TALLAHASSEE (Florida Record) — Tampa attorney Abraham Mohammad Shakfeh, practicing in Florida less than seven years, will be publicly reprimanded following a March 22 Florida Supreme Court order over allegations that included improper fee sharing with a non-attorney, according to a recent announcement by The Florida Bar.
"Shakfeh represented a client on approximately two dozen public records cases," the state bar said in its April 30 announcement of the discipline and the state Supreme Court's order. "The contingency fee agreement constituted an improper fee sharing with a non-lawyer. In addition, he made settlement demands that were unrelated to the actual damages at issue in the cases."
In its single-page order, the state high court approved the uncontested referee's report filed in the matter before reprimanding Shakfeh and ordered him to pay about $2,835 in costs.
Florida court orders are not final until time to file a rehearing motion expires. Filing such a motion would not alter the effective date of the Shakfeh's reprimand.
Shakfeh was admitted to the bar in Florida on Sept. 22, 2011, according to his profile at the state bar website. No prior discipline before the state bar is listed on Shakfeh's state bar profile.
Shakfeh had a difficult time establishing himself after he was admitted to the bar, according to the referee's report. "Unfortunately, [Shakfeh] struggled to find meaningful full-time employment but this is not a valid defense," the referee's report said. Shakfeh ultimately opened his own private practice "with little to no experience, although he did take advantage of the 13th Circuit's mentor program, which was admirable," the referee's report said.
Shakfeh "made the bad decision to pursue public records litigation" which ultimately landed him in the trouble that lead to the order for his reprimand, the referee's report said. "The court firmly believes [Shakfeh] is remorseful and he wants a second chance," the report said.