Florida Supreme Court suspends Winters and Yonkers for raiding clients from Richard Mulholland
William Winters and Marc Yonker, personal injury lawyers who have long advertised themselves as “the aggressive attorneys,” were suspended Thursday by the Florida Supreme Court for being illegally aggressive.
The pair were accused of trying to “raid clients” fom their former boss, Richard Mulholland, to start their partnership over a decade ago.
“Justice has finally been served,” said lawyer Mulholland, who the Supreme Court said was the victim of theft in 2001 when Winters and Yonker left his firm.
Winters has been suspended for 91 days, and Yonker for 60 days, for “professional misconduct.”
The pair was found not guilty of the most serious charges, including commission of a criminal act and conduct involving dishonesty, and find them guilty of only technical violations.
In 2010, the Florida Bar had charged Winters and Yonker with deceiving clients and stealing files.
On Thursday, the Supreme Court wrote: “The Bar argues that Winters and Yonker’s ‘personal use’ of the Mulholland firm’s client files constituted acts of criminal theft. … We agree.”
In 2008, Mulholland won a $2 million civil judgment. He said Yonker eventually paid him $750,000, but he was unable to collect from Winters “because of a technicality.”
He said money was never the real issue.
“It was principle.”