Thursday, July 9, 2009
The Florida Supreme Court denied the reinstatement petition of an attorney who had been suspended for two years in 2006 for negligent misappropriation. The court agreed with the Bar that the petitioner had not been in strict compliance with the order of suspension. It rejected a referee's finding that he had not practiced law while suspended; rather, during the course of paralegal and consulting work:
...although [he] informed his clients that he could not dispense legal advice, he was not simply identifying applicable statutes and ordinances with regard to opening arcades. In fact, [he] testified that he would find the ordinances applicable to the jurisdiction in which an arcade was located and admittedly provided advice based on his legal skill. which is greater than that possessed by the average citizen. Further...he gave advice on opening arcades, reported on changes in the law applicable to this area, reviewed leases, researched ordinances applicable to new arcade sites, and consulted with a representative of a state attorney's office on the proper interpretation of gaming law for an attorney's criminal client...trading on one's enhanced legal skill and knowledge to advice clients on how to legally proceed with a business transaction and on changes in the law based on statutory research and legal interpretation is the province of licensed attorneys.
Thanks for the spelling correction.