SC09-574 referee's report

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SC09-574 referee's report Powered By Docstoc
					                 IN THE SUPREME COURT OF FLORIDA
                           (Before a Referee)


THE FLORIDA BAR,                            CASE NO. SC09-574
                                            TFB NO. 2006-10,979 (6D)
      Complainant,                                   2007-11,184 (6D)
                                                     2008-10,221 (6D)
v.                                                   2007-10,897 (6D)

BRUCE GREGORY KAUFMANN,

     Respondent.
____________________________/

                           REPORT OF REFEREE

       I. Summary of Proceedings: The undersigned was duly appointed as referee
to conduct disciplinary proceedings herein according to Rule 3-7.6, Rules
Regulating The Florida Bar. The Florida Bar filed a complaint against Respondent
on March 30, 2009. A final hearing as to guilt was held March 8, 2010 through
March 12, 2010. The parties presented testimony, evidence, argument and
memoranda to the referee. On April 1, 2010, the undersigned referee pronounced
findings of guilt. A sanctions hearing was held April 23, 2010. On May 14, 2010,
the undersigned referee pronounced his recommendation for discipline. This
Report contains the Referee’s findings of fact and recommendations as to guilt and
sanctions. All pleadings, responses, notices, motions, orders, transcripts, and
exhibits received in evidence constitute the record in this case and will be
forwarded to The Supreme Court of Florida with this report.

            The following attorneys appeared as counsel for the parties:

            For The Florida Bar:     Karen Boroughs Lopez
                                     Chardean Mavis Hill

            For The Respondent:      Pro Se



                                        1
      II. Findings of Fact as to Each Item of Misconduct with which the
Respondent is Charged: After considering all the pleadings and evidence before
me, pertinent portions of which are commented on below, I find as follows:

                                            As to Count I
                                      Complaint of Hayley Juliani
                                      TFB No. 2006-10,979(6D)

       In June 2002, Charlotte W. Deakins met with Respondent about setting up a
trust. Charlotte W. Deakins had been Respondent’s client for many years involving
various matters. A plan was devised by Respondent purportedly to put Charlotte
W. Deakins’ property into a trust to keep her children from gaining control of it, to
mortgage the property to provide funds to fix up some rental units on the property,
and to provide income to Charlotte W. Deakins.

       In or about June 2002, Respondent prepared several estate planning
documents for Charlotte W. Deakins, which included the Last Will and Testament
of Charlotte W. Deakins, the Charlotte W. Deakins Revocable Trust (“Deakins
Trust”), a durable power of attorney, a general power of attorney, and a healthcare
power of attorney. (TFB Trial Exhibits J 01 through J 05). The Charlotte W.
Deakins Revocable Trust was executed on June 28, 2002. (TFB Trial Exhibit J
01). 1 The Deakins Trust property included all of Charlotte W. Deakins’ personal
property and two lots of real estate located in Madeira Beach, Florida (“Madeira
Beach property”). (TFB Trial Exhibit J 01). On the same day the Deakins Trust
was created, the Madeira Beach property was quit claimed to the Deakins Trust.
The deed names the owner of the property as “Bruce G. Kaufmann, Trustee of the
Charlotte W. Deakins Family Revocable Trust” (TFB Trial Exhibit J 06). The
1
 During the execution of these documents, Karyl Kaufmann, Mr. Kaufmann’s wife, provided notary services. Pages
20-21 of the Deakins Trust are the attestation pages signed by Charlotte W. Deakins as grantor, Tammy Martin as a
witness, and Karyl Kaufmann as a witness (TFB Trial Exhibit J 01, bates label KFJ 0062 – KFJ 0036). The notarial
certificate indicates that Karyl Kaufmann’s signature was being notarized. The Last Will and Testament of Charlotte
W. Deakins was executed on June 28, 2002. (TFB Trial Exhibit J 02). Page 7 of the Will is the attestation page
signed by Charlotte W. Deakins as testatrix, Tammy Martin as a witness, and Karyl Kaufmann as a witness. (TFB
Trial Exhibit J 02, bates label KFJ 0076). The notarial certificate indicates that Karyl Kaufmann’s signature was
being notarized. Under Florida Law, it is third degree felony for a notary to notarize his or her own signature.
Karyl Kaufmann testified that Mr. Kaufmann drafted both documents, he is the only attorney in the law office, and
that she probably did not read the notarial certificate correctly before notarizing the document. Karyl Kaufmann
further testified that Mr. Kaufmann directed her to notarize documents in the office when notary services were
needed. Mr. Kaufmann stated the error may have occurred in this matter because the documents were rushed at the
request of the client. However, documents produced in regards to Count II also revealed that Karyl Kaufmann
notarized Mr. Kaufmann’s signature in October 2003. (See Exhibit BGK 36a and Exhibit BGK 36b).

                                                        2
Madeira Beach property consisted of 3 units on one lot (“Lot 1”) and a small
concrete shed on the other lot (“Lot 2”). At various points in time, Charlotte W.
Deakins resided in Unit 1, Unit 3, and in the Lot 2 shed.

       On July 17, 2002, two amendments prepared by Respondent were executed
for the Deakins Trust. The execution was nineteen (19) days after the Trust was
formed. The first amendment made changes to Article VIII of the Deakins Trust.
(TFB Trial Exhibit J 01, bates label KFJ 0043). In particular, provision 8.1 made
the appointment of Respondent as trustee irrevocable and provision 8.6 made the
trustee powers of Respondent irrevocable. The second amendment made the
deposit of “any and all property” of the Deakins Trust irrevocable and specifically
refers to making the deposit of the Madeira Beach property into the Deakins Trust
irrevocable. (TFB Trial Exhibit J 01, bates label KFJ 0044).

       Charlotte W. Deakins purchased the Madeira Beach property in October
2001 for approximately $175,000.00 cash. There is no dispute that the Madeira
Beach property was in bad shape. Respondent and Charlotte W. Deakins began to
discuss obtaining a loan to finance renovations for the Madeira Beach property.
Charlotte W. Deakins was not working, had no income, and had poor credit. Thus,
traditional loan options were not available.

       Respondent approached Matthew Weidner, a St. Petersburg attorney, about
finding a private lender. A private lender was found who agreed to lend money for
renovating the Madeira Beach property. Attorney John Cappa represented the
lender in the transaction. The agreement was to lend as much money as was needed
in order to complete the renovations as long as the property had equity. The loan
would be disbursed in stages. Respondent’s Answer to the Florida Bar’s Complaint
states that he was informed by John Cappa and Matthew Weidner that in order to
obtain a loan and to protect the lender’s investment, Respondent was required to
make the deposit of the Madeira Beach property into the Deakins Trust irrevocable
and to make his appointment as Trustee of the Deakins Trust irrevocable. At the
final hearing, Respondent testified that “a lender” told him that he needed to make
the deposit of the Madeira Beach property into the Deakins Trust irrevocable and to
make his appointment as Trustee irrevocable, but that it might not have been
Matthew Weidner or John Cappa. Respondent was unable to produce a name or
any documentation requiring this change. I find Respondent’s explanation for why
his appointment as Trustee was made irrevocable and why the property was
deposited into the trust irrevocably not credible or believable.

                                          3
       On August 6, 2002, Respondent, as Trustee, and Charlotte W. Deakins
executed an interest-only balloon note and mortgage for $75,000 with 11% interest
(“Mortgage 1”) for the Madeira Beach property. (TFB Trial Exhibit J 07). The
funds for Mortgage 1 were disbursed in increments upon request by Respondent for
additional funding to conduct the renovations. Mortgage 1 funds received from the
lender total $64,930.00. (TFB Trial Exhibit J 44). The funds were received in
increments and deposited according to Kaufmann’s QuickBooks ledger for the
Deakins Trust. In April 2003, the funds for Mortgage 1 had been exhausted. On
April 22, 2003, Respondent requested additional funds from John Cappa and a
second loan based on newly discovered renovation expenses. (TFB Trial Exhibit J
11). To support the request, Respondent provided an April 22, 2003 estimate from
Doug Kuchle of DGK Builders, the general contractor for the project, in the amount
of $44,913.91. (TFB Trial Exhibit J 11 addendum). According to Doug Kuchle,
who testified at the final hearing, most of the work on the estimate had already been
completed prior to April 22, 2003.

       On May 9, 2003, the lender provided a balloon note and mortgage for
$50,000 with 11% interest (“Mortgage 2”) for the Madeira Beach property. (TFB
Trial Exhibit J 08). Like Mortgage 1, the funds for Mortgage 2 were disbursed in
increments upon request by Respondent for additional funding to conduct the
renovations. Mortgage 2 funds received from lender total $43,381.21. (TFB Trial
Exhibit J 44). The funds were received in increments and deposited according to
Respondent’s QuickBooks ledger for the Deakins Trust.

       At the loan closing for Mortgage 1, Respondent, as Trustee, and Charlotte W.
Deakins signed an “Acknowledgement of Ample Income” form that states: “I,
Bruce G. Respondent, J.D., Trustee for the Charlotte W. Deakins Family Revocable
Trust acknowledge by my signature that the trust has sufficient income to repay the
loan, but do not wish to disclose this income at this time.” (Exhibit BGK 18, page
19). Respondent did not advise John Cappa or his client, Frank Esposito, that the
loan proceeds would be used for anything other than renovating the Madeira Beach
property. Respondent’s QuickBooks records for the Deakins Trust show that the
loan funds were spent for purposes other than renovations. (TFB Trial Exhibit J
17). In fact, even though a total of $108,311.21 was deposited into Mr.
Kaufmann’s trust account from these two mortgages, only $47,911.85 was used for
renovating the Madeira Beach property.


                                          4
      The renovations on the Madeira Beach property were never completed. At
some point during the renovation process, John Cappa learned that work was not
being done. John Cappa and Frank Esposito decided not to lend any more funds to
the Deakins Trust.

       During the renovation process, Charlotte W. Deakins was living on the
property. Pinellas County needed to inspect the premises in order to issue a
Certificate of Occupancy. Respondent told Charlotte W. Deakins she had to vacate
the premises because nobody could be living in the units prior to a Certificate of
Occupancy. Doug Kuchle, the general contractor, testified that it would not be
appropriate to fool inspectors into thinking that someone was not living on the
premises before the Certificate of Occupancy was issued. I accept the opinion of
Mr. Kuchle.

       At various points in time, the Deakins Trust account was in the negative.
(TFB Trial Exhibit J 17). Respondent loaned some of his personal funds to the
Deakins Trust to cover expenses until the trust received another draw of the
mortgage funds. In or about January 2004, Respondent had stopped making
payments for Mortgage 2 on the Madeira Beach property. On August 3, 2004, a
Complaint of Foreclosure was filed by Frank Esposito, holder of the mortgages and
notes, against Kaufman, as Trustee of the Charlotte W. Deakins Trust, and
Charlotte W. Deakins, individually. (TFB Trial Exhibit J 20). On October 8, 2004,
Charlotte W. Deakins executed a Revocation of Durable Power of Attorney
revoking Respondent as attorney-in-fact. (TFB Trial Exhibit J 22). On this same
day, she executed a new Durable Power of Attorney appointing her daughter,
Hayley Juliani a/k/a Hayley N. Deakins (now known as Hayley Telegdy) as her
attorney-in fact. (TFB Trial Exhibit J 23). An arrangement was reached whereby
the Deakins’ family took over the mortgage payments to keep the property out of
foreclosure.

       Several copies of the same July 17, 2002 amendment making the deposit of
the Madeira Beach property into the Deakins Trust irrevocable surfaced. Three
different copies of this amendment were presented by the Bar at the final hearing.
(TFB Trial Exhibit J 45). KFJ 0161 is signed and notarized, but there is no notary
seal. KFJ 0044 is signed, notarized, and has a notary seal. Reply to TFB Visit
BGK 034 is signed and notarized, but there is no notary seal, and has a handwritten
“IR” before Revocable Trust in the document title. Respondent could not
adequately explain the difference between the three documents comprising TFB

                                         5
Trial Exhibit J 45, in particular how the handwritten “IR” got on the document.
Respondent asserted that his wife, Karyl Kaufmann made the correction after
thinking it was an irrevocable trust. Karyl Kaufmann said she had no idea how the
handwritten “IR” got on the document, but stated that Respondent probably put the
“IR” on the document.

       There is conflicting testimony on whether the Deakins Trust was revocable
or irrevocable following the July 17, 2002 amendments to the Deakins Trust.
During the final hearing, Linda Griffin, Esq. testified for The Florida Bar as a Trust
and Estates expert in the areas of competence and fees. Attorney Griffin reviewed
the Deakins Trust and the Amendments to the Deakins Trust. Attorney Griffin
opined that Respondent created an ambiguity when he drafted the July 17, 2002
amendments as they conflicted with the Deakins Trust. In particular, she opined
that one amendment made the appointment of Respondent as Trustee irrevocable.
Attorney Griffin also opined that the deed affects the status of the real property and
that making a change within the trust that the property is deposited irrevocably into
the trust substantially has no effect. The deed is the controlling document. She
further opined that one of the important goals for a drafter is to avoid ambiguity and
that doing so avoids a court having to interpret the trust. Attorney Griffin opined
that drafting documents in this manner created an ambiguity and showed a lack of
competence although there was contrary testimony presented by Respondent’s
expert. I accept the opinion rendered by Attorney Griffin as more credible and
believable.

        Respondent and Charlotte W. Deakins had an oral agreement for a $2,500.00
fee for the preparation of the estate planning documents for Charlotte W. Deakins.
Respondent was appointed Trustee and Karyl Kaufmann, Respondent’s wife, was
appointed as successor trustee. The Deakins Trust was silent as to the amount of
trustee fees and attorney fees for the trustee that could be received. Respondent
testified that there was an oral agreement for Respondent to receive $1,000.00 per
month as trustee fees payable each month.

       In November 2004, Charlotte W. Deakins filed a Petition for Removal of
Trustee (TFB Trial Exhibit J 25). The allegations were that Respondent
mismanaged the trust assets, failed to account for expenses, failed to maintain the
trust property in a manner to allow it to be habitable and revenue producing, and
allowed the real estate component of the trust to go into foreclosure. In December
2004, Respondent filed an Answer to Petition for Removal of Trustee (TFB Trial

                                          6
Exhibit J 26). Respondent claimed that $14,020.00 was still due and owing for
trustee fees, that in excess of $72,000.00 was due and owing for legal services
rendered, and that $16,878.92 was due and owing for monies Respondent lent to the
Deakins Trust in order to make mortgage and other payments.

       During the final hearing in this matter, Respondent provided testimony
regarding trustee fees and attorney’s fees. Respondent testified that he completed
trust work as trustee from June 2002 through August 2004. He testified that the
$30,000.00 claim for trustee fees in the Counter Petition, as he gave in his answer
in December 2004, which accounted for 30 months of work at $1,000.00 per month.
 Respondent further testified that although the “Monies Lent” claim was for
$16,878.92, the QuickBooks records reflect that $10,370.12 was lent by
Respondent to the Deakins Trust. (TFB Trial Exhibit J 44). When asked to explain
the difference, Respondent stated he did not have one because he does not do the
accounting in the office, his wife does. Respondent testified that he was due past
legal fees from representing Charlotte W. Deakins in the past.

        On the issue of charging or collecting an excessive fee, Attorney Griffin
testified that if a trust is silent as to the compensation a trustee or the attorney for
the trustee is to receive then statutory provisions apply. The statutory provisions
provide that a trustee can collect fees starting at a baseline of 3% per year of the
value of the trust. The attorney for the trustee can also collect fees of 2.25% per
year of the value of the trust. She stated that she calculated what a reasonable fee
would be in this case based on a generous value of the trust assets of $350,000.00.
In this case, Attorney Griffin opined that a reasonable trustee fee at 3% would be
$21,000.00 for two years, and that a reasonable attorney fee for the trustee at 2.25%
would be $15,750.00 for two years, totaling $36,750.00 as reasonable fees.
Attorney Griffin opined that $72,000.00 was not a reasonable fee.

       I find by clear and convincing evidence that Respondent violated Rule 3-4.3
in that he caused his wife to notarize her own signature; he signed an
acknowledgement that the trust had sufficient income to repay the loan when he
knew it didn’t; he misrepresented what the loan money was being used for from the
loan, when in fact a substantial amount of the money from the loan actually went to
himself.

     I find by clear and convincing evidence that Respondent violated Rule 4-1.1.
Respondent created a trust that was revocable with an irrevocable trustee, and with

                                           7
property that was irrevocably deeded to the trust. This is extremely confusing and
did not serve any useful purpose. Even Respondent’s expert, Attorney Black, could
not explain why it was necessary to have a trustee appointed irrevocably when the
trust itself was revocable. And Respondent’s statement that “well, then the court
will decide whether or not it was a constructive trust”; is contrary to an important
goal of the drafter to avoid ambiguity and avoid having the court interpret the true
meaning of the document. The amendments did not afford Ms. Deakins any more
protection from her children as alleged by Respondent since she still maintained the
ability to revoke the trust. I find that the amendments to the trust were very
confusing and that Respondent did not provide competent representation to his
client.

      I find by clear and convincing evidence that Respondent violated Rule 4-1.5
by charging and collecting an excessive fee. In evaluating the testimony of
witnesses, I relied upon the Florida Standard Jury Instructions regarding their
believability, their frankness, lack of frankness, their training, experience, their
demeanor, and their interest in the litigation. I found Ms. Griffin’s testimony to be
believable and credible. It was her testimony that a reasonable fee for a trustee for
two years would be $21,000.00 and for the attorney for the trustee would be
$15,750.00 for a total of $36,750.00. Respondent was paid attorney’s fees of either
approximately $25,000.00 or $15,980.00; it is unclear which sum is correct.
However, in addition to whatever he was paid, either of those two figures, he was
seeking $72,000.00 as set forth in his counterclaim. Under any stretch of the
imagination, a $72,000.00 fee in excess of what he already received was clearly
excessive.

       I find by clear and convincing evidence that Respondent violated Rule 4-
8.4(a) by violating other rules previously set forth herein and further delineated by
me.

       I find by clear and convincing evidence that Respondent violated Rule 4-
8.4(c) because Respondent represented to Mr. Cappa that the proceeds would be
used for renovations when Respondent’s own accounting records show that
approximately $46,000.00 or $48,000.00 of the approximately $108,311.21 was
used for renovation purposes, and the remaining money was used for loans to other
people, fees to himself and living expenses for Ms. Deakins, as well as other
matters as set forth in Exhibit J 17.


                                          8
                                 As to Count II
                            Complaint of Ardeth Arnold
                            TFB No. 2007-11,184(6D)

       Ardeth Arnold and Doris Scott had been close friends for many years. Doris
Scott left most of her assets to Ardeth Arnold. Around that time in February 2005,
Respondent became acquainted with Ardeth Arnold when he represented her as the
Personal Representative of the Estate of Doris Jean Keister Scott (“Scott Estate”).
Respondent had drafted Doris Scott’s estate planning documents. Ardeth Arnold
retained Respondent on February 14, 2005 for the estate administration. A fee
agreement was signed regarding the representation, which also included financial
planning. (TFB Trial Exhibit A 01).

        During Respondent’s representation of Ardeth Arnold for the Scott Estate,
Respondent became aware of Ardeth Arnold’s financial circumstances. Ardeth
Arnold was the beneficiary of many of Doris Scott’s life insurance policies.
Respondent assisted Ardeth Arnold in collecting approximately $150,000.00 to
$200,000.00 in death benefits from various life insurance policies. Respondent also
learned that Ardeth Arnold was a participant in the Florida Retirement System’s
Deferred Retirement Option Program (DROP program), which allows participants
to defer retirement up to five years while earning interest on their retirement funds.
Respondent obtained a copy of Ardeth Arnold’s projected retirement proceeds per
the DROP program (Exhibit BGK 39). According to the projection, at the end of
the five year retirement deferral period, Ardeth Arnold would receive $208,608.03
in retirement benefits. Ardeth Arnold retired early in May 2006 due to medical
reasons. At the time she retired, Ardeth Arnold was scheduled to receive
$110,462.12 in retirement benefits per the DROP program. Respondent was aware
of the amount she would receive.

       The Kaufmanns befriended Ardeth Arnold, welcomed her into their home,
their family, and their lives. Ardeth Arnold resided with the Kaufmanns for a brief
period of time in early 2005. During this time, Respondent was representing
Ardeth Arnold and she was grieving her friend’s death. Ardeth Arnold had
difficulties distinguishing between legal matters and friendship.

      It is undisputed that in May 2005, Respondent entered into a business
transaction with Ardeth Arnold, wherein Ardeth Arnold invested a total of
$75,000.00 into three companies in which Respondent had a vested interest

                                          9
(collectively referred to as the “Purple companies”). Ardeth Arnold invested
$20,000.00 in Purple Acre Company on May 11, 2005 (TFB Trial Exhibit A 07),
$5,000.00 in Purple Castle Take & Bake Pizza Club Company on May 21, 2005
(TFB Trial Exhibit A 06), and $50,000.00 in Purple Castle Company on May 21,
2005 (TFB Trial Exhibit A 05). Each investment was in exchange for 1 share of
common stock per $1.00 invested. Thus, Ardeth Arnold was to have 20,000 shares
in Purple Acre Company, 5,000 shares in Purple Castle Take & Bake Pizza Club
Company, and 50,000 shares in Purple Castle Company. Ardeth Arnold was asked
if she would like to invest in these companies by Respondent. He advised her that
it would be a good investment for her. Ardeth Arnold was not aware that this
investment was risky. Ardeth Arnold understood that Respondent promised her a
return of her money plus interest upon her expected retirement in 2008 from the
DROP program. Respondent told her he was excited about his company.

       On May 21, 2005, Respondent and Ardeth Arnold signed a Conflict of
Interest Waiver and Consent form (TFB Trial Exhibit A 04). This form was signed
after Ardeth Arnold had already invested money into the Purple companies. The
Conflict of Interest Waiver and Consent form did not disclose Respondent’s
interests in any of the companies, the nature of the business, the fact that no real
property is secured by the investment, and the nature of the business transaction
between Respondent and Ardeth Arnold. Respondent did not fully disclose in
writing in a manner reasonably understood by Ardeth Arnold the terms of the
investment transaction and Respondent’s interest in the investment transaction.

      The Purple companies purportedly have various owners, mostly through
stock ownership. Our Personal Quest Company owns a majority interest in each of
the Purple companies. Respondent owns a majority interest in Our Personal Quest
Company. Respondent is the incorporator of Our Personal Quest Company and
serves as its Registered Agent (TFB Trial Exhibit A 11 and TFB Trial Exhibit 12).

       The purpose of Purple Acre Company was to own the real property for the
pizza stores, the purpose of Purple Castle Take & Bake Pizza Club Company was to
have several pizza stores that served good, quality pizza, and the purpose of Purple
Castle Company was to be the parent company for Purple Acre and Purple Castle
Take & Bake Pizza. However, none of these companies owned any real property.
Our Personal Quest Company owned the real property where the one and only store
of Purple Castle Take & Bake Pizza was located at 11130 Seminole Boulevard,
Seminole, Florida. The business address for the Purple companies and for Our

                                         10
Personal Quest Company is 1564 Oakadia Lane, Clearwater, Florida 33764. This is
the same address for Respondent’s law practice and for Respondent’s residence.
None of the Purple companies ever made a profit.

        The physical property where Purple Castle Take and Bake Pizza Club
Company was located was owned by Our Personal Quest Company. (TFB Trial
Exhibit A 10). It is undisputed that the real property was sold and that none of the
proceeds of the sale were used to pay Ardeth Arnold. This occurred in spite of the
promise made by Respondent that she would receive a return when the property
was sold. None of the $75,000.00 invested by Ardeth Arnold has ever been returned
to her.

       Respondent did not complete the probate of Doris Scott’s estate, which
resulted in an Order to Show Cause entered by the probate court. John Dent,
attorney and friend of Ardeth Arnold, was able to intervene and close the estate.
Respondent opened a full probate administration on an estate valued at
approximately $11,000.00 to $12,000.00. Opening a full probate administration on
a small estate was unnecessary and created extra fees.

       I find by clear and convincing evidence that Respondent violated Rule 3-4.3
wherein he encouraged and advised Ms. Arnold to invest $75,000.00 when she was
grieving over the loss of her long-time personal friend; that she was at the end of
her wage earning career; and that he knew her financial condition and did not
explain to her the risk of her investment in his companies.

       I find by clear and convincing evidence that Respondent violated Rule 4-1.1
because Respondent prepared a formal administration in probate for the Doris Scott
estate valued at $11,000.00 to $12,000.00 when it wasn’t necessary for him to do
so, thereby creating extra fees. Respondent subjected himself to an order to show
cause issued by the probate judge in that matter for not advancing the case to a
conclusion which had to be taken over by another attorney.

       Respondent was charged with violating Rule 4-1.2(c). The Florida Bar
indicated there was no rule violation, and I find none.

       I find by clear and convincing evidence that Respondent violated Rule 4-
1.7(b) in that Respondent could not reasonably believe that his representation of
Ms. Arnold would not be adversely affected in light of the fact that this was a start-

                                          11
up company. There was no evidence to suggest that others were willing to invest.
And Ms. Arnold was in a weakened condition due to the fact of her loss of her
long-time friend, and that Respondent took advantage of her and exploited her
knowing that her physical and her emotional condition was compromised.

       I find by clear and convincing evidence that Respondent violated Rule 4-
1.8(a) in spite of the fact that Ms. Arnold signed a waiver. The waiver does not
completely and adequately disclose, in writing, Respondent’s interest in these three
companies and was signed approximately ten days after she had already invested in
at least one of the companies.

       I find by clear and convincing evidence that Respondent violated Rule 4-
1.8(b) because Respondent exploited Ms. Arnold. He knew of her financial
condition from representing her in the Doris Scott probate case, and he used it for
his own personal advantage and for his own personal gain and to the detriment of
Ms. Arnold.

       I find by clear and convincing evidence that Respondent violated Rule 4-1.9
in that Respondent gained knowledge of Ms. Arnold’s financial condition through
his representation of her in the probate matter and took advantage of Ms. Arnold’s
financial conduction by having her invest in his companies without explaining the
full amount of risk involved.

       I find by clear and convincing evidence that Respondent violated Rule 4-
8.4(a) by violating other rules previously set forth herein and further delineated by
me.

       I find by clear and convincing evidence that Respondent violated Rule 4-
8.4(c) by not disclosing the full nature of his interest in the Purple companies; that
the companies had not made any profit; that Respondent misrepresented the nature
of his investment to Ms. Arnold; and that he intentionally engaged in deception for
his own personal gain.

                                 As to Count III
                            Complaint of The Florida Bar
                             TFB No. 2008-10,221(6D)

      The underlying facts for Count III and Count IV are interrelated. The

                                          12
conduct affected the Turleys and Carol Carpenter.

       Respondent first became acquainted with Glenda Turley in the 1990s.
Glenda Turley did some paralegal work for Respondent over the years. Respondent
has also represented Glenda Turley and her husband, David Turley, since the 1990s
in various matters.

      In or about October 1997, the Turleys began a non-profit corporation called
Each One Teach One, Inc. Respondent has served as a director and/or officer of
Each One Teach One. Respondent was not the official attorney for Each One
Teach One; however, he did provide some unofficial advice at times. In September
2003, Respondent and Carol Carpenter both served on the Board of Each One
Teach One.

       Beginning in about 1999, Respondent represented Glenda Turley in a
personal injury matter against U.S. Airways. Prior to October 2003, Respondent
referred the personal injury case to Herman “Buzzy” Blumenthal, III. Respondent
remained as the referring attorney. The Turleys wished to purchase a home they
were renting (the Irvin home). On or about October 20, 2003, Respondent sent a
Letter of Protection to Markus and Kerry Irvin. (TFB Trial Exhibit T 01). The
Letter of Protection promised that the Irvins would receive $33,000.00 from any
proceeds derived from the settlement of Glenda Turley’s personal injury matter in
the event the home was sold to the Turleys or to someone acceptable to them. The
opening of the letter states: “This office of Bruce G. Kaufmann, J.D., P.A. has been
retained to represent the above client for injuries sustained as a result of an accident
that occurred on the above date. This office is affiliated with Blumenthal and
Associates, P.A.”

       On November 19, 2003, Respondent purchased the Irvin Home for
$137,000.00. (TFB Trial Exhibit T 05). However, the total indebtedness for
purchasing the Irvin home was $170,000.00, which included the $33,000.00 Letter
of Protection by the Turleys. The purchase price of $170,000.00 was higher than
the market value of the property according to expert testimony at the final hearing.
The Irvin Home was titled in Respondent’s name only. At the closing for the
purchase of the Irvin home, Respondent used $42,225.92 of Carol Carpenter’s
money as a down payment. (Exhibit BGK 77). Carol Carpenter was another client
of Respondent. Respondent did not provide Carol Carpenter with a security interest
for these funds. Carol Carpenter did not appear as a mortgage holder for the

                                           13
purchase of the Irvin Home. Respondent also obtained a mortgage of $95,900.00 to
purchase the Irvin Home.
       After Respondent purchased the Irvin Home, he entered into a landlord-
tenant arrangement with the Turleys. David Turley testified that prior to
Respondent owning the home their rent was about $800.00 per month. After
Respondent bought the home, the rent was $1,500.00 per month. The Turleys could
not make the rent payments and Respondent began to evict them.

      In October 2004, the Turleys became aware of Carol Carpenter’s
involvement with the purchase of the Irvin home for the first time. Carol Carpenter
contacted the Turley’s and advised them of her involvement and displeasure
regarding this transaction. In response, the Turleys informed Carol Carpenter that
they had no idea of the extent of her involvement with purchasing the Irvin home;
they did not know she had put her own home in jeopardy; and were told that
Respondent was handling everything and had everything under control. (TFB Trial
Exhibit T 06).

       David and Glenda Turley also sent correspondence to Respondent and his
wife in October 2004. (TFB Trial Exhibit T 06, bates label KCC 0008-0010). The
Turleys reiterated their understanding of the conditions and stipulations of the lease
agreement they had with Respondent. The understanding was that when the
settlement proceeds came in, the purchase price of the home would be $160,000.00
to be paid to Respondent. (TFB Trial Exhibit T 03, bates label KFB 0043). This
does not include the $33,000.00 owed to the Irvins via the letter of protection. Also,
the purchase price would increase at 1% per month starting April 1, 2004 until the
parties closed on the sale of the house to the Turleys. (TFB Trial Exhibit T 03,
bates label KFB 0043). Therefore, in order for the Turleys to actually purchase the
house, they would need more than $193,000.00, which consisted of the $160,000.00
purchase price and the $33,000.00 Letter of Protection owed to the Irvins.
Moreover, the purchase price would increase at the rate of $1,600 per month
commencing in April 2004.

       Mrs. Turley’s personal injury case was taken over by John Guyton upon Mr.
Blumenthal’s suspension from the practice of law in Florida. John Guyton testified
that he was initially unaware that a $33,000.00 Letter of Protection had been issued
to the Irvins by the Turleys when he took over the case. The Irvins learned that a
settlement was pending and contacted John Guyton to say “hey don’t forget about
us.” John Guyton subsequently confirmed the existence of the Letter of Protection.

                                         14
Litigation ensued over the validity of the Letter of Protection, which was found to
be valid by the Circuit Court of Pinellas County. The Letter of Protection was
eventually paid to the Irvins. The Turleys received no interest in the Irvin home.

      I find by clear and convincing evidence that Respondent violated Rule 3-4.3
by violating other rules set forth herein and further delineated by me.

       I find by clear and convincing evidence that Respondent violated Rule 4-
1.8(a) in that Respondent had a conflict of interest with the Turleys. He was clearly
representing them in the personal injury matter, and then obtained ownership of
property by using the Turleys funds from the personal injury matter. He failed to
advise them of that fact, failed to obtain a waiver of conflict of interest, assuming
one could even be ethically obtained in a situation such as this. Furthermore, there
was no evidence that the client was given a reasonable opportunity to seek advice of
independent counsel, and there was no informed consent in writing by the client to
allow Respondent to engage in this conflict of interest.

       I find by clear and convincing evidence that Respondent violated Rule 4-
1.8(b) by using knowledge of his client’s physical and economic condition to his
own advantage by acquiring interest in a home that they were renting. Respondent
also increased the rent the Turleys were paying as previously set forth herein, and
used $33,000.00 of their settlement money in their personal injury case as part of a
purchase price for which they received nothing.

       I find by clear and convincing evidence that Respondent violated Rule 4-
1.8(i) by acquiring a property interest with the use a Letter of Protection in the
personal injury case.

       I find by clear and convincing evidence that Respondent violated Rule 4-1.9
for the same reasons applicable to Rule 4-1.8. In addition, Respondent used the
information he gained in representation of the Turleys in their personal injury case
about their financial situation to his advantage and ultimately to remove the Turleys
from their home. He knew they wanted to stay in the home primarily because of
Ms. Turley’s physical limitations and that this house was suited to her needs.
Respondent knew that. He knew they couldn’t afford to move. He knew their
financial condition. And in spite of all of this, he increased their rent from $800.00
a month to $1,500.00 a month to his own personal advantage and to the detriment
of the Turleys.

                                          15
       I find by clear and convincing evidence that Respondent violated Rule 4-
8.4(a) by violating other rules previously set forth herein and further delineated by
me.

       I find by clear and convincing evidence that Respondent violated Rule 4-
8.4(c) by engaging in deceitful conduct by using the letter of protection to his own
advantage without giving the Turleys any interest in the home, which he put in his
own name. Respondent also engaged in deceitful conduct by failing to disclose that
Carol Carpenter lent over $42,000.00 to him, and he titled the home in his name
alone. I specifically reject the argument that this was a home for the Each One
Teach One organization since Respondent, as a lawyer, knows all too well how to
create a deed to an entity as opposed to himself, and he fully understood that the
property was in his name alone.

                                 As to Count IV
                            Complaint of Carol Carpenter
                             TFB No. 2007-10,897(6D)

     The underlying facts for Count III and Count IV are interrelated. The
conduct affected the Turleys and Carol Carpenter.

       In September 2003, Carol Carpenter became a widow. (Copy of death
certificate, Page 39, Exhibit BGK 72). She became the sole owner of her
unencumbered home in Pinellas County. Carol Carpenter sought advice from
Respondent regarding her husband’s estate, although Respondent did not end up
probating it. Ms. Carpenter also informed Respondent that she wanted to fix up
some of the unfinished projects left by her deceased husband around her home.
Respondent testified that in September 2003, he gave Carol Carpenter investment
advice. Because Respondent had previously represented Carol Carpenter in 2002
regarding a claim for Social Security disability benefits, he knew that a portion of
that claim was based on emotional instability and depression.

       In November 2003, Carol Carpenter obtained a home equity loan for the
stated purposes of renovations to her home. It is not disputed that Respondent took
Carol Carpenter to see Matthew Weidner, a St. Petersburg attorney, who was able
to help her secure a home equity loan through a private investor. On November 10,
2003, Carol Carpenter signed a $60,000.00 balloon note and mortgage. (Exhibit

                                          16
BGK 72). Matthew Weidner testified that the purpose of the home equity loan was
so that Carol Carpenter could fix up her house. He was not told the full purpose of
the loan which was to use the money as a down payment on the Irvin home.

      Later, Carol Carpenter returned to Matthew Weidner regarding the Irvin
home transactions and her receipt of a foreclosure notice for the $60,000.00 home
equity loan. Matthew Weidner helped Carol Carpenter get a refund of her money
that Respondent used to purchase the Irvin home.

       Respondent sold the Irvin home on February 16, 2005. (TFB Trial Exhibit T
07). The contract price was $164,500.00. (TFB Trial Exhibit T 07). The sale price
was not enough to cover the first mortgage and pay the entire mortgage held by
Carol Carpenter. Matthew Weidner secured payment for her from the proceeds of
the sale. Carol Carpenter received $40,487.60 from the sale of the Irvin home.
(TFB Trial Exhibit T 07). The remaining balance of $12,120.75 was secured by a
mortgage and note on property owned by Respondent’s wife, Karyl Kaufmann,
a/k/a Carol Dressback, located at 8353 79th Avenue, Largo, Florida. (Exhibit BGK
74). To date, Carol Carpenter has not been paid in full. Respondent and Karyl
Kaufmann are making monthly payments to Carol Carpenter in the amount of
$106.37 pursuant to the terms of the mortgage and note on the 79th Avenue
property.

      I find by clear and convincing evidence that Respondent violated Rule 3-4.3
by exploiting Ms. Carpenter, by taking advantage of her emotionally unstable
condition, and by convincing her to encumber her own home, which she owned free
and clear, without providing her any security interest, to his own personal
advantage.

       I find by clear and convincing evidence that Respondent violated Rule 4-1.1.
 There is no evidence of any documentation that Carol Carpenter had any security
interest or mortgage in the Irvin home in spite of the fact that she lent Respondent
over $42,000.00. She was not advised of the fact that Respondent was acquiring a
personal interest in the property. Clearly, this is incompetent representation.

       Respondent was charged with violating Rule 4-1.2(c). The Florida Bar
indicated there was no rule violation, and I find none.

      I find by clear and convincing evidence that Respondent violated Rule 4-1.4.

                                         17
 There was no evidence that Mr. Kaufmann ever explained this matter in full to the
extent reasonably necessary which would have allowed Ms. Carpenter to make an
informed decision about this transaction.
       I find by clear and convincing evidence that Respondent violated Rule 4-
1.8(a) by engaging in self-dealing and conduct adverse to his client without any
protection afforded to his client. There is no evidence that she signed any informed
waiver as required by this rule.

       I find by clear and convincing evidence that Respondent violated Rule 4-1.9
because Respondent had previously represented Ms. Carpenter in a social security
matter. She was recently widowed. She had some form of disability. She was in a
vulnerable and weakened condition and he took advantage of her. He exploited her
to her detriment and to his own personal advantage. She went from owning a home
free and clear, to having a mortgage on her property without any security for the
money she lent Respondent.

       I find by clear and convincing evidence that Respondent violated Rule 4-
8.4(c) in that Respondent engaged in dishonest and deceitful behavior by obtaining
funds from Carol Carpenter without providing any security interest to her
whatsoever and took advantage of her for his own personal gain.

     III. Recommendations as to Whether or Not the Respondent should Be
Found Guilty: As to each count of the complaint I make the following
recommendations as to guilt or innocence:

                                  As to Count I
                            Complaint of Hayley Juliani
                            TFB No. 2006-10,979(6D)

        I find by clear and convincing evidence that Respondent is guilty of violating
the following Rules Regulating The Florida Bar: Rule 3-4.3 (committing an act
that is unlawful or contrary to honesty and justice); Rule 4-1.1 (lack of
competence); Rule 4-1.5 (charging or collecting an illegal, prohibited, or clearly
excessive fee or cost); Rule 4-8.4(a) (violating or attempting to violate the Rules of
Professional Conduct); and Rule 4-8.4(c) (engaging in conduct involving
dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation).

                                   As to Count II
                                          18
                            Complaint of Ardeth Arnold
                            TFB No. 2007-11,184(6D)

        I find by clear and convincing evidence that Respondent is guilty of violating
the following Rules Regulating The Florida Bar: Rule 3-4.3 (committing an act
that is unlawful or contrary to honesty and justice); Rule 4-1.1 (lack of
competence); Rule 4-1.7(b) (conflict of interest – duty to avoid limitation on
independent professional judgment); Rule 4-1.8 (a) (conflict of interest; prohibited
and other transactions – engaging in business transactions with clients); Rule 4-
1.8(b) (conflict of interest; prohibited and other transactions – using information to
disadvantage of client); Rule 4-1.9 (conflict of interest; former client); Rule 4-
8.4(a) (violating or attempting to violate the Rules of Professional Conduct); and
Rule 4-8.4(c) (engaging in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or
misrepresentation).

                                As to Count III
                           Complaint of The Florida Bar
                            TFB No. 2008-10,221(6D)

        I find by clear and convincing evidence that Respondent is guilty of violating
the following Rules Regulating The Florida Bar: Rule 3-4.3 (committing an act
that is unlawful or contrary to honesty and justice); Rule 4-1.8 (a) (conflict of
interest; prohibited and other transactions – engaging in business transactions with
clients); Rule 4-1.8(b) (conflict of interest; prohibited and other transactions –
using information to disadvantage of client); Rule 4-1.8(i) (conflict of interest –
acquiring proprietary interest in cause of action); Rule 4-1.9 (conflict of interest;
former client); Rule 4-8.4(a) (violating or attempting to violate the Rules of
Professional Conduct); and Rule 4-8.4(c) (engaging in conduct involving
dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation).

                                As to Count IV
                           Complaint of Carol Carpenter
                            TFB No. 2007-10,897(6D)

        I find by clear and convincing evidence that Respondent is guilty of violating
the following Rules Regulating The Florida Bar: Rule 3-4.3 (committing an act
that is unlawful or contrary to honesty and justice); Rule 4-1.1 (lack of

                                          19
competence); Rule 4-1.4 (lack of communication); Rule 4-1.8 (a) (conflict of
interest; prohibited and other transactions – engaging in business transactions with
clients); Rule 4-1.9 (conflict of interest; former client); and Rule 4-8.4(c)
(engaging in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation).

      IV. Recommendation as to Disciplinary Measures to Be Applied:

       Based upon my findings of fact, Florida Standards for Imposing Lawyer
Sanctions and applicable caselaw, disbarment is presumed to be the appropriate
sanction. I find insufficient mitigation to render such a sanction unfair or
inappropriate. Florida Bar v. Brownstein, 953 So.2d 502 (Fla. 2007). Therefore, I
recommend that Respondent be found guilty of misconduct justifying disciplinary
measures, and that he be disciplined by:

      a)     Disbarment; and

      b)     Payment of The Florida Bar’s costs in these proceedings.

       Throughout these proceedings, Respondent has exhibited an attitude of
arrogance, has not shown any remorse, has continued to assert that he has done
nothing wrong and has always acted in the client’s best interest, and shockingly,
was doing “God’s will” all while enriching himself to the detriment of his clients.
Respondent’s history of similar misconduct and the numerous violations in each of
these cases shows a consistent and ongoing pattern of incompetence, self-dealing
and deceit that is serious enough to warrant disbarment.

       Because Respondent was incompetent and unresponsive to this client’s
needs, his clients were forced to either resolve their matters on their own or retain
other counsel to complete the work. Respondent displayed a pattern of misconduct
over a substantial period of time and was involved in a series of improper
transactions amounting to multiple offenses that caused actual harm to third parties
and his clients.

       The presumption of disbarment is “exceptionally weighty when the
attorney’s misuse is intentional rather than a result of neglect or inadvertence.”
Florida Bar v. Barley, 831 So. 2d 163 (Fla. 2002). In this case, Respondent’s
misuse of clients’ funds was clearly intentional.


                                          20
             The Florida Standards for Imposing Lawyer Sanctions confirms that
disbarment is the appropriate sanction in this disciplinary action. Disbarment is
appropriate when a lawyer intentionally engages in conduct that is a violation of a
duty owed as a professional with the intent to obtain a benefit for the lawyer or
another, and causes serious or potentially serious injury to a client, the public, or the
legal system. Respondent knowingly caused injury to members of the public for the
benefit of himself. Thus, disbarment is appropriate under the Florida Standards for
Imposing Lawyer Sanctions.

        The single most important concern of the Florida Supreme Court in defining
and regulating the practice of law is the protection of the public from incompetent,
unethical, and irresponsible representation. The very nature of the practice of law
requires that clients place their lives, their money, and their causes in the hands of
their lawyers with a degree of blind trust that is paralleled in very few other
economic relationships. Our primary purpose in the disciplinary process is to assure
that the public can repose this trust with confidence.

       The numerous rules violated as well as the numerous aggravating factors that
apply also justify a finding of disbarment in this matter. Respondent’s egregious
cumulative conduct over a lengthy period of time warrants the punishment of
disbarment. Respondent engaged in intentional conduct involving dishonesty, fraud,
deceit or misrepresentation. Respondent’s self dealing and disregard for the well
being of his clients goes to the very heart of our advocacy system. In these cases,
Respondent has engaged in a willful pattern of misconduct designed to benefit
himself and, in fact, did harm to his clients. Disbarment is appropriate when a
lawyer knowingly or intentionally deceives a client with the intent to benefit the
lawyer or another regardless of injury or potential injury to the client.

       The recommendation that Respondent be disbarred is well supported by the
rule violations, the Standards for Imposing Lawyer Sanctions, caselaw, and the
fundamental precept of attorney discipline that misappropriation of client funds
merits disbarment. Therefore, Respondent should be disbarred.

       The following cases are relevant: Florida Bar v. Lord, 433 So. 2d 983 (Fla.
1983) (stating three purposes of lawyer discipline); Florida Bar v. Cox, 718 So. 2d
788 (Fla. 1998) (imposing disbarment when there is a pattern of misconduct and a
history of discipline); Florida Bar v. Adler, 589 So. 2d 899 (Fla. 1991) (imposing
harsher punishment for cumulative misconduct than isolated misconduct); Florida

                                           21
Bar v. Bern, 425 So. 2d 526 (Fla. 1982) (stating cumulative misconduct of a similar
nature warrants an even more severe discipline than might dissimilar conduct);
Florida Bar v. Barley, 831 So. 2d 163 (Fla. 2002) (stating presumption of
disbarment is “exceptionally weighty when the attorney’s misuse is intentional
rather than a result of neglect or inadvertence”); and Florida Bar v. Williams, 604
So. 2d 447 (Fla. 1992) (finding of disbarment justified by numerous rule violations
and numerous aggravating factors).

       V. Personal History and Past Disciplinary Record: After the finding of
guilty and prior to recommending discipline to be recommended pursuant to Rule 3-
7.6(m)(l), I considered the following personal history and prior disciplinary record
of the respondent, to wit:

      Year of Birth: 1952
      Date Admitted to Bar: March 31, 2988
      Prior Disciplinary Convictions and Disciplinary Measures Imposed Therein:
            Respondent consented to a 30-day suspension, effective February 26,
            2001, followed by one year probation upon reinstatement. Respondent
            also had to attend a Trust Accounting Workshop within six (6) months
            of the Supreme Court Order. During the probationary period,
            Respondent was subjected to quarterly, random trust account audits by
            the Bar.
      The referee notes that the Respondent is not certified in any area of practice.

Florida Standards for Imposing Lawyer Sanctions

      The following Florida Standards for Imposing Lawyer Sanctions (Standards)
support the sanction of disbarment:

       Standard 3.0: In imposing a sanction after a finding of lawyer misconduct,
a court should consider the following factors: (a) the duty violated; (b) the lawyer’s
mental state; (c) the potential or actual injury cause by the lawyer’s misconduct; and
(d) the existence of aggravating or mitigating factors.

            (A) Duty Violated. The evidence in this case is overwhelming that
Respondent committed, among other things, multiple acts of misconduct,
incompetence, charging excessive fees, self-dealing, conflict of interest, and using
information obtained through his attorney-client relationships to his benefit and to

                                         22
the detriment of his clients.

             (B) Lawyer’s Mental State. The evidence in this case is clear and
convincing that Respondent acted knowingly and purposely in violating the Rules
of Professional Conduct as set forth in my findings of April 1, 2010, particularly in
charging excessive fees and using his position of trust and confidence to his own
advantages, and in engaging in deceptive practices to his benefit and to the
detriment of his clients.

              (C) Injury Caused. The evidence established that Respondent’s
actions clearly caused injury, specifically but without limitation, in the Deakins’
matter; Respondent harmed his client by encumbering the home when he knew that
the client did not have the means to repay the loans and by using part of the
proceeds of the loans for an excessive fees, which ultimately resulted in the
property going into foreclosure. In the Turley matter, Respondent acquired
ownership of the property his clients were renting and raised their rent, even though
he knew they were behind on the rent payments prior to his raising the rent. In the
Carpenter matter, Respondent took advantage of his client’s emotional, unstable
condition by convincing her to encumber her home with a mortgage without
receiving any security interest in the home which was acquired by Respondent in
his name alone. In the Arnold matter, he caused harm to his client by allowing her
to invest and lose $75,000 in his personal pizza business, when he knew that she
was grieving over the loss of friend and that she was at the end of her wage earning
career.

             (D)    Aggravating or Mitigating Factors.

The applicable aggravating factors in this case include:

            1)    9.22 (a) prior disciplinary offenses: Respondent consented to a
30-day suspension in 2001.

             2)    9.22 (b) dishonest or selfish motive: Respondent acted selfishly
and dishonestly by engaging in the conduct set for the above, and in my findings of
April 1, 2010.

             3)    9.22 (c) pattern of misconduct: Respondent has demonstrated a
patter of misconduct from about 1998 to 2005, wherein he engaged in self-dealing

                                         23
and dishonest behavior to his personal advantage and to the disadvantage of his
clients. Respondent’s egregious cumulative misconduct, including the consent
judgment of 2001, demonstrates he has no basic understanding whatsoever of the
most basic rules of professional conduct.

             4)   9.22 (d) multiple offenses: The undisputed facts show that
Respondent has committed numerous rule violations over an extended period of
time involving multiple separate cases.

             5)     9.22 (i) substantial experience in the practice of law:
Respondent has been in practice since 1988 and has testified in this matter that he
has attended numerous courses in trust and estate planning. Because of this
experience, there is no excuse for him not to know his professional responsibilities
as a lawyer.

I find no mitigating factors to be applicable.

      Standard 4.61 Lack of Candor: Disbarment is appropriate when a lawyer
knowingly or intentionally deceives a client with the intent to benefit the lawyer or
another regardless of injury or potential injury to the client.

      Standard 5.11(f) Violations of Duties Owed to the Public: Disbarment is
appropriate when a lawyer engages in any other intentional conduct that seriously
adversely reflects n the lawyer’s fitness to practice.

       Standard 7.1 Violations of Other Duties Owed as a Professional:
Disbarment is appropriate when a lawyer intentionally engaged in conduct that is a
violation of a duty owed as a professional with the intent to obtain a benefit for the
lawyer or another, and causes serious or potentially serious injury to a client, the
public or the legal system.

      Standard 8.1(b) Prior Discipline Orders: Disbarment is appropriate when
a lawyer has been suspended for the same or similar misconduct, and intentionally
engages in further similar acts of misconduct.

      VI. Statement of Costs and Manner in Which Costs Should Be Taxed: I
grant The Florida Bar’s Motion to Tax Costs in the amount of $11,537.50, and
approve the assessment of these costs against Respondent, in addition to the court
                                          24
reporter’s expenses incurred during the May 14, 2010 hearing on my findings with
respect to sanctions, making the total $11,756.00.

It is recommended that all such costs and expenses be charged to the respondent
and that interest at the statutory rate shall accrue and be payable beginning 30 days
after the judgment in this case become final unless a waiver is granted by the Board
of Governors of The Florida Bar.


Dated this _____ day of May, 2010.




                                              Honorable Bernard C. Silver, Referee

Copies To:

      Karen Boroughs Lopez, Bar Counsel, The Florida Bar, 4200 George J.
Bean Pkwy., Suite 2580, Tampa, Florida 33607

      Bruce Gregory Kaufmann, Respondent, 1564 Oakadia Lane, Clearwater,
Florida 33764-2541

       Kenneth Lawrence Marvin, Staff Counsel, The Florida Bar, 651 E.
Jefferson Street, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-2300




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