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Date Posted: May 2, 2009  Action Line Complaint:   Jill Beth Newman  Category: Lawyers

Address

8615 Indian River Run
Boynton Beach
Florida, 
County: Palm Beach
  Phone Number Unavailble
Overview
Suspended for 10 days, effective 30 days from an Aug. 21 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2000) Newman failed to respond in writing to The Florida Bar despite being aware of the complaint of a client and having requested an extension of time to respond. To date, she still has not responded. (Case No. SC07-2078)
Date Posted: May 2, 2009  Action Line Complaint:   Gary Michael Murphree  Category: Lawyers

Address

142 Beacon Blvd. No. A
Miami
Florida, 
County: Miami/Dade
  Phone Number Unavailble
Overview
Suspended effective 30 days from an Aug. 14 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1994) Murphree was found guilty of one felony count of possession of cocaine and one misdemeanor count of possession of drug paraphernalia with intent to use. (Case No. SC08-1534)
Date Posted: May 2, 2009  Action Line Complaint:   Norman Sanders Moss  Category: Lawyers

Address

P.O. Box 560665
Orlando
Florida, 
County: Orange
  Phone Number Unavailble
Overview
Permanently disbarred effective immediately, following an Aug. 28 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1997) Moss was placed on Emergency Suspension by The Florida Bar in February. Moss worked for a company that assists people in recovering surplus funds from the registry of the court due to foreclosure sales and tax deed foreclosures. Moss received and then intentionally misappropriated funds totaling more than $107,000. The funds were to be held in his trust account and then disbursed to his company and its clients. (Case No. SC08-584)
Date Posted: May 2, 2009  Action Line Complaint:   Marlene C. Montaner  Category: Lawyers

Address

1901 NW 17th Ave., Suite 115
Miami
Florida, 
County: Miami/Dade
  Phone Number Unavailble
Overview
Marlene C. Montaner is to receive a public reprimand from The Florida Bar\'s Board of Governors, following an Aug. 28 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1988) Further, Montaner shall enter into a rehabilitation program with Florida Lawyers Assistance, Inc., and pay restitution of $1,300 to one client. In August 2006, Montaner was retained to represent a client on behalf of his company. An initial cash retainer was paid, but Montaner failed to file a required report with the court and the case was dismissed. The client attempted but could not reach Montaner by telephone or mail. (Case No. SC08-241)
Date Posted: May 2, 2009  Action Line Complaint:   Tommy Eugene McPherson  Category: Lawyers

Address

1008 Avia Lane
Pensacola
Florida, 
County: Escambia
  Phone Number Unavailble
Overview
Disbarred effective retroactive to Nov. 28, 2007, following an Aug. 21 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1974) In February 2007, McPherson was found guilty of two felony counts of bankruptcy fraud, making a materially false oath and statement in relation to a bankruptcy case and fraudulently withholding information in relation to a bankruptcy case. He was sentenced to five years of probation. (Case No. SC07-2185)
Date Posted: May 2, 2009  Action Line Complaint:   Oscar Summer Mayers, Jr.  Category: Lawyers

Address

902 Spring Knoll Drive
Herndon
Virginia/ Florida, 
County: unavailable
  Phone Number Unavailble
Overview
Suspended until further order of the Court, following a Sept. 4 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1986) The Florida Bar petition for emergency suspension states that Mayers has caused and continues to cause, great public harm by altering and falsifying evidence, making a false statement to a tribunal and committing a criminal act. Mayers, also a member of the bar in the District of Columbia, was suspended for 18 months by the D.C. Court of Appeals. During a child support hearing brought by his former wife, Mayers submitted altered checks to the court and implied that he made more payments that he actually had. In a letter to the court, Mayers also denied that he was delinquent with his child support payments. A criminal investigation resulted and in January 2005, Mayers pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor charge of failing to pay child support. (Case No. SC08-1637)
Date Posted: May 2, 2009  Action Line Complaint:   Edward Alan Lopez  Category: Lawyers

Address

3440 Hollywood Blvd., Suite 415
Hollywood
Florida, 
County: Broward
  Phone Number Unavailble
Overview
Lopez is to receive a public reprimand from The Florida Bar\'s Board of Governors, following an Aug. 28 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2004) In Nov. 2006, Lopez was charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, for a fight in which he struck someone in the face with a bottle. In January, Lopez was sentenced to one year of probation, attendance at an anger management program and evaluation for substance abuse. (Case No. SC08-1109)
Date Posted: May 2, 2009  Action Line Complaint:   Randall Jeffrey Layman  Category: Lawyers

Address

1437 N.W. 13th Terrace
Miami
Florida, 
County: Miami/Dade
  Phone Number Unavailble
Overview
Layman is to receive a public reprimand from The Florida Bar\'s Board of Governors, following an Aug. 21 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1995) Layman is further placed on probation for six months, effective immediately. Additionally, Layman shall attend and successfully complete The Florida Bar\'s Professionalism Workshop and pay restitution of $1,300 to one client. In August 2005, Layman was retained to represent a client in a landlord-tenant dispute and paid $1,300. Shortly thereafter, the client attempted to contact Layman on numerous occasions but never heard from him again. To date, he has not returned the client\'s money. (Case No. SC08-175)
Date Posted: May 2, 2009  Action Line Complaint:   Vincent James Krocka  Category: Lawyers

Address

2172 Tamarron Terrace
Palm Harbor
Florida, 
County: Pinellas
  Phone Number Unavailble
Overview
Suspended for 30 months, effective retroactive to Dec. 7, 2007, following an Aug. 21 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1990) In April 2006, Krocka was found guilty of child neglect and criminal mischief, both felonies, and sentenced to five years in prison. He was placed on the inactive list for incapacity in October 2004 and remains an inactive member of The Florida Bar. (Case No. SC07-2267)
Date Posted: May 2, 2009  Action Line Complaint:   Kenneth Clarence Jenne II  Category: Lawyers

Address

2601 W. Broward Blvd.
Fort Lauderdale
Florida, 
County: Broward
  Phone Number Unavailble
Overview
Disbarred for five years, effective retroactive to Dec. 27, 2007, following an Aug. 21 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1972) In August 2007, Jenne plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and three counts of filing a false tax return, all felonies. In November 2007, he was sentenced to one year and one day imprisonment, with a year of probation upon is release. (Case No. SC07-2182)
Date Posted: May 2, 2009  Action Line Complaint:   Kesha M. Holmes  Category: Lawyers

Address

4302 Hollywood Blvd. No. 336
Hollywood
Florida, 
County: Broward
  Phone Number Unavailble
Overview
Suspended for three years, effective immediately, following an Aug. 21 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1997) In June 2004, Holmes was charged with knowingly and willfully engaging in a scheme to defraud mortgage lenders by creating fraudulent documents and making fraudulent statements in order to obtain mortgages on three properties. In January, Holmes pleaded guilty to three counts of engaging in an organized scheme to defraud and obtaining property valued at less than $20,000, a felony. She was sentenced to five years\\\' probation and ordered to pay $30,000 restitution. (Case No. SC08-502)
Date Posted: May 2, 2009  Action Line Complaint:   Laura L. Hess  Category: Lawyers

Address

210 N. University Drive, Fl 9
Pompano Beach
Florida, 
County: Broward
  Phone Number Unavailble
Overview
Suspended until further order of the Court, effective Oct. 24, following an Aug. 25 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2000) The Florida Bar petition for emergency suspension states that Hess has caused and continues to cause great public harm. Hess and her law firm have been appointed a receiver in Florida to protect the law firm\'s assets due to her \
Date Posted: May 2, 2009  Action Line Complaint:   Martin James Hanna  Category: Lawyers

Address

1515 N. University Drive, Suite 231
Coral Springs
Florida, 
County: Broward
  Phone Number Unavailble
Overview
Permanently disbarred effective immediately, following an Aug. 21 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1981) In 2005, Hanna was hired to represent a client in a dissolution of marriage. During the case, Hanna received fees, but failed to communicate with his client and provide other required legal services. He also failed to accompany the client to a meeting regarding child support; pay the joint debts to creditors from the sale of marital property, as agreed in the final judgment; and disburse the marital property sale proceeds to his client. He misappropriated proceeds of the sale and used the property of others for his own benefit. (Case No. SC08-32)
Date Posted: May 2, 2009  Action Line Complaint:   Desmond Patrick Fitzgerald  Category: Lawyers

Address

18 Tremont St., Suite 210
Boston
Massachusetts/ Florida, 
County: unavailable
  Phone Number Unavailble
Overview
Fitzgerald is to receive a public reprimand from The Florida Bar\'s Board of Governors, following an Aug. 21 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1996) Fitzgerald was retained in 1998 to represent a client in connection with an application for political asylum. After initial denial by the immigration court, on three occasions Fitzgerald failed to timely file the notice of appeal. They were all denied as a result. In 2002, the client was arrested by INS under a final deportation order. Fitzgerald field a motion to reopen the proceedings based on alleged changed circumstances in the client\'s homeland. The appeal was denied. The client retained new counsel shortly thereafter, but the new attorney failed to get the case reopened. The client has since been deported. (Case No. SC07-2399)
Date Posted: May 2, 2009  Action Line Complaint:   Ralph Stanley Francois  Category: Lawyers

Address

6453 Pembroke Road
Hollywood
Florida, 
County: Broward
  Phone Number Unavailble
Overview
Suspended for 10 days, effective 30 days from an Aug. 21 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1997) A review of bank records indicated that on numerous occasions, Francois deposited client funds in his operating account and personal funds in his trust account. Additionally, numerous payments relating to personal expenses were made from the trust account and trust account checks were returned for insufficient funds. (Case No. SC08-1277)
Date Posted: May 2, 2009  Action Line Complaint:   Mark Fleming Fisher  Category: Lawyers

Address

P.O. Box 540233
Orlando
Florida, 
County: Orange
  Phone Number Unavailble
Overview
Fisher is to receive a public reprimand from The Florida Bar\'s Board of Governors, following an Aug. 21 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1992) In 2002, Fisher represented his wife\'s aunt in a guardianship case. Fisher was required to turn over records being sought by opposing counsel concerning the ward\'s assets by a certain date, or he\'d be required to appear in court and show why he should not be held in contempt. Eventually, Fisher was removed as guardian due to concerns regarding the ward\'s property. In another case, in 2004, Fisher failed to respond to The Florida Bar in a timely manner, regarding his representation of a pool and spa company in a civil suit to foreclose a construction lien. (Case No. SC07-1684)
Date Posted: May 2, 2009  Action Line Complaint:   Jacqueline M. Fernandez  Category: Lawyers

Address

9600 NW 38th St., Suite 301
Doral
Florida, 
County: Miami/Dade
  Phone Number Unavailble
Overview
Suspended for 18 months, effective 30 days from an Aug. 21 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1999) Fernandez pleaded guilty to violations connected with two separate immigration-related cases. In one instance, Fernandez was hired in 2004 to represent a client and his family in their petition for asylum. After the petitions for asylum were denied, the family hired Fernandez for the appeal. The appeal was later dismissed because Fernandez failed to submit it on time and neglected to tell the client. When asked several months later, she told the client that his entire electronic file had been destroyed in a hurricane. (Case No. SC07-2283)
Date Posted: May 2, 2009  Action Line Complaint:   David Noble Doss  Category: Lawyers

Address

5209 Gulfport Blvd. S.
Gulfport
Florida, 
County: Pinellas
  Phone Number Unavailble
Overview
Suspended for one year effective immediately, following an Aug. 21 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1986) In several probate matters, Doss delayed filing accountings and received orders to show why they were not timely filed. In one case, the judge found him in criminal contempt and fined him. In one estate matter, Doss signed documents or directed someone else to do so, without authority and took excessive fees. In another estate matter, Doss submitted an accounting to the court that did not accurately reflect actual estate assets. (Case No. SC08-240)
Date Posted: May 2, 2009  Action Line Complaint:   George Dean Cholakis  Category: Lawyers

Address

1900 Purdy Ave., Apt. 1711
Miami Beach
Florida, 
County: Miami/Dade
  Phone Number Unavailble
Overview
Suspended until further order effective 30 days from a Sept. 4 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1989) In July, Cholakis pleaded guilty to two felony counts of reckless driving causing serious bodily injury. The court withheld adjudication and placed him on probation for four years. In addition, Cholakis was ordered to pay restitution and pay medical costs for the injured. (Case No. SC08-1668)
Date Posted: May 2, 2009  Action Line Complaint:   James Harutun Batmasian  Category: Lawyers

Address

215 N. Federal Highway, Suite 1
Boca Raton
Florida, 
County: Palm Beach
  Phone Number Unavailble
Overview
Suspended effective 30 days from a July 31 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1974) In the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida, Batmasian pleaded guilty to one count of willful failure to collect or pay over tax, a felony. On July 14, Batmasian was sentenced to eight months in jail, followed by two years of supervised release and monetary penalties of $30,000. (Case No. SC08-1445)
Date Posted: May 2, 2009  Action Line Complaint:   Peter Stephen Baranowicz  Category: Lawyers

Address

P.O. Box 0668
Osprey
Florida, 
County: Sarasota
  Phone Number Unavailble
Overview
Baranowicz is to receive a public reprimand from The Florida Bar\'s Board of Governors, following an Aug. 21 court order. Baranowicz is further placed on probation for three years, effective immediately. (Admitted to practice: 1986) Baranowicz failed to promptly and diligent represent clients and failed to keep clients informed. In one instance, in August 2005, a client paid Baranowicz a non-refundable retainer of $15,000 to represent her brother. Baranowicz met with the client twice in two months. After that, the client repeatedly tried to communicate with Baranowicz with no results. In January 2006, Baranowicz told the sister that she was not the client and he needed to seek permission from her brother before he could give details of the case. Baranowicz met with the brother one time and never did file the required motion or petition for writ of habeas corpus. (Case No. SC07-2279)
Date Posted: May 2, 2009  Action Line Complaint:   Mark Jerome Albrechta  Category: Lawyers

Address

15824 Hampton Village Drive
Tampa
Florida, 
County: Hillsborough
  Phone Number Unavailble
Overview
Suspended for 90 days, effective 30 days from an Aug. 21 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1982) Albrechta served as the closing agent for a real estate deal. The buyer delivered a deposit to Albrechta for $300,000, but advised him that the check was not supported by adequate funds. Albrechta told the seller that the check had been received, but failed to release further details. When the transaction failed to close, the seller alleged that the buyer breached the contract and sought the deposit. Abrechta failed to turn over the deposit or say that he was not holding any funds. When the court entered a judgment against the buyer only then did Albrechta clarify that he was not holding any funds and offered to deliver the check to the seller. (Case No. SC08-176)
Date Posted: May 2, 2009  Action Line Complaint:   Gail Turgel Scopinich  Category: Lawyers

Address

801 NE 167th St., Floor 2
North Miami Beach
Florida, 
County: Miami/Dade
  Phone Number Unavailble
Overview
Suspended for one year, effective immediately, following a July 3, court order. (Admitted: 1987) In 2005, Scopinich represented a client in a foreclosure action. At the conclusion of the proceedings, after the money from the sale of the property was distributed, it was determined that the plaintiff\'s attorney had been overpaid. The plaintiff\'s attorney was ordered to return approximately $7,2000 to Scopinich\'s client. In August 2005, Scopinich received the overpayment, but she never cashed the checks, nor did she forward the money to her client. Numerous calls to Scopinich by her client went unanswered, and in November of 2006, the client filed a grievance. As a result of the Bar\'s efforts, Scopinich\'s client finally received her money in April 2007. (Case Nos. SC07-2213 and SC07-2425)
Date Posted: May 2, 2009  Action Line Complaint:   Scott Alan Salomon  Category: Lawyers

Address

11555 Heron Bay Blvd., Suite 200
Coral Springs
Florida, 
County: Broward
  Phone Number Unavailble
Overview
Suspended until further order of the court, following a June 27 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1992) According to the petition for emergency suspension, Salomon has caused and continues to cause great public harm. Salomon personally and via the Internet, systematically solicited and/or accepted the representation of individuals in all regions of the United States. After collecting attorneys fees from clients, Salomon incompetently represented them, or neglected or abandoned them. Additionally, Salomon has been found in contempt of various courts and has been the subject of Bar complaints filed by five state and federal judges. (Case No. SC08-1195)
Date Posted: May 2, 2009  Action Line Complaint:   David Jon Russ  Category: Lawyers

Address

7200 SW 8th Ave., Apt. 86
Gainesville
Florida, 
County: Alachua
  Phone Number Unavailble
Overview
Disbarred effective immediately, following a June 26 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1983) Russ was found guilty of a third degree felony of Driving Under the Influence for the third time in 10 years, as well as three related misdemeanors. Russ was suspended from practicing law for three years on Sept. 21, 2006. (Case No. SC08-691)
Date Posted: May 2, 2009  Action Line Complaint:   Joseph Raymond Rowe Jr.  Category: Lawyers

Address

P.O. Box 272066
Tampa
Florida, 
County: Hillsborough
  Phone Number Unavailble
Overview
Suspended for six months, effective retroactive to May 26, 2008, following a July 3 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1991) In 2003. Rowe was hired to represent a husband and wife in an immigration matter. During the representation, Rowe failed to keep his clients informed about their immigration cases, important hearings, and he failed to promptly respond to their requests for information. In 2006, the couple wrote Rowe a letter expressing their dissatisfaction with his representation. They detailed the harm they suffered due to his mishandling of the case, including denial of their asylum appeal, detention at an immigration facility, threat of immediate deportation and revocation of work authorization. In several additional instances, Rowe was hired to represent clients, then failed to communicate and keep them informed about their cases. (Case No. SC08-242)
Date Posted: May 2, 2009  Action Line Complaint:   Oscar Rivero  Category: Lawyers

Address

5950 SW 81st St.
South Miami
Florida, 
County: Miami/Dade
  Phone Number Unavailble
Overview
Suspended effective 30 days from the date of a July 21 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1996) In May, Rivero plead guilty to felony first degree grand theft of property valued at more than $100,000. He was sentenced to 10 years in state prison followed by one year of probation. (Case No. SC08-1355)
Date Posted: May 2, 2009  Action Line Complaint:   Michele L. Rivera  Category: Lawyers

Address

7020 NW 179th St., Apt. 203
Hialeah
Florida, 
County: Miami/Dade
  Phone Number Unavailble
Overview
Rivera is to receive a public reprimand from The Florida Bar\'s Board of Governors, following a June 12 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2004) In September 2007, Rivera began working as an associate attorney with a law firm. While employed, she operated her own law firm from her residence on her employer\'s time and using some of her employer\'s resources. Some of the clients that Rivera had represented through her own firm had conflicts of interest with the clients of her employer\'s firm. No client was ever injured as a result of Rivera\'s conduct, but upon discovery of her outside employment, Rivera was fired. (Case No. SC08-1069)
Date Posted: May 2, 2009  Action Line Complaint:   R. James Platt Jr.  Category: Lawyers

Address

P.O. Box 2536
Lakeland
Florida, 
County: Polk
  Phone Number Unavailble
Overview
Suspended for 90 days, effective 30 days from the date of a July 10 order and directed to attend a trust accounting workshop. (Admitted to practice: 1967) In 2002, Platt began representing a client, and between 2002 and 2006, Platt repeatedly borrowed money from the client. When another client asked Platt for an advance for expenses from an anticipated settlement in a pending personal injury case, Platt facilitated a loan between the two clients in the amount of $10,000. When his bookkeeper left her job, Platt stopped creating and maintaining all the required records for his trust account. An audit of Platt\'s trust account revealed ongoing shortages ranging from $34,000 on Jan. 31, 2005 to $43,552.78 on Dec. 31, 2006. At one point, Platt deposited $40,000 of his own money to cover his trust account shortages. (Case No. SC08-385)
Date Posted: May 2, 2009  Action Line Complaint:   Charles Embert Monty Jr.  Category: Lawyers

Address

1700 N. McMullen Booth Road, Suite D2
Clearwater
Florida, 
County: Pinellas
  Phone Number Unavailble
Overview
Suspended for 75 days, effective 30 days from a June 18 court order. Monty shall pay restitution in the amount of $12,096.50 to one client. (Admitted to practice: 1998) Monty represented a woman in a dissolution of marriage proceeding. In November 2001, the woman\'s husband was ordered by the court to return marital property received from the wife, including two diamond rings. The rings were delivered to Monty to be held in trust pending final resolution of the issues in the case. Monty gave the rings to his client for the purpose of having them appraised and failed to advise opposing counsel that she had the rings. In June 2003, the court issued a final judgment of dissolution of marriage and awarded the rings to the client\'s former husband. The client did not return the rings to Monty or her ex-husband even after receiving a letter from Monty requesting that she do so. At a subsequent court hearing, the client informed the judge that she was unable to locate the diamond ring, which was valued at $11,000. (Case No. SC06-882)

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