ELECTION UPDATE ……
Be careful what you wish for ….. In Group 18, Migna Sanchez-Llorens has long been unopposed for this open Circuit Court seat. (Migna has raised $18k and added another $40k of her own money to the campaign account). Many of you wondered why she had no opposition, others called out for an opponent to sign on.
Well, now Migna has an opponent.
Meet ELENA C. TAULER, a member of The Florida Bar for 19 years. Ms. Tauler is 51 years old and she graduated from the University of Miami School of Law. She has a solo practice and limits herself to the areas of: Family Law, Civil Litigation, Corporations, Criminal, Immigration, Real Estate, Real Property, Probate and Trusts.
Before you start commenting on her ability to be a “jack of all trades”, you may want to hear how and why she is so experienced in so many areas.
A quick check of the public records of Miami Dade County indicates that Ms. Tauler has been involved as a defendant or plaintiff in over 30 lawsuits. Most of the time she has been the defendant and the cases sort out like this:
1982 – Sued by Baptist for a debt
1982 – Sued by Finance America for a debt
1983 – Sued by Fannie Mae for Foreclosure
1983 – Sued by Sears for a debt
1983 – Sued by Southeast Bank for a debt
1986 – Divorce proceeding with her husband Antonio Tauler
1990 – Sued by Review Publications for a debt
1990 – Sued by Reed Somberg for a debt
1991 – Sued by Dept. of Education for a debt
1992 – DV Restraining Order filed against her ex law partner Calvin Fox
1993 – Sued by West Publishing for a debt
1994 – Sued by Granada Insurance for Foreclosure
1995 – Sued by BRM Engineering for a debt
1995 – Sued by Univ. Miami for a debt
1996 – Sued by Computer Crisis for a debt
1996 – Sued by Accurate Reporting for a debt
1996 – Sued by Taylor & Jonovic for a debt
1999 – Sued by Fed-Ex for a debt
2000 – Sued by Bank of NY for Foreclosure
2007 – Sued by Doral Estates for Foreclosure
There is more you should know.
On November 3, 1998, The Florida Bar filed a Complaint against Ms. Tauler moving for her DISBARMENT from the practice of law. The case went to the Florida Supreme Court and she was represented by attorney Scott Sakin.
The allegations were rather serious. Ms. Tauler was accused of taking over $50,000 from her Trust Account and using the money for personal and business obligations. This offense normally results in Disbarment. The referee, however, recommended a three (3) year Suspension; no doubt due to the fine work by Mr. Sakin. (Those who know Scott know how great an attorney he is).
The case went to the Florida Supreme Court. And in a 5-2 opinion, the Court upheld the recommendation of the referee, went against the wishes of The Florida Bar, and approved the 3 year SUSPENSION. The opinion is at 775 So.2d 944.
There are a bevy of facts that speak to the cause for the taking of the money. It appears that Tauler’s second husband, (she got remarried in 1994 to Dr. Joaquin E. Tomas), had back surgery and, as a result, lost his surgical oncology practice and caused their home to go into Foreclosure (see 2000 Bank of NY above). The Doc went schizoid on Tauler and she finally got to the breaking point. She was trying to run a law practice, raise five children (two from her marriage to Tauler and three more with Tomas) and she took the money out of the Trust Account.
To her credit, she never denied anything. The Referee and, ultimately the Supreme Court, gave her the benefit of the doubt, finding that she was going through ‘personal and emotional problems, had a positive character and reputation, made a timely good faith restitution effort, did full and free disclosure and showed remorse.’
On December 9, 1998, Tauler was suspended for three years and ordered to pay $3,426.38. After that time, upon reinstatement, she would be on Probation for one year with special conditions.
On February 21, 2002, Tauler filed a Petition for Reinstatement. In October of the same year, she voluntarily withdrew the Petition and paid costs in the amount of $2,290.24.
On September 8, 2003, she again filed her Petition For Reinstatement. The Court GRANTED her Petition and she got her ticket back on April 23, 2004. She paid additional costs in the amount of $1,783.28.
She did have one other contact with The Florida Bar. In 1988 and 1989 when attempting to first get licensed, The Florida Board of Bar Examiners opened an investigation. That investigation was eventually closed and no action was taken. It is unknown what the basis of that investigation was?
So now the voters of Miami Dade County get to decide whether Ms. Tauler is qualified to wear the robes of a Circuit Court Judge. There can be no doubt that she probably has more experience than most of the other candidates that we see filing these days. She has been in nearly every courtroom in the County, in nearly every arena of practice.
What do our readers think? Is Tauler qualified? Does the Suspension “disqualify” her in your minds? Are you bothered by the debt history and what that might say about her character?
As Rumpole likes to say …. Have at it ……
CAPTAIN OUT ……