Suspended lawyer accused of trying to frame attorney father now charged with his murder
Suspended lawyer Brandon Scott Labiner, 34, of Boca Raton, Florida, has been charged with the murder of his father, Paul Labiner, 68, in a parking garage near the older lawyer’s office building in Boca Raton, Florida. Image from Shutterstock.
Updated: A suspended Florida lawyer accused of trying to frame his father in a trust account theft is now charged with his shooting death Saturday.
Suspended lawyer Brandon Scott Labiner, 34, of Boca Raton, Florida, was charged with the murder of Paul Labiner, 68, in a parking garage near the older lawyer’s office building in Boca Raton, Florida.
Paul Labiner wasn’t identified as the victim because the family invoked a right to confidentiality under Marsy’s Law, but many publications identified him as the slain man, according to the Palm Beam Post. The Palm Beach Police Department issued a press release without identifying either the arrested man or the victim.
Surveillance video showed a suspect arriving at the murder scene on a bicycle, police said. After obtaining search warrants, police found a bicycle matching a description of the bicycle in the video in an open closet at Brandon Labiner’s law office, the Independent reports, citing an arrest affidavit.
Police found a gun-cleaning kit in a public bathroom in Brandon Labiner’s office, the Daily Beast reports, citing the affidavit.
Police also found a gun and ammunition in Brandon Labiner’s car. The ammunition matched casings at the murder scene.
The affidavit said Brandon Labiner had been under a lot of stress because he was going through a divorce and “his unborn child died prior to birth,” according to the Daily Beast.
Paul Labiner’s law firm focused on estate planning, while Brandon Labiner practiced personal injury law. Brandon Labiner had practiced at his father’s firm before the rift between them.
Brandon Labiner had barricaded himself in a building after the shooting, but he agreed to leave after the intervention of his lawyer, police said. He was initially arrested based on an outstanding warrant.
Brandon Labiner’s lawyer, Valentin Rodriguez, told the South Florida Sun Sentinel that Brandon Labiner is disputing the charges and grieving his father’s death, the Palm Beach Post reports.
The Florida Supreme Court suspended Brandon Labiner’s law license on an emergency basis in April, after the Florida Bar alleged that he misappropriated at least $451,000 from his mother’s spousal lifetime access trust.
Paul Labiner had created the trust in December 2021 and appointed Brandon Labiner as the sole trustee, according to the Florida Bar’s amended petition for an emergency suspension.
After he was accused of misappropriating trust cash, Brandon Labiner submitted faked documents to the bar to support his allegation that Paul Labiner was the wrongdoer, the bar petition said. The bar learned about the forged documents after it subpoenaed the bank.
Brandon Labiner also made the false accusations against his father in response to a Paul Labiner’s probate petition to remove Brandon Labiner as trustee, the Florida Bar said. And Brandon Labiner denied taking trust money in response to a civil lawsuit filed by his father.
The civil suit said the father-son lawyers had a fairly good relationship until Brandon Labiner began displaying “bizarre behavior” in February 2022. Paul Labiner said his son had assaulted him and injured his shoulder in May 2022.
The suit also alleged that Brandon Labiner’s incompetence led to lost business at Paul labiner’s firm, according to Law & Crime. The suit also cited Brandon Labiner’s alleged “poor work ethic as an attorney,” Local10.com reports.
On June 30, a day before the fatal slaying, Brandon Labiner submitted a petition for voluntary disciplinary revocation of his law license, with leave to apply for reinstatement in five years. The petition also acknowledged a second pending ethics complaint stemming from his arrest for driving under the influence.
Updated July 6 at 8:35. a.m. to include coverage by the Daily Beast and the Independent.