A former attorney from the West Florida town of Jasper has been indicted on 22 felony counts, two names by which she goes by, while also having 11 Florida Bar disciplinary cases open in her against.
In one of the cases, a woman appears who, according to court documents, was not divorced when she thought she was and was preparing to remarry.
The accused is the “former lawyer” Brittany Loper, who was arrested under the name of Brittany Cooper, who requested the reversal of the disciplinary cases. The Florida Supreme Court granted Loper’s request. So her disciplinary cases were dropped, but she is essentially barred from practicing law for five years. Loper can apply for readmission after the 1st. January 2027.
The grand theft cases against Loper were brought by multiple clients who accused Loper, 33, a member of the Florida Bar since 2013, of paying him without receiving anything in return. In the accusations, the clients allege that Loper pretended to work after receiving initial payments, then disappeared and stopped communicating with them.
The first case in your request to revoke the disciplinary action, and one of the criminal cases involves forgery.
A couple hired Loper, then an associate at the Koberlein Law Group, to handle a private adoption. The baby was born on February 15, 2020, and the mother signed the document for him to be adopted. Loper admitted to forging the name of notary public Jennifer Diaz and using the letterhead of Diaz, who worked as a notary at the firm and was Loper’s assistant.
Loper then “filed the document at the hospital to get the baby adopted.”
Loper was fired from the Koberlein firm on May 5, 2020, according to Columbia County court documents. He had been with the firm since January 2019, and according to court documents, a woman listed only with the initials “RG,” paid him $2,000 in advance for Loper to represent her in her divorce.
In March 2020, RG received an envelope from FedEx with a “Final Decision on Dissolution of Marriage” signed by Columbia County Judge Mark Feagle on December 16, 2019, and a Certificate of Service from Loper, stating that he was a true and correct copy of the final decision.
In August 2021, RG was planning to get married again. She went to the Social Security Office to discuss changing her name to her maiden name so she could get a passport. The Social Security Office told RG that he needed a certified copy of his divorce and that he could get it online.
“When [R.G.] tried to obtain this document, he was informed that the divorce was never recorded and that he had to contact the county where it took place,” according to Columbia County court documents.
RG spoke with a supervisor at the Columbia County Courts Office, who then sent him the final decision. The message said: you are not divorced.
Court documents say that Fred Koberlein, the firm’s director, spoke with Feagle and learned that Feagle submitted a witness statement that he never had a hearing in the case and did not sign the final divorce order.
The case number given to RG matched a divorce petition that was not filed until Jan. 31, 2020, a month after Feagle was supposed to have signed the final order. Feagle signed an order dismissing the case in June 2021 “after the court found that [T.G., todavía esposo de R.G.] The petition for the dissolution of the marriage was never sent to him.”
Translation of Jorge Posada
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A Florida woman thought she was divorced. He didn’t know his lawyer was a forger