Florida Senate - 2018                                     SB 560
       By Senator Steube
       23-00772-18                                            2018560__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to public meetings and records;
    3         amending s. 286.011, F.S.; expanding an exemption from
    4         public meetings requirements to allow specified
    5         entities to meet in private with an attorney to
    6         discuss imminent litigation if certain conditions are
    7         met; requiring the entity’s attorney to identify the
    8         name of the potential claimant or litigant at a public
    9         meeting; requiring the transcript of a private meeting
   10         concerning imminent litigation to be made public upon
   11         the occurrence of a certain circumstance; specifying
   12         when litigation is considered imminent; providing for
   13         future legislative review and repeal of the exemption;
   14         providing a statement of public necessity; providing
   15         an effective date.
   17  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   19         Section 1. Subsection (8) of section 286.011, Florida
   20  Statutes, is amended to read:
   21         286.011 Public meetings and records; public inspection;
   22  criminal and civil penalties.—
   23         (8)(a) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (1),
   24  any board or commission of any state agency or authority or any
   25  agency or authority of any county, municipal corporation, or
   26  political subdivision, and the chief administrative or executive
   27  officer of the governmental entity, is exempt from this section
   28  and s. 24(b), Art. I of the State Constitution for the limited
   29  purpose of meeting may meet in private with the entity’s
   30  attorney to discuss imminent or pending litigation to which the
   31  entity is or may in the foreseeable future be presently a party
   32  before a court or administrative agency, provided that the
   33  following conditions are met:
   34         1.(a) The entity’s attorney shall advise the entity at a
   35  public meeting that he or she desires advice concerning the
   36  imminent or pending litigation. For imminent litigation, the
   37  entity’s attorney shall identify the name of the potential
   38  claimant or litigant.
   39         2.(b) The subject matter of the meeting must shall be
   40  confined to settlement negotiations or strategy sessions related
   41  to litigation expenditures.
   42         3.(c) The entire session shall be recorded by a certified
   43  court reporter. The reporter shall record the times of
   44  commencement and termination of the session, all discussion and
   45  proceedings, the names of all persons present at any time, and
   46  the names of all persons speaking. No portion of the session may
   47  shall be off the record. The court reporter’s notes must shall
   48  be fully transcribed and filed with the entity’s clerk within a
   49  reasonable time after the meeting.
   50         4.(d) The entity shall give reasonable public notice of the
   51  time and date of the attorney-client session and the names of
   52  persons who will be attending the session. The session must
   53  shall commence at an open meeting at which the persons chairing
   54  the meeting shall announce the commencement and estimated length
   55  of the attorney-client session and the names of the persons
   56  attending. At the conclusion of the attorney-client session, the
   57  meeting must shall be reopened, and the person chairing the
   58  meeting shall announce the termination of the session.
   59         5.(e) The transcript must shall be made part of the public
   60  record upon conclusion of the litigation. If imminent litigation
   61  does not commence, the transcript must be made part of the
   62  public record within a reasonable time after the matter
   63  underlying the imminent litigation is resolved or upon the
   64  expiration of the statute of limitations applicable to the
   65  matter underlying the imminent litigation, whichever occurs
   66  first.
   67         (b)Litigation is considered imminent when the entity has
   68  received notice of a claim or demand by a party threatening
   69  litigation before a court or administrative agency.
   70         (c)This subsection is subject to the Open Government
   71  Sunset Review Act in accordance with s. 119.15 and shall stand
   72  repealed on October 2, 2023, unless reviewed and saved from
   73  repeal through reenactment by the Legislature.
   74         Section 2. The Legislature finds that it is a public
   75  necessity to expand the exemption from public meetings
   76  requirements currently applicable to meetings at which any board
   77  or commission of any state agency or authority, or any agency or
   78  authority of any county, municipal corporation, or political
   79  subdivision, and the chief administrative or executive officer
   80  of the governmental entity meet in private with the entity’s
   81  attorneys to discuss pending litigation to which the entity is
   82  presently a party before a court or administrative agency to
   83  include such meetings related to certain imminent litigation.
   84  Expanding this exemption is necessary to allow a governmental
   85  entity to privately prepare for threatened litigation by
   86  obtaining legal advice, exploring and developing relevant facts,
   87  and considering an early settlement or discussing other possible
   88  resolutions in order to make better-informed decisions. The
   89  Legislature also finds that expanding this public meetings
   90  exemption will help ensure that governmental entities receive
   91  fair treatment during the judicial and administrative processes.
   92         Section 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2018.