August 1, 2018 Disciplinary Actions
Prepared by The Florida Bar’s Public Information and Bar Services Department
The Florida Supreme Court in recent court orders disciplined 13 attorneys —disbarring four, suspending five, and publicly reprimanding four. Three attorneys received more than one form of discipline. One was placed on probation; two were ordered to pay restitution.
Christine G. Bauer, 5401 S. Kirkman Road, Suite 310, Orlando, suspended until further order, effective 30 days from a May 25 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2006) Bauer was found in contempt for non-compliance and failure to comply with a grievance committee subpoena. Bauer was required to produce her trust account records. (Case No. SC18-394)
Anthony Wayne Blackburn, 4812 San Juan Ave., Jacksonville, disbarred effective 30 days from a May 24 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2005) Blackburn pleaded no contest in court to misdemeanor battery. He solicited sex with two female clients he was representing in criminal matters, while they were incarcerated. (Case No. SC17-1514)
Kelley Andrea Bosecker, 1400 Gandy Blvd. N., Unit 706, St. Petersburg, suspended until further order, effective 30 days from a May 2 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1984) Bosecker was found in contempt for violating the terms of a prior disciplinary order. She failed to timely notify opposing counsel, the courts and her clients that she was suspended; and she was practicing law while suspended. (Case No. SC16-1387)
Richard Luther Bradford, P.O. Box 6999, Brandon, suspended for two years, effective immediately, following a May 3 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1995) Further, Bradford shall pay restitution of $500 to a client. In two separate instances, Bradford was retained and he failed to provide diligent and competent representation. He failed to perform services, and he failed to communicate with the clients and The Florida Bar. (SC17-1638)
Raymond Todd Burbine, 5628 Central Ave., Apt. 1, St. Petersburg, to be publicly reprimanded following a May 3 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2004) Burbine admitted to sharing fees with a nonlawyer. He rented office space from the former Bar member whose license had been revoked. Burbine also paid the ex-lawyer consulting fees for training on office software, and referral fees for taking over old clients. He said he was unaware of the full details of the former lawyer’s disciplinary history when he assumed the takeover of the office space. (Case No. SC18-195)
Nathaniel Bundy Burke, 2440 S.E. Federal Highway Q, Stuart, disbarred effective immediately, following a May 31 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1991) Burke pleaded no contest in court to possession of drug paraphernalia. He had prior disciplinary offenses and had been suspended since November 1, 2017, for failure to pay his annual Bar membership fees. (Case No. SC17-1646)
Bruce Don Burtoff, 1524 S.E. 11th St., Ft .Lauderdale, to be publicly reprimanded by publication in the Southern Reporter , following a May 31 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2002) Further, Burtoff shall complete ethics school. Burtoff was involved in a conflict of interest. After the death of his mother-in-law, Burtoff represented his wife, the personal representative of her mother’s estate, against his father-in-law, his former client. (Case No. SC17-1403)
Jesus Elizarraras, 102 1st Ave. N.E. Suite B, Ruskin, to be publicly reprimanded following a May 1 court order. (Admitted to practice:2008) Elizarraras was found in contempt for failing to comply with a grievance committee subpoena in a timely manner. On two occasions, he requested additional time to produce documents. Elizarraras was granted the extensions, but failed to produce the documents by the specified dates. (Case No. SC18-298)
Mark Vernon Morsch, 5151 Garlanger Trail, Oviedo, permanently disbarred effective immediately, following a May 25 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1985) Morsch was found in contempt for practicing law while disbarred. He was disbarred from the practice of law effective June 29, 2012, for misappropriation of client trust funds. (Case No. SC17-29)
Christoper Michael Ochoa, 212 Trout River Drive, Jacksonville, disbarred effective immediately, following a May 3 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2011) Further, Ochoa shall pay restitution of $1.25 million to an asset management company in California. He violated Bar rules regulating trust accounts, and disbursed funds as a client instructed without regard to potential consequences. He also knowingly wrote a perjured letter at the request of another attorney. (Case No. SC17-1632)
Jon Douglas Parrish, 3431 Pine Ridge Road, Suite 101, Naples, suspended for three years, following a May 3 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1993) Parrish had conflicts of interest related to business dealings with a client. He also entered into an improper fee agreement and failed to act diligently, risking dismissal of his client’s case. (Case No. SC15-1988)
Stuart Jared Starr, 5241 S.W. 9th St., Plantation, suspended for 90 days, effective 30 days from a May 24 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1970) Starr was hired to handle a loan modification matter. After requiring the client to pay a $2,400 nonrefundable retainer fee, Starr failed to complete the task. He transferred funds out of the client’s bank account without permission, and he never submitted the loan modification to the mortgage lender. (Case No. SC17-187)
Stephen Michael Witt, P.O. Box 2064, Lake City, to be publicly reprimanded following a May 17 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1977) Further, Witt is ordered to sign a treatment contract with Florida Lawyers Assistance, and shall be placed on probation for the length of the contract. Witt pleaded no contest to DUI, and he was adjudicated guilty. (Case No. SC17-1592)
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 106,100 members of The Florida Bar. Key discipline case files that are public record are posted to attorneys’ individual online Florida Bar profiles.
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.