Last month, North Miami Mayor Andre Pierre’s nephew, Ricardo Brutus, was recently arrested and charged with felony charges for practicing law without a license. He was released from the Miami-Dade County Jail after posting a $25,000 bond.
Brutus’s arrest comes while he is awaiting trial in a separate case. He was previously arrested on March 25, 2011 and charged with unlawful compensation.
His recent charges stem from a Florida Bar complaint by a lawyer who claims that Brutus signed his name on two Miami divorce petitions filed in 2009. The lawyer who reported Brutus stated that he paid him to file cases or complete petitions, but he did not authorize him to sign documents which should only be filed by divorce lawyers in South Florida.
After launching its investigation of July 13, 2010, the Florida Bar obtained a statement from Brutus acknowledging that he works with this lawyer. Brutus claims he was authorized to sign the lawyer’s name. On the other hand, the lawyer testified that he did not give Brutus authorization to sign his name.
Brutus is a paralegal who has a bachelor’s degree in business management. Yet, in one instance a man hired him to handle his divorce case after hearing him as a guest on a Haitian radio show. In another case, a man hired Brutus and paid him $1,300 to be his divorce lawyer.
In concluding its investigation, the Florida Bar found that he had filed dissolution of marriage petitions listing a lawyer as the filing attorney without his knowledge or authorization.