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"It has been gratifying to give back to a community that has given me so much."

- Jim Konish, Florida Administrative Law Reports

 

Career History – Jim Konish

My lifelong goal of attending law school, began in August, 1976 at the University of Florida (UF).

Having grown attached to Gainesville, after arriving in August 1972 from South Florida, problems with opportunities in Gainesville for lawyers at that time were observed.  Moreover, the lifestyle of a lawyer appeared troublesome.

After taking six (6) months off from law school to contemplate the future while traveling this country to hike our National Parks out west, I returned to Gainesville as perplexed as when leaving.

It then came to my attention that a return to the UF Business School where a degree in Economics with High Honors was earned was a possibility. A graduate Business Course could be taken and counted toward my law degree.

By pure chance, a course in Public Utility Regulation taught by Dr. Sandy Berg – an officer in the internationally acclaimed Public Utility Research Center (PURC), was elected. At that time, deregulation had not touched telephone, natural gas, airline, trucking and other so – called at the time natural monopolies.

It was my privilege to have Dr. Berg introduce me to Mr. David Swafford, Executive Director of the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC).

Robert Mann, a former law professor of mine at UF, and former Appellate Court Judge, was a current member of the PSC who lamented the absence of an index to PSC orders that sat hardbound in the PSC Clerk’s office back to the 1880’s when the PSC then was known as the Railroad Commission.

Mr. Prentice Pruit, Director of the PSC Legal Dept. at that time, hired me as a $5.00/hr OPS Contractor to develop an index to PSC electric and telephone decisions from Jan 1965 – 1979.  Mr. Pruit had worked at the PSC for fifty (50) years, and,  his formidable intellect was the primary search tool for access to PSC precedents.  He was a consummate gentleman who advised me once: “young man, you have chosen a challenging endeavor”.

Keep in mind there were no scanners, no Lexis or Westlaw, and few personal computers at that time.

Working with “3×5” cards, a shoe box, and an ink pen, I read all relevant PSC orders, gleaned anything that appeared to be a statement of PSC nonrule policy (when such was not actionable under ξ120, Fla. Stat.), wrote such policy down, and cited to the PSC Order No., page, date, and name of party.

Then a title for each card was written, the cards were organized within an alphabetical hierarchical subject matter index system, and then the ensuing outline was drafted.

A key word index was also drafted.

The result was known as the “Konish Digest”.

Mr. Swafford then contracted with me to digest PSC Water & Sewer orders from 1970 – 1980 – from Gainesville.

After Mr. Swafford claimed a full time job in Tallahassee at PSC headquarters was the only way to update these publications, I decided to update them myself at the encouragement of Mr. Bob Rose, of the Meyers, and then the Rose, Sundstrom & Bentley Law Firms.  He was a prominent water and wastewater attorney who lamented “ad hocary” at the PSC.

In 1981, at the request of Mr. Swafford, our firm took over full text publication and indexing of the Florida Public Service Reporter (FPSC).

 

Florida Administrative Law Reports

In 1984, our firm took over publication of the Florida Administrative Law Reports (FALR) from Mr. Neil Young and Mr. Alvin Stauber, who also published and continue to publish Florida Law Weekly (FLW).

In 1988, our firm began the FALR Environmental & Land Use Administrative Law Reporter (ER FALR), FALR State Tax Report (Tax FALR), and Certificate of Need (CON) Daily Publications.

In 1988 during a ten (10) year review of the APA (ξ120), I recommended chronological numbering, and permanent archiving of all agency final orders.  The legislature adopted these changes to ξ119 and ξ120.

In 1996, our firm took over the Florida Career Service Reporter (FCSR).

During this time, we have furnished vast amounts of content to LexisNexis and Westlaw.

We have conducted inquiries into available precedents and Final Orders for attorneys, media outlets, consultants, and the public.

We are in our 36th year of continuous operation, and are still going strong!

 

My Passion and Expertise in Utility Overcharging

In Gainesville, we are confronted by Gainesville Regional Utilities (GRU), which inflicts us with the HIGHEST electric bills in the state in a bundle along with water, wastewater, gas, stormwater, maximum utility tax, etc.  Our City declares almost 15% of gross nonfuel utility revenues to be a dividend – payable to themselves.  There is much more to this tale of woe.

Our nonresidential rates are simply off the chart.  They are complex, poorly understood, and exorbitant.

In order to provide relief to aggrieved GRU ratepayers, I have personally undertaken these steps:

  • Utilized my expertise in Utility and Tax law, to carefully investigate GRU rates & policies over a span of twenty (20) years, broad areas of GRU overcharge and overreach were discovered.
  • GRU bills have been reduced by correcting billing errors, reversing overcharges, finding better rates, managing loads, etc.
  • I have worked with now Senator Keith Perry to draft legislation that passed this year (House Bill 759-2017) to allow City of Gainesville voters in November 2018 to completely divest the Gainesville City Commission of governance authority over GRU, and to require appointment of an operationally independent, representative, and qualified board of governors, and to significantly alter the role of the GRU General Manager. This divestiture would occur through a massive amendment to the City of Gainesville charter.

It has been gratifying to give back to a community that has given me so much.

 

Expert Legal Services at Florida Administrative Law Reports

We are available to serve anyone desiring access to Florida Administrative Caselaw and Judicial Decisions.

This includes searches of:

  • Our published materials
  • Our archived unpublished materials
  • State Databases, some of which we have enhanced in house to render fully searchable.

As a member of the Fla. Bar since May, 1980:

  • I am available to analyze the merits of a case.
  • Explain the administrative process
  • Conduct expedited legal research
  • Furnish precedential orders immediately without advance payment

No matter is either too large or too small for our firm.

 

For a free consultation please contact us.


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