SUPREME COURT DISCIPLINES 21 ATTORNEYS
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 30, 2017
CONTACT: Public Information Department,
The Florida Bar
Summaries of orders issued March 16 – April 20, 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 21 attorneys – disbarring two, revoking the licenses of five, suspending 11, and publicly reprimanding three. Four attorneys received more than one form of discipline; one was placed on probation and three were 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.
Allen Montgomery Blake, 4411 Bee Ridge Road, No. 161, Sarasota, disbarred effective immediately, following a March 22 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1969) Blake was found in contempt for noncompliance, for violating the terms of an Aug. 26, 2016, suspension order. Specifically, Blake was required to notify 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. SC17-45)
Kurt Ellis Bosshardt, 4445 El Mar Drive, Apt. 415, Fort Lauderdale, suspended for 90 days, effective 30 days from a March 30 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1986) Further, Bosshardt shall pay restitution of $4,056.42 to The Florida Bar Foundation. During a deposition, Bosshardt admitted to using his law firm and business bank accounts to facilitate the sale or purchase of luxury marine vessels. Between 2008 and 2009 he operated a yacht brokerage business. Bosshardt commingled monies he should have been holding in trust with funds held in his operating and personal accounts, and in some instances, profited from the interest the funds generated prior to the transactions closing. Respondent provided inconsistent responses regarding his role in the transactions. (Case No. SC16-1824)
Christopher Lee Buttermore, 8202 Wiles Road, No. 53, Coral Springs, suspended for six months, effective immediately, following a March 23 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1988) Further, Buttermore shall pay restitution of $16,169.80 to one client. In that case, Buttermore accepted more than $15,000 in legal fees but provided no meaningful services. He subsequently abandoned the case and provided no documentation to the Bar that any legal work was undertaken on the client’s behalf. In another matter, Buttermore made misrepresentations in sworn testimony regarding legal services he provided to a client and the amount of money he was paid. He continued to accept money from the client without doing any work on her case. He also failed to respond to the Bar regarding the matter. (Case No. SC16-2022)
William Scott Callahan, 1231 Via Salerno, Winter Park, suspended for one year, effective retroactive to April 20, following an April 20 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1987) Callahan was subpoenaed and agreed to cooperate in a federal fraud investigation involving a company that sold vacation rentals. He had been a partner at a law firm that handled closings for the company. In the course of his duties supervising the closing agents, Callahan violated Bar rules. He made misleading statements, and when he learned the principals of the company were omitting pertinent information from the closing documents, he failed to warn them, failed to obtain additional legal opinions and failed to withdraw from further representation. (Case No. SC17-539)
James M. Corrigan, 700 S. Palafox St., Suite 220, Pensacola, suspended until further order, following an April 7 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1996) According to a petition for emergency suspension, Corrigan appeared to be causing great public harm by misappropriating client trust funds. (Case No. SC17-594)
John Leslie Gioiello, P.O. Box 1987, Panama City, suspended until further order, following an April 20 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1985) Gioiello was found in contempt for noncompliance. Gioiello failed to comply with the terms of a Feb. 19 report of minor misconduct, which placed him on probation for one year and required him to schedule an evaluation with Florida Lawyers Assistance, Inc., within 10 days and provide proof to The Florida Bar within 60 days. (Case No. SC17-93)
Henry C. Hunter, 215 E. Virginia St., Tallahassee, to receive a disciplinary revocation, without leave to seek readmission, effective 30 days from an April 6 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1976) Disciplinary revocation is tantamount to disbarment. A disciplinary matter pending against Hunter involved the misappropriation of funds from his trust account in the amount of more than $350,000. (Case No. SC16-2222)
John T. Jenkins, Jr., 20 Carrick Road, Palm Beach Gardens, disbarred effective immediately, following a March 16 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2003) After improperly filing a notice of withdrawal from a case with the 5th District Court of Appeal, Jenkins was ordered to file a proper motion to withdraw that complied with Florida Rules of Appellate Procedure. He failed to timely respond and he failed to appear in court. When the request to withdraw was finally granted, the court found his response insufficient and ordered him to pay a $250 sanction. Jenkins failed to comply with another order requiring him to appear in court, and he failed to pay the sanction. (Case No. SC16-1300)
Kenneth Joseph Kukec, 1128 S.W. 10th Ave., Miami, suspended until further order, effective immediately, following an April 17 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1986) Kukec was found in contempt for noncompliance for failure to fully respond to an official Bar inquiry. (Case No. SC17-190)
Anett Lopez, 7392 N.W. 35th Terrace, Suite 305, Miami, suspended until further order, effective 30 days from an April 20 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2005) Lopez was found in contempt for non-compliance for failure to fully respond to an official Bar inquiry and produce all subpoenaed trust account records. (Case No. SC16-1016)
Peter William Martin, 4705 26th St. W., Bradenton, to receive a disciplinary revocation, without leave to seek readmission, effective 30 days from an April 13 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1973) Disciplinary revocation is tantamount to disbarment. A disciplinary matter pending against Martin involved the misappropriation of funds from his trust account in the amount of at least $200,000. (Case No. SC17-145)
Stefan E. McHardy, 15800 Pines Blvd., Suite 3086, Pembroke Pines, to be publicly reprimanded by publication in the Southern Reporter. (Admitted to practice: 2011) Further, McHardy shall pay restitution of $4,200 to one client. McHardy’s retainer agreement was not clear to the client, so she subsequently terminated his representation by phone and stopped paying because she was dissatisfied. McHardy did not move to withdraw from the case and remained counsel of record, saying he was not aware he was required to file a motion to withdraw. (Case No. SC16-1747)
Cherie A. Parker, P.O. Box 322, Largo, to receive a disciplinary revocation, with leave to seek readmission after five years, effective immediately, following an April 20 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1980) Disciplinary revocation is tantamount to disbarment. Disciplinary matters pending against Parker involved failure to maintain adequate communication with a client and failure to respond to The Florida Bar’s investigative inquiries. (Case No. SC17-324)
Michael Kevin Rathel, 545 Delaney Ave., Suite 4, Orlando, suspended for one year, effective 30 days from a March 23 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2000) Rathel bought a house after persuading the seller to hold a second mortgage for $100,000 needed by Rathel to pay the purchase price. Rathel promised to repay the seller and pledged his current home as security for the mortgage. Rathel sold his current home without telling the seller or repaying the seller’s second mortgage. Commencing in or about 2010, Rathel failed to file and pay his personal federal and corporate tax returns in a timely manner. In another matter, Rathel failed to timely respond to an inquiry about a Bar complaint. (Case No. SC16-1024)
Joseph Oreste Reosti, 4771 Bayou Blvd., Suite 300, Pensacola, suspended for three years, effective immediately, following an April 13 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2002) In addition, Reosti is ordered to cease practicing law during the term of his probation and withdraw from all pending cases. Reosti pleaded no contest to two counts of introducing contraband into a county detention facility, based on his arrest at the Okaloosa County Jail during a visit with a client. (Case No. SC17-265)
Thomas Anthony Sadaka, 1420 Celebration Blvd., Suite 200, Celebration, suspended for 91 days, effective 30 days from an April 13 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1992)
While employed by one law firm, Sadaka maintained his pre-existing law firm. A Bar investigation found that in six client matters while he was employed by the outside law firm, Sadaka used that company’s engagement letters and fee contracts, but directed the fee payments to be paid to his private practice or himself. (Case No. SC16-1733)
Robert John Slama, 6817 Southpoint Parkway, Suite 2504, Jacksonville, to be publicly reprimanded following an April 20 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1992) As a result of personal and family-related crises, Slama has not paid his corporate and personal taxes for the past eight years. (Case No. SC17-318)
Arturo S. Suarez-Silverio, 160 S.W. 30th Ave., Apt. 108A, Miami, suspended for one year, retroactive to Nov. 1, 2016, following an April 20 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1991) This is a reciprocal discipline matter. Suarez-Silverio is also a member of the New Jersey State Bar Association and was suspended by the N.J. Supreme Court, based on actions that caused his suspension in New York, where he also practiced. His handling of several immigration cases before the court were concerning. In one instance, Suarez-Silverio failed to timely file case opening forms; a second was dismissed for failure to file the petitioner’s brief. In another matter, he failed to timely file a brief despite being contacted by the chief deputy clerk. Further, he misrepresented to the clerk that the matter was settled and a motion was pending before the board of immigration appeals. (Case No. SC17-592)
Catherine Elizabeth Timilty, 11079 Longhill Drive N., Pinellas Park, to receive a disciplinary revocation, without leave to seek readmission, effective immediately, following an April 13 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1999) Disciplinary revocation is tantamount to disbarment. A disciplinary matter pending against Timilty involved her contempt of a court order. (Case No. SC17-417)
Elizabeth Jean Waddell, P.O. Box 544, Winter Park, to receive a disciplinary revocation, without leave to seek readmission, effective immediately, following an April 13 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1993) Disciplinary revocation is tantamount to disbarment. A disciplinary matter pending against Waddell involved her failure to complete representation, provide communication and return files upon request in certain client matters. (Case No. SC17-277)
Laura Diane Wisoker, 7331 Office Park Place, Viera, to be publicly reprimanded by publication in the Southern Reporter, following an April 13 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1997) Further, Wisoker shall be placed on probation for two years, and sign a rehabilitation contract with Florida Lawyers Assistance. Wisoker admitted in court that she was unprepared for a client’s felony trial, so in lieu of preparing, she’d intended to withdraw from representation. She was also argumentative with the court at hearings and she made statements in court and in social media posts that were derogatory and unprofessional regarding court personnel and the criminal justice system. (Case No. SC17-532)
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."