Why The Public Mistrusts The Bar


Here is another example of why the public mistrusts the Florida Bar to police the legal profession:

Lawrence Charles Roberts Chris Roberts to a generation of Broward courthouse types got slapped on the wrist for paying off a judge in return for special public defender appointments.

Not disbarred.  Not suspended.

He was publicly reprimanded.

What’s that?  The Bar’s version of saying tsk tsk.

The Bar says: “Roberts gave gifts to a judge upon his request in order to receive special public defender appointments from the judge.

The judge who Roberts gave gifts to was the bizarre and odious Larry Seidlin.  I hope the Bar deals with him. 

In return for the gifts, Roberts got up to $50,000 worth of legal work from Seidlin over two years, according to the Bar order.

It gets worse.

The Bar says that during a lunch break on a trial, Roberts and the defendant went to the Galleria where Roberts bought the judge a shirt. 

“After the lunch break and after receiving the shirt from (Roberts), Judge Seidlin made statements to the prosecutor about ‘problems with the case’ which resulted in negotiation of a lesser change,” state the Bar report.

That sounds like bribery to me. 

A reprimand!  Why is nobody being arrested?

The Bar gives as one excuse for the light sentence “self reporting.”  Yeah, Roberts reported it two decades after the incident, according to the Bar, and then to a reporter.

The Bar also says other mitigating factors include that so much time has passed and the gifts were of minimal value.  Seidlin solicted a shirt and a purse for his wife.

The Bar is saying that if you are a lawyer, cover up crimes for a long period of time and you’ll get a lesser sentence. 

And if you bribe a judge, give him a Neiman Marcus purse for his wife or a shirt and not a sizeable gift.

In my book, a bribe is a bribe is a bribe, regardless of the value.

A reprimand for this is a disgusting example of the Bar failing to deal strongly with the ethically challenged lawyers. 

Roberts has gotten breaks from the Bar in the past.

In 1996 he was given a letter of advice by the Bar.  The letter was suppose to remind him of the Bar’s rules of conduct.

Roberts had flaunted a picture of himself with a circuit judge to sway a prospective client to hire him.

His 1981 arrest for being roaring drunk and waving a gun at another driver was front page news.  That’s because Roberts at the time was a judge, a job that he lost.

Mike Mayo wrote that Roberts’ arrest earned him “his own place in the Broward Judicial Hall of Shame.

Now the Bar, too, has earned a place in the Hall of Shame.

Here is the Bar’s news release:

Lawrence Charles Roberts, 2801 N.E. 14th St., Apt. 3B, Fort Lauderdale, publicly reprimanded in the Southern Reporter, following a Jan. 28 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1972) Roberts gave gifts to a judge upon his request in order to receive special public defender appointments from the judge. Roberts failed to report the conduct to the Judicial Qualifications Commission or The Florida Bar.
(Case No. SC09-1790)

10 Responses to “Why The Public Mistrusts The Bar”

  1. Intelligentsia 101 says:

    my dear man

    some pertinent facts to consider.

    1. the florida bar by far has more business then it can handle

    2. if the bar was to follow the letter of the law, there would be less than a handful of attornys allowed to practice law in florida.

    This wasn’t just following the letter of the law. It was a repugnant ethical breach.

  2. sunny skies shady people says:

    hey buddy

    Broward…ethics??? 😮 half the people here never heard the word and the rest don’t know how to spell it.

  3. philo_vance says:

    Buddy, my oh my, and not a word about Ana Banana, nor did they go after Cryin’ Larry Seidlien or Larry ( Pass me the blunt) Korda, if memory serves me correctly they too have law licenses…….What is good for the goose……..

    Any lawyer who commits an ethical offense should be punished by the Bar.

  4. Needs the work... says:

    why get on the lawyer so hard when he was just the dupe of the unethical judge bestowing favors through his power?

  5. tony says:

    I don’t have any words for this other than are you kidding me?
    I never got why a trade association (the bar) whose function is to promote lawyers interest and member benefits are also regulating them.
    This would never fly in any other industry and for good reason.

  6. Dear Sam Fields says:

    The public distrusts the Bar because they do nothing to remove scum from their own profession. They legal profession needs to be under the Department of Professional Regulation or some other agency that is not connected with lawyers.

  7. Sam Fields says:

    While I do not support the Bar’s actions in the Robert case–they really through the “booklet” at him–I would oppose the DPR regulating lawyers for the following reasons:

    1. It would take a Constitutional Amendment.

    2. Ordinarily the BAR is quicker and more punitive than the DPR not to mention the higher rate of discipline than you find at DPR for other professions.

    2. GEORGE MATERAZZI. Who say is this guy? He was the roofer who screwed up my roof, stole money and disappeared after he was arrested.

    On April 23, 2010 DPR sent me the results of the investigation. I filed my complaint on November 27, 2007. Notwithstanding that Materazzi never supplied evidence to dispute the complaint it took them 2 ½ years to rule in my favor.

    I can only imagine what would have happened if he had bothered to fight the case. It would have stalled the case in time for the Tri-centennial in 2076.

    At the BAR a lawyer who does not properly respond to even the most ridiculous complaint will be disbarred for that omission. And it will come quickly.

  8. The Winds of Change says:

    The Florida Bar often engages in selective enforcement. Roberts gets a reprimand which is the lightest sanction they impose and they leave Seidlin alone. Ana Gardiner lies under oath to the JQC and her consort, Howard Scheinberg, does the same thing with the Bar and their licenses remain intact to date. Most of what the Bar does is deal with attorneys who steal from their trust accounts which is disgusting but there are unethical and dishonest lawyers out there who lie every day to the Court and their clients and go on practicing law. This is why the public hates lawyers. What’s worse is the Judges who know when they’re lied to don’t do anything about it. Why? Who do you think funds their election campaigns? The Courthouse is a cesspool and most of its occupants belong in one.

  9. Winds Of Change Right says:

    Winds of Change is so right. The situation in the courthosue has gotten worse since the recession. Every lawyer is fighting harder for the almight buck and they will do anything to get it. This judicial campaign is just another example of the Bar and lawyers run amuck.

  10. Regular Guy says:

    I hired a lawyer and won the suit. The judge awarded attorney fees on my behalf. My lawyer stated in court that it was $3500 and it was enter on the final judgment. Respondent paid me. After six months of case close my lawyer sent me a letter stating I owed a total of $2500 in legal fees and I was to pay or referred to collections. This is addition to the $3500 I have paid him. I tried contacting him and he would not answer the phone. Finally I sent him an email and he reply stating it was an error with accounting software and was corrected. SO I do owe him the money. I refuse to pay because I believe it was fraudulent and I had no recourse of recuperating the money since final judgment was enter.

    He referred my account to collections and ruin my credit. I filed a complaint with the Florida Bar and they wrote me back and stated that it was a fee dispute and nothing they can do. A FEE DISPUTE? Its a fraudulent fee!

    I’ll just suck it up until I receive better legal advice on how to proceed with this prick.