The Florida Bar
www.floridabar.org

SUPREME COURT DISCIPLINES 24 ATTORNEYS 06/30/08


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 1, 2008
CONTACT:
Karen Y. Kirksey,
The Florida Bar
TELEPHONE:
850/561-5666
kkirksey@flabar.org



The Florida Bar, the state's guardian for the integrity of the legal profession, announces that the Florida Supreme Court in recent court orders disciplined 24 attorneys, disbarring five, suspending 15 and placing one on probation. Some attorneys received more than one form of discipline. Four attorneys were reprimanded and three were ordered to pay restitution.

As an official agency of the Florida Supreme Court, The Florida Bar and its Department of Lawyer Regulation are charged with administering a statewide disciplinary system to enforce Supreme Court rules of professional conduct for the 84,000-plus lawyers admitted to practice law in Florida. Since Aug. 1, 2007, case files have been posted to attorneys' individual Florida Bar profiles and may be reviewed at and/or downloaded from The Florida Bar's Web site, www.floridabar.org.

The following lawyers are disciplined (Please note that 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):

Vincent Paul Andreano, 11413 N.W. 20th Court, Coral Springs, suspended for one year, effective 30 days from a May 22 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1998) Andreano plead guilty to several charges. As the closing attorney for a house purchased by a client in 2007, Andreano accepted closing fees to cover the transaction and collected money from the seller for costs related to the deed filing. When the client attempted to mortgage the house five months later, she learned that the sale was not recorded, the house was still in the seller's name and there was a lien on the property. Andreano tried to correct his errors by forging the seller's signature in a quit-claim deed filed with the court. He paid the client the fees in dispute in exchange for a letter withdrawing the Bar complaint. Andreano never responded to The Florida Bar's request for a response to the allegations. (Case No. SC08-74)

Douglas Wayne Baker, 3137 Curving Oaks Way, Orlando, suspended for 91 days, effective 30 days from a May 12 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1997) In April 2006, Baker received a public reprimand and was placed on probation for an indefinite period of time for issues related to substance abuse. The terms of his probation included following all recommendations by Florida Lawyers Assistance,Inc. and paying a registration fee of $250 and a probation monitoring fee of $100 per month to The Florida Bar. Baker failed to comply. (Case No. SC07-967)

Ann Bitterman, 3721 S. Le Jeune Road, Coconut Grove, suspended for six months, effective immediately, following a May 22 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1986) In September 2004, Bitterman was suspended for 91 days and placed on probation for three years. Bitterman violated the terms of her probation. She has six prior disciplines dating back to 1996. (Case No. SC06-957)

William Rudolph Boose, III, 515 N. Flagler Drive, Suite 1900, suspended for three years, effective retroactive to Aug. 3, 2007, following a May 15 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1969) Boose plead guilty to a felony in July 2007. In January, he was sentenced to 24 months in prison, a $25,000 fine and one year of supervised release. Additionally, he has forfeited $400,000 as part of the plea agreement. (Case No. SC07-1406)

Ana-Maria Carnesoltas, P.O. Box 47423, St. Petersburg, to receive a public reprimand from The Florida Bar's Board of Governors, following a May 15 court order. She is further ordered to attend The Florida Bar's anger management workshop. (Admitted to practice: 1979) Carnesoltas plead guilty to charges that she referred to a witness in a court hearing as “a liar.” When questioned about it by the presiding judge, she denied making the comment. Carnesoltas later admitted to it. (Case No. SC08-533)

Spencer Anthony Emison, 1001 Brickell Bay Drive, Suite 1200, Miami, disbarred effective immediately, following a May 15 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1990) Emison neglected specific legal matters and abandoned his law practice, without proper notice to his clients. In one case, Emison's neglect led to a default judgment against a client for $372,585.60 and seizures of goods and equipment at his business. Emison failed to respond to Bar inquiries and he did not appear at the final hearing despite proper notice. (Case No. SC07-1537)

Donald Robert Goodwin, 625 Antioch Ave., Apt. 409, Fort Lauderdale, to receive a public reprimand from the Florida Bar's Board of Governors following a May 15 court order. Goodwin is further ordered to attend The Florida Bar's Professionalism Workshop. (Admitted to practice: 1999) Goodwin was found guilty of intentionally failing to appear in court, leaving clients unrepresented at hearings and causing case delays. Goodwin neglected to meet or speak with another client during the entire period he represented him. (Case No. SC07-481 and SC07-785)

Benjamin Hines Haire. 1125 N.W. 66th Terrace, Margate, disbarred for five years, effective immediately, following a June 5 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1980) In two separate cases in 2006, Haire was hired to represent clients. He accepted fees for the representation and subsequently failed to communicate with them. When one client went to Haire's office to speak with him, he learned that Haire had been evicted and left no forwarding address or telephone number. Haire also failed to respond to inquiries from The Florida Bar regarding the cases. (Case SC07-1817)

Craig Francis Hall, 317 N.E. 1st St, Gainesville, suspended indefinitely, effective 30 days from a May 21 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1974) Hall was found guilty of possession of child pornography, a federal felony. (Case No. SC08-925)

Caswall Adington Hart, 13899 Biscayne Blvd., Suite 314, Miami, suspended indefinitely, effective immediately, following a May 20 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1998) A Florida Bar audit shows that Hart has misappropriated thousands of dollars in client funds. (Case No. SC08-890)

David Franklin King, 2308 N.E. 9th St., Apt. 2, Fort Lauderdale, suspended for one year, effective 30 days from a May 8 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1989) He will also pay restitution of $825 to one client. King was hired to represent a client and after accepting a fee for his services, he took little or no action on the case. King refused to respond to the client's numerous attempts to contact him and he failed to return her file or the fee he collected from her. King also failed to respond to The Florida Bar's request for information regarding the case and he neglected to appear at a final Bar hearing. (Case No. SC07-2215)

Warren Thomas LaFray, 300 Turner St., Clearwater, disbarred effective immediately, following a May 8 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1976) In four separate cases, LaFray accepted money to represent clients, but failed to communicate with them afterwards. LaFray has a prior disciplinary record. In January, he received a 36-month suspension and two years probation in another case. (Case No. SC07-1678)

Cedric Eugene Lewis, 631 Heather Glen Loop, Winter Haven, suspended for 10 days, effective 30 days from a June 5 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2000) Lewis is also ordered to attend a Trust Accounting Workshop. In March 2003, Lewis was paid approximately $3,800 to represent a client. After filing the lawsuit on his client's behalf in August 2003, the matter remained inactive until 2005 when he was contacted by the court. The case was subsequently dismissed because the court had not received required information from Lewis. In another case, Lewis failed to properly supervise an employee in the handling of trust accounts. Between September 2006 and April 2007, Lewis' former employee converted $25,000 from the law firm's escrow accounts. A Florida Bar audit revealed that the majority of the stolen funds belonged to Lewis and no clients were harmed by the conversion. (Case No. SC08-78)

Samuel A. Malat, 214 White Horse Pike, Haddon Heights, N.J., disbarred effective 30 days from a May 15 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1991) In June 2007, Malat was disbarred by the Supreme Court of New Jersey. Charges included misrepresentation and failure to: communicate with a client, supervise a non-lawyer assistant and safeguard client funds. In prior disciplinary cases in New Jersey, Malat received two public reprimands in 2000, two consecutive three-month suspensions in 2003, and an admonishment and a suspension in 2006. (Case No. SC07-2153)

Samuel Raymond Mallard, 4406 S. Florida Ave., Lakeland, suspended for nine months, effective 30 days from a May 8 court order. He will also pay restitution totaling $4,299 to three clients. (Admitted to practice: 2000) Upon applying for reinstatement, Mallard must provide proof that he is compliant with his physician's treatment plan and that he has been found fit to resume the practice of law. (Case No. SC07-2046)

James Robert Mann, 291 Bal Bay Drive Apt. 312, Bal Harbour, suspended for 10 days, effective 30 days from a June 5 court order. He will also pay restitution totaling $1,861.02 to two clients. (Admitted to practice: 1997) Mann plead guilty to charges surrounding his representation of clients in a music copyright infringement claim in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida. The matter was settled prior to trial and Mann's clients were to receive $30,000 in the settlement. Mann drafted a settlement statement detailing costs and fees of $18,076.54. An investigation by the Bar concluded that Mann overcharged his clients an additional $1,861.02 in court costs and court reporter fees. (Case No. SC07-2167)

Cecile Angela Martin, 18350 N.W. 2nd Ave. Fl 5, Miami, suspended for 90 days, effective July 28, and further placed on probation for two years, effective immediately, following a May 8 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1984) Martin plead guilty to failure to provide competent representation to clients and failure to respond in writing to official inquiries by The Florida Bar. In one case, Martin was retained by a couple to handle an estate matter. They became dissatisfied with her services and lack of communication and subsequently filed a complaint against Martin with the Bar. In another instance, Martin was appointed by the court to represent a client in a guardianship case. The court ordered Martin to produce certain documents, which she did not do. (Case No. SC08-26)

Darryl Gene Mitchell, 3652 S. Seacrest Blvd., Boynton Beach, to receive a public reprimand from The Florida Bar's Board of Governors, following a May 8 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2001) Mitchell was paid $2,500 to represent a client in post dissolution proceedings against her former husband. After accepting the case, Mitchell took little or no action. He has since repaid the client. (Case No. SC08-83)

Anthony Vincent Scalese, 14298 N.W. 23rd Street, Pembroke Pines, disbarred for five years, effective immediately, following a June 5 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1998) Scalese misappropriated and stole client funds, with an audit showing $94,000 missing. (Case No. SC08-671)

Karen Marie Smith, P.O. Box 4935, Winter Park, suspended effective 30 days from a May 29 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1991) Smith is charged with failure to comply with a Florida Bar subpoena to appear for deposition and produce files and trust account records. (Case No. SC08-559)

Stuart Leonard Stein, P.O. Box 29598, Santa Fe, New Mexico, suspended until further notice, following a May 23 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1977) The Florida Bar petition for emergency suspension states that because of his recent disbarment in New Mexico and based on facts, Stein appears to be causing great public harm by repeated intentional dishonest misconduct. (Case No. SC08-893)

Joseph J. Weisenfeld, 1901 Brickell Ave., Suite B202, Miami, suspended until further notice, following a June 3 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1971) The Florida Bar petition for emergency suspension states that Weisenfeld appears to be causing great public harm. A Bar audit provides convincing evidence that Weisenfeld misappropriated client funds. (Case No. SC08-963)

Matthew James Wells, 206 Mason St., Brandon, to receive a public reprimand from The Florida Bar's Board of Governors, following a May 8 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1997) Wells is further ordered to attend Ethics School. In one case, Wells was hired to represent a client in a bankruptcy proceeding. He began representation, but eventually stopped prosecuting the claim. In another case, Wells never communicated directly with the client after he was retained to obtain post-conviction relief. When the appeal was denied, Wells did not directly inform the client, nor did he discuss available options. (Case Nos. SC07-2396 and SC08-246)

Branch Lamar Winegeart, III, 4130 Salisbury Road Suite 1250, Jacksonville, suspended for 91 days, effective 30 days from a June 5 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1979) In June 2005, Winegeart was paid $1,500 to establish paternity and custody of the client's minor daughter. After promising to file the petition within 20 days, Winegeart took almost two months to file it. The client received no information regarding case from Winegeart from August 2005 until March 2006, when he complained to The Florida Bar. In May 2006, Winegeart set the custody and paternity matters for hearing at the end of September 2006. The first time the client learned of this was at the grievance committee hearing on his complaint on Sept. 14, 2006. (Case No. SC07-916)

###


Like us on FacebookFollow us on Twitter

EDITORS: Please note The Florida Bar is not an association and "Association" is not part of our name. Proper reference is "The Florida Bar." Local bar organizations are properly termed "associations."

[Revised: 07-09-2008]