Supreme Court of Florida agreed that the admitted misconduct

Rob Klein and Mark Sullivan were successful in the trial of a bar grievance matter against an attorney who had been accused of making false statements to a state circuit court judge, who ultimately found the attorney guilty of contempt in a civil proceeding. The client admitted a lack of candor, but refused to accept a lengthy suspension which had been proposed by The Florida Bar. The Firm defended the case based principally upon the contention that the misstatements in open court were not premeditated, but rather the results of a brief moment of “panic,” when the attorney was suddenly cross examined by the court in a matter which he had simply attended as an interested observer. Under the circumstances, the Firm argued that the attorney should not be subjected to the same kind of discipline as other lawyers who had been guilty of deliberate, premeditated lack of candor, including statements that were calculated to mislead the Court or the filing of fraudulent documentation to support a claim. The Referee appointed by the Supreme Court of Florida agreed that the admitted misconduct did not warrant suspension, but instead recommended a public reprimand.

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