The Florida Bar v. Rood, No. 80392

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Florida
Writing for the CourtPER CURIAM; BARKETT
Citation633 So.2d 7
Docket NumberNo. 80392
Decision Date20 January 1994
Parties19 Fla. L. Weekly S51 THE FLORIDA BAR, Complainant, v. Edward B. ROOD, Respondent.

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633 So.2d 7
19 Fla. L. Weekly S51
THE FLORIDA BAR, Complainant,
v.
Edward B. ROOD, Respondent.
No. 80392.
Supreme Court of Florida.
Jan. 20, 1994.
Rehearing Denied March 16, 1994.

John F. Harkness, Jr., Executive Director, John T. Berry, Staff Counsel, Tallahassee, Joseph A. Corsmeier and Bonnie L. Mahon, Asst. Staff Counsels, Tampa, for complainant.

E.B. Rood, pro se.

PER CURIAM.

Edward B. Rood petitions for review of a referee's report recommending that he be disbarred. We have jurisdiction pursuant to article V, section 15 of the Florida Constitution. We hereby suspend Rood from the practice of law for one year to run consecutive to his current two-year suspension.

Count one involves the Bar's allegations that Rood failed to put a fee agreement in writing and failed to give his clients a proper closing statement. In April 1981, Mr. Hillery Thrower and Mr. Aaron Long consulted Rood about a medical malpractice claim on behalf of Thrower's natural daughter and Long's stepdaughter, Sheila Thrower. Mrs. Cora Long, Sheila's natural mother, did not attend the initial office consultation. Rood

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advised Thrower and Long that if a viable malpractice case existed, he would enter into a contingency fee agreement in which he would receive thirty-three and one-third percent of any recovery without suit, forty percent after a suit was filed, and fifty percent if an appeal were taken. Rood's paralegal testified that Thrower and Long signed a fee agreement and that the agreement was placed in the file. The clients, however, testified that they did not sign a fee agreement. Although the agreement could not be produced for the referee's or this Court's inspection, it is undisputed that neither Rood nor the attorney to whom Rood ultimately assigned the case, David Webster, ever signed the agreement. 1

In October 1984, the jury returned a verdict of $1,286,000 for the medical malpractice action on behalf of Sheila Thrower. Shortly thereafter, the defendants in the medical malpractice action filed a motion for new trial. Webster retained Bruce Walkley, an appellate attorney, to assist the firm with research related to the case. The court awarded Thrower and Long an attorney's fee of $255,000, which included a $5,000 attorney's fee for Walkley.

In December 1984, the defendants in the medical malpractice action filed a notice of appeal and subsequently, Rood took the case over from Webster. 2 The case settled in April 1985 for $1,350,000. Rood's rationale for accepting the settlement amount was his belief that the $255,000 attorney's fee award would probably not be held valid. Therefore, he agreed to settle the case for $1,250,000, plus an additional $120,000 that he calculated for eight months interest on the $1,250,000 verdict amount. 3 Mr. Thrower's closing statement was not signed by Rood or by the client. The statement also included $13,234.32 in costs that were not itemized and that Thrower had not agreed to pay. Similarly,...

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3 practice notes
  • The Florida Bar v. Taylor, Nos. 81379
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • January 5, 1995
    ...who are held in criminal contempt of court or who have clearly committed a dishonest or fraudulent act. See, e.g., The Fla. Bar v. Rood, 633 So.2d 7 (Fla.1994); Langston; The Fla. Bar v. Attias, 513 So.2d 1055 (Fla.1987); The Fla. Bar v. Gifford, 478 So.2d 46 (Fla.1985). What distinguishes ......
  • Perez v. George, Hartz, Lundeen, Flagg & Fulmer, No. 94-1048
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • June 21, 1995
    ...fee award to Allen for his nominal and inconsequential labor in this case would clearly be excessive. See The Florida Bar v. Rood, 633 So.2d 7 (Fla.1994) (ten percent contingency fee for work performed on appeal was excessive where appeal never proceeded past notice of filing). Hence, under......
  • The Florida Bar v. Rood, No. 83768
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • August 29, 1996
    ...Rood from the practice of law in Florida for two years in 1993 and for an additional consecutive year in 1994. Florida Bar v. Rood, 633 So.2d 7 (Fla.1994); Florida Bar v. Rood, 622 So.2d 974 (Fla.1993). The Bar subsequently filed a petition to show cause why Rood should not be disbarred for......
3 cases
  • The Florida Bar v. Taylor, Nos. 81379
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • January 5, 1995
    ...who are held in criminal contempt of court or who have clearly committed a dishonest or fraudulent act. See, e.g., The Fla. Bar v. Rood, 633 So.2d 7 (Fla.1994); Langston; The Fla. Bar v. Attias, 513 So.2d 1055 (Fla.1987); The Fla. Bar v. Gifford, 478 So.2d 46 (Fla.1985). What distinguishes ......
  • Perez v. George, Hartz, Lundeen, Flagg & Fulmer, No. 94-1048
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • June 21, 1995
    ...fee award to Allen for his nominal and inconsequential labor in this case would clearly be excessive. See The Florida Bar v. Rood, 633 So.2d 7 (Fla.1994) (ten percent contingency fee for work performed on appeal was excessive where appeal never proceeded past notice of filing). Hence, under......
  • The Florida Bar v. Rood, No. 83768
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • August 29, 1996
    ...Rood from the practice of law in Florida for two years in 1993 and for an additional consecutive year in 1994. Florida Bar v. Rood, 633 So.2d 7 (Fla.1994); Florida Bar v. Rood, 622 So.2d 974 (Fla.1993). The Bar subsequently filed a petition to show cause why Rood should not be disbarred for......

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