Thursday, April 3, 2014
The Florida Supreme Court rejected a referee's proposed 91-day suspension and suspended an attorney for three years.
The attorney had represented the plaintiff who sought a judgment against the defendant.
The defendant prevailed in the litigation. She then sent two letters to the attorney seeking payment of her attorney's fees and costs. At the time, she was unrepresented.
The attorney responded by writing to the United States Attorney "accusing the defendant of attempting to extort money from him and requesting that she be criminally prosecuted."
The court found the letter violated several ethical rules, including presenting criminal charges solely to obtain an advantage in a civil proceeding. (Mike Frisch)