If you want to talk, please call me. I've been where you are right now. 

On June 9, 2016 the Florida Bar Charged me with Violating Rule 3-4.3 (Misconduct and Minor Misconduct); Rule 4-3.4 (Fairness to Opposing Party and Counsel); and Rule 4-8.4(d) (Misconduct) – "A lawyer shall not engage in conduct in connection with the practice of law that is prejudicial to the administration of justice"). See for yourself the charges filed against me and the Judge's rulings after trial, after the Bar had presented its case against me. When asked, I will say I won my case, but the cost was high. By the time it was over, my relationship with my children was strained (at best) and I had a heart attack while the case was pending, a few months prior to trial. I survived and there may be a chance for you to survive the experience too, but the method isn't what you might think. It's very different.

If you take the time to read this, I will tell you how I survived the experience. Maybe you can survive it too. From the start it is important to understand that Bar cases are different than other cases. The rules of evidence are what they call "relaxed," which means that they are all but completely thrown out the window. Forget the rules of authentication, forget hearsay. IT ALL comes in. In Bar cases, not only are the rules of evidence "relaxed," but you have a "referee" (whatever that means) instead of a Judge (yes, it's still a Judge, I know, right?) and authentication of evidence isn't an issue. You can admit affidavits, hearsay be damned, and the Judge (sorry, I mean "referee") will consider them. It is not a process lawyers will be familiar with.

 

I represented myself. I know the adage about a lawyer representing himself having a fool for a client, but this is what I decided I had to do because it was easy to see early on that no one would be able to protect me like I was able to protect myself. I had made myself read everything I could find about the process and realized that the process is so very unusual. If I had a fool for a client, I was simply a fool trying to keep from being disbarred. My friends told me that I was crazy for representing myself, but every lawyer I talked to about representing me was planning to handle my case as they handled other cases in which the stakes are so high: a zealous, aggressive attack. I'm not saying that a zealous defense isn't necessary, but much of the strategies used in other cases simply won't apply and if you try to utilize them, this tact will most certainly lead to ruin. 

By the time I had my trial (and my cardiologist had gone into my heart three times to save my life after the heart attack) The angst and depression had me believing that getting disbarred might be the best thing for me. Of course it wasn't. I'm a lawyer, I paid an extraordinary cost to be a lawyer and having that taken away would have been the worst thing for me and my family. 

Prosecutors in a State Attorney's office handling criminal cases and attorneys representing that Bar against you have very little in common. There is a set standard of sanctions (See the "Facts Page") for each violation proven. I have been told by more than one Bar counsel that all deals must be discussed with their supervisors first, and the sanctions must accurately fit the alleged offense. The sanctions vary in degree with factors such as the degree of knowledge involved and the damage or potential damage to the client. 

I may be able to help you. If you'd like to talk, send me a private email at jrapkin99@icloud.com or at my regular email at: "email@rapkinlegal.com."

Please take a look at the links to find out information which may be vital to helping you and of course, give me a call and I'll hopefully be able to tell you what you need to know. You are not alone.

                                                                                                                                        Jeff Rapkin

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