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Thieves, Drunks and Scoundrels. Florida Bar’s Lyin’ Lawyers (August 2021)

Florida Supreme Court disciplined 21 attorneys in Aug 2021. Stealing from clients along with alcohol and drug crimes dominated discipline.

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The Florida Bar: August 1, 2021 Disciplinary Actions

30 JULY, 2021

The Florida Supreme Court in recent court orders disciplined 21 attorneys, disbarring two, suspending 10, revoking the licenses of one, and reprimanding six. Five attorneys were placed on probation and one was admonished.

Danielle Justine Butler, 1314 E. Las Olas Blvd., PMB 8, Ft. Lauderdale, suspended effective 30 days following a May 19 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2001)

Butler entered a plea of no contest to one count of Grand Theft in the Third Degree, a felony.

The trial court entered an order of disposition, withheld adjudication and sentenced Butler to one year of probation.

(Case No: SC21-738)

Danielle Butler has rough seas ahead. The Florida Supreme Court suspended Butler, managing partner at the Luxury Law Group in Fort Lauderdale, from the practice of law,

after the maritime attorney pleaded no contest in separate criminal proceedings and as a result was sentenced to one year of probation for stealing money from a client.”

– Law.com,  May 21, 2021

The Florida yachting community has been shaken by the news that Danielle Butler, Luxury Law Group former managing partner, has been suspended by the Florida Supreme Court (effective Friday, June 18th). The Fort Lauderdale-based maritime attorney pleaded no contest in separate criminal proceedings which accused her of grand theft in the third degree and, as a result, was sentenced to one year of probation for the intent to try to steal money from a client.

There is an opportunity to rehear the case according to the Florida Supreme Court. However the filing of a motion to rehear, should it come, will not alter the effective date of the suspension. Butler told Superyacht Investor: “I have been and am working with my team of attorneys to resolve all criminal and bar issues in my favour and clear my name.”

Butler states that all allegations are against her personally and not Luxury Law Group and/or Luxury Financial Group or its principals.

She further states that there are no allegations concerning the misappropriation of any client funds that were held in any of Luxury Law Group’s bank accounts.

The former client’s allegations concerned a cost invoice that was emailed to the client that was calculated incorrectly.

Butler, who has been a member of the Florida Bar since October 2001, co-founded Luxury Law Group back in 2014 and, until recently, she was a principal at Luxury Financial Group since 2017.

Butler is also the former chairwoman of the board of the Marine Industries Association of South Florida.

Jan L Jacobowitz, founder, Legal Ethics Advisor, told SYI that the specific allegations against Butler are rare.

“Which is probably why the coverage has been greater than the more common misconduct that occurs when attorneys mishandle client funds via their trust accounts.”

Jacobowitz adds:

“As the Florida Bar has often explained to my students. The bar is not out to prosecute lawyers – just don’t lie, cheat, or steal – other ‘honest’ mistakes can often be resolved without any significant detriment to your licence.”

Damien Aranguren (who’s been featured on LIF before), 725 E. Silver Springs Blvd., Suite 1, Ocala, suspended for 18 months and probation for one year then following reinstatement, Aranguren is further placed on probation for one year. Aranguren is currently suspended; therefore, this suspension is effective, nunc pro tunc, to the effective date of his felony suspension, March 30 following a June 10 court order. (Admitted to Practice: 2009)

On or about March 10, Aranguren entered pleas of nolo contendere to three felony counts of Grand Theft (Statutory Theft) and two misdemeanor counts involving trespass.

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)

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Bryon R. Aven, 400 South Street D, Titusville, public reprimand effective immediately following a May 27 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2008)

During his unsuccessful judicial campaign in Marion County, Aven made misleading and damaging statements concerning the incumbent judge.

Aven expressly and intentionally implied that the incumbent judge favored criminals, disfavored law enforcement, disfavored the state attorney and that he, as a candidate, would do differently.

(Case No: SC19-1879)

Abraham Elmazahi, P.O. Box 78023, Orlando, suspended for 90 days and probation for three years with attendance at the Professionalism Workshop and Ethics School effective 30 days following a June 10 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2018)

Elmazahi, while employed as an assistant state attorney in Orange County created a conflict of interest when he engaged in a consensual romantic relationship with the victim in a domestic violence case in which he was the assigned prosecutor.

(Case No: SC21-781)

Robert John Foy, 620 N. Walnut St., Murfreesboro, TN, disbarred effective July 5 following a June 3 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2006)

In September 2015, Foy agreed to represent a client in a personal injury case which resulted from a car accident.

The client’s case was settled in February 2018 for $40,000.

Foy knowingly and intentionally did not send a portion of the settlement funds to settle the client’s bills and did not provide any settlement funds to the client until she filed a disciplinary complaint against Foy.

In response to the complaint, Foy submitted bank records to the Board of Professional Responsibility of the Supreme Court of Tennessee that were not accurate and were altered.

This is a reciprocal discipline action based on the Petition for Discipline dated November 7, 2019, and the Order of Enforcement from the Supreme Court of Tennessee dated August 17, 2020.

(Case No: SC20-1595)

Carl Roland Hayes, 308 E. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Blvd., Suite E, Tampa, suspended for 60 days effective 30 days following a June 24 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1992)

Hayes lacked competence and diligence in his representation of a client in an immigration matter.

The client hired Hayes to fight his pending deportation, which required the filing of an Application of Cancellation of Removal with the immigration court. Hayes failed to file an application by the deadline and instead filed an improper motion with the court. The court found the motion legally insufficient and deemed the application abandoned. The court ordered the client’s removal and an appeal was reserved.

Subsequently, the appellate court remanded the case and Hayes withdrew from the case. The client remained in detention throughout the appeal process.

(Case No: SC21-757)

Andrew C. Hill, (who’s been on LIF previously) 11916 Trevally Loop, Apt. 311, Trinity, suspended for one year effective 30 days following a June 24 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2007)

Hill was ordered to hold disputed frozen funds in his trust account until the final resolution of his client’s case or upon further order of the court. Hill did not have a trust account, and he failed to hold the funds in trust as ordered.

In addition, Hill failed to account for the funds when the matter concluded and failed to timely disburse the funds. Hill also failed to timely respond to The Florida Bar’s inquiries in this matter.

(Case No: SC20-1515)

Chinagozi Ikpeama, 2820 Howland Blvd., Suite 6, Deltona, public reprimand and directed to attend The Florida Bar’s Trust Accounting Workshop effective immediately following a June 3 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2010)

While representing the husband in a dissolution of marriage case, Ikpema received funds representing attorney’s fees and costs from the wife.

Ikpema failed to timely disburse funds paid by the wife for five itemized costs to his client.

Additionally, Ikpema failed to comply with The Florida Bar Rules Regulating Trust Accounts.

(Case No: SC21-755)

Lisa Jacobs, 7951 SW 6th St. Suite 200, Plantation, suspended for 30 days effective 30 days following a June 3 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1999)

Jacobs tested positive for alcohol use on a few occasions after receiving diversion for reckless driving. Thereafter, Jacobs failed to notify The Florida Bar that she was adjudicated guilty to DUI with property damage/personal injury and refusal to submit to a blood/breath test.

(Case No: SC21-766)

Tarica C. LaBossiere, 301 S.W. 86th Ave., Apt. 205, Pembroke Pines, admonishment and probation for three years effective immediately following a June 10, court order. (Admitted to practice: 2018)

LaBossiere was arrested for driving under the influence after a traffic stop.

There, she plead guilty to one misdemeanor count of driving under the influence.

LaBossiere was sentenced to 12-months’ probation, a $1,000 fine and other conditions.

In March 2019, the grievance committee considered this matter and made a diversion recommendation with certain conditions. LaBossiere accepted the diversion.

Subsequently, LaBossiere failed to comply with all conditions of the diversion and the matter was returned to the grievance committee for further proceedings.

(Case No: SC21-786)

Allen Howard Libow, 4651 N. Federal Hwy., Boca Raton, public reprimand and attendance at The Florida Bar’s Professionalism Workshop effective immediately following a June 10 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1991)

Libow sent unprofessional emails to opposing counsel and made disparaging comments to the presiding judge.

In another matter, in which Libow sued a client for fees, he engaged in vexatious litigation.

(Case No: SC21-805)

Kelly Anne McCabe, 535 Central Ave., Suite 435, St. Petersburg, suspended for three years effective 30 days following a June 17 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2004)

McCabe engaged in a pattern of misconduct over the course of litigation in two client matters.

McCabe failed to communicate and act with competence or diligence in her client’s cases and she failed to respond to the Bar in two separate matters.

(Case No: SC20-620)

Diane Marie McGuire, 42 Snapper Ave., Key Largo, indefinite interim probation effective immediately following a June 14 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1990)

McGuire failed to participate in an agreed evaluation through Florida Lawyer’s Assistance, Inc.

(Case No: SC21-874)

Arthur J Morburger from Miami Beach, FL,

Age: 84 years old,

Residence; 5255 Collins Ave, Apt 5J, Miami Beach, FL, 33140-2577;

Foreclosure sale; March 2021, $400k, worth $950k

Arthur Joseph Morburger, 201 S. Biscayne Blvd., Miami, emergency suspended effective immediately following a June 16 court order (Admitted to practice: 1973).

Morburger was found to have misappropriated funds from his trust account. He also made misrepresentations regarding these funds in his sworn deposition testimony, as well as to the Bar in his written responses.

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 a final disciplinary action is ordered.

(Case No: SC21-900)

James C. Peterson, P.O. Box 428, New Smyrna Beach, public reprimand, probation for two years and completion of Trust Accounting Workshop, effective June 8 following a June 3 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2010)

Peterson’s father and grandfather were partners of the law firm, and he was an associate.

In 2015, Peterson became a signatory on the firm’s trust accounts and at the time, serious deficiencies existed in the way the firm maintained its two trust accounts including a shortage in one account.

Although his father corrected the shortage, Peterson was unaware of the issue until the Bar commenced its compliance audit of the firm’s two trust accounts.

When the Bar notified Peterson of the errors, he created a new law firm with his brother and took the necessary steps to ensure the new law firm’s trust account complied with the rules.

(Case No: SC21-758)

Dave Kumar Roy, (Deceased),  1665 Palm Beach Lakes Blvd., West Palm Beach, suspended for 10 days effective 30 days following a June 10 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1996)

Roy was hired to handle a wrongful arrest case and allowed the statute of limitations to run out, while also failing to advise the client that the case had been dismissed.

(Case No: SC21-810)

Todd Patrick Scholl, 2792 Duffer Road, Sebring, public reprimand effective immediately following a June 3 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2019)

On or about July 15, 2020, Scholl pled no contest to DUI, a misdemeanor. He was sentenced to a one-year period of probation with conditions, fines, and costs.

In 2017, Scholl had a prior arrest for first-time DUI that was resolved with a guilty plea to Reckless Driving, a misdemeanor.

(Case No: SC21-279)

Mark Ellis Solomon, 4767 New Broad St., Orlando, suspended for one year effective 30 days following a June 17 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1983)

In two separate matters, Solomon failed to provide his clients with competent and diligent representation resulting in the dismissal of their cases with prejudice.

In the first matter, the court awarded attorney’s fees and costs against Solomon’s clients. Solomon personally paid the judgment entered against the clients. He also failed to maintain adequate communication during the representation.

In the second matter, Solomon filed a pleading that cast aspersions on the appellate court panel but filed an amended pleading after an order to show cause was issued by the court. Additionally, the appellee was awarded attorney’s fees against Solomon’s client.

(Case No: SC20-1816)

LIF and LIT has seen this frequently. Lawyers caught out with the ‘just wire this money and take a big commission’ scam email.

Mark Edward Tietig, 6065 South Tropical Trail, Merritt Island, disbarred effective immediately following a June 17 court order. (Admitted to Practice: 1997)

Tietig self-reported to the Bar an overdraft in his law office trust account resulting from fraud.

At the time of the overdraft, Tietig was holding client funds in the trust account.

Tietig was unable to recover the client funds and he failed to correct the shortage in the trust account.

Additionally, Tietig represented two clients in different civil cases where he neglected the cases, failed to communicate with the clients and ultimately abandoned the clients when he closed his law office without notice.

Tietig took no steps to protect his clients when he abruptly ceased practicing law.

(Case No: SC20-1436)

Michael Dennis Walsh, 3411 Powerline Rd., Suite 701, Oakland Park, public reprimand, effective immediately following a June 15 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1999)

Walsh was held in contempt and publicly reprimanded for failing to timely respond to official inquiries of The Florida Bar.

(Case No: SC21-201)

Randall Albert Werre, 3645 Flintwood Circle, Pensacola, disciplinary revocation with leave to apply for readmission after five years effective immediately following a June 17 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1984)

Werre filed a Petition for Disciplinary Revocation based on his prior disciplinary history and another current case involving neglect of client and failing to respond to The Florida Bar.

(Case No: SC21-590)

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

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.

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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.



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Judges

Who Investigates the Dishonest Attorneys After the Florida Bar Formally Complains?

The Florida Bar Disciplinary List for September 2021 provides LIF with an opportunity to take a look at the “Referees” who recommend disciplinary sanctions.

Published

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Florida Bar Disciplined Lawyers

SEP 1, 2021 | REPUBLISHED BY LIT: SEP 5, 2021

The Florida Supreme Court in recent court orders disciplined 10 attorneys, disbarring two, suspending two, and reprimanding five. One attorney was admonished.

Francine Blair Bogumil, 8950 Della Scala Cir., Orlando, disbarred effective immediately following a July 29 court order.

(Admitted to practice: 2006)

On January 26 Bogumil pled no contest to three felonies and four misdemeanors in the Circuit Court in Orange County.

On March 25, in a second criminal matter, Bogumil pled no contest to three felonies.

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

Sonya Charmaine Davis, 6356 Cypress Gardens Blvd., Winter Haven, public reprimand and directed to attend The Florida Bar’s Ethics School effective immediately following a July 15 court order.

(Admitted to practice: 2001)

In two separate child custody modification matters, Davis failed to diligently pursue her clients’ objectives or effectively communicate with them.

(Case No: SC21-437)

THE SHERIFF N' THE JUDGE

Catherine Rose Faughnan, 12 Ardsley Rd., Binghamton, NY, disbarred effective immediately following a July 22 court order.

(Admitted to practice: 2007)

Faughnan was held in contempt of the court’s order (Case No: SC20-1042) dated August 31, 2020, for once again failing to respond to the court’s previous order and for failing to notify clients, opposing counsel, and tribunals of her suspension.

(Case No: SC21-848)

PITBULL LAWYER [W]RAPPED BY FL. BAR

Robert Laurence Pelletier, 233 E. Bay St., Suite 1020, Jacksonville, public reprimand effective immediately following a July 29 court order.

(Admitted to practice: 2012)

Pelletier had an advertising campaign that listed him as “Pitbull Lawyer” in print, social media, and a boat wrap.

Bar counsel advised him to remove it, but he failed to comply as of late April 2021.

Pelletier, however, did finally comply and has removed that advertising campaign.

(Case No: SC21-316)

Pamela Randle, 20331 56th St., Live Oak, public reprimand effective immediately following a July 1 court order.

(Admitted to practice: 2006)

Randle failed to adequately manage her caseload and supervise her employees while she was away from the office for an extended period of time due to health concerns.

Upon return, Randle discovered that her employees provided inadequate legal assistance to her clients, and, in a limited manner, engaged in the unlicensed practice of law.

Ultimately, it was discovered that no clients were harmed.

(Case No: SC21-76)

Simon Rosin, 2109 26th Street West, Unit 415, Bradenton, public reprimand effective immediately following a July 15 court order.

(Admitted to practice 1968)

Rosin represented a client and friend in a foreclosure litigation matter.

During the representation, Rosin filed a motion with the court wherein he humiliated and disparaged opposing counsel and opposing counsel’s firm.

Further, Rosin attached to the motion an email from opposing counsel that was inadvertently sent to Rosin and contained attorney-client privileged communication.

(Case No: SC19-2126)

Mario Serralta, 7900 Oak Lane, Suite 301, Miami Lakes, public reprimand effective immediately following a July 1 court order.

(Admitted to practice: 1999)

SERRALTA DISCIPLINED BY JUDGE MICHAEL BARKET

Serralta failed to protect a charging lien of another attorney for the previous representation of a mutual client.

He also failed to supervise his nonlawyer assistant responsible for gathering all costs on the file, including liens and referral fees.

(Case No: SC20-1736)

SHERMAN's REFEREE MEREDITH CHARBULA

Bradley Stuart Sherman, 105 E. Church Street, Deland, suspended for one year effective 30 days following a July 22 court order.

(Admitted to practice: 1997)

Sherman engaged in a consensual sexual relationship with a client resulting in the birth of a child and then later impermissibly used and revealed the information he obtained during the representation to disadvantage the client in a paternity action.

Sherman also engaged in deceptive conduct by pretending to be the client to send messages to the opposing party that was represented by counsel.

Finally, he drafted a motion for the client while the client was acting pro se and failed to put the parties on notice that the motion was prepared with the assistance of counsel.

(Case No: SC20-1550)

5 STAR ATTORNEY JACOB WEIL

Jacob Aaron Weil, 2307 N. Andrews Ave., Ft. Lauderdale, suspended for 30 days and held in contempt effective 30 days following a July 15 court order.

(Admitted to practice: 2018)

Jacob Aaron Weil, 2307 N. Andrews Ave., Ft. Lauderdale, suspended for 30 days and held in contempt effective 30 days following a July 15 court order.

(Admitted to practice: 2018)

Weil failed to respond to any inquiries from The Florida Bar. The Bar filed a Petition for Contempt and Order to Show Cause. Weil failed to file a response to said Order to Show Cause.

(Case No: SC21-842)

John Parquette White, 1575 Pine Ridge Rd., Suite 10, Naples, admonished effective immediately following a July 1 court order.

(Admitted to practice: 1973)

White failed to act with reasonable diligence and failed to communicate with his client in connection with a real estate closing.

(Case No: SC21-880)

WHITE DISCIPLINED BY TAMMY STROHL, ATTORNEY

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.

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Editors Choice

Judge Barbara Hobbs Son is Arrested for Attempted Murder. Her ExtraJudicial Intervention is Granted

JQC panel acquitted Judge Barbara Hobbs of attempting to “arrange unmonitored and unrecorded contact” with her son in jail.

Published

on

Tallahassee Judge Barbara Hobbs urges state Supreme Court to stick with 60-day suspension

Hobbs has been accused of improperly getting involved after her son’s arrest.

AUG 9, 2021 | REPUBLISHED BY LIT: SEP 5, 2021

Tallahassee Circuit Judge Barbara Hobbs is suggesting the Florida Supreme Court stick with a recommendation that she be suspended for 60 days and face a public reprimand for ethics violations.

Hobbs has been accused by the Judicial Qualifications Commission of improperly getting involved after her son Justin Haynes arrest in Tallahassee on attempted second-degree murder charges, among other charges.

Her attorney, Roosevelt Randolph, wrote in a filing last week that a hearing panel recommended a harsher penalty against his client than had been administered in other cases.

The panel in June found her guilty of inappropriately “representing” her son while he was being interrogated by the Tallahassee Police Department, an issue called a “serious ethical question” by Chief Judge Jonathan Sjostrom during Hobbs’ hearing.

Interrogation of Justin Haynes with Judge Hobbs in Attendance

But the same panel also acquitted her of other ethics charges, including that she tried to “arrange unmonitored and unrecorded contact” with her son in jail.

Nonetheless, the commission’s general counsel, Alexander Williams, wrote in his own filing that

“Hobbs’ conduct was inappropriate (and) did not promote public confidence in the integrity of the judiciary.”

Hobbs was first elected in 2012 to the 2nd Circuit bench, which covers Franklin, Gadsden, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty and Wakulla counties. She currently handles family law cases in Leon County, according to an administrative order.

The court is on its summer hiatus, with the regular release of opinions resuming Aug. 26, 2021. Time-sensitive cases still can be released at any time, spokesman Craig Waters has said.

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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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