SUPREME COURT DISCIPLINES 12 ATTORNEYS
Summaries of orders issued Aug. 30-Sept. 27, 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 12 attorneys — disbarring one, revoking the licenses of two, suspending four, and publicly reprimanding five.
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 105,802 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 rejects many who apply. It includes a rigorous background check and retaking the Bar exam.
Joseph Bernstein, 707 S.E. 3rd Ave., Floor 3, Fort Lauderdale. The court granted Bernstein’s petition for disciplinary revocation, without leave to seek readmission, effective immediately, following a Sept. 27 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1977) Disciplinary revocation is tantamount to disbarment. Bernstein continued to practice law after a previous disciplinary revocation. (Case No. SC18-1235)
Michael Eric Eisenberg, 100 S Ashley Drive, Suite 600, Tampa, disbarred, effective immediately, following a Sept. 20 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2003) A client retained Eisenberg to handle a probate matter related to the client’s deceased mother. Eisenberg provided the client with legal advice that was later determined to be inaccurate. Upon learning of his error, Eisenberg indicated he would remedy the mistake and move the estate through probate court on an expedited basis. He subsequently informed the client, and related third parties, that he had filed the correct necessary pleadings with the court, when in fact, he had not. Eisenberg did not file any pleadings with the court and failed to communicate with the client henceforth. He also failed to participate in the Bar’s disciplinary proceedings. (Case No. SC18-276)
Paul H. Green Jr., 10175 Fortune Pkwy Unit 303, Jacksonville, suspended for 60 days, effective 30 days from a Sept. 20 court order, and further ordered to contact Florida Lawyers Assistance for an evaluation. (Admitted to practice: 2008) Green was fired from a law firm that he started with another lawyer, for engaging in unprofessional conduct, such as missing appointments, not coming to work, and making unauthorized charges to the firm’s credit card. He then hijacked the firm’s email account, made derogatory Facebook posts and continued thereafter to harass the other attorney via text and email. In a second matter, a client received inappropriate communications from Green, after his separation from the law firm. The complainant was intimidated by the nature and frequency of the correspondence. Thereafter, Green saw the complainant while she was bartending at a sporting event and further intimidated her by slamming his hand on the bar and telling her “good luck with that Bar complaint.” (Case No: SC18-1004)
Tracy Long, 5300 W. Atlantic Ave., Suite 505, Delray Beach, to be publicly reprimanded by publication, effective immediately, following a Sept. 27 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1990) Long was hired by a client to represent him and his wife in a foreclosure defense case. Long entered his appearance for both husband and wife but failed to communicate with the wife, who was unaware of both the foreclosure case and Long’s representation. (Case No. SC18-1454)
William Bryan Park, 195 Wekiva Springs Road, Suite 204, Longwood, suspended for 91 days, effective 30 days from a Sept. 20 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1993) This is a reciprocal discipline based on an order of indefinite suspension from practicing law before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit. The indefinite suspension was based on Park’s failure to follow the proper appellate procedure, to file an initial brief, and to timely respond to the Order to Show Cause issued by the court. He remained indefinitely suspended from the U.S. Court of Appeals at the time of the Bar’s case. (Case No. SC17-2255)
Megan Elizabeth Richards, 2969 Gilmore St., Jacksonville, to be publicly reprimanded by service of an Aug. 30 Supreme Court Order. (Admitted to Practice: 2007) Further, Richards will contact Florida Lawyers Assistance, Inc., for an evaluation. On March 7, Richards was arrested in Duval County Florida for driving under the influence and resisting an officer without violence. She later entered pleas of no contest and was adjudicated guilty of both first-degree misdemeanors. (Case No. SC18-1109)
Thomas Frank Rosenblum, 4446-1A Hendricks Ave., Suite 326, Jacksonville, to be publicly reprimanded, effective immediately, following a Sept. 6 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1986) Rosenblum was paid $500 and retained in December 2014 to draw up paperwork for a client regarding child support, but he neither prepared nor filed the documents. In mid-2016, the client filed a complaint with The Florida Bar. Rosenblum returned the money 23 months after being retained. (Case No. SC17-898)
Andrew Douglas Scott, Jr., 13553 Crashaw Road, Jacksonville, to be publicly reprimanded, by service of an Aug. 30 Supreme Court Order. (Admitted to practice: 2015) Further, he will continue to participate actively in the program offered by Florida Lawyers Assistance, Inc., by continuing to comply with his rehabilitation contract and his current outpatient treatment program. On Aug. 15, 2016, Scott was adjudicated guilty of reckless driving as reduced from Driving Under the Influence. On Jan. 24, Scott was rearrested and again charged with DUI. In the new case, he was again adjudicated guilty of reckless driving as reduced from DUI. Scott is scheduled to be sentenced in October. (Case No. SC18-1111)
Justin Everett Spiller, 101 Marketside Ave Suite 404-4, Ponte Vedra, suspended for six months, effective 30 days from Sept. 20 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2007) Spiller was hired to close on a property. The complainant wired funds into what she thought was Spiller’s escrow trust account. In fact, the wiring instructions turned out to be his operating account. When the complainant later tried to sell the property, the title search revealed that the property taxes, nuisance liens, and owner’s policy had never been paid. As a result, the complainant had to pay the costs a second time. Spiller admitted his mistake and that he’d failed to pay for and resolve the additional matters. Spiller also admitted that he inadvertently used the money in his operating account for other matters. He subsequently refunded the money he should have used to pay the extra costs. (Case No. SC18-849)
Glenn John Webber, 101 S.E. Ocean Blvd., Suite 203, Stuart, suspended for 60 days with automatic reinstatement; effective 30 days from a Sept. 13 court order, unless shortened by the Court. (Admitted to practice: 1982) Webber’s failure to adequately train and supervise his staff resulted in the premature transfer of fees to Webber, the payment of costs from his trust account before client funds were deposited in the trust account, and the failure to maintain trust books and records that were in substantial compliance with the rules. Shortages of a brief duration resulted from the bookkeeper’s actions. (Case No. SC17-2114)
Lawrence Michael Weisberg, 21301 Powerline Road, Suite 100 Boca Raton. The court granted Weisberg’s petition for disciplinary revocation, without leave to seek readmission, effective immediately, following a Sept. 27 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1992) Disciplinary revocation is tantamount to disbarment. A disciplinary action pending against Weisberg involves an ongoing federal criminal prosecution wherein he has been charged with one count of money laundering, a felony. (Case No. SC18-1293)
Mark L. Wilkins, 4377 Commercial Way 113, Spring Hill, to be publicly reprimanded, effective immediately, following a Sept. 20 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2008) After Wilkins filed a complaint in a civil case, he took no further action and allowed the case to languish in the court system for approximately two years. He did not communicate with his client for months at a time and failed to have vital discussions with his client, which were necessary to advance his case. (Case No. SC18-689)
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.”