TALLAHASSEE (Florida Record) — Miami Lakes attorney Robert Joseph Ratiner has been disbarred following a Feb. 22 Florida Supreme Court opinion over allegations of "cumulative, disparaging misconduct" to other members of the legal profession, according to a recent announcement by The Florida Bar.
"Ratiner exhibited cumulative, disparaging misconduct toward other members of the legal profession," the state bar said in its March 27 announcement of the discipline and the Supreme Court's opinion. "On more than one occasion, he was disruptive in court. Ratiner disputed a judge’s testimony that he spoke inappropriately and wrinkled and threw documents on the counsel’s table. He also kicked the leg of a table where the attorney was seated."
Ratiner already was suspended, so his disbarment was effective immediately, according to the state Supreme Court's 21-page opinion. Ratiner also was ordered to pay almost $4,890 in costs.
The state Supreme Court's opinion is not final until time to file a rehearing motion expires. Filing such a motion would not alter the effective date of the Ratiner's disbarment.
Attorneys disbarred in the state may not reapply for admission for five years. Then they must pass an extensive process that includes a rigorous background check and retaking the bar exam.
Ratiner was admitted to the bar in Florida on Oct. 26, 1990, according to his profile at the state bar website.
The referee’s report filed with the court in September 2016 recommended Ratiner be suspended for three years. The state Supreme Court did approve the referee’s findings of fact and recommendations about Ratiner's guilt, as well as aggravating and mitigating factors, according to the court's opinion. "However, we disapprove the referee's recommendation that Ratiner be suspended for a second three-year period, to run consecutive to an earlier suspension of three years," the opinion said.
"Based upon Ratiner's cumulative and escalating misconduct, the court concludes that disbarment is the appropriate sanction."