Chapter 454 Attorneys At Law

Link to law: http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0400-0499%2F0454%2F0454.html
Published: 2015

TITLE XXXII
REGULATION OF PROFESSIONS AND OCCUPATIONS

CHAPTER 454
ATTORNEYS AT LAW

454.021 Attorneys; admission to practice law; Supreme Court to govern and regulate.

454.026 Authority of Department of Law Enforcement to accept fingerprints of, and exchange criminal history records with respect to, bar applicants.

454.11 Powers of attorneys.

454.17 Attorneys may administer oaths in open court.

454.18 Officers not allowed to practice.

454.19 Certain partnerships prohibited.

454.20 Attorneys not to be sureties.

454.23 Penalties.

454.31 Practice while disbarred or suspended prohibited.

454.32 Aiding or assisting disbarred or suspended attorney prohibited.

454.021 Attorneys; admission to practice law; Supreme Court to govern and regulate.—
(1) Admissions of attorneys and counselors to practice law in the state is hereby declared to be a judicial function.

(2) The Supreme Court of Florida, being the highest court of said state, is the proper court to govern and regulate admissions of attorneys and counselors to practice law in said state.

(3) Upon certification by the Florida Board of Bar Examiners that an applicant who is an unauthorized immigrant who was brought to the United States as a minor; has been present in the United States for more than 10 years; has received documented employment authorization from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS); has been issued a social security number; if a male, has registered with the Selective Service System if required to do so under the Military Selective Service Act, 50 U.S.C. App. 453; and has fulfilled all requirements for admission to practice law in this state, the Supreme Court of Florida may admit that applicant as an attorney at law authorized to practice in this state and may direct an order be entered upon the court’s records to that effect.

History.—ss. 1, 2, 7, ch. 29796, 1955; s. 10, ch. 61-530; s. 3, ch. 2014-35.

454.026 Authority of Department of Law Enforcement to accept fingerprints of, and exchange criminal history records with respect to, bar applicants.—The Department of Law Enforcement is authorized to accept fingerprints of applicants for admission to The Florida Bar and, to the extent provided for by federal law, to exchange state, multistate, and federal criminal history records with the Florida Board of Bar Examiners for licensing purposes.
History.—s. 1, ch. 83-199.

454.11 Powers of attorneys.—Every attorney duly admitted or authorized to practice in this state shall have the right to appear before any court of the state, or any public board, committee, or officer in the interest of any client, and may appear as amicus curiae when so permitted. All attorneys shall be deemed officers of the court for the administration of justice, and amenable to the rules and discipline of the court in all matters of order or procedure not in conflict with the constitution or laws of this state.
History.—s. 11, ch. 10175, 1925; CGL 4189; s. 7, ch. 22858, 1945.

454.17 Attorneys may administer oaths in open court.—Attorneys authorized to practice law in this state may administer oaths in open court, in the presence of the presiding judge or justice thereof, and any person swearing falsely under an oath so administered shall be liable to the penalty prescribed for perjury.
History.—s. 17, ch. 10175, 1925; CGL 4195.

454.18 Officers not allowed to practice.—No sheriff or clerk of any court, or full-time deputy thereof, shall practice in this state, nor shall any person not of good moral character, or who has been convicted of an infamous crime be entitled to practice. A person may not be denied the right to practice on account of sex, race, or color. And any person, whether an attorney or not, or whether within the exceptions mentioned above or not, may conduct his or her own cause in any court of this state, or before any public board, committee, or officer, subject to the lawful rules and discipline of such court, board, committee, or officer. The provisions of this section restricting the practice of law by a sheriff or clerk, or full-time deputy thereof, do not apply in a case where such person is representing the office or agency in the course of his or her duties as an attorney.
History.—s. 18, ch. 10175, 1925; CGL 4196; s. 54, ch. 91-137; s. 182, ch. 97-103; s. 1, ch. 2007-166.

454.19 Certain partnerships prohibited.—No judge of a court of this state who is permitted by the constitution and laws to practice law shall form any partnership with the prosecuting attorney of such court or become a partner in any firm in which he or she is a partner. No attorney who may be a law partner with any judge of any court who is permitted by law to practice law shall be allowed to practice before the court of which his or her partner is judge.
History.—s. 19, ch. 10175, 1925; CGL 4197; s. 1, ch. 77-119; s. 183, ch. 97-103.

454.20 Attorneys not to be sureties.—No attorney shall become surety on the official bond of any state, county, or municipal officer of this state, nor surety on any bond of a client in judicial proceedings.
History.—s. 20, ch. 10175, 1925; CGL 4198.

454.23 Penalties.—Any person not licensed or otherwise authorized to practice law in this state who practices law in this state or holds himself or herself out to the public as qualified to practice law in this state, or who willfully pretends to be, or willfully takes or uses any name, title, addition, or description implying that he or she is qualified, or recognized by law as qualified, to practice law in this state, commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
History.—s. 21, ch. 10175, 1925; CGL 8133; s. 384, ch. 71-136; s. 1, ch. 74-128; s. 184, ch. 97-103; s. 1, ch. 2004-287.

454.31 Practice while disbarred or suspended prohibited.—Any person who has been knowingly disbarred and who has not been lawfully reinstated or is knowingly under suspension from the practice of law by any circuit court of the state or by the Supreme Court of the state who practices law in this state or holds himself or herself out as an attorney at law or qualified to practice law in this state commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
History.—s. 1, ch. 18006, 1937; CGL 1940 Supp. 8133(2); s. 385, ch. 71-136; s. 185, ch. 97-103; s. 2, ch. 2004-287.

454.32 Aiding or assisting disbarred or suspended attorney prohibited.—A person who knowingly aids or assists any person in carrying on the unauthorized practice of law, knowing that such person has been disbarred and has not been lawfully reinstated or is under suspension from the practice of law by any circuit court of the state or by the Supreme Court of the state, commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084, and shall also be subject to disbarment.
History.—s. 2, ch. 18006, 1937; CGL 1940 Supp. 8133(3); s. 386, ch. 71-136; s. 3, ch. 2004-287.
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