A prominent Florida attorney contradicted testimony given by two members of
regarding the source of their payments to his firm.
Jimmie Bert and his daughter, Tammy Gwen Billie, were represented in a civil
wrongful death case by Lewis
, a firm led by two former U.S. Attorneys. The tribal members said they didn't pay $3.1 million to the firm out of their own pockets.
Michael Tein, however, said he had "many conversations" with Bert and Billie about legal fees.
His firm believes the tribe extended a loan to Billie and took deductions against her per capita payments.
But the tribe's general counsel testified that the deductions were used to pay the legal fees in Billie’s criminal case, not the civil wrongful death case. Those fees totaled $1.5 million over a decade, The Miami Herald reported.
Billie herself denied that she took out a loan to pay the Lewis Tein firm. “I was sad to hear that,” Tein said when asked about the discrepancy, the Herald reported.
Tein and his legal partner, Guy Lewis, are facing perjury sanctions in connection with their handling of the wrongful death case. Bert and Billie were found at fault and were ordered to pay $3.2 million to the family of Liliana Bermudez.
Bert and Billie have said they don't have any money to pay the judgment.
Get the Story:
Miami attorney accused of perjury contradicts former Miccosukee clients’ testimony
(The Miami Herald 4/17)
Miccosukee family doesn't know who paid $3.1M to
Join the Conversation