Thursday, June 24, 2010
The Florida Supreme Court rejected a referee's proposed discipline of at least a two-year suspension in favor of a sixty day suspension and two years probation. The attorney had no prior discipline. During the course of a five day deposition, a three minute incident took place that was the basis for discipline. The primary evidence in the case was video of all five days.
The so-called "laptop incident" was sparked when opposing counsel sought to place an exhibit sticker on the attorney's laptop. Things got ugly, leading the attorney own consultant to advise him to "take a Xanax." The deponent was frightened. The court reporter exclaimed "I can't work like this."
The court concluded that lesser discipline of a suspension with automatic reinstatement was appropriate but let the attorney know that his behavior was an embarrassment to the entire Florida Bar. (Mike Frisch)