A former attorney with a person of Florida’s top rated insurance policies defense companies has been disbarred right after the Bar explained she engaged in recurring functions of neglect, deception and forgery.
Erika Lynn Muller, until finally lately a husband or wife with the Cole, Scott & Kissane firm, based in Fort Lauderdale, can no lengthier apply in the condition, the Florida Supreme Courtroom said in an get very last week. The court docket agreed with the Bar’s complaint and a referee’s suggestion that she be disbarred, pursuing months of disciplinary proceedings. The Bar’s grievance lists quite a few challenges, including absence of truthfulness, misconduct and deficiency of communication, and information 1 scenario in individual that unfolded in 2020 and 2021. In a slip-and-slide assert against Rooms To Go furniture organization in Miami, Muller available to settle the claim for $325,000, even while she was not authorized to do so, the Bar explained.
She then sent the plaintiff’s legal professional a photocopy of a look at that she had allegedly fabricated. The plaintiff’s attorney submitted motions to enforce the settlement, which resulted in a courtroom judgment in March 2021 of $425,000, the grievance explains.
Inspite of garnishment actions versus the legislation company, the dollars never materialized. Muller then agreed to deliver $550,000 to quit the garnishments. She allegedly sent a photocopy of one more fabricated cashier’s check out, then claimed she would hand-produce the look at.
But on the day of the planned transfer, she falsely said she was in an automobile accident, the bar stated.
Meanwhile, Muller informed the household furniture business and an adjuster for the insurance business that the circumstance was however in mediation, the Bar reported.
On April 7, 2021, Muller informed Cole, Scott & Kissane attorneys that she was resigning.
In an affidavit, “respondent acknowledged that she created misrepresentations to multiple events and introduced altered paperwork to plaintiff’s counsel,” the Bar’s complaint reads. “In her affidavit, respondent further mentioned that she was suffering from a mental wellness disaster all through the time of the misconduct.”
Muller later failed to react to any of the Bar’s inquiries into the make any difference. The Rooms To Go litigation, brought by an independent contractor who was wounded at an RTG parking large amount, was dismissed in June 2021.
A referee decide who reviewed the circumstance towards Muller agreed with the disbarment motion.
“It is very important that a apparent and unmistakable message be sent that callous disregard for clients, the Florida Bar, and the attorney disciplinary system are serious infractions which may possibly not be committed with impunity,” Choose James Martz II wrote in April of this calendar year.
The condition Supreme Court, which in modern yrs has generally disagreed with referees’ tips, recognized it in this situation and reported the disbarment will be powerful Sept. 25. Muller need to also fork out $1,315 to go over the Bar’s expenditures in investigating the circumstance.
The case built headlines in Florida in 2021 and lifted eyebrows close to the legal neighborhood. Court docket information show that Muller was outlined as an legal professional on 4 circumstances before Florida’s 3rd District Court of Appeals, which include an insurance policies claim charm that is continue to pending.
Muller is a graduate of the College of Miami University of Regulation and was a member of the Florida bar considering the fact that 2008. The Cole, Scott & Kissane web-site notes that she targeted on bad-faith litigation, personalized injuries protection, premises legal responsibility and insurance policies defense litigation. She and the regulation firm’s leadership could not be achieved for comment Wednesday evening and Thursday early morning.
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