Wayne Dilburn Clance has been disbarred effective immediately by the Florida Bar following a March 6 court order. Clance, in responding to a formal case in 2006, made statements that impugned the integrity and qualifications of three sitting judges. Clance failed to appear at a final hearing on a May 2007 complaint filed against him by The Florida Bar. Clance had previously been disciplined, receiving an admonishment in 2004, a one-year suspension in June 2007 and an indefinite suspension in February 2007 for non-compliance of the conditions set forth in the admonishment.
The Florida Bar also announced that the Florida Supreme Court in recent court orders disciplined 13 attorneys overall, disbarring five, suspending five, and placing three on probation. Some attorneys received more than one form of discipline; three were reprimanded and one was ordered to pay restitution.
The following lawyers are disciplined:
• Glenn Erikson, Tampa, disbarred effective immediately, following a March 6 court order. In July 2006, Erikson was found guilty of a felony count of wire fraud, by the U.S. District Court in the Middle District of Florida, Tampa Division.
• John Anthony Garcia, West Palm Beach, disbarred retroactive to Jan. 13, 2007, following a March 4 court order. In December 2006, Garcia pled guilty to three felony counts of illegal structuring of cash deposits to avoid a currency transaction report and one felony count of making a false statement to Drug Enforcement Administration agents.
• Daniel Bennett Lazar, Miami, disbarred effective immediately, following a March 13 court order. In November 2006, Lazar pled no contest to two felony counts alleging that he committed grand theft ($100,000 or more) and mortgage transaction fraud.
• Jerry Arthur Riggs Sr., Hollywood, disbarred effective retroactive to Oct. 3, 2006, following a March 19 court order. In two cases, Riggs falsely represented that he was holding seasoned deposits in his escrow account when he never deposited anything for the transactions in question. He then tried to hide the fact he never received the deposits.
• Kesha M. Holmes, Hollywood, suspended effective 30 days from a March 17 court order. In January, Holmes pled guilty to three counts of an organized scheme to defraud, related to a scam designed to obtain mortgages on properties.
• Miroslaw Thomas Lobasz, Lake Worth, suspended for three years, effective 30 days from a March 7 court order. Additionally, before reinstatement, Lobasz must submit proof of payment of all disciplinary costs, satisfactory completion of the ethics portion of The Florida Bar Examination and of The Florida Bar Law Office Management Assistance Service’s training for maintaining compliant trust accounts and clear and convincing evidence of rehabilitation. The Florida Bar’s compliance audit of Lobasz’ trust account revealed that he had a shortage in his trust account for every month in the audit period except two. The shortages, which ranged from $965.32 to $11,059.32 were caused by Lobasz’ use of client monies for his own purposes.
• Montgomery Blair Sibley, Washington, D.C., suspended for three years, effective 30 days from a March 7 court order. A court determined Sibley owed child support of $100,000. He was found in contempt of court for refusing to pay. Additionally, he was found to have filed myriad court proceedings that lacked merit.
• Keith Wasserstrom, Davie, suspended effective 30 days from a March 19 court order. In February, Wasserstrom was found guilty in circuit court of two felony counts. While a public servant (Hollywood city commissioner), Wasserstrom was charged with corrupt intent to obtain a benefit for himself or another by knowingly falsifying or causing another to falsify an official record or document. Wasserstrom was sentenced to 60 days in jail, four years probation and 800 hours of community service.
• Corinda Lynn Luchetta, St. Petersburg, suspended for 15 days, effective 30 days from a March 13 court order. Luchetta is then placed on probation for one year. She failed to provide competent representation to a client, failed to act with reasonable diligence and promptness in representing a client, failed to keep a client reasonably informed about the status of a case, and failed to make reasonable efforts to expedite litigation consistent with the interests of a client.
• Richard Russell Baker, Winter Park, to receive a public reprimand and placed on probation for six months, effective immediately, following a March 13 court order. Baker was hired to handle separate bankruptcy cases for four clients. In all instances, Baker failed to maintain adequate communication regarding the status of the cases. Clients had difficulty contacting Baker for case information and he failed to timely respond to the Bar’s inquiries regarding his handling of one case.
• Rhadames Concepcion Batista, Miami, to receive a public reprimand and placed on probation for three years, effective immediately, following a March 6 court order. Batista will also pay restitution of $2,930 to one client and attend ethics school. Batista failed to diligently represent clients and communicate with them, and failed in his responsibilities regarding non-lawyer assistants.
• Christopher G. Miller, Palm Harbor, to receive a public reprimand and directed to attend Ethics School and a Professionalism Workshop, following a March 13 court order. Miller failed to pay membership fees and practiced law while a delinquent member.