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January 15, 2015

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 22 attorneys; disbarring four, revoking the licenses of four, suspending 10 and publicly reprimanding four. Six attorneys received more than one form of discipline. Five were placed on probation and three were also ordered to pay restitution.

Jeffrey W. Blacher, 665 N.E. 25th St., Suite 100, Miami, suspended for 90 days, retroactive to August 22, 2014, following an October 9, 2014, court order. Further, Blacher shall pay restitution of $7,300 to three clients and he is placed on probation for two years. (Admitted to practice: 1994) In three separate cases, Blacher was paid a retainer to perform legal services and then neglected client matters. He failed to communicate and failed to keep clients reasonably informed. Once each client filed a grievance with The Florida Bar, Blacher failed to timely respond to the Bar’s requests for a response and/or more information. (Case No. SC14-446)

Thomas Francis Burns, 111 N. 2nd St., Ft. Pierce, to receive a public reprimand by publication in the Southern Reporter, following a November 14, 2014, court order. (Admitted to practice: 1995) Burns was the subject of several Florida Bar disciplinary matters. Burns failed to make a timely written response on several occasions to Bar inquiries. In another matter, he failed to subpoena a crucial defense witness in a criminal case. As a result, the Fourth District Court of Appeal reversed and remanded the client’s sentence and conviction due to ineffective assistance of counsel. (Case No. SC14-2079)

Richard Jay Burton, 2999 N.E. 191st St., Suite 805, Aventura, suspended for 91 days, effective retroactive to October 6, 2014, following an October 9, 2014, court order. Further, Burton is place on probation for one year. (Admitted to practice: 1974) Burton knowingly made a material misrepresentation to a trial court, thereby inducing the court to sign an order that was never agreed to by opposing counsel. (Case No. SC13-1441)

James A. Cioffi, 250 Tequesta Drive, Suite 203, Tequesta, suspended for 30 days, effective December 19, 2014, following a November 21, 2014, court order. (Admitted to practice: 1981) Beginning in 2008 through July 2014, a part of Cioffi’s practice included representing clients who sought loan modifications. At one point, a non-lawyer manager provided the primary supervision of the attorney’s nonlawyer staff who assisted with loan modifications. Some files were not processed diligently and there were communication problems with some of the law firm’s clients. (Case No. SC14-2146)

Anthony Harold Clifton, 7366 Highpoint Blvd., Brooksville, suspended until further order, effective 30 days from an October 2, 2014, court order. (Admitted to practice: 1996) Clifton was found in contempt for failing to respond to an official Bar inquiry. (Case No. SC14-948)

Clyde Mabry Collins, Jr., 233 E. Bay St., Suite 920, Jacksonville, suspended for three years, effective December 24, 2014, following an October 23, 2014, court order. Further, upon reinstatement, Collins is placed on probation for two years. (Admitted to practice: 1982) Collins admitted to accounting violations and commingling of trust and operating account funds. (Case No. SC14-1192)

Magdalena Ewa Cuprys, 3911 Loquat Ave., Miami, suspended for 45 days and further, placed on probation for three years, following a November 20, 2014, court order. (Admitted to practice: 2006) Cuprys was paid more than $30,000 to prepare and file visa petitions for a couple. In the months that followed, Cuprys did not respond to the couple’s attempts to contact her. After waiting over a year, Cuprys filed the application on behalf of one client only. Conditions of probation include restitution and other provisions. (Case No. SC14-2099)

Andrew Harry Drucker, 7875 S.W. 104th St., Suite 202, Miami. The Supreme Court granted Drucker’s request for a disciplinary revocation, effective immediately, following an October 9, 2014, court order, with leave to seek readmission after five years. (Admitted to practice: 1982) Disciplinary revocation is equivalent to disbarment. Drucker had a disciplinary charge pending regarding a client’s settlement from an automobile accident. (Case No. SC13-2097)

Theodore Stewart Fries, Jr., 5465 N.E. 1st Lane, Ocala, suspended for 90 days, effective 30 days from a September 26, 2014, court order. Further, Fries shall pay restitution of $200 to one client. (Admitted to practice: 2002) Fries was retained for a dissolution matter. After being paid $400, Fries failed to communicate with the client and never filed for the dissolution of marriage. He also failed to respond to The Florida Bar’s repeated inquiries into the matter until he received a notice for contempt from the Bar. (Case No. SC14-517)

Steven Howard Goldfarb, 26101 Village Lane, Apt. #302, Beechwood, Ohio, suspended for 90 days, effective 30 days from a November 20, 2014, court order. Further, Goldfarb shall also pay restitution of $4,350 to one client. (Admitted to practice: 1985) Goldfarb was hired to represent a client in a modification of alimony petition. He failed to competently represent and reasonably inform the client, who was charged an excessive fee of $7,700 for the work completed. (Case No. SC14-2129)

Charles Alexander Greene, Jr., 16350 Bruce B. Downs Blvd., Unit 46279, Tampa, to be publicly reprimanded following a November 14, 2014, court order. (Admitted to practice: 2002) Greene was appointed to file a brief on behalf of an appellant and, despite seeking and obtaining four extensions, failed to do so. He also failed to appear in response to an order to show cause. The court removed Greene as counsel and appointed another attorney to file the appeal. (Case No. SC13-2430)

Joshua Todd Hill Hauserman, 1771 S. Congress Ave., Suite 7, West Palm Beach, to be publicly reprimanded by publication in the Southern Reporter, and further, placed on probation for two years, following a November 21, 2014, court order. (Admitted to practice: 2007) Hauserman pleaded guilty to Driving Under the Influence (Enhanced) and refusal to submit to chemical or physical test. He was sentenced to nine months in jail to be served as house arrest, five years’ driver’s license suspension, and other penalties. (Case No. SC14-2148)

Eric R. Hurst, c/o Lenoir Brewer, 108 W. College Ave., Tallahassee, disbarred effective immediately, following a November 21, 2014, court order. (Admitted to practice: 1991) Hurst pleaded no contest to one count of obscene communication use of a computer to seduce, solicit a minor, and one count of traveling to meet a minor, both felonies. He was sentenced to incarceration for 60 months on count one and eight years on count two. Upon release, Hurst will serve seven years on sex offender probation. (Case No. SC14-946)

Manuel R. Lopez, 770 Ponce de Leon Blvd., PH Suite, Coral Gables, suspended until further order, effective 30 days from an October 15, 2014, court order. (Admitted to practice: 1993) Lopez was found in contempt for failure to fully comply with a subpoena served on him on March 18, 2014, by The Florida Bar, requesting production of trust account records. (Case No. SC14-1314)

Eric Merl, 710 N.E. 7th St., Apt. 304, Boynton Beach. The Supreme Court granted Merl’s request for a disciplinary revocation, effective immediately, following an October 9, 2014, court order, with leave to seek readmission after five years. (Admitted to practice: 1976) Disciplinary revocation is equivalent to disbarment. Merl pleaded guilty in federal court to conspiracy to defraud the Internal Revenue Service and to making false statements to the IRS, both felonies (Case No. SC14-1635)

Michael M. Milchman, 3903 Pinewood Lane, Hollywood. The Supreme Court granted Milchman’s request for a disciplinary revocation, effective immediately, following an October 9, 2014, court order, with leave to seek readmission after five years. (Admitted to practice: 1983) Disciplinary revocation is equivalent to disbarment. A pending Bar case alleged that while suspended, Milchman represented himself to be an attorney and provided legal advice. (Case No. SC14-1602)

Jayson O. Myers, 5728 Major Blvd., Suite 735, Orlando, to be publicly reprimanded following an October 30, 2014, court order. (Admitted to practice: 2009) After the departure of an attorney who had been handling a case at Myers’ law firm, Myers failed to diligently pursue a client’s case and failed to respond to her requests for information. In two additional cases, Myers also failed to communicate with clients who had hired his firm to represent them. (Case No. SC14-656)

Stephen Anthony Myers, 12822 Saddle Club Circle, Apt. 201, Tampa, admission revoked effective 30 days from an October 30, 2014, court order. (Admitted to practice: 2012) Myers was found in contempt for failing to comply with the terms of a September 24, 2012, court order, conditionally admitting him to The Florida Bar (Case No. SC14-1766

Fausto Nishimoto, 879 Wolfe Brook Terrace, Apt. 716, Winter Park, suspended for six months, effective immediately, following an October 30, 2014, court order. (Admitted to practice: 2013) Nishimoto pleaded no contest in court to resisting an officer with violence, a third-degree felony. (Case No. SC14-1402)

James Edward Rawe Jr., 4109 17th Ave. W., Bradenton, permanently disbarred effective immediately, following a December 5, 2014, court order. (Admitted to practice: 1993) Rawe was found in contempt for failing to file a response to a Florida Bar order to show cause. He was disbarred on October 30, 1014, for misappropriating client funds and failing to maintain trust account and records in accordance with Bar rules. (Case Nos. SC14-1137 & SC14-1487)

Gene Stuart Rosen, 1550 N.E. Miami Gardens Drive, North Miami Beach, disbarred effective retroactive to November 9, 2012, following an October 13, 2014, court order. (Admitted to practice: 1974) Rosen caused great public harm by misappropriating and/or diverting funds entrusted to him and by breaching his fiduciary duties with respect to the handling of those funds held in trust. In 2006, Rosen and a convicted felon engaged in a business purporting to sell land in Costa Rica. Evidence presented to the referee indicates that parcels of land were being sold before the property was ever purchased. (Case No. SC12-2003)

Edward Wilson Schmoll, 31 Island Way, Apt. 207, Clearwater, disbarred effective immediately, following an October 13, 2014, court order. (Admitted to practice: 1989) Schmoll was found in contempt for failure to comply with a grievance committee subpoena. A Bar investigation was initiated based on a letter from a circuit court judge. It alleged that Schmoll may have been practicing law while suspended. Schmoll failed to respond to the allegations. (Case No. SC14-1648)

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: 03-27-2017]