The disbarment shall become effective immediately and will keep Michael Braunschweig, who is the former law partner of disgraced Omar Saleh,
suspended from practicing law in the state of Florida for at least the next five years at which time he may apply for reinstatement.
• FLORIDA SUPREME COURT'S ORDER DISBARRING MICHAEL BRAUNSCHWEIG
It's a small yet meaningful victory for the First Amendment.
, who appeared at an Anti-SLAPP hearing as co-counsel for Vetfield Animal Hospital and Fort Lauderdale‑area veterinarian Mustafa Saleh
, has been
suspended from practicing law for at least the next five years, the Florida Supreme Court decreed late last week.
Braunschweig had been a partner in the two‑person start‑up firm of Synergy
Law based in Coral Gables, Fla., with former Nova Southeastern University classmate Omar Saleh
, the veterinarian's son.
No disciplinary action has been taken as of this writing against Omar Saleh
, the Plaintiffs' other co‑counsel.
However, both Salehs are being sued in a $40‑million, multi‑count Complaint filed
in Broward County last year for a myriad of violations of Florida law, including defamation, defamation per se, conspiracy to defame, and malicious prosecution. That
case is pending before the Hon. Judge William W. Haury, Jr.
In addition to losing his law license, Braunschweig
was ordered to pay restitution to the Florida Bar in the amount of $1,250.
"The other members of The Florida Bar should not have to pay for [Braunschweig's
] failure to respond to an official bar inquiry
and the initiation of the instant proceeding," wrote Jennifer R. Falcone on behalf of the Florida Bar.
According to his Petition For Disciplinary Revocation With Leave To Apply For Readmission,
was admitted to practice law on Nov. 4, 2011, while Omar Saleh
was completing his
final semester of coursework at NSU.
was the subject of numerous bar complaints from clients in 2018 and 2019 and failed to respond to repeated official inquiries from
the Florida Bar.
was named in at least two separate recent bar complaints, one of which included a copy of an e‑mail he
sent to a local web design business that described an African‑American employee of the company as "barely literate."
The Florida Bar failed to investigate either complaint.
In accordance with the terms of his suspension, Braunschweig
can no longer hold himself out as an attorney and
is required to keep a current mailing address on file with the Florida Bar. Further, he
must eliminate all indication of his status as an attorney on social media, business cards, office signs, and the like. Before enrolling at NSU,
earned an undergraduate degree in Evolutionary Biology and Genetics from Northwestern University.
Synergy Law appears to have permanently shuttered as Omar Saleh
has relocated to office space inside the Islamic Center of Broward on Sunrise Boulevard where
he works as a solo practitioner. It was just one year ago when a Broward County jury verdict concluded that Vetfield Animal Hospital was not defamed regarding published
statements that it holds pets hostage, generates bogus invoices, and is staffed by "thieving bastards."
That jury stunned scores of legal experts by awarding Mustafa Saleh
$12,000 in defamation damages based on non‑actionable insults such as that he is "sleazy, sneaky, immoral, and greedy."
Vetfield Animal Hospital and Mustafa Saleh
failed on all of their other claims in the case.
They dropped their Tortious Interference With An Advantageous Business Relationship allegations and saw both
their allegations of Public Disclosure of Private Facts and Intentional Inflicton of Emotional Distress dismissed
when Judge Marina Garcia‑Wood
granted Summary Judgment in favor of the Defendants in 2017.
, who never worked at Vetfield Animal Hospital, was listed on the Plaintiffs' witness list for trial.
He was a no‑show in court, as neither his address nor the subject matter about which he planned to testify was disclosed in accordance with the Uniform Trial Order.
absence, however, may have had more to do with his suspension by the Florida Bar on July 19, 2019, in connection with the same charges on which he ultimately was disbarred.
The coveted prize that Braunschweig
and the Salehs
sought, of course, was a permanent injunction
against the online review
at issue. But after more than five years and
hundreds of pleadings, Broward County Circuit Court Judge David A. Haimes
entered a final judgment in the case with nary a mention of any permanent injunctive relief.
Heck, assuming Braunschweig
each put in two hours per week for five years, at least they earned a solid $11 an hour for their time.
Here's hoping Mike makes the most of that money till 2025.