Thursday, June 28, 2012
The Florida Supreme Court has rejected a referee's proposed public censure and suspended an attorney for one year.
The attorney's misconduct involved the purchase of residential property in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. The property was known as Heather Lane.
The attorney formed an entity to purchase and manage the property. He was the sole owner of the entity, which bought the property and leased it to his client (who was the one initially interested in the purchase). When the attorney had financial difficulties, he transferred the property to himself without payment of any consideration.
The conveyance was found to be fraudulent by both a bankruptcy court and by the referee. The transfer was intended to defraud the seller.
The court cites the Scott Rothstein case for the proposition that "basic fundamental dishonesty" is a serious character flaw whether or not it takes place in the context of an attorney-client relationship. (Mike Frisch)