ATTORNEYS AT LAW
454.021 - Attorneys; admission to practice law; Supreme Court to govern and regulate
History.- ss. 1, 2, 7, ch. 29796, 1955; s. 10, ch. 61-530.
- (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.
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.
BUSINESS AND PROFESSIONAL REGULATION: GENERAL PROVISIONS
455.01 - Definitions
As used in this chapter, the term:
History.- s. 1, ch. 21885, 1943; s. 1, ch. 28215, 1953; s. 12, ch. 63-195; s. 2, ch. 65-170; s. 27, ch. 67-248; s. 3, ch. 67-409; s. 1, ch. 67-596; s. 121, ch. 71-355; s. 122, ch. 73-333; s. 5, ch. 79-36; s. 123, ch. 79-164; s. 2, ch. 84-70; s. 9, ch. 91-220; s. 4, ch. 92-149; s. 5, ch. 93-220; s. 1, ch. 96-291; s. 3, ch. 97-261; s. 109, ch. 2000-153; s. 23, ch. 2000-160.
- (1) “Board” means any board or commission, or other statutorily created entity to the extent such entity is authorized to exercise regulatory or rulemaking functions, within the department, including the Florida Real Estate Commission; except that, for ss. 455.201-455.245, “board” means only a board, or other statutorily created entity to the extent such entity is authorized to exercise regulatory or rulemaking functions, within the Division of Certified Public Accounting, the Division of Professions, or the Division of Real Estate.
- (2) “Consumer member” means a person appointed to serve on a specific board or who has served on a specific board, who is not, and never has been, a member or practitioner of the profession, or of any closely related profession, regulated by such board.
- (3) “Department” means the Department of Business and Professional Regulation.
- (4) “License” means any permit, registration, certificate, or license issued by the department.
- (5) “Licensee” means any person issued a permit, registration, certificate, or license by the department.
- (6) “Profession” means any activity, occupation, profession, or vocation regulated by the department in the Divisions of Certified Public Accounting, Professions, Real Estate, and Regulation.
Note.- Former s. 485.01.
455.017 - Applicability of this chapter
This chapter applies only to the regulation of professions by the department.
History.- s. 60, ch. 94-218; s. 4, ch. 2010-106.
455.02 - Licensure of members of the Armed Forces in good standing and their spouses with administrative boards
History.- s. 2, ch. 21885, 1943; s. 5, ch. 79-36; s. 95, ch. 83-329; s. 1, ch. 84-15; s. 71, ch. 85-81; s. 6, ch. 93-220; s. 186, ch. 97-103; s. 5, ch. 2010-106; s. 4, ch. 2010-182.1
- (1) Any member of the Armed Forces of the United States now or hereafter on active duty who, at the time of becoming such a member, was in good standing with any administrative board of the state and was entitled to practice or engage in his or her profession or vocation in the state shall be kept in good standing by such administrative board, without registering, paying dues or fees, or performing any other act on his or her part to be performed, as long as he or she is a member of the Armed Forces of the United States on active duty and for a period of 6 months after discharge from active duty as a member of the Armed Forces of the United States, if he or she is not engaged in his or her licensed profession or vocation in the private sector for profit.
- (2) The boards listed in s. 20.165 shall adopt rules that exempt the spouse of a member of the Armed Forces of the United States from licensure renewal provisions, but only in cases of his or her absence from the state because of his or her spouse’s duties with the Armed Forces.
- (3)(a) The department may issue a temporary professional license to the spouse of an active duty member of the Armed Forces of the United States if the spouse applies to the department in the format prescribed by the department. An application must include proof that:
- 1. The applicant is married to a member of the Armed Forces of the United States who is on active duty.
- 2. The applicant holds a valid license for the profession issued by another state, the District of Columbia, any possession or territory of the United States, or any foreign jurisdiction.
- 3. The applicant’s spouse is assigned to a duty station in this state and that the applicant is also assigned to a duty station in this state pursuant to the member’s official active duty military orders.
- 4.a. A complete set of the applicant’s fingerprints 1is submitted to the Department of Law Enforcement for a statewide criminal history check.
- b. The Department of Law Enforcement shall forward the fingerprints 2submitted pursuant to sub-subparagraph a. to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for a national criminal history check. The department shall, and the board may, review the results of the criminal history checks according to the level 2 screening standards in s. 435.04 and determine whether the applicant meets the licensure requirements. The costs of fingerprint processing shall be borne by the applicant. If the applicant’s fingerprints are submitted through an authorized agency or vendor, the agency or vendor shall collect the required processing fees and remit the fees to the Department of Law Enforcement.
- (b) An application must be accompanied by an application fee prescribed by the department that is sufficient to cover the cost of issuance of the temporary license.
- (c) A temporary license expires 6 months after the date of issuance and is not renewable.
Note.- The word “is” was substituted by the editors for the word “are,” which was enacted by s. 5, ch. 2010-106. Section 4, ch. 2010-182, enacted the words “has been” instead of the word “are.”2
Note.- As enacted by s. 4, ch. 2010-182. Subsection (3) was also added by s. 5, ch. 2010-106, and that version did not use the phrase “submitted pursuant to sub-subparagraph a.”
Note.- Former s. 485.02.