On September 15, 2016, the FACA Board of Directors voted to enact the FACA Mentoring Program and in April, 2017 revised the components of the mentoring program as referenced below:
Any County Attorney can volunteer as a mentor. FACA and individual County Attorneys also reach out to experienced Assistant County Attorneys as possible mentors.
A list of available mentors with their respective areas of expertise is placed on the FACA webpage under the heading “Mentors.”
Prospective mentees inform their supervisors about intent to use the program and then contact one of the “mentors” to see if he or she is willing to serve as a mentor for the mentee. The mentee will notify his or her supervisor about which mentor is chosen.
A phone call is arranged to make the introduction between the mentee and the mentor.
Ongoing informal communication between the mentee and mentor is encouraged.
At the annual conference, a time is set aside for the mentor and mentee to meet.
Fostering the development of the mentee’s practical skills and easing the transition from law school or private practice to government service;
Increasing knowledge of legal customs;
Creating a sense of pride and integrity in local government practice;
Promoting collegial relationships among legal professionals and building lasting relationships within FACA;
Improving legal ability and professional judgment; and,
Encouraging the use of best practices and highest ideals in local government practice.
It is expressly recognized that the mentee is the employee of the mentee’s County and County Attorney, and that the mentoring program is intended to support that relationship and shall not be utilized in any way to undermine that relationship or duty of loyalty. The mentoring program is not the appropriate mechanism for airing personnel or office related complaints.
Any communication between mentor and the mentee arising out of participation in the mentoring plan is for the sole purpose of guiding and teaching the mentee about the practice of law and the issues that the mentee is likely to face in the practice of local government law.
The mentor cannot give advice on specific cases for a variety of substantive reasons. Although the mentor is engaged in the practice of law, the mentor is not rendering legal or professional advice to the mentee or to any clients through the mentee and the mentee will not rely upon such communications or cause any client to rely upon them. Client confidential information shall not be shared; instead, all discussions about substantive legal matters between mentee and mentor will be limited to and construed as hypothetical situations.
A mentee will reasonably keep informed his or her supervisor as to particular subject matters discussed with the mentor.
The program is not intended to have the mentee solely use the mentor for questions or advice. It is hoped that the program will provide the mentee with helpful professional development and guidance as needed.
News of Note
SAVE THE DATE - June 29, 2017 at 8:00 am
To all Assistant County Attorneys with less than five (5) years' experience who will be attending the 2017 FACA Annual CLE Seminar, please join the County Attorney volunteer mentors for a "Coffee Meet & Greet" at the West Palm Beach Hilton, Manor Restaurant.
New Assistant County Attorney Orientation Schedule
September 15, 2016, 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm, ET
Hutchinson Island Marriott
Martin County, Florida
Bryant Applegate, Seminole County Attorney
Mentor Area: Ethics
Al Hadeed, Flagler County Attorney
Mentor Areas: Ethics and General Governmental
Herbert W. A. Thiele, Leon County Attorney
Mentor Areas: Public Records, Sunshine Law, Ethics, General Governmental
Andrew Mai, Osceola County Attorney
Mentor Areas: Contracts, Land Use, Real Estate, Tourist Development Tax, Economic Development, Fire and Emergency Management
Denise Marie Nieman, Palm Beach County
Mentor Area: General Governmental
Anne Brown, Levy County Attorney
Mentor Areas: Land Use/Zoning and General Governmental
For more information regarding the FACA Mentoring Program, please contact:
Herbert W. A. Thiele
County Attorney, Leon County
County Attorney, St. Johns County
FAC General Counsel