News & Resources

Fri, Dec 29, 2017| | News

Partner John Stewart Elected President-Elect Designate Of The Florida Bar

Partner John Stewart Elected President-Elect Designate Of The Florida Bar


December 19, 2017
Francine Walker
The Florida Bar
(850) 561-5666

Longtime Florida Bar leader and Vero Beach attorney John M. Stewart has been chosen as president-elect designate of The Florida Bar. 

Stewart will be sworn in as president-elect at the Bar’s annual convention in Orlando on June 15, when current President-elect Michelle Suskauer, of West Palm Beach, becomes president. He will become president for the 2019-20 Bar year. He was elected without opposition.

In addition, 13 incumbent members on The Florida Bar’s Board of Governors were re-elected to additional two-year terms without opposition, two unopposed candidates will serve as new BOG members, and nine seats – in the First, Third, Fourth, Eleventh (two seats), Thirteenth, Fifteenth, Seventeenth and Eighteenth circuits – have contested elections.

Stewart is a partner at Rossway Swan Tierney Barry Lacey & Oliver, P.L., and a third-generation Florida lawyer, who began practicing with his father right out of law school two decades ago and continues to this day. 

Stewart has been a leader in Bar efforts to find ways to use technology to enhance the practice of law. He said issues facing the Bar include competition from alternative legal service providers, continuing to work to protect the independence of the judiciary and making the Bar itself more responsive. 

“I think the Bar as an institution has to become more nimble for the benefit of our members and the public,” said Stewart in an interview with The Florida Bar News. “That last one goes along with my priorities that we have to balance the value that technology brings to our practice with ensuring that it doesn’t negatively impact the core values of our profession.”

Stewart was elected president of the Bar’s Young Lawyers Division for 2006-2007, having first been elected to the YLD Board of Governors in in 1999. In 2007, he was elected as the 19th Circuit’s representative to The Florida Bar’s Board of Governors. In that capacity, he has served on many committees, including the Executive Committee. 

Stewart’s interest in technology is reflected in his Bar service. He chaired the Technology Subcommittee for the Bar’s three-year study on the future of the practice of law known as Vision 2016 and oversaw the carrying out of two of its major recommendations. One was to increase the number of Continuing Legal Education credits required in each Bar member’s three-year cycle from 30 to 33, with the extra three credits being devoted to technology issues. The second was to create a Standing Committee on Technology and a Board of Governors Technology Committee. Stewart has chaired the latter since its inception. Three years ago, Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Jorge Labarga appointed Stewart to serve on the court’s Florida Courts Technology Commission; he was reappointed in June.

Stewart is a regular speaker on technology and the law, including at the 2016 and 2017 sessions of the American Bar Association TECHSHOW.

Besides the Bar’s Technology and Executive committees, Stewart also serves on the Board of Governors’ Communications and Program Evaluation committees and on the Bar’s Special Commission on Gender Bias and Diversity in the Profession. In 2013, he received the Bar’s President’s Award of Merit from then-President Gwynne Young.

In his law practice, Stewart focuses on probate, real estate, and contract litigation work.

He received his undergraduate degree from The College of William & Mary and his law degree from the Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad College of Law in 1997, joining the Bar the same year.