Lawsuits (Tampa edition)
UnsettledA Miami company has accused Tampa attorney A. Christopher Kasten II and his former law firm, Allen Dell PA, of legal malpractice.Miami Transfer Co. Inc. claims it would have settled for the $2,500 that Jeffrey R. Nutting purportedly offered in June 2001 to settle a civil action in the 13th Judicial Circuit.The malpractice suit, filed in December, only tells part of the story, says Kasten, an attorney at Tampa-based Bush Ross Gardner Warren & Rudy PA. "It was a $1.3 million claim, and it was mediated three separate times," he says. However, officials at the Miami-based heavy-equipment hauler claim they didn't know about the proposed settlement until it was too late. "I deny it was not raised to the client," Kasten says.Allen Dell shareholders support Kasten's contention. "We agree completely with Mr. Kasten, and in our view this is a classic case of someone who chose to go to trial and was unhappy with the result," says shareholder Richard A. Harrison. "We had multiple mediations, and this guy turned down as much as $50,000." Miami Transfers wants the court to award damages in excess of $15,000.
A client claims Tampa attorney Rudolph C. Campbell misrepresented himself as a lawyer in good standing with the Florida Bar.Steven Sanet retained Campbell to represent him in two lawsuits filed in the 13th Judicial Circuit. Sanet claims Campbell didn't mention he was suspended from March to September for failing to comply with the Florida Bar's continuing legal education (CLE) requirements.But a Florida Bar spokesperson says the regulatory group suspended Campbell for only a month and two days from Sept. 26 to Oct. 28 because of CLE deficiencies.However, the Bar suspended Campbell again in early October because he had not paid annual dues and penalties of $465. Efforts to reach him for comment were unsuccessful.Because of the alleged damages, Sanet retained Bradley S. Bell and J. Andrew Baldwin of The Soloman Troup Law Group to represent him in two malpractice claims filed in December against Campbell.