Hudson attorney reprimanded after failing to share data with opposing counsel, rudeness to judge

By Karen Kidd | May 2, 2019

TALLAHASSEE (Florida Record) — Longtime Hudson attorney Frederick Leone Jr. has been publicly reprimanded following an April 4 Florida Supreme Court order over allegations he didn't share information with opposing counsel and that he was rude to a judge, according to a recent announcement by The Florida Bar.

"Leone represented himself in a matter and did not serve the opposing party with a copy of the pleadings he filed, nor copy them on communications with the judge’s judicial assistant," the state bar said in its April 30 announcement of the discipline and the court's order. "Responding to an adverse ruling, he made intemperate remarks about the judge."

In its two-page order, the high court approved the uncontested referee's report filed in the matter before reprimanding Leone and ordered him to pay almost $1,335 in costs.

Leone was admitted to the bar in Florida on Aug. 3, 1993, according to his profile at the state bar website. No prior discipline before the state bar is listed on Leone's state bar profile.

Allegations against Leone stem from his petition for temporary injunction and demand for a jury trial filed in February 2018 as part of his lawsuit against a Pasco County resort, according to the referee's report. The day after Leone filed the petition, he had a conversation with the judicial assistant of the judge assigned to the case and then filed an emergency amended petition for a temporary injunction.

"Neither petition contained a certificate of service specifying whether the defendant had been served with the pleadings," the referee's report said.

After the judge turned down the petition, Leone commented in an email to the judge's assistant that 50 others were encouraging him in the lawsuit and "I would be quite surprised if any of them casts his or her vote for the judge during the next election," the referee's report said.

Defendants were not copied on the emails to the judge's assistance and the judge ultimately recused himself from the case.

"[Leone] contends that, looking back with benefit of hindsight, he does see how his comments could be interpreted as ex parte attempts to influence the court, and he wishes that he had never made them," the court referee's report said. "For this, [Leone] does apologize."

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