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Florida Lawsuits and Sanctions against the Lawyer for Making False Statements

Very serious stuff. A very recent case, issued April 10th 2019 by Florida’s Third District Court of Appeal, Bank of America NA v. Atkin, deals with a very serious issue among Florida lawyers, being truthful and not disparaging judges. After all, judges, whether you win or lose, are our justice system.

So, there is a rule 4-8.2 (a) of the rules regulating the Florida Bar that says, “A lawyer shall not make a statement that the lawyer knows to be false or with reckless disregard as to its truth or falsity concerning the qualifications or integrity of a judge.” If you do that, lawyers, you can be sanctioned, and increasingly, courts are holding lawyers to a very high standard.

Our conduct is regulated. You shouldn’t be disparaging judges, you shouldn’t be calling their integrity into question and you certainly should have your conduct complying with the rules which regulate our conduct, the rules regulating the Florida Bar. Otherwise, you can open yourself up to sanctions.

So, this is not a Florida probate case, but many times Florida probate cases, estate lawsuits, undue influence cases, trust lawsuits get very heated. It’s important that the parties and their lawyers calm down, they’re candid with the tribunal, the court, and they don’t make false statements.

To read more about this, you can go to the Third District Court of Appeal, scroll down Opinions by date April 10 th 2019 and read this case on sanctions and lawyer conduct free of charge.