The Florida Bar

Florida Bar News

December 1, 2022 Disciplinary Actions

Disciplinary Actions

Scales Books GavelThe Florida Supreme Court in recent court orders disciplined 21 attorneys, disbarring two, suspending 11, reprimanding two and revoking the licenses of six.

Chris Ambrosio, 5091 Fairfield Dr., Ft. Myers, disciplinary revocation with leave to seek readmission, effective December 12, 2022. (Admitted to practice: 2005) On or about September 12, 2022, Ambrosio entered a plea of guilty to one count of felony child abuse under §827.03(1)(b), Fla. Stat., in Duval County Case number 16-2021-CF-002764-AXXX-MA. (Case No: SC22-1244 )

Steven Edward Amster, 4000 Ponce De Leon Blvd., Suite 470, Coral Gables, held in contempt and publicly reprimanded, effective immediately following a November 14 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1994) Amster failed to respond timely to official Florida Bar inquiries. (Case No: SC22-1211)

Odiator Arugu, 1510 E. Colonial Dr., Suite 303, Orlando, suspended for 91 days, effective 30 days following a November 10 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1995) Arugu prepared and filed a Notice of Production from Non-Party along with a proposed subpoena duces tecum which listed seven sets of records. After the 10-day period to serve an objection to the proposed subpoena expired, Arugu served a modified version of the subpoena, seeking the production of three additional sets of records. Arugu served the modified subpoena despite being aware of the opposing counsel’s objection to the modified subpoena. He knowingly disregarded the objection and served the subpoena with no mention of the objection to the third party. (Case No: SC21-933)

Shawn Michael Berry, 847 Highland Ave., Apt. 106, Orlando, held in contempt and suspended until such time as he makes a written response to The Florida Bar’s investigative inquiries and until further order of the Supreme Court of Florida, effective 30 days following a November 1 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2009) Berry was found in contempt for noncompliance after failing to respond in writing to the Bar’s investigative inquiry related to a complaint filed by a client. (Case No: SC22-1130)

A J Blake, 136 Lakeridge Dr., Panama City, suspended for 91 days and must complete CLE Requirement before applying for reinstatement, effective 30 days following an October 27 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1995) Despite numerous letters from The Florida Bar notifying her that she was ineligible to practice law, Blake continued as attorney of record in two court cases while she was ineligible to practice law. Blake failed to respond to The Florida Bar or to participate in any of the disciplinary proceedings at the staff, grievance committee or referee levels. (Case No: SC22-123)

Colleen Marie Dunne, 1314 Hickory Moss Pl., Trinity, suspended for 15 months, effective, nunc pro tunc, January 5, 2022. (Admitted to practice: 2000) Dunne was the subject of two disciplinary matters. In the first one, she misrepresented to the judge the degree of her relationship with a client in a hearing to disqualify her as counsel. However, the court denied the motion to disqualify on other grounds entirely unrelated to same. As the misrepresentation was not relevant to a material issue, there was no prejudice or harm to the legal system. In the second matter, Dunne texted with a friend and jokingly indicated she wanted to find a basis to object to the marriage of a defendant with a potential witness in a criminal case where respondent was the prosecutor. County jail records indicate that Dunne informed the county jail that “the courts” objected to the defendant’s marriage. However, she claimed that she told the jail that it was the State Attorney’s Office that objected, but that they recorded it incorrectly. Case No: SC22-1452)

Chelsea Elizabeth Haritan, 1950 N.E. 6th St., Unit 262, Pompano Beach, suspended until further notice, effective 30 days following a November 14 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2012) Haritan failed to respond to The Florida Bar File No. 2023-50,104(17F). The Florida Bar filed its Petition for Contempt and Order to Show Cause on September 9, 2022. The Florida Supreme Court ordered Haritan to show cause by September 27, 2022. Haritan failed to file a response to the court’s Order to Show Cause. (Case No: SC22-1193)

Arnold Dennis Hessen, 3510 Rockerman Rd., Miami, disciplinary revocation without leave to seek readmission, effective 30 days following a November 3 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1968) Following allegations of misappropriation of funds in a related disciplinary proceeding, Hessen submitted a petition for permanent disciplinary revocation which was approved by the Florida Supreme Court. (Case No: SC22-1129)

Mary Michele Hudson, 4440 PGA Blvd., Ste. 600, Palm Beach Gardens, disbarred, effective immediately from November 23 order, (Admitted to practice: 2011) Hudson represented a spouse in post dissolution matters. The court found that representation to be incompetent, vexatious, and in bad faith. Fla. Stat. 57.105 sanctions were imposed against Hudson and her client and Hudson has failed to pay the sanction. It is believed that Hudson left the jurisdiction but failed to provide any contact information with the Bar. Hudson also failed to appear throughout the disciplinary process, despite great efforts by the Bar to locate her. She was previously found in contempt for failing to respond to the Bar and providing the required affidavit pursuant to the order of the Florida Supreme Court. (Case No. SC22-743)

Meredith Diane Jones, 207 S. 2nd Street, Ft. Pierce, suspended until Jones has fully responded in writing to official Florida Bar inquiries, and until further order of the court, effective 30 days following a November 1 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2012) Jones failed to respond, in writing, to two separate inquiries by The Florida Bar. The Bar’s investigator also made numerous attempts to contact Jones without success. Jones then failed to respond to an Order to Show Cause issued by the Supreme Court of Florida. (Case No: SC22-1251)

Mark Edward Kellogg, 5501 Backlick Rd Ste 220, Springfield, VA, disciplinary revocation without leave to seek readmission, effective 30 days following a November 10 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1972) Kellogg consented to a revocation of his law license in Virginia, which resulted from his representation of a fellow attorney and long-time friend in a probate matter. That attorney drafted a will for an elderly client weeks after she suffered a stroke. He named himself attorney for the estate, executor of the estate, and the primary beneficiary. The client died 10 days after the will was executed. Kellogg admitted that he did not disclose to the beneficiaries his concerns about the validity or enforceability of the will, nor did he disclose his concerns about his client’s conflict of interest. (Case No: SC22-1306)

Jacqueline Marie Kinsella, P.O. Box 1104, Goldenrod, disciplinary revocation with leave to seek readmission after five years, effective immediately following an October 27 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2016) While serving a three-year suspension from the practice of law, Kinsella worked for a law firm as a paralegal. Kinsella had impermissible direct contact with over 150 clients of the firm. She also failed to file the required employment reports with The Florida Bar. (Case No: SC22-1021)

Eric Matthew Lipman, (address confidential), permanent revocation, effective December 19, 2022. (Admitted to practice: 1992) In December 2021, Lipman pleaded guilty to one count of Conspiracy to Distribute, Receive, and Possess Child Pornography and Distribution, Receipt, and Possession of Child Pornography and one count of Distribution of and Attempt to Distribute Child Pornography, both felonies. On April 21, 2022, respondent was sentenced to 72 months in prison, followed by nine years’ supervision upon release. (Case No: SC22-1131)

Lisa A. Musial, 923 Del Prado Blvd. S., Suite 207, Cape Coral, public reprimand by publication, and ordered to complete The Florida Bar’s Ethics School; use of the Diversion/Discipline Consultation Service; and, pay the Bar’s costs effective immediately following a November 17 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2001) Musial served as power of attorney, completed estate planning documents, and acted as co-trustee of a trust on behalf of an elderly client. Musial maintained two of the client’s credit cards within her office and failed to supervise a non-lawyer employee who often served as an intermediary between Musial and the elderly client. The non-lawyer employee engaged in theft of the client’s funds from October 2017 through April 2019 utilizing the client’s credit card information. The non-lawyer employee was sentenced to 16 months in prison followed by 60 months of probation with restitution as a result of her actions. Musial refunded the client fees paid for administrative services and the client was ultimately made whole. Musial and The Florida Bar entered into a consent judgment regarding the allegations.  (Case No: SC22-1512)

David John Pettinato, 1000 W. Cass St, Tampa, suspended for 10 days and ordered to pay the Bar’s disciplinary costs, effective 30 days following a November 17 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1995) In one matter, the court found Pettinato’s disclosures regarding a chosen appraiser insufficient. As a result, the court dismissed the matter with prejudice, and awarded attorney fees and expenses against Pettinato and his co-counsel individually. In the other matter, Pettinato failed to timely notify the court or opposing counsel upon learning of a notarization defect in his client’s sworn Proof of Loss. Pettinato and The Florida Bar entered into a consent judgment as to Pettinato’s two pending disciplinary matters. (Case No: SC22-1515)

Kenneth Ulysses Pinos, 13255 S.W. 137th Ave., Suite 204, Miami, disbarred, effective 30 days following an October 27 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2008) Pinos was retained in two matters but failed to maintain adequate communication with clients and failed to diligently pursue their legal matters. Pinos failed to participate in the Bar’s investigation or in the proceedings before the referee. (Case No: SC22-394)

Nashid Sabir, 18441 N.W. 2nd Ave., Suite 217, Miami, suspended for 30 days, effective 30 days following a November 3 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1983) Sabir neglected two immigration matters, failed to adequately communicate with clients, made misrepresentations to clients as to the status of their case, and failed to diligently respond to requests for additional evidence, resulting in both applications being denied. Sabir paid restitution to one of the two clients. (Case No: SC22-1421)

Grant Griffith Sarbinoff, 411 N.E. 53rd St., Miami, suspended for three years, effective, nunc pro tunc, May 30, 2022. (Admitted to practice: 2010) Sarbinoff entered a plea of guilty to two counts of criminal use of personal identification information and one count of unlawful use of a two-way communications device, and 16 counts of offenses against users of computers. Adjudication of guilt was withheld except for one count of criminal use of personal identification information. Sarbinoff is currently on probation. (Case No: SC22-573)

Bradley Stuart Sherman, 3 Sentry Court, Palm Coast, held in contempt and suspended for 18 months to run consecutive to his existing one-year suspension, effective immediately following a November 23 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1997) After being suspended for one year by order of the Supreme Court of Florida dated July 22, 2021, Sherman failed to comply with Rule 3-5.1 that required him to file Notice of Employment and/or Quarterly Reports in a timely manner. In addition, Sherman had impermissible direct contact with clients of the law firms and/or legal organizations for which he worked as a nonlawyer during his suspension. The Supreme Court of Florida found Sherman to be in contempt of its July 22 order in Case No. SC20-1550. (Case No: SC22-1114)

Peter Duff Spindel, P.O. Box 835063, Miami, suspended for 30 days, effective 30 days following a November 3 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1989) Spindel neglected two bankruptcy matters, provided little-to-no services despite receiving a retainer fee, and failed to adequately communicate with clients. Following the Bar’s investigation, respondent paid full restitution to both clients. (Case No: SC22-1423)

Brandon James Vitola, 425 W. 200 N, Unit 287, Salt Lake City, UT, disciplinary revocation with leave to seek readmission after five years, effective 30 days following a November 17 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2018) While employed by the Office of the State Attorney, Vitola allegedly stole government-owned reference books and sold them on eBay for profit. Vitola was criminally charged by Information with dealing in stolen property, a second-degree felony, grand theft, a third degree felony, and engaging in a scheme to defraud, a third degree felony. (Case No: SC22-1109)

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

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 reapply 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.

News in Photos