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Jax Daily Record Monday, Aug. 1, 201612:00 PM EST

Supreme Court disciplines 32 attorneys

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The Florida Supreme Court disciplined 32 attorneys — disbarring six, revoking the licenses of two, suspending 16 and publicly reprimanding eight.

Two attorneys were also placed on probation and another was ordered to pay restitution.

The attorneys are:

• Vanessa Dominguez Bandrich, Miami, disbarred. (Admitted to practice: 2007) Bandrich was found guilty in court of one count of conspiracy to commit immigration fraud, a felony, and was sentenced to one year and one day in the U.S. Bureau of Prisons, followed by one year of supervised release. She also was ordered to forfeit her interest in a money judgment of more than $4 million.

• Joseph Bernstein, Fort Lauderdale. The Supreme Court granted Bernstein’s request for a disciplinary revocation, with leave to seek readmission after five years. (Admitted to practice: 1977) Disciplinary revocation is tantamount to disbarment. Disciplinary matters pending against Bernstein involved misappropriation and commingling of client trust funds.

• Tucker Skyrocki Boyt, Clearwater, suspended until further order. (Admitted to practice: 2013) Boyt was found in contempt for non-compliance, for failure to respond to Florida Bar inquiries regarding four complaints.

• Jose Manuel Camacho Jr., Miami, disbarred. (Admitted to practice: 2000) Camacho has a criminal case pending. He was charged with 14 counts of uttering a forged instrument, all third-degree felonies. He forged the signatures of judges on numerous orders pertaining to foreclosure cases. Camacho forged the signature of one judge at least 31 times. He also commingled trust funds into his operating account.

• John Chiarenza, Miami, suspended. (Admitted to practice: 1990) Chiarenza was adjudicated guilty in court of one count of aggravated assault by possession of a firearm, a third-degree felony. An appeal of the conviction is pending.

• Ronald Clyde Denis, West Palm Beach, suspended until further order. (Admitted to practice: 1997) Denis was found in contempt for non-compliance. He failed to respond to an official Bar inquiry regarding a complaint.

• John Edward Eagen, Tallahassee, to be publicly reprimanded. (Admitted to practice: 1990) Further, he shall pay restitution of $2,500. Eagen charged an excessive fee and made a false statement about representing a client. In a letter, Eagan quoted a flat legal fee to the client of $5,000. Shortly before the scheduled trial, Eagen requested and was paid an additional $2,500 as costs to conduct a deposition and criminal background check. He told a grievance committee the client offered the additional money to compensate him for having to go to trial.

• Nicole Mae Frost, Clearwater, suspended until further order. (Admitted to practice: 1998) Frost was found in contempt for non-compliance. She failed to respond to an official Bar inquiry regarding a complaint.

• Neil Franklin Garfield, Parkland, to be publicly reprimanded. (Admitted to practice: 1977) In at least four instances, Garfield accepted money to represent clients and failed to follow through. In one case, Garfield did not perform the work and, when asked for a refund, denied knowing the client. In other cases, he failed to communicate, charged excessive fees, failed to return refunds upon request and failed to timely respond to Bar inquiries.

• Tomislav David Golik, Miami, suspended for three years. (Admitted to practice: 2005) Golik pleaded guilty and was adjudicated guilty in federal court of a felony. The court charged that Golik, as an unlawful user of and addicted to a controlled substance, knowingly possessed firearms.

• John R. Griffith, Lakeland, disbarred. (Admitted to practice: 1983) A Bar investigation revealed Griffith misappropriated client trust funds.

• Tonja J. Helton, Tampa, suspended until further order. (Admitted to practice: 2009) According to a petition for emergency suspension order, Helton appeared to be causing great public harm by misappropriating thousands of dollars in client funds.

• Bart Alan Houston, Fort Lauderdale, suspended for 30 days. (Admitted to practice: 1986) Houston was sanctioned by a bankruptcy court regarding statements filed in a bankruptcy proceeding and for failing to disclose the use of the $35,000 fee he collected to represent a client.

• Barry Ernest Hughes, Daytona Beach, to be publicly reprimanded. (Admitted to practice: 1983) Hughes was the personal representative and attorney of record for an estate. The court issued multiple orders to show cause as to why Hughes should not be held in contempt of court for his failure to complete the estate. As a result of his lack of diligence, the court dismissed the case and Hughes took no action to reopen the estate until three years later. Hughes subsequently resigned as personal representative and attorney of record; however, he failed to provide all of the estate documents to the new attorney as ordered by the court.

• William N. Hutchinson Jr., Fort Lauderdale. The Supreme Court granted Hutchinson’s request for a disciplinary revocation, with leave to seek readmission after five years. (Admitted to practice: 1974) Disciplinary revocation is tantamount to disbarment. Disciplinary matters pending against Hutchinson involved misappropriation of client trust funds.

• Daryl Lafayette Jones, Palmetto Bay, to be publicly reprimanded by publication in the Southern Reporter. (Admitted to practice: 1988) In handling a loan modification and a foreclosure action for his client, Jones violated Bar rules regarding conflict of interest, competence and communication, when he secured a third party investor to purchase his client’s home in a bank-approved short sale.

• Julie Boggan Kaminsky, Auburn, Ala., to be publicly reprimanded. (Admitted to practice: 1985) Kaminsky was found in contempt for failure to comply with the terms of an Oct. 15, 2015, suspension order. She was required to notify her clients, opposing counsel and tribunals of her suspension and provide the Bar with a sworn affidavit listing the names and addresses of all persons and entities that received a copy of her suspension order.

• Charles Jay Kane, Delray Beach, suspended until further order. (Admitted to practice: 1965) Kane’s law firm and two other firms were hired by health care providers for the purpose of representation in personal injury protection claims against insurance companies, including Progressive. It was determined Progressive was systematically refusing to pay valid insurance claims. The law firms then filed bad-faith claims for clients. After receiving a $5.25 million settlement from Progressive, Kane and his son and business partner Harley Kane paid clients $672,000 and kept more than $4 million as attorney’s fees. The bad-faith attorneys subsequently sued Kane and the other PIP attorneys and firms for unjust enrichment and fraud.

• Harley Nathan Kane, Delray Beach, suspended until further order. (Admitted to practice: 1993) Kane’s law firm and two other firms were hired by health care providers for the purpose of representation in personal injury protection claims against insurance companies, including Progressive. It was determined Progressive was systematically refusing to pay valid insurance claims. The law firms then filed bad-faith claims for clients. After receiving a $5.25 million settlement from Progressive, Kane and his father and business partner Charles Kane paid clients $672,000 and kept more than $4 million as attorney’s fees. The bad-faith attorneys sued Kane and the other PIP attorneys and firms for unjust enrichment and fraud.

• Darin James Lentner, Fort Lauderdale, suspended until further order. (Admitted to practice: 1991) Lentner’s law firm and two other firms were hired by health care providers for the purpose of representation in personal injury protection claims against insurance companies, including Progressive. It was determined Progressive was systematically refusing to pay valid insurance claims. The law firms then filed bad-faith claims for clients. After receiving a $3 million settlement from Progressive, Lentner and business partner Laura Watson paid clients $361,000 and kept more than $2 million as attorney’s fees. The bad-faith attorneys subsequently sued Lentner and the other PIP attorneys and firms for unjust enrichment and fraud.

• Camella Lynn Manion, Jupiter, to be publicly reprimanded. (Admitted to practice: 2003) Manion represented a seller in a real estate action and attempted to collect more than $8,000 in attorney’s fees from the buyers. Despite their refusal, Manion again attempted to persuade them to pay her fees.

• Jose Carlos Marrero, Miami, suspended for three years. (Admitted to practice: 2002) Marrero violated Bar rules while serving as an escrow agent and when processing two mortgage loans on the same property. He drafted a mortgage that attached as collateral a piece of property, which no signatory to the agreement actually owned or had authority to encumber. He did not protect the interests of the lender, and he intentionally disbursed funds prior to having the borrowers sign mortgage documents. Marrero received loan closing documents on the property in January 2006 and he did not record the mortgage until six months later, while simultaneously certifying to a subsequent lender there were no prior encumbrances on the property. He failed to disclose pertinent information to both lenders regarding the loans.

• George Allen Orlowitz, Elkins Park, Pa., disbarred. (Admitted to practice: 1975) Orlowitz misappropriated and commingled thousands of dollars in client funds. He also prepared and presented false statements to several clients, stating payments had been made on their behalf, when in fact, they had never been made.

• Antonios Poulos, Tampa, suspended for two years, effective. (Admitted to practice: 2007) Further, upon reinstatement, Poulos shall be placed on probation for one year. Poulos advised a client of his receipt of settlement funds in an employment discrimination case in September 2013. He then failed to communicate with the client and did not provide the funds to the client until May 2014. In another matter, a case was dismissed because Poulos failed to respond to the federal court and comply with local rules. When he appeared in court, Poulos falsely advised he’d informed his client the case had been dismissed.

• Tracy Preece, Titusville, suspended for one year. (Admitted to practice: 1999) Preece was found in contempt for failure to comply with the conditions of a Sept. 21 suspension order. Specifically, Preece was ordered to notify her clients, opposing counsel and tribunals of her suspension and provide to The Florida Bar a sworn affidavit listing the names and addresses of all persons and entities that received a copy of the suspension order.

• Adam Powell Rowe, Palatka, to be publicly reprimanded by publication in the Southern Reporter. (Admitted to practice: 2006) Further, Rowe is placed on probation for two years and he shall sign a rehabilitation contract with Florida Lawyers Assistance. Rowe was hired to assist a client in a foreclosure case. Rowe sent a letter to her with unprofessional and threatening language when she requested an itemized list of charges.

• William Glenn Roy III, Altamonte Springs, suspended until further order. (Admitted to practice: 2002) A Bar investigation found Roy misappropriated approximately $125,000 of escrowed funds he held as an escrow agent. He also altered bank statements and other documents pertaining to the IRS in an effort to conceal the misappropriation.

• Anita Renee Flannigan Steenson, Milford, Conn., to be publicly reprimanded. (Admitted to practice: 1990) This is a reciprocal discipline. Steenson is also a member of the Connecticut State Bar and was disciplined in that state for violating rules related to conflict of interest. Steenson served as legal director for a company and as counsel for a client of that company. The client’s contract was terminated by the company. The Connecticut grievance committee found Steenson’s personal and business relationships with the company limited her ability to both objectively represent the client and provide independent legal advice to the client.

• Phillip Harding Taylor, St. Petersburg, disbarred. (Admitted to practice: 1989) Taylor was found in contempt for failure to comply with the conditions of a Sept. 16 suspension order. Specifically, Taylor was ordered to notify his clients, opposing counsel and tribunals of his suspension and provide to The Florida Bar a sworn affidavit listing the names and addresses of all people and entities that received a copy of the suspension order.

• David Christopher Weigel, Mount Dora, suspended for 91 days. (Admitted to practice: 1985) Prior to petitioning for reinstatement, Weigel shall undergo a mental health evaluation to determine his fitness to practice law. The former prosecutor neglected to process 200 DUI cases and more than 800 Notices to Appear. As a result, prosecution of the cases was barred by the statute of limitations.

• Daniel Joshua Zemel, Miami Beach,. (Admitted to practice: 1990) Zemel was found in contempt for failure to comply with the conditions of a Sept. 2 suspension order. Specifically, Zemel was ordered to notify his clients, opposing counsel and tribunals of his suspension and provide to The Florida Bar a sworn affidavit listing the names and addresses of all people and entities that received a copy of the suspension order.

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