Florida Bar Addresses Rapoport Limits
Rule Amendments Proposed to Insure Out-of-State Attorneys Continued Representation in Arbitration
FLORIDA BAR ADDRESSING RAPOPORT LIMITS:
The Florida Supreme Courts decision (e.g., SAA 03-13) enjoining an out-of-state attorney from representing parties in securities arbitration has caused considerable disruption, but a resolution of the dilemma may be forming.
According to Brad D. Kaufmann, Greenberg & Traurig, West Palm Beach, FL, who spoke earlier this week at the SIAs Compliance & Legal Division Conference in Orlando, FL, some rule amendments have been articulated for consideration by the Florida Bar.
The proposals, which will need to go through a series of comment and approval stages between now and the end of 2003, call for specific procedures to be followed regarding in-state arbitration practice by out-of-state attorneys: (1) a letter or form containing information about the attorneys state of admission and disciplinary history (or lack thereof); (2) submission to the Rules of Florida Practice; (3) payment of a fee to the Bar of $250 for each representation; and (4) a limit of three representations within any 365-day period.
We have not seen the details of these proposals, but understand that they are recommendations of a commission that will be presented to and considered by a board of the Florida Bar and, when ready, will be released for public comment.
The Florida Supreme Court will be the last stop before the procedures become binding rules; until then, out-of-state attorneys will need to decide for themselves the appropriate course to follow.
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Mark Astarita is a nationally recognized securities attorney, who represents investors, financial professionals and firms in securities litigation, arbitration and regulatory matters, including SEC and FINRA investigations and enforcement proceedings.
He is a partner in the national securities law firm Sallah Astarita & Cox, LLC, and the founder of The Securities Law Home Page - SECLaw.com, which was one of the first legal topic sites on the Internet. It went online in 1995 and is updated daily with news, commentary and securities law related links.