Bar sections renew legislative positions Bar sections renew legislative positions September 15, 2004 Regular News Florida Bar sections have received renewed recognition to lobby on dozens of previous legislative positions, as well as six new issues, following action by the Bar Board of Governors.The board acted on the positions at its August 13 meeting in Ponte Vedra Beach, following on the recommendation of the Legislation Committee.Under Bar policies, all legislation positions taken by sections, committees, and the Bar for the previous two years expired on June 30. Sections typically reactivate selected positions by resubmitting them for board review.Under Bar policies, sections are given a wide latitude on legislative issues. Generally their legislative activities must fall under that particular section’s purview, not have the potential to cause deep philosophical or emotional divisions among Bar members, or contravene an official position of The Florida Bar. As yet, the Board of Governors has not approved any Bar-wide positions for the 2004-06 biennium.Bar policies generally provide that if the board does not act on a section’s requested legislation position within 60 days, it is automatically approved. Sections use their own, voluntarily-raised money and not any Bar mandatory dues or fees to pay for their legislative activities. They must also make it clear they represent only the section and not the entire Bar.The action on these positions came against the backdrop of a controversy over the request of the Family Law and Public Interest Law sections to repeal a state law that prohibits homosexuals from adopting. Both sections also want the state to adopt a “best interest” standard for adoptions. The sections have postponed their request until the board’s December meeting. (See story in the September 1 Bar News. )The adoption matter is the first time in years that a section’s proposed legislative activities have raised any serious controversy.All Bar, section, and committee positions are posted on the Bar’s Web site, www.flabar.org, following final board action. Click on the Legislative Info. button on the left hand menu, and then List of Positions on the next menu. All of the renewed positions are listed there, as well as the new ones.With the new positions, the board approved: three for the Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section, two for the Business Law Section, and one for the Family Law Section. Those new positions are: Business Law Section: Opposes legislation to impose income tax on limited liability companies and subchapter 5 corporations; Supports amendment of F.S. §701.02 to provide that the UCC governs the attachment and perfection of a security interest in a mortgage upon real property and in a promissory note or other right to payment or performance secured by that mortgage, and no assignment of the mortgage is required to be recorded under this section for the attachment or perfection of a security interest in such a mortgage under the UCC. Family Law Section: Supports amendments to F.S. §61.16 and F.S. §742.045 to clarify that the court has authority to award reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs incurred in establishing both the entitlement and the amount of attorneys’ fees, costs and suit money to be awarded in a proceeding. Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section: Supports the revision of F. S. 222.21 (21)(a) to strengthen the exemptions from creditors’ claims for IRAs and employee benefit funds or accounts exempt from taxation under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986; Supports the creation of a consolidated chapter for disclaimers of testamentary and non-testamentary property interests; Supports the revision of F.S. §718.117 process for terminating condominium property.