Leslie H. Smith, spokesperson for the Department of Lawyer Regulation of The Florida Bar informed local Historic City News reporters that the Florida Supreme Court has recently disciplined 13 attorneys, disbarring one, suspending seven, reprimanding four and revoking the licenses of one. Three attorneys were placed on probation.
Attorneys suspended for periods of 91 days and longer must undergo a rigorous process to regain their law licenses including proving rehabilitation. Disciplinary revocation is tantamount to disbarment.
Summaries of orders issued from March 24, 2022, to April 21, 2022
- Najah Nzinga Adams, P.O. Box 5446, Gainesville, public reprimand by publication and ethics school effective 30 days following a March 31 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2008) Adams, in three separate instances, failed to diligently pursue her clients’ matters for which she was hired or maintain adequate communications with her clients. Adams also failed to timely respond to the Bar in these matters. Adams had significant mitigation. (Case No: SC21-770)
- Ralph Cameron Colledge, 3475 Bravada Way, Naples, disbarred effective immediately following an April 21 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2017) College, on August 26, 2020, was charged with two counts of Sexual Battery, Child Less than 12 Years of Age, a capitol felony. On October 14, 2021, Colledge entered a plea of no contest to two counts of the lesser included charge of Attempted Sexual Battery on a Child Less than 12 Years of Age, a first-degree felony. Colledge was adjudicated guilty and sentenced to 20 years for each of the two counts to run concurrently, followed by 10 years of sex offender probation. (Case No: SC21-1566)
- Kevin Poston Cox, 2000 E. Edgewood Dr., Suite 106A, Lakeland, suspended for 10 days, attendance at Ethics School, and payment of disciplinary costs effective 30 days following an April 7 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1988) Cox was hired to represent the client for a violation of probation allegation. At a meeting in Cox’s office with his client’s advocate/witness, Cox said disparaging comments about his own client. (Case No: SC21-934)
- Aaron David Delgado, 227 Seabreeze Blvd., Daytona Beach, public reprimand by publication and two years of conditional probation effective immediately following an April 7 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2004) During a federal investigation, law enforcement intercepted a telephone call between Delgado and his client that could have been interpreted as being for the purchase of contraband. Delgado denied that the conversations were for the purpose of purchasing contraband and was not charged with committing any crime. Delgado admitted that the communications had the appearance of impropriety and not becoming of a lawyer. (Case No: SC22-401)
- John H. Faro, 1395 Brickell Ave., Suite 800, Miami, suspended for three years effective 30 days following a March 28 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1986) Faro failed to maintain reasonable follow up on a patent application and its status, which led to a Notice of Abandonment because no further review was sought by Faro within the time period. Faro was unresponsive to client and failed to communicate the Notice of Abandonment. This is a reciprocal discipline action based on a disciplinary action by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in which Faro was suspended for eight months. (Case No: SC18-1279)
- James F. Feuerstein, III, 22724 Stallion Dr., Sorrento, suspended for 91 days effective 30 days following an April 21 Court order. (Admitted to practice: 1987) Feuerstein neglected a client’s legal matter and failed to provide the client with adequate communication. Feuerstein then remained counsel of record on his client’s case contrary to the wishes of the client. Feuerstein also failed to file an Answer to the Bar’s Complaint and failed to appear for the disciplinary hearing. (Case No: SC21-1211)
- James Russell Leone, 790 S. Atmore Cir., Deltona, permanent disciplinary revocation effective immediately following an April 21 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1985) Leone engaged in the unlicensed practice of law in contempt of the Court’s order granting his disciplinary revocation in SC20-1553. (Case No: SC22-318)
- Gian C. Ratnapala, 1987 N.E. 15th Ave., Fort Lauderdale, 45-day suspension and two years of probation with attendance at the Trust Accounting Workshop and submission of quarterly CPA reports effective 30 days following an April 7 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2012) Ratnapala, who was representing a condominium association, deposited funds from a condominium owner into his trust account. The funds were owed to the association as the owner’s delinquent maintenance fees. Ratnapala failed to timely notify the association that he had collected the funds and failed to timely distribute the funds to his client. The Bar’s subsequent audit revealed technical trust account violations but there was no evidence of intentional misappropriation by Ratnapala. (Case No: SC22-392)
- Andrea Marie Roebuck, 834 E. 25th Ave., New Smyrna Beach, suspened for two years with proof of rehabilitation required prior to reinstatement effective 30 days following an April 14 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2011) Roebuck became involved with two separate “private member associations” that were run by nonlawyers. With the first company Roebuck and another attorney provided legal services indirectly to the customers of the company. After the company ceased operations, Roebuck joined another law firm that, in effect, was run by another “private member association” that marketed itself to individuals wanting to defend their foreclosure cases without directly hiring an attorney. Because the nonlawyer owners of the two companies controlled the work done by the attorneys, customers failed to receive competent and useful legal services despite paying excessive fees to the nonlawyer associations and companies. Roebuck was both an employee and then the attorney in charge of the law firm. (Case No: SC21-1558)
- Michael I. Rose, 1643 Brickell Ave., Apt. 3102, Miami, public reprimanded by publication effective immediately following an April 14 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1971) While representing former wife in foreclosure proceedings, Rose got a friendly buyer to purchase the judgment and negotiated with the bank to a discounted amount. During the sale of the property, Rose advised former wife’s attorneys that the payoff amount on the purchased judgment was $1.5 million but the mortgage was purchased for a lesser amount. The former wife sued the buyer, who was represented by Rose until he was disqualified by the Court and recovered the difference. (Case No: SC22-421)
- Gregory Saldamando, 4000 Ponce De Leon, Blvd, Suite 470, Coral Gables, suspended for 91 days effective 30 days following a March 31 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2007) For five years, Saldamando represented clients in a claim against their insurance carrier after an adjuster had them sign a retainer agreement with the Strems Law Firm (SLF). Saldamando did not adequately involve the clients in the settlement process and did not apprise them of the total settlement amount or the amount that Saldamando intended to take as the firm’s fee, which was substantially higher than the amount the clients would obtain. Saldamando also refused to provide the clients with any invoice or substantiation of the fees claimed by the firm. Despite Saldamando withdrawing as counsel before settling the case, SLF still took $30,000 from the final settlement obtained by new counsel for their fees and costs. (Case No: SC20-844)
- Dirk Robert Weed, 4510 N. Armenia Ave., Tampa, public reprimand by pubication effective immediately following an April 14 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1998) Weed failed to diligently and competently represent clients in three separate matters. During the separate representations, Weed failed to appear at hearings, failed respond to multiple court orders, and failed to communicate with his clients. (Case No: SC22-403)
- David Luther Woodward, 1415 Lemhurst Rd., P.O. Box 4475, Pensacola, suspended for 75 days and two years probation and attend Professionalism Workshop effective 30 days following an April 14 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1969) Woodward was retained by eight siblings to pursue a partition case in a probate matter. After making an appearance and attending one hearing, Woodward failed to diligently pursue the case, to communicate with his clients, to expedite the litigation, to respond to two Orders to Show Cause issued by the circuit court, and to respond to The Florida Bar. (Case No: SC20-1842)
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 110,000 members of The Florida Bar.