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Court Suspends Attorney For Failing to Disclose Work for Insurance Company

The Florida Supreme Court has suspended an attorney for 45 days after he failed to disclose his insurance connection to the widow of a man who died in a scuba diving accident.

Craig Jenni, of Boca Raton, will also be on probation for two years after his suspension is completed, the court and the Florida Bar reported.

The trouble for Jenni began in 2018, when an insurance company asked him to investigate the death of Ashley Bugge’s husband, after a diving incident in Hawaii. Jenni is a diver, a marine consultant, and is known as a diving accident expert, according to court papers filed in the case.

Jenni “did not make clear to Ms. Bugge that he was an attorney at the time of the initial meeting, advise Ms. Bugge that his interests, on behalf of the insurance company, were potentially adverse to her interests, or advise her to seek independent counsel,” the Bar’s petition to the court explains.

Florida Bar rules of conduct state: “In dealing on behalf of a client with a person who is not represented by counsel, a lawyer shall not state or imply that the lawyer is disinterested. When the lawyer knows or reasonably should know that the unrepresented person misunderstands the lawyer’s role in the matter, the lawyer shall make reasonable efforts to correct the misunderstanding.”

Three weeks after their initial contact, Bugge learned that Jenni was an attorney, and ceased contact with him.

Jenni, a practicing attorney since 2001, entered a conditional plea and cooperated with the Bar’s inquiry. He must now pay costs incurred in the investigation and attend a professionalism workshop, and must complete legal ethics courses, the Bar noted.

Source : Insurance Jornal

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