Palm Beach News

Suspended Attorney: Someone Implanted a Microchip in Me

The Florida Bar yesterday announced that it is suspending the law license of West Palm Beach attorney Janice L. Jennings for refusing to schedule a mental health evaluation.

Jennings — a Florida State University law school grad who is now in her mid-50s — had said in previous court cases that she has a microchip implanted in her left ear because of her old boss, former Florida Attorney General Bob Butterworth. Last summer, she said that John W. Campbell, an attorney for the Polk County Board of Commissioners, who was the opposing lawyer in a civil case she worked on, has access to and is “torturing” her with the microchip.

The Tampa Bay Times reported last June that Jennings had been telling federal judges since 2003 that she had a microchip. The paper found that she worked for Butterworth from 1995 to in 2001, when she was fired for not undergoing a mental health exam. Butterworth, who later served as head of the Department of Children and Families, said he did not remember her. 

In July 2014, bar counsel and Sunrise lawyer Randi Lazarus told Jennings that due to her statements in the case involving Campbell, Jennings needed to schedule an evaluation with Florida Lawyers Assistance. 

“Those statements suggest a lack of stability on your part which may impact on your ability to competently represent your clients,” Lazarus wrote to Jennings.

Jennings wrote back: “I have found a product which neutralizes microchips.”

Jennings did not comply with the mental health evaluation, and Lazarus told her that “you have left me with no choice” but to begin the suspension process. 

The Florida Supreme Court ruled on February 19 to suspend her license. According to yesterday's news release, she was suspended for 91 days and “indefinitely thereafter." Still, she can return to practice by getting a mental health evaluation. She had worked in Polk County, but her address listed on the Florida Bar website is a P.O. box in West Palm Beach.  

Jennings, who has been practicing since 1985, seemed to work primarily on civil cases, according to Palm Beach County court records. She was known to sue government agencies. Jennings did not return an email yesterday seeking comment.

Some other attorneys local disciplined recently by the bar in Palm Beach County include:

- Boca Raton lawyer Michael J. Silver, who was suspended for a year, effective March 12, after a February 12 court ruling. He charged a client $275,000 for about six weeks of work, refusing to refund any part of the fee.

- West Palm Beach lawyer Peggy Lynne Diorio, who was permanently disbarred from practicing law after a December 8 court ruling. She initially agreed to resign from practice back in 2002 but continued to practice after the fact.
KEEP NEW TIMES BROWARD-PALM BEACH FREE... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Anthony Cave