Voting is underway. I thank you if you have already voted, and ask others to click this link and follow the prompts for a PIN to complete the voting process.

In the meantime, campaign emails are going out from myself and my opponent, Jay Kim.

By far the most humorous response I’ve personally received to date is pictured below. It’s from none other than Merrilee Ehrlich, who is understandably no fan of the blog that hastened her retirement:

Interestingly, Jay Kim’s most recent email advert arrived today with the subject header Survey: Members of The Florida Bar give it the highest rating ever, and the following claim:

My efforts have helped The Florida Bar achieve its all-time highest rating from its members who participated in the 2019 Florida Bar Membership Opinion Survey. An overwhelming 82 percent of Bar members have rated The Florida Bar as an “excellent” or “good” advocate for the legal profession, the highest rating ever received for this question.

(emphasis added)

That threw me off guard, since so many members have been offering up their particular Bar horror stories to me since voting started, in addition to the usual complaints. Accordingly, I sent a public records request to TFB to see what the survey’s methodology was, and was informed thusly:

In December 2019, The Florida Bar sent an online survey link to a random sample of 3,850 in-state and out-of-state, eligible members. By the cut-off date of December 23, 2019, the Bar had received 1,022 completed questionnaires, for a response rate of 27%. This response rate is quite acceptable for this type of lengthy online survey. Although 1,022 questionnaires were returned, not all questions were answered by all respondents. Therefore, some percentages are based upon the actual number of individuals who responded to that particular question.

(emphasis added)

TFB and Jay obviously believe this methodology is sound, even with a 27% partial participation rate of a small random sample, when there were 93,061 eligible members at the time of the survey. I personally think it’s junk science, especially given the fact so many people I know are furious with the Bar, or at least apathetic, and would never bother to vote in elections, let alone fill out a survey.

What do you think? Are you happy with the Bar’s disciplinary arm practices? Are you happy with the current judicial appointment process? Do you think the Bar is doing enough to combat institutional racism and the lack of diversity on the bench? Do you think Florida’s legal system is esteemed and respected by the general public? And even if some members think the Bar is doing a “good” job, shouldn’t we be doing better?

Please review my positions here, and click this link to get your PIN and vote. Abstaining means more of the same, as my opponent enjoys institutional support, which cannot be overcome if there isn’t high voter turnout. Lastly, if you don’t like things shaken up, then please support my opponent. But whatever you do, please vote!

Bill Gelin

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