SUPREME COURT DISCIPLINES 19 ATTORNEYS
Summaries of orders issued from April 21, 2022, to May 23, 2022
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 19 attorneys, disbarring three, suspending nine, reprimanding one and revoking the licenses of six.
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 110,000 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.
Charles H. Burns, 205 Golfview Dr., Tequesta, disciplinary revocation without leave to seek readmission effective 30 days following a May 19 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1980) Burns was the subject of a Bar grievance that involved allegations of misappropriation. (Case No: SC22-227)
Allan Campbell, 1300 South Duncan Dr., Bldg. A, Tavares, suspended for three years and completion of The Florida Bar’s Ethics School effective 30 days following a May 19 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1990) Campbell created a law firm with nonlawyers who were allowed to control Campbell’s law firm and the employees of the firm. The nonlawyers engaged in the unlicensed practice of law with respect to both the time share exit cases and the mortgage foreclosure cases. Campbell allowed others, including nonlawyers, to file pleadings using Campbell’s e-filing credentials without his approval. Campbell made accusations under oath in federal court that he later admitted he did not know whether those accusations were true. Additionally, the nonlawyer employees engaged in negotiations with time share resorts, under Campbell’s name as an attorney, located in jurisdictions in which Campbell was not admitted to the practice of law. Campbell allowed the nonlawyers who ran his law firm to advertise and directly solicit potential clients in a manner that was not allowed by the Rules Regulating The Florida Bar. Finally, one of the nonlawyers who ran Campbell’s law office told Campbell not to come back that the nonlawyer was changing the locks, preventing Campbell from having access to his own law firm. A new law firm was created with a similar name under a different attorney who continued servicing the cases under Campbell’s law firm without any notice to the clients from Campbell or the new attorney. (Case No: SC21-1495)
Sandra Coracelin, 16211 S.W. 18th St., Miramar, disbarred effective immediately following a May 23 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1997) Coracelin filed her petition for reinstatement from a three-year suspension. After determining Coracelin acted in contempt of the two previous orders of suspension, the Bar filed a petition for contempt and order to show cause. Coracelin committed several misrepresentations to the Bar during the reinstatement proceedings and to an employer during her suspension, including attempting to tamper with a witness and thwart The Florida Bar’s investigation into her conduct during her suspension. Coracelin also omitted three legal employments, and other jobs, from her petition for reinstatement and failed to disclose the income derived from them. (Case No: SC20-1473)
Maite L. Diaz, P.O. Box 820300, Pembroke Pines, public reprimand by publication effective immediately following a May 12 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2006) This is a reciprocal discipline action that was issued by the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Florida on June 25, 2019. It ultimately resulted in Diaz being suspended by the bankruptcy court due to what the court described as gross incompetence. Diaz appealed the order in federal court and sought reinstatement prior to the conclusion of the appeal. She was reinstated in 2020 after a finding that she was fully rehabilitated. (Case No: SC21-1754)
John Gillespie, 252 8th Ave., Cramerton, NC, suspended for three years, effective immediately following an April 28 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1998) Gillespie engaged in misconduct, including a conflict of interest, by engaging in a sexual relationship with a criminal client that resulted in the birth of a child. Gillespie also made misrepresentations to the Bar during its investigation of this matter. (Case No: SC20-974)
Diane Joy Harrison, 6719 Bobby Jones Ct., Palmetto, disciplinary revocation with leave to seek readmission effective immediately following a May 5 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2000) Harrison was involved in one disciplinary matter pertaining to an SEC judgment entered against her. (Case No: SC22-386)
Nirav Mahendra Jamindar, 17555 Nature Walk Trail, Unit 305, Parker, CO, suspended for 90 days effective 30 days following a May 5 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2008) In one matter, Jamindar failed to timely and properly withdraw from an appellate matter, causing delay in the appeal. In a separate instance, Jamindar represented he was “Of Counsel” for a law firm for a period of time in which he was no longer working for the law firm. Jamindar inadvertently filed notices of appearance reflecting his “Of Counsel” designation. In second, third and fourth matters, Jamindar failed to properly supervise his wife, who solicited legal business for Jamindar without his knowledge. (Case No: SC21-507)
Christopher A. Lim, P.O. Box 568163, Orlando, suspended for one year effective 30 days following a May 19 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2005) Lim became involved with two separate “private member associations” that were run by nonlawyers. The first company marketed itself to individuals wanting to fight foreclosure cases without directly hiring an attorney. Lim and another attorney provided legal services to the customers of the company. After the company ceased operations, Lim joined another law firm that, in effect, was run by another “private member association” that marketed itself to individuals wanting to defend their foreclosure cases without directly hiring an attorney. The law firm also was used by another nonlawyer’s company that directly solicited individuals who wanted to cancel their timeshare contracts. The nonlawyer company owners controlled the operations of the law firms and had considerable input into what actions the attorneys took. The manner in which the law firm was run caused considerable confusion as to which attorney was representing a particular client. All fees were paid by the customers directly to the companies which then paid the attorneys a salary. Lim also was sanctioned by the Fifth District Court of Appeal for failing to respond to two Orders to Show Cause for pursuing a meritless appeal. (Case No: SC21-1666)
Janet Peralta Lucente, 1525 N. Park Dr., Suite 102, Weston, disciplinary revocation with leave to seek readmission after five years effective immediately following an April 28 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1997) Lucente engaged in the practice of law after being suspended for 91 days by filing pleadings furthering litigation and held herself out as an attorney in said pleadings. Lucente failed to provide notice of her suspension and a copy of the order to a client and failed to withdraw from the matter prior to the effective date of her suspension. Lucente also made a misrepresentation in her affidavit to The Florida Bar when she stated she had no clients when the order of suspension was issued. (Case No: SC22-352)
Daniel Markovich, 1151 Poinciana Dr., Pembroke Pines, indefinitely suspended effective 30 days following an April 28 court order (Admitted to practice: 2017). Markovich was convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit health care and wire fraud; two counts of health care fraud; one count of conspiracy to pay and receive kickbacks; and two counts of payment and offer kickbacks in exchange for use of services. Markovich was sentenced to ninety-seven months and sixty months of incarceration, all terms to run concurrently. (Case No: SC22-566)
Jonathan Markovich, 250 95th St, Surfside, indefinitely suspended effective 30 days from an April 28 court order (Admitted to practice: 2013). Markovich was convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit health care and wire fraud; eight counts of health care fraud; one count of conspiracy to pay and receive kickbacks; one count of payment and offer of kickbacks in exchange for use of services; one count of soliciting and receiving kickbacks; one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering; eight counts of money laundering; and two counts of bank fraud. Markovich was sentenced to one hundred eighty-eight months, one hundred twenty months, and sixty months of incarceration, all terms to run concurrently. (Case No: SC22-570)
Michael Jay Meadors, 500 E. University Ave., Suite B, Gainesville, permanent disciplinary revocation effective 30 days following an April 28 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2003) Meadors is charged by criminal information with one count of child sexual battery (Count I, Capital Felony), and 21 counts of promoting 23-1 and possessing a sexual performance by a child (Counts II-X, First Degree Felonies, and XI-XXII, Second Degree Felonies). (Case No: SC22-245)
Raymond B. Mitchell, 3717 Del Prado Blvd. S., Suite 1, Cape Coral, suspended for 91 days effective 30 days following a March 28 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1994) Mitchell was found to have engaged in conduct that was prejudicial to the administration of justice and of making disparaging statements which impugned the qualifications and integrity of a judge. (Case No: SC20-1777)
Lawrence Bruce Newman, 1900 Glades Rd., Boca Raton, disciplinary revocation with leave to apply for readmission effective April 27 following a May 12 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1974) Newman agreed to a disciplinary revocation concerning the misuse of funds. (Case No: SC22-402)
Alan Howard Ramer, 10602 S.W. 77th Terr., Miami, suspended for 91 days effective 30 days following a May 20 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1988) This is a reciprocal discipline action stemming from a six-month suspension order by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida that was to be rescinded if Ramer complied with remedial requirements. To date, he has not complied. Ramer repeatedly failed to timely comply with discovery requests and/or produce complete responses, failed to attend court-ordered mediation, failed to respond to opposing counsel’s emails, failed to comply with court orders, and failed to comply with the local rules for the Southern District Court of Florida. (SC20-1027)
Jason Edward Rheinstein, P.O. Box 1369, Severna Park, MD, disbarred effective 30 days following a May 20 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2008) Rheinstein was found to have filed numerous pleadings lacking merit in violation of rules of procedure in both federal and state cases. Rheinstein also filed numerous frivolous pleadings and took positions unsupported by the facts or the law. Rheinstein violated the rules by attempting to prove an elaborate conspiracy theory in order to force a settlement, as well as issuing unsubstantiated accusations against his legal opponent regarding a fraud scheme that led a court to believe the opponent was under federal investigation. Rheinstein also engaged in a series of actions, including threatening to report his opponent’s attorneys to the Attorney Grievance Commission if they refused to drop an appeal or withdraw from the case, making accusations of ex parte communication with the clerk’s office in an effort to manipulate the trial record, and threatening opposing counsels with claims related to their clients’ alleged fraudulent conduct. This is a reciprocal discipline action based on an order from The Court of Appeals of Maryland dated Jan. 24, 2020. (Case No: SC20-1614)
Grant Griffith Sarbinoff, 411 N.E. 53rd St., Miami, indefinitely suspended effective 30 days following an April 28 court order (Admitted to practice: 2010). Sabrinoff was adjudicated guilty of the following felony offenses: two counts of criminal use of personal identification information; one count of unlawful use of a two-way communications device; and sixteen counts of offenses against users of computers. (Case No: SC22-573)
Jeffrey Alan Siegmeister, P.O. Box 329, Live Oak, permanent disciplinary revocation, effective 30 days following an April 28 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1994) On Feb. 22, 2022, Siegmeister pled guilty to the following: conspiracy to use a facility of commerce for unlawful activity, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 371 and 1952(a)(3); conspiracy to interfere with commerce by extortion, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1951(a); wire fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1343; and filing a false tax return, in violation of 26 U.S.C. § 7206(1). (Case No: SC22-307)
Kenneth Carl Wright, 121 South Orange Ave., Suite 1500, Orlando, disbarred effective immediately following a May 12 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1988) Wright was arrested for suspected shoplifting, for trespassing and resisting arrest without violence on March 10, 2020. In August of 2020, Wright entered a plea to the trespass charge and received a time served jail sentence and a withhold of adjudication. The resisting without violence charge was dismissed by the State pursuant to Wright’s plea agreement. Wright failed to advise The Florida Bar of his criminal plea. In September 2020, Wright was arrested in Denver, Colorado for burglary. Wright failed to appear for his court proceedings in relation to that charge. He absconded and is subject to a warrant for arrest as a fugitive from justice. Wright did not participate in the Bar’s disciplinary proceedings against him. (Case No: SC21-1215)
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