Florida Supreme Court disciplines 18 attorneys
The Florida Bar announces that the Florida Supreme Court disciplined 18 attorneys; disbarring two, suspending 15 and publicly reprimanding one.
The only one from Jacksonville is Kelly Mathis, 1200 Riverplace Blvd., Suite 902, who was suspended effective Dec. 18, following an Oct. 29 court order. Mathis was found guilty in court of racketeering, possession of a slot machine or device and assisting in setting up, promoting or conducting a lottery.
Others disciplined are:
• Russell Samuel Adler, 55 S.E. 2nd Ave., Delray Beach, suspended for 91 days following a Nov. 14 court order. Adler misrepresented his finances and equity status within the law firm where he worked to a cooperative apartment board. Further, he misinformed to the board that he was financing 90 percent of the purchase price when in fact he was financing 100 percent of the purchase price. He also sought and obtained from his law firm a letter that misrepresented his financial status so that he would be approved to purchase the cooperative apartment in New York City.
• Libio Calejo, 2500 N.W. 79th Ave., Suite 102, Doral, disbarred effective immediately, following an Oct. 31 court order. Calejo was found in contempt for failing to comply with the terms of a May 15 suspension order. He was ordered to notify all his clients, opposing counsel and tribunals of his suspension and provide The Florida Bar within 30 days of the suspension, a sworn affidavit listing the names and addresses of all persons and entities that were furnished a copy of his suspension order.
• Robert B. Cook, P.O. Box 3609, Tequesta, suspended for 90 days following a Nov. 27 court order. Further, Cook shall pay restitution of more than $57,000 to 13 clients. From 2010 to 2012, Cook engaged in a continuing course of conduct involving cases in which clients sought credits on their credit cards, claiming that the purchased services did not occur. Cook was affiliated with an entity as a referral source, which solicited business on his behalf. Although he was unaware of the solicitation, Cook allowed his non-lawyer staff to handle the cases with little supervision from him.
• Theodore R. Doran, P.O. Box 15110, Daytona Beach, suspended for 60 days, effective December 18, 2013. Doran was the subject of several Florida Bar disciplinary matters. He used improper evidence in a dissolution of marriage case, requiring him to pay opposing counsel’s fees in the matter. In another case, Doran apologized to another opposing counsel after she complained to the Bar regarding his unsolicited advances verbally and via electronic mail messages; in a third case, he had a consensual sexual encounter with a client he was representing in a pending dissolution of marriage case.
• Joseph Henry Fernandez, 12972 S.W. 136th Terrace, Miami, suspended for three years, effective 30 days from a Nov. 21 court order. Further, upon reinstatement, Fernandez is placed on probation for one year. After being retained to represent a client in a civil matter, Fernandez failed to adequately communicate.
• Beverly Ann McComas, 7530 N.W. 3rd Court, Plantation, suspended for 90 days, effective 30 days from a Nov. 27 court order. As a supervising attorney for the Law Offices of David J. Stern, P.A., McComas failed to exercise her authority to ensure that the actions of those she managed comported with Florida Bar rules. Those actions included a failure of the attorneys to appear in court for conferences or hearings, substandard preparation of mortgage foreclosure files, and allowing the filing of documents that were improperly notarized, witnessed or dated.
• Robert Mike II, P.O. Box 916173, Longwood, suspended for 90 days, effective 30 days from a Nov. 21 court order. Further, Mike shall pay restitution of more than $1,500 to two clients. Mike was hired to handle two dissolution of marriage cases and he failed to adequately communicate or provide meaningful service.
• Carlos Michael Muniz, 1800 S.W. 27th Ave., Suite 201, Miami, suspended for 10 days, effective 30 days from a Nov. 27 court order. In the course of representing a client in a paternity action, Muniz was combative and abusive to the judge, such that the proceedings were disrupted. The judge had to stop the hearing and recuse herself. She also filed a Bar complaint against Muniz.
• Brian John Murtha, 7640 N. Wickham Road, Suite 121, Melbourne, suspended until further order, effective 30 days from a Nov. 5 court order. Murtha was found in contempt for failure to comply with the terms of an Oct. 15, 2012 court order in which he was publicly reprimanded and placed on probation. Murtha was required to retain the services of a certified public accountant to review his trust accounts monthly. Quarterly statements were to be prepared by the CPA for review by The Florida Bar.
• Jeffrey Alan Norkin, 408 N.E. 6th St., Unit 625, Fort Lauderdale, suspended for two years, following an Oct. 31 court order. Further, Norkin shall receive a public reprimand that will be administered by the court. Norkin engaged in numerous acts of misconduct by behaving in an unprofessional and antagonistic manner during the course of litigating a civil case.
• Pamela Bounds Olsen, P.O. Box 3612, Ocala, suspended for 30 days, effective 30 days from a Nov. 27 court order. Further, upon reinstatement, Olsen is placed on probation for one year. In five separate cases over a one year period, Olsen received referral fees to which her law firm claimed entitlement and did not share them with the law firm.
• Jean M. Picon, P.O. Box 410004, Melbourne, to be publicly reprimanded following an Oct. 15 court order. Picon failed to comply with the terms of an April 29, 2011, suspension order. Picon admitted to violating the probationary terms by not meeting her financial obligations and failing to respond to Bar inquiries.
• Eugene Keith Polk, 201 E. Government St., Pensacola, suspended for 90 days, followed by three year’s probation, after a Nov. 14 court order.After being retained, Polk failed to communicate with a client for nearly two years and failed to return documents despite numerous requests. He failed to respond to Bar inquiries for several months and misrepresented to the referee during the course of the disciplinary proceedings.
• Jacob Addington Rose, 931 Village Blvd., Suite 905-299, West Palm Beach, disbarred effective immediately, following a Nov. 6 court order. Further, Rose shall pay restitution of $1,600 to two clients. In three separate cases, Rose failed to provide adequate representation to clients. He charged excessive fees, failed to appear at hearings and failed to communicate with clients.
• R. Eric Rubio, P.O. Box 1813, Valrico, suspended for 30 days, effective 30 days from a Nov. 27 court order, and further placed on probation for three years. Criminal charges were filed against Rubio in Hillsborough County for making repeated phone calls, a second degree misdemeanor. In April 2010, Rubio called the personal cell phone of a deputy sheriff and left 10 voicemail messages containing explicit language, racial slurs and threats.
• Michael J. Scaglione, 2600 S. Douglas Road, Ph. 10, Coral Gables, suspended until further order, effective Dec. 23, following a Nov. 18 court order. Scaglione pleaded guilty to one count of money laundering.
• Eric A. Simon, 17831 Lake Estates Drive, Boca Raton, suspended for 90 days, effective Dec. 9, following a Nov. 27 court order. Simon served as the escrow agent for the developer of a condominium project. A dispute ensued between the purchaser and the developer when a condominium’s certificate of occupancy was not issued when agreed to by contract. Instead of returning the $49,000 deposit to the purchaser or turning the funds over to the court for an inter pleader action, Simon remitted the funds to the developer without advising the purchaser.