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Florida Bar Public Reprimands
for Publication by Florida Law Weekly

As an official arm of the Florida Supreme Court, The Florida Bar and its Department of Lawyer Regulation are charged with administering a statewide disciplinary system to enforce Supreme Court rules of professional conduct for its members. The Florida Bar accepts complaints against attorneys, investigates those complaints and prosecutes attorneys who engage in unethical conduct.

The public reprimand is a Supreme Court ordered form of public discipline that declares the conduct of the lawyer improper. Public reprimands are by publication, in some cases by appearance before the 52 member Florida Bar Board of Governors and are public record.

January, 2021

Henry George Ferro, Fla. Supreme Court Case No. SC19-1251, January 16, 2020, 108 North Magnolia Avenue, Seventh Floor, Ocala, FL 34475-6604. Respondent shall receive a public reprimand and completion of The Florida Bar's Professionalism Workshop. Ferro was admitted to practice law on June 28, 1983. Ferro represented a client in filing a federal suit. By federal court order, dated August 10, 2017, Ferro received monetary sanctions for filing frivolous claims on behalf of the client. The court dismissed the complaint Ferro filed as an impermissible shotgun pleading, noting that the assertions were largely vague, conclusory, and sweeping accusations of conspiracy that failed to apprise the court of the basis of the claims against the numerous defendants. Ferro filed an amended complaint that the court also dismissed with prejudice against some defendants based on various immunities and dismissed the remaining state law claims without prejudice.

Mark Henzler Welton, Fla. Supreme Court Case No. SC19-730, January 16, 2020, 1020 S Ferdon Blvd., Crestview, FL 32536-4510. Respondent shall receive a public reprimand and probation during which time Respondent shall attend Ethics School. Welton was admitted to practice law on April 19, 1994. Respondent engaged in a conflict of interest by representing both co-personal representatives in a probate case where the parties disagreed about the disposition and division of the estate assets.

Gerald Brett Berg, Fla. Supreme Court Case No. SC19-1390, February 13, 2020, Springfield, MA 01103-6104. Respondent shall receive a public reprimand by publication. Berg was admitted to practice law on November 17, 1977. Respondent represented both the buyer and the seller in a real estate transaction in which the seller provided the financing to the buyer. At closing, the buyer discovered that the terms of the loan substantially favored the seller. At this time, the Respondent acknowledged the conflict and requested that the buyer execute a waiver of conflict of interest which the buyer refused to do. The closing was suspended and the buyer sought a traditional loan and the transaction was subsequently completed. The buyer did not receive the diligent representation that she should have received through independent counsel.

November, 2020

Danie Victor Alexandre, Fla. Supreme Court Case No. SC20-882, July 2, 2020, 3601 S.E. Ocean Boulevard, Ste. 003, Stuart, Florida 34996-6737. Respondent was issued a public reprimand and two years of probation, conditioned upon the completion of a Trust Accounting Workshop and the hiring of a certified public accountant to prepare and file compliant quarterly audit reports with The Florida Bar. Admitted to practice on May 1, 1991, Alexandre failed to maintain the minimum required trust accounting records and failed to follow the minimum required trust accounting procedures, resulting in a check being accidentally issued against the trust account when insufficient funds were present to honor the check. No client funds were threatened.

Eduardo Enrique Dieppa III, Fla. Supreme Court Case No. SC20-883, July 2, 2020, 10689 N. Kendall Dr., Ste. 314, Miami, Florida 33176-1525. Respondent was publicly reprimanded effective immediately from a July 2 court order. Admitted to practice on October 4, 2004, Respondent represented father and son as plaintiffs in a civil action, where father was suffering from cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease. Respondent represented that father was available for deposition despite his cognitive impairment, where he had disclosed this fact as a basis for unavailability in an unrelated case. Respondent also conveyed that both clients had agreed to settlement terms without discussing it with the father.

Joseph Anthony Source, Fla. Supreme Court Case No. SC20-881, July 2, 2020, 999 Ponce De Leon Blvd., Ste. 1020, Coral Gables, FL 33134-3063. Admitted to practice on November 18, 1994, Respondent was publicly reprimanded effective immediately after a July 2 court order. Respondent commingled personal funds in his trust account by failing to promptly disburse his fees and depositing the proceeds of the sale of his marital home into the trust account. Although respondent paid personal expenses from the trust account, he used personal funds to do so and there was no evidence of malfeasance and all client funds were properly accounted for and promptly remitted.

September, 2020

Lawrence Paul Cartelli, Fla. Supreme Court Case No. SC20-702, May 28, 2020, Lawrence P. Cartelli, P.A., Tavares, FL 32778-1826. Respondent publicly reprimanded and required to complete Ethics School. Cartelli was admitted to practice on November 23, 2002. While representing a client in a divorce case, Cartelli discussed with the client and the client's girlfriend a dormant charity Cartelli created many years before for the stated purpose of assisting families in need. The client offered to pay monthly rent on the office space located adjacent to Cartelli's office, and the client's girlfriend offered to work toward re-invigorating the chcarity. Cartelli failed to advise the client of the potential conflict of interest in writing, and Cartelli did not obtain a waiver of any potential conflict of interest from his client. Additionally, the client loaned Cartelli money, at Cartelli's request. Cartelli failed to advise the client of the potential conflict of interest and failed to advise the client to consult with an independent attorney prior to making the loan. Cartelli also accepted a loan to the charity from a former client whose wife Cartelli was representing and charitable donations from other clients without written agreements and without advising those clients to seek independent legal counsel. Cartelli also failed to keep adequate financial records for the charity.

Marcus Raymond Spagnoletti, Fla. Supreme Court Case No. SC19-1746, June 11, 2020, 401 Louisiana St., Fl. 8, Houston, TX 77002-1629. Public Reprimand followed by probation, set to terminate May 1, 2021. Respondent was admitted to practice on October 4, 2010. In two separate client matters, Respondent failed to properly communicate with his clients regarding their respective ongoing claims and cases involving the Deepwater Horizon Oil spill and British Petroleum. Respondent failed to advise his clients.

William DeForest Thompson Jr., Fla. Supreme Court Case No. SC19-1820, May 7, 2020, 2030 McGregor Blvd., Ft. Myers, FL 33901. Respondent was admitted to practice on January 21, 1988. After a July 15, 2019 order suspending respondent, he failed to comply with the requirements of Rule 3-5.1(h) of the Rules Regulating The Florida Bar. Respondent failed to remove all indicia of attorney status from his website and social media platforms, and failed to notify individuals in three cases of his suspension.