Lawyers who repeatedly take cases they are not qualified to handle and who repeatedly fail to pursue cases they take on will be disbarred, the Florida Supreme Court has said in a disciplinary case.In an April 29 opinion (Case No. SC02-1687), the court ordered the disbarment of an attorney who took on several cases and then did little or nothing to pursue the matters. The attorney also engaged in several acts to cover up his failures, including in one case preparing 24 false property titles.The case also provoked a strongly worded concurring opinion from Justice Fred Lewis, in which Justice Kenneth Bell concurred.Lewis wrote that the attorney deserved disbarment alone for taking cases he was apparently not qualified to handle. But that was compounded by the lawyer’s failure to diligently pursue the cases and keep his clients informed, which in turn was compounded further by his lying to the clients about the status and outcome of cases and attempts to cover up his inactivity, which included preparing the fake titles.He quoted the referee’s findings: “Respondent harmed his clients by incompetent action, he expressly lied about it to his clients, and thereafter he continued to affirmatively lie and attempt to cover up the lies. Significant consideration must be given to the fact of multiple incidents of such conduct by the respondent, involving several clients. There is no way to interpret the respondent’s deliberate actions in a light favorable enough to him to accept his suggestion that he meant no harm. He is not a competent lawyer. More egregious, however, is the defect he refers to as one of personality. It is more; it is a defect, if not an absolute absence of honesty, integrity, and ethical judgment.. . . The Bar has an obligation to protect the public and to maintain reasonable standards of professional and ethical responsibility. [The respondent] has not and cannot meet those standards, and thus is not qualified to practice law and represent members of the public.”According to the opinion, the attorney was hired to handle a property case in Georgia but never filed to appear pro hac vice or a notice of appearance, and did not appear at the trial. After the resulting adverse ruling, the attorney prepared but never filed a motion to set aside judgment, and lied to the client about the status. The actions cost the client about $29,000 in the lost value of the property.A condominium association hired the lawyer to handle foreclosures on timeshare units where taxes or assessments were outstanding. Five years later, when asked about 24 cases that had not been finalized, the attorney gave the association falsified certificates of title, even though the foreclosures were not final. Some units were sold based on those titles, which resulted in multiple owners claiming the same unit, which created additional legal expenses for the association.In another case where the association brought suit against an owner, the attorney failed to comply with discovery requirements after the unit owner countersued, which resulted in an $18,000 judgment against the association. The attorney paid that from his own funds, but didn’t tell the association about the settlement until after the fact.At one point, the attorney signed a letter acknowledging his failure to act on cases for a client and promised to do better in the future. But he then failed to pursue two other cases he was hired to handle, and was ultimately fired by the client.The lawyer had sought a one-year suspension, but the court noted under the Florida Standards for Imposing Lawyer Sanctions 4.41 (failure to perform or neglect), 4.51 (lack of understanding of fundamental legal doctrines or procedures), and 4.41 (engaging in intentional conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation that adversely affects the lawyer’s fitness to practice), disbarment was appropriate. “In light of the multiple instances of misconduct involved and the nature of the misconduct in this case, we approve the referee’s recommendation. . . , ” the opinion said.In his concurring opinion, Justice Lewis added: “[T]his court must not hesitate to affirm the powerful message of the referee — that misconduct as egregious as that demonstrated in the instant matter will result in disbarment.” June 1, 2004 Regular News Don’t take cases you are unqualified to handle Don’t take cases you are unqualified to handle
Published on March 24, 2019 at 6:46 pm Contact Nick: [email protected] | @nick_a_alvarez CICERO — Postgame, after the mosh of white jerseys nearly tackled Brendan Curry in the far corner of the end zone, Drake Porter could only smile and shake his head. Syracuse had done it. Again. Three weeks and three fourth-quarter comebacks. And through it all, there was Porter — SU’s stabilizing goalie that’s been a standout. “I think even we may have been doubting it a little bit,” Porter said. “We just let the emotions go and have fun. It was an awesome time, we were playing loose on D.” A two-year backup turned first year starter, Porter has shone as the Orange’s third starting-goaltender in as many seasons. Porter entered the game with the 11th-best save-percentage in the nation (.556) and tallied at least 11 saves in each game. Sunday was no different. Through yet another offensive firestorm, a renewed defensive effort and 12 saves by Porter, No. 12 Syracuse (5-2, 1-1 Atlantic Coast) upset No. 2 Duke (8-2, 0-1), 10-9, at Michael J. Bragman Stadium. The Blue Devils wanted to “spread the net” and attack Porter from different angles, Porter said. High or low, he reacted to every area. After falling into another early hole, Porter anchored SU’s backline. His two overtime saves were the prevailing highlights that led to Curry’s game-winner. Porter remained calm and retained the mindset that’s carried him to his current role on one of the hottest teams in the nation. AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“If you’re a Duke fan maybe you say we didn’t shoot the ball as smartly as we could have, especially inside,” Duke head coach John Danowiski said. “But you got to tip your cap and say (Porter) made the plays that were in front of him.”To start Sunday’s contest, a season-long struggle still hindered SU’s defense. Duke featured the “big-little” invert that Virginia popularized in its Carrier Dome win three weeks ago. The Blue Devils operated from behind the cage, “isolating the weakness,” Porter said. Porter noticed the strategy and, for a moment, it still worked against them.Sophomore attack Joe Robertson worked his way near the crease, broke down his assignment and scored, earning a crease-push penalty in the process. On the ensuing man-up, Duke worked it around SU’s zone and scored. A minute later, two Orange defenders charged Garrett Leadmon to only watch the ball fly past him as Duke established a three-goal lead. It was SU’s fourth three-goal deficit this season. Porter remained calm, he said. In the past, he’s worked with coaches to hone his intensity. So after Leadmon scored, Porter walked in a circle and readied for the next shot. Syracuse dropped into a zone whenever a Duke ball-handler went behind. The passing lanes closed and Blue Devils attack mustered fewer high-quality chances. The Blue Devils managed two scores, entering halftime with a 6-2 lead, but the counter had worked. Duke didn’t primarily use “big-little” schemes in the second half. In the third quarter, Porter didn’t allow a goal. The defense — which featured Nick Mellen shutting down Duke’s Brad Smith — synched in. Porter totaled three saves, Duke committed five turnovers and SU brought the margin to three. Porter soon identified DU’s own adjustment. The Blue Devils tried screens from the midfield to create space but it was stymied. By watching film earlier in the week, Porter had analyzed Duke’s shooting motions and matched sticks with DU’s litany of double-digit point scorers. “Not only did we do well shutting (Smith) down but it also threw off the chemistry of their offense,” Porter said. “…We had an emphasis on that and it worked out pretty well.” In overtime, after Syracuse’s offense propelled it forward, the Blue Devils won the opening draw. Feet planted in front of the crease, Porter readied. He knew he’d face at least one shot, so he cleared his head. He said he didn’t anticipate where a shot would go, he just reached. Duke ran another pick-and-roll from the midfield. Leadmon crashed down but didn’t have an angle. He flung one at Porter who stopped it and launched upfield. Just more than 60 seconds later, however, the ball worked its way to Kevin Quigley as SU couldn’t capitalize. Danowiski said Quigley was “a little too tight to the goal” and his ensuing shot was deflected by an Orange defender and was scooped by Porter. A successful clear and a shot by Curry queued another late-game celebration and another win for Porter, who’s been everything Syracuse expected him to be. “We may have gotten punched in the mouth early,” Porter said. “But no one was panicking. We stuck to our game plan and we made some adjustments.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+
As the world now knows, Yasiel Puig is a quick study. It was true when the Dodgers called him up from Double-A in June and he proceeded to hit .436 the rest of the month, and it’s true in October.Puig had six hits, all singles, in his first 13 at-bats of the playoffs and scored four runs in Games 1 through 3. While his feats at the plate have been overshadowed somewhat by Hanley Ramirez and Carl Crawford, Puig’s attention to detail has been sharper than at any point in his rookie season.So far he’s been able to avoid the missed cutoff men, and the ill-advised attempts at taking an extra base, that once made observers nervous about his potential impact in postseason situations.“I give a lot of thanks to (my teammates) for helping me concentrate and focus on the details I need to focus on to make sure I’m always giving it my best,” Puig said. Perhaps most importantly with center fielder Andre Ethier limited to pinch-hitting duties, Puig is healthy.After scoring from second base in the third inning of Game 3 on Sunday, Puig slammed his helmet in the Dodgers’ dugout, then disappeared down the tunnel leading to the home clubhouse followed by assistant athletic trainer Nancy Patterson Flynn. Puig re-emerged in time to take the field for the top of the fourth inning, but not before flexing his left knee and jogging gingerly to his position.After the game, Puig denied that he had been injured and on Monday he declared himself “in perfect condition.”The numbers agree.What’s plaguing Paco?What appeared to be an attempt to build the confidence of Paco Rodriguez in Game 3 may have only worsened the mind state of one of the Dodgers’ most reliable relievers during the regular season.Rodriguez was pulled with one out remaining in a seven-run game, having allowed two runs on three hits to the Braves.After giving up the game-winning hit in Game 2 and allowing opponents to hit .308 off him in September, it’s difficult to believe the rookie left-hander’s role won’t be different moving forward.“It doesn’t kick Paco out of any plans,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “It just means he’s in a little stretch right now where he’s had some stuff going on with him as far as not getting outs… Doesn’t mean we lose confidence in him and and know who he is.”Catcher A.J. Ellis told Mattingly that Rodriguez had better stuff Sunday than he had in a little while. In support of that statement, pitching coach Rick Honeycutt said it’s nothing physical that has caused the lefty’s recent struggles.“A lot of times it’s maybe selection more than anything,” Honeycutt said, “and making the wrong pitch at the wrong time.”Steve Garvey’s bold predictionSteve Garvey threw out the ceremonial first pitch — with a twist — then added a bold prediction.Rather than throwing the ball from the mound, Garvey participated in a relay down the first-base line with former Dodgers first baseman Eric Karros and catcher Steve Yeager.Later, with a microphone in his hand, he added: “Welcome to the final game of the NLDS.”Coincidentally, the game began with an error at first base charged to Adrian Gonzalez.NotableCarl Crawford’s multi-homer game was the ninth by a Dodger in a playoff game. Seven Dodgers have accomplished the feat, most recently Shawn Green in Game 3 of the 2004 National League Division Series against the Cardinals. … The blue “rally towels” waving around Dodger Stadium during Game 3 on Sunday weren’t distributed for Game 4. … Lakers center Pau Gasol attended the game.Staff writer Clay Fowler contributed to this report Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error He is still challenging opponents with his raw tools. Monday, after a fourth-inning single, he took a wide turn around first base and intently watched Atlanta Braves center fielder Jason Heyward field the baseball before retreating to first. At times in the series, he’s looked runners back to first base on balls hit to right field rather than immediately throwing the ball in.But so far Puig’s bravado hasn’t cost the Dodgers a thing. And he’s picked up on the differences between playoff baseball and regular-season baseball.“I noticed that each pitcher is focusing more on each pitch that he throws,” Puig said. “Everyone’s trying to give their all on every single play. I noticed that the zone has been a little tighter. There is a lot more focus and more intensity on every little detail and that each player is doing their best not to make any errors and making sure that they can complete every play the best they can.”Puig is also swinging earlier counts, reversing the trend of patience that evolved from June to September. In the first three games of the series, Puig looked at 3.07 pitches per plate appearance, down from his already-low 3.58 during the regular season.