Lawyers Are Seriously Asking To Be Charged Higher Dues

A coalition of Florida legal aid organizations and supporters filed a petition Monday with the Florida Supreme Court asking to raise the cap on Florida Bar dues by $100 to fund legal aid programs.

The group called Access for Justice wants Bar dues raised from $265 to $365 annually for Florida’s nearly 100,000 lawyers. The increase would generate an additional $10 million a year for legal aid services statewide.

The group, which includes former Florida Supreme Court Justice Raoul Cantero, said the funds are desperately needed since legal aid programs rely on interest on lawyers’ trust accounts, and interest rates have tanked. Funding in Florida dropped 89 percent to $5 million last year from $44 million in 2007.

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