Re: Joe E. Griffin, Petitioner vs Joseph McKire, respondent
Case No. 10-CA-118
Attorney Frederick L. Koberlein, Jr. Florida Bar No. 744271 for the firm of Robinson, Kennon, Kendron, PA defend Joseph McKire, Individual. The suit was denied in the Circuit Court of the Third Judicial Circuit in Hamilton County due to the Petitioner being unable by law to sue Joseph McKire, individual for the public acts committed by Joseph McKire, former Mayor of White Springs.
Because Frederick L. Koberlein, Jr., esquire stipulated he had incurred $14,000 in damages for his research into the case, a judgment was filed against Joe E. Griffin, petitioner in the amount of $14,000.
Although Mr. Griffin was not allowed to sue Mr. McKire, personally, for Mr. McKire’s public acts, Attorney Koberlein and/or his firm, on behalf of the Town of White Springs placed a lien against Mr. Joe E. Griffin’s property for such settlement to be paid to Joseph McKire. It may be assumed then that although Joe. E. Griffin may not sue a private individual for his private acts, the Public (Town of White Springs) attorney may place a lien on the petitioner’s property on behalf of a Public Entity (Town of White Springs), even though the money was owed to the individual Joseph McKire.
Since payment was made to Joseph McKire, when apparently Attorney Frederick L. Koberlein, Jr. required payment for his services, it may have been the reason why Mr. Koberlein falsely listed the lien as:
IN THE AMOUNT OF $14,081.23 IN FAVOR OF JOE. E. GRIFFIN AGAINST JOSEPH MCKIRE
This would conclude that the Attorney on behalf of the Town of White Springs place a lien on Joe Griffin with such remaining until Joseph Mckire returned the money so Mr. Griffin could pay the attorney or that since Mr. McKire had no obligation to pay since he was defended by the Town attorney, that Attorney Koberlein intent was to invoke a lien at the time of Joe E. Griffin’s death or sale of the home.
Florida Rules of Professional Conduct stipulate under Rule 4-1.11 Successive Government and Private Employment
(a) Representation of Private Client by Former Public Officer or Employee.
A lawyer shall not represent a private client in connection with a matter in which the lawyer participated personally and substantially as a public officer or employee, unless the appropriate government agency consents after consultation. No lawyer in a firm with which that lawyer is associated may knowingly undertake or continue representation in such a matter unless:
(1) the disqualified lawyer is screened from any participation in the matter and is directly apportioned no part of the fee therefrom; and
(2) written notice is promptly given to the appropriate government agency to enable it to ascertain compliance with the provisions of this rule
On January 30, 2013,Attorney Koberlein contacted Joe E. Griffin, after the Town of White Springs requested satisfaction of judgment based upon proof that the Mr. McKire was paid $13,000 by Certified check No. 05006563 on 10/04/2011, and Check No. 2120 in the amount of $1,032.21 dated January 7, 2012. Attorney Koberliein stated he would investigate it and provide the information when he got a chance. He also asked you why Joe. E. Griffin had not paid the Town of White Springs and Mr. Griffin stated he could not pay the Town of White Springs because the defendant was Joseph McKire.
We were in the middle of securing a refinance for a lower interest loan. Please see attached letter from Denetra Washington, stipulating that the only reason our loan has not been granted is because we have not received a satisfactory release in the above case.
Unfortunately because Mr. Koberlein placed a lien on our property on behalf of the Town, it was necessary that he handle the matter post haste. He did not require an investigation charging the Town for such money by reason that he, after knowledge of the $13,000 wrote a letter to Mr. Griffin requesting the $1,032.21 with interest.
Not only did Mr. Kobelein suffer a professional conduct violation when handling a private case on behalf of a Public Entity but he also knew the matter was important enough to threaten my husband Joe. E. Griffin by intimating it would take a long time until he investigated it.
Therefore, we had to hire another attorney, who we found was Koberlein’s friend for fear that we would lose a favorable interest rate and would be denied said loan, by reason of the attorney’s malice against Joe. E. Griffin. The only other choices we had at the time was to report his actions to the Florida Bar and subsequently sue the Town of White Springs and the firm of Robinson, Kennon, Kendron, PA and Frederick L. Koberlein, Jr, esquire. for such damages including but not limited to the difference in the loan value we have now and what we would have received, the difference in the loan value we secure after much time has been wasted and what we would have received in a closing last Monday January 21st, 2012, had the satisfaction of judgment been handled expediently , and any other pain suffering and possible punitive damages. It is obvious we have never received notice that attorney Koberlein placed such a lien on our property and would not remove it..
I know Mr. Farley and Ms. Heath did try to assist or said they did to perform on our behalf to have this matter rectified. However, based upon Mr. Koberlein’s comments to Joe E. Griffin, we are certain he has no intent of complying soon. However, based upon our findings, if he does not comply post haste (since a year has already passed), we have no choice but to take further actions.
What this matter amounted to was the fact that even though Joe had filed paperwork to the Town and to the Court system requesting the interest which was earned, Attorney Koberlein refused to do anything about it . When we showed the paperwork initially to the Attorney we hired for $2000 up front, he said we had a good chance to sue; but then it was found he was Koberlein’s friend. Yet he did complete the interest paperwork to satisfy the loan of some $400 dollars, which had to be paid to Mr. McKire and our attorney took care of it. Mr. Mckire, in turn had to pay the Town the $400. And this was all over Joe’s lack of rights to file for grievances and secure public records.
Koberlein lied that he had to investigate and it constituted three banker boxes of paperwork to the judge; that is why the large amount required. Koberlein himself would allegedly lie and benefit the town in any manner he could, even at meetings. But yet he was the best attorney the town could ever have. In our case it was like, he did not have time, he did not know he had done it, etc. What a fluke.
Karin for the blog