John B. Thompson, Attorney at Law
1172 S. Dixie Hwy., Suite 111
Coral Gables, Florida 33146
April 8, 2008
The Honorable Alex Sink
Chief Financial Officer
Department of Financial Services, State of Florida
200 East Gaines Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0300
Re: Illegal Operations of Florida Lawyers Mutual Insurance Company
Dear Ms. Sink:
Florida Lawyers Mutual Insurance Company provides malpractice insurance coverage to Florida lawyers. As you may know, it was created by The Florida Bar.
There is no problem with FLMIC’s stated function. What it actually provides, however, amounts to protection of lawyers guilty of ethics breaches from appropriate discipline by The Florida Bar. Its policyholders are not just buying malpractice insurance; they are buying discipline protection, much as businesses, historically, have purchased “protection” from the Mafia.
That is one side of FLMIC’s illegal activity, one side of the tarnished coin. The other side of the coin is that those who do not purchase liability insurance from FLMIC are more likely to be disciplined by The Florida Bar. We have data to support all this.
This illicit commercial tying arrangement by which what is purported to be a governmental regulatory function of the practice of law to the purchase of an insurance product clearly violates a) federal anti-trust laws, b) federal and state anti-racketeering laws regarding extortion, fraud, and other predicate RICO acts c) federal mail fraud laws, d) state and federal fraud laws, and e) obstruction of justice laws.
FMLIC helps accomplish its ends illegally by having the executive director of The Bar and two Bar Governors sit on its board, along with a former president of The Bar. It is beyond unseemly that Bar officials who owe a strict fiduciary duty to Bar members would even think of sitting on an insurance company’s board of directors that must assess claims against lawyers against whom disciplinary charges may have been brought. No Bar official in his or her right mind would fail to see the conflict. In point of fact, these people serve in both capacities because of the conflict of interest, and it appears, based upon the data that we have that these conflicts are bearing fruit to the advantage of FLMIC and its policyholders.
When I informed The Bar and the Florida Supreme Court of this illegal activity involving FLMIC and my concerns about it, the Florida Supreme Court entered an order on February 19 as retribution for my whistleblowing. This Supreme Court order in and of itself violates Florida Statute 768.295, as the State may not punish a citizen for whistleblowing. One would think Supreme Court Justices would know that. Thus, we have the highest court in the state involved directly in this illegal enterprise by being willing participants in a knowing cover-up re whistleblowing at to FLMIC.
I and other plaintiffs—lay citizens as well as lawyers--intend to bring a civil action this week arising out of FLMIC’s illegal activities. We will be applying to the court for certification of it as a class action.
We thought you should know of this because of your duties to oversee the insurance industry in this state. Relatedly, FLMIC is using its illegal ties to the judicial branch of this state, through The Bar, in a fashion that improperly works to the considerable commercial disadvantage other insurance companies that provide liability insurance to lawyers in our state.
We shall be informing these other insurance carriers that this scam is occurring in our state, and that we have informed you of it.
We would very much like to tell these companies that the State’s CFO is on top of this outrageous situation and part of the solution. Please advise.
Regards, Jack Thompson
Copies: Florida Supreme Court
The Florida Bar and Its Governors
Various insurance carriers
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
John B. Thompson, Attorney at Law