Bar files response
The Florida Bar has filed its response with the state Supreme Court on why the referee’s recommendation upholding plaintiff insurance attorney Scot Strems’ suspension should be approved. It also specifically responds to Strems’ filed arguments why it shouldn’t be approved. Meanwhile, the trial is scheduled for September 8.
In its response, the Bar states “Respondent’s objections are rooted in a misapprehension regarding the relevant standard of review” and “does not appear to find particular fault with the July 15, 2020 Report of Referee beyond disagreement with the Referee’s weighing of the evidence and her ultimate conclusion.”
“In sum, respondent offers a muddled interpretation of the relevant standard of review in order to ask the Court to second-guess the Suspension Order. Otherwise, respondent provides no meaningful basis for upsetting the Referee’s Report. The Florida Bar has carried its burden of showing a likelihood of prevailing on the merits of the underlying rule violations. For these reasons, and those explained above, the Court should approve the Report and all findings therein. The Florida Bar does not agree with respondent’s request for oral argument. As explained herein, respondent largely seeks to re-litigate the very issues that were considered during the Hearing. To that end, the record is already well-documented, and the issues have been thoroughly developed in the parties’ written submissions.”
Meanwhile, an order has been granted on a motion by Southern Fidelity Insurance Company regarding a requirement that the Strems Law Firm properly advise and notice its clients of the firm’s dissolution based on Scot Strems’ license suspension. Broward County’s 17th Judicial Circuit Court Judge Michelle Singer’s order stops further proceedings in this case until the court is satisfied that the Strems firm has complied with its duty to inform clients of their transition to the “new” firm, now known as The Property Advocates. A similar motion has been filed by Citizens Property Insurance Corporation in Hillsborough County’s 13th Judicial Circuit.
LMA Newsletter of 8-17-20