find the latest legal job
Corporate and Commercial Partner
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: Adelaide SA 5000
· Adelaide CBD · Join a leading Adelaide commercial law firm
View details
Freelance Project Finance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Australia
· Vario are looking for freelance lawyers with experience in project finance ideally within the renewable energy sector
View details
Vario Freelance Lawyers
Category: Construction Law | Location: All Australia
· We are looking for lawyers who appreciate the endless possibilities that a freelance career can offer.
View details
Freelance Construction Lawyers
Category: Construction Law | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· We are looking for construction lawyers who appreciate the endless possibilities that a freelance career can offer.
View details
Banking Associate - 1-6PQE - Allen & Overy
Category: Banking and Finance Law | Location: United Kingdom
· Banking Associate - 1-6 PQE - Allen & Overy
View details
Bad reputation

Bad reputation

The behaviour of two lawyers in Florida in the US has been described by a judge as the “most abhorrent” he has ever seen in 25 years on the bench.

Considering some of the stories Folklaw hears, that is quite the claim; so let’s look at the reasons such a sweeping statement was made...

Peter Mayas, of Florida, and Emmanuel Roy, of New York and Florida, were held in contempt of court and ordered to repay $US275,800 in fees to a client in September 2011, according to the Sun Sentinel.

This story began in 2008 when, despite not being authorised to practise law in south Florida, Mayas, 48, and Roy, 45, represented a client, Patrick Coulton, in a case involving drug and money-laundering charges.

US Magistrate Judge William Turnoff said in his report on the case that the pair managed to wring $US275,800 worth of cash and property out of Coulton’s family for a minimal amount of work they weren’t qualified to do.

As well as cash, the pair also received jewellery, a townhouse and a Porsche car from the Coultons for their legal services; after receiving all their payment they then helped Coulton plead guilty and handled his sentencing, before abandoning him to his fate in prison.

Paul Petruzzi, the Miami lawyer appointed by the court to take over Coulton’s representation in August 2010, said the pair was “the reason people hate lawyers”.

To make matters even worse, when the judge released his second report into the case last Friday (1 February), it was revealed the pair still hadn’t repaid the $US275,800; the judge also stated that the pair had attempted to hide property and other assets to avoid repaying the money owed, and urged the US Attorney’s Office to investigate both men for perjury and for their alleged roles in the possibly “fraudulent” sale of Mayas’ former home to a friend to conceal his assets.

The judge also recommended that Roy and Mayas should face court sanctions for their behaviour in court and for wasting the court’s time. He also said they should face further discipline by the Florida Bar, the Sun Sentinel reported.

Roy is now disbarred in Florida and New York, and Mayas is also currently suspended from practising law.

Roy and Mayas have a couple of weeks to file any objections they have to Turnoff’s orders.

“I hope the [eventual] outcome of the case will give people hope that justice will eventually prevail,” Petruzzi said.

Indeed, so does Folklaw; and that it does something to prevent the constant battering of lawyers’ reputations...

Like this story? Read more:

Book commemorates diamond milestone for WA law society

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

Bad reputation
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Jan 23 2018
Disrupting traditional archiving and storage methods
Promoted by Fileman TRENDS COME and go but technology and its disruption to the legal landscape h...
Scales of Justice
Jan 23 2018
WA to close ‘legal loophole’ on gender reassignment laws
Laws in Western Australia will soon change to permit married people to undergo gender reassignment s...
Lawyers take to Twitter to share career stories
Jan 22 2018
Lawyers take to Twitter to share career stories
The #mypathtolaw hashtag has been embraced by legal eagles to swap stories with the Twitter communit...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...