Claimants' Attorney Charged With Keeping Thousands in Settlement Funds
Thursday, January 16, 2020 | 856 | 0 | 195 min read
A south Florida claimants' attorney who voluntarily gave up his bar membership in 2018 has been charged with keeping more than $300,000 in settlement funds.
Police in Davie said former attorney Bradley Douglas failed to provide as many as 11 clients with settlement proceeds in recent years, but instead used some of the funds for massages, Miami Marlins baseball games and for boat supplies, according to news reports.
Douglas, a 2001 graduate of St. Thomas University, petitioned the Florida Supreme Court in July 2018 for disciplinary revocation of his Florida Bar membership because of the mishandling of funds. He has since paid some of the settlement money to his injured clients and can ask to be reinstated after five years.
“Sometimes people in practice make mistakes and I think whatever mistakes Brad made, it was appropriate for him to own up to those mistakes,” Michael Gottlieb, Douglas’ attorney, told a local news station. “It’s an error in judgment that will be rectified.”
The alleged misappropriation came to light after at least one client complained to the bar and to Davie police.
“Here I am starving to death and here he is living high on the hog, getting massages and going to baseball games,” said client Jason Jones, who was injured in an accident while driving a company truck.
Police said there may be more alleged victims in the area and urged them to come forward.