Ethics Complaint Filed Against Former Judge and Attorneys By Florida Bar

Slip and FallFollowing its own investigation, The Florida Bar has filed ethics complaints with the state Supreme Court against a former 12th Judicial Circuit judge and two Palmetto attorneys.

Former Judge John Lakin admitted to accepting Tampa Bay Rays baseball tickets from the firm of Kallins, Little & Delgado while still hearing motions in a slip-and-fall case in which attorneys Melton Little and Scott Kallins represented the plaintiff. If you or someone that you know has been injured in a slip and fall, call a Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyer.

The justice system is meant to keep the world in order. ThosFlorida Bar Files Complaintse that serve in the justice system take an oath to administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich, and will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent upon them. When that oath is not followed out accordingly, they must answer. An ethics complaint was filed by The Florida Bar with the state Supreme Court against two Palmetto attorneys and a former 12th Judicial Circuit judge.

A Wrong Move For A Florida Judge

Former Judge John Lakin was said to accepting Tama Bay Rays baseball tickets from the firm of Kallings, Little & Delgado while he was still hearing motions in a slip and fall case in which attorneys Melton Little and Scott Kallins represented the plaintiff. Mr. Lakin admitted to the accusations.

The complaint read, Lakin presided in the June 2015 trial of Sandy Wittke vs. Wal-Mart Stores. Little and Kallins represented Wittke, who claimed to be injured when she fell at the Wal-Mart on Cortez Road in Bradenton.

Florida Judge BribedOn June 25, 2015, the jury returned a verdict in favor of Wal-Mart. The next day, Little suggested to Kallins that Lakin would be interested in tickets to that evening’s Rays game with the Boston Red Sox. Kallins contacted Lakin’s judicial assistant with the offer. The law firm provided five tickets to Lakin, who used two and discarded the others. When Lakin received the tickets “the time period for filing post-trial motions had not expired.” On July 2, Little filed a motion for a new trial. On Aug. 25, Lakin asked the law firm for tickets to a Rays game with the Minnesota Twins, which Little delivered to the judge’s courtroom. The next day, Lakin overturned the jury’s verdict in the Wittke case and granted the motion for a new trial. “Prior to the Wittke vs. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. case, Judge Lakin had never overturned a jury verdict during his tenure on the bench.” In October, Lakin received tickets from the firm to a Rays game with the Toronto Blue Jays.

Florida Slip and Fall Attorney

Lakin was advised from his senior judges that accepting the tickets were inappropriate and that he was required to disclose his actions to both the Florida Judicial Qualifications Commission and the parties involved in the Wittke vs. Wal-Mart Stores case. Lakin admits that his actions were inappropriate but that accepting the tickets had no influence on his decision of the case. Lakin then resigned on March 7, 2016, and the JQC dropped its case against him.

The Bar concluded that Lakin’s “solicitation and acceptance of free baseball tickets” from attorneys appearing in a case before him “created an appearance of impropriety” and undermined his “independence, integrity and/or impartiality as a member of the judiciary.”






Florida In The Lead On Caregiver Caused Deaths

Elder-Abuse-in-Fort-LauderdaleA caregiver is a family member or paid helper who regularly looks after a child or a sick, elderly, or disabled person. When you think of caregiver, you think of someone who true cares for the person they are caring for and would do anything to make their life easier for them. Unfortunately, not everybody has the same way of thinking and stress can play a big part of crimes committed to those we care for.

Find A Fort Lauderdale Injury Attorney

A new study from Ruderman Family Foundation shows results that are guaranteed to make our stomachs squirm. It seems that Florida is in the lead for deaths of seniors and children with disabilities caused by their caregivers. The study showed the one person is killed every week by a caregiver.  that statewide, one person with a disability is murdered every week by someone who should be watching out for their well-being. Advocates are the voice for these vulnerable victims that can’t speak up.

Florida Caregiver Abuse

Fort-Lauderdale-Injury-AttorneyIn 2015, 11-year old Janiya Thomas was murdered in Bradenton, FL. Her mother was accused of her murder and stuffed her body in a box in the freezer. “I don’t think a mother in her right mind would do that, I really don’t,” says Diane Dowling, Keishanna Thomas’s aunt. Thomas has been accused of locking the little girl in a bathroom because of digestive problems, then starving, beating, suffocating, and drowning her. Her murder trial is scheduled for August in Manatee County.

Sadly, Janiya’s story does not stand alone There have been several cases of children as well as the elderly being hurt or even killed by who is supposed to be their protector. If you suspect abuse to a minor or elder, call a Fort Lauderdale nursing home abuse attorney. The attorneys at The Ben Law Firm are ready to help you with your case. Call today to talk to an experienced attorney.

Could Insurance Issues Weigh On Florida Legislature’s Agenda?

Fort-Lauderdale-Insurance-PolicyGary Farmer, a Fort Lauderdale Democrat and first-year senator, has been involved in the fight over assignment of benefits for the last five years. He was previously president of the trial lawyers’ organization Florida Justice Association, as the attorneys pushed back against proposals to restrict property owners’ ability to sign over benefits of their insurance policies to contractors.

A Fight Between Insurer’s and Trial Lawyers

This year, Farmer is a sponsor of the attorneys’ proposed fix countering insurers’ latest proposal that would deny legal fees to predominant attorneys representing contractors working under assignments.

The assignment of benefits issue is considered to be the most important insurance-related issue that is currently up for debate. Many are anticipating the outcome of this debate come this spring. There are many more insurance-related issue on the agenda as well.

Other Insurance Issues On The Plate

Fort-Lauderdale-InsuranceMany other insurance issues are on the watch this spring. Lawmakers are expected to look into personal injury protection also know as PIP. Some other topics will be allowing health insurance customers to sue their HMOs, prevent health insurers from dropping drugs from coverage lists in the middle of policy terms, plus many other issues that have been the center for conversation. No one knows what will come of these issues. Only time will tell if things will change or remain the same. 

If you or a loved one has been injured, call the Fort Lauderdale injury attorney that cares. The Ben Law Firm will stay by your side through the entire litigation process and ensure that you get compensated for your injuries.