FLORIDA BAR FORMAL HEARING ATTORNEY
Following an investigative hearing before the Florida Bar, the Florida Board of Bar Examiners may elect to charge an Applicant with Specifications. If the specifications are ultimately proven before a panel of Florida Board of Bar Examiner members consisting of no less than five Board members, precludes a favorable finding by the Board. Specifications are formal charges filed against the Applicant by the Board. In such a case, the Board believes cause exists to deny admissions to the Applicant. Once specifications are served on the Applicant, the Applicant has 20 days from receipt to answer the Specifications. Failure to answer the Specifications has grave consequences. Namely, the Specifications will have been deemed admitted and a recommendation for disapproval for admittance before the Florida Bar will be provided to the Supreme Court of Florida.
APPLICANT’S RIGHTS DURING
A FORMAL HEARING BEFORE THE FLORIDA BOARD OF BAR EXAMINERS
The selection of a hearing date is agreed upon by the Florida Bar Applicant and the Florida Board of Bar Examiners. However, failure to come to an agreement will cause the FBBE to select a date and location for the hearing. The date of hearing and location of the hearing can affect everything from the availability of witnesses to the presence of particular FBBE members. Additionally, the costs associated with travel can be gravely altered based on the hearings location, which should not be overlooked when scheduling a Florida Bar Formal Hearing before the five Florida Board of Bar Examiner panel.
The Florida Board of Bar Examiners can provide your conditional allowance to join the Florida Bar conditioned upon a consent agreement. The consent agreement is a compromise to allow for the allowance of admission based upon specific terms. The consent agreement is commonly reserved for drug, alcohol, or psychological character & fitness problems. While this option is not ideal, it allows Applicants the ability to begin the practice of law under a conditional admittance to the Florida Bar.
Following a Formal Hearing, the Board will recommend (1) that the Florida Bar Applicant has established his/her qualifications to become of a member of the Florida Bar; (2) conditional admittance to the Florida Bar; (3) withhold admission for a period not to exceed 2 years, and will admit the applicant at the end of the two year period following compliance with the special conditions outlined in the Finds of Fact and Conclusions of Law; or (4) that the Florida Bar Applicant has not established the requisite character & fitness to practice law in the State of Florida. In certain cases, the Board will recommend disqualification for a period of between two and five years.
While it is rare for the Supreme Court of Florida to go against the recommendations of the Board, all hope is not lost if the Board ultimately recommends against an Applicant’s admission to the Florida Bar. Applicants may Petition the Supreme Court of Florida within 60 days from the receipt of the Finds of Fact and Conclusions of Law or within 60 days of receipt of notice of the Board’s action on a petition for Reconsideration.
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