Friday, March 30, 2012 at 6 a.m.
The Florida Bar on Thursday issued a news statement detailing various punishments handed down to lawyers for doing things like driving drunk and filing frivolous suits merely to harass opponents.
All said, the Florida State Supreme Court reprimanded 22 attorneys. Five were disbarred as a result, and four were simply, and embarrassingly, "publicly reprimanded." The attorneys can still challenge the decisions, so nothing is final. Still, the bar says fewer than 5 percent of disbarred lawyers will go on to seek readmission.
Here's a look at five local attorneys who were chided by the court.
1. Attorney: Mark F. Dickson
Home turf: Pembroke Pines
What the court says he did: "According to a petition for emergency suspension, Dickson appeared to be causing great public harm by misappropriating client trust funds. A Bar audit found that Dickson improperly commingled funds and converted some of the clients' funds for his own personal use."
Punishment: Suspended until further order.
2. Attorney: George Frederick Frank
Home turf: Boca Raton
What the court says he did: "Frank was arrested and convicted of driving under the influence and careless driving after a traffic accident."
Punishment: Publicly reprimanded.
3. Attorney: Mary Alice Gwynn
Home turf: Delray Beach
What the court says she did: "In numerous instances, Gwynn acted dishonestly, incompetently and in bad faith in a client's pending litigation. Gwynn failed to expedite litigation in the best interest of the client. She also filed frivolous claims to harass her opponent and opposing counsel, made false allegations in testimony, engaged in willful abuse of the judicial system, and failed to research and verify claims before filing with the court."
Punishment: Suspended for 91 days.
4. Attorney: Dwayne Bisford Johnson Sr.
Home turf: Lake Park
What the court says he did: "Johnson was found in contempt for failing to comply with the conditions of an Aug. 29 disbarment order. Johnson did not submit to the Bar a sworn affidavit listing the names and addresses of all persons and entities to which he gave notice of his disbarment."
Punishment: Permanently disbarred.
5. Attorney: Mark Howard Klein
Home turf: Boca Raton
What the court says he did: "Klein was the subject of several disciplinary proceedings. Pending complaints involved loan modifications where an ongoing pattern of ineffective communication coupled with failing to perform meaningful services. Klein also pleaded no contest to two misdemeanor charges of assault and battery."
Punishment: Suspended for 90 days.