March 26, 2019
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_h0405c1
CS/HB 405

1
A bill to be entitled
2An act relating to public meetings; amending s. 286.011,
3F.S.; expanding the public meetings exemption for a
4private meeting between a governmental entity and the
5entity's attorneys to discuss pending litigation to which
6the governmental entity is a party before a court or
7administrative agency; revising and providing additional
8conditions precedent to such private meetings; providing
9for future legislative review and repeal of the exemption;
10providing a statement of public necessity; providing an
11effective date.
12
13Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
14
15     Section 1.  Subsection (8) of section 286.011, Florida
16Statutes, is amended to read:
17     286.011  Public meetings and records; public inspection;
18criminal and civil penalties.-
19     (8)(a)  Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (1),
20any board or commission of any state agency or authority or any
21agency or authority of any county, municipal corporation, or
22political subdivision, and the chief administrative or executive
23officer of the governmental entity, and the risk manager and
24division heads of the governmental entity identified by the
25chief administrative or executive officer as being involved in
26pending litigation may meet in private with the entity's
27attorneys attorney to discuss pending litigation to which the
28entity is presently a party before a court or administrative
29agency, if provided that the following conditions are met:
30     1.  The entity gives reasonable public notice of the time
31and date of the attorney-client session and the names of persons
32who will be attending the session.
33     2.  The session commences as an open meeting at which the
34person chairing the meeting announces the commencement and
35estimated length of the attorney-client session and the names of
36the persons attending.
37     3.(a)  The entity's attorney advises shall advise the
38entity at the a public meeting that he or she desires advice
39concerning the litigation, which advisory announcement may be
40made immediately before the attorney-client session begins.
41     4.(b)  The subject matter of the session is meeting shall
42be confined to settlement negotiations or strategy sessions
43relating related to litigation expenditures.
44     5.  A person who is an adverse party to the litigation is
45not permitted to attend the attorney-client session.
46     6.(c)  The entire session is shall be recorded by a
47certified court reporter. The reporter shall record the times of
48commencement and termination of the session, all discussion and
49proceedings, the names of all persons present at any time, and
50the names of all persons speaking. No portion of the session
51shall be off the record. The court reporter's notes must shall
52be fully transcribed and filed with the entity's clerk within a
53reasonable time after the meeting.
54     7.(d)  The entity shall give reasonable public notice of
55the time and date of the attorney-client session and the names
56of persons who will be attending the session. The session shall
57commence at an open meeting at which the persons chairing the
58meeting shall announce the commencement and estimated length of
59the attorney-client session and the names of the persons
60attending. At the conclusion of the attorney-client session, the
61meeting is shall be reopened, and the person chairing the
62meeting announces shall announce the termination of the
63attorney-client session.
64     8.(e)  The transcript is shall be made part of the public
65record upon conclusion of the litigation.
66     9.  A person in attendance at the attorney-client session
67agrees not to disclose any part of the discussion that took
68place during the session until the conclusion of the litigation
69unless ordered by the court.
70     (b)  This subsection is subject to the Open Government
71Sunset Review Act in accordance with s. 119.15 and shall stand
72repealed on October 2, 2015, unless reviewed and saved from
73repeal through reenactment by the Legislature.
74     Section 2.  The Legislature finds that it is a public
75necessity to expand the current exemption from public meeting
76requirements for those meetings wherein any board or commission
77of any state agency or authority or any agency or authority of
78any county, municipal corporation, or political subdivision, and
79the chief administrative or executive officer of the
80governmental entity meet in private with the entity's attorneys
81to discuss pending litigation to which the entity is presently a
82party before a court or administrative agency. The Legislature
83also finds that it is a public necessity to exclude from those
84attorney-client sessions any person who is an adverse party to
85the litigation. If such person was authorized to attend the
86closed attorney-client session, then that person would be privy
87to attorney-client discussions that would provide that person
88with an advantage in the litigation process. Allowing such
89person to attend discussions regarding settlement negotiations
90and litigation strategies places the public body at a
91disadvantage in the judicial and administrative process.
92Further, the Legislature finds that it is a public necessity to
93prohibit a person from attending a closed attorney-client
94session if that person does not agree to the nondisclosure
95restriction provided in the act. If a person attending a closed
96attorney-client session discloses any part of the discussion
97that took place during the session prior to conclusion of the
98litigation or unless ordered by the court, then that person
99places the public body at a disadvantage with the adverse party
100by revealing litigation strategies. Consequently, the
101Legislature finds that in order to ensure the fair treatment of
102a public body as part of the judicial and administrative process
103it is a public necessity to prohibit a person who is an adverse
104party to litigation from attending closed attorney-client
105sessions and to prohibit a person from attending such sessions
106if that person does not agree to the nondisclosure requirements
107created by the act.
108     Section 3.  This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.


CODING: Words stricken are deletions; words underlined are additions.
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