December 1, 2021 Disciplinary Actions
The Florida Supreme Court in recent court orders disciplined nine attorneys, disbarring one, suspending seven, and reprimanding one. One attorney was placed on probation and two were ordered to pay restitution.
Gavin David Caddy, 733 S.W. 13th Ave., Apt. 4, Ft. Lauderdale, suspended for 91 days, effective 30 days following a November10 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1997) Caddy filed a frivolous case and a trial court sanctioned him and his client. In other matters, Caddy failed to appear at a court hearing; failed to comply with a court’s directions regarding billing; and failed to comply with discovery deadlines. Caddy entered a stipulation as to probable cause, conditional guilty plea, and consent judgment for discipline. (Case No: SC20-1160)
Jeanine L. Cohen, P.O. Box 7277, Wesley Chapel, suspended for 30 days effective 30 days following a November18 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1997) While representing a client in an appeal of an order denying a post-conviction motion, Cohen failed to comply with multiple orders and correspondence from the appellate court that required her to provide responses and/or file an initial brief. The appellate court dismissed the appeal for failure to file an initial brief. After the appellate court reinstated the appeal with the client appearing pro se, Cohen again failed to comply with an order from the court requiring a response and documents to be filed. (Case No: SC20-1636)
Charles Fletcher, 301 W Bay St., Suite 1477, Jacksonville, suspended for 30 days and payment of restitution effective 30 days from a November10 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1997) Fletcher took a fee to review and advise his client on the merits of a possible appeal however he failed to adequately communicate with the client. Fletcher agreed to refund the client’s retainer fee. In another case, Fletcher took a fee to review and file an appeal on behalf of the client. While the client was serving his prison sentence, Fletcher failed to visit the client in prison, although he had agreed to do so multiple times, and failed to adequately communicate with him. Fletcher agreed to partially refund the client’s retainer fee. In a third matter, Fletcher was hired to file and litigate a criminal post-trial motion for ineffective assistance of counsel. Fletcher failed to diligently pursue the client’s postconviction relief and communicate with the client. He agreed to refund the client’s retainer fee. (Case No: SC21-184)
Derek Vashon James, 1057 Maitland Center Commons Blvd., Maitland, suspended for 91 days effective 30 days following a November18, court order. (Admitted to practice: 2000) James obstructed opposing counsel’s access to evidence when he secretly coached a witness by text during a telephone deposition in a contested workers’ compensation matter and made misrepresentations regarding his misconduct. In addition, he misrepresented to opposing counsel by claiming that he only sent text messages to the witness during a break in the questioning. He also failed to be forthright with the judge of compensation claims about sending the text messages to the witness. (Case No: SC20-128)
Karl O. Koepke, 1121 Eastin Ave., Apt. B7, Orlando, disbarred effective 30 days following an October 28 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1965) Koepke failed to disclose a settlement agreement in response to a discovery request in his personal family law matter and was found guilty of indirect criminal contempt by the trial court. The trial court found that Koepke was untruthful and intentionally misleading in his discovery responses. (Case No: SC20-286)
Julio J. Martinez, 6450 Collins Ave., Apt. 1108, Miami Beach, public reprimand by publication and probation for two years effective 30 days following a November18 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2010) Martinez was arrested after a traffic stop and charged with possession of cocaine, license suspended without knowledge, speeding, possession of cannabis, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Martinez was accepted into the Pretrial Intervention Program. After he successfully completed the Pretrial Intervention Program, all remaining charges were dropped. The grievance committee considered this matter and made a diversion recommendation that required Martinez to enter into a contract with FLA, Inc. Martinez failed to comply with the conditions of his FLA, Inc., contract after testing positive for cocaine several times. (Case No: SC21-1532)
Mark Robert Moon, 9156 Cherry Terr., Seminole, suspended effective 30 days following a November9 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2007) Moon failed to respond to official Bar inquiries regarding a client’s grievance. Moon was held in contempt and suspended until he fully responds in writing to the grievance and until further order of the court. (Case No: SC21-1286)
Shauna Frances Morris, 305 Live Oak Ln., Largo, suspended effective 30 days following an October 27 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2000) Morris failed to respond in writing to the official Bar inquiry and failed to respond to the court’s Order to Show Cause dated September 13, 2021. (Case No: SC21-1283)
Sten Thield Sliger, 121 N. Madison St., Quincy, suspended for three years and payment of restitution effective immediately following a November18 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1994) Sliger represented 13 clients in various probate and property matters. He engaged in a pattern of neglect by failing to communicate with his clients, failing to move the cases along in a timely fashion and failing to refund unearned fees. In several instances, Sliger failed to respond to the Bar and to grievance committee requests for information. Sliger was ordered to pay restitution to three clients and attend fee arbitration with the remaining 10 clients. (Case No: SC20-553)
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 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. 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.