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Florida Bar Lawyers On the Job as Bank Robbers, Burglars and Stalkin’ Ex’s. More Talent Needed.

Here’s the State of the Florida Bar from their June 2021 list of disciplined Florida rogue lawyers and attorneys. Convicted Felons Wanted to [Re]Join the Fl. Bar today!

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Seekin’ Rogues and Outlaws for Legal Work in Florida. We Provide Rehab. Waivers. Can Work Remotely too, e.g. Nigerian Internet Cafes, Russia’s Dark Web, China’s Cyber Spying Section…

MAY 26, 2021 | REPUBLISHED BY LIT: MAY 26, 2021

The Florida Supreme Court in recent court orders disciplined 15 attorneys, disbarring five, revoking the licenses of two, suspending six, and reprimanding three. Two attorneys were ordered to pay restitution.

Gerald W. Adams, 1314 E. Las Olas Blvd., Suite 1059, Ft. Lauderdale, disbarred effective immediately following an April 28 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1984)

Adams continued to engage in the practice of law in contempt of the Supreme Court’s Order of Suspension by continuing to run his law firm.

Attempting to circumvent the rules, Adams transferred ownership of the firm to his office manager (a non-lawyer) without the office manager’s knowledge.

Adams continued to advertise his legal services online under the guise of document preparation offering to prepare legal documents/forms not approved by the Florida Supreme Court for use by non-lawyers, which constitutes the unauthorized practice of law.

(Case No: SC20-1810)

Damien Aranguren, 725 E. Silver Springs Blvd., Suite 1, Ocala, suspended effective 30 days following a March 30 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2009)

Aranguren entered pleas of no contest to three counts of grand theft (statutory theft), a third-degree felony, one count of trespass to structure, a second-degree misdemeanor, and one count of Trespass in Occupied Structure or Conveyance, a first-degree misdemeanor.

The court withheld adjudication as to all counts and sentenced Aranguren

to two years of conditional probation as to the felony counts and to credit for time served as to the misdemeanor counts.

(Case No: SC21-468)

Miami, Florida
Associate Attorney at Marrero, Trivedi, & Camizo
Legal Services

Education
Stetson University College of Law   2006 — 2008
Juris Doctor, Law

University of Central Florida   2002 — 2004
Bachelor of Arts, Political Science

Experience
Marrero, Trivedi, & Camizo   July 2012 – Present
LAW OFFICES OF DAMIEN ARANGUREN   October 2011 – June 2012
LAW OFFICES OF WALTER BENENATI   November 2010 – October 2011
OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF FLORIDA   August 2008 – October 2010

Skills
Legal Research, Legal Writing, Legal Advice, Client Development, Client Engagement, Building Relationships, Cooperation, Negotiation, Spanish Fluency, Mediation, Family Law, Bankruptcy, Foreclosures, Trials, Pleadings, Legal Issues, Customer Engagement

Local attorney arrested, accused of burglarizing multiple vehicles and home

18 June 2020

Law officers on Wednesday arrested a local attorney and accused him of burglarizing several vehicles and a home until he eventually was held at gunpoint by one of the victims.

Damien Aranguren made his first appearance in front of County Judge Sarah Ritterhoff Williams on Thursday, a day after being taken into custody on several charges that include occupied burglary and grand theft auto.

Aranguren told the judge he plans to represent himself. He also told her he has a substance abuse problem, rents his home and has been living in Marion County for seven years.

The judge read the arrest reports from the Ocala Police Department and the Marion County Sheriff’s Office and told the 39-year-old Ocala man she believed there was probable cause for his arrest.

Aranguren’s bail was set at $12,000. If he is released from the jail, the judge said, he should not possess or consume any illegal drugs or drugs not prescribed to him, and should not to return to the two southeast Ocala addresses where he allegedly committed the crimes.

About 4:15 p.m. Wednesday, sheriff’s deputies were called to a residence to investigate a vehicle theft. When they arrived, a man told them he had been sitting in his garage, with the garage door open, when he saw his RV’s lights flash and heard the engine start.

The victim said the person behind the wheel apparently did not know how to operate the vehicle, which lunged several times.

The victim said he opened the door and a man, later identified as Aranguren, ran by him saying “get out of my way,” according to an arrest report.

The suspect tried to enter another vehicle in the driveway but was unsuccessful because the doors were locked, deputies were told. The would-be burglar banged on the window several times, ran to another vehicle and drove way.

Not long after, deputies were called to a second location, this time within the Ocala city limits, where they were told someone matching the description of the burglar was being detained at gunpoint by a citizen.

In that second case, the victim, who did not want to be identified, told a Star-Banner reporter that she was upstairs in her home when her sister-in-law told her that a man was inside the home.

The woman said she ran downstairs to find a man, later identified as Aranguren, typing on a laptop. She said the intruder told her more than once that it was his home. She said she told him it was not his home, and she grabbed a Keltec handgun.

The woman said she ordered the stranger to leave, which he did. The woman followed him outside and saw him entering two vehicles that were parked on the property. She said she told him to get out of the vehicles.

She continued to hold the man at gunpoint until law enforcement officials arrived.

Authorities identified Aranguren as the person responsible for both sets of break-ins. He was arrested and taken to a local hospital to be evaluated. Once cleared, he was transported to the jail.

Florida Bar records show Aranguren was admitted to the Bar in October 2009 and does not have a disciplinary history within the past decade. His legal work is in civil litigation, debtor and creditor, family, real estate and bankruptcy.

He is listed as a managing partner at the DA Firm, 725 E. Silver Springs Blvd., Suite 1, Ocala, and is considered a member in good standing, according to the Bar.

John Lance Armstrong, 515 N. Flagler Drive, Suite P300, West Palm Beach, public reprimand and payment of restitution of $5,000 with attendance at The Florida Bar’s Ethics School effective immediately following an April 1 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1979)

Armstrong accepted a $5,000 fee and undertook representation of a client in a civil case and after filing the complaint took little or no significant action in the case.

The case was eventually dismissed for lack of prosecution.

(Case No: SC21-390)

Francine Blair Bogumil, 8950 Della Scala Cir., Orlando, suspended effective 30 days following a February 3 court order and following a March 31 court order.

A referee was ordered to recommend discipline. (Admitted to practice: 2006)

On January 26, Bogumil pled nolo contendre to three felonies and four misdemeanors. On March 25, Bogumil pled nolo contendre to three counts of battery on a law enforcement officer, third-degree felonies.

(Case Nos: SC21-150 and SC21-481)

Florida lawyer jailed after ramming SUV into ex-husband’s house, spitting on deputy

May 13, 2021

A Florida lawyer has been jailed after ramming her SUV into her ex-husband’s home, threatening to kill his girlfriend and spitting on a sheriff’s deputy, according to a report.

Francine Blair Bogumil, 40, drove her Land Rover into the back of a GMC Yukon parked in her ex-husband’s driveway on April 30, 2020, at around 3 a.m., the Miami Herald reported, citing court documents. She had left her 5-year-old and 11-year-old children alone at her house.

The force slammed the Yukon into her ex-husband’s garage door, pushing the door inward about 2 to 3 feet, according to the documents.

When Bogumil’s ex-husband came out of his home, he witnessed her throwing objects at his girlfriend’s BMW and breaking its windows, the report said. He told deputies he called 911 and attempted to get between Bogumil and his girlfriend, saying that he slapped Bogumil once after she slapped him twice.

Bogumil joined the Florida bar in 2006. She has since been suspended and a judge recommended her permanent disbarment.
(Orange County Corrections)

Bogumil reportedly yelled at the girlfriend,

“I will kill you, b—-!”

When an Orange County Sheriff’s deputy arrived and told her to stop shouting, Bogumil said,

“No. F— you!” and spat on him,

the report said.

Days after her arrest, Bogumil posted bond and contacted her ex-husband and his girlfriend via text messages, violating a restraining order, according to court documents.

The report alleged that Bogumil told the girlfriend that

“next is your mom and pops. I’d back the f— off if I were u. Just saying. You’ve been warned to stay away from my kids.”

She was also accused of making missing person fliers for her two kids with a picture of the ex-husband.

One of Bogumil’s text messages to the ex-husband read: “You can blame yourself because I’m JUST getting started with the ways I can ruin u…I WILL f— up your world up unless you surrender. I’m not backing down this time. S—- bout to get ugly.”

Bogumil was charged with one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, one count of assault on a law enforcement officer, one count of domestic violence battery, two counts of violating a domestic violence restraining order, and two counts of criminal mischief.

She will serve 51 weeks in the Orange County Jail after pleading no contest to the charges.

Bogumil has since been suspended from the bar, with Judge Daryl Jay Isenhower recommending her permanent disbarment.

Chris R. Borgia, 4000 Ponce De Leon Blvd., Suite 470, Coral Gables, suspended for 18 months effective 30 days following an April 8 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2002)

Borgia neglected four different clients in their representation for Social Security benefits.

Borgia failed to communicate with his clients, failed to appear at hearings or appeared unprepared, often failed to waive fees and withdraw from the Social Security Administration after being terminated by the clients, failed to promptly return unused costs deposits to clients, and failed to keep those funds for costs in his trust account.

(Case No: SC20-1295)

John Daneil Ellis, Jr., P.O. Box 1161, Orlando, disbarred effective immediately following an April 13 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1990)

While Ellis was suspended from the practice of law, he agreed to provide legal assistance to an individual who lived out-of-state and needed an attorney.

Ellis agreed to prepare and file the necessary documents for the individual to probate his deceased mother’s estate. Although Ellis told this individual that he was not practicing law at the time, Ellis did not disclose that he was suspended from the practice of law due to misconduct and was not allowed to provide the individual with any legal services or advice.

Ellis prepared the documents, sent them to the individual for signature, and explained to the individual how and where to send the documents for filing.

(Case No: SC19-384)

Diego Handel, 149 South Ridgewood Ave., Suite 220, Daytona Beach, disbarred and held in contempt effective immediately following an April 13 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1984)

Handel continued engaging in the practice of law after having been disbarred by order of the Supreme Court of Florida dated May 30, 2019.

(Case No: SC21-170)

SO MANY LIES, FLORIDA BAR

Aaron Patrick Honaker, 33 N.E. 4th St., Miami, disciplinary revocation with leave to seek readmission after five years effective April 19 following an April 15 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2008).

Honaker was charged with three counts of attempted bank robbery and two counts of bank robbery.

(Case No: SC21-116)

Attorney-turned-serial bank robber quit job, was homeless, confesses to crimes

Oct 23, 2020

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – The Coral Gables attorney turned bank robber carried a ball-peen hammer in his waistband and a composition style, green notebook with several different demand notes during a spree of hitting 5 banks in about 3 weeks, according to a criminal complaint released in federal court in the United States of America v. Aaron Patrick Honaker.

Honaker confessed to five bank robberies committed mostly in Coral Gables, except for one in Aventura, between the dates of Sept. 30 and Oct. 18.

During Honaker’s bond hearing on Friday, a federal judge deemed him a flight risk and, because of that, he remains in jail.

Prosecutors said the 41-year-old lawyer quit his job and told authorities he was broke and desperate.

Authorities said that Honaker was homeless and prior to that, he had traveled the world visiting several countries including Colombia where he met his fiancé. He had planned on returning to Colombia, he told them.

During the robberies, prosecutors said Honaker would enter a bank and give a note to a teller demanding cash. He was only able to get money in two incidents, which totaled about $1,800, according to investigators.

He later told investigators that he carried the ball-peen hammer with him during the robberies to escape any glass “mantraps” triggered by bank security. They also found a green notebook, which had instructions inside on how to commit a bank robbery and four, folded notes with demands to tellers.

Here are the banks, dates and details from criminal complaint.

Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2020: Citibank, Alhambra Circle, Coral Gables. At 3 p.m., a subject now identified as Honaker, entered the bank and sat in the lobby where he waited approximately 15 minutes before approaching a teller. He handed her a note that read: “Don’t touch the alarm or call police.” The note also asked for money. No money was taken after the teller told Honaker that they “did not have money, it is in the machine.” He left the bank, taking his note with him, according to the complaint.

Saturday, Oct. 3, 2020: Chase Bank, 20880 Biscayne Blvd., Aventura. Honaker entered the bank at 1:55 p.m. and approached a teller saying that he wanted to make a withdrawal but that he did not have his debit card with him. He handed the teller a note that he said would provide instructions on how to withdraw the money. The note said: “Empty all of your 50s and 100s and put it in an envelope.” He was able to get $1,050 in that heist.

Monday, Oct. 5, 2020: Wells Fargo Bank, 2555 Ponce De Leon Boulevard, Coral Gables. At approximately 3:53 p.m., Coral Gables Police received a 911 call for a bank robbery in progress at the Wells Fargo Bank. 10 minutes prior to the call, Honaker had stood in the customer line and then approached the teller. He used the same debit card m.o. telling the bank employee that he would give her a note of how he wanted his cash. “He handed her a note that said “Keep calm, and give me all the money in the drawer, I have a gun.” The teller said she could not read English and would have to get her manager. At that point, he left the bank on foot, according to the affidavit.

Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020: Chase Bank, 355 Alhambra Circle, Coral Gables. At 1:54 p.m., Honaker approached a teller and presented a demand note. He said to provide only “50s and 100s.” He was able to obtain $800.

Monday, Oct. 15, 2020: HSBC Bank, 2222 Ponce De Leon Blvd., Coral Gables. Around 4:49 p.m., the subject entered bank, went to a teller station, then opened a composition-style notebook. He pulled a paper note and handed it to the teller. Without realizing what the note was, the teller asked the man to fill out a withdrawal slip first because she needed an account number. The subject, alleged to be Honaker, walked over to a service counter and wrote on the withdrawal slip, then went back to the teller. On the withdrawal slip, he wrote “read the note.” The teller told the man that the bank kept its cash in counting machines and she could not provide any money. The subject left.

Honaker was arrested on Tuesday, Oct. 20 in the Coral Gables area.

Honaker was arrested on Tuesday, Oct. 20 in the Coral Gables area.

According to Wake Forest University Law School’s registrar office, Honaker received his Juris Doctor degree there on Dec. 10, 2005. State records show he was admitted to the Florida Bar on Jan. 31, 2008, and is a member in good standing.

At the beginning of his career, Honaker was recruited by a top international law firm in Brickell and he worked there for about three years. Colleagues at boutique firms in Coral Gables described him as a “highly intelligent” and “brilliant” attorney who is “disciplined” and “sharp.”

Colleen E. Huott, 2385 N.W. Executive Center Dr., Suite 100, Boca Raton, was suspended effective 30 days following an April 19 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2005)

That’s been upgraded to a disbarment on April 20.

In eight separate Bar matters, Huott did not show good cause for her failure to respond to multiple official Bar inquiries.

(Case No: SC21-96)

Stephen Michael Jones, 390 N. Orange Ave., Suite 2300, Orlando, disbarred effective immediately following an April 8 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2015)

On November 9, 2020, Jones was emergency suspended by the Florida Supreme Court for misappropriating trust funds and for abandoning his law practice.

LIF COMMENT: $100,000+ IN FUNDS STOLEN: WHY’S HE NOT IN JAIL?

Jones subsequently failed to respond to the Bar’s Petition for Emergency Suspension and failed to appear for the sanction hearing.

A petition for emergency suspension is granted by the Florida Supreme Court when The Florida Bar presents clear and convincing evidence that a lawyer appears to be causing great public harm (see Rule 3-5.2(a)) and also constitutes a formal complaint so that the matter is fully investigated and final disciplinary action is ordered. (Case No: SC20-1593)

EXTRACT OF BAR REPORT RE ONE COMPLAINANT’S LOSS

“The bank records for respondent’s Bank of America trust account showed that the settlement check for Mr. Beardsley’s $100,000.00 settlement was deposited into the trust account on May 15, 2019. The endorsement on the back of the settlement check appeared to match respondent’s signature. Bar Exhibits 7, 10- 17.

The bar’s auditor determined that the entire $100,000.00 settlement was depleted over the next six months in a series of cash withdrawals, a transfer to another Bank of America account, a cashier’s check payable to Stephen M. Jones Law Firm PLLC, and a Venmo payment with the reference “Stephen Jones.””

Megan Olivia Kifer, 110 Front St., Suite 300, Jupiter, disbarred and payment of restitution effective immediately following an April 1 court order.

Kifer was emergency suspended by the Florida Supreme Court on October 28, 2020, with the imposed suspension effective within 30 days of that order. (Admitted to practice: 2016)

Kifer was hired to assist with paying expenses on behalf of a beneficiary of a Special Needs Trust and other tasks. Instead, Kifer misappropriated $8,194.53.

Kifer also misled the Bar during their investigation and was otherwise uncooperative.

Kifer had been previously emergency suspended by the Florida Supreme Court.

A petition for emergency suspension is granted by the Florida Supreme Court when The Florida Bar presents clear and convincing evidence that a lawyer appears to be causing great public harm (see Rule 3-5.2(a)) and also constitutes a formal complaint so that the matter is fully investigated and final disciplinary action is ordered. (Case No: SC20-1354)

Jeremiah J. Talbott, 900 E. Moreno St., Pensacola, suspended for 60 days and ordered to attend Professionalism Workshop and Ethics School effective 30 days following an April 15 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1998)

Talbott was hired to represent a client in a federal case under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

In an order denying Talbott’s motion for attorney fees from the opposing party, the federal court found that Talbott pursued the litigation in bad faith and engaged in frivolous filings during the proceedings to obtain higher attorney fees.

Talbott was charged with conducting frivolous litigation, failing to expedite litigation, filing exaggerated billing sheets with the court, as well as extensive and unnecessary discovery to increase attorney fees when there was no dispute of damages between the parties resulting in conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice. (Case No: SC20-1612)

Jeremiah “J.J.” Talbott

Principal Attorney

B.A. from University of West Florida (1994)
J.D. from Samford University, Cumberland School of Law (1997)

Practice Areas:

Personal Injury Workers’ Compensation Wage and Hour Criminal Defense Social Security Discrimination (ADA/Employment/FMLA) Domestic/Family Law Employment Law and General Civil Litigation

Jeremiah “JJ” Talbott is the founding partner of the Law Office of JJ Talbott, P.A. and concentrates his practice in the areas of personal injury, workers’ compensation, unpaid wages and overtime, wrongful termination, Social Security Disability, Family and Medical Leave Act, Divorce/Family law, probate, and general civil litigation.

JJ was born in Dayton, Ohio in 1972 and moved to Pensacola, Florida in 1974. He graduated from J.M. Tate High School in 1990 and received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of West Florida in 1994. In 1997, he received his Juris Doctorate from Samford University, Cumberland School of Law. While in law school, he was a member of the Trial Advocacy Board, member of the ABA National Trial Team, and nominated Best Advocate in the ABA National Trial Competition.

JJ is a member of both the Florida Bar (since 1998) and Alabama Bar (since 1997).

He is also admitted to practice in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida; United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida; United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida; United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama; and United States District Court for the Southern District of Alabama.

He is also a member of the National Employment Lawyers Association (Florida Chapter), Worker’s Compensation Section of the Florida Bar, and a member of the Escambia Santa Rosa Bar Association.

JJ has also served on numerous bar association committees including the Executive Counsel of the Escambia Santa Rosa Bar Association (2007-2008), the Unlicensed Practice of Law Committee of the Florida Bar (chairman District A) (2004-2006), and the Community Service Committee of the Escambia Santa Rosa Bar Association (Co-Chairman 2001-2007).

In 2012, JJ became a lifetime member of the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum. The Million Dollar Advocates Forum (which includes the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum) is one of the most prestigious groups of trial lawyers in the United States.

Membership is limited to attorneys who have won million and multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements. Fewer than 1% of U.S. lawyers are members.

JJ lives in Pensacola with his wife and 2 children.

OPERATIVE COMPLAINT

The Florida Bar, complainant, files this Complaint against Jeremiah J. Talbott, respondent, pursuant to the Rules Regulating The Florida Bar and alleges:

1. Respondent is and was, at all times mentioned herein, a member of The Florida Bar admitted on October 5, 1998, and is subject to the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of Florida.

2. Respondent resided and practiced law in Escambia County, Florida, at all times material to this complaint.

3. The First Judicial Circuit Grievance Committee “A” found probable cause to file this complaint pursuant to R. Regulating Fla. Bar 3-7.4, and this complaint has been approved by the presiding member of that committee.

4. In February 2017, Christopher Moss (Mr. Moss) hired respondent to represent him against Pav’R Construction Inc. (PRC), and the owner Michael J. Breton (Mr. Breton), for withholding his final paycheck.

5. Mr. Moss had worked as a driver-operator for four months for PRC at $16.00 an hour which was more than double the federal minimum wage of $7.25.

6. In January 2017, Mr. Moss was informed by PRC that he had broken numerous pieces of company equipment worth thousands of dollars and that he would need to reimburse the company for that damage. In response, Mr. Moss walked off the job and quit.

7. PRC, a small business with three to five employees, withheld his wages for 34.25 hours of work to compensate them for a small part of the broken equipment. This action by PRC technically meant that Mr. Moss was paid less than the minimum wage for one pay period, and PRC had violated a federal statute, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

8. The withheld wages totaled $248.31 and, even if it was determined that PRC had willfully violated the federal statute, Mr. Moss would be owed a total of $496.62 by PRC.

If Mr. Moss prevailed, the FSLA provided for reasonable attorney’s fees.

9. On June 14, 2017, respondent filed a federal lawsuit against Mr. Breton, PRC, and a second company owned by Mr. Breton, Pav’R Construction of Pensacola (PRCP) alleging that Mr. Breton and his two companies had violated the FLSA’s minimum wage provision.

10. On September 18, 2017, the complaint was served, but the complaint drawn up by respondent was unclear about the fact that the dispute concerned only one paycheck.

11. PRCP, which operated solely out of Mississippi, had never employed Mr. Moss and should never have been sued in the lawsuit.

12. Nevertheless, respondent kept PRCP in the federal lawsuit even after both Mr. Breton and Mr. Moss were deposed in March 2018.

Mr. Breton testified that Mr. Moss had never worked for PCRP and Mr. Moss testified he did not know why PRCP had been sued in the first place.

13. On April 30, 2018, defendant PRCP moved for summary judgment on the grounds that it had never employed Mr. Moss.

14. Respondent filed a nine-page response with 47 pages of exhibits to the summary judgment motion.

15. At the end of his response to the summary judgment motion, respondent admitted he did not disagree with PRCP’s position and concluded that the claims against PRCP should be dismissed.

16. The federal court granted PRCP’s motion for summary judgment and the company was dismissed from the case on June 20, 2018.

17. On January 19, 2018, after prior offers were rejected or ignored, Mr.

Breton and PRC served Mr. Moss with an Offer of Judgment under Rule 68 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure via hand delivery agreeing to a judgment of $496.62 plus reasonable attorney fees and costs to be entered against the defendants.

18. Respondent failed to respond to the Offer of Judgment within 14 days, therefore, by operation of the rule it was “considered withdrawn.”

19. The federal lawsuit proceeded for several months with respondent conducting an enormous amount of discovery by way of interrogatories, requests for production, and about nine depositions.

20. On May 1, 2018, plaintiff filed a 31-page motion for summary judgment with 90 pages of exhibits, requesting final judgment in the amount of
$496.62 on the minimum wage claim against Mr. Breton and PRC, and indicating that there would be a request for attorney fees as the prevailing party.

21. Even though defendants, Mr. Breton and PRC, agreed to pay the $496.62 in their response, respondent filed a 10-page response repeating the same request as in his motion for summary judgment in the same amount of $496.62.

22. In an Order dated June 20, 2018, the federal court granted plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment and stipulated damages of $496.62.

23. In that same Order, however, the federal court specifically informed respondent that, as to a motion for attorney fees, since Mr. Breton and PRC had stipulated to a judgment against them for that exact amount of damages, the federal court would not entertain more than a nominal fee award, if anything at all.

24. Under Rule 68, Mr. Breton and PRC filed a motion for post-offer costs in the amount of $1,133.54 that was unopposed and granted by the court on November 2, 2018.

25. Respondent filed a motion requesting $28,351.00 in attorney’s fees incurred in recovering $496.62 for his client.

26. The defendants, Mr. Breton and PRC vigorously opposed the motion for attorney fees on the grounds that respondent had acted in “bad faith” and was engaged in “churning” fees.

27. In its Order dated November 2, 2018, the federal court concluded that respondent’s “unprofessional conduct shocks the conscience of the court, and he will be awarded no attorney fees. A ‘reasonable fee’ in this case is no fee.”

28. The federal court reasoned that respondent was not entitled to collect any attorney fees after the Rule 68 Offer of Judgment was ignored by respondent, nor was he entitled to any attorney fees that predated the Rule 68 Offer of Judgment because respondent “filed and pursued the litigation in bad faith,” and “was churning the file to prolong the litigation and run up his attorney fees.”

29. The federal court emphasized that less than two months after answering the complaint and one month after the parties planning meeting, on January 5, 2018, Mr. Breton and PRC agreed to pay the maximum damages of
$496.62 plus $2,000.00 in attorney fees, which would have benefitted not only Mr. Breton and PRC but also respondent’s client and the federal court, but not respondent’s ability to generate higher fees.

30. From January 5, 2018, forward, there was no dispute over the amount of damages owed to respondent’s client, only the amount of the attorney fees claimed by respondent to settle the lawsuit.

31. Respondent had filed a vague, pro forma complaint, a Motion for Default that was unnecessary if he had responded to Mr. Breton’s September 25, 2017, letter, and appeared at the parties’ planning meeting. Yet, respondent claimed that as of January 5, 2018, that he was entitled to $7,100.00 in attorney fees for these simple legal tasks.

32. Respondent exaggerated the amount of fees owed by claiming that he did numerous secretarial and paralegal tasks at his $350.00 per hour legal rate rather than delegating those tasks to his legal staff.

33. Respondent’s claims against PRCP were frivolous and nonmeritorious because, even though he knew, or should have known, that his client had no claim against this second corporation, he failed to dismiss PRCP as a party to the lawsuit.

34. Respondent’s failure to dismiss PRCP as a party required Mr.

Breton’s attorney to move and obtain summary judgment from the court on June 18, 2018, after a frivolous and nonmeritorious response to the motion for summary judgment by respondent.

35. Respondent filed extensive and frivolous discovery requests that were prejudicial to the opposing party running up fees on both sides when he knew, or should have known, that there was no dispute of damages owed to his client.

36. While respondent knew, or should have known, that there was no dispute of damages, nevertheless, he filed a frivolous 31-page motion for summary judgment on his client’s wage claim of $496.62 and a 9-page reply, even though Mr. Breton’s response stipulated to the amount of damages.

37. Respondent failed to expedite litigation when he continued to ignore the opposing party’s settlement offers, including the Rule 68 Offer of Judgment, and scheduled unnecessary and frivolous discovery to delay the proceedings and to increase his attorney fees.

38. Respondent misrepresented to Mr. Breton’s attorney that he wanted to settle the case, and, at the planning meeting on December 13, 2017, he advised Mr. Breton’s attorney that he had not communicated defendants’ offer of settlement to his client.

The time sheets submitted to the court to support his fee request, however, showed that he had drafted a letter to his client about the settlement offer on November 22, 2017.

The court noted that this representation to opposing counsel was not true.

39. Respondent was not candid with the court in his submissions.

He filed a Motion for Default alleging that Mr. Breton had submitted no answer to his complaint when Mr. Breton had sent respondent a letter dated September 25, 2017, explaining that Mr. Moss was paid $16.00 an hour which was more than the minimum wage.

40. Respondent filed billing sheets with the court to support his motion for attorney fees and costs which exaggerated the number of hours spent on the case.

41. Respondent alleged that he called Mr. Breton’s attorney at the beginning of February 2018, after the Rule 68 Offer of Judgment expired and advised that he did not accept the Rule 68 offer because he had “misplaced” it in the office mail. Mr. Breton’s attorney denied that he ever discussed the matter by telephone with respondent.

42. Respondent failed to respect the rights of Mr. Breton, PRCP and PRC by delaying the dismissal of PRCP from the litigation and by burdening Mr. Breton and PRC with unnecessary legal fees to defend himself and his corporations from suit.

43. Respondent’s actions throughout the proceedings were prejudicial to the administration of justice.

44. By reason of the foregoing, respondent has violated the following Rules Regulating The Florida Bar:

3-4.3(Misconduct and Minor Misconduct),

4-3.1(Meritorious Claims and Contentions),

4-3.2(Expedite Litigation),

4-3.3 (Candor Towards Tribunal),

4-3.4(Fairness to Opposing Party and Counsel),

4-4.4(Respect for the Rights of Third Persons),

4-8.4(c)(Misrepresentation),

and 4-8.4(d)(Conduct Prejudicial to the Administration of Justice).

WHEREFORE, The Florida Bar respectfully requests that respondent be appropriately disciplined in accordance with the provisions of the Rules Regulating The Florida Bar as amended.

Robert Louis Thirston II, 19211 Panama City Beach Pkwy., PMB 220, Panama City Beach, public reprimand effective immediately following an April 22 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2008)

Thirston was held in contempt of the court’s orders dated September 6, 2019, and March 26, 2020, and failed to submit the sworn affidavits pursuant to Rule 3-5.1(h), which were ultimately filed with the court, albeit untimely. (Case No: SC20-865)

The Florida Bar suspends local attorney

Apr 30, 2020

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WMBB) — The Florida Bar announced on Thursday, local attorney Robert Louis Thirston II, of Panama City Beach, has been suspended for two years, retroactive to October 6, 2019.

The Florida Bar, an extension of the Supreme Court, suspended Thirston for failing to maintain trust accounting records and procedures, combining funds, and then not responding to the Bar or a subpoena to provide trust accounting records to the Florida Bar.

He was also ordered to attend ethics school by a court order on March 26.

The Bar requires attorneys suspended for 91 days or longer to prove rehabilitation in order to regain their law licenses.

The Florida Bar disciplined 23 other Florida attorneys, disbarring three, revoking the license of two, reprimanding three, and suspending 15. See the full list here.

Thirston attended the Appalachian School of Law and was admitted to practice in 2008. His practice areas included criminal, guardianship, international taxation, labor and employment and tax law.

News 13 has reached out to Thirston for comment on the matter, he has not yet responded.

Oanh Kim Tran, 16105 N. Florida Ave., Lutz, public reprimand and suspended effective immediately following an April 19 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2014)

Tran failed to respond to The Florida Bar’s requests regarding two pending Florida Bar complaints.

Tran admits she has not responded to the Bar complaints.

LIF UPDATE; She’s agreed to be revoked on the basis of ability to reapply in five years. Thievin’ lawyer Kim Tran should be incarcerated, not negotiating her Bar license via a former GOP Chairman.

(Case No: SC21-99)

PETITION FOR DISCIPLINARY REVOCATION WITH LEAVE TO APPLY FOR READMISSION

PETITIONER, Oanh Kim Tran, and submits this Petition for Disciplinary Revocation pursuant to Rule Regulating Fla. Bar 3- 7.12 and states:

1. Petitioner knowingly and voluntarily submits this petition with leave to reapply for readmission with full knowledge of its effect.

2. Petitioner is 33 years old and has been a member of The Florida Bar since September 23, 2014 and is subject to the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of Florida and the Rules Regulating The Florida Bar.

3. Petitioner has the following discipline history:

A. The Florida Bar v. Tran, SC21-169 [TFB File No.2020-10,048 (13F) (HES)]

The Petitioner was placed on emergency suspension pursuant to a Supreme Court of Florida order dated February 9, 2021, based upon an allegation of the misappropriation of client trust funds.

4. The following disciplinary charges are currently pending against the Petitioner:

A. The Florida Bar File No. 2020-10,048 (13F):

It is alleged that petitioner has misappropriated at least $87,773.85 of client funds and has altered bank statements to hide her defalcations.

These allegations led to the February 9, 2021 order of emergency suspension and this case is currently pending before a referee and designated as Supreme Court case number SC 21-169

B. The Florida Bar File No. 2021-10,230(13F):

This matter is currently pending before a grievance committee and concerns allegations of the misappropriation of client funds.

C. The Florida Bar File No. 2021-10,363 (13F) (OSC):

Pending before this Court, as Supreme Court of Florida case number SC21-99, is a contempt proceeding wherein the Bar seeks to compel the submission of written responses to pending grievances.

D. The Florida Bar File No 20121-424 (13F):

This matter is pending at staff level and concerns allegations of the misappropriation of client funds.

5. The Petitioner makes no admission as to the factual matters referenced above but agrees there is a factual predicate to support disciplinary sanction and that a disciplinary revocation is warranted herein.

6. Petitioner contends that granting this Petition will not adversely affect the public interest, the integrity of the courts, or the confidence of the public in the legal profession. Further, Petitioner contends that granting this Petition will not hinder the administration of justice.

LIF COMMENT: OF COURSE IT WILL – IS THERE A CRIMINAL REFERRAL IN THIS MATTER?

7. Petitioner agrees to reimburse the Client Security Fund (CSF) for any and all funds CSF has paid or may pay out for claims resulting from Petitioner’s misconduct.

8. Petitioner agrees to reimburse The Florida Bar for the reasonable costs incurred in her disciplinary cases.

9. Petitioner agrees to submit to a complete audit of any trust account(s) and any other account(s) in which Petitioner has placed client funds, if requested to do so by The Florida Bar.

10. Petitioner further agrees to submit a sworn financial affidavit to The Florida Bar attesting to Petitioner’s current personal and professional financial circumstances on a form to be provided by The Florida Bar within thirty (30) days, if requested.

11. Petitioner further agrees to maintain a current mailing address with The Florida Bar for a period of five (5) years after the disciplinary revocation becomes final. Further, Petitioner shall keep the bar advised as to the physical address of Petitioner’s home and/or business in the event Petitioner should utilize a post office box or other type of mail drop service during the five (5) year period after the disciplinary revocation becomes final.

12. Petitioner agrees to eliminate all indicia of petitioner’s status as an attorney on social media, telephone listings, stationery, checks, business cards office signs or any other indicia of his status as an attorney, whatsoever. Petitioner will no longer hold herself out as a licensed attorney.

13. Petitioner understands that the granting of this petition by the Supreme Court of Florida shall serve to dismiss all pending disciplinary cases.

WHEREFORE, The Petitioner, Oanh Kim Tran, respectfully requests that this Court enter an Order granting this request for the disciplinary revocation of his admission to The Florida Bar, with leave to reapply, on the grounds and for the reasons hereinabove set forth and for the entry of any other and further orders as this Court may deem proper under the circumstances.

Oanh Kim Tran

c/ o Kevin P. Tynan Esq.
Richardson & Tynan, P.L.C.
8142 N. University Dr.
Tamarac,
Florida
33321-1708
Florida Bar ID No.: 112235
kim@oanhlaw.com

Law Firm Bio

Kim Oanh Tran earned her law degree from Nova Southeastern University College of Law, with a concentration in International Law, after earning her Bachelor’s of Science in Legal Studies with a Business and Psychology double-minor. She is licensed to practice in the State of Florida in the Southern District and state courts.

Additionally, Ms. Tran has been an active member in the Vietnamese Communities at both the State and National levels for the past 12 years.

Her efforts began with the Vietnamese Community of Central Florida after winning her title as Miss Vietnam Florida 2006.

Most recently, the Vietnamese Community of South Florida has appointed her as General Counsel for the 2016-2018 term.

Ms. Tran is a Vietnamese American born and raised in Orlando, FL who speaks, reads, and writes in Vietnamese. She brings a unique perspective and exceptional skillset to her cases.

Prior to joining Berman & Berman, Ms. Tran was the Principal of her own private practice assisting local and international clients.

“My goals with forming this association is to better serve the legal interests of our community by providing legal services in all areas of law across the entire state of Florida”.

ALL THE FEDERAL CHIEF JUDGES JUDGIN' JUDGES

Richard Lamar Williams, 8451 S.W. 72nd Ter., Miami, disciplinary revocation without leave to seek readmission effective 30 days following an April 15 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1972)

Williams was charged and pled guilty to the federal offense of conspiracy to transmit an interstate communication with intent to extort.

(Case No: SC21-137)

Florida Attorney Admits Role in $7.5 Million Bank Extortion Scheme

DEC 1, 2020

NEWARK, N.J. – A Florida attorney today admitted his role in a scheme to extort $7.5 million from a California bank, Attorney for the United States Rachael A. Honig announced.

Richard L. Williams, 73, of Miami, Florida, pleaded guilty by videoconference before U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton to an information charging him with conspiracy to transmit an interstate communication with the intent to extort.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

Beginning in May 2020, Williams and his client (Client-1) conspired to extort $7.5 million from a commercial bank headquartered in California (Bank-1).

Williams threatened Bank-1 that if it did not pay Client-1 $7.5 million, Client-1 would publicly disclose that Client-1 had accessed and obtained certain confidential data from the bank that did not belong to Client-1 and that Client-1 was not authorized to retain.

On June 18, 2020, Williams sent an email to an attorney for Bank-1 that attached a proposed agreement that Bank-1 had not requested.

The agreement – titled “Settlement, Assistance, and Confidentiality Agreement” – provided for Bank-1 to pay Client-1 approximately $7.5 million as a “settlement, assistance and confidentiality fee” within 48 hours of signing the agreement.

The payment was purportedly in exchange for Client-1 serving for one week as an “advisor” to Bank-1, a service that Bank-1 had not requested, and agreeing not to publicize confidential Bank-1 data that Client-1 had accessed and obtained.

The agreement was designed to conceal that Williams and Client-1 were extorting Bank-1.

From July through August 2020, Williams also engaged in a series of telephone conversations with an undercover law enforcement agent (UC-1) who Williams believed was a representative of Bank-1 located in New Jersey, with authority to transfer funds to Williams.

During a telephone call with UC-1 on July 24, 2020, Williams warned UC-1 that if Bank-1 did not pay Client-1 it should “fear” that Client-1 might reveal to various third parties that Client-1 had accessed and obtained the confidential data from Bank-1 or issue a press release disclosing that information.

Williams also implied that if Bank-1 refused to accede to his demands and pay Client-1, there may be violent consequences from third parties unrelated to Williams.

Williams warned UC-1 that “FBI agents were murdered a couple of blocks from where [he was] sitting,” and that if Williams were in Bank-1’s position, “what would scare the [expletive] out of [him] would be” the reaction of those third parties to the public revelation of Client-1’s access and retention of the data.

The charge to which Williams pleaded guilty carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a fine of $250,000, or twice the gross grain or loss from the offense, whichever is greater. Williams’s sentencing is scheduled for April 6, 2021.

Attorney for the United States Honig credited the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch Jr. in Newark; the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Scott Lampert; Defense Criminal Investigative Service, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Patrick J. Hegarty; the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Christopher F. Algieri; and special agents of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sean M. Sherman and Bernard J. Cooney, Acting Chief of the Opioid Abuse Prevention & Enforcement, of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Newark.

As an official arm of the Florida Supreme Court, The Florida Bar and its Department of Lawyer Regulation are charged with administering a statewide disciplinary system to enforce Supreme Court rules of professional conduct for the more than 108,000 members of The Florida Bar. Key discipline case files that are public record are posted to attorneys’ individual online Florida Bar profiles. Information on the discipline system and how to file a complaint are available at www.floridabar.org/attorneydiscipline.

Court orders are not final until time expires to file a rehearing motion and, if filed, determined. The filing of such a motion does not alter the effective date of the discipline. Disbarred lawyers may not re-apply for admission for five years. They are required to go through an extensive process that includes a rigorous background check and retaking the Bar exam. Attorneys suspended for periods of 91 days and longer must undergo a rigorous process to regain their law licenses including proving rehabilitation. Disciplinary revocation is tantamount to disbarment.

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Florida

August 2022 List of Thievin’ and Lyin’ Attorneys In the State of Florida

The consistent theme for August 2022, and indeed most months, is Florida lawyers theft of client funds and settlement funds.

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August 1, 2022 Disciplinary Actions

AUG 1, 2022 | REPUBLISHED BY LIT: NOV 15, 2022

The Florida Supreme Court in recent court orders disciplined six attorneys, suspending three and disbarring three.

And LIF’s highlighted a few of these rogue attorneys before.

Timmy W. Cox, Sr., 7401 S.W. 16th St., Plantation,

suspended effective immediately following a July 13 court order.

(Admitted to practice: 2014)

Cox failed to respond to official Bar inquiries.

The Bar filed its Petition for Contempt and Order to Show Cause on April 29.

The Florida Supreme Court ordered Cox to show cause by May 18. Cox failed to file a response to the court’s Order to Show Cause.

(Case No: SC22-598)

James F. Feuerstein III, 22724 Stallion Dr., Sorrento,

disbarred effective immediately per a July 21 court order as Feuerstein is currently suspended for 91 days (by court order dated April 21).

(Admitted to practice: 1987)

Feuerstein failed to respond to official Bar inquiries in three separate Bar matters and failed to file a response to the Court’s Order to Show Cause.

(Case No: SC22-618)

Thievin’ from Your Own Mamma’s Estate

John Hadsall, 18198 3rd St. E., Redington Shores,

disbarred, effective 30 days following a July 7 court order.

(Admitted to practice: 1980)

Hadsall was found to have improperly transferred assets from the estate of his mother for personal use.

He failed to show by clear, satisfactory, and convincing evidence that he acted in good faith throughout the transactions and failed to show that his mother acted freely, intelligently, and voluntarily in gifting him funds from her accounts.

Hadsall subsequently attempted to render himself judgment proof to thwart the estate’s attempt to recoup the funds.

(Case No: SC21-1444)

Melanie L. Johnson, 4790 Longbow Dr., Titusville,

disbarred effective immediately following a July 14 court order.

(Admitted to practice: 2004)

Johnson misappropriated client funds.

In response to the Bar’s request for records needed to perform a compliance audit of her law office trust account, Johnson reconstructed her records and submitted records to the Bar that contained false and misleading information.

(Case No: SC21-1675)

Thievin’ from Clients, and Received a PPP Loan

Bradley Nephase Laurent, 8615 Commodity Circle, Suite 6, Orlando,

emergency suspended effective 30 days following a July 14 court order but to cease accepting new clients as of July 14.

(Admitted to practice: 2005)

Laurent misappropriated client funds from his law office trust account, some of which he repaid from the proceeds of a Paycheck Protection Program loan he obtained on behalf of his law firm for COVID-19 relief.

(Case No: SC22-851)

Thievin’ from Clients, and Lyin’ to the Bar

James Santos Wilkie, 1333 S. Ocean Blvd., Suite 1323, Pompano Beach,

emergency suspended effective immediately following a July 19 court order.

(Admitted to practice: 2013)

Wilkie misappropriated client settlement funds and made misrepresentations to the Bar during their investigation.

(Case No: SC22-911)

Meet James S. Wilkie – Managing Partner

James was originally born in North Miami Beach; however, due to his father being a United States Marine Corps Officer (Col. James R. Wilkie Ret.), he lived in dozens of places across the continental United States. James graduated from Collierville High School in Collierville, Tennessee, where he elected to remain and receive his Bachelor of Science in Education from the University of Memphis. While attending the U of M, he joined the prestigious fraternity Pi Kappa Phi. Furthermore, Mr. Wilkie went on to make the Dean and Presidents list through his undergraduate education. He was accepted to Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Lansing Michigan, where he placed in the top 4% of his class.

Wanting to be closer to his family in South Florida, he transferred to Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad Law Center, where he graduated with his Doctorate of Juris Prudence in 2011. Mr. Wilkie attended the Nova Southeastern University Family Law Clinic, where he worked with both The Thomas Family Law Firm in Memphis Tennessee, and Legal Aid of Palm Beach County Florida. During law school, his concentration was Personal Injury, Criminal Defense, Family Law, Civil Litigation, and Dependency. He accepted a position with Katz & Katz, P.A. where he practiced a wide variety of law, including but not limited too; Plaintiff Personal Injury Protection Litigation, Personal Injury Plaintiff, Contract Actions, and Criminal Defense. Eventually in 2013, Mr. Wilkie opened the doors to The Wilkie Law Firm, P.A. practicing mainly Plaintiff Personal Injury and complex negligence cases. He remained the managing partner of The Wilkie Law Firm until his assentation to of counsel with Salpeter Gitkin, LLP through his now conjoined practice in 2018.

Mr. Wilkie has recovered millions of dollars for his clients and boasts a wide variety of trial experience in multiple areas of law. Mr. Wilkie values himself as a well versed civil litigation attorney utilizing his knowledge and extended experience to provide his clients with the most advantageous outcome. Having successfully co-counselled cases in Michigan, North Carolina, Tennessee and Mississippi, Mr. Wilkie’s wide variety of experience and aggressive nature continues to achieve leaps and bounds for his clients.

James is a long time Florida resident and enjoys golf, softball, basketball, fishing and spending time with his wife Crystal and his two daughters Amilia and Anessa.

Pedestrian and Bicycle Accident Injuries

If you have been struck by a motor vehicle while riding your bike or walking then it may be necessary to seek financial compensation for your injuries. Medical bills, lost wages from time off work, and other considerations can create serious complications for your life beyond the pain and suffering associated with your injuries.

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Car Accidents

If you have been hurt in a car accident, do not accept any settlement that is offered by an insurance company without first reviewing it with a skilled and experienced attorney who can advise you more thoroughly about your legal rights and options.

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Motorcycle Accidents

If you have suffered injuries in a motorcycle accident that was caused by another party’s negligence or recklessness, then you may be able to file a civil lawsuit seeking financial compensation for damages rather than simply relying upon an insurance claim to meet your needs.

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Truck Accidents

If you have been hurt in an automobile wreck involving a commercial truck then we can help you to explore the possible merits of legal action and to determine whether the driver, trucking company, truck manufacturer, or another third-party may be liable.

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Catastrophic Injuries

If you have suffered life-complicating injuries and would like to know more about the possible advantages of filing a civil lawsuit then you should consult with a skilled and experienced attorney about your case.

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Cruise Ship & Boating Accidents

If you have been hurt in an accident involving another person’s failure to properly operate, design, or maintain a watercraft then you might wish to consider filing a civil lawsuit seeking financial compensation for your injuries. You may be able to recover the resources that you need to address medical bills, boat repair costs, and other appropriate damages.

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Premises Liability

Premises Liability If you or your loved one has been hurt in an accident that occurred on another party’s property then you may be able to pursue financial compensation through a civil lawsuit. Medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages may be recoverable.

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Medical Malpractice

If you or your loved one has been the victim of a medical mistake and has experienced adverse health effects as a result, then you may wish to investigate the possibility of pursuing a medical malpractice claim. A successful lawsuit can gain you the resources that you need for present and future care and may also help you obtain financial compensation for other relevant damages.

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Products Liability

If you have been sickened or hurt by a dangerous product then you may be able to file a civil lawsuit seeking financial compensation for your injuries. A successful legal action might help you cover the costs of medical bills, lost wages, and other considerations appropriate to the specific details of your case.

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Personal Injury

If you have been hurt in an accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence or recklessness and are looking for a compassionate and committed legal representative, then we can help you fight to hold them accountable for the harm that you have suffered.

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Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist

If you have been in an automobile accident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist then it may be possible to pursue additional financial compensation through a civil lawsuit. A successful legal action might gain you the resources necessary to make up the gap between the policy maximum and the damages you have experienced.

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Wrongful Death

While prevailing in a wrongful death lawsuit against the person or entity responsible for your loved one’s death may seem like a hollow victory, the reality is that it may be the best or only way to ensure that you have the financial resources that you need to cope with the painful adjustments you must make.

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The Florida Supreme Court, The Florida Bar and its Department of Lawyer Regulation are charged with administering a statewide disciplinary system to enforce Supreme Court rules of professional conduct for the more than 110,000 members of The Florida Bar. Key discipline case files that are public record are posted to attorneys’ individual online Florida Bar profiles. To view discipline documents, follow these steps. Information on the discipline system and how to file a complaint are available at www.floridabar.org/attorneydiscipline.
Court orders are not final until time expires to file a rehearing motion and, if filed, determined. The filing of such a motion does not alter the effective date of the discipline. Disbarred lawyers may not re-apply for admission for five years. They are required to go through an extensive process that includes a rigorous background check and retaking the Bar exam. Attorneys suspended for periods of 91 days and longer must undergo a rigorous process to regain their law licenses including proving rehabilitation. Disciplinary revocation is tantamount to disbarment.

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• Continue to provide this website, content, resources, community and help center for free to the many homeowners, residents, Texans and as we’ve expanded, people nationwide who need access without a paywall or subscription.

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Thank you for your trust, belief and support in our conviction to help Floridian residents and citizens nationwide take back their freedom. Your Donations and your Voice are so important.



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Fake Documents

Florida Clerks Want to Stop Property Deed Scammers, Unlike Texas Where the Judiciary are the Scammers

On our main website at LIT (lawsintexas.com) we’ve been publishing the real facts about corrupt lawyers, judges and Texas citizens involved in fraudulent deeds.

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Northeast Florida Clerks of Court team up against property and mortgage fraud

Clerks in Baker, Clay, Duval, Nassau, Putnam & St. Johns urge residents to sign up for free fraud alert services

OCT 24, 2022 | REPUBLISHED BY LIT: OCT 25, 2022

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Clerks of Court for Baker, Clay, Duval, Nassau, Putnam and St. Johns counties want the residents they serve to take advantage of free property fraud alert services offered by each of their offices.

The clerks joined forces Monday to urge property owners to protect themselves against scammers who would steal their homes, vacant land or business property through fraudulent deeds or other official records.

“Property and identity fraud are national and local problems that can have a serious impact,” said Putnam County Clerk Matt Reynolds. “By taking advantage of this service offered by the Clerk of Circuit Court and Comptroller’s Office, citizens can get ahead of fraud and protect the things we have all worked so hard to achieve.”

Reynolds and Clerks Stacie D. Harvey, Tara S. Green, Jody Phillips, John A. Crawford and Brandon J. Patty launched a regional campaign to highlight a shared webpage that provides property fraud signup links in all six counties.

The webpage is accessible through both www.ProtectYourFloridaProperty.com and www.ClerksAgainstFraud.com.

“Northeast Florida Clerks are united to fight property fraud across the region, as criminals don’t stop at the county line,” said St. Johns County Clerk Patty.

Property fraud is when someone illegally uses your property for financial gain. A common example is when a scammer creates a fraudulent document that will deed your home to them and then records that document in a county’s official records.

“We are now seeing instances where your home and property can be digitally stolen from you by the filing of a fraudulent deed by scammers miles and miles away,” said Baker County Clerk Harvey.

But property owners themselves can easily discern if ownership of their home or business has been modified — if they are notified that a change has occurred.

“Receiving notifications that something may be amiss is the first step to fighting back. We encourage all property owners to register for this free service that your Clerks have implemented for your protection,” said Nassau County Clerk Crawford, who recently launched the county’s new property fraud alert service.

To combat the nationwide rise in property and mortgage fraud, identity protection companies charge monthly or annual fees to monitor your official records. But your local Clerk of Court offers a free do-it-yourself option — simply subscribe to receive alerts when an official record document is recorded in your name(s) with that office.

“We ask property owners to partner with us, as we work to eliminate the attempts to steal homes and land,” said Clay County Clerk Green. “Bad actors might get away with a fraudulent filing, but an alert sent to a registered property owner will quickly follow that allows the property owner to intervene.”

Like paid commercial alert systems, the free noticing service does not prevent a fraudulent action from occurring.

As a county’s recorders of deeds and mortgages, Clerks of Court document property records but are not authorized to determine the validity of the record.

“Although the notification won’t stop the fraudulent transaction, it will give the property owners the opportunity to right the wrong before it’s too far gone!” Harvey said.

Local realtor Jonathan Daugherty, since 2009, says he’s gotten calls about home that were not for sale.

He thinks the alert system will help homeowners.

“I think it’s a great tool and it sounds like it’s pretty easy for people to do,” said Realtor Jonathan Daugherty with Realtor Future Home Realty.

The free notification service provides an early warning system for subscribers, giving them a tool to become aware of fraudulent activity that may have otherwise gone undetected. Once notified, a property owner knows to contact law enforcement, seek legal advice, or even file a case in civil court.

“Property fraud alerts give individuals and businesses the tools they need to proactively monitor recorded documents and stop property fraud at its very source,”

Duval Clerk Phillips said.

“I greatly appreciate my fellow Clerks joining with me on the front steps of the Duval County Courthouse today as we present a united front against those who would seek to steal from our communities.”

Visit the website, accessible through ProtectYourFloridaProperty.com or www.ClerksAgainstFraud.com, to sign up for this free service in each of these participating counties.

Here are some tips from the FBI to make sure you are not a victim of this kind of fraud:

Get referrals for real estate and mortgage professionals.

Check the licenses of the industry professionals with state, county, or city regulatory agencies

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Promises of big profits in a small amount of time are signals of concern

Be wary of unsolicited contacts and high-pressure sales online or over the phone

YOUR DONATION(S) WILL HELP US:

• Continue to provide this website, content, resources, community and help center for free to the many homeowners, residents, Texans and as we’ve expanded, people nationwide who need access without a paywall or subscription.

• Help us promote our campaign through marketing, pr, advertising and reaching out to government, law firms and anyone that will listen and can assist.

Thank you for your trust, belief and support in our conviction to help Floridian residents and citizens nationwide take back their freedom. Your Donations and your Voice are so important.



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Appellate Judges

The Eleventh Circuit Issues Another Glossed Opinion to Dismiss a Pro Se Lawyer’s Appeal

All motions under Rule 60(b) OTHER THAN those based on Rule 60(b)(4) must be made within a reasonable time.

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Henry v. City of Mount Dora, No. 21-14120 (11th Cir. Sep. 16, 2022)

REPUBLISHED BY LIT: SEP 17, 2022

Before LUCK, LAGOA, and ANDERSON, Circuit Judges. PER CURIAM:

Marie Henry, proceeding pro se, appeals the district court’s denial of her Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b)(4), (d)(3) motion seeking relief from the court’s order dismissing her federal claims raised pursuant to several federal statutes, and remanding to state court her state law claims raised pursuant to Florida state law.

After filing an ethics complaint against one of the defendants and a pro se motion to disqualify a judge in a predatory lending case, Henry was referred to a Florida Bar grievance committee on two counts of misconduct and, after disciplinary proceedings that she challenged as defective, she was suspended for 6 months.

She originally filed her complaint in Florida state court, but the Florida Bar removed her case to the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida.

On appeal, she argues, first, that the district court erred by denying her Rule 60 motion as untimely.

Second, she contends that the court abridged her due process right to an impartial tribunal, notice, and an opportunity to be heard by dismissing her federal claims where the defendants did not unanimously consent to removal, the court judicially noticed facts without a hearing, and the judge was a member of an adverse party.

Third, she asserts that the court erred by failing to analyze fraud on the court.

Finally, she argues that the court’s denial of an extension to file objections to a magistrate judge’s report and recommendation violated 28 U.S.C. § 2072.

I.

LIT OBJECTS TO THE PANEL SUMMARY, WHICH DOES NOT PROVIDE DATES FOR THE FLORIDA BAR SUSPENSION, WHICH WAS IN MARCH 2015 , AND GLOSSES OVER THE FACT IT TOOK THE BAR YEARS TO PROSECUTE AND REACH ITS FINAL DISPOSITION.

We review de novo the denial of a motion to set aside a judg-ment for voidness under Rule 60(b)(4).

Stansell v. Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colom., 771 F.3d 713, 736 (11th Cir. 2014).

Motions pursuant to Rule 60(b)(4) are not subject to a reasonable timeliness requirement or a typical laches analysis.

Id. at 737-38.

But “Rule 60(b)(4) does not provide a license for litigants to sleep on their rights.”

United Student Aid Funds, Inc. v. Espinosa, 559 U.S. 260, 275 (2010).

When considering whether a movant slept on her rights, we have noted that subject matter jurisdiction cannot be waived and have addressed the merits of the movant’s jurisdictional argument.

See Stansell, 771 F.3d at 737

(holding that movant waived “his right to object to any defects in the service of process or to any denial of his right to be heard” because he “sat on his rights for nine months” but addressing alleged jurisdiction issues).

We may affirm for any reason supported by the record.

Bircoll v. Miami-Dade Cnty., 480 F.3d 1072, 1088 n.21 (11th Cir. 2007).

Here, the district court applied a reasonable time requirement to Henry’s Rule 60(b)(4) motion, but that requirement was inappropriate.

See Stansell, 771 F.3d at 737.

However, Henry sat on her rights by waiting more than 2 years to file her Rule 60(b)(4) motion.

See id. at 737-38.

Thus, we affirm the district court as to any issues raised by Henry that do not relate to subject matter jurisdiction because she slept on her rights for over two years.

Bircoll, 480 F.3d at 1088 n.21.

Like in Stansell, however, we next consider Henry’s arguments that the district court lacked subject matter jurisdiction.

See Stansell, 771 F.3d at 737.

LIT DISAGREES WITH THE PANEL OPINION WHICH CONTRADICTS ITSELF AND THIS COURT’s OWN RULINGS TO RELY UPON A SCOTUS BANKRUPTCY CASE, WHICH IS INAPPOSITE TO THE FACTS HERE.

FURTHERMORE, THE CITE, WHEN READ FULLY, IS NOT ABOUT DELAY IN APPEALING AT ALL:

“United had actual notice of the filing of Espinosa’s plan, its contents, and the Bankruptcy Court’s subsequent confirmation of the plan. In addition, United filed a proof of claim regarding Espinosa’s student loan debt, thereby submitting itself to the Bankruptcy Court’s jurisdiction with respect to that claim…. United therefore forfeited its arguments regarding the validity of service or the adequacy of the Bankruptcy Court’s procedures by failing to raise a timely objection in that court.

United Student Aid Funds v. Espinosa, 559 U.S. 260, 275 (2010)

—————

Before HULL, MARCUS and WILSON, Circuit Judges.:

“All motions under Rule 60(b) other than those based on Rule 60(b)(4) must be made within a reasonable time. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(c). ” Sec. & Exch. Comm’n v. J&J Mgmt. Consulting, No. 15-14628, at *4 (11th Cir. Oct. 3, 2016)

II.

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b)(4) provides relief from a final judgment or order if the judgment is void.

Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(b)(4).

A judgment is not void under Rule 60(b)(4) merely because it was erroneous.

Espinosa, 559 U.S. at 270.

Generally, it is void solely if it is premised on a jurisdictional error depriving the court of even arguable jurisdiction or on a due process violation that deprived a party of notice or the opportunity to be heard.

See id. at 271.

Federal courts always have jurisdiction to determine their own jurisdiction.

In re Nica Holdings, Inc., 810 F.3d 781, 789 (11th Cir. 2015).

The Rooker-Feldman1 doctrine is a narrow jurisdictional doctrine concerning a court’s subject matter jurisdiction that bars parties who lose a case in state court from appealing their loss in a federal district court.

Behr v. Campbell, 8 F.4th 1206, 1208 (11th Cir. 2021);

Alvarez v. Att’y Gen for Fla., 679 F.3d 1257, 1264 (11th Cir. 2012).

Neither res judicata nor the requirement that all defendants consent to removal is jurisdictional.

See Narey v. Dean, 32 F.3d 1521, 1524-25 (11th Cir. 1994);

In re Bethesda Mem’l Hosp., Inc., 123 F.3d 1407, 1410 n.2 (11th Cir. 1997).

An appellant abandons any argument not briefed before us, made in passing, or raised briefly without supporting arguments or authority.

Access Now, Inc. v. Sw. Airlines Co., 385 F.3d 1324, 1330 (11th Cir. 2004);

Sapuppo v. Allstate Floridian Ins. Co., 739 F.3d 678, 681 (11th Cir. 2014).

We can consider sua sponte an abandoned issue if a forfeiture exception applies and extraordinary circumstances warrant review.

United States v. Campbell, 26 F.4th 860, 873 (11th Cir. 2022) (en banc), petition for cert. filed (U.S. May 17, 2022) (No. 21-1468).

Here, Henry was not entitled to relief pursuant to her Rule 60(b)(4) motion because she did not identify any jurisdictional defect depriving the district court of arguable jurisdiction.

See Espinosa, 559 U.S. at 271.

The requirement that all defendants consent to removal is not jurisdictional.

See In re Bethesda Mem’l Hosp., Inc., 123 F.3d at 1410 n.2.

Res judicata is not jurisdictional either.

Narey, 32 F.3d at 1524–25.

Moreover, to the extent Henry argues that the district court erred by concluding the Rooker-Feldman doctrine applied, that is an argument over which the court had jurisdiction because a court always has jurisdiction to determine its own jurisdiction.

See In re Nica Holdings, Inc., 810 F.3d at 789.

Moreover, Henry points to no error in the district court’s application of the doctrine, nor to any other possible jurisdictional problem that might have deprived the district court of arguable jurisdiction.

Thus, we affirm the district court’s denial of Henry’s Rule 60(b)(4) motion.

1 Rooker v. Fid. Tr. Co., 263 U.S. 413 (1923); D.C. Court of Appeals v. Feld- man, 460 U.S. 462 (1983).

III.

We review a district court’s denial of a Rule 60(d)(3) motion for relief from a judgment due to the opposing party’s fraud on the court for abuse of discretion.

See Cox Nuclear Pharm., Inc. v. CTI, Inc., 478 F.3d 1303, 1314 (11th Cir. 2007) (Rule 60(b)(3) motion).

Rule 60 does not limit a court’s power to set aside a judgment for fraud on the court.

Fed. R. Civ. P 60(d)(3).

A movant must prove fraud on the court with clear and convincing evidence.

See Booker v. Dugger, 825 F.2d 281, 283-84 (11th Cir. 1987)

(appealing denial of Rule 60(b) motion after denial of § 2254 petition).

Fraud on the court is limited to exceptional conduct like bribery or evidence falsification involving an attorney.

Rozier v. Ford Motor Co., 573 F.2d 1332, 1338 (5th Cir. 1978) (prior version of Rule 60).

We have held that, in independent actions challenging a judgment for fraud on the court, the alleged fraud must not have been raised in the original litigation, and it must not have been possible for the complaining party to raise the issue through reasonable diligence.

See Travelers Indem. Co. v. Gore, 761 F.2d 1549, 1552 (11th Cir. 1985).

Here, the district court addressed fraud on the court, and it correctly found that Henry failed to show sufficiently egregious conduct.

The conduct Henry points to on appeal, even if true, does not fall within the category of egregious conduct that can constitute fraud on the court, but instead amounts to, at most, arguably erroneous legal arguments, or conduct that occurred before she filed her complaint, neither of which come close to the necessary showing of fraud on the court.

See Rozier, 573 F.2d at 1338.

Furthermore, she does not challenge any conduct that was not raised before her Rule 60 motion or that she could not have raised through reasonable diligence.

See Travelers Indem. Co., 761 F.2d at 1552;

Bircoll, 480 F.3d at 1088 n.21.

Thus, we affirm the denial of her Rule 60(d)(3) motion.

LIT OBJECTS TO THE PANEL SUMMARY, WHICH DOES NOT PROVIDE THE ‘CONDUCT’ AT ISSUE, AND BLANKS HENRY’S ARGUMENTS.

IV.

We review a district court’s denial of a motion for extension of time for abuse of discretion.

See Lizarazo v. Miami-Dade Corr. & Rehab. Dep’t, 878 F.3d 1008, 1010-11 (11th Cir. 2017)

(extension of time to file motion for substitution).

A request for an extension should be granted if good cause is shown. Fed. R. Civ. P. 6(b).

Here, Henry arguably has shown good cause for an extension in her motion for an extension to file objections to the magistrate judge’s report and recommendation concerning her Rule 60 motion because she asserted that she did not receive the report and recommendation until after the time for her to file objections had passed and she had been occupied caring for a family member.

We assume arguendo that she showed good cause for an extension.

However, the consequence for failing to object to the magistrate’s report and recommendation is waiver of the right to challenge those issues on appeal.

11th Cir. R. 3-1.

Because we have reviewed Henry’s arguments as if she had not waived them for failing to object, we affirm the denial of her motion for the reasons discussed above.

See R. 3-1; Fed. R. Civ. P. 6(b).

AFFIRMED.

LIT OBJECTS TO THE SCANT LEGAL ANALYSIS OF THE ‘CONSEQUENCE FOR  FAILING TO OBJECT TO THE MAGISTRATE REPORT’.

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