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IN THE SUPREME COURT OF FLORIDA (Before a Referee)

THE FLORIDA BAR,

Complainant,

Case Nos. 97-31,218 (18C) 97-31,219 (18C) 97-31,319 (18C) 97-31,477 (18C)

v.

LINSEY MOORE,

Respondent.

___________________________ 1

COMPLAINT

The Florida Bar, complainant, files this Complaint against

LINSEY MOORE, respondent, pursuant to the Rules Regulating The

Florida Bar and alleges:

1. The respondent, Linsey Moore, was and still is, a member

of The Florida Bar, subj ect to the jurisdiction of the Supreme

Court of Florida and the Rules Regulating The Florida Bar.

2. Respondent resided and practiced law in Brevard County

and Hillsborough County, Florida, at all times material.

COUNT I

Case No. 97-31,218 (18C)

The Florida Bar real leges paragraphs one and two above and

further states:

3. In 1994 and 1995, the respondent provided legal

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representation to Denovel Wilson. In or around July, 1994, Mr. Wilson was incarcerated in the Cross City Correctional Institution in Cross City, Florida.

4. On Mr. Wilson's behalf, the respondent closed a bank account at Barnett Bank on or about January 25, 1995, which had a closing balance of $2,009.76. The respondent has forwarded approximately $1,200 of that amount to Mr. Wilson for deposit in his inmate account. The respondent has retained the remaining $809.76 and has not provided any accounting to Mr. Wilson for those funds.

5. The respondent last contacted Mr. Wilson by letter dated August 9, 1996, in which he enclosed a money order for $200.00. Mr. Wilson has sent several letters to the respondent inquiring about his money, but the respondent has not replied. The respondent has since closed his law office and Mr. Wilson cannot locate him.

6. By letter dated February 5, 1997, The Florida Bar requested the respondent provide a written response to Mr. Wilson's grievance. In a February 21, 1997 letter, the respondent requested a 20 day extension in which to submit his response. On March 13, 1997, the bar again asked the respondent to respond to Mr. Wilson's grievance. The respondent has failed and/or refused to submit a written response as required by the Rules Regulating The Florida

2

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Bar.

7. By reason of the foregoing, the respondent has violated

the following Rules Regulating The Florida Bar: 3-4.8 for failing

to respond in writing to all investigative inquiries by bar counsel

or grievance committees; 4-1.3 for failing to act with reasonable

diligence and promptness in representing a client; 4-1.4(a) for

failing to keep a client reasonably informed about the status of a

matter and promptly comply with reasonable requests for

information; 4-1.4(b) for failing to explain a matter to the extent

reasonably necessary to permit the client to make informed

decisions regarding the representation; 4-1.15(a) for failing to

hold, in trust, separate from the lawyer's own property, funds or

other property of the client in the lawyer's possession; 4-1.15(b)

for failing to promptly deliver to a client funds or other property

the client is entitled to receive; 4-1.15(d) for failing to comply

with The Florida Bar Rules Regulating Trust Accounts; 4-8.4(g) for

failing to respond, in writing, to any inquiry by a disciplinary

agency when such agency is conducting an investigation into the

lawyer's conduct; and 5-1.1 for using trust funds for purposes

other than those for which they were entrusted to the lawyer.

COUNT II

Case No. 97-31,219 (18C)

The Florida Bar real leges paragraphs one and two above and

. ' .

further states:

8. In or around June, 1996, Marc S. Duhrkoff consulted with the respondent about pursuing a law suit for child molestation and police misconduct against the city of Indian Harbour Beach, the Indian Harbour Police Department, the chief of police and a police sergeant.

9. The respondent quoted a fee of $3,500 to handle the suit but Mr. Duhrkoff could not afford the fee. The respondent advised that if Mr. Duhrkoff could pay him $1,500 he could initiate the suit and Mr. Duhrkoff could make arrangements to pay the balance.

10. Mr. Duhrkoff had trouble raising the money for the respondent's fee. In or around November, 1996, Mr. Duhrkoff called the respondent to inquire whether he still had time left to file the suit. The respondent agreed to handle the case. By letter dated November 28, 1996, the respondent advised Mr. Duhrkoff of his new mailing address in Tampa and to send the $3,500 retainer check to his new address.

11. Mr. Duhrkoff borrowed money from his family to initiate the suit as he was concerned the statute of limitations would expire on his claim. On or about December 17, 1996, Mr. Duhrkoff sent the respondent a $1,500 check written on his mother's account.

4

16. By letter dated February 5, 1997, The Florida Bar 5

Mr. Duhrkoff sent a letter with the check asking the respondent to contact him as soon as possible about the case.

12. On December 19, 1996, the respondent cashed the $1,500 check sent by Mr. Duhrkoff rather than depositing the funds in a trust account.

13. Mr. Duhrkoff sent a letter to the respondent on January 10, 1997, asking why he had not heard from the respondent about the case. Mr. Duhrkoff was concerned time was expiring to file his claim. The respondent did not contact Mr. Duhrkoff or respond to his letter.

14. On January 17, 1997, Mr. Duhrkoff sent a letter to the respondent terminating his services. Mr. Duhrkoff demanded the respondent turn over his file and refund the $1,500 he had paid to the respondent in December, 1996. The respondent did not respond to Mr. Duhrkoff's letter and has not turned over his file or refunded the $1,500.

15. The respondent has performed little, if any, work on Mr.

Duhrkoff's behalf and has not provided any accounting for the $1,500 fee paid by his client.

17. By reason of the foregoing, the respondent has violated the following Rules Regulating The Florida Bar: 3-4.3 for engaging in conduct that is unlawful or contrary to honesty and justice; for failing to respond in writing to all investigative inquiries by bar counselor grievance committees; 4-1.3 for failing to act with reasonable diligence and promptness in representing a client; 4- 1.4(a) for failing to keep a client reasonably informed about the status of a matter and promptly comply with reasonable requests for information; 4-1.4(b) for failing to explain a matter to the extent reasonably necessary to permit the client to make informed decisions regarding the representation; 4-1.15(a) for failing to hold, in trust, separate from the lawyer's own property, funds or other property of the client in the lawyer's possession; 4-1.15(b) for failing to promptly deliver to a client funds or other property the client is entitled to receive; 4-1.15(d) for failing to comply with The Florida Bar Rules Regulating Trust Accounts; 4-S.4(c) for engaging in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation; 4-S.4(g) for failing to respond, in writing, to

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requested the respondent provide a written response to Mr. Duhrkoff's grievance. The respondent did not reply. On March 13, 1997, the respondent was again asked to respond to Mr. Duhrkoff's grievance. The respondent has failed and/or refused to submit a written response as required by the Rules Regulating The Florida Bar.

7

any inquiry by a disciplinary agency when such agency is conducting

an investigation into the lawyer's conduct; and 5-1.1 for using

trust funds for purposes other than those for which they were

entrusted to the lawyer.

COUNT III

Case No. 97-31,319 (18C)

The Florida Bar real leges paragraphs one and two above and

further states:

18. In or around August, 1996, Herbert E. Berisford met with

the respondent about obtaining retirement funds from Mr.

Berisford's employer. Mr. Berisford provided the respondent with

all information and documentation regarding the matter and the

respondent agreed to handle the case for no fee.

19. Thereafter, Mr. Berisford made repeated attempts to

contact the respondent regarding the matter. Mr. Berisford has been

unable to locate the respondent.

20. The respondent has not completed the matter for which he

agreed to represent Mr. Berisford and he has not returned Mr.

Berisford's documentation so that he can seek alternate counsel.

21. By reason of the foregoing, the respondent has violated

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• I

the following Rules Regulating The Florida Bar: 4-1.3 for failing

to act with reasonable diligence and promptness in representing a

client; 4-1.4(a) for failing to keep a client reaso~ably informed

about the status of a matter and promptly comply with reasonable

requests for information; and 4-1.4 (b) for failing to explain a

matter to the extent reasonably necessary to permit the client to

make informed decisions regarding the representation.

COUNT IV

Case No. 97-31,477 (laC)

The Florida Bar realleges paragraphs one and two above and

further states:

22. In or around July, 1995 the respondent was retained to

represent John J. Malone in an attorney malpractice action and in

an appellate matter.

23. In the malpractice action, the respondent sent a letter

dated December 17, 1995 to an insurance carrier advising he would

be filing an amended complaint and the carrier would be excluded as

the respondent would seek damages from the insured directly. The

respondent did not discuss this with his client, Mr. Malone, prior

to sending the letter.

24. In both cases he was handling for Mr. Malone, the

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respondent did not act timely, he did not provide his current

address to Mr. Malone or opposing counsel who had difficulty

locating the respondent causing delays in the litigation, the

respondent would prepare documents that were never filed and failed

to communicate with Mr. Malone about the proceedings.

25. In the appellate matter, the respondent prepared a Motion

"-

for Sanctions and represented in the certificate of service that

the document was filed on or about October 3, 1995. However, the

respondent never filed the motion.

26. In a separate matter, Mr. Malone was represented by

attorney John A. Racin in a defamation suit. The case was moved to

federal court but Mr. Racin had little experience practicing in

that court.

27. The respondent agreed to act as co-counsel with Mr. Racin

and would accept a $3,500 contingency fee in the federal case. A

hearing was set for August 1, 1996 on a motion to dismiss filed by

the opposing party. The respondent requested a $1,500 advance on

his contingency fee for appearing at the August 1, 1996 hearing to

assist Mr. Racin.

28. On or about July 17, 1996, Mr. Malone paid the respondent

$1,500 to act as co-counsel and appear at the August 1, 1996

32. By reason of the foregoing, the respondent has violated the following Rules Regulating The Florida Bar: 3-4.3 for engaging 10

..

hearing. The respondent cashed Mr. Malone's $1,500 check the same day he received it.

29. Several days prior to the August 1, 1996 hearing, the respondent represented to Mr. Racin and Mr. Malone he was prepared for the hearing and would appear. However, prior to the hearing, the respondent called opposing counsel and advised he was withdrawing from the case. The respondent did not tell Mr. Racin or Mr. Malone that he would not be acting as co-counsel at the August 1, 1996 hearing.

30. The respondent did not appear for the Augus t 1, 1996 hearing and Mr. Racin had to handle the federal case on his own. The respondent's failure to advise Mr. Malone and Mr. Racin he was terminating his services put them at a disadvantage at the August 1, 1996 hearing. In addition, the respondent solicited a $1,500 fee from Mr. Malone for services he did not intend to render.

31. By letter dated March 13, 1997, The Florida Bar requested the respondent respond in writing to Mr. Malone's grievance. The respondent has not provided a written response as required by the Rules Regulating The Florida Bar.

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in conduct that is unlawful or contrary to honesty and justice; 3- 4.8 for failing to respond in writing to all investigative inquiries by bar counselor grievance committees; 4-1.3 for failing to act with reasonable diligence and promptness in representing a client; 4-1.4(a) for failing to keep a client reasonably informed about the status of a matter and promptly comply with reasonable requests for information; 4-1.4(b) for failing to explain a matter to the extent reasonably necessary to permit the client to make informed decisions regarding the representation; 4-1.5 (f) (1) for entering into a contingency fee agreement and failing to reduce the fee agreement to writing in which the method by which the fee is to be determined is stated; 4-1.16(d) for failing to take steps to the extent reasonably practicable upon termination of representation to protect a client's interest, including giving reasonable notice to the client, allowing time for employment of other counsel, surrendering papers and property to which the client is entitled, and refunding any advance payment of fee that has not been earned; 4-3.3(a) for knowingly making a false statement of material fact or law to a tribunal; 4-8.4 (c) for engaging in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation; and 4-8.4(g) for failing to respond, in writing, to any inquiry by a disciplinary agency when such agency is conducting an investigation into the lawyer's conduct

• •

WHEREFORE,

The Florida Bar prays respondent will be

appropriately disciplined in accordance with the provisions of the

Rules Regulating The Florida Bar as amended.

teenth Judicial Circuit Grievance Committee "c"

529 East New Haven Avenue Melbourne, Florida 32901-5461

(407) 728-1925 Attorney No. 309168

Bar Counsel The Florida Bar

880 North Orange Avenue Suite 200

Orlando, Florida 32801 (407) 425-5424

Attorney No. 559547

Date:

August 25, 1997

Date:

Staff Coun el The Florida Bar

650 Apalachee Parkway Tallahassee, Florida 32399-2300 (904) 561-5600

Attorney No. 217395

and

JOHN F. HARKNESS, JR. Executive Director The Florida Bar

650 Apalachee Parkway Tallahassee, Florida 32399-2300 (904) 561-5600

Attorney No. 123390

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CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE

I HEREBY CERTIFY that I have served the original of the foregoing Complaint to the Clerk of the Supreme Court of Florida, Supreme Court Building, 500 S. Duval Street, Tallahassee, Florida, 32399-1927; a copy of the foregoing, by certified mail No. P 968 276 967, return receipt requested, on respondent, Linsey Moore, at his record bar address of 478 Ballard Drive, Suite 30, Melbourne, Florida, 32935; a copy of the foregoing, by certified mail No. P 968 276 961, return receipt requested, on respondent, Linsey Moore, at 3271 NW 15th Court, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, 33311; and a copy of the foregoing by first-class mail to Bar Counsel, The Florida Bar, 880 North Orange Avenue, Suite 200, Orlando, Florida, 32801,

on this dO( day of 5epffV'nt6eA , 1997.

JOHNT.13RY Staff Counsel

NOTICE OF TRIAL COUNSEL

PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that the trial counsel in this matter is Patricia A. Savitz, Assistant Staff Counsel, whose address and telephone number are 880 North Orange Avenue, Suite 200, Orlando, Florida, 32801, (407) 425-5424. Respondent need not address pleadings, correspondence, etc. in this matter to anyone other than trial counsel and to John A. Boggs, Director of Lawyer Regulation, The Florida Bar, 650 Apalachee Parkway, Tallahassee, Florida, 32399-2300.

MANDATORY ANSWER NOTICE

RULE 3-7.6 (g) (2), RULES OF DISCIPLINE, EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 1993, PROVIDES THAT A RESPONDENT SHALL ANSWER A COMPLAINT. THE RULE MAY BE FOUND AT PAGE 587 OF THE SEPTEMBER, 1996 FLORIDA BAR JOURNAL.

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PUBLIC RECORD

" " .,..

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF FLORIDA (Before a Referee)

THE FLORIDA BAR,

Case No. 91,447

Complainant,

Case Nos. 97-31,218 (18C) 97-31,219 (18C) 97-31,319 (18C) 97-31,477 (18C)

v.

LINSEY MOORE,

Respondent.

________________________ 1

CORRECTED REPORT OF REFEREE

I. Summary of Proceedings: Pursuant to the undersigned being duly appointed as referee to conduct disciplinary proceedings . herein according to the Rules Regulating The Florida Bar, a default was entered on December 18, 1997. The pleadings, notices, motions I orders, transcripts and exhibits, all of which are forwarded to The Supreme Court of Florida with this report, constitute the record in this case.

The following attorneys appeared as counsel for the parties:

For The Florida Bar

Patricia A. Savitz

For The Respondent

No Appearance

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

1. Pursuant to the Respondent's failure to file the requisite answer or to make any appearance whatsoever in this matter, this referee entered an order of default on

"

December 18, 1997. The respondent also failed to appear for the final hearing on February 13, 1998 and therefore, the allegations of the bar's complaint are deemed admitted.

2. Paragraphs one through 32 of the Bar's complaint are adopted in their entirety as the findings of fact of this referee.

III.

Recommendations as

to Whether or Not the Respondent Should

Be Found Guilty: make the following

As to each count of the complaint, I recommendations as to guilt or innocence:

I find the Respondent guilty as charged.

IV. Rule Violations Found:

As to Count I: 3-4.8; 4-1.3 Diligence; 4-1.4

Communication (a) Informing Client of Status of Representation, (b) Duty to Explain Matters to Client; 4-1.15 Safekeeping of Property; 4-8.4(g) Failing to respond in writing to any inquiry by disciplinary agency; 5-1.1 Trust Accounts.

As to Count II: 3-4.3; 3-4.8; 4-1.3 Diligence; 4-1.4

Communication (a) Informing Client of Status of Representation, (b) Duty to Explain Matters to Client; 4-1.15 Safekeeping of Property; 4-8.4(c) Engaging in Conduct involving fraud, dishonesty, misrepresentation or deceit; 4 - 8.4 (g) Failing to respond in writing to any inquiry by disciplinary agency; 5-1.1 Trust Accounts.

As to Count III: 4-1.3 Diligence; 4-1.4 Communication (a)

Informing Client of Status of Representation, (b) Duty to Explain Matters to Client.

As to CountIV: 3-4.3; 3-4.8; 4-1.3 Diligence; 4-1.4

Communication (a) Informing Client of Status of Representation, (b) Duty to Explain Matters to Client; 4-1.5(f) (1) Fees for Legal Services; 4-1.16(d) Declining or Terminating Representation; 4- 3 . 3 (a) Candor toward the Tribunal; 4 - 8 . 4 (c) Engaging in Conduct involving fraud, dishonesty, misrepresentation or deceit; 4-

.1; ••

.

1. 2 . 3 . 4. 5.

Investigator Expenses Witness Fees

Copy Costs

Telephone Charges Translation Services Fees

$ 69.00 $ N/A $19.50 $N/A $N/A

TOTAL ITEMIZED COSTS:

$989.11

It is apparent that other costs have or may be incurred. It is recommended that all such costs and expenses together with the foregoing itemized costs 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 becomes final unless a waiver is granted by the Board of Governors of The Florida Bar.

Dated this

----~

--"--W:-'-MICHAE~~~ILLE;'-' . -- (

Referee

Original to Supreme Court

Copies of this Report of Referee only to:

Patricia A. Savitz, Bar Counsel, The Florida Bar, 880 North Orange Avenue, Suite 200, Orlando, Florida 32801

Linsey Moore, 478 Ballard Drive, Suite 30, Melbourne, Florida, 32935 (Record Bar Address)

Linsey Moore, Post Office Box 151341, Tampa, Florida 33684-1341,

John Anthony Boggs, Staff Counsel, The Florida Bar, 650 Apalachee Parkway, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-2300.

,:::r day of Q;vu1 , 199B.

this

A.

Grievance Committee Level Costs

1. Transcript Costs

2. Bar Counsel Travel Costs

$ N/A $ N/A

8.4(g) fail to respond in writing to any inquiry by disciplinary agency;

V. Recommendation as to Disciplinary Measures to Be Applied:

The Respondent was duly served with the complaint on September 22, 1997. Since that time, the bar has made every effort to properly serve the Respondent with subsequent pleadings in this case at his record bar address and his last known addresses. All mail has been returned as unclaimed by the Respondent. Given the Respondent's failure to participate in the proceedings or indicate the slightest interest at retaining his license to practice law as well as the apparent abandonment of his practice, I recommend the Respondent be disbarred pursuant to Rules Regulating the Florida Bar 3-5.1(f), and that the costs of these proceedings be assessed against the Respondent.

VI. Personal History and Past Disciplinary Record: After the

finding of guilt and prior to recommending discipline to be recommended pursuant to Rule 3 -7.6 (k) (1) (D), I considered the following personal history and prior disciplinary record of the respondent, to wit:

Age: 48

Date admitted to bar: December 19, 1974

Prior disciplinary measures imposed therein: the practice of law for a 19, 1997 in case number Court.

convictions and disciplinary The respondent was suspended from period of one year effective July 90,716 by order of the Supreme

VII. Statement of costs and manner in which costs should be

taxed: I find the following costs were reasonably

incurred by The Florida Bar.

B.

Referee Level Costs

1. Transcript Costs

2. Bar Counsel Travel Costs

$ 93.00 $ 57.61

C.

Administrative Costs

$750.00

D. Miscellaneous Costs

PUBLIC RECORD

THE FLORIDA BAR,

*

*

Complainant,

*

*

v.

* CASE NO. 91,447

*

LINSEY MOORE,

* *

Respondent.

* *

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

The uncontested corrected report of the referee is approved and respondent is disbarred effective immediately.

Judgment for costs in the amount of $989.11 is entered against respondent for which sum let execution issue.

Not final until time expires to file motion for rehearing and, if filed, determined. The filing of a motion for rehearing shall not alter the effective date of this disbarment.

A

KB

cc: Hon. W. Michael Miller, Referee Mr. S. Sammy Cacciatore, Jr. Ms. Lynn R. Thompson

Mr. John A. Boggs / Ms. Patricia Ann Toro Savitzv' Mr. Linsey Moore

Sid J. Clerk,

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