Skip Navigation

 
The Florida Bar
www.floridabar.org

SUPREME COURT DISCIPLINES SIX ATTORNEYS


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 31, 2013
CONTACT:
Karen Y. Kirksey,
The Florida Bar
TELEPHONE:
(850) 561-5666

Summaries of orders issued between Dec. 11, 2012, and Jan. 24, 2013

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 six attorneys, permanently disbarring two, suspending two and publicly reprimanding two.

As an official arm 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 95,000-plus lawyers admitted to practice law in Florida. Since 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 website, www.floridabar.org.

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.

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 Dec. 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 Jan. 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 Jan. 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 Jan. 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 Dec. 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)

###

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: 01-31-2013]