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February 15, 2013

Disciplinary Actions
Prepared by The Florida Bar’s Public Information and Bar Services Department
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The Florida Supreme Court in recent court orders disciplined six attorneys, permanently disbarring two, suspending two and publicly reprimanding two.

The following lawyers have been disciplined:

Augustin Rafael Benitez, 1223 E. Concord St., Orlando, to be publicly reprimanded by the Board of Governors following a Jan. 2 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1979) In May 2010, following an adverse ruling by a judge, Benitez filed a motion to disqualify the judge. It was supported by an affidavit of attorney Daniel Wayne Perry who was not Benitez’s client — a former county judge whom Benitez represented in a Judicial Qualifications Commission proceeding. The affidavit, which Benitez admitted to having reviewed and assisted in preparing, contained statements that improperly questioned the qualifications and integrity of the judge and disparaged him. (Case No. SC10-2160)

Charles Patrick Clemens, 21 Clover Field Drive, Loudonville, N. Y., permanently disbarred, effective immediately, following a December 11, 2012, court order. (Admitted to practice: 2004) Clemens was found in contempt for failing to comply with the terms of a May 22, 2012, disbarment order. Clemens was required to provide a sworn affidavit to The Florida Bar within 30 days of his disbarment, listing the names and addresses of all persons and entities that were furnished a copy of his disbarment order. (Case No. SC12-1756)

Keith Burgess Losey, 233 Santa Barbara Blvd., Cape Coral, suspended until further order, effective 30 days from a January 23 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1998) According to a petition for emergency suspension order, Losey appeared to be causing great public harm. Losey negotiated a settlement check for $20,000, made payable to the clients and himself. After depositing the check into his operating account, Losey refused to pay his clients and he avoided talking to them. (Case No. SC13-29)

William Timothy O’Toole, 120 E. Oakland Park Blvd., Suite 105, Fort Lauderdale, permanently disbarred effective immediately, following a January 24 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1992) O’Toole was found in contempt for failing to comply with the terms of a May 22, 2012, disbarment order. O’Toole was required to provide a sworn affidavit to The Florida Bar within 30 days of his disbarment, listing the names and addresses of all persons and entities that were furnished a copy of his disbarment order. (Case No. SC12-1891)

Daniel Wayne Perry, 4767 New Broad St. No. 1007, Orlando, to be publicly reprimanded by the Board of Governors, following a January 2 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1983) In May 2010, following an adverse ruling by a judge, Attorney Augustin Rafael Benitez filed a motion to disqualify the judge. It was supported by an affidavit from Perry. The affidavit contained statements that improperly questioned the qualifications and integrity of the judge and disparaged him. (Case No. SC10-2159)

Lafe Rainier Purcell, 1403 W. Colonial Drive #A, Orlando, suspended until further order, effective 30 days from a December 11, 2012, court order. (Admitted to practice: 1997) Purcell failed to comply with a May 30, 2012, grievance committee subpoena requiring him to appear and produce records on or before June 11, 2012. The subpoena was personally served on Purcell and he was asked to call Bar counsel as soon as possible. After receiving no response, a staff investigator went to Purcell’s address of record on June 20 and found it vacant. She was informed by the property manager that she had not heard from Purcell since June 15, when he inquired via email about getting his deposit back. (Case No. SC12-1563)

Court orders are not final until time expires to file a rehearing motion and, if filed, determined. The filing of such a motion does not alter the effective date of the discipline. Disbarred lawyers may not re-apply for admission for five years. They are required to go through an extensive process that rejects many who apply. It includes a rigorous background check and retaking the bar exam. Historically, less than 5 percent of disbarred lawyers seek readmission.

[Revised: 07-01-2014]