Tuesday, November 1, 2022

Florida Bar Sanctions Summaries November 2022

The monthly discipline summaries of the Florida State Bar include

Vegina Trimetrice Hawkins, 4824 S.W. 24th St., West Park, suspended for 90 days with automatic reinstatement pending a Florida Lawyers Assistance, Inc., evaluation, effective immediately following an October 6 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2004) While a circuit judge in 2019, Hawkins placed her hands near or on a court employee’s neck and made back and forth shaking motions for less than two seconds. The Judicial Qualifications Commission filed charges and suspended Hawkins during the investigation. Ultimately, Hawkins resigned from the bench. (Case No: SC22-590)

Brian Alfred Mangines, 1515 N. Federal Hwy., Suite. 300, Boca Raton, suspended for two years, nunc pro tunc, effective August 24, 2022, per the October 13 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1997) Mangines pled guilty to one count of Patient Brokering, a third degree felony, and was sentenced to 24 months of probation, which included a condition that he could not engage in the practice of law during probation. The Florida Supreme Court suspended Mangines on August 24, 2022, after the Bar filed a Notice of Determination or Judgment of Guilt following his guilty plea. The court then suspended Mangines for two years after he entered into a consent judgment with the bar. (Case No: SC22-1110)

I confess that I was unfamiliar with the crime of Patient Brokering.

Robert Laurence Pelletier, 233 E. Bay St., Suite 1020, Jacksonville, public reprimand and attendance at ethics school within six months of a September 1 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2012) Pelletier was hired to represent a client in a criminal matter. He was hired to represent the client by a co-defendant to the criminal charges pending against the client he was hired to represent. Pelletier did not obtain a waiver from the parties involved related to the potential conflict. Pelletier failed to diligently pursue his client’s criminal cases and failed to adequately communicate with the client. Pelletier also failed to timely respond to the Bar’s inquiries. (Case No: SC22-397)

Thomas Edward Stone, P.O. Box 292, Madison, disciplinary revocation with leave to seek readmission effective 30 days following a September 29 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1976) Stone, an assistant public defender, was assigned to represent a defendant in several criminal matters that included felonies. The client violated probation related to her plea of the criminal matters. Stone was again appointed to represent the client in the violation of probation matters. Thereafter, Stone admitted that he engaged in a sexual relationship with the client who he still represented at the time. The client reported she felt pressured to engage in the inappropriate relationship because Stone was handling the client’s criminal matters.  (Case No: SC22-945)

(Mike Frisch)

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