IN THE SUPREME COURT OF FLORIDA (Before a Referee)

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1 IN THE SUPREME COURT OF FLORIDA (Before a Referee) THE FLORIDA BAR, CASE NO. Complainant, TFB NO ,403(20A) v ,970(20A) ,165(20A) MATTHEW KIMBALL MCDOWELL, Respondent. COMPLAINT THE FLORIDA BAR, Complainant, files this Complaint against Matthew Kimball McDowell, Respondent, pursuant to Rule 3-3.2(b), Rules Regulating The Florida Bar, and alleges: 1. Respondent is, and at all times mentioned herein was, a member of The Florida Bar, subject to the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of Florida. COUNTI TFBNo (20A) 2. Paragraph 1 is reallaged and incorporated herein by reference. 3. At all times relevant to this Complaint, Respondent practiced law as a sole practitioner in Lee County, Florida, concentrating primarily in the area of criminal law. 4. At all times relevant to this Complaint, Orin Richard Oppermann (Oppermann) was the owner and primary bail bond agent for Alpha Omega Bail

2 Bonds (Alpha Omega). 5. Margarita Oppermann was the wife of Orin Oppermann and was employed as an associate bail bond agent by Alpha Omega. 6. The Oppermanns, through Alpha Omega, posted bond for individuals who were arrested and held at Lee County Jail. 7. Respondent provided the Oppermanns with a supply of his professional business cards. 8. The Oppermanns gave Respondent's business cards to their bail bond clients. 9. The Oppermanns suggested to their bail bond clients that they employ Respondent for legal representation in criminal matters. 10. Respondent represented numerous clients referred to him by the Oppermanns. 11. During 2008 and 2009, Respondent's criminal practice consisted mostly of individuals whose bail bonds had been posted by Alpha Omega. 12. The Oppermanns' referral of Alpha Omega's clients to Respondent was in violation of the Florida Statutes governing bail bond agents. 13. Respondent was aware that potential clients contacted him as a result of referrals by the Oppermanns. 14. By supplying his business cards to the Oppermanns and by knowingly 2

3 accepting professional employment as a result of referrals from the Oppermanns, Respondent engaged in solicitation in violation of Rule 4-7.4(a), Rules Regulating The Florida Bar. 15. On April 30, 2010, the Twentieth Judicial Circuit Grievance Committee "A" found probable cause for further disciplinary proceedings, and the presiding member of the grievance committee has approved the instant complaint. 16. By reason of the foregoing, the Respondent has violated the following Rules Regulating The Florida Bar: Rule (commission by a lawyer of any act that is unlawful or contrary to honesty and justice); Rule (Direct Contact with Prospective Clients); and Rule 4-8.4(a) (Misconduct: A lawyer shall not violate or attempt to violate the Rules of Professional Conduct, knowingly assist or induce another to do so or do so through the acts of another). COUNT II TFBNo ,970(20A) 17. Paragraph 1 is realleged and incorporated herein by reference. 18. On or about August 29, 2009, Mary Carroll was arrested on a misdemeanor DUI charge and incarcerated at the Lee County Jail. 19. Carroll's bond was posted by Alpha Omega. 20. Oppermann provided Carroll with Respondent's business card and suggested she call Respondent concerning legal representation in her criminal

4 matter. 21. Based on Oppermann's recommendation and the information provided by him, Carroll contacted Respondent concerning legal representation. 22. On or about September 3, 2009, Carroll hired Respondent to represent her regarding the criminal charge. 23. By supplying his business cards to the Oppermanns and by knowingly accepting professional employment from Carroll as a result of a referral from the Oppermanns, Respondent engaged in solicitation in violation of Rule 4-7.4(a), Rules Regulating The Florida Bar. 24. Respondent failed to keep Carroll reasonably informed concerning the status of her case and failed to explain matters to the extent reasonably necessary to allow Carroll to make informed decisions regarding the representation. 25. Respondent failed to adequately communicate with Carroll concerning the continued administrative suspension of her driver's license. 26. As a result, Carroll was unaware of the continued suspension of her driver's license and continued to drive on a suspended license. 27. On July 30, 2010, the Twentieth Judicial Circuit Grievance Committee "A" found probable cause for further disciplinary proceedings, and the presiding member of the grievance committee has approved the instant complaint. 28. By reason of the foregoing, the Respondent has violated the following 4

5 Rules Regulating The Florida Bar: Rule (commission by a lawyer of any act that is unlawful or contrary to honesty and justice); Rule (failure to communicate); Rule (Direct Contact with Prospective Clients); and Rule 4-8.4(a) (Misconduct: A lawyer shall not violate or attempt to violate the Rules of Professional Conduct, knowingly assist or induce another to do so or do so through the acts of another). COUNT III TFB No U65(20A) 29. Paragraph 1 is reallaged and incorporated herein by reference. 30. On or about September 2, 2008, Wayland Meade Sparrow (Sparrow) was arrested and incarcerated at the Lee County Jail. 31. Sparrow's bond was posted by Alpha Omega. 32. Oppermann suggested to Sparrow's mother, Jean Sparrow, that she contact Respondent concerning legal representation for her son. 33. Oppermann provided Ms. Sparrow with Respondent's business card. 34. Based on Oppermann's recommendation and information provided by him, Ms. Sparrow called and spoke with Respondent regarding representation for her son. 35. On or about September 4, 2008, Sparrow hired Respondent to represent him concerning his criminal case.

6 36. By supplying his business cards to the Oppermanns and by knowingly accepting professional employment from Meade Sparrow as a result of a referral from the Oppermanns, Respondent engaged in solicitation in violation of Rule 4-7.4(a), Rules Regulating The Florida Bar. 37. On July 30, 2010, the Twentieth Judicial Circuit Grievance Committee "A" found probable cause for further disciplinary proceedings, and the presiding member of the grievance committee has approved the instant complaint. 38. By reason of the foregoing, the Respondent has violated the following Rules Regulating The Florida Bar: Rule (commission by a lawyer of any act that is unlawful or contrary to honesty and justice); Rule (Direct Contact with Prospective Clients); and Rule 4-8.4(a) (Misconduct: A lawyer shall not violate or attempt to violate the Rules of Professional Conduct, knowingly assist or induce another to do so or do so through the acts of another). WHEREFORE, The Florida Bar respectfully requests that the Respondent be appropriately disciplined. Kenneth Lawrence Marvin Jrth*-H^nrv Lee Paul Staff Counsel / Bar Counsel The Florida Bar The Florida Bar 651 E. Jefferson Street 4200 George J. Bean Pkwy. Tallahassee, Florida Suite 2580 (850) Tampa, Florida Florida Bar No (813) Florida Bar No

7 CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE I HEREBY CERTIFY that the original of this Complaint has been furnished by regular U. S. mail to The Honorable Thomas D. Hall, Clerk, the Supreme Court of Florida, 500 South Duval Street, Tallahassee, Florida ; a true and correct copy by U.S. certified mail No , Return Receipt Requested, and by regular U.S. mail to Matthew Kimball McDowell, Esq., Respondent, at record Bar address of N. Cleveland Ave., Suite 111, N. Fort Myers, FL ; a copy to Henry Lee Paul, Bar Counsel, The Florida Bar, 4200 George J. Bean Pkwy., Suite 2580, Tampa, Florida 33607; and a copy to Laird Andrew Lile, Designated Reviewer, at 3033 Riviera Drive, Suite 104, Naples, Florida 34103; all this jj\\\ day of November, NOTICE OF TRIAL COUNSEL Kenneth Lawrence Marvin Staff Counsel PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that the trial counsel in this matter is Henry Lee Paul, Bar Counsel, whose address is The Florida Bar, 4200 George J. Bean Pkwy., Suite 2580, Tampa, Florida Respondent need not address pleadings, correspondence, etc. in this matter to anyone other than trial counsel and to Staff Counsel. The Florida Bar, 651 E. Jefferson Street, Tallahassee, Florida

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