Florida Record

Friday, February 21, 2020

Merritt Island attorney publicly reprimanded for being rude to court deputy

By Karen Kidd | Nov 26, 2017

General court 09

Merritt Island attorney Daniel S. Ciener, practicing in Florida more than 50 years, has been publicly reprimanded by publication in the Southern Reporter following an Oct. 12 Florida Supreme Court order over allegations he was rude to a court deputy.

"Ciener spoke to a court deputy in a rude and condescending manner in the presence of other people who were present for unrelated matters," the Florida State Bar said in its Nov. 21 announcement of the discipline and the Florida Supreme Court's order.

The state high court also ordered Ciener to pay almost $1,513 in costs. Ceiner also agreed to attend a state bar stress management workshop, according to the consent judgment filed with the court. The consent judgment includes Ciener's conditional guilty plea.

The reprimand was Ciener's second discipline in less than two years. In Florida, court orders are not final until after time to file a rehearing motion expires.

Ciener was admitted to the bar in Florida on Nov. 10, 1967, according to his profile at the state bar website.

The rudeness allegedly occurred Feb. 7 in the public gallery area of a Brevard County courtroom when Ciener's paralegal was assisting him to fill out a plea form, according to the consent judgment. The court deputy attempted to assist the paralegal, who apparently had the wrong plea form, to select the correct form, according to the consent judgment.  

"In a raised voice and demeaning manner, [Ciener] stated, 'We don't really need your help. You're a guard here. OK. You're not the judge and you're not the supervisor,'" the consent judgment said. "The deputy found [Ciener]'s tone to be rude and condescending toward her to the extent that it undermined her authority, especially in light of the fact that other people were present in the courtroom at the time on unrelated matters."

In a previous discipline, Ciener was admonished in April 2016 after he admitted to minor misconduct involving a conversation with a judge during a criminal case in April the previous year. During that conversation, which took place with co-counsel at the judge's lectern, the judge interpreted a comment Ciener made as threatening the court, according to his admission, in which Ciener also said, "I am truly sorry that this happened."

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Organizations in this Story

The Florida BarFlorida Supreme Court18th Judicial Circuit Court of Florida - Brevard County