Lawyer begins 60-day suspension for hijacking former firm's email account, derogatory Facebook post
A Florida lawyer began a 60-day suspension over the weekend for a campaign of retaliation against the owner of the law firm that fired him.
The Florida Supreme Court ordered the suspension of Jacksonville lawyer Paul H. Green Jr. last month, to take effect in 30 days. Green also will have to contact Florida Lawyers Assistance for an evaluation. The Florida Record and the Miami Herald have coverage.
According to a summary by the Florida Bar, Green was accused of hijacking his firm’s email after his firing, posting derogatory comments on Facebook about the lawyer who fired him, and communicating inappropriately with a client.
The Florida Supreme Court based the suspension on the uncontested report of a referee.
According to the referee’s report, Green was fired from Parker & Green after he allegedly used the firm credit card for personal matters, took unauthorized draws from the firm, missed work and took vacation without discussing them with the owner of the firm, made political comments on the firm’s Facebook page, and wrote a derogatory text message about his wife’s lawyer during his divorce. The text read: “Tell Dana Price I hope she dies of dirty Jew AIDS.”
After issuing a warning, the lawyer who owned the firm fired Green and changed the locks on the office door.
After his firing, Green changed the password to his firm’s email accounts, according to the referee’s report. When the firm turned off Green’s phones, he agreed to restore email access in exchange for turning his phones back on. After a period of time, however, he again blocked the firm’s access to email and directed the emails to himself.
Green also added a post to Parker & Green’s Facebook page that claimed the firm owner had been “Baker Acted,” a reference to the Florida law on involuntary commitments. The post also said letters sent to firm clients about everything being hacked were untrue.
“Don’t worry,” Green wrote. “My email still works, and I am working with the Florida Bar to make sure [the firm owner] gets the help she needs. If you are a client, do not pay a bill until the Florida Bar decides what they will be doing” with the lawyer.
In reality, there was no Baker Act proceeding, according to the Miami Herald. Nor did he contact the Florida Bar about the lawyer, the referee said.
Green also told the Baker Act story to a firm client he saw at a football stadium in Jacksonville. He allegedly said he would handle the client’s case for free if she would make a statement about the firm owner. He also told the client he would like to get together for drinks to discuss the case.
The client did not respond to the texts and filed an ethics complaint against Green. He later saw her while she was working as a bartender, slammed his hand on the bar and said: “Good luck with that complaint.”