Ken Sobel Educates Attorneys at "Advocacy in the Legislature" Seminar
Like many FJA Members, Kenneth J. Sobel joined the organization early in his career, under the “Academy” banner. For almost 20 years, he paid his obligatory dues, read the monthly Journal and went about the business of building his law practice.
That is until 2003 when a contingency in the legislature aggressively initiated a campaign to slaughter the rights of medical malpractice victims, and threatened to destroy the very practice that he had spent the last 2 decades building. After representing victims of catastrophic injury, the idea that a government body would legislate away their access to justice and silence their voice was outrageous. Ken Sobel heeded the FJA’s call to action and went to lobby for the very first time. Having no idea how the process worked, or what role he would play, he traveled to Tallahassee spurred forward by the blind notion that he was going to do whatever it took to protect and preserve access to the courts. Now, almost a decade later, Ken Sobel is a devoted advocate, who has returned to lobby every session since, joined the FJA Board of Directors and is Chairman of the Medical Malpractice Committee.
Recognizing the importance of our volunteer lobbyists and the impact they have on the legislative process, this year, Ken took the initiative to educate the membership about the importance of advocacy from the capitol to the courtroom. He assembled an expert legal panel which included Former Representative and current Ft. Lauderdale Mayor Jack Seiler, along with FJA Past President Greg Barnhart, to educate members from FJA, BCJA, MDJA & PBCJA. The seminar titled “Advocacy in the State Legislature,” discussed alternate forms of advocacy and the ethics of effectively lobbying the legislature, marked the first official day of the 2012 Legislative session. The topics presented included everything from bill drafting, claims bills, transportation and accommodations, and how to develop key contact relationships with legislators.
When asked why the seminar was important, Ken said, “I believe that the biggest deterrent for attorneys is a lack of knowledge about the inner workings in Tallahassee. Attorneys are natural advocates and if we take the time to educate them and demystify the legislative process, we can grow our presence in Tallahassee and effectively represent the consumers of Florida.”
FJA salutes Mr. Sobel for taking the initiative in educating attorneys on this important advocacy function. Thank you, Ken!