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- 2003 - December - 15th -

Florida Supreme Court disciplines attorneys

The Florida Supreme Court in recent court orders suspended 14 attorneys, reprimanded five, disbarred two, and accepted the resignation of two attorneys. None were from Northeast Florida.

• Maldrick Elaine Bright, Milton, suspended by emergency from practicing law in Florida until further court order, effective 30 days following an Oct. 29 court order. A review of Bright’s trust accounts revealed she misused and misappropriated client funds.

• Lois Charlyne Chatham, Clearwater, disbarred effective immediately following an Oct. 23 court order. Among several Bar violations, Chatham failed to provide competent representation to a client; failed to act with reasonable diligence and promptness in representing a client, and did not keep a client reasonably informed about the status of a matter; failed to reasonable efforts to expedite litigation consistent with the interests of the client; violated rules regulating trust accounts; and did not respond, in writing, to an official inquiry by Bar Counsel.

• Mark Charles Dabold, Orlando, suspended from the practice of law in Florida for 91 days, effective immediately following an Oct. 7 court order. Dabold failed to comply with the conditions set forth in an Aug. 22, 2002 court order, placing him on suspension for 20 days, which required him to contact The Florida Bar’s Law Office Management Advisory Service (LOMAS) and undergo an office procedures and record-keeping analysis within 60 days.

• Hugo Enrique Dorta, Miami, suspended by emergency from practicing law in Florida until further court order, effective immediately following an Oct. 27 court order. An investigation into Dorta’s trust account revealed he misused and misappropriated trust account funds.

• Marilyn Elizabeth Hafling, Largo, resigned in lieu of disciplinary proceedings with leave to seek readmission after five years, effective retroactive to Jan. 3, following an Oct. 9 court order. Hafling allegedly failed to act with diligence and promptness in representing a client and allegedly failed to keep a client reasonably informed about the status of a matter. She also did not respond, in writing, to an official inquiry by Bar counsel.

• Franklin Leroy Hileman II, Miami, resigned in lieu of disciplinary proceedings with leave to seek readmission after five years, effective immediately following an Oct. 9 court order. Hileman was under investigation for allegations involving a returned trust account check, misuse of client funds, and failure to account for trust account funds.

• John Alden James Jr., Andover Ma, reprimanded for professional misconduct, following an Oct. 23 court order. James violated rules involving declining or terminating representation; he failed to provide competent representation to a client; and failed to act with reasonable diligence in representing his client in Massachusetts.

• Mark Heinz Januschewski, Boynton Beach, reprimanded for professional misconduct and further placed on probation for one year, following an Oct. 23 court order. Januschewski permitted a disbarred attorney, under his supervision, to have direct contact with clients; failed to file quarterly sworn information reports with The Florida Bar regarding the duties and performance of the disbarred attorney; and accepted responsibility for conduct on the part of the disbarred attorney that was in violation of the Rules Regulating The Florida Bar.

• Lijyasu Mahomet Kandekore, Miami, permanently disbarred from practicing law in Florida, effective immediately following an Oct. 9 court order. Kandekore continued to practice law in Florida after being disbarred by a previous court order.

• Robert A. Love, St. Petersburg, suspended from practicing law in Florida for 10 days, and as a condition of suspension, he will undergo an office procedures and record-keeping analysis under the direction of the Law Office Management Assistance Service (LOMAS) of The Florida Bar, effective 30 days following an Oct. 2 court order. Love failed to keep his client reasonably informed about the status of a matter and did not respond, in writing, to an official inquiry by Bar counsel.

• Lazaro Jesus Mur, West Palm Beach, reprimanded for professional misconduct, following an Oct. 9 court order. The return of a trust account check, and subsequent review into Mur’s bank records indicated that he was not in compliance with technical trust accounting rules and procedures.

• Jeffrey Alan Norkin, Plantation, reprimanded for professional misconduct following a Sept. 24 court order. Furthermore, Norkin is ordered to attend 30 hours of continuing legal education within 120 days, as approved by The Florida Bar. Norkin was disciplined by a federal jurisdiction; disrupted the courtroom during trial; and engaged in conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice.

• Todd Norman Ostergard, Miami, suspended from practicing law for 90 days and must enter into a contract with Florida Lawyers Assistance, Inc., effective 30 days following an Oct. 16 court order. Ostergard committed a criminal act that reflects adversely on the lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness as a lawyer.

• Guillermo Enrique Pena, Miami, suspended by emergency from practicing law in Florida until further court order, effective 30 days following a Sept. 24 court order. An audit of Pena’s trust accounts revealed that he misused and misappropriated funds.

• Jeffrey Craig Perlman, Miami, suspended from practicing law in Florida for three years until his civil rights have been restored, effective 30 days following an Oct. 14 court order. Perlman was convicted of two counts of issuing worthless checks, a felony, and was placed on probation for one year.

• Larry Eugene Rogers, Miami, reprimanded for professional misconduct, following an Oct. 9 court order. Rogers failed to respond to correspondence and inquiries made a by client; and failed to properly provide diligent and prompt legal representation on the behalf of a client.

• Fabrianna Dilibero Schmidt, Gainesville, suspended from practicing law in Florida, effective 30 days following an Oct. 3 court order. Schmidt was convicted of conspiracy to possess and to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances, consisting of Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) and more than five grams of Cocaine, which are felonies, and was sentenced to 18 months in prison, to be followed by supervised release for five years.

• Jack Schrold, Coral Springs, suspended from practicing law in Florida, following an Oct. 24 court order. Schrold was convicted of knowledge of the commission of conspiracy and wire fraud, a felony, and sentenced to two years probation.

• Felipe Sotolongo, Palm Springs, suspended from practicing law in Florida for 91 days, effective retroactive to March 7, following an Oct. 9 court order. Sotolongo is further placed on probation for three years and must enter into a contract with Florida Lawyers Assistance, Inc. Sotolongo failed to act with reasonable diligence and promptness in representing a client; failed to keep his client reasonably informed about the status of a matter; did not take steps to protect his client’s interest upon termination of representation; and committed a criminal act that reflects adversely on a lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness as a lawyer.

• Robert Leon Tankel, Dunedin, suspended from practicing law in Florida for 15 days, effective 30 days following a Sept. 18 court order. Upon reinstatement, Tankel will be placed on probation for 18 months. Among several Bar violations, Tankel made a false statement of material fact or law to a third person while representing a client and engaged in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation.

• Warren R. Trazenfield, Miami, suspended from practicing law in Florida for 10 days, effective 30 following a Sept. 11 court order. Trazenfield will further be placed on probation for one year. Trazenfield engaged in conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice.

• Christopher Karl Ulinski, Akron, Ohio, suspended from practicing law in Florida, effective 30 days following an Oct. 28 court order. Ulinski was convicted in Ohio of one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud, mail fraud and wire fraud, a felony. Ulinski was ordered to make restitution and was sentenced to two years probation, home confinement and electronic monitoring for six months.

• Gary H. Untracht, Basking Ridge, N.J., suspended from practicing law in Florida for two years, effective retroactive to Sept. 23, 2002, following an Oct. 2 court order. Untracht was disbarred in the state of New Jersey after a random audit revealed misappropriation of trust account funds.

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