SUPREME COURT DISCIPLINES 16 ATTORNEYS
Summaries of orders issued from June 6, 2023 to August 24, 2023
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 16 attorneys, disbarring four, revoking the license of three, suspending seven and publicly reprimanding two.
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 111,000 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. 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. Attorneys suspended for periods of 91 days and longer must undergo a rigorous process to regain their law licenses including proving rehabilitation. Disciplinary revocation is tantamount to disbarment.
Benjamin Waldo Buck, Jr., 503 E. Jackson St., #260, Tampa, disciplinary revocation with leave to seek readmission after five years, effective 30 days following an August 17 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2015) Buck tendered a petition for disciplinary revocation based on allegations of engaging in a pattern of neglect and failure to communicate with his clients. Buck also failed to appear at numerous hearings and failed to respond to orders to show cause in cases across the state of Florida. (Case No. SC23-0214)
Paul Wesley Darby, 221 N. Joanna Ave., Tavares, suspended for 10 days and placed on probation for three years with monitoring by Florida Lawyers Assistance, Inc., effective 30 days following an August 3 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2009) In 2021, Darby pled no contest to Reckless Driving with Alcohol and Refusal to Submit to Chemical/Physical Test. In 2022, in a separate misdemeanor matter, Darby pled guilty to Leaving the Scene of a Crash. Darby then violated his probation with an arrest and no contest plea to Driving Under the Influence (1 Prior Conviction) and Refusal to Submit to Chemical/Physical Test. He was credited with time served and received a 12-month period of probation with special conditions. (Case No. SC23-0417)
Kaysia Monica Earley, P.O. Box 451832, Sunrise, public reprimand and ordered to attend Ethics School, effective immediately following an August 10 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2014) During a judicial election campaign, Earley engaged in campaign misconduct, which included soliciting donations by handing out postcards and giving speeches that directed voters to her website that contained a “Donate Now” button. (Case No. SC23-1070)
Teresa Marie Gaffney, P.O. Box 18112, Tampa, permanent disbarment, effective 30 days following an August 3 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1984) Gaffney was permanently disbarred from the practice of law for her pattern of engaging in improper delay tactics over the course of litigation, reckless, impugning and disparaging commentary about the judiciary and engaging in conduct contrary to honesty and justice that was prejudicial to the administration of justice. Gaffney’s misconduct continued throughout her disciplinary proceedings. (Case No. SC21-0938)
Kevin Lawrence Hagen, 3531 Griffin Rd., Fort Lauderdale, disciplinary revocation with leave to seek readmission after five years, effective 30 days following an August 10 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1994) Hagen was convicted of one Count of Conspiracy to Commit Securities Fraud in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371. (Case No. SC23-0961)
Wayne Vincent Harper, 2112 W. Marjory Ave., Tampa, disbarred, effective immediately following a July 20 court order, as Harper was already suspended. (Admitted to practice: 2004) Harper failed to comply with the terms and conditions set forth in the referee report and consent judgment previously approved by the Supreme Court. (Case No. SC23-0386)
Joshua Todd Hill Hauserman, 9176 Paragon Way, Boynton Beach, disbarred, effective immediately following a June 6 court order, as Hauserman was already suspended. (Admitted to practice: 2007). Hauserman failed to comply with the terms and conditions set forth in the referee report and consent judgment previously approved by the Supreme Court. (Case No. SC23-0366)
Adres Jaqueen Jackson-Whyte, 633 NE 167th St., Suite 1214, Miami, disbarment, effective nunc pro tunc to December 14, 2022. (Admitted to practice: 2009) Jackson-Whyte misappropriated trust funds and failed to produce trust account records to the bar. Jackson-Whyte then destroyed client records despite being aware of the bar’s investigation at the time and made payments in cash to a client so that his government disability payments would not be disturbed by a significant bank balance. The uncontested report of the referee was approved in an August 17 court order. (Case No. SC22-1612)
Lisa Jacobs, 20401 NE 30th Ave., Apt. 318, Aventura, suspended for 91 days, effective 30 days following a July 14 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1999) Jacobs failed to comply with the terms and conditions set forth in the referee report and consent judgment previously approved by the Supreme Court. (Case No. SC23-0703)
Philip Sean Karle, 5 W. Highbanks Rd., Debary, suspended for 10 days and ordered to complete an office procedures and record-keeping analysis by and under the direction of the Diversion/Discipline Consultation Service (DDCS), effective 30 days following an August 3 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2007) While representing a client in a family law matter, Karle failed to appear for several case management conferences. The court ultimately dismissed the case and referred Karle to The Florida Bar. Karle advised that he did not appear at some of the case management conference dates because the hearings were not placed on his calendar. After reviewing his emails, Karle determined that the notices of these dates were filtered out of his email Inbox and archived into “All Mail.” Karle refiled the case and personally paid the filing fee. (Case No. SC22-1815)
Erica Helene Kobloth, 34 Eagle Ave., BSMT, Paterson, New Jersey, suspended for one year, effective immediately following an August 3 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2012) After being hired to provide legal representation, Kobloth failed to appear for a specially set trial date and did not timely notify the court that she would not be in attendance. In another matter, Kobloth failed to take significant action on behalf of a client or keep the client reasonably informed about the status of his case. (Case No. SC22-1578)
Frank T. Noska, P.O. Box 254, Palm Beach, suspended until further order of the Court, effective 30 days following a July 31 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1982) Noska failed to respond to The Florida Bar File No. 2020-50,396(15E). The Florida Bar filed its Petition for Contempt and Order to Show Cause on May 15, 2023. On that same day, the Florida Supreme Court ordered Noska to show cause by May 30, 2023. Noska failed to file a response to the Court’s Order to Show Cause. By Court order dated July 31, 2023, Noska was held in contempt and suspended until he has fully responded in writing to an official bar inquiry, and until further order of the Court. (Case No. SC23-0679)
Emelike Nwosuocha, 14328 SW 101st St., Miami, suspended for six months, effective 30 days following an August 17 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2008) Attorney’s fees were assessed against Nwosuocha for filing a frivolous medical malpractice complaint and failing to pay the defendant the amount ordered. Nwosuocha also failed to timely respond to the bar’s complaint or request for admissions and consequently was defaulted. At the time of the final hearing, Nwosuocha still had not paid the amount due in attorney’s fees nor did he demonstrate remorse for his misconduct. (Case No. SC22-1776)
Marc S. Reiner, 12316 Equine Ln., West Palm Beach, public reprimand and ordered to attend The Florida Bar’s Professionalism Workshop and The Florida Bar Board Certification Review Course for Criminal Law. Effective immediately following an August 24 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2008) Reiner represented a client in a criminal matter. The client was under pretrial supervision and monitored by a GPS ankle monitor. During the representation, Reiner met with the client with the permission of Pretrial Services but made stops during that meeting that were not specifically authorized. When questioned by the court regarding the stops, Reiner did not provide sufficient or clear responses as to the stops or as to his belief that those stops were permissible. (Case No. SC23-0387)
Lee Segal, 2625 McCormick Dr., Suite 104-105, Clearwater, suspended for one year, effective 30 days following an August 10 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2007) In three different matters, Segal engaged in misconduct including conflict of interests with his clients and evasive and misrepresentative statements made to the courts. Segal’s conduct involved deceit and was prejudicial to the administration of justice. (Case No. SC23-1067)
Kyle Charles Young, 255 Royal Poinciana Way, Apt. 4, Palm Beach, disciplinary revocation with leave to apply for readmission, effective 30 days following an August 17 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2008) On March 6, 2023, Young was criminally charged with making false and fraudulent misrepresentations in a Paycheck Protection Program loan application. The criminal case disposition is pending. (Case No. SC23-0846)