Fort Myers attorney David Brener, who until recently was the attorney for accused Zombicon shooter Jose Bonilla, has gone missing for several months. Brener first failed to appear for a court date for a client he was representing that had been set for trial back in October, 2018. The judge issued an order to show cause, which orders the attorney to appear before the court to show why he should not be held in contempt for missing the court appearance. That order was served on him at a subsequent court date on a different case, and the hearing started on October 8, 2018. The hearing was continued to October 17, but Brener failed to appear again. According to court documents, Brener failed to appear for a third time, and the court issued a Writ of Bodily Attachment: a pickup order for law enforcement to arrest Brener and bring him before the court, and a contempt of court case was initiated against him.
Brener has not been seen since those missed hearings. Since that time, several of the clients he represented have appeared in court without representation, and the court has appointed several of them attorneys, and other have retained new attorneys. Brener also failed to appear on the pending battery charge he was facing, and a new warrant has been issued in that case. FDLE lists him as a wanted person for the outstanding warrant, the last known address is vacant. Brener has also been formally suspended by the Florida Bar since November, 2018.
What’s odd about the missed court dates is that it doesn’t seem to be something that would cause someone to flee. It’s a simple contempt charge, not a sever charge. Brener was facing a felony the year before, and appeared for trial on that case in spite of facing years in prison, and he was acquitted. Brener does have another pending issue, a lawsuit alleging that he took $120,000 in legal fees to represent Mark Gaver, but did not earn the fees. Gaver is a Bonita Springs man who was prosecuted in a $50 million bank fraud scheme. Gaver was convicted at trial in Maryland and sentenced to 17 years in prison. That’s not a nice person to make angry. Also, at least one of the other Defendants that had hired Brener has expressed frustration standing in court without their lawyer, saying they had paid Brener a lot of money for their representation. Looks like all those Defendants are out of luck. No word on Brener’s whereabouts, of whether or not foul play was involved.
Haha, that sounds really dark… but it’s a not-so-secret fact that lawyerin’ isn’t as glamorous as it’s cracked up to be. I have dissuaded several young people, oftentimes as they are approaching college graduation and are unsure of what they are going to do next, that law school is not a good option unless that’s really what they want to do. 3 years and tens of thousands of dollars is a lot to spend, unless you really want to be a lawyer. And you can do a lot with a law degree, but if what you want to do is anything other than BEING a lawyer, you really don’t need that expensive degree. I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again, but this song from “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” says it really, really well!
I’ve never seen the show before, but I am certainly a fan, now!
- Crowley was fired for poor performance at the State Attorney’s Office.
- Crowley was also asked to resign from the Statewide Prosecutor’s Office when he lost the confidence of law enforcement.
- Now Crowley is running to lead the State Attorney’s Office.
The Naples Daily news and News-Press have obtained public record information about State Attorney Candidate Chris Crowley from his time at that agency, and at the Statewide Prosecutor’s office, and the records do not paint a good picture. Crowley was asked to leave Statewide after numerous complaints, including concerns from experienced detectives about his competence on the job. Office head George Richards, who is now a circuit judge, expressed concern to his supervisor in Tampa that Crowley’s poor performance on the job would harm the office’s good working relationship with local law enforcement. He said the general consensus among law enforcement was that “Crowley did not inspire a lot of confidence as a prosecutor.”
The paper also obtained documents from his personnel file from his days working for current State Attorney Stephen Russell. According to a note in his personnel file, he was dismissed for poor performance. Another website has anonymously published additional information purporting to be from Crowley’s personnel file that his supervisor found that his trial preparation was poor, his understanding of the law deficient, even in the specific area he was assigned, and that he was difficult to work with, prior to his being let go for failing to meet the expectation and standards of the office for an attorney of his tenure.
Crowley selling raffle tickets
The “This is Chris” website, was anonymously published, but Patrick Riley’s reporting has verified much of it. Further, the court documentation referred to is verifiable, and the other documents appear to be legitimate copies from public record inquiries. There growing line of serious questions about Crowley’s competence as a prosecutor. The new complaints follow the concerns about his judgment that we have previously covered, when he may have committed a felony and campaign violations at a fund raiser. These are all red flags that indicate Crowley is not a good candidate to be the top law enforcement officer for Southwest Florida.
Cincinnati.com went long on Tim Nolan, the former judge (and attorney, school board member, and Trump activist) who has pled guilty to charges of human trafficking. Go check out the full article by Scott Wartman. In sum, the former judge- who had prided himself of being tough on crime, turned out to be a criminal. He has pled guilty to 21 counts of human trafficking going back to 2004, and will be sentenced Thursday for what will probably amount to a life sentence (20 years). He took advantage of young women, many living in his properties, often using drugs or physical force or the threat of eviction to induce them for sex.
The case was weird, not only because of Nolan’s political ties. At one point there were allegations he paid a witness, with whom he had had a relationship, but whose daughter was one of his victims. There was talk that he might blame mental illness, or his brain tumor, for his behavior, but ultimately decided to enter a guilty plea. He reportedly had a disdain for lawyers… which in itself suggests his contempt for the rule of law and due process, but is particularly galling for a lawyer himself.
Be sure to check out the article on cincinnati.com.
Michael Barbosa, of Connecticut, was traveling through Liberty , New York, when he got a ticket for speeding. He was upset about it, but decided to pay the ticket. He wrote out a check, and mailed it back to Liberty, and he wrote a message on the ticket: “FUCK YOUR SHITTY TOWN BITCHES”.
The officials of Liberty, New York, did not appreciate his sentiment, and refused to accept his payment. They set a court date, sent him a summons, and he had to return to Liberty to appear. Much to his suprise, when he did appear, he was arrested for aggravated harassment.
Sadly for the town of Liberty, we have a First Amendment, and criticism of the government is absolutely protected by that Constitutional provision. Criticism of the government, some might say, is kind of the point of the right to freedom of speech. What do I know? Oh, I know the law, and the judge agreed, dismissing the case. Because- Constitutionally protected expression.
Also Sadly for the town of Liberty… not only did they spend time, money and other resources on their misguided prosecution of the case, but they also got sued by Mr. Barbosa and the ACLU. And they lost, because they arrested and tried to prosecute a citizen for exercising his Constitutional right to criticize the government. And even more tax dollars were blown by town of Liberty.
While Mr. Barbosa certainly chose an inartful method of expressing his disapproval of the government’s actions, he was completely within his rights to do so. It’s a shame… and ultimately a waste of taxpayer money for this misguided and vindictive prosecution.