On Tuesday, August 29, 2023, the Florida Bar filed a formal complaint against attorney Larry Elliot Klayman before the Supreme Court of Florida alleging Klayman of severe professional misconduct. The complaint outlines two counts of violations.
The case is entitled “The Florida Bar v. Larry Elliot Klayman.”
Attorney Klayman has come under intense scrutiny for conduct that reportedly contravenes the ethical standards of the legal profession. The first count, stemming from a District of Columbia Court of Appeals Order dated June 11, 2020, details a 90-day suspension accompanied by a Continuing Legal Education (CLE) course on conflicts of interest. The suspension centers on Klayman’s involvement with Judicial Watch, an organization he co-founded, and his representation of Sandra Cobas, a former employee, in a case against Judicial Watch. This conduct raised concerns about conflicts of interest and ethical boundaries.
Furthermore, Klayman’s solicitation of a significant donation from Louise Benson during his tenure at Judicial Watch, as well as his subsequent legal actions alongside Benson, have been flagged as additional breaches of ethical standards.
The complaint states:
“While still employed by Judicial Watch, the respondent solicited a donation from Louise Benson (“Ms. Benson”) as part of a campaign to raise funds to purchase a building for the organization. Respondent was acting as both chairman and general counsel of Judicial Watch when he solicited this donation from Benson.”
The second count stems from a District of Columbia Court of Appeals Order dated September 15, 2022, which imposed an 18-month suspension. This suspension is linked to Klayman’s representation of an individual identified as E.S. in a case involving alleged sexual harassment. The allegations include unilateral fee adjustments, attempts to escalate the case’s visibility, and persistently expressing romantic interest in the client, causing significant discomfort.
Throughout the proceedings, Klayman’s actions have raised concerns about professionalism and ethical boundaries within the legal profession. The Hearing Committee emphasized that his conduct was deliberate rather than inadvertent.
As a result of these findings, Klayman now faces a complaint requesting appropriate discipline.
The request states:
“WHEREFORE, The Florida Bar prays respondent will be appropriately disciplined in accordance with the provisions of the Rules Regulating Florida.”
Mr. Klayman practices in Boca Raton, Florida. He is licensed in Florida. His info can be found on avvo.com.
A copy of the original filing can be found here.