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Lawyer Argues Theft, Fraud Not as Important as Missing Punctuation

Cartoon child at chalkboard writing 'English is impotant" to improve grammar
By Joseph Fawbush, Esq. on July 19, 2019 | Last updated on July 21, 2019

There is a game you can play online when you have a few minutes that went viral on social media some time ago. Type in your preferred search engine the words “a Florida man . . .” and your birthday. The results will involve crazy headlines and hard-to-believe hijinks. Pick the one that best fits you, and post on social media. It’s called The Florida Man Challenge.

Now there’s a variant. If you type in “a Florida attorney” and the date August 12, 2018, you might see the story of a Florida lawyer who was charged with burglary when he allegedly broke into his former law firm and removed a safe and computer server. The burglary was captured on video. A few days later, the lawyer, Christopher Brady, allegedly broke into his former firm’s storage unit and stole a firearm belonging to the firm’s owner, along with a few other items. Felony charges were filed. Brady had previously been fired from the firm for cause.

Proper Punctuation Is Important

After these thefts, Brady then fraudulently tried to pass himself off as the sole owner of his old firm. He contacted clients of the firm, requesting that they only communicate with him from now on. He filed hundreds of notices on liens to get legal fees. According to Brady, however, this was entirely justified: his former law firm was missing the periods in P.A. He was therefore bringing the firm into statutory compliance, which Brady felt also allowed him to declare himself the owner of the firm. In subsequent legal proceedings he could not cite any legal authority to back up this position.

The owner of the firm understandably filed an injunction against the grammar-conscious attorney, which the circuit court granted. This did not stop the interference. The circuit court held Brady in contempt for intentionally violating the injunction three times.

In January, the Florida Supreme Court issued an emergency order suspending Brady from practicing law, apparently not agreeing with Brady’s logic. On July 11, 2019, the Florida Supreme Court permanently disbarred him.

While the writers and editors at FindLaw find it hard to believe, apparently there are more important issues in the world than proper grammar.

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