Historic City News received the following summary of disciplinary orders issued against members of The Florida Bar between May 30 and June 20, 2019. The Florida Supreme Court in recent court orders disciplined eight attorneys – disbarring two, revoking the license of one and suspending five. Two attorneys received additional discipline with one ordered to pay restitution and the other put on probation. Disciplinary revocation is tantamount to disbarment.
As an official arm of the Florida Supreme Court, The Florida Bar and its Department of Lawyer Regulation are charged with administering a statewide disciplinary system to enforce Supreme Court rules of professional conduct for the more than 106,000 members of The Florida Bar.
Key discipline case files that are public record are posted to attorneys’ individual online Florida Bar profiles. To view discipline documents, follow these steps. Information on the discipline system and how to file a complaint are available at www.floridabar.org/attorneydiscipline.
Court orders are not final until time expires to file a rehearing motion and, if filed, determined. The filing of such a motion does not alter the effective date of the discipline. Disbarred lawyers may not re-apply for admission for five years. They are required to go through an extensive process that includes a rigorous background check and retaking the Bar exam.
- James Joseph Boyle, 50 N. Laura St., Suite 2500, Jacksonville, suspended effective 30 days from a June 4 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2007) In a pending case, Boyle failed to respond to the Bar’s inquiries. As a result, the Grievance Committee found no good cause for his failure to respond and the Supreme Court held him in contempt. (Case No. SC19-395)
- David Allen Brener, 2502 Second St., Suite 204, Fort Myers, permanently disbarred, effective immediately following a June 6 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1988) Brener was also ordered to pay restitution to six clients after his apparent abandonment of his law practice. Beginning in October 2018, six judges from three different Florida counties reported Brener’s failure to appear at numerous court appearances. Brener also failed to communicate with his clients, failed to perform the work for which he was retained, and failed to respond to the Bar or otherwise participate in the disciplinary proceedings. (Case No. SC18-1944)
- Kirk Joseph Girrbach, 112 North Birch Road, Apt. 501, Fort Lauderdale, disciplinary revocation with leave to seek readmission after five years, effective immediately, following a June 20 court order. At the time of his disciplinary revocation, charges pending against Girrbach in a Bar grievance involved misappropriation of client trust funds. (Case No. SC19-534)
- Brian Jay Glick, 54 SW 2nd Ave., Boca Raton, suspended until further order of the Florida Supreme Court, effective 30 days from a May 31 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1981) Glick was held in contempt of the Florida Supreme Court for failure to comply with the Bar’s Dec. 18, 2018, subpoena. (Case No. SC19-331)
- Diego Handel, 149 South Ridgewood Ave., Suite 220, Daytona Beach, disbarred, effective May 29 following a May 30 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1984) The Supreme Court of Florida suspended Handel indefinitely effective Jan. 9, 2019, because he failed to fully comply with a subpoena issued by the Bar for his attorney trust account records. Handel failed to provide notice of his suspension to his clients, opposing counsel and the courts. He continued practicing law and meeting with clients after the effective date of his suspension. His actions constituted contempt of the court’s suspension order. (Case No. SC19-295)
- Charles A. Murray, 27911 Crown Lake Blvd., Suite 226, Bonita Springs, suspended for 180 days, effective 30 days from a May 30 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1983) Murray used the services of a non-lawyer legal research and writing company to draft a post-conviction relief motion for a client and failed to adequately supervise the company’s work or their communications with the client. Upon filing, Murray signed the motion on the client’s behalf without authorization and without identifying to the court that it was Murray’s own signature on the motion and not the client’s. Murray also incorrectly calculated the deadline for the filing of the motion, failed to adequately communicate with the client, and improperly shared fees with the non-lawyer entity. (Case No. SC18-1249)
- Tracy Nadine Record, 133 S. 2nd St., Suite 104, Fort Pierce, suspended for 90 days and then put on probation for two years requiring participation with Florida Lawyers Assistance, Inc., effective 30 days from a June 13 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2005) In three unrelated criminal matters, Record failed to appear in court on behalf of her clients. In addition, Record failed to adequately communicate with her client and filed a Motion to Continue without consulting the State. Record also failed to timely respond to the Bar’s inquiries in these matters. (Case No. SC19-867)
- Crystal Lynn Turner Sebago, P.O. Box 271650, Tampa, suspended for 90 days and ordered to undergo an evaluation with Florida Lawyers Assistance, Inc., effective 30 days from a May 30 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2007) Sebago represented the plaintiff in two jury trials concerning the client’s personal injury case. The first jury trial resulted in a mistrial and the entry of an order of civil contempt against Sebago, which was the subject of a separate Bar disciplinary matter (SC15-2190). Upon the conclusion of the second jury trial, the jury returned a verdict in factor of the plaintiff. Thereafter, the defendants filed a motion for mistrial, which was granted. The trial court found that Sebago engaged in various acts of misconduct during the trial, and that it had erred in allowing in certain evidence she introduced. (Case No. SC18-1961)
Just what we need, more than 106,000 lawyers. ~Michael Gold