Advanced Registered Paralegal program allowing limited practice sent to Bar Rules Committee for review

Hello everyone and welcome to this Ethics Alert, which will update the status of the Advanced Florida Registered Paralegal designation as part of the Florida Registered Paralegal Program in Chapter 20, the Rules Regulating The Florida Bar.

As I previously blogged here:, the Florida Supreme Court Access Commission voted to approve the proposal to create the Advanced Florida Registered Paralegal designation.

The proposal was sent to the Florida Bar’s Board of Governors (BOG) for review and Bar President John Stewart announced at the BOG’s January 31, 2020 meeting that he had referred the proposed program to the Florida Bar’s Rules Committee to consider objections that were made by the Bar’s Family Law, Real Property, Probate and Trust Law, Elder, and Public Interest Law sections.

Under the proposed program, Advanced Registered Paralegals would be required to obtain additional education and work experience than is required to become a Florida Registered Paralegal and would be required to be aware of “lawyer’s protocols” in performing authorized services.  The program would also permit Advanced Registered Paralegals to engage in the limited practice of law under a lawyer’s supervision in family law, landlord tenant law, guardianship law, wills, advance directives, and debt collection defense.

The proposal also provides a licensing and disciplinary process, lists that duties that may not require “independent professional legal judgment,” and states that the Advanced Registered Paralegals must be supervised by a lawyer who “maintains a direct relationship with the client and maintains control of all client matters.”

Bottom line:  As I previously indicated, this is an early proposal for a Florida limited licensing and practice of law program for paralegals.  Other states, including Utah, Washington, Oregon, and California already have limited licensing programs in place.  The proposed program will now be reviewed by the Florida Bar’s Rules Committee.

I will keep you advised and be careful out there.

As always, if you have any questions about this Ethics Alert or need assistance, analysis, and guidance regarding ethics, risk management, or other issues, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Disclaimer:  this e-mail is not an advertisement, does not contain any legal advice, and does not create an attorney/client relationship and the comments herein should not be relied upon by anyone who reads it.

Joseph A. Corsmeier, Esquire

Law Office of Joseph A. Corsmeier, P.A.

2999 Alt. 19, Suite A

Palm Harbor, Florida

Office (727) 799-1688

Fax     (727) 799-1670


Please note:  My office has moved and the new office address is 2999 Alt. 19, Palm Harbor, FL 34683.  All other contact information remains the same.


About jcorsmeier

Joseph A. Corsmeier is an “AV” rated attorney practicing in Clearwater, Florida. He concentrates his practice primarily in the areas of defense of attorney disciplinary matters before The Florida Bar, attorney admission matters before the Florida Board of Bar Examiners, and professional license and disciplinary matters before the Boards of the State of Florida. He provides expert analysis and opinion on conflict of interest and other attorney disqualification and legal malpractice issues and he testified as an expert in the Florida courts. He served as an Assistant State Attorney in the Sixth Judicial Circuit from 1986 to 1990 where he prosecuted felonies exclusively from June 1987, and as Bar Counsel for The Florida Bar’s Department of Lawyer Regulation from 1990 to 1998. He also practices in the areas of estate planning and Medicaid qualification, workers’ compensation, and labor law. Mr. Corsmeier is the author of numerous articles for various bar publications, has spoken at numerous local and statewide seminars on various topics, including ethics and professionalism, and was an instructor of legal ethics for paralegals at Rollins College until the Tampa campus closed. He received his undergraduate degree from Florida State University and his J.D. from Mercer University. He is admitted to practice in all Florida Courts, the Supreme Court of the United States, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, and the Middle District of Florida. He is a member of The Florida Bar, American Bar Association, the Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers, and the Clearwater and St. Petersburg Bar Associations.
This entry was posted in 2018 Utah rules permit non-lawyer limited practice, 2019 California non-lawyer practice and ownership of law firms proposals, Advanced Registered Paralegal Program, Arizona limited legal advice pilot program 2020-2021, Florida Bar Rules, Florida Bar Rules Chapter 20 registered paralegal, Florida limited practice by paralegals, Florida Supreme Court, joe corsmeier, joseph corsmeier, non-lawyer limited practice, Non-lawyer practice of law, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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