SUPREME COURT DISCIPLINES 11 ATTORNEYS
Summaries of orders issued Nov. 1 – Dec. 21, 2018
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 11 attorneys – disbarring four, revoking the licenses of two, suspending three, and publicly reprimanding two. One attorney was also ordered to pay restitution to clients.
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 more than 106,000 members of The Florida Bar. Key discipline case files that are public record are posted to attorneys’ individual online Florida Bar profiles. To view discipline documents, follow these steps. Additional information on the discipline system and how to file a complaint are available at www.floridabar.org/attorneydiscipline.
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 includes a rigorous background check and retaking the Bar exam.
John Ralph Borland, 4545 S.W. 60th Ave., Unit 772672, Ocala, suspended until further order of the Court, effective 30 days from a Nov. 28 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2006) According to a petition for emergency suspension, Borland is delinquent in his Continuing Legal Education Requirements and his Florida Bar annual membership fee, and therefore ineligible to practice law. He also abandoned his law practice and client files, and he failed to respond to the Bar’s investigative inquiries. (Case No. SC18-1947)
Aldo Guillermo Busot Jr., 901 Ponce de Leon Blvd., Suite 204, Coral Gables, disbarred effective immediately, following a Dec. 21 court order. (Admitted to practice:1987) Busot was found in contempt for noncompliance. He failed to comply with the terms of an April 19 suspension order. Specifically, Busot was required to notify his clients, opposing counsel and tribunals of his three-year suspension, and provide the Bar within 30 days, a sworn affidavit listing the names and addresses of all persons and entities that were furnished a copy of his suspension order. (Case No. SC18-1657)
Robert Reza Dixon, 5963 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, to be publicly reprimanded, following a Nov. 1 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2006) Dixon was found in contempt for failure to comply with a prior court order. He was required to produce trust records from July 2015 to the present, that are compliant with Florida Bar Rules Regulating Trust Accounts. (Case No. SC18-1281)
Peter Dale Fellows, 1031 Ives Dairy Road, Suite 228, Miami, disbarred effective 30 days from a Dec. 4 court order. (Admitted to Practice: 1999) In one matter, Fellows represented a homeowner in a foreclosure action and engaged in a conflict of interest by allowing his legal assistant, with whom he was romantically involved, to live in the home which was the subject of the representation. In another matter, Fellows claimed a nonrefundable fee without confirming in writing, and was dishonest during the disciplinary investigation. (Case No. SC16-1922)
Eric Brett Granitur, 100 S.E. 2nd St., Suite 3550, Vero Beach. The court granted Granitur’s petition for a disciplinary revocation, effective immediately, with leave to seek readmission after five years, following a Dec. 13 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1986) Disciplinary revocation is tantamount to disbarment. Granitur was found guilty in federal court of three felony counts including conspiracy to commit false statements. While acting as the attorney and escrow agent of a title company, Granitur made or caused to be made false statements and reports to federally insured financial institutions while his co-conspirators provided buyers with incentives to purchase condominium units and concealed the incentives from the financial institutions. He was sentenced to one year and one day in prison. (Case No. SC18-1677)
Kenneth Joseph Kukec, 1128 SW 10th Ave., Miami, disbarred effective immediately, following a Nov. 29 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1986) Kukec was retained to handle a postconviction appeal but failed to return telephone calls or to respond to the written communications of his incarcerated client. Kukec had a history of discipline and failed to respond to the inquiries of The Florida Bar or to appear in the disciplinary proceedings. (Case No. SC18-319)
Derek Vaughn Lewis, P.O. Box 1152, Fort Pierce, to be publicly reprimanded following a Nov. 15 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1999) Further, Lewis shall complete ethics school. Lewis failed to timely file a brief or otherwise inform the appellate court that the appeal was being diligently prosecuted. As a result, the appeal was dismissed. Lewis also failed to advise the client of the dismissal of the appeal, nor did he respond to the Bar’s inquiries regarding the client’s grievance. (Case No. SC18-574)
Brett Allen Mearkle, 547 Selva Lakes Circle, Atlantic Beach, suspended for 90 days, effective 30 days from a Dec. 20 court order. (Admitted to Practice: 2003) Further, he shall pay restitution of $2,500 to three separate clients. After being retained, Mearkle did very little work on one case, and nothing on the other two cases. He also failed to respond to The Florida Bar regarding the complaint. (Case No. SC18-971)
R. Shant Norsigian, 25987 Woodward Ave., Apt 106, Royal Oak, Michigan, suspended for 91 days, effective immediately, following a Nov. 8 court order. (Admitted to Practice: 2007) Norsigian failed to provide the services for which he was retained or to communicate with the client. He also failed to respond to Bar inquiries regarding the client’s grievance. In a second matter, Norsigian failed to advance the client’s matter, effectively communicate with the client, or to respond to the Bar inquiries regarding the grievance. (Case No. SC18-883)
Gregory Eric Schwartz, 3876 Sheridan St., Hollywood. The court granted Schwartz’s petition for a disciplinary revocation, with leave to seek readmission after five years, effective 60 days from a Nov. 21 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1996) Disciplinary revocation is tantamount to disbarment. Disciplinary charges pending against Schwartz involved the alleged misappropriation of funds belonging to a third-party. Schwartz failed to confirm the purpose for which the funds were deposited into his trust account, and his authority to disburse the money. (Case No. SC18-1474)
Peter Milan Predrag Vujin, 1200 West Ave., Apt 824, Miami Beach, disbarred effective 30 days from a December 4 court order. (Admitted to Practice: 2003) While representing himself in two separate civil actions, Vujin engaged in frivolous, bad faith, annoying and abusive litigation tactics. He also made misrepresentations to the court and others. Vujin displayed similar misconduct in the disciplinary proceedings. (Case No. SC17-1258)
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.”