Posts Tagged ‘Guy Lewis’

Lewis and Tein Prevail in Long Battle against the Miccosukee Tribe and its Attorneys

Posted on: June 20th, 2017 by lewistein No Comments

Michael Tein and Guy Lewis have successfully defeated the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians and its attorneys after many years of legal brawls. Multiple courts have sanctioned the tribe and its attorneys for pursuing frivolous trials in which they accused Lewis and Tein of embezzlement and racketeering in collaboration with former tribal chairman, Billy Cypress. Lewis and Tein had represented two tribal members in 2009 in a case involving a fatal car accident.

When the tribe expelled Cypress in 2010, it sued Lewis and Tein alleging they bribed him and fraudulently billed the tribe to get kickbacks from legal fees. Since then, the tribe has filed more than 20 motions against Lewis and Tein, none of which were granted. Moreover, Lewis and Tein had three major victories that defined the course of the dispute; in December 2013, the Third District Court of Appeals of the State of Florida affirmed a lower court’s summary judgement in favor of Lewis and Tein after the tribe was unable to provide any evidence of fraudulent behavior; in December 2015, the U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with a U.S. District Court in Florida which sanctioned the tribe and its lawyer for pursuing a lawsuit with no evidence; and the same month, Miami-Dade Circuit Judge John Thornton ordered the tribe and its attorney, Bernardo Roman III, to pay Lewis and Tein’s legal fees.

Two more sanctions followed in 2016 against the tribe and its attorneys. The first entailed $1 million, in a ruling in which Federal Judge Marcia Cooke stated that the tribe and Roman “unreasonably and vexatiously multiplied the lawsuit.” The second was a $4 million settlement to cover the legal costs of multiple frivolous cases. The Florida Bar filed a formal complaint against Roman, whose false allegations even included a police report accusing Lewis and Tein’s attorney of purposefully causing an allergic reaction in one of his clerks.  Similarly, Ramon Manuel Rodriguez, who had also represented the tribe, faced ethics charges from The Florida Bar for filing a frivolous perjury case against Lewis and Tein. Both Rodriguez and Roman are currently awaiting trial. In the midst of a myriad of burdensome and virtually unsupported lawsuits, Lewis and Tein have consistently come out in victory.

Update: Two Parallel Cases? Lewis Tein v. Miccosukee & Miccosukee v. Roman

In August 2016, Lewis and Tein sued the Miccosukee Tribe alleging that it “committed a pattern of criminal acts designed to disregard the 2012 mandate of Florida’s Third District Court of Appeal and publicly obstruct justice in several judicial proceedings in Florida and federal courts,” all with the goal of harming them. The Tribe filed a motion to dismiss for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction, referring to the sovereign immunity Indian tribes enjoy in the United States. However, the Court found that there had been a “clear waiver” of sovereign immunity, citing the Third District Court of Appeal’s (Third DCA) finding (in previous related lawsuits) that the Tribe had waived its sovereign immunity and holding that the Tribe authorized the delivery of a set of checks to the plaintiff’s lawyers. The purpose of the checks was to deceive the presiding judge into believing that Lewis and Tein were part of a fraudulent loan scheme and had committed perjury about it. In December 2016, the Tribe appealed to the Third DCA for the denial of its motion to dismiss the case.

In early June 2017, Miccosukee Tribe attorney, Robert Saunooke, filed a lawsuit under seal against Roman alleging, among other points, that the Tribe “suffered damages as a result of Defendant’s failures” and malpractice. Later that month, Lewis Tein requested the Third DCA to take judicial notice of that lawsuit, arguing that it “is incongruous for the Miccosukee Tribe to claim sovereign immunity over the conduct it jointly undertook with its Tribal Counsel but then, at the same time and in the same court system, sue that same Tribal Counsel.” The request adds that the lawsuit against Roman adds to the pattern of the Tribe’s decision to participate in or influence litigation in the state of Florida.

In a response, the Tribe stated that because the judicial notice was of a lawsuit in which Lewis Tein is not a party (referring to the lawsuit involving only Roman and the Tribe), then it “bears no relationship to the appeal in this matter.” The Tribe also argues that a lawsuit does not waive tribal immunity for a different lawsuit, in reference to the finding in previous lawsuits that the Tribe had waived its sovereign immunity.
On August 9, 2017, Judge Luck from the Third DCA reversed the trial’s court decision to deny the defendant’s motion to dismiss for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction;

Like any injured party, if the allegations are true they should have proper redress for their injuries. But just as every right has its remedy, every rule has its exception. The exception here is sovereign immunity. Granting immunity to Indian tribes is a policy choice made by our elected representatives to further important federal and state interests. (Judge Robert Luck)

Judge Luck found that there had not been a clear waiver of immunity in this case, stating “The general rule is that a tribe’s immunity waiver in litigating one case does not waive immunity in subsequent cases.”

Roman’s Trial
In another process, on June 29, 2017, Judge Dava J. Tunis – who acted as referee in the trial on the Florida Bar’s complaint – found Bernardo Roman III guilty of breaking 14 Florida Bar rules after a four-day trial. These include “fabricating evidence, counseling or assisting a witness to testify falsely,” “engaging in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation,” and “failing to disclose a fact to correct a misapprehension in connection with a disciplinary matter.” On July 7, at the ensuing disciplinary hearing, a lawyer for the Florida Bar argued that Roman should be permanently disbarred. The Supreme Court of Florida has the final authority on determining Roman’s guilt and discipline.

Updated August 16, 2017

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    – Miami Herald
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    Florida Bar Files Charges against Attorneys for false Allegations of Perjury and Fraud against Guy Lewis and Michael Tein

    Posted on: March 24th, 2017 by lewistein 2 Comments

    The Florida Bar has brought ethics charges against Ramon Manuel Rodriguez and Jose “Pepe” Herrera after years of false claims of perjury and fraud against Guy Lewis and Michael Tein in a series of cases related to the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians

    The complaint filed by the Florida Bar to the Supreme Court of Florida in January 2017 against Rodriguez lists the series of events in which he consistently made frivolous accusations against Lewis and Tein:

    [Rodriguez] pursued his perjury and fraud claims against Lewis and Tein despite the fact that he knew, or should have known, that same were unsupported by competent evidence

    Rodriguez’s’s frivolous pleadings continued, which included an unfounded garnishment case after being sanctioned for violating pre-trial orders.The complaint concludes that “By reason of the foregoing, Respondent has violated Rule 4-3.1(Advocate; Meritorious Claims and Contentions) of the Rules Regulating The Florida Bar.”

    Read more from the DBR

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    Appeals Court upholds Victory for Lewis Tein against Miccosukee Tribe

    Posted on: December 27th, 2015 by lewistein 2 Comments

    An appeals court upheld a Miami federal judge’s dismissal of a lawsuit filed by the Miccosukee against Guy A. Lewis and Michael R. Tein. Additionally, Miami-Dade Circuit Judge John Thornton deemed the tribe’s claims against Lewis and Tein as “unfounded and frivolous.”

    Read more from The Miami Herald

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  • Miccosukees to pay $4M to former lawyers over frivolous lawsuits
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    Florida’s Miccosukee Tribe Sanctioned for Unreasonable Lawsuit against Guy Lewis and Michael Tein

    Posted on: January 10th, 2015 by lewistein 2 Comments

    “A Florida federal judge on Friday ordered Florida’s Miccosukee Tribe of Indians and an attorney representing the tribe in a failed embezzlement case against the tribe’s former counsel to pay more than $1 million in sanctions.” Judge Cooke stated that the lawsuit filed against Dexter Wayne Lehtinen (former general counsel for the tribe), Guy Lewis, and Michael Tein by the Miccosukee Tribe “unreasonably and vexatiously multiplied the proceeding.”

    Read more from Law360 and Courthouse News Service.


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    Guy A. Lewis and Michael R. Tein Rated Among the Top 100 Super Lawyers in Florida and Miami

    Posted on: November 21st, 2011 by lewistein No Comments

    Super Lawyers rated Guy A. Lewis and Michael R. Tein within the top 100 in Florida and Miami.

    The Super Lawyers top 100 is a listing of the lawyers who received the highest point totals in the Florida nomination, research and blue ribbon review process.

    View Super Lawyer Profiles for Guy A. Lewis and Michael R. Tein.

    Guy Lewis and Mike Tein Named Among Top 15 Business Crime Attorneys in Florida

    Posted on: September 1st, 2010 by lewistein No Comments

    Who’s Who Legal named Guy Lewis and Michael Tein from Lewis Tein as two of the top 15 business crime defense attorneys in Florida.   Who’s Who had this to say about the two:

    Lewis Tein PL is the final firm with two nominees in this chapter. Michael Tein is “a great litigator” and is recommended for his high-profile clients in state and federal court, before state and federal administrative agencies and in the US Court of Appeal. Tein is a former federal prosecutor with the US Attorney’s Office in Miami and received a commendation from the US attorney general for his professionalism in the prosecution of a high-profile civil-rights matter. The “impressive” Guy Lewis also has a “glittering past” in government service, holding the position of director of the Executive Office for US Attorneys in Washington, DC, as well as serving as the US attorney for the Southern District of Florida. Lewis was described to researchers as “a consummate professional.”

    Read the full article here.

    Fugitive, alleged hedge-fund swindler caught, appears in West Palm Beach courtroom

    Posted on: April 3rd, 2009 by lewistein No Comments

    Won Lee, one of the three principals of KL Financial, was arrested while attempting to board a flight from South Korea to Argentina in February. Lee made his initial appearance in federal court Friday. Lee, after evading arrest for 4 years, now faces more than 30 counts of mail fraud, wire fraud and money laundering. Guy A. Lewis was the court-appointed receiver for KL Group.


    View the article by clicking here.

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    Lewis Tein continues to score victories in OFAC matters

    Posted on: September 10th, 2008 by lewistein No Comments

    Lewis Tein is one of a small number of firms with substantial experience and expertise in providing comprehensive counseling and litigation services to individuals and entities seeking to expeditiously resolve any issues in connection with the Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”). Our team has the combined skills, knowledge and legal acumen to provide sophisticated assistance to clients whose assets have been frozen by OFAC, who have been erroneously designated as Specially Designated Narcotics Traffickers (“SDNTs”), or who otherwise have been listed on OFAC’s Specially Designated Nationals (“SDNs”) list.


    Lewis Tein’s vast experience with an array of OFAC matters has enabled it to achieve great successes. Among a few of our recent accomplishments are:


    • obtaining the release of funds from several OFAC blocked accounts,


    • acquiring OFAC licenses to allow entities listed on the SDN list to continue to operate freely,


    • securing authorization from OFAC to permit innocent entities to terminate the interests of SDNTs.

    Government May Try a Third Time in Terror Trial

    Posted on: April 23rd, 2008 by lewistein No Comments

    Guy Lewis comments on the ability of the government to prosecute the 6 men who allegedly plotted terrorist attacks on the Sears Tower and FBI Headquarters. Mr. Lewis states prosecutors will need to introduce new evidence in this third trial in order to obtain convictions against the accused.


    View the article by clicking here.

    Baseball Smuggling Case features Fastballs, Fast Boats

    Posted on: April 6th, 2007 by lewistein No Comments

    Guy Lewis comments on charges of smuggling Cuban baseball players into the United States against top sports agent Gustavo Dominguez.


    View this article by clicking here.