FRIVOLOUS BAR COMPLAINT?
Opinion By Jan Bergemann
Published February 25, 2012
The Florida BAR receives lots of complaints filed against attorneys -- some have merits, but others are plainly frivolous. And then there are the ones that are filed with malicious intent by people with a business agenda.
You may ask: Why report about a BAR complaint, especially one that was dismissed in a letter from the Florida BAR with the words: "After a thorough investigation we do not find the blog misleading in any way"?
At issue is a BAR COMPLAINT FILED BY MICHAEL TANGEMAN against attorney Eric Glazer regarding the HOA & CONDO BLOG in the Orlando Sentinel. Complainant Tangeman states in his complaint (See Transcript): "He is giving the impression that this blog is 'Bona Fide' editorial contents and nowhere mentions that the so-called 'Blog' is actually PAID ADVERTISING on the website's classified section."
Funny, because the Blog carries this language under the headline: "This is a sponsored blog." The Home Page of the Orlando Sentinel even marks it as "Advertising Blog" in the BLOG section.
And the letter from the BAR to complainant Tangeman makes it obvious that the Bar treated this complaint as another of the frivolous complaints without merits.
may still ask: Why report about this complaint?
"Letterhead says: PR Web
Online Web 2.0 Version
You can read the online version of this press release here."
And Michael Tangeman is exactly the person who filed this -- in my opinion -- frivolous BAR complaint. The interesting part: The connection between complainant Tangeman and Donna Berger, CAN and KG&B. And that is what makes this BAR complaint newsworthy, in my opinion.
I think it's amazing that the person named as contact on the press releases of Donna Berger's CAN dispatches is the same person who filed this BAR complaint.
It actually opens up the question: Is the pot calling the kettle black?
As most of you know, many attorneys are "blogging" on the Condos and HOAs -- Living with Rules Blog of the Sun Sentinel. This blog is clearly not marked as legal advertising or anything even similar to such a disclaimer. Actually, the law firm prominently advertising on these pages is none other than Glazer & Associates, using an ad that was BAR approved. One of the main bloggers is Donna Berger, Esq. -- named partner in the law firm of Katzman Garfinkel & Berger. And in her blogs she barely ever fails to advertise the services of her law firm.
As an example, here is one of Berger's recent blogs [Tired of the same old board member and manager educational classes?]. Berger's blog clearly advertises the services of her law firm; the name of the Katzman Garfinkel & Berger law firm supplying the advertised services is mentioned twice, together with the telephone number to call for the services. Was that advertising approved by the BAR?
Berger's BLOG is one that in my opinion would fall under ADVERTISING.
Now, who is really "getting around BAR rules every time one 'blogs' one is actually posting a new ad" -- an ad not approved by the Florida BAR and without any disclaimer. That leaves the question: Who is really "misleading" readers?
BAR complaint, anyone?