Connect with us

Florida

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!

Published

on

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.

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.



Appellate Circuit

Judge Jill Pryor on a Panel about Judicial Recusals? That’s a Contradiction, Right There.

Judge Cooke has a conflict of interest based on her financial statements, which revealed interests in companies doing business with one of the defendants.

Published

on

In the
United States Court of Appeals
For the Eleventh Circuit

No. 20-13674
Non-Argument Calendar

JAMES BUCKMAN, MAURICE SYMONETTE,

versus
LANCASTER MORTGAGE CO.,

Plaintiffs-Appellants,

DEUTSCHE BANK NATIONAL TRUST CO.,
as Trustee under the pooling and servicing agreement series rast 2006-A8,

SECURITY AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION,

U.S. TREASURY,

Defendants-Appellees,

ONE WEST BANK, et al.,

Defendants.

OCT 7, 2021 | REPUBLISHED BY LIT: OCT 7, 2021

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida
D.C. Docket No. 1:19-cv-24184-MGC

Before JILL PRYOR, BRANCH, and LUCK, Circuit Judges. PER CURIAM:

James Buckman and Maurice Symonette (“Buckman and Symonette”) appeal from the district court’s dismissal with prejudice of their second amended complaint as an impermissible shotgun pleading.

They argue that the district court erred and demonstrated bias by dismissing their case because they had filed a motion for an additional three-day extension of time and the district court provided a window for responses to the motion by the defendants, but then dismissed the case before the responses were due.1

After review, we affirm.

1 Over four months after filing their notice of appeal from the dismissal of their complaint, Buckman and Symonette filed two motions for recusal of the district court judge, arguing that she had a conflict of interest based on her financial statements, which revealed interests in companies doing business with one of the defendants. (LIF: THAT DEFENDANT WOULD BE DEUTSCHE BANK)

The district court denied the motions.

Buckman and Symonette did not file an amended or new notice of appeal following entry of that order.

Therefore, we lack jurisdiction to review the district court’s denial of the motion for recusal.

See McDougald v. Jenson, 786 F.2d 1465, 1474 (11th Cir. 1986) (holding that, although we liberally construe notices of appeal under Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 3 to include orders not expressly designated, that allowance does not extend to an order that was not entered when the notice of appeal was filed);

see also LaChance v. Duffy’s Draft House, Inc., 146 F.3d 832, 837–38 (11th Cir. 1998) (holding that we lacked jurisdiction over a post-judgment order awarding attorney’s fees where the motion for attorney’s fees was not filed until after the notice of appeal and the plaintiff failed to file an amended notice of appeal from the order awarding fees).

I. Background

In October 2019, Buckman and Symonette filed a pro se 45-page complaint against eight defendants including numerous banks, a mortgage company, the Security and Exchange Commission, the U.S. Treasury, and other entities, raising numerous claims including:

(1) quiet title;
(2) slander of title;
(3) unjust enrichment;
(4) violations of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act;
(5) fraud and concealment;
(6) violation of timely assignment and lack of consideration;
and
(7) various violations of several Florida statutes.

Thereafter, in December 2019, Buckman and Symonette filed a 51-page amended complaint asserting a total of 11 causes of action.

On July 24, 2020, the district court, sua sponte, struck the amended complaint as an impermissible shotgun pleading.

The district court set forth the pleading rules in its order, and provided that the plaintiffs had until July 31, 2020 to file a second amended complaint.

The district court emphasized that, in the second amended complaint, Plaintiffs are required to make a “short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief . . .”

Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a).

Plaintiffs must also state each theory of liability separately “in numbered paragraphs, each limited as far as practicable to a single set of circumstances.”

Fed. R. Civ. P. 10(b).

The newly amended complaint should clearly delineate which factual allegations and cited laws are relevant to the asserted cause of action.

This includes specifying which Defendant is liable under each cause of action and which Defendant is implicated in each factual allegation.

Failure to comply with this Order may result in the dismissal of this case with prejudice or other appropriate sanctions.

On July 31, 2020, the plaintiffs filed a motion for an extension of time to file their second amended complaint. The district court granted the motion and ordered that the second amended com- plaint be filed on or before August 6, 2020.

On August 6, 2020, the plaintiffs filed a motion seeking three more days to file their second amended complaint. On the same date, after filing their extension motion, they filed their second amended complaint.

The 92-page second amended complaint added 4 new causes of action and suffered from many of the same issues as the first amended complaint.

On August 17, 2020, the district court dismissed with prejudice the second amended complaint explaining that the second amended complaint “does not cure the defects that required striking of the initial Complaint.”

This appeal followed.2

2 Following the dismissal of their complaint, Buckman and Symonette filed a motion for reconsideration in the district court, which was denied. However, they do not raise any arguments related to the denial of their motion for re- consideration in their brief. Accordingly, the district court’s resolution of the motion for reconsideration is not before us.

II. Discussion

Buckman and Symonette argue that the district court erred and demonstrated bias when it dismissed their case with prejudice while their motion for extension of time was pending.

Specifically, they argue that the district court docketed their motion for a three- day extension of time to file the second amended complaint and set “responses due by 8/20/2020,” but then dismissed the case before that date.

They also raise arguments related to the merits of their underlying claims.

The district court did not err in dismissing the case. On the day the second amended complaint was due, Buckman and Symonette filed the request for a three-day extension of time, but they then filed a second amended complaint the same day.

The filing of the second amended complaint on the day it was due mooted the motion for an extension of time and the related re- sponse period.

Once the second amended complaint was filed, there was nothing left for the district court to do except review the complaint to determine whether the plaintiffs corrected the previously identified pleading issues.

To the extent that Buckman and Symonette’s brief could be liberally construed as challenging the district court’s dismissal of the second-amended complaint as an impermissible shotgun pleading, we review the district court’s decision for abuse of discretion.

Barmapov v. Amuial, 986 F.3d 1321, 1324 (11th Cir. 2021); see also Tannenbaum v. United States, 148 F.3d 1262, 1263 (11th Cir. 1998)

(“Pro se pleadings are held to a less stringent standard than pleadings drafted by attorneys and will, therefore, be liberally construed.”).

“A shotgun pleading is a complaint that violates either Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2) or Rule 10(b), or both.”

Barmapov, 986 F.3d at 1324.

Rule 8 requires that the complaint set forth “a short and plain statement of the claim” demonstrating an entitlement to relief, and Rule 10 requires that a plaintiff “state [his] claims in numbered paragraphs, each limited as far as practicable to a single set of circumstances.”

Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2) and 10(b).

Rule 10 further provides that each claim be stated in separate counts “[i]f doing so would promote clarity.” Id. R. 10(b).

We have repeatedly condemned the use of shotgun pleadings.

See Barmapov, 986 F.3d at 1324; Magluta v. Samples, 256 F.3d 1282, 1284 (11th Cir. 2001).

When a plaintiff files a shotgun pleading, a district court must give him one chance to replead before dismissing his case with prejudice on shotgun pleading grounds.
Vibe Micro, Inc. v. Shabanets, 878 F.3d 1291, 1295–96 (11th Cir. 2018).

The district court should explain how the pleading violated the shotgun rule so that the plaintiff can remedy his next pleading.

Id.

Where, as here, the plaintiff is provided fair notice of the specific defects in his complaint and a meaningful chance to fix it but fails to correct the defects, the district court does not abuse its discretion by dismissing with prejudice on shotgun pleading grounds.

Jackson v. Bank of Am., N.A., 898 F.3d 1348, 1358–59 (11th Cir. 2018).

Accordingly, the district court did not abuse its discretion in dismissing the second amended complaint with prejudice because Buckman and Symonette failed to correct the pleading defects.

Id.

Consequently, we affirm.

AFFIRMED.

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.



Continue Reading

Florida

September was a Monster Month for Fl. Bar Disciplinary Cases. So Much So they Issued Two Separate Lists

On Sep 1, 2021, the Florida Bar Disciplined 10 lawyers and on Sep 15, another 17. That’s 27 lawyers in one month.

Published

on

September Discipline Part II by the Bar

SEP 15, 2021 | REPUBLISHED BY LIT: OCT 6, 2021

The Florida Supreme Court in recent court orders disciplined 17 attorneys, disbarring six, suspending seven, and reprimanding four. One attorney was also ordered to pay restitution.

Rasheed Karim Allen-Dawson, P.O. Box 135819, Clermont, suspended for 91 days and conditional probation for one year effective 30 days following an August 19 court order.

(Admitted to practice: 2011)

Allen-Dawson failed to provide a client with competent representation in a family law matter and pursued frivolous litigation.

Following the filing of the Bar complaint, Allen-Dawson made an impermissible agreement with the complaining client for a full refund conditioned on the client withdrawing the Bar complaint.

In a second matter, Allen-Dawson engaged in a course of conduct where he failed to follow the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and Local Rules, failed to diligently and competently handle multiple client matters, and certified to the court that good-faith conferences had occurred when, in fact, they had not, resulting in the United States District Court, Middle District of Florida, imposing disciplinary sanctions against him which resulted in 12 months of conditional probation by the Federal Court.

(Case Nos.: SC21-472 and SC21-504)

Referee;

Gerald P. Hill II
Polk County Courthouse
P.O. Box 9000, Drawer J109
Bartow, FL 33831-9000

Charles McCormack Caldwell II, 801 W. Romana St., Suite C, Pensacola, public reprimand by publication and attendance at Ethics School effective immediately following an August 12 court order.

(Admitted to practice: 2010)

Caldwell worked for a Canadian trademark company representing clients in pending trademark applications and issued trademark registrations before the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

The company’s practice was to enter Caldwell’s electronic signature on trademark documents before filing with the USPTO.

When Caldwell was contacted by the USPTO and advised that he was violating its regulations, he cooperated fully and severed all ties with the trademark company.

The USPTO imposed a public reprimand and 12 months probation.

(Case No: SC21-230)

Joe Luis Castrofort, 1906 E. Robinson St., Orlando, suspended for 60 days with attendance at Ethics School effective 30 days following an August 5 court order.

(Admitted to practice: 2001)

Castrofort represented a defendant in a criminal case where the defendant told Castrofort that someone had messaged him, claiming to be the alleged victim, and had requested $15,000 in exchange for her agreement not to testify against him in the case.

At the time, there was a court order that defendant have no contact with the alleged victim.

Castrofort involved private investigators who directed the client to message the alleged victim and have her appear at a designated location to collect the money.

Though there was no actual money involved, the client watched from a distance as the alleged victim entered the client’s unoccupied vehicle and searched for the money.

The client and alleged victim communicated using a messaging application and the private investigators recorded the encounter.

At the time, Castrofort did not fully appreciate that his client’s actions could be viewed as a violation of the no-contact order and expressed remorse for the misconduct.

(Case No: SC21-1100)

Kevin Keenan Chase, 709 Laurel Way, Casselberry, public reprimand by publication effective immediately following an August 6 court order.

(Admitted to practice: 1994)

Chase was held in contempt of the Court’s order dated November 12, 2020, for failing to timely comply with Rule 3-5.1(h) requirements of notifying clients, opposing counsel, and tribunals of his suspension.

(Case No: SC21-799)

Andrean Rose Eaton, 2020 N.E. 163rd St., Suite 300, North Miami Beach, suspended for 91 days effective 30 days following an August 6 court order.

(Admitted to practice: 1995)

Eaton was held in contempt of the court’s order dated March 5, 2020, for failing to comply with Rule 3-5.1(h) requirements of notifying clients, opposing counsel and tribunals of his suspension and for failing to comply with the conditions of her probation.

(Case No: SC21-772)

William Cater Elliott, P.O. Box 43343, Vestavia, Alabama, disbarred effective Nunc pro tunc to January 16, 2020, the date of his felony suspension following a June 17, 2021, court order.

(Admitted to Practice: 1989)

On July 18, 2019, Elliott was convicted of Organized Fraud over $50,000, adjudicated guilty, and sentenced to a two-year prison term followed by eight years’ probation.

Elliott deposited a counterfeit U.S. Treasury check into his law firm business account for $287,000.50, and withdrew a substantial amount, leaving the bank with a financial loss of $98,813.33.

Elliott was felony suspended on January 16, 2020.

After an appeal to the First DCA that was denied, the appellate court issued its mandate in March 2021.

(Case No: SC19-2094)

Michael James Foley, 644 Orange Belt Loop, Winter Garden, suspended for 91 days effective 30 days following an August 19 court order.

(Admitted to practice: 2002)

Foley, while employed by Liberty Law Team, failed to exercise reasonable supervision over the paralegal assigned to work on a client’s criminal appeal, allowing the paralegal to engage in impermissible activities such as giving legal advice, and making misrepresentations to the client and the client’s family.

Foley’s failure to supervise further enabled his paralegal to perpetrate a fraud on the client and the client’s family and collect fees and costs that were misappropriated by unknown persons at Liberty Law Team.

(Case No: SC21-311)

Referee:

Michael C. Heisey

Dana Marie Fragakis, 2150 Goodlette Rd. N., FL 6, Naples, suspended for 90 days and attendance at The Florida Bar Professionalism Workshop effective 30 days following an August 12 court order.

(Admitted to practice: 2000)

Fragakis became a candidate for a vacant county court seat in Palm Beach County in June 2016.

During a run-off election, Fragakis hired a campaign manager that promoted her candidacy by making disparaging statements about her opponent in emails, statements to the media, and a webpage.

Fragakis initially defended her campaign’s actions but ultimately admitted that her conduct was a violation of the Judicial Canons and apologized to her opponent.

Fragakis was thereafter removed from judicial office.

(Case No: SC12-1122)

Ronald Andersen Hurst, Jr., P.O. Box 540262, Greenacres, public reprimand by publication effective August 5 by court order.

(Admitted to practice: 2003)

Hurst was court-appointed to file an Amended Motion to Withdraw Plea Agreement on behalf of a criminal defendant.

Hurst made minimal efforts to communicate with the client to determine the basis for the motion. Since Hurst did not receive a response from the client, he did not file the subject motion.

(Case Nos: SC21-1098 and SC21-1100)

Eric Otto Husby, 306 S Blvd., Tampa, suspended for 90 days and directed to attend Ethics School effective 30 days following a July 29 court order.

(Admitted to practice: 2004)

Husby neglected his client’s matter and failed to communicate adequately in one matter, and failed to provide competent representation in the second. Husby failed to timely respond to the Bar in the first matter.

(Case No: SC20-1837)

Referee;

Honorable Alicia Polk

Andrew John Jones, 5200 South U.S. Highway 17/92, Casselberry, disbarred immediately following an August 19 court order.

(Admitted to practice: 2006)

On June 3, 2021, Jones pled guilty to Child Abuse and Tampering with Physical Evidence, both third-degree felonies.

(Case No: SC21-894)

Referee;

Michael J. McNicholas

Frederick Joseph Keitel III, P.O. Box 3243, Palm Beach, permanently disbarred effective immediately following an August 12 court order.

(Admitted to practice: 1991)

Keitel represented his own corporations in numerous cases during which he made unfounded, unethical, and disparaging attacks against many different judges.

He further engaged in incivility and unprofessionalism in a deposition, attempted to hinder and delay discovery, engaged in a conflict of interest, and violated orders entered by the bankruptcy court.

Keitel continued to engage in such disparaging conduct during the disciplinary proceedings.

(Case No: SC18-546)

John Chandler Ross, 1025 Indian River Ave., Titusville, disbarred effective immediately following an August 5 court order because he is currently suspended.

(Admitted to practice: 1983)

Ross was held in contempt of the court’s order dated November 24, 2020, for failing to comply with Rule 3-5.1(h) requirements of notifying clients, opposing counsel, and tribunals of his suspension.

(Case No: SC21-807)

Roger S. Rathbun, 9380 N.W. 13th St., Plantation, disbarred effective immediately following an August 12 court order.

(Admitted to practice: 2000)

Rathbun continued to engage in the active practice of law after being suspended from the practice of law by order dated January 9, 2020.

(Case No: SC20-623)

Douglas Alan Lopp, 19420 Sandy Springs Cir., Lutz, disbarred effective immediately following an August 11 court order.

(Admitted to practice: 1995)

Lopp was held in contempt of the court’s order dated September 20, 2020, for his repeated failure to respond to the court’s previous order and for his failure to notify clients, opposing counsel, and tribunals of his suspension.

(Case No: SC20-1026 and SC21-852)

Patrick James Thompson, 201 Hilda St., Suite 23, Kissimmee, public reprimand by publication and completion of Ethics School effective immediately following an August 26 court order.

(Admitted to practice: 2007)

Thompson negotiated with timeshare resorts on behalf of clients to assist the clients with an exit from their timeshare contracts and/or their timeshare maintenance fees.

Thompson improperly shared legal fees with a nonlawyer, who was a corporate officer of his law firm, Timeshare Lawyers, Inc.

Thompson was not admitted to practice law in any jurisdiction other than Florida but the resorts and the clients he represented sometimes were located outside of Florida.

In addition, Thompson did not sufficiently communicate with two clients about their cases, and he was not diligent in handling their cases.

(Case No: SC21-588)

Peter James Yanowitch, 232 Andalusia Ave., Suite 202, Coral Gables, suspended for 90 days and ordered to pay restitution in the total amount of $100,000 effective 30 days following an August 5 court order.

(Admitted to practice: 1982)

Yanowitch failed to maintain cost money in his trust account, instead, he applied it to fees deemed to be excessive, and without providing monthly invoices to the client.

(Case No: SC21-1090)

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 109,000 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.

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.



Continue Reading

Debt Collector

Magistrate Judge Julie S. Sneed Lined Up to Award Sanctions including Attorney Fees Against Attorney Lee Segal

Florida Federal Courts are on the run from LawsinFlorida.com but despite your games, we’re here and the people are too, watchin’.

Published

on

Florida Limited Investment Properties, Inc. v. Deutsche Bank National Trust Company, as Trustee

(8:21-cv-02130)

District Court, M.D. Florida

SEP 10, 2021 | REPUBLISHED BY LIT: SEP 28, 2021

Florida Federal Courts are really tryin’ hard to hide which case and which judge is gonna screw lawyer Lee Segal for standing up to that German Bank, the straw man known as Deutsche Bank National Trust Company, but we’re all over them and they cannot hide the corruption from the people… We support Segal.

Federal judges take note, you should be sanctioning the corrupt bank for it’s decades of deception and lies. Otherwise, you’re just part of the ochlocracy and and Outlaw in a dirty black robe.

UPDATE: OCT 7, 2021

ENDORSED ORDER: Defendant has represented that, as of September 30, 2021, Plaintiff still has not properly effected service of process on it. (Doc. # 38).

Accordingly, Plaintiff is directed to file by October 15, 2021, a status report concerning its efforts at service of process, or, if it has effected service, file proof of such service on the docket.

If Plaintiff fails to respond to this Court’s directive, the Court may issue a show-cause order pursuant to Local Rule 3.10.

Based upon its review of the record, the Court also sets aside the requirement for the parties to file a case management report at this time. If the Defendant is properly served in this case, the Court will enter an order setting a new deadline regarding that report.

Signed by Judge Virginia M. Hernandez Covington on 10/7/2021.

FL. FEDERAL COURT SWITCHES AGAIN... READ THE HISTORY, CLICK THE IMAGE

ENDORSED ORDER: Defendant Deutsche Bank National Trust Company’s Motion for Attorney’s Fees (Doc. # 33) is hereby referred to the Honorable Julie S. Sneed, United States Magistrate Judge, for the issuance of a report and recommendation, including any hearings, motions, and deadlines related thereto. Signed by Judge Virginia M. Hernandez Covington on 9/21/2021. (KMH) (Entered: 09/21/2021)

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.



U.S. District Court
Middle District of Florida (Tampa)
CIVIL DOCKET FOR CASE #: 8:21-cv-02130-VMC-JSS

 

Florida Limited Investment Properties, Inc. v. Deutsche Bank National Trust Company, as Trustee
Assigned to: Judge Virginia M. Hernandez Covington
Referred to: Magistrate Judge Julie S. Sneed

Case in other court:  Florida Southern, 2:21-cv-14039

Cause: 28:1332 Diversity-Notice of Removal

Date Filed: 09/10/2021
Jury Demand: Both
Nature of Suit: 470 Racketeer/Corrupt Organization
Jurisdiction: Diversity
Petitioner
Florida Limited Investment Properties, Inc. represented by Lee Segal
Segal & Schuh Law Group, PL
18167 US Hwy 19 N Ste 100
Clearwater, FL 33764
727-824-5775
Fax: 888-672-7347
Email: lee@segalschuh.com
ATTORNEY TO BE NOTICED
V.
Respondent
Deutsche Bank National Trust Company, as Trustee represented by Jason H. Okleshen
Greenberg Traurig, LLP
777 S Flagler Dr Ste 300E
West Palm Beach, FL 33401-6167
561/650-7900
Fax: 561/655-6222
Email: okleshenj@gtlaw.com
LEAD ATTORNEY
ATTORNEY TO BE NOTICEDBeth Ann Norrow
Greenberg Traurig, LLP
450 S Orange Ave Ste 650
Orlando, FL 32801
248-670-0353
Email: norrowb@gtlaw.com
ATTORNEY TO BE NOTICED

 

Date Filed # Docket Text
09/10/2021 27 ORDER Granting 22 MOTION TO TRANSFER VENUE. Signed by Judge Jose E. Martinez on 9/10/2021. See attached document for full details. (cds) [Transferred from flsd on 9/10/2021.] (Entered: 09/10/2021)
09/10/2021 28 Case transferred in from District of Florida Southern; Case Number 2:21-cv-14039. File received electronically (Entered: 09/10/2021)
09/10/2021 29 TRANSFER IN from the Southern District of Florida. Case assigned to District Judge Virginia M. Hernandez Covington and Magistrate Judge Julie S. Sneed. New Case Number: 8:21-cv-2130-VMC-JSS. (JNB) (Entered: 09/10/2021)
09/10/2021 30 ENDORSED ORDER: Defendant removed this case on the basis of diversity of citizenship. Yet, the notice of removal fails to sufficiently establish Plaintiff’s citizenship. The notice of removal merely states that Plaintiff is “is a dissolved Florida limited liability company with its principal place of business in Bellaire Bluffs, Florida.” (Doc. # 1). But “a limited liability company is a citizen of any state of which a member of the company is a citizen.” Rolling Greens MHP, L.P. v. Comcast SCH Holdings L.L.C., 374 F.3d 1020, 1022 (11th Cir. 2004). Thus, “[t]o sufficiently allege the citizenships of” a limited liability company, “a party must list the citizenships of all the members of the limited liability company.” Id. Accordingly, to establish that complete diversity exists, Defendant must file an amended notice of removal listing the citizenships of all the members of Plaintiff by September 17, 2021. Signed by Judge Virginia M. Hernandez Covington on 9/10/2021. (KMH) (Entered: 09/10/2021)
09/15/2021 31 NOTICE by Deutsche Bank National Trust Company, as Trustee re 1 Complaint, 30 Order; NOTICE OF REMOVAL (AMENDED). (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A – FLIP Sunbiz Filing and Articles of Dissolution, # 2 Exhibit B – DBNTC Corp Exist Records)(Norrow, Beth) (Entered: 09/15/2021)
09/15/2021 32 ENDORSED ORDER: Counsel are directed to meet and confer, in person or by telephone, and by September 29, 2021, file a completed Case Management Report. The Court believes that six to eight months is a sufficient period of time to conduct discovery in the vast majority of cases. If the parties believe that more than eight months will be needed to complete discovery, the parties should provide the Court with a detailed explanation as to why additional time is needed and a timeline for the discovery that is planned. After the Case Management Report is filed, the Court will determine whether a Case Management Hearing is necessary before entry of a Case Management and Scheduling Order. Signed by Judge Virginia M. Hernandez Covington on 9/15/2021. (KMH) (Entered: 09/15/2021)
09/20/2021 33 MOTION for Attorney Fees by Deutsche Bank National Trust Company, as Trustee. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit 1 – Test Cases, # 2 Exhibit 2 – DBNTC-BNYM Cases, # 3 Exhibit 3 – Docket, # 4 Exhibit 4 – Show Cause Order, # 5 Exhibit 5 – Response to Order to Show Cause, # 6 Exhibit 6 – Dismissal and Re-Filed Complain, # 7 Exhibit 7 – Affidavit of CT Corp)(Norrow, Beth) (Entered: 09/20/2021)
09/20/2021 34 NOTICE to the Courts to take judicial notice regarding 33 MOTION for Attorney Fees by Deutsche Bank National Trust Company, as Trustee. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit 1 – Segal Filings on behalf of 4417 Rudde, # 2 Exhibit 2- Segal Filings on behalf of Ziferryn Ventures, # 3 Exhibit 3- Segal Filings on behalf of George Weber, # 4 Exhibit 4- Segal Filings on behalf of Carla Turner-Hahn, # 5 Exhibit 5- Segal Filings on behalf of Anna Lofgren, # 6 Exhibit 6 – Segal Filings on behalf of Michael and Marcia Haulsee, # 7 Exhibit 7- Segal Filings on behalf of Jacaranda)(Norrow, Beth) (Entered: 09/20/2021)
09/20/2021 35 NOTICE to the Courts to take judicial notice regarding 33 MOTION for Attorney Fees by Deutsche Bank National Trust Company, as Trustee. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit 1 – Kaye Pinellas County Case 20-2097 Docket, # 2 Exhibit 2 – Kaye Okechobee Case 20-CA-148 Docket, # 3 Exhibit 3 – Segal Affidavit)(Norrow, Beth) (Entered: 09/20/2021)
09/21/2021 36 ENDORSED ORDER: Defendant Deutsche Bank National Trust Company’s Motion for Attorney’s Fees (Doc. # 33) is hereby referred to the Honorable Julie S. Sneed, United States Magistrate Judge, for the issuance of a report and recommendation, including any hearings, motions, and deadlines related thereto. Signed by Judge Virginia M. Hernandez Covington on 9/21/2021. (KMH) (Entered: 09/21/2021)

U.S. District Court
Middle District of Florida (Tampa)
CIVIL DOCKET FOR CASE #: 8:21-cv-02130-VMC-JSS

Florida Limited Investment Properties, Inc. v. Deutsche Bank National Trust Company, as Trustee
Assigned to: Judge Virginia M. Hernandez Covington
Referred to: Magistrate Judge Julie S. Sneed

Case in other court:  Florida Southern, 2:21-cv-14039

Cause: 28:1332 Diversity-Notice of Removal

Date Filed: 09/10/2021
Jury Demand: Both
Nature of Suit: 470 Racketeer/Corrupt Organization
Jurisdiction: Diversity

 

Date Entered # Docket Text
09/21/2021 36 ENDORSED ORDER: Defendant Deutsche Bank National Trust Company’s Motion for Attorney’s Fees (Doc. # 33) is hereby referred to the Honorable Julie S. Sneed, United States Magistrate Judge, for the issuance of a report and recommendation, including any hearings, motions, and deadlines related thereto. Signed by Judge Virginia M. Hernandez Covington on 9/21/2021. (KMH) (Entered: 09/21/2021)
09/30/2021 37 ENDORSED ORDER: Pursuant to the Court’s order entered on September 15, 2021 (Doc. # 32), the parties were required to file a case management report by September 29, 2021. Based on a review of the docket, a case management report has not been filed. The parties are directed to file a case management report by October 6, 2021. Signed by Judge Virginia M. Hernandez Covington on 9/30/2021. (KMH) (Entered: 09/30/2021)
09/30/2021 38 NOTICE by Deutsche Bank National Trust Company, as Trustee re 26 Order Adopting Report and Recommendations Order on Motion to Remand Order on Motion to Strike Order on Report and Recommendations, 37 Order Notice of Lack of Service of Process on Defendant and Notice of Defendant’s Compliance with Case Management (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A – Order Adopting Recommendation (Quashing SOP), # 2 Exhibit B – Email to Lee Segal)(Norrow, Beth) (Entered: 09/30/2021)

U.S. District Court
Middle District of Florida (Tampa)
CIVIL DOCKET FOR CASE #: 8:21-cv-02130-VMC-JSS

Create an Alert for This Case on RECAP

Florida Limited Investment Properties, Inc. v. Deutsche Bank National Trust Company, as Trustee
Assigned to: Judge Virginia M. Hernandez Covington
Referred to: Magistrate Judge Julie S. Sneed

Case in other court:  Florida Southern, 2:21-cv-14039

Cause: 28:1332 Diversity-Notice of Removal

Date Filed: 09/10/2021
Jury Demand: Both
Nature of Suit: 470 Racketeer/Corrupt Organization
Jurisdiction: Diversity

 

Date Filed # Docket Text
09/30/2021 38 NOTICE by Deutsche Bank National Trust Company, as Trustee re 26 Order Adopting Report and Recommendations, Order on Motion to Remand, Order on Motion to Strike, Order on Report and Recommendations, 37 Order; Notice of Lack of Service of Process on Defendant and Notice of Defendant’s Compliance with Case Management. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A – Order Adopting Recommendation (Quashing SOP), # 2 Exhibit B – Email to Lee Segal)(Norrow, Beth) (Entered: 09/30/2021)
10/07/2021 39 ENDORSED ORDER: Defendant has represented that, as of September 30, 2021, Plaintiff still has not properly effected service of process on it. (Doc. # 38). Accordingly, Plaintiff is directed to file by October 15, 2021, a status report concerning its efforts at service of process, or, if it has effected service, file proof of such service on the docket. If Plaintiff fails to respond to this Court’s directive, the Court may issue a show-cause order pursuant to Local Rule 3.10. Based upon its review of the record, the Court also sets aside the requirement for the parties to file a case management report at this time. If the Defendant is properly served in this case, the Court will enter an order setting a new deadline regarding that report. Signed by Judge Virginia M. Hernandez Covington on 10/7/2021. (SGM) (Entered: 10/07/2021)
Continue Reading

Most Read

Copyright © 2021 LawsInFlorida.com is an online brand name which is wholly owned by Blogger Inc., a nonprofit 501(c)(3) registered in Delaware | Caricatures by DonkeyHotey