St. Petersburg attorney publicly reprimanded after admitting to sharing fees with non-lawyer

By Karen Kidd | Jul 2, 2018

TALLAHASSEE (Florida Record) — St. Petersburg attorney Raymond Todd Burbine has been publicly reprimanded following a May 3 Florida Supreme Court order over allegations he shared fees with a non-attorney, according to a recent announcement by The Florida Bar.

TALLAHASSEE (Florida Record) — St. Petersburg attorney Raymond Todd Burbine has been publicly reprimanded following a May 3 Florida Supreme Court order over allegations he shared fees with a non-attorney, according to a recent announcement by The Florida Bar.

"Burbine admitted to sharing fees with a non-lawyer," the state bar said in its June 29 announcement of the discipline and the Supreme Court's order. "He rented office space from the former bar member whose license had been revoked. Burbine also paid the ex-lawyer consulting fees for training on office software, and referral fees for taking over old clients. He said he was unaware of the full details of the former lawyer's disciplinary history when he assumed the takeover of the office space."

In its single-page order, the high court approved the uncontested referee's report filed in the matter before reprimanding Burbine and ordered him to more than $2,202 in costs.

In 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 Burbine's reprimand.

Burbine was admitted to the bar in Florida on April 22, 2004, according to his profile at the state bar website.

In December 2015, Burbine rented office space of then recently voluntarily disbarred attorney Andre Sanders, according to the consent judgment filed with the court. The judgment also includes Burbine's conditional guilty plea.

In Novembe 2015, the state Supreme Court issued an order of disciplinary revocation, tantamount to disbarment, with leave to seek readmission after five years against Sanders following filing of an uncontested petition for the disciplinary revocation. At the time, there were 15 investigations pending against Sanders before a state bar grievance committee and seven complaints filed against him with the Better Business Bureau. 

Sanders was alleged to have "engaged in foreclosure-related rescue services which generated substantial income through collection of illegal upfront fees by engaging consumers all over the United States in need of loan modification services," the petition said.

Burbine admitted that for a few weeks the following spring, he paid Sanders consulting fees for office software training "and for other services relating to [Burbine] taking over former clients of Mr. Sanders, as well as referral fees for referral of old clients," the consent judgment said.

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