BREAKING NEWS: Judge Grants Motion By Bowdoin’s Paid Counsel To Withdraw From AdSurfDaily Forfeiture Case
Judge Rosemary Collyer has granted a motion by Jonathan Goodman and Michael Fayad of Akerman Senterfitt to withdraw as counsel for ASD President Andy Bowdoin.
The firm also was granted leave to withdraw as counsel in the civil-forfeiture case against tens of millions of dollars and real-estate tied to ASD amid allegations of wire fraud, money-laundering and operating a Ponzi scheme.
Goodman and Fayad filed the withdrawal motion April 2, saying they no longer could represent Bowdoin, AdSurfDaily Inc. andÂ Bowdoin/Harris Enterprises Inc. effectively.
In asking for leave to withdraw, the attorneys said their representation of Bowdoin had become â€œunreasonably difficult.â€
â€œAfter this Court denied Claimantâ€™s Emergency Motion for Return of Seized Funds [on Nov. 19, 2008], the client-lawyer relationship between the Firm and all three Claimants substantially deteriorated and has not improved thus rendering the representation unreasonably difficult,â€ the lawyers said.
The lawyers said the firm could not discuss specific issues, owing to the attorney-client privilege.
â€œGiven the attorney-client privilege, the Akerman Senterfitt law firm cannot disclose the
specific issues underlying the problems with the client-lawyer relationship,â€ the firm said.
â€œHowever, without breaching the attorney-client relationship, and based on documents which Mr. Bowdoin publicly filed with the clerkâ€™s office, it is obvious that Claimants have decided to represent themselves without consulting their counsel,â€ the firm continued.
â€œBy way of example only, Mr. Bowdoin has recently filed, on a pro se basis, a series of motions. Mr. Bowdoin filed these motions without consulting with counsel and without bothering to advise counsel that he would be submitting motions on his own. Under these circumstances, the Akerman Senterfitt Law Firm cannot render effective assistance of counsel.â€
Charles A. Murray, a Florida attorney with privileges in the District of Columbia, filed an appearance notice on behalf of Bowdoin and his corporations last week. Collyer had informed Bowdoin, through Akerman Senterfitt, that the corporate entities could not proceed pro se.
Bowdoin began to file pro se motions in February, saying he had fired Akerman Senterfitt. At the same time, AdViewGlobal, an autosurf with close ASD ties, introduced members to Pro Advocate Group, which says it can help people practice law without a license.
In one of Bowdoin’s pro se pleadings, he acknowledged ASD was operating illegally at the time of the seizure, potentially adding to his problems and creating problems for ASD insiders and top promoters.