Tallahassee, FL—Florida State University estimated tuition and fees for students attending their College of Law for the year 2015-16 a whopping $688.11 per credit hour, that’s 30 hours = $20,643.30 for Florida residents. For non-residents the cost is a whopping $1355.18 per credit hour, with 30 hours = $40,655.40. Noted on Florida State University College of Law’s website is “As a state university, our tuition and fees are established by the Florida Legislature and subject to change at any given time.”
On The Florida Bar’s website on the ‘About The Bar’ page, Organization is defined as “A guardian for the integrity of the legal profession. The Florida Bar is the statewide professional organization of lawyers.”
The Webster New World Dictionary defines integrity 1) completeness 2) unimpaired condition: soundness 3) honesty, sincerity, etc.
The same source as above defines honest(y) 1) truthful; trustworthy 2) sincere or fair.
The Florida Bar has a division called the Attorney/Consumer Assistance Program where attorneys/ consumers can receive assistance with inquiries and complaints—including inquiry/complaint forms. The Florida Bar is financially supported by the fees its members pay.
Students out of law school may have a ‘mountain’ of student loan debt to pay, however, in order to practice law in the state of Florida, they must pay numerous fees before obtaining their law license—including paying fees to The Florida Bar, who claims to be “A guardian for the integrity of the legal profession.”
Florida has thousands of lawyers. For many young lawyers, who have the zeal to practice law morally and ethically, it is a struggle to get just one client to represent. Lawyers with families to support coupled with a ‘mountain’ of bills pouring in, their struggles are sad. So why has The Florida Bar accepted their fees, but have not lived up to “the integrity of the legal profession” as the guardian?
Many consumers have filed vital complaints against lawyers for violating Rules set by The Florida Bar that have sat dormant. The mother of DeShon Thomas, a juvenile defendant who had been charged as an adult with Cultivation of Marijuana, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Two Counts of 1st Degree Murder and Possession of a Firearm, filed a complaint against Tallahassee (East Point) Defense Attorney Greg Cummings after DeShon’s mother learned that Mr. Cummings was purposely withholding evidence from being entered into DeShon’s court records. After paying Mr. Cummings nearly $30,000 over sixteen months, DeShon’s mother learned of many other disturbing malicious acts of misconduct that had occurred in DeShon’s judicial process. When DeShon’s mother filed a complaint with The Florida Bar, her complaint was somewhat dismissed because she was “not the client.” DeShon’s mother strongly recommended that DeShon fire Mr. Cummings and file a complaint with The Florida Bar. As soon as DeShon fired Mr. Cummings, in an act of retaliation, Second Judicial State Attorney Willie Meggs charged DeShon with Solicitation to Commit 1st Degree Murder with the target being the state’s key witness. State Prosecutor Jack Campbell later admitted to heading up the plot to have DeShon charged with Solicitation to Commit 1st Degree Murder. Although Mr. Cummings acknowledged his acts of malicious misconduct, The Florida Bar has chosen to leave DeShon’s complaint dormant. Mr. Cummings continues to practice law, despite having ‘robbed’ DeShon and his mother of thousands of dollars. DeShon and his family continue to proclaim DeShon’s INNOCENCE! Unfortunately, The Florida Bar’s failures to hold Mr. Cummings accountable for his misconduct have blocked opportunities for ethical lawyers to retain clients.
The Florida Judicial Qualifications Commission filed documents—including a Notice of Formal Charges—with the Florida Supreme Court showing where Second Judicial Circuit Judge Jackie Fulford showed “a pattern of misconduct.” In part, one of many violations of Canon, while Judge Fulford was on the bench she solicited an attorney to perform service “pro bono, at no cost to the client. The attorney feared that if he did not accept the pro bono representation, it might result in an adverse ruling on the pending motion. Your solicitation to perform these services was an inappropriate use of your position…”
The Florida Judicial Qualifications Commission recommended Judge Fulford for ‘Involuntary Retirement.’ This recommendation allowed Jackie Fulford to retain her license to practice law. The Florida Bar did not follow up on the violations found by the Florida Judicial Qualifications Commission. The Florida Bar’s failure to address Jackie Fulford’s violations—including instilling “fear” in an attorney, severely lacks “integrity of the legal profession.” No attorney should experience “fear” of any judge in any courtroom. Again, The Florida Bar’s failure to protect a fearful attorney is blocking opportunities for ethical lawyers to retain clients.
Reportedly, Lance Block, a prominent attorney in Tallahassee, was recently arrested by Florida State University Police for purchasing cocaine from an undercover officer. Mr. Block is especially known for representing Florida State University graduate Rachel Hoffman’s family in a civil suit against the City of Tallahassee Police Department. Rachel Hoffman, who was recruited (intimidated) by the Tallahassee Police to act as an uncover drug informant, was murdered–shot twice in the head during her 1st sting–under the nose of police. Mr. Block got Ms. Hoffman’s family over $2 million. It’s been reported that after Mr. Block’s recent drug arrest, Mr. Block bonded out of the Leon County Jail and has retained Jackie Fulford as his attorney.
The Florida Bar has repeatedly shown to fail ethical attorneys while ‘robbing’ them of their money and claiming to be of a profession of ‘integrity.’ The Florida Bar has also failed to protect the best interest of consumers by protecting unethical attorneys who ‘rob’ clients of their money—justice is not served under those terms.
Organizations such as The Marshall Project and Gideon’s Promise and many, many more organizations that strive to level the judicial system for those defense lawyers who work for the greater good for others on a daily basis. Good attorneys in Florida paying fees to The Florida Bar—is a MISMATCH. Most College of Law graduates have too much debit to begin paying fees to an organization that severely lacks integrity.