Hello everyone and welcome to this Ethics Alert which will discuss the recent emergency suspension of a Florida lawyer for allegedly “waging a personal and public war on social media against attorneys representing clients” and “resort(ing) to terrorist legal tactics.” The case is: The Florida Bar v. Ashley Ann Krapacs, Case No.: SC-277 Lower Tribunal No(s) 2018-50,829 (17I)FES; 2018-50,851(17I);2019-50,081(17I) and The Florida Bar’s Petition for Emergency Suspension is here: https://efactssc-public.flcourts.org/casedocuments/2019/277/2019-277_petition_72430_petition2dsuspension2028emergency29.pdf
According to the Petition, the lawyer “launched an attack of massive and continuous proportions” on social media and “(c)learly, respondent’s fury has no bounds.” The lawyer’s alleged “terrorist legal tactics” began after she moved to Florida and initiating a petition for a domestic violence injunction against a former boyfriend in Texas and lawyer Russell Williams represented the ex-boyfriend. The lawyer dismissed the case; however, she then allegedly “began a social media blitz” on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube.
The lawyer allegedly called Williams an “old white male attorney” and a “bully attorney” who had threatened to file a motion for sanctions against her if she did not dismiss the case. She also stated that “opposing counsel flat-out LIED” and the judge ‘didn’t bat an eye.’”. She also allegedly used the hashtag #holymisogyny on social media when talking about the case and accused the judge of membership in the “Old Boys Club.”
The lawyer also allegedly continued the misconduct in a YouTube video posted after Williams hired lawyer Nisha Bacchus to represent him and filed a lawsuit against the lawyer for Libel, Slander, Malicious Prosecution and Injunctive Relief. In the video, the lawyer allegedly called Williams “a moron and a sexist and a bully” and said Bacchus was “a backstabbing traitor” for representing “misogynist pigs, misogynist bullies.” “Also, she’s a door lawyer. Which is basically a lawyer who takes anything that walks in the door in any area of law. Because you can’t do every area of law and do them all well. You just can’t. Some people try and they end up like Nisha Bacchus who are so hard up that they’ll take anything, including shit like this. So I almost feel bad for her because he’s playing her. It is really obvious from the way that she presents herself that she’ll take anything if the price is right. Or even if it’s not.” The lawyer also used hashtags #sellout and #womanhater for Bacchus.
The Petition states that the lawyer made multiple posts on Facebook “accusing The Florida Bar of being corruptly influenced by Nisha Bacchus. Bacchus requested a domestic violence injunction against the lawyer after she posted a Home Alone meme showing a shotgun pointed at an individual and added the caption “when opposing counsel tries to use the same exact trick you saw in your last case.” According to the Petition, “(o)n February 1, 2019, Judge Moon granted an indefinite Final Judgment of Injunction for Protection Against Stalking against (the lawyer) as a result of her actions toward Nisha Bacchus”
The Florida Supreme Court granted the emergency petition in an Order dated February 27, 2019 with 2 of the court’s seven justices dissenting and stating that they would not grant it. The February 27, 2019 Supreme Court Order suspending the lawyer on an emergency basis is here: https://efactssc-public.flcourts.org/casedocuments/2019/277/2019-277_disposition_145483_d31i.pdf. A referee will be appointed.
Bottom line: This Petition is highly unusual and there may be a question as to whether such conduct constitutes “great public harm” under the Florida bar Rule. It will certainly be interesting to see how this drama plays out.
Be careful out there.
Disclaimer: this e-mail is not an advertisement, does not contain any legal advice, and does not create an attorney/client relationship and the comments herein should not be relied upon by anyone who reads it.
Joseph A. Corsmeier, Esquire
Law Office of Joseph A. Corsmeier, P.A.
29605 U.S. Highway 19 N. Suite 150
Clearwater, Florida 33761
Office (727) 799-1688
Fax (727) 799-1670