Prepared by The Florida Bar's Public Information and Bar Services Department
The Florida Supreme Court in recent court orders disciplined 32 attorneys; disbarring eight, revoking the license of one, suspending 14, and publicly reprimanding nine. Three attorneys received more than one form of discipline. One was ordered to pay restitution and two were placed on probation.
The following lawyers have been disciplined:
Russell Leroy Akins, 4888 N. Kings Hwy., Suite 403, Ft. Pierce, suspended for one year, effective 30 days from an August 28 court order. Further, upon reinstatement, Akins is placed on probation for three years. (Admitted to practice: 1990) Akins failed to adequately communicate with a client regarding the legal fees he would be charged and failed to communicate with other clients who hired Akins for a loan modification. He entered into a financial agreement with two E-commerce referral services that were not sanctioned by Florida Bar rules governing lawyer referral services. Akins also failed to properly supervise non-lawyer employees who worked on loan modification cases. Akins allowed the non-lawyer employees to solicit clients via email and telephone. Some of the clients resided outside of Florida, despite the fact that Akins was not licensed to practice law in any other state. (Case No. SC13-1890) Richard Russell Baker, 1355 Orange Ave., Suite 3, Winter Park, suspended until further order, effective 30 days from an August 28 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1993) Baker pleaded guilty in court to tax evasion, a felony offense. He knowingly failed to file his personal income taxes from 2002 to 2008. (Case No. SC14-1681)
Anthony Wayne Blackburn, 4812 San Juan Ave., Jacksonville, suspended for 30 days, effective December 1, following a September 4 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2005) After being retained, Blackburn failed to exercise due care while transferring custody of a child from the guardian to the birth mother. (Case No. SC14-1429)
Thomas Theodore Clifford, 1718 E. 7th Ave., Suite 201, Tampa, suspended for 91 days, effective 30 days from a September 8 court order. Further, his probationary period has ended and Clifford is required to successfully complete a trust accounting workshop prior to petitioning for reinstatement. (Admitted to practice: 1990) Clifford was found in contempt for failing to comply with the terms of a March 14 suspension order. Specifically, Clifford was required to provide a sworn affidavit to The Florida Bar within 30 days of his suspension, listing the names and addresses of all persons and entities that were furnished a copy of his suspension order. (Case No. SC14-996)
Larry Herbert Colleton, P.O. Box 677459, Orlando, suspended for one year, retroactive to July 29, 2012, following a September 4 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1989) Colleton was hired in early 2010 to pursue legal action against an insurance company. He filed a wrongful death suit in 2011 but failed to take any further action on the case. He also failed to communicate with the client (Case No. SC14439)
Robert B. Cook, P.O. Box 3609, Tequesta, to receive a public reprimand to be administered by publication in the Southern Reporter, following an August 14 court order. Further, Cook shall pay restitution of $8,310 to four clients. (Admitted to practice: 1971) Between 2010 and 2012, Cook engaged in a continuing course of conduct involving cases in which clients sought credits on their credit cards, claiming that the purchased services did not occur. Cook was affiliated with an entity...