The South Florida Paralegal
Association ("SFPA") announced today that it has retained the services
of attorney Kenneth J. Kukec to represent its interest when the
much-debated and controversial proposed Rule 20 is submitted to the
Florida Supreme Court next month. The proposed Rule 20 amendment to the
Florida Bar Rules is also known as the "Florida Registered Paralegal
Program," a Florida Bar-devised substitute to proposed legislation
filed in late 2005, that would have regulated the paralegal profession.
"We are very pleased that Mr. Kukec has agreed to represent us on
this important issue" said Mark Workman, president of SFPA. "Mr.
Kukec’s experience and expertise, as well as his knowledge of the core
issues, will greatly assist us in advocating our opposition to the
current proposal, both before the Florida Supreme Court and to the
general public." The SPFA seeks to strengthen the regulation of the
paralegals, by setting mandatory standards regarding education,
experience, skill, and training requirements for paralegals practicing
in Florida. Its objections to the currently-proposed Rule included the
proposal’s weakening of those standards and its placing of the
oversight over the paralegal profession under the direct control of the
Florida Bar – creating a serious conflict of interest that is contrary to other professional regulatory guidelines.
In late 2005, Representative Juan C. Zapata (R. Miami) filed House
Bill 395 – known as the "Paralegal Profession Act" – which would have
created mandatory educational and ethical requirements for anyone in
Florida to qualify to use the title "paralegal." In its proposed
alternative to this legislation, the so-called "Rule 20," The Florida
Bar makes satisfaction of the minimum education and ethical standards
voluntary, thereby creating two classes of paralegals: those who chose
to meet the minimum standards and those who do not. The Bar’s proposal
would foster, rather than eliminate, public confusion over what
constitutes a "paralegal" and who can rightfully use that title. If
this matter cannot be resolved before the Florida Supreme Court, the
legislation may be reintroduced in the 2007 legislative session. To
obtain a copy of the proposal and other historical documents relating
to this issue, visit www.floridaregisteredparalegal.com.
"I am proud to be representing the SFPA and advocating its position
on this important issue" said Kenneth Kukec, counsel for SFPA. "The
Association’s arguments are valid and persuasive and would serve strong
policy interests by ensuring the public that persons holding themselves
out as professional paralegals meet or exceed basic standards of skill,
education, and experience. I look forward to presenting the
Association’s position to the Supreme Court."
Mr. Kukec has broad experience in advocating on behalf of both
public interest matters and private clients. Mr. Kukec graduated magna
cum laude from the Case Western Reserve Law School in 1986, where he
was a member of the law review and the Order of the Coif. After law
school, Mr. Kukec served as a law clerk for the Honorable William J.
Castagna, federal district judge for the Middle District of Florida.
Mr. Kukec won national recognition in the mid-1990s for his successful
effort in winning vindication for a young man wrongly convicted of
first-degree murder in Broward County. For his efforts, Mr. Kukec was
awarded the Legal Aid Society’s annual pro bono publico award and the
Outstanding Service Award by the National Association of Criminal
Defense Attorneys. Mr. Kukec has tried numerous cases to jury verdict
in state and federal trial courts throughout the country and has argued
appeals throughout the Florida appellate system as well as in federal
appellate courts in several other states. He has also advocated on
behalf of clients before Florida’s governor and cabinet. Mr. Kukec
writes and speaks frequently on evidentiary issues and matters
pertaining to federal practice. He may be reached by telephone at
The South Florida Paralegal Association is a non-profit professional
organization of practicing paralegals with its principle office in
Miami, Florida. SFPA has over 200 members and continues to grow. For
more information about SFPA, visit their website at www.sfpa.info.