POLICY ON LETTERS OF SUPPORT FOR
JUDICIAL CANDIDATES SEEKING APPOINTMENT
I. PURPOSE AND APPLICABILITY
The purpose of this policy is to establish criteria pursuant to which MDFAWL may provide letters of support for judicial candidates seeking appointment to state and federal courts. This policy applies only to those seeking appointment to the bench, and does not reflect MDFAWL’s policies with respect to judicial candidates running for election.
II. REQUIREMENTS FOR CONSIDERATION
MDFAWL may provide a letter of support for any judicial candidate who fulfills the following requirements:
- The judicial candidate shall submit to MDFAWL a fully completed Judicial Candidate Questionnaire attached hereto as Appendix “A”; and
- The judicial candidate shall be a member of MDFAWL at the time that the MDFAWL Board of Directors holds a vote regarding whether to submit a letter of support for the judicial candidate.
The judicial candidate must comply with the requirements set forth in this Section each time he or she seeks appointment to the bench. However, MDFAWL requires the submission of only one Judicial Candidate Questionnaire and the requirement of only one Board of Directors vote per appointment sought, even if MDFAWL provides multiple decision-makers with letters of support for a particular candidate.
III. APPROVAL FOR PROVISION OF LETTERS OF SUPPORT
At the next MDFAWL Board meeting following receipt of a candidate’s completed Judicial Candidate Questionnaire, the Board of Directors shall vote on whether to provide a letter of support for the judicial candidate. A vote of the Board of Directors may be conducted by email if there is an absence of quorum at the first Board meeting following submission of the Judicial Candidate Questionnaire.
MDFAWL may decline to provide a letter of support for any judicial candidate who otherwise possesses the qualifications set forth in Section II herein, if The Florida Bar has disciplined the candidate in the ten (10) years prior to the Board vote for a violation of the Rules Regulating The Florida Bar, or if the candidate is pending the outcome of a criminal, civil, administrative or disciplinary complaint, investigation or proceeding.
MDFAWL may decline to provide a letter of support for any judicial candidate who MDFAWL determines has engaged in conduct contrary to the mission of MDFAWL.
It is ultimately within the sole discretion of MDFAWL to determine whether it will issue a letter of support for any judicial candidate.
IV. CONTENT OF LETTERS OF SUPPORT
Letters of support for judicial candidates shall include the following:
- The candidate’s qualifications for the bench;
- The candidate’s contribution(s) to MDFAWL;
- The candidate’s contribution(s) to the community;
- The following statement: “MDFAWL is a voluntary bar association dedicated to actively promoting the advancement of women in the legal profession, expanding the leadership role of its members in the community at large, and promoting women’s rights. Our membership includes lawyers, legal professionals, law students, and others committed to advancing these important goals. MDFAWL will offer its support for a judicial candidate when that candidate demonstrates strong personal ethics, broad legal experience, and a history of voluntary service to the underserved; and
- The signature of the President of MDFAWL.
Letters of support for judicial candidates shall not use any form of the word, “endorse” and cannot be used by any judicial candidate to suggest or imply that MDFAWL is endorsing his or her application or nomination to the bench.
Letters of support must be reviewed by the MDFAWL Quality Control Committee prior to issuance.
This Policy shall be published and maintained on the MDFAWL website.
This policy may be amended upon a vote of the MDFAWL Board of Directors. Amendments shall not have retroactive effect.
MIAMI-DADE FAWL Letter of Support Judicial Candidate Questionnaire