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6 South Florida lawyers disciplined over money, drugs and inattention

KRT

Six lawyers from Miami-Dade and Broward found themselves among the 21 on the Florida Supreme Court’s monthly attorney discipline list, released by the Florida Bar this week:

▪ Fort Lauderdale’s Kurt Ellis Bosshardt (University of Miami School of Law, 1986) is suspended until June 28 and must pay $4,056.42 to the Florida Bar Foundation for mixing money to make a little money Back in 2008 and 2009, Bosshardt ran a yacht brokerage business on the side. From March through August in 2008, the report says Bosshardt took yacht deposits from $900,000 to $8 million put in attorney escrow yacht deposit accounts, then transferred the money into accounts held by his Kurt Bosshardt and Associates or his other businesses.

Kurt Ellis Bosshardt
Kurt Ellis Bosshardt The Florida Bar

Those accounts got the interest off the deposits until Bosshardt moved the money back into the proper account to complete the sales. For example, on Sept. 12, 2008, Bosshardt received $8.4 million, which he put into the attorney escrow account. Later that day, he transferred that money to an account held by his business, KBA Properties. He moved the money back on Sept. 17, 2008. He made $1,541.81 in interest for the five days In answer to the grievance, Bosshardt claimed he wasn’t acting as an attorney, but as a broker or escrow agent. He admitted otherwise in March 2014 when deposed for his personal bankruptcy.

▪ The Florida Bar release says Christopher Lee Buttermore (Nova Southeastern, 1988) is sidelined until Sept. 23 and owes a client $16,169.80 the client paid for services not rendered. But after not properly responding to the Bar regarding his suspension, Buttermore has been suspended until May 17, 2018. He was first suspended 45 days in 2015 for accepting cases and fees, then doing no meaningful work on them. He was suspended an additional 30 days for contempt when he put the Florida Bar on his expanding Pay No Mind list by not answering their requests for required suspension paperwork. In the most recent case, he ignored the Florida Bar after he ignored the married couple who began paying Buttermore’s fee over 20 monthly installments in 2011 for representing them as they settled credit card debt. They didn’t find out until creditors started calling them in 2015 that Buttermore, despite what he’d told them, had done no work on their case.

▪ Miami’s Kenneth Kukec (Case Western Reserve University School of Law) is suspended until further notice. Kukec earned his first suspension by getting busted on felony cocaine and controlled substance possession charges. He agreed to attend 12-step meetings, take random drug tests and pay a $100 monthly monitoring fee But Kukec began missing meetings, payments and skipping tests. The Bar asked the Supreme Court to find him in contempt, which it did. When Kukec didn’t respond at all to the 90-day shut down, the Court delivered this blow.

▪ Miami’s Anett Lopez (St. Thomas School of Law, 2004) has been suspended until further notice since May 19. Lopez didn’t produce subpoenaed trust account records and the reasoning she produced convinced the Referee only that her non-compliance was willful.

▪ Pembroke Pines’ Stefan McHardy (Florida Coastal School of Law, 2010) got publicly reprimanded in the Southern Reporter. First, there was confusion between he and a client over what his retainer covered in a foreclosure action. Then, when the client fired him, he didn’t withdraw from the case. This caused an action

▪ Arturo Suarez-Silverio (University of Florida, 1990) is suspended until Nov. 1 in Florida because he’s suspended in New Jersey. A united front comes with Florida’s reciprocity agreement with New Jersey At issue were several immigration cases Suarez-Silverio handled. Such as the one that got dismissed because he didn’t file case opening forms on time. Or, the one that got thrown out after he didn’t file a petitioner’s brief. Or, the case where Suarez-Silverio didn’t file a brief on time even after the Chief Deputy Clerk got hold of him. He later told the clerk don’t worry about it, the matter was settled and a motion to reopen is pending. Neither were the case.

David J. Neal: 305-376-3559, @DavidJNeal

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