LegalFuel is the official Florida Bar Podcast. This monthly series is brought to you by The Practice Resource Center of The Florida Bar and will feature esteemed leaders in law discussing new and innovative topics. Its purpose is to help members of The Florida Bar as well as attorneys from other states run better practices and provide better legal services to their clients.
Disclaimer: The views expressed by the participants of this program are their own and do not represent the views of, nor are they endorsed by The Florida Bar, their respective officers, directors, employees, agents, or representatives. None of the content should be considered legal advice. As always, consult a lawyer.
Tech Expert, Bob Ambrogi, Shares Practice Management and Legal Technology Guidance
Making the most of your time is probably at the top of your list if you’re running a solo or small law firm. When you’re managing both the business side of your firm while also practicing law, your to-do list may quickly become overwhelming. Reducing repetitive tasks and streamlining your processes can be made easier with legal technology. That’s why choosing the right technology for your needs can be one of the most important decisions you will make.
In today’s episode, hosts Christine Bilbrey and Jamie Moore welcome legal technology expert, Bob Ambrogi, to discuss practice management software and legal technology trends.
Bob Ambrogi is a lawyer and journalist who has been writing and speaking about legal technology and innovation for more than two decades. He writes the award-winning blog LawSites, is a columnist for Above the Law, hosts the podcast about legal innovation, LawNext, and hosts the weekly legal tech journalists’ roundtable, Legaltech Week. He is also cofounder of the LawNext Legal Technology Directory.
In 2011, Bob was named to the inaugural Fastcase 50, honoring “the law’s smartest, most courageous innovators, techies, visionaries and leaders.” In 2017, he received the Yankee Quill award for journalism from the Academy of New England Journalists and was honored by the ABA Journal as a Legal Rebels Trailblazer.
A graduate of Boston College Law School, Bob is a fellow of the College of Law Practice Management and past-president of the Massachusetts Bar Foundation. In his law practice, he represents newspapers and the news media.
This podcast has been approved by The Florida Bar Continuing Legal Education Department for 1.0 hour of General CLE credit including 1.0 hour of Technology CLE credit. Course # 6942.
LawSitesAbove the LawLawNext PodcastLegaltech Week PodcastLawNext Legal Technology DirectoryThe Florida Bar Member Benefits – Practice Management Software
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Attorneys: Is Your Nonlawyer Staff Ethically Supporting you?
Many attorneys rely heavily on their nonlawyer staff to assist with the extensive workload that comes along with running a practice. It is very easy to begin to lean on competent and experienced staff members to handle significant components of cases, but it is critical that attorneys have a clear understanding of the Bar Rules that address the appropriate roles of nonlawyers.
In today’s episode host Jamie Moore welcomes back Florida Bar Ethics Counsel, Jonathan Grabb, to discuss guidelines for the roles of nonlawyers and the attorneys that supervise them. The Florida Bar Professional Ethics Committee has created the Legal Assistants and Nonlawyer Employees Ethics Informational Packet that addresses proper and improper activities of nonlawyer staff. If your questions or issues are not addressed in this episode, you can contact The Bar’s Ethics Hotline.
Jonathan Grabb graduated cum laude from Florida State University’s College of Law in 2008 and became the Ethics Counsel for The Florida Bar in November 2021, after serving in the Ethics & Advertising Department for 8 years as an Assistant Ethics Counsel. Jonathan has fielded more than 20,000 calls on the ethics hotline, reviewed thousands of lawyer advertisements, and issued dozens of staff opinions. Prior to working at The Florida Bar, Jonathan was a Senior Attorney at the Agency for Persons with Disabilities.
This podcast has been approved by The Florida Bar Continuing Legal Education Department for 1.0 hour of General CLE credit including 1.0 hour of Ethics CLE credit. Course # 6870.
Rules, Ethics & ProfessionalismLegal Assistants and Nonlawyer Employees – Ethics Informational PacketSubject Index of Ethics OpinionLawyer RegulationABA Model Guidelines for the Utilization of Paralegal Services
Pro Tips for Flying Solo
Have you ever considered starting your own law practice? It’s an appealing question – imagine being your own boss, setting your own schedule, and only accepting cases that you are excited about. There are certainly a lot of pros to starting your own practice, but for every pro, there are also several cons to consider.
In today’s episode, host Jamie Moore welcomes Cristina Alonso of Alonso Appeals to discuss what it’s like to start and manage your own law practice.
Cristina Alonso of Alonso Appeals is Board Certified in Appellate Practice by The Florida Bar. She handles appellate litigation in state and federal courts. She has handled over 100 appellate matters, including matters before the Supreme Court of the United States, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, the Florida Supreme Court, and all Florida district courts of appeal. She also works as an integral part of trial teams, having served as counsel at over 25 trials. Her work includes providing litigation support, including ensuring that issues are preserved for appellate review, and drafting and arguing complex pre-trial motions, case dispositive motions, jury instructions, and post-trial motions. Her work also includes developing innovative strategies for new and evolving theories of liability, representing individuals and corporations in high-stakes litigation, managing national and statewide litigation, and providing appellate consulting services to trial counsel. Her experience spans various practice areas such as complex business litigation, constitutional and civil rights, mass tort litigation, and products liability. She was honored by the Daily Business Review as the “The Most Effective Lawyer” in Appellate Practice of 2014 and as one of “The Most Effective Lawyers” of 2009 in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties. She was recognized by The National Law Journal as one of the 40 Minorities under 40 of 2011. She also received the Florida Diversity Council’s 2012 Breaking the Glass Ceiling Award, was named a Top Lawyer in the South Florida Legal Guide 2013-2022, and was selected for inclusion in Florida Super Lawyers 2013-2022. Cristina currently serves as the Chair-Elect of the Solo and Small Firm Section of the Florida Bar, and as an appointed member of the Board of Governors.
This podcast has been approved by The Florida Bar Continuing Legal Education Department for 1.0 hour of General CLE credit. Course #6784.
Alonso AppealsLeadershipBlogPublicationsSolo & Small Firm Section of The Florida BarSection WebsiteNew Law Practice/New Office ChecklistChoose a Corporate StructureMember BenefitsStart a Law Firm TopicsABA Article: I’m Ready to Start My Own Law Practice – What Are the Pitfalls?Join the Florida Bar Lawyer Referral ServiceWixLegalFuel
Florida Lawyers Assistance: Saving Lives and Livelihoods
We all know that the practice of law can be extremely stressful, and unfortunately, lawyers have consistently experienced higher rates of depression and substance abuse. Because of this, The Florida Bar’s Mental Health & Wellness of Florida Lawyers Committee continues to strive to bring awareness to the resources available to Bar members. One of the resources, Florida Lawyers Assistance, Inc., or FLA, provides confidential assistance through assessments, referrals, education, and support groups.
In today’s episode, hosts Christine Bilbrey and Jamie Moore, welcome Dan McDermott and Carol Parks, of Florida Lawyers Assistance. We discuss programs and services available to assist attorneys, judges, law students, and other legal professionals who may be impaired in their ability to function in a legal setting.
Dan McDermott was appointed Executive Director by the Florida Lawyers Assistance, Inc Board of Directors, effective June 15, 2020. Dan graduated from Yale University and The University of Iowa College of Law. Following a two-year clerkship with the Chief Judge of the US District Court for the Northern District of Iowa, Dan practiced law in Cedar Rapids for 5 years before moving to Washington, DC. He then began what is now a more than three decades-long stint as a lawyer in recovery. Dan worked in government relations in the financial services and technology sectors, before becoming Head of US Government Relations of Visa, the world’s largest electronic payment network. At FLA, Dan is responsible for overseeing day-to-day operations. The foundation of his work is assuring that members of Florida’s legal community receive compassionate interaction and appropriate counseling.
Carol Parks received her B.A. in Psychology from the Pennsylvania State University. She then became a Florida Certified Health Professional, received a Master of Science in Counseling from Nova University, and a Master of Business Administration from St. Leo University. She has worked tirelessly to educate and treat those suffering from addiction and mental health issues. From behavioral health technician to Chief Executive Officer of a 100-bed dual-diagnosis facility, Carol has the advantage of understanding all aspects of treatment from evaluation to aftercare, and from discovery to recovery.
This podcast has been approved by The Florida Bar Continuing Legal Education Department for 1.0 hour of General CLE credit including 1.0 hour of Mental Illness Awareness CLE credit. Course #6704.
Florida Lawyers AssistanceMeetings & EventsCLEFlorida Bar Mental Health and Wellness CenterMember Benefits Program: Mental Health and WellnessFlorida Bar News: Group Provides Support for Working MothersLegalFuel: The Practice Resource Center of The Florida BarLegalFuel: Free CLE
Understanding Neurodiversity in the Practice of Law
Most of us at one time or another might have heard the saying, “great minds think alike.” Perhaps our colleagues have said it when collectively the same decision is made, or an exceptional idea is brainstormed in a group. But do great minds think alike, or do great minds think differently?
In today’s episode, hosts Christine Bilbrey and Jamie Moore welcome Haley Moss, author of Great Minds Think Differently: Neurodiversity for Lawyers and Other Professionals. We discuss how having a better understanding of neurodivergence can help lawyers foster positive relationships with their colleagues and help them work more effectively with the clients they serve.
About Haley Moss:
Diagnosed with autism at the age of three, Haley Moss’s parents were told that she might not ever finish high school or earn a driver’s license. Today she is a lawyer, neurodiversity expert, keynote speaker, educator, and the author of four books that guide neurodivergent individuals through professional and personal challenges. Haley is a consultant to top corporations and nonprofits that seek her guidance in creating a diverse workplace, and a sought-after commentator on disability rights and the Americans With Disabilities Act.
The first openly autistic lawyer in Florida, Haley’s books include “Great Minds Think Differently: Neurodiversity for Lawyers and Other Professionals” (ABA Book Publishing; June 2021), “The Young Autistic Adult’s Independence Handbook” (Jessica Kingsley Publishers; November 2021), “A Freshman Survival Guide for College Students With Autism Spectrum Disorders” (Jessica Kingsley Publishers; October 2014), and “Middle School — The Stuff Nobody Tells You About: A Teenage Girl With High-Functioning Autism Shares Her Experiences” (AAPC Publishing; March 2010) Her articles have appeared in outlets including the Washington Post, Teen Vogue, GQ, Bustle, Fast Company, Law 360 Pulse, and the ABA Journal.
Haley earned her law degree from the University of Miami School of Law with numerous honors. Admitted to the Florida Bar in 2019, she is the recipient of awards including the American Bar Association Solo, Small Firm, and General Practice Division’s Breaking Barriers Award (2021), D-30 Disability Impact List (2021), Road Less Traveled Award from Ms. JD (2020), Outstanding Self-Advocate Award from University of Miami — Nova Southeastern University Center for Autism & Related Disabilities (2018), and Publix Self-Advocate of the Year from the Palm Beach County Special Needs Advisory Coalition (2018).
This podcast has been approved by The Florida Bar Continuing Legal Education Department for 1.0 hour of General CLE credit including 1.0 hour of Mental Illness Awareness CLE credit. Course #6579.
Grow Your Practice with The Florida Bar Lawyer Referral Service
The Florida Bar’s Lawyer Referral Service was created in 1972 to bridge the gap for individuals in need of legal services by referral method with licensed attorneys. The Lawyer Referral Service serves an important purpose in providing clients with an unprejudiced referral to a licensed attorney who has the experience and knowledge in the area of law suitable to the client’s legal needs.
In today’s episode host Jamie Moore welcomes Christine Bilbrey, to discuss how attorneys can become a member of the Bar’s Lawyer Referral Service to serve Floridians and grow their client base.
Christine Bilbrey is the Director of The Florida Bar’s Practice Resource Center, and one of the hosts of The Florida Bar's LegalFuel podcast series. In addition to the Practice Resource Center, Christine oversees all things related to the Lawyer Referral Service and is also the staff liaison for The Florida Bar’s Standing Committee on Mental Health and Wellness of Florida Lawyers. Christine holds a master’s degree in Business Administration and a bachelor’s degree in Legal Administration. She previously served as the principal firm administrator at area law firms in her hometown of Pensacola, Florida. Prior to joining The Florida Bar, Christine was a certified HR classroom and virtual trainer for the world’s largest credit union.
This podcast has been approved by The Florida Bar Continuing Legal Education Department for 1.0 hour of General CLE credit. Course # 6473.
The Florida Bar Lawyer Referral ServiceLawyer Referral Service Office: 800-342-8011LawyerReferral@FloridaBar.orgJoin the Lawyer Referral ServiceLawyer Referral Service Membership ApplicationCoverage AreasLawyer Referral Service RulesThe Rules Regulating The Florida BarChapter 8LegalFuel: The Practice Resource Center of The Florida Bar
A great resource for Florida lawyers
This is a great resource for Florida lawyers. I especially enjoyed Understanding Neurodiversity. Great job to all at the Florida bar providing this excellent podcast!
Helpful & Professional
I truly enjoyed and learned a lot from the different topics. I also greatly appreciate the links provided, they are extremely helpful. Great job!
This show is perfect for attorneys in Florida. The hosts are entertaining, and they really know the material they teach. Now, I can learn the rules while I’m cooking dinner or driving. This is extremely valuable to me. Thank you.