Criminal Justice

Lawyer said to have BigLaw connection arrested after young children found alone at beach

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Handcuffed female lawyer

Lawyer Patricia Anne Bronson, who lives in Clearwater, Florida, was arrested Saturday after she was accused of leaving two children unattended at a beach. Image from Shutterstock.

A Tampa, Florida, lawyer who identified her employer as White & Case has been arrested after she was accused of leaving two children, ages 3 and 7, unattended for at least a half-hour at Upham Beach in St. Pete Beach, Florida.

Lawyer Patricia Anne Bronson, who lives in Clearwater, Florida, was arrested Saturday, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

Bronson’s LinkedIn profile says she is a conflicts attorney at White & Case in Tampa. The law firm has a global support center at that location, where it has lawyers in the technology and transactions group, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

Witnesses told Pinellas County, Florida, deputies that they saw Bronson drop off the children at the beach and then leave in her car. She left the children unattended for 30 to 45 minutes, according to the arrest report cited by the Tampa Bay Times. The younger child was found alone “waist deep” in water by a witness, the report says.

Bronson told deputies that she was parking the car. The arrest report says she was a caregiver to the children.

Bronson was charged with two counts of neglect of a child without great bodily harm and introducing/possessing contraband in a county detention facility. Deputies found a vape pen with a liquid substance when Bronson passed through an X-ray machine.

Neither Bronson nor White & Case immediately responded to the ABA Journal’s request for comment. A White & Case spokesperson told the Tampa Bay Times that it would investigate but did not get back to the publication. Bronson did not comment when contacted by the Tampa Bay Times.

Bronson was suspended for 90 days in 2017 after she conditionally admitted to working with a nonlawyer paralegal who gave others the impression that he was an attorney. Bronson said she didn’t know that the paralegal was soliciting clients, accepting client funds and trying to negotiate resolutions with prosecutors.

Bronson is a 2007 graduate of the Florida Coastal School of Law, according to her Florida Bar profile.

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