The Florida Bar

Florida Bar News

January 1, 2012 Disciplinary Actions

Disciplinary Actions

Disciplinary Actions

Prepared by The Florida Bar’s Public Information and Bar Services Department
_______________________________________________________________


The Florida Supreme Court in recent court orders disciplined 20 attorneys, disbarring six and suspending 10. Some attorneys received more than one form of discipline. Four attorneys were publicly reprimanded and one attorney was ordered to pay restitution.

The following lawyers are disciplined:

Gary Michael Appelblatt, 3610 American River Drive, No. 112, Sacramento, Calif., permanently disbarred effective immediately,
following an October 20 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1991) Appelblatt was found in contempt for failing to comply with the conditions of a June 23 disbarment order. Specifically, he failed to submit a sworn affidavit listing the persons and entities he notified of his disbarment. (Case No. SC11-1603)

Keith Douglas Baron, 10200 Reflections Blvd., Apt. 104, Sunrise, permanently disbarred effective immediately, following an October 24 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1992) Baron, who was disbarred in 2005, was found in contempt for continuing to practice law. Baron knowingly and intentionally stated falsely to the court that he was an attorney in Florida while representing a client, only to recant the statement shortly after. (Case No. SC11-600)

Michael Darren Bon, 2600 S. Douglas Road, Ph. 10, Coral Gables, suspended until further order, following an October 19 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1997) According to a petition for emergency suspension, Bon appeared to be causing great public harm by engaging in a pattern of fraud, misrepresentation, and theft. Bon submitted fraudulent bills to his law firm and clients in excess of $50,000 over a two-year period. In 86 separate instances, he submitted reimbursement requests for travel or expenses for events that did not occur and billed for hours he did not work. (Case No. SC11-2000)

Kenneth Milton Brown, 4607 W. Fig St., Tampa, suspended until further order, effective 30 days from an October 11 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2004) Brown was found in contempt for failure to comply with the terms of an October 2010 suspension order. The 10-day suspension order required Brown upon reinstatement to be placed on probation for one year, undergo an office procedures and record-keeping analysis by The Florida Bar’s Law Office Management Assistance Services, and pay all fees associated with that review. (Case No. SC11-1529)

Charles Patrick Clemens, 21 Clover Field Drive, Loudonville, N.Y., suspended until further order, following an October 10 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2004) According to a petition for emergency suspension, Clemens appeared to be causing great public harm by refusing to pay alimony and child support arrearages totaling more than $28,000. In another matter, Clemens was arrested in New York for possession of a forged prescription and he failed to appear in court on the criminal charges. Additionally, Clemens neglected several client matters; he failed to appear in court and did not communicate. He also failed to respond to official Bar inquiries. (Case No. SC11-1879)

Richard Mark Creel, 15275 Collier Blvd., Suite 201-218, Naples, permanently disbarred following an October 7 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1987) Creel was found in contempt for failing to comply with the conditions of a January 11 disbarment order. Specifically, he failed to submit a sworn affidavit listing the persons and entities he notified of his disbarment. (Case No. SC11-930)

John H. Faro, 1581 Brickell Ave., Apt 2004, Miami, to be publicly reprimanded by the Board of Governors following a July 13 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1986) Faro failed to adequately communicate with a client and engaged in conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice. (Case Nos. SC10-872 and SC11-431)

Ryan Scott Hobby, 836 W. Montrose St., Suite 1, Clermont, suspended until further order, following an October 6 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2005) According to a petition for emergency suspension, Hobby appeared to be causing great public harm by misappropriating client trust funds. Hobby admitted through counsel to making 13 improper transfers from his trust bank account to another bank account totaling $14,250. (Case No. SC11-1886)

John D. Hooker, 13610 E. U.S. Highway 92, Dover, suspended until further order, following an October 10 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1974) According to a petition for emergency suspension, Hooker appeared to be causing great public harm by misappropriating trust funds. Hooker improperly commingled funds. He also failed to maintain certain trust accounting records and follow mandatory trust accounting procedures. (Case No. SC11-1766)

James Lewis Hunter, 150 2nd Ave. N., Suite 1170, St. Petersburg, suspended until further order, following an October 10 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2004) According to a petition for emergency suspension, Hunter appeared to be causing great public harm by misappropriating client trust funds. He also abandoned his law practice. (Case No. SC11-1919)

Glen John Ioffredo, 2699 Lee Road, Suite 101, Winter Park, publicly reprimanded following an October 11 court order. Further, Ioffredo shall pay restitution of $5,000 to one client. (Admitted to practice: 1996) Ioffredo accepted a complex case as an inexperienced lawyer and did not provide the client with adequate representation. He failed to clearly communicate regarding the status of the case, and he failed to appear at a court hearing. (SC11-685)

James Crenshaw Kelley, 12651 S. Dixie Highway, Suite 201, Pinecrest, suspended until further order, following an October 31 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1977) According to a petition for emergency suspension, Kelley appeared to be causing great public harm by misappropriating and/or diverting funds entrusted to him. Kelley disbursed more than $124,000 that was deposited into his trust account for a client’s benefit, to himself for personal use. Kelley subsequently wrote the client, begging her not to report his actions to The Florida Bar. (Case No. SC11-2035)

Alan Kelman, 6439 N.W. 43rd Terrace, Boca Raton, suspended until further order, effective immediately, following a November 1 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2005) Kelman was found in contempt for noncompliance with the conditions of a February 16 suspension order. Specifically, Kelman failed to submit a sworn affidavit listing the persons and entities he notified of his suspension. (Case No. SC11-1720)

Curt G. Levine, 5036 Dr. Phillips Blvd., Suite 358, Orlando, publicly reprimanded following an October 6 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1973) Levine associated himself with a loan modification group and shared fees with nonlawyers. (Case No. SC10-536)

Paul B. Luskin, 4150 N. 28th Terrace, Hollywood, permanently disbarred effective immediately, following an October 31 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1975) Luskin was found in contempt for engaging in the unlicensed practice of law. Luskin was disbarred in 1991 for five years and was never readmitted. (Case No. SC11-319)

Kelly Kathryn McGraw, 216 Palafox Place, Pensacola, suspended for one year, effective retroactive to August 31, following an October 24 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1990) McGraw was found in contempt for violating the terms of a December 2007 suspension and probation order, which required her to enter into a three-year rehabilitation contract with Florida Lawyers Assistance. (SC10-200)

Octavio Enrique Mestre, 9031 S.W. 162nd Court, Miami, disbarred following an October 11 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1992) In 2005, while acting as a settlement agent in a real estate transaction, Mestre failed to satisfy an underlying mortgage and in so doing, failed to preserve and apply the funds in accordance with Bar rules regulating trust accounts. (SC11-1867)

Benjamin David Rust, 359 N. Monroe St., Tallahassee, suspended until further order, effective 30 days from an October 25 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1974) Rust was found in contempt for violating the terms of an October 2009 public reprimand and probation order. Rust repeatedly failed to attend ethics school as ordered. (Case No. SC11-1814)

Gregg Adam Steinberg, 4441 Comanche Trail Blvd., Saint Johns, disbarred effective retroactive to August 30, 2010, following an October 7 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1993) Steinberg knowingly made false statements in court under oath; he failed to disclose that he was the subject of a pending criminal investigation; he misappropriated funds; and he engaged in a pattern of blaming others in an attempt to deflect attention from himself.

(Case No. SC10-161)

John Parquette White, 1575 Pine Ridge Road, Suite 10, Naples, publicly reprimanded following an October 7 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1973) White was found in contempt for violating a November 2009 suspension order. He engaged in prohibited conduct, including accepting new business. (Case No. SC10-1504)

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, fewer than 5 percent of disbarred lawyers seek readmission.

News in Photos