Miami Beach lawyer disbarred for ‘annoying’ actions in a $500 case, among other things

Miami Beach lawyer Peter Vujin has a law degree from the University of Miami and fluency in 11 languages. Vujin also represented himself in two civil cases, one a small claims court case over a $500 charge.

Now, Vujin has no license to practice law in Florida after his disbarment took effect Jan. 3. He’d been a Bar member since 2003.

Neither the Florida Bar in its complaint against Vujin, the case referee nor the state Supreme Court that disbarred Vujin directly referenced the old saw about a lawyer who represents himself having a fool for a client. But the Bar did say he “engaged in frivolous, bad faith, annoying and abusive litigation tactics.”

After the case referee, Miami-Dade County Court Judge Lawrence King, recommended disbarment, Vujin had this response: He filed an answer calling that cruel and unusual punishment and “a product of an unconstitutional, biased and baseless process” that violates his First, Fifth and Eighth Amendment U.S Constitutional rights and his Fourth, Ninth and 17th Declaration of Rights in Florida’s Constitution.

Vujin’s extended email to the Miami Herald didn’t address the first of these cases, involving the kind of $500 small claims court case that Judge Judy knocks out at the rate of two per half hour.

Wild Claims Made While Arguing Small Claims

According to the referee’s report, Vujin used Tampa-based Bay Area Court Reporting to transcribe a 12-hour arbitration proceeding in December 2014. The court reporting company run by Tammy Komori delivered the transcript to Vujin and invoiced him. Vujin paid all but the final $500. After paying that last amount, displeased by the transcript, Vujin canceled the final $500 credit card charge.

That landed Bay Area Court Reporting and Vujin in Hillsborough County small claims court. The referee sums up the Bar’s complaint as Vujin’s “conduct as an attorney throughout the small claims suit was shockingly unprofessional.”

The Bar complaint says in an early motion to dismiss, Vujin claimed Bay Area “never provided me with the transcript.” That was a lie, as Vujin admitted under oath during trial that he’d been emailed the transcripts in February 2015. He later included it in his answer.

The Bar described Vujin’s motion to dismiss “rife with unfounded, unprofessional and scandalous allegations.” An example provided was “Plaintiff, and in fact it’s [sic] principal, a vulgar woman called Komori, sabotaged my case and interfered with my business relationship and contract with my client because she emailed the Arbitrator in the case.” Also, Vujin called Bay Area’s lawyer, “the greedy plaintiff.”

He also says this in his formal case answer: “The transcript appears to have been doctored because I remember what I said and the transcript does not indicate what I said. The Plaintiff owed me a duty of reasonable care that they breached by failing to provide the transcript, doctoring the transcript for money, allowing the transcript to be doctored by the opposing counsel and libeling my clients. As such, the Plaintiff owes me money here.”

“The Plaintiff simply does not know how to write an invoice. I taught her how we write invoices in the United States of America.”

Bay Area’s lawyer moved to strike Vujin’s original “Answer and Affirmative Defense” filing for containing “immaterial, impertinent, scandalous and racist material.” The motion was granted.

Vujin filed for an extension to file a counterclaim, stating this was taking so long because Bay Area was hiding from process servers. But no counterclaim was pending or had been filed.

Eventually, the court found for Bay Area and awarded $3,228 in damages, court costs and interest on Feb. 3, 2016. Vujin flouted post-judgment orders, so he was held in contempt of court. He satisfied the judgment 18 months later, on Aug. 31, 2017.

References to kidnapping, murder and suicide ... in a foreclosure case

The other civil suit involved a foreclosure action against Vujin’s home by Mirador 1200 Condominium Association, the association for the Miami Beach building at 1200 West Ave., for non-payment of lies for association fees. Vujin began by representing himself, then brought on Albert Weintraub as co-counsel.

The Bar complaint says Vujin sent Mirador’s attorney, Eric Grabois, “unprofessional, unintelligible, disturbing emails” such as one email that included:

“Further, you have crossed the line, Sir. Your job is not to assist in a Fraud. Just you bloody cross me here, Sir!” and “Thus, as settlement in full, I propose that your client pays me $1 million, I will sign the Deed to my condo to him.”

In this Answer and Affirmative Defense, Vujin called Mirador a “private, illegal, for-profit prison” and called association president, “RONALD WOLFF, criminal manager and alleged president of MIRADOR...”

The Bar complaint says Vujin in public record pleadings claimed that Wolff had been arrested for a violent felony (Wolff, according to e court records, has never been arrested) “and mad outrageous allegations against Mr. Wolff, including that he had orchestrated the kidnapping, emotional abuse, battering and torture of (Vujin) just because (Vujin) demanded to see corporate records.”

Also, Vujin claimed Wolff’s stance and “menacing look” made him fear the senior citizen “would try to run him over with his vehicle.”

When Vujin filed a Motion for Protection in the foreclosure case, Vujin sent Grabois an e-mail that “alleged Mr. Grabois, and by inference (Mirador 1200 Condominium Association) were responsible for a murder-suicide that took place at the condominium, despite the fact that the incident had no connection to the Mirador foreclosure action.”

Vujin claimed the senior citizens’ murder-suicide in the unit next door to his was the result of losing their condo to the association president for next-to-nothing via fraud. Online property records say the condo was sold for $462,500 two months before the murder-suicide.

His email to the Herald claims he’s left the country “in fear of his life” as “the only surviving witness” of the murder-suicide.

Vujin’s conduct drew admonishment from Circuit Judge Monica Gordo, but the referee found Vujin’s behavior was “so abusive and to such a significant degree that it ... .unquestionably constituted an affront to the very authority of that Court.”

When the Bar put forth the idea that Vujin might be suffering from a psychological issue beyond his control, the referee dismissed it by pointing to the witnesses Vujin called on his behalf that testified he was of sound mind.

Since 1989, David J. Neal’s domain at the Miami Herald has expanded to include writing about Panthers (NHL and FIU), Dolphins, old school animation, food safety, fraud, naughty lawyers, bad doctors and all manner of breaking news. He drinks coladas whole. He does not work Indianapolis 500 Race Day.