TALLAHASSEE – In a petition to the Florida Supreme Court, the Florida Bar requested that the court suspend the license of Florida attorney Bruce Fehr, who is serving a three-year sentence for possession of child pornography.
The notice of determination or judgment of guilt requested that the court find Fehr guilty of violating Rule 4-8.4(b) (A lawyer shall not commit a criminal act that reflects adversely on the lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer in other respects) of the rules regulating the Florida Bar. It also asked that the court suspend Fehr, pursuant to Rule 3-7.2(f) rules of discipline of the Florida Bar.
Fehr’s crime, committed on or about Nov. 18, 2015, is in violation of Tide 18, United States Code, §2252A(a)(2). Fehr entered a guilty plea on possession of child pornography, which included giving the U.S. States attorney’s office a “complete and truthful financial statement in the event of a fine or restitution ordered by the court, and to waive direct appeal and collateral attack of the conviction, plea and sentence.”
Court records of the plea agreement state “…the defendant did knowingly and willfully possess one or more images of child pornography which involved prepubescent minors or minors who had not attained the age of 12 years, and which images had been transported using a means of interstate or foreign commerce…and that the defendant’s guilty plea constitutes proof to that count.”
On Nov. 30, 2015, the chief judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Georgia accepted Fehr’s plea agreement. On March 30, Fehr was sentenced to three years in a federal prison and fined $10,000. He began serving his sentence April 29.
The State Bar’s petition also asked that Fehr be ordered to provide a copy of the court-ordered suspension to his clients, opposing counsel and courts where he is a counsel of record, as required by Rule 3-5.1 (h) of the rules of discipline of the Florida Bar. The Bar also asked that Fehr be ordered to provide staff counsel with the affidavit listing clients, counsel and courts that he has contacted regarding his suspension.
The notice also asked the court to appoint a referee to conduct a hearing on sanctions pursuant to Rule 3-7.2(h), rules of discipline of the Florida Bar.
The U.S. federal court recommended to the Bureau of Prisons that the defendant be evaluated by prison officials to establish his participation in an appropriate program of substance abuse treatment and counseling during his term of incarceration. The court also recommended that the defendant be delegated to a prison facility in Jesup, Georgia, or as an alternative, Estill, South Carolina, subject to capacity or any regulation affecting such a designation.
Upon release, Fehr will be on probation for 10 years. During that time he cannot possess a firearm, ammunition, destructive device or any other dangerous weapon; he must cooperate in the collection of DNA as directed by his probation officer; and he must comply with requirements of the Sex Offender Registration and Notification program.
Case No. SC16-1173