March 15, 2012
The Change From Minor To Major
The Florida Supreme Court affirmed a referee's findings of misconduct but rejected the referee's conclusion that the attorneys three acts of dishonesty in a landlord-tenant matter involved "minor misconduct." The court thus concluded that a 91-day suspension, which requires proof of rehabilitation, is the appropriate sanction.
The court made clear that it considers acts of dishonesty in violation of Rule 8.4(c) to be serious absent circumstances in mitigation not present here. The attorney had filed a false affidavit in the underlying litigation. The court found that the misconduct was not the product of negligence. (Mike Frisch)
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