13th Circuit Board of Governors race balloting is underway

13th Circuit Board of Governors race balloting is underway

Voted ballots must be received prior to 11:59 p.m. EST, March 15

Voting is underway for the contested 13th Circuit Florida Bar’s Board of Governors seat between incumbent Paige Greenlee and Mike Trentalange. Both Greenlee and Trentalange are from Tampa.

Members in the 13th Circuit may vote by accessing the MyFloridaBar Member Portal on The Florida Bar’s website. Voted ballots must be received prior to 11:59 p.m. EST, March 15. If you requested a mail ballot, it was mailed March 1. The winner will be sworn in during the June Annual Bar Convention in Orlando.

Here are the platform statements for the 2024 13th Circuit candidates:

13th Circuit

Paige A. Greenlee

Paige Greenlee

Paige Greenlee

Over the past six years, I have had the honor of representing 13th Circuit lawyers on the Board of Governors. I am an experienced and committed leader of our profession at the local and statewide levels, and am the right choice to continue to represent you.

More than nine years ago, I founded my own firm focused on business litigation and bankruptcy. Previously, I practiced with a small firm, as a partner with one of Tampa’s largest law firms, and as a judicial law clerk. This experience helps me understand the issues facing all lawyers in our circuit and will allow me to truly represent your interests.

I have previously served in leadership positions on a local level, including as Hillsborough County Bar Association President, Hillsborough Association for Women Lawyers Board member, Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division (YLD) Board of Governors (13th Circuit representative), Wm. Reece Smith, Jr., Litigation American Inn of Court member. I currently serve on the Hillsborough County Bar Foundation Board.

Statewide, I served as Florida Bar YLD President, leading our Bar’s largest section of approximately 25,000 lawyers. This afforded me the privilege of serving on The Florida Bar Board of Governors for two years and sitting on the Board’s Executive Committee.

In 2018, I was elected to represent our circuit on The Florida Bar Board of Governors, and have held numerous leadership roles, including Technology Committee Chair and Disciplinary Review Committee Co-Chair. I am in my fifth year on the Executive Committee, which sets policy for the Board and acts on the Board’s behalf between Board meetings. For four of those five years, the Board elected me as one of its three representatives. Additionally, I have been appointed Communications Committee Chair for next year, a position that automatically serves on the Executive Committee.

I also serve on the Solo & Small Firm Section Executive Council, and previously served on the Business Law Section Executive Council and The Florida Bar Foundation Board’s Executive Committee.

Through these leadership roles, I have gained insight into all aspects of the Bar, from lawyer ethics and discipline, to interaction with the courts, Legislature and executive branch, to overseeing the Bar’s $43 million budget. I also understand the important dynamic between the Board, its sections, divisions, and committees, and other bar groups.

Our profession is constantly changing. As your representative, my priorities will include: continuing to help lawyers adapt to constantly changing technology through education and free programs; increasing access to justice and expanding the business community’s role in this important initiative; improving lawyer professionalism, ethics, and civility; and providing more resources to assist lawyers’ practices.

I will continue to actively seek out your questions, comments, and concerns. Please do not hesitate to contact me any time ([email protected] or (813) 785-9885), and visit www.voteforpaige.com. It would be my honor and privilege to continue to represent and advocate for you on the Board of Governors. I hope to earn your support, and I ask for your vote.

Mike Trentalange

Mike Trentalange

Mike Trentalange

I am seeking election to The Florida Bar’s Board of Governors in order to represent the lawyers of the 13th Circuit as a servant-leader, putting the interests of Bar members over the interests of Bar leaders.

For more than 3 decades, I have watched the gulf widen between Bar leadership and its membership. Taking a page out of “Mean Girls,” the Board recently issued a rule clarification claiming itself powerless to investigate Attorney General Ashley Moody’s allegedly unethical conduct because, as I understand it, she is a constitutional officer who needs to be a lawyer in order to keep her job. Yet basic due process is not afforded ordinary lawyers in the discipline process because – I kid you not – the practice of law is a privilege, not a right.

The straw that broke the camel’s back was the recent vote by the Board to eliminate reference to zealous advocacy from Bar rules and comments thereto. Zealous advocacy is the single most important concept in Anglo-American jurisprudence. It’s what allows me to ask for my client’s trust and what persuades him to give it to me. He knows I am on his side, and I will be willing to forego a golf outing to put his interests first. It gives the young defense lawyer the courage to say, no your honor. My client does not waive speedy trial. It lets another lawyer say, “respectfully, your honor, I am permitted to back strike.” The Board took a meat cleaver to hundreds of years of legal history without understanding what it was doing, without taking testimony or examining evidence, and without the presence of my opponent, who had some matter more pressing than voting on that issue.

We have serious issues as lawyers. Civil jury trials in the 13th Circuit are down from over 200 annually in the late 80s to fewer than 30 in 2022. African American lawyers — particularly men — are under-represented at every point in the criminal justice system except incarceration, where they are profoundly over-represented. I will attempt to craft policies addressing these concerns.

We need experienced lawyers to serve the lawyers of this circuit. My experience includes 33 years as a trial lawyer, board certified by the National Board of Trial Advocacy and The Florida Bar. I’ve served as a director of the Tampa Bay Trial Lawyers Association since 2021, I’m a member of the Florida Justice Association, the American Association for Justice, the Hillsborough County Bar, and the Lawyer Pilots Bar Association.

I graduated from the University of Florida and obtained my law degree from Stetson University College of Law. I hold a Master of Science degree in Bioethics from Harvard Medical School. I am proud to have served as a commissioned officer in the US Army and Army Reserve.

Law is the noblest of professions and I will work hard as your representative to make sure the members of the Board of Governors remember that its practitioners deserve the same professional respect they are asked to show others.

Originally published at https://www.floridabar.org/the-florida-bar-news/13th-circuit-board-of-governors-balloting-is-underway/

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