Thursday, September 6, 2012
The Florida Supreme Court has imposed suspensions of 91 and 60 days against two attorneys for misconduct in connection with their departure as employees of a law firm.
The court found that the attorneys "made secret plans to leave [the firm]" that involved soliciting clients of the firm to terminate representation and retain their new firm, misrepresentations to the firm and clients, copied files without authorization and improperly used the name of a third attorney who did not join their new firm.
The court disapproved of the referee's factual findings and found that the use of the files amounted to criminal theft, dishonesty and conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice.
The court rejected the referee's proposed sanction that the attorneys be admonished. (Mike Frisch)