Coral Gables attorney permanently disbarred over 'frivolous lawsuits' for Miccosukee Tribe

By Karen Kidd | Aug 3, 2018

TALLAHASSEE (Florida Record) — Coral Gables attorney Bernardo Roman III has been permanently disbarred following a July 12 Florida Supreme Court order over allegedly frivolous lawsuits on behalf of the Miccosukee Tribe of Native Americans in Florida, according to a recent announcement by The Florida Bar.

"Roman filed three separate frivolous lawsuits in state and federal courts against two former attorneys for the Miccosukee Tribe," the state bar said in its July 31 announcement of the discipline and the Supreme Court's order. "He knowingly made false allegations, failed to comply with discovery requests and orders and withheld evidence. He also evaded service of a deposition subpoena and made false accusations to the police in a 911 call."

The Miccosukee Tribe is a federally recognized Native People who reside in the Florida Everglades.

In its two-page order, the high court approved the uncontested referee's report filed in the matter before permanently disbarring Roman and ordered him to pay more than $12,777 in costs. Roman's disbarment will be effective 30 days from the date of the court's order to allow him time to close his practice and protect his existing clients' interests, according to the high court's order.

Florida court orders are not final until time to file a rehearing motion expires. Filing such a motion does not alter the effective date of Roman's disbarment.

Roman was admitted to the bar in Florida on May 2, 1994, according to his profile at the state bar website. He had no prior discipline record before the state bar, according to his profile and the referee's report.

Allegations against Roman stem from three separate lawsuits he filed on behalf of the Miccosukee Tribe against the tribe's former attorneys Guy Lewis and Michael Tein, "as well as his insertion of himself and his client into a pending motion for sanctions in another lawsuit, styled Bermudez v Bert, in which neither he nor his clients were a party," said the referee's 57-page report filed in March.

Roman was alleged to have "committed a fraud in the court by raising, perpetuating and/or maintaining allegations against Lewis and Tein, which he knew to be entirely false and fictitious, despite being in position of the evidence proving his allegations false," the referee's report said.

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