TALLAHASSEE (Florida Record) — Longtime Aventura attorney Daniel Kaplan has been publicly reprimanded following an Aug. 29 Florida Supreme Court order over the allegedly nasty breakup with his former law firm, according to a recent announcement by The Florida Bar.
"In departing his law firm and in a subsequent legal dispute with his former law partner, Kaplan sent disparaging and defaming communications," the state bar said in its Sept. 26 announcement of the discipline and the Supreme Court's order. "After being enjoined from doing so by court order, a judge found that he [Kaplan] violated the court order.
In an unrelated matter, Kaplan also allegedly called another lawyer "a derogatory name," the state bar's announcement said.
In its single-page unanimous order, the state high court approved the uncontested referee's report filed in the matter before reprimanding Kaplan and ordered him to pay almost $1,340 in costs. 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 Kaplan's reprimand.
Kaplan was admitted to the bar in Florida on Sept. 25, 1992, according to his profile at the state bar website.
In the consent judgment reached between Kaplan and the state bar, Kaplan admitted to "unprofessional conduct" when he left his law firm and in the subsequent legal dispute with "his former friend and law partner,” The consent judgment also includes Kaplan's conditional guilty plea.
Kaplan admitted he sent "certain communications that disparaged and humiliated other lawyers," according to the consent judgment.
Kaplan also admitted to sending his former law partner "several communications which were disparaging in nature" after a judge issued an order enjoining Kaplan "from making any further defamatory remarks or extortive demands" in connection with the legal dispute, the consent judgment said.
"[Kaplan] indicated that he did not believe these communications to be in violation of the court order because he did not publish them to a third party, which would be a necessary element of defamation," the judgment said.
Kaplan also denied calling another lawyer a derogatory name, according to the judgment.