Tampa Bay Inn of Court Membership Categories
Masters/Judges and Masters/Lawyers
Also known as "Benchers" or "Masters" are appellate and trial judges, both federal and state, as well as experienced trial and appellate lawyers of demonstrated superior character, ability and litigating competence. The term of service of a Master is indefinite, though for long-term continuity, three to five years should be considered the minimum.
Lawyers who have had some litigating experience are usually Barristers. Tampa Bay Inn of Court Barristers usually have between five to fifteen years of litigating experience as their guide. Barristers usually serve three year staggered terms.
Lawyers who are new to the profession and do not reach the minimum qualifications for Barrister.
Law school student participants are Pupils. Pupils usually serve one year terms.
In addition to the membership, a Master Emeritus may be elected by a two-thirds vote of the Masters in attendance at a special meeting called for that purpose. To be nominated as a Master Emeritus, a member must have rendered distinguished service to the bench, bar, and this Inn and have served as a Master in this Inn for at least three years. An exception may be made for a master entering the judiciary away fro from the Tampa Bay area.
Tampa Bay Inn of Court Dues
Annual dues are required to be paid in full before the first meeting of the year in September. Persons requesting additional time to pay dues must send a letter to the Executive Committee requesting deferment and/or financial assistance. Written requests for deferment will be reviewed on a case by case basis. Requests for scholarships or reduction in dues based on financial hardship will be evaluated by the Executive Committee on a case by case basis and will be determined by demonstrated need and available resources.
Master Annual Dues: $470.00
Barrister Annual Dues: $360.00
Bencher Annual Dues: $250.00
Associate Annual Dues: $250.00
Pupil Annual dues: $140.00
The Tampa Bay Inn of Court
Members in the Tampa Bay Inn of Court must be attorneys who practice in the Tampa Bay area, judges of courts serving this area, or law professors and law students from Stetson University College of Law. Membership is open to all qualified persons, regardless of race, color, sex, age, religion, or national origin. The Inn aspires to reflect a cross section of the legal profession and the judiciary so that no law firm or specialty is disproportionately represented.
Invitations to Membership in the Tampa Bay Inn of Court
The Executive Committee extends invitations for membership each summer. In extending invitations to renew membership, the Executive Committee considers the participation and attendance of members. Vacancies are filled by vote of the Executive Committee based upon the needs of the Inn. The Counselor customarily invites new members on behalf of the Inn. Those seeking membership are invited to apply by sending a letter to the Counselor. If no vacancies exist for a qualified applicant, the applicant's name will be placed on a waiting list.
Tampa Bay Inn of Court Pupillage Groups
The Inn is organized annually into pupilage groups, a structure basic to the English Inns of Court. Each group is usually composed of one Master/Judge and two or more Masters/Lawyers, Barristers, Associates and Pupils. Currently, the Executive Committee creates nine pupilage groups, with one or more groups responsible for presenting a program lasting no more than one hour at each monthly meeting.