February 12, 2010
SENATOR DAVE ARONBERG
405 Senate Office Bldg.
404 S. Monroe St.
Tallahassee, FL 32399
Fax (850) 487-5496
In Re REFORMING THE FLORIDA BAR
Dear Senator Aronberg:
I have sent along to your aide certain information about my experience with The Florida Bar, and I am delighted to hear from her that you may take up the issue after another important project is completed.
The Florida Bar, an integrated bar, is in need of considerable improvement, and should be ultimately "disintegrated" - as has been done in the English Law's mother country - because of the inherent conflict of interest cloaked by the judiciary’s self-declared "inherent power" to absolutely control the legal profession. The very integration of the integrated bar creates an appearance of impropriety. The fact that The Florida Bar as an arm of the Florida Supreme Court is an absolute power not subject to external regulation by the legislative and executive powers is a constant danger to our democratic-republican way of life. The legislative and executive branches are largely controlled by lawyers, most of whom are not wont to confront the judiciary power that controls their livelihood, leaving the way clear for the collusion of the power elite against the public interest and general will. As for the fourth branch, the Press, it does little more than ingratiate itself with the integrated bar, publishing its press releases as news.
Nor is the integrated bench-bar directly responsible to the public. When I questioned the Bar as to why a public official without a license to practice law had in fact practiced law, ostensibly on behalf of the State but really for Allen Stanford, setting up flimsy legal grounds disavowed by licensed attorneys for the establishment of the notorious Stanford Trust aka the Stanford Laundry Ticket, i.e. the unique entity that allowed Mr. Stanford to use our State to bilk hundreds of millions of dollars out of investors and most likely to launder ill-gotten gains of others, the Bar responded that it could not look into such a matter because the gentleman was not a licensed attorney and it could only inquire into attorney-specific matters.
As for my request for information about the law firm on the other side of the apparent collusion, Greenberg Traurig, a firm that in fact represents The Florida Bar, I was informed by the Bar that it could not look into that matter because the Bar does not regulate law firms.
When I complained about the Bar's obtuseness in response to my public information requests, and said I thought criminal charges should be brought against any recalcitrant individuals who must know what was going on, I was informed by Kenneth L. Marvin, the Bar's head of lawyer regulation, who apparently does not read newspapers or watch television news, that he could not imagine why I mistrusted the Bar, and that he had never heard of the Stanford Trust until he read my articles about it.
And neither were Mr. Marvin nor the Chief Justice of the Florida Supreme Court interested in my constructive suggestion for improving the transparency of the Bar. Its current policy allows it to keep the fact of pending actions under wrap, then dismiss them at its discretion, and destroy all records, including the record that there even was a record, without the public being made aware of what transpired – thus the Bar is unaccountable for its own behavior. This was my suggestion:
"I respectfully suggest that a list of Pending Complaints and Open Disciplinary Cases be maintained on the website and regularly updated until disposed of. Thereafter the initial and dispositive information would be maintained for 10 years on the respective website-available files of the attorneys involved. By ‘Pending Complaints’ I mean each and every complaint received, and by ‘Open Disciplinary Cases’ I mean each and every complaint that Bar counsel decides to pursue. The information available would of course include the name of the attorney, the date and nature of the complaint and the current status of the investigation. If a case is not opened or an investigation not conducted on the complaint, the disposition then posted to the attorney’s website-available file would state the specific reason for not investigating the complaint. When an open case is closed, the specific reason for disposition would likewise be posted to the attorney’s website-available file. As for the confidentiality of open files, Rule 3-7.1 (e) allows for the disclosure of the status of specific cases under investigation. The specification under my suggestion would be any and all open files.”
The public interest in the Stanford Fraud was soon overshadowed by breaking news on the Rothstein Fraud. I told Mr. Marvin that I had a constructive suggestion that would prevent a great deal of embarrassment to the profession in the future. He wanted to know what it was, but did not respond when I laid it out for him: that the accounts of law firms over a certain size be regularly examined for evidence of fraud. In fact, I would like to help set up such a process. Accountants can be trained by Certified Fraud Examiners to conduct simple fraudits™. The independent frauditing™ organization would also receive information from whistleblowers in confidence and conduct spot fraudits™ based on the information received. Furthermore, I believe that if the bookkeeping and accounting systems of law firms are examined it will be discovered that many of them need to install an adequate uniform accounting system.
Just today the Miami Herald published an article on the Rothstein Scandal entitled 'Movement of firms funds questioned.'
"Clearly, movement of funds under these circumstances raises suspicion to a trained observer as to at least the possibility of structuring transactions to launder funds," said former chief assistance U.S. attorney Myles Malman, a white-collar criminal defense lawyer in Fort Lauderdale.
Senator, I am looking forward to your further investigation into this important matter. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you need copies of my records.
David Arthur Walters
cc Kristen Pesicek