Bar, Governor’s Office gear up to make JNC appointments

first_img June 1, 2001 Gary Blankenship Senior Editor Regular News Bar, Governor’s Office gear up to make JNC appointments Terry Russell The governor’s appointments and the Bar appointments would continue to be staggered. The Bar’s current three appointees on each JNC will continue to serve. Under the former law, this was an “off” year with the Bar not making any JNC appointments. With the passage of HB 367, President-elect Terry Russell established a method to have the Bar’s nominees for the fourth seat ready to forward to the governor by July 2. One problem was the application deadline is June 18, and, after the board’s May 11 meeting in Key West, it wasn’t scheduled to meet again until mid-August. Russell told the board it had two options: It could delegate the selections to the Executive Committee, which is authorized to act for the board between its bi-monthly meetings, or the board could have a special meeting. That would most likely be June 23, the last day of the annual meeting and that would be logistically nearly impossible to have all the JNC applicants screened before then.Russell also named six committees to screen applicants. One will screen applicants for the Supreme Court JNC and the remainder will be assigned one each to the five DCA JNCs. Each DCA screening committee will also handle applicants for circuit JNCs within that DCA’s geographic territory.Board member Kirk Kirkconnell will chair the overall screening effort. He told the board that screening committees will have trouble acting by June 23. The committees won’t receive the applications until after the June deadline and the hundreds of pages of applications probably can’t be copied and delivered until at least the 20th which is also the first day of the Bar convention, he said.Some board members said the entire board should make the final selection. But other members said the screening committees already involved almost one half of the board and will get input from all board members, and it would be arduous for the full board to get together and act.“Most of the work will be done by the screening committees, and the Executive Committee won’t do anything radical,” board member Mike Kranz said.Kirkconnell said a list of all applicants would be submitted to the full board, for its input. After the screening committees decide on their nominees, that list will also be sent to the full board for its review and members’ comments.“If you get a list and you see the name of someone you think is especially good or who has a problem, please let us know,” he said.The board voted 33-11 to allow the Executive Committee to make the final nominations.Here are the screening committees and their members:• The Supreme Court JNC screening panel will be chaired by Kirkconnell and include board members Alan Bookman, Jesse Diner, Ervin Gonzalez, Vivian Hobbs, Bill Kalish, and Sharon Langer.• The First DCA screening panel will be chaired by Bookman and include board members Mike Glazer, Chris Milton, Robert Rush, and Mike Smith. It will handle the applications for the First, Second, Third, Fourth, Eighth, and 14th circuits.• The Second DCA panel will have Kalish as chair and include board members Bob Brush, John Cardillo, John Yanchunis and incoming YLD President Liz Rice. It will handle applications for the Sixth, 10th, 12th, 13th, and 20th circuits.• The Third DCA screening panel will be chaired by Langer and include board members Frank Angones, Steve Chaykin, Jim Lupino, and David Rothman. It will screen applicants from the 11th and 16th circuits.• The Fourth DCA screening panel will be chaired by Diner and include board members Jerry Beer, Mickey Cummings, Mike Kranz, and Buck Vocelle. It will handle applications from the 15th, 17th, and 19th circuits.• The Fifth DCA panel will be chaired by Kirkconnell and include board members Russ Divine, Clif McClelland, Dude Phelan, and Royce Walden. It will handle applications from the Fifth, Seventh, Ninth, and 18th circuits.Kirkconnell said applicants to circuit JNCs must have been Bar members for five years, and those for appellate panels must have been Bar members for 10 years. Those selected must also fill out financial disclosure forms and are ineligible to apply for a judgeship that would be reviewed by the JNC for two years after leaving office.He noted lawyers also may apply to the governor for one of his appointments, including attorneys who don’t meet the experience requirements to be Bar nominees for the circuit or appellate panels. Bar, Governor’s Office gear up to make JNC appointments Senior Editor The Florida Bar is looking for at least 78 good lawyers willing to serve on the state’s judicial nominating commissions. And the Board of Governors has adopted an expedited schedule for screening and selecting nominees for a vacant seat on each JNC created by new legislation this year.HB 367, still pending before the governor, would revamp appointments to the JNCs. If it becomes law, Bush would get five appointments, instead of his former three, and two must be lawyers. The Bar, which had three direct appointments, now would have four, but must nominate three attorneys for each seat with Bush making the final selection. The governor also can reject the Bar slates as many times as he wishes. (The three public members, selected by the gubernatorial and Bar appointees, would be eliminated.)last_img