April 30 Bar News. After hearing any comments offered, the budget will be filed with the Supreme Court.The board will also hear several reports and address other matters at the meeting.The ’06-07 budget is the sixth in a row that the Bar has not sought to raise membership fees. Those will remain at $265 for active members and $175 for inactive members.The spending plan tentatively calls for a $700,000 surplus. It projects Bar revenues at $34.4 million, up from $32.8 million for 2005-06 and expenditures of $33.7 million compared to $32.1 million for the current year.The budget will see the implementation of the Bar’s multijurisdictional practice regulation, which requires many out-of-state lawyers handling matters in Florida to pay a $250 fee to the Bar. It will also mark a new financial relationship between the Bar and its sections, which rewards sections for efficient operations and sponsoring profitable CLE courses.The largest source of income is expected to continue to be annual membership fees from Bar members. That’s predicted at $20.7 million, compared to $20.2 million for the current year.Another $5.5 million is expected from the sales of services and products, such as CLE courses, legal publications, and Law Office Management Assistance Service consultations. And $2.1 million is expected from advertising sales for the Bar Journal and News. The biggest expenditure will continue to be on the regulation of the profession, budgeted at $14.7 million for 2006-07, up from $14.1 million this year. That includes the Bar’s lawyer regulation, ethics and advertising, professionalism, and membership records operations.The board is expected to receive a final report from the Special Committee to Study Paralegal Regulation, recommending a two-tier regulatory system. (See story on page 1.)The board also is expected to get an interim report from the Special Commission on Lawyer Regulation, which has been studying the Bar’s grievance operations for almost three years. That panel could bring its final recommendations to the board in June.The board will receive an update report from the Special Committee on Website Advertising Rules, which is examining whether and how the Bar can regulate lawyers’ and law firms’ Web sites under Bar advertising rules.An advertising appeal also will be presented to the board, asking if an ad containing a picture of handcuffed hands is a portrayal that’s false, misleading, or manipulative and hence banned under Bar advertising rules. Board to work on Bar budgetlast_img

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