This week's items: Akerman Senterfitt absorbs Miami/Orlando firm Supreme Court Disciplines LawyersFoley & Lardner will sponsor Chrysler ChampionshipClearwater attorney joins Million Dollar Forum
Legal Briefs (Tampa edition)
Akerman Senterfitt absorbs Miami/Orlando firm
The Orlando-based law firm of Akerman Senterfitt announced its merger with the Orlando/Miami law firm of Muller Mintz PA. The merger is expected to be completed by the end of the year. The Muller Mintz attorneys, all of whom will make the transition, along with their support staff, specialize in labor and employment law.
Akerman Senterfitt, a full-service firm, already claims more than 375 attorneys in offices in Tampa, Orlando, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach and Tallahassee. The Tampa office, with 60 attorneys, is one of the largest law firms in the Tampa Bay area.
The Florida Supreme Court recently disciplined four Gulf Coast attorneys.
Arlene Lloyd Han of Cape Coral, admitted to practice in 1988, was suspended for one year, effective immediately following a Sept.11 order, and placed on probation for three years. Additionally, she must enter into a contract with Florida Lawyers Assistance. Han violated or attempted to violate the rules of professional conduct, knowingly assisted or induced another to do so, and committed a criminal act that reflects adversely on the lawyer's honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer, according to the court.
Dennis Anthony Lopez of Tampa, admitted to practice in 1981, was reprimanded for professional misconduct following an Aug. 28 court order. Lopez charged or collected excessive fees or violated contingency fee rules, according to the court.
Randy Edward Merrill of Naples, admitted to practice in 1983, was reprimanded for professional misconduct following a Sept. 25 order. Among several bar violations, Merrill failed to keep a client reasonably informed about the status of a matter and violated rules regulating trust accounts, according to the court.
Steven Edward Waggoner of Ruskin, admitted to practice in 1983, resigned with leave to seek readmission after three years, following a Sept. 11 court order. Waggoner failed to comply with continuing legal education or basic skills requirements, neglected to provide competent representation to a client, failed to act with reasonable diligence and promptness in representing a client, and did not respond in writing to official inquiry by Bar counsel, according to the court.
Foley & Lardner will sponsor Chrysler Championship
The Tampa law firm of Foley & Lardner announced it is the official sponsor of the 2003 Chrysler Championship golf tournament Oct. 27 to Nov. 2 at the Westin Innisbrook Golf Resort in Palm Harbor. Following the Oct. 29 Pro-Am round, Foley attorneys Fred Ridley, Michael Annis and David Robbins will present a $5,000 check to Academy Prep schools in Tampa and St. Petersburg.
The Chrysler Championship is the final full-field PGA Tour golf tournament of the year. About 130 golfers are expected to compete for a $4.8 million purse on the 7,315-yard, par-71 Copperhead Course at Westin Innisbrook.
Clearwater attorney joins
Million Dollar Forum
Clearwater attorney Chuck Sullivan was certified as a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum. Membership in the nationwide group is reserved for lawyers who have won million and multimillion dollar verdicts and settlements. The organization was founded in 1993 and claims about 2,500 members throughout the U.S.
Sullivan is a Stetson graduate who specializes in personal injury, including auto accidents, slip and falls and wrongful death.
- Hali White