Bar’s annual fee statements are on the way Members may now pay their fees online at www.flabar.org Mark D. Killian Managing Editor Florida Bar members soon will receive their 2005-06 fee statements, reflecting no increase in annual fees and only minor modifications to the form.The fees are payable July 1 and are late after August 15.Members will receive one of two fee statements: one designed for active members and another for those who have elected inactive status. Annual fees are $265. Inactive members pay $175.“Members should be aware that the fee statements are two-sided and must be completed both front and back and be mailed along with their payment to cover their fees and sections joined,” Bar Finance Director Allen Martin said.Under the Rules Regulating The Florida Bar, fees postmarked after August 15 will be assessed a $50 late fee. Members who do not pay by September 30 will be deemed delinquent. The delinquency may be cleared by petitioning the Bar, paying the fees, the late fee, and a $150 reinstatement fee. Online Payment Members have the option to complete their annual fee statement and pay their fees online via the Bar’s Web site at www.flabar.org, an option exercised by more than 8,500 members last year. But to do so, members must first be registered on the Bar’s Web site. If you have not registered, go to www3.flabar.org, click on the “register” link and then follow the prompts. Instructions for paying Bar fees online also are includedwith the paper form mailed to your official Bar address. Challenge for Children Members also have an option to make a voluntary $45 contribution to The Florida Bar Foundation’s Lawyers’ Challenge for Children campaign to help bring the benefits of the law and of lawyers to the lives of poor children. The Foundation will dedicate Bar members’ contributions to legal assistance to children through grants to legal aid and legal services programs across the state, according to Bar President-elect Alan Bookman. (See story above.) Last year, Florida lawyers contributed more than $180,000 to the Challenge for Children campaign. Pro Bono Reports This year’s fee form again includes a pro bono section for Bar members to report if they have met the Supreme Court’s aspirational pro bono goals. The court asks lawyers to provide 20 hours of pro bono service or donate $350 to a legal aid program each year.A series of questions promulgated by the court appears on the fee statement, depending on what option the attorney selected. The court wants to know:• How many hours of pro bono service the lawyer donated and if the work was done through an organized legal aid program or on the lawyer’s own.• If the lawyer’s firm provided pro bono collectively under a plan operated by a circuit pro bono committee, with an indication of how much was allocated to the member.• If the lawyer has contributed to a legal aid organization in lieu of performing pro bono work.• Whether the attorney was unable to provide pro bono service or met the provision for being deferred.• How the lawyer fulfilled his or her service if done in some manner not specifically envisioned by the plan. Community Service This year’s fee statement again features a purely voluntary section that allows members to report the community and public service they have performed over the past year. The purpose is to obtain data to show contributions lawyers make by way of community service. Lawyers may voluntarily report whether they have provided service to the legal community, religious organizations, civic organizations, or other charities and the number of hours donated.The community service questions are separate from the court’s pro bono reporting requirements, and answering these questions does not constitute compliance with the required pro bono responses. Trust Accounting The statement requires that all lawyers indicate whether they comply with the Bar’s trust accounting requirements and the interest on trust accounts rule.answering the trust accounting question, members certify compliance with Bar rules that mandate, “All nominal and short-term funds belonging to clients or third persons which are placed in trust with any member of The Florida Bar practicing from an office or other business location within the state of Florida shall be deposited in one or more interest-bearing trust checking accounts in an eligible financial institution for the benefit of the Foundation.”The Florida Bar Foundation may be contacted at (800) 541-2195 (for in-state members only) or (407) 843-0045 to answer IOTA questions. Installments Members who meet eligibility requirements may pay annual fees in three equal installments. The first payment must be postmarked by August 15. To be eligible, members must be in the second or third year since admission to the Bar or be employed by a government agency in a nonelected position that requires the individual to maintain membership in good standing with the Bar. Only annual fees or prorated fees may be paid in installments. Section dues must be paid in full.The three payments must be postmarked by August 15, November 1, and February 1, 2006. The Bar will send statements for the second and third installments. A $50 late fee will be assessed if the second or third installment is received late. For more information on paying in installments, see Rule 1-7.3(c). Other Options Bar members also may join sections and the Out-of-State Practitioners Division using the fee form. The attorney’s current membership in a section is indicated on the form. To join other sections, members may darken the circles next to the section they want to join and include the appropriate amount with their membership fees. Note that several section have increased their membership fees this yearThe fee statement provides lawyers the opportunity to reduce their section dues by joining combinations of the Government Lawyer Section with the Administrative Law Section and/or the Criminal Law Section or the Administrative Law Section and the Criminal Law Section.Members may opt for inactive membership by marking the inactive status proclamation located near the bottom of the front page of the active membership statement and paying their fees by a postmark date of August 15. Active members may not elect inactive status online.Those who chose inactive status on last year’s statement will receive an inactive membership fee statement this year. It has many of the same features as the active membership fee statement, but does not allow the inactive member to join sections. Inactive members, however, can become affiliate members of the Out-of-State Practitioners Division or the Administrative Law, Entertainment, Arts and Sports Law, Environmental and Land Use Law, and Tax sections.choosing inactive status, Bar members will reduce their annual fees by $90 and receive automatic exemptions from continuing legal education requirements. They will, however, give up a number of privileges, including the privilege to practice or advise on Florida law or hold a job that requires a Florida law license; to participate in the Bar’s certification program; to vote in Bar elections or be counted for purposes of apportionment of the Board of Governors; and to receive Bar publications, including the Journal and annual directory.Inactive members continue to receive The Florida Bar News. Inactive members who wish to become active again must call the Bar’s Membership Records Department at (850) 561-5832 or (800) 561-8060, ext. 5832. May 15, 2005 Managing Editor Regular News Bar’s annual fee statements are on the way
NEW YORK – Average weekday circulation at U.S. newspapers fell 2.6 percent during the six-month period ending in September in the latest sign of trouble in the newspaper business, an industry group reported Monday. Sunday circulation also fell 3.1 percent at newspapers reporting to the Audit Bureau of Circulations, according to an analysis of the data by the Newspaper Association of America. The declines from the same period a year ago show an acceleration of a years-long trend of falling circulation at daily newspapers as more people, especially young adults, turn to the Internet for news and as newspapers cut back on less profitable circulation. In the previous six-month reporting period ending in March, weekday circulation fell 1.9 percent at U.S. daily newspapers and Sunday circulation fell 2.5 percent. By comparison, a year ago newspapers reported a 0.9 percent decline in weekday circulation and a 1.5 percent fall Sundays. Newspapers also face sluggish growth in advertising, higher newsprint prices and increasing concern among investors about newspaper growth prospects. The second-largest newspaper publisher in the country, Knight Ridder Inc., is facing a revolt from two of its top shareholders, who want the company to be sold. John Murray, the vice president in charge of circulation at the NAA, said on a conference call with reporters that, despite the continued slippage in overall paid circulation, newspapers were retaining subscribers longer. That can save newspapers money over time as costs fall for replacing subscribers who don’t renew. Newspaper executives also say advertisers are increasingly looking for “quality” circulation, meaning copies that aren’t sold at a discount or given away for free to people who might be less interested in actually reading the paper than someone who signed up and is paying full price. To that end, newspapers are steadily reducing their reliance on telemarketing to replace lost subscribers since those readers are more likely to drop out. Telemarketing has also become more difficult and expensive after the national “do-not-call” law went into effect in 2003. As of 2004, the number of new subscribers from telemarketing fell to 30.9 percent versus 39.1 percent in 2002, the NAA says. Newspapers are also hoping to keep subscribers longer by signing them up for recurring payment options such as automatic checking account deductions or credit card charges. Murray said the portion of papers using automatic payment plans rose to 15 percent last year versus less than 5 percent two years before that. Stricter circulation reporting rules and increased caution following a circulation misstatement scandal a year ago have also led to publishers being more conservative in reporting their circulation figures, Murray said. “The price of making a mistake went up dramatically in terms of visibility and notoriety,” Murray said. Four major newspapers that had been barred from filing circulation data for the previous two reporting periods deferred making reports until their next six-month audits are complete. Those papers are Newsday of New York’s Long Island; The Dallas Morning News; the Chicago Sun-Times; and Hoy, a Spanish-language newspaper in New York. Four other newspapers whose circulation was affected by Hurricane Katrina did not file statements with the Audit Bureau: The Times-Picayune of New Orleans; the American Press in Lake Charles, La.; The Beaumont Enterprise in Texas; and The Daily Leader in Brookhaven, Miss. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week Circulation at the country’s three largest newspapers was relatively stable in the most recent reporting period, but many others showed significant declines. Gannett Co.’s USA Today, the largest-selling daily, slipped 0.6 percent from the same period a year ago, to 2,296,335; The Wall Street Journal, published by Dow Jones & Co., fell 1.1 percent, to 2,083,660; and The New York Times rose 0.5 percent, to 1,126,190. Of the rest of the top 20 newspapers reporting, all but one, The Star-Ledger of Newark, N.J., posted declines generally ranging between 1 percent and 8 percent. The San Francisco Chronicle, published by Hearst Corp., posted a 16.4 percent tumble in circulation as the newspaper slashed less profitable, heavily discounted and giveaway circulation subsidized by advertisers. Circulation has been steadily declining at newspapers for several years as readers look to other media for news. Tougher rules on telemarketing have also hurt newspapers’ ability to sign up new readers.