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Legal Ethics

Federal Judge’s Unusual Order Puts Well-Known Bankruptcy Law Firm Under Fla. Bar Scrutiny

Posted Jun 16, 2011 5:15 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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Briefly banned from practicing bankruptcy law in the Middle District of Florida, after one of its lawyers aggravated a federal judge, an Orlando law firm is now back in the bankruptcy ball game but facing a state bar inquiry.

Kaufman, Englett & Lynd, a prominent bankruptcy firm which is also known as the KEL law firm, admittedly made some mistakes on a couple's bankruptcy case. But partners satisfied Judge Arthur Briskman by appearing personally in court last month to apologize and assure him that his criticisms had been heeded, reports the Orlando Sentinel.

Briskman has also assigned a veteran bankruptcy attorney, Robert Branson, to help the Kaufman firm successfully complete the bankruptcy case at issue in the court clash.

"I think Judge Briskman was trying to send a message, not just to KEL, but to a lot of people who are new to bankruptcy law, who have just jumped into it in recent years as the economy has been bad and bankruptcy cases have been mushrooming," attorney Amy Goodblatt of Orlando, who has been watching from the sidelines, tells the newspaper.

"The judge has been very vocal with his concern that, even if you are a big firm doing mass marketing and a high volume of cases, you should still provide the same personal attention and competent representation as a small firm."

The Florida Bar opened an inquiry into the matter after receiving a copy of Briskman's order temporarily banning the KEL law firm from bankruptcy practice in the Middle District.

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