On Wednesday, June 14, 2023, the Florida Bar filed a complaint against attorney Theodore R. Doran for threatening fraud and criminal charges against an opposing party to force a settlement.
The case is entitled “The Florida Bar v. Theodore R. Doran” with case no. 2022-30, 600.
The charges cited Rules Regulating the Florida Bar 3-4.3, 4-3.4(g), and 4-8.4(d), which states:
The standards of professional conduct required of members of the bar are not limited to the observance of rules and avoidance of prohibited acts, and the enumeration of certain categories of misconduct as constituting grounds for the discipline is not – inclusive nor is the failure to specify any particular act of misconduct be construed as tolerance of the act of misconduct. The commission by a lawyer of any act that is unlawful or contrary to honesty and justice may constitute a cause for discipline whether the act is committed in the course of the lawyer’s relations as a lawyer or otherwise, whether committed within Florida or outside the state of Florida, and whether the act is a felony or a misdemeanor.
A lawyer must not present, participate in presenting, or threaten to present criminal charges solely to obtain an advantage in a civil matter.
A lawyer shall not engage in conduct in connection with the practice of law that is prejudicial to the administration of justice, including to knowingly, or through callous indifference, disparage, humiliate, or discriminate against litigants, jurors, witnesses, court personnel, or other lawyers on any basis, including, but not limited to, on account of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, national origin, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, age, socioeconomic status, employment, or physical characteristic.
The Rules Regulating the Florida Bar can be found here.
The complaint alleges that Doran violated several rules and regulations while representing a client in a divorce case. The specific allegation is that Doran threatened to initiate a fraud investigation with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and pursue criminal charges against the opposing party’s husband if he did not sign a partial settlement agreement proposed by Doran. The complaint seeks appropriate disciplinary action against Doran.
The filing states:
“In this email, Doran threatened to initiate a fraud investigation with the Internal Revenue Service and/or pursue criminal charges to obtain an advantage for his client in the matter if the husband did not sign the partial settlement agreement proposed by him without alteration.”
The filing continues:
“By reason of the foregoing, Doran has violated the following Rules Regulating The Florida Bar: (a) Oath of Admission to The Florida Bar.
In lieu of the aforementioned facts, the Florida Bar requested before the Supreme Court of Florida that Doran be disciplined accordingly.
The request states:
“WHEREFORE, The Florida Bar prays Doran will be appropriately disciplined in accordance with the provisions of the Rules Regulating The Florida Bar as amended.”
As of today, Mr. Doran is listed as Senior Partner at Doran Sims Wolfe & Yoon Attorneys at Law. He attended the University of Florida, graduating in 1982. He practices in Daytona Beach, Florida. He is licensed in Florida. His info can be found on martindale.com.
A copy of the original filing can be found here.