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Florida Bar Defense
Representation before the Florida Board of Bar Examiners

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Florida Board of Bar Examiners Representation

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Florida Bar Defense

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Firm Profile

The firm is lead by Richard B. Marx, Esq., an AV rated trial lawyer by Martindale Hubbell. The practice concentrates on defending lawyers in disciplinary proceedings and those aspiring to become a lawyer during Florida Board of Bar Examiner Proceedings. We are the lawyers who defend lawyers.

No matter whether you are a Law Student or an expierenced Lawyer, Richard B. Marx will provide you with the same passionate representation he has been providing to all of his clients for the past 40 years.  A dedicated lawyer who devotes his entire practice to defending Lawyers before the Florida Bar and Law Students before the Florida Board of Bar Examiners, Richard B. Marx has the skills to mount a proper defense to protect your license and the proper offense to obtain your license to practice law.

For more information on how Richard Marx, Esq. can help you resolve your legal problems.
Call him at (305) 579-9060.


Responding to a Florida Bar Inquiry on your own – Don’t do it!

Responding to a Florida Bar Inquiry on your own can be dangerous to your license.

* When a lawyer receives an Inquiry from The Florida Bar it is absolutely imperative that he or she resist the urge to fire off an immediate response. 
* A lawyer should always consult with an experienced Florida Bar defense attorney prior to responding to any inquiry no matter how insignificant the issue may seem.
* The Florida Bar takes Bar Complaints very seriously and so should you.
* Most lawyers consider their license to be priceless.  It doesn’t make sense to be careless when dealing with a Bar Complaint.
* Hiring an experienced Florida Bar defense attorney is something you can’t afford not to do.  Doing it on your own is risky.

Florida Bar Defense.

We recently handled 2 separate cases that were extremely problematic due to the fact that both of the attorneys responded to the Florida Bar Inquiries on their own before seeking any legal advice. As a result in both cases the attorneys made statements that seriously negatively impacted their cases and potential defenses. 

In both of these cases had the attorneys’ involved sought legal assistance from an experienced Florida Bar defense attorney they would have put themselves in a much better position with the potential for a more favorable disposition of their cases.

Even if you were on a different planet at the time the alleged offense took place nothing contained in your response will result in the Bar dismissing the complaint.  Almost never do complaints get dismissed based upon a response from the respondent.  The usual response sets out the respondent’s version of the facts of the case as well as an explanation as to his or her conduct together with usually a rendition of how honorable and dedicated the respondent has been prior to this incident. In doing this the chances of making admissions that can and will be used against you are very high and one who files his or her own response does so at their peril.

The best response that the respondent can make initially is no response but to get legal assistance.

Florida Board of Bar Examiners

Department of Justice Reaches Agreement with the Louisiana Supreme Court to Protect Bar Candidates with Disabilities

The Justice Department announced today that it has entered into a settlement agreement with the Louisiana Supreme Court that will resolve the department’s investigation of the court’s policies, practices and procedures for evaluating bar applicants with mental health disabilities. The department’s investigation found that during the Louisiana bar admissions process licensing entities based recommendations about bar admission on mental health diagnosis and treatment rather than conduct that would warrant denial of admission to the bar.

The settlement agreement ensures the right of qualified bar applicants with mental health disabilities to have equal access to the legal profession as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). It prohibits the court from asking unnecessary and intrusive questions about bar applicants’ mental health diagnosis or treatment. It also requires the court to refrain from imposing unnecessary and burdensome conditions on bar applicants with mental health disabilities, such as requests for medical records, compulsory medical examinations or onerous monitoring and reporting requirements. Title II of the ADA prohibits public entities, including licensing entities, from imposing unnecessary eligibility criteria that tend to screen out individuals with disabilities, or imposing unnecessary burdens on individuals with disabilities that are not imposed on others.

The department found that diagnosis and treatment, without problematic conduct, did not effectively predict future misconduct as an attorney and did not justify restrictions on admission. Yet the Louisiana bar admissions process imposed unnecessary burdens on applicants and attorneys based on their diagnosis and treatment, in violation of the ADA. Questions about mental health diagnosis and treatment, such as those used by Louisiana, are counterproductive to licensing entities’ interest in attorney fitness because individuals who would benefit from mental health treatment may be deterred from obtaining it by the knowledge that they will have to disclose their treatment to licensing authorities.

“Today’s agreement will ensure that qualified bar applicants with mental health disabilities are able to pursue their dream of becoming licensed attorneys, without discrimination based on diagnosis or treatment,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Molly Moran for the Civil Rights Division. “Qualified individuals with disabilities, including mental health disabilities, have valuable contributions to make to the legal profession and to their communities. Their diagnosis should not hinder or prevent them from doing so. Though bar licensing entities have the important responsibility of ensuring that all licensed attorneys are fit to practice law, licensing entities must discharge this responsibility in a manner that is consistent with civil rights laws.”

“This agreement is a testament to the United States Department of Justice’s commitment to fighting discrimination against persons with disabilities and further ensures that qualified individuals will have the opportunity to pursue their career goals and make valuable contributions to our community,” said U.S. Attorney Kenneth Allen Polite Jr. for the Eastern District of Louisiana. “The cooperation between the parties in reaching this agreement demonstrates a shared priority of protecting against discrimination.”

Under the agreement, the court will, among other actions:

• Revise its character and fitness screening questions so that they focus on applicants’ conduct or behavior, and ask about an applicant’s condition or impairment only when it currently affects the applicant’s ability to practice law in a competent, ethical and professional manner or is disclosed to explain conduct that may otherwise warrant denial of admission;

• Refrain from imposing unnecessary burdens on applicants with mental health disabilities by placing onerous disability-based conditions on their admission, invading their privacy, or violating their confidentiality;

• Re-evaluate prior and pending applications of applicants who disclosed mental health disabilities under the revised, non-discriminatory procedures set forth in the agreement; and

• Pay $200,000 to compensate a number of affected bar applicants and attorneys.

Since the department’s letter of findings concluding that the court was in violation of Title II of the ADA was issued in February, the court has worked cooperatively with the department to negotiate an agreement and to implement corrective measures.

The department has also raised issues about unnecessary bar application questions related to mental health disabilities with the states of Vermont and Connecticut and with the National Council of Bar Examiners (NCBE). The NCBE revised two of its questions about mental health on February 24, 2014.

It appears that as a result of this settlement we now have a foundation from which we can build and expand into other states.  What is not so clear is how will bar applicant rights under the ADA be protected when their mental illness has been linked to acts of disqualifying conduct and what will be the criteria for determining which applicants will be recommended for admission and which will not.  While it seems clear that an applicant cannot be denied admission to the bar on the basis of his or her mental illness alone the situation does become less clear when the mental illness has been the direct or proximate cause of the offending behavior that would have otherwise been a perfectly legitimate basis for not recommending admission to the bar.

Down the road this case could have even greater implications for lawyers who develop a mental illness after becoming members of the bar.  It may be necessary to establish a set of guidelines that would serve to protect the lawyers rights under the ADA by dictating the process and procedures when dealing with a lawyer who suffers from a mental illness.  Our regulatory system is definitely slanted in favor of protecting the public from harm but in doing so are we violating the rights of these mentally ill lawyers and disregarding the protections of the ADA in the name of the greater good.

If you are a bar applicant with a history of mental illness or if you are a member of The Florida Bar who is suffering from a mental illness and would like to discuss your rights call my office and make an appointment.

The material presented on this site is included with the understanding and agreement that the Law Offices of Richard B. Marx & Associates is not engaged in rendering legal or other professional services by posting said material. The services of a competent professional should be sought if legal or other specific expert assistance is required.