Message from the President

Welcome to the Palm Beach County Chapter of the Federal Bar Association (FBA), based in West Palm Beach. The Palm Beach County, Broward and South Florida (Miami) Chapters are the premier chapters of the FBA serving the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, which stretches from Key West to Vero Beach.

Our Chapter is committed to offering our members meaningful opportunities to get to know the federal judges in the Southern District of Florida, to network with fellow federal practitioners and to engage in continuing legal education opportunities pertinent to their diverse practice areas.

Among the many marquee events held by our Chapter are our Annual Judicial Reception in October, regular luncheons featuring prominent members of the judiciary, the federal government and law school faculty, and quarterly Brown Bag lunches held at the courthouse. Past luncheon speakers have included United States District Court, Magistrate and Bankruptcy Judges and Judges of the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

In December, the Chapter hosts an annual Court Orientation Program to train and orient lawyers new to practice in federal court. This program is put on with the participation of the judiciary and federal and private practitioners in civil and criminal practices.

Community outreach efforts are central to our mission. Our Chapter has become nationally known as leaders in creating and implementing the Civil Discourse and Difficult Decisions Program, a civics education program that brings high school and college students into federal courtrooms to observe, learn and practice civil discourse and decision-making skills. The Program is featured on the FBA’s national website at and other media. In the 2018-2019 school year alone, the FBA chapters in the Southern District of Florida produced 13 programs at 12 diverse high schools and 2 colleges, touching more than 340 students and involving dozens of FBA member volunteers.

We intend this year to focus with intention on the ongoing collaboration with our sister chapters in Broward and South Florida (Miami) and our voluntary bar associations in Palm Beach County, along with diversity and inclusion in our leadership, membership and events.

We invite you to attend our events, volunteer with us, and otherwise become involved with the Palm Beach County Chapter of the FBA as we serve our bench, our bar, and our community.

Joanne O’Connor
Chapter President, 2019-2020