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SUPREME COURT DISCIPLINES 20 ATTORNEYS


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 21, 2017
CONTACT:
The Florida Bar Public Information Dept.,
The Florida Bar
TELEPHONE:
850/561-5666; [email protected]


Summaries of orders issued Sept. 22 – Nov. 2, 2017

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 20 attorneys – disbarring four, revoking the licenses of three, suspending 10 and publicly reprimanding three. Two attorneys received more than one form of discipline. One was also placed on probation; another was ordered to pay restitution.

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 104,000-plus 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. Historically, less than 5 percent of disbarred lawyers seek readmission.

Richard Luther Bradford, P.O. Box 6999, Brandon, suspended for 91 days, effective immediately, following a Nov. 2 court order. (Admitted to practice:1995) Bradford was found in contempt for failing to comply with the terms of a May 31 suspension order. He was required to notify his clients, opposing counsel and tribunals of his 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 the suspension order. (Case No. SC17-1781)

Mizell Campbell Jr., 3389 Sheridan St., No. 497, Hollywood, suspended until further order, effective 30 days from an Oct. 12 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2003) According to a petition for emergency suspension order, Campbell appeared to be causing great public harm. A Bar investigation indicated that he commingled trust funds with his own funds and he misappropriated nearly $20,000 of client funds for his own benefit. (Case No. SC17-1738)

George Joseph Charnota, 55 Merrick Way, Suite 212, Coral Gables, suspended for three years, effective immediately, following an Oct. 25 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2001) Charnota was found in contempt for failing to comply with the terms of a Jan. 19 suspension order. He was required to notify his clients, opposing counsel and tribunals of his 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 the suspension order. Further, Charnota failed to provide proof of payment of restitution, as ordered, to two clients, totaling $8,500. (Case No. SC17-1584)

Daniel S. Ciener, 255 N. Grove St., Suite A, Merritt Island, to be publicly reprimanded by publication in the Southern Reporter, following an Oct. 12 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1967) Ciener spoke to a court deputy in a rude and condescending manner in the presence of other people who were present for unrelated matters. (Case No. SC17-1454)

Robert Charles Grady, 6243 Autumn Berry Circle, Jacksonville, to be publicly reprimanded by publication, following a Sept. 22 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1981) Further, Grady shall be placed on probation for two years and sign a monitoring contract with Florida Lawyers Assistance. Grady entered a plea in court, he was adjudicated guilty of DUI, and his driver’s license was permanently revoked. Subsequently, he was adjudicated guilty in a separate case for similar charges, including DUI, resisting without violence, refusal to submit to blood/breath testing, and driving while license suspended. He failed to timely notify The Florida Bar that a determination or judgment of guilt had been entered. (Case No. SC17-275)

Ronny Jay Halperin, 17961 Biscayne Blvd., Suite B-1, Aventura. The court granted Halperin’s petition for a disciplinary revocation, with leave to seek readmission after five years, effective immediately, following an Oct. 26 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1990) Disciplinary revocation is tantamount to disbarment. A disciplinary matter pending against Halperin involved criminal proceedings in court in New York. (Case No. SC17-1463)

Robert Augustus Harper, III, 1725 Capital Circle N.E., Suite 304, Tallahassee, to be publicly reprimanded by publication, following an Oct. 12 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2004) After beginning fee negotiations for representation, Harper led a woman to believe that she was being actively investigated by the state attorney’s office. She borrowed the agreed upon $10,000, and hired him. She later learned that no police report was ever made and the no criminal charges were ever filed. In another matter, after entering a notice of appearance in a dissolution of marriage case in Okaloosa County, Harper then filed an emergency motion for child pick up in Leon County and failed to advise the court of the pending action in Okaloosa County. (Case No. SC17-404)

Stephanie J. Hartley, 1361 Nicholson Road, Jacksonville, suspended for 60 days, effective 30 days from an Oct. 26 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1994) After being taken into custody for belligerent behavior, Hartley pleaded no contest in court to breach of peace/disorderly conduct. According to Bar records, it is the third negative police interaction Hartley has had involving alcohol. In two prior incidents, she was charged with operating a motor vehicle while under the influence or intoxicated. (Case No. SC17-1351)

Melissa A. Heaton, 12222 S.W. 51st Place, Cooper City, suspended until further order, effective immediately, following an Oct. 25 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2007) A determination of guilt for a felony was rendered in court, and Heaton pleaded no contest to illegal drug possession. She failed to notify The Florida Bar of the felony charges and the determination of the criminal offense. (Case No. SC17-1887)

David Andrew Jaynes, 8311 Waterway Drive, West Palm Beach, suspended for 91 days, effective immediately, following a Sept. 22 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1982) Jaynes was found in contempt for failing to comply with the terms of a March 22 suspension order. He was required to notify his clients, opposing counsel and tribunals of his 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 the suspension order. (Case No. SC17-1134)

Christopher Steven Jones, 200 S. Biscayne Blvd., Suite 2790, Miami, disbarred effective immediately, following an Oct. 18 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2000) Jones was found in contempt for failing to comply with the terms of a June 2 suspension order. He was required to notify his clients, opposing counsel and tribunals of his 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 the suspension order. (Case No. SC17-1602)

Kenneth Joseph Kukec, 1128 S.W. 10th Ave., Miami, suspended for one year, effective immediately, following a Sept. 22 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1986) Kukec was found in contempt for failing to comply with the terms of a March 2 suspension order. He was required to notify his clients, opposing counsel and tribunals of his 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 the suspension order. (Case No. SC17-974)

Gregg R. Lopez, 10473 S.W. 40th St. No. 199, Miami, suspended for three years, effective immediately, following a Sept. 25 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2000) Lopez was found in contempt for failing to comply with the terms of a March 21 suspension order. He was required to notify his clients, opposing counsel and tribunals of his 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 the suspension order. (Case SC17-1099)

Byron John Nenos, Jr., 3853 Northdale Blvd., Suite 182, Tampa, suspended until further order, effective 30 days from an Oct. 16 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1990) Nenos was found in contempt for non-compliance. He failed to respond to official Bar inquiries. (Case No. SC17-1433)

Aura Olivas, 4000 Ponce De Leon Blvd., Suite 470, Coral Gables, disbarred effective immediately, following an Oct. 26 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2002) Further, Olivas shall pay restitution of more than $305,000 to a client. Olivas intentionally misappropriated client trust funds owed to a client. She also failed to respond to written Bar inquiries and a subpoena to produce trust account records. (Case No. SC17-664)

Michael Kevin Rathel, 545 Delaney Ave., Suite 4, Orlando, disbarred effective immediately, following a Nov. 1 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2000) Rathel was found in contempt for failing to comply with the terms of a March 23 and June 12 suspension orders. He was required to notify his clients, opposing counsel and tribunals of his 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 the suspension orders. (Case No. SC17-1590)

Victor Felix Rodriguez, 390 N. Orange Ave., Suite 2300, Orlando. The court granted Rodriguez’s petition for a disciplinary revocation, with leave to seek readmission after five years, effective immediately, following an Oct. 26 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2014) Disciplinary revocation is tantamount to disbarment. Disciplinary matters included misappropriation of funds from clients as well as his former employer, and failure to maintain trust account compliance. (Case No. SC17-1554)

Erwin Rosenberg, P.O. Box 416433, Miami Beach, permanently disbarred effective immediately, following a Sept. 25 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1999) Rosenberg was found in contempt for violating the terms of an April 15, 2016 disbarment order. He continued to hold himself out as an attorney, and continued to practice law after disbarment. In numerous pleadings, Rosenberg repeatedly challenged the Court’s authority to disbar him from the practice of law. (Case No. SC17-1108)

Mark Mayer Spatz, 1222 S.E. 3rd Ave., Fort Lauderdale. The court granted Spatz’s petition for a disciplinary revocation, with leave to seek readmission after five years, effective immediately, following an Oct. 26 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1987) Disciplinary revocation is tantamount to disbarment. A disciplinary matter had been pending against Spatz involving patient brokering. (Case No. SC17-1671)

Jordan Lloyd Wallach, 1800 2nd St., Suite 919, Sarasota, suspended until further order, effective 30 days from an Oct. 27 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1979) According to a petition for emergency suspension, Wallach appeared to be causing great public harm based on his misappropriation of at least $215,000 of client funds. (Case No. SC17-1880)

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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."