Miami-Dade County Judge Recommends Disbarment for Florida Lawyer
On March 28th, 2018, a Miami-Dade County judge recommended permanent disbarment for a Miami attorney. In the case of The Florida Bar v. Bernardo Roman III, the judge ruled that disbarment was an appropriate sanction given the severity of the alleged misconduct. This case is still being appealed, and it will next move forward to the Supreme Court of Florida for a final ruling.
At Pike & Lustig, our skilled Miami legal malpractice attorneys have extensive experience representing lawyers accused of professional malpractice or misconduct. Here, we discuss the alleged misconduct in this case and explain why a Miami-Dade County judge recommended disbarment as a punishment.
Allegations of Bad Faith and Malicious Professional Conduct
Bernardo Roman was the lawyer working on behalf of the Miccosukee Tribe, a federally recognized Native American tribe located in Florida. According to the Florida Bar complaint, Mr. Roman represented the Miccosukee Tribe in filing a legal malpractice claim against their former legal representatives, Guy Lewis and Michael Tein, of the Lewis Tein law firm. The Miccosukees alleged that Mr. Lewis and Mr. Tein had overbilled the tribe by more than $1 million. Eventually, a counterclaim was filed against Bernardo Roman by Mr. Lewis and Mr. Tein. These attorneys alleged that Mr. Roman committed fraud and acted maliciously in attempting to destroy their legal practice.
Upon review of the case, the Miami-Dade County judge, who was acting as a referee, determined that Mr. Roman was guilty of serious professional misconduct. More specifically, the judge ruled that Mr. Roman committed fraud on the court and the state of Florida by pursuing “allegations which he knew to be entirely false and fictitious.” In addition, the judge ruled that Mr. Roman failed to comply with discovery requests, evaded service of depositions, acted in bad faith, and lied to responding law enforcement officers. In the view of the court, this amounted to criminal conduct.
Florida Legal Malpractice: Courts Take Criminal Accusations Very Seriously
In maintaining a professional law license in Florida, attorneys who certain duties to their clients and to the court. If an attorney is accused of committing a criminal act while acting in a professional capacity, he for she could face extremely harsh consequences. The Florida Supreme Court has previously ruled that permanent disbarment is appropriate for lawyers who have “engaged in a serious criminal conduct with the intention of interfering with the administration of justice.” In this case, the Miami-Dade County judge ruled that Mr. Roman’s conduct warranted such as a sanction.
Contact Our South Florida Legal Malpractice Attorneys Today
At Pike & Lustig, LLP, we are the lawyers’ law firm. If you are a lawyer who is facing a legal malpractice claim, our attorneys are standing by, ready to help. We will help you defend your reputation, your career, and your law license. For a free consultation, please contact our office today. From our offices in West Palm Beach and Miami, we represent lawyers throughout the region, including in Fort Lauderdale, Homestead, Boca Raton, Hialeah, and Miami Beach.