Miami attorney says opposing counsel used remote drones to watch her

Appellate court upholds decision to throw out stalking injunction

By Peter Burke - Local10.com Managing Editor

PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. - A Miami attorney whose claims that a Fort Lauderdale attorney has been stalking her, subpoenaing her for cases in which she wasn't involved and watching her with remote drones, recently lost her court battle seeking an injunction against him, but he could still face reprimand from the Florida Bar.

The Third District Court of Appeal last week upheld a trial judge's decision to throw out a stalking injunction against Jose P. Font, founding partner of the Font & Nelson Law Group. However, the opinion revealed several salacious specifics about the sparring litigators.

Brandy E. Raulerson, an attorney at the Barnard Law Offices, alleged that Font began harassing her after she rejected "his crude sexual advances."

The harassment began in January 2016 during a sworn meeting with Font, Raulerson and another attorney from the Barnard Law Offices, Raulerson's original petition alleged.

"Mr. Font allegedly asked the other BLO attorney, within the hearing of Ms. Raulerson, if he was having sexual relations with Ms. Raulerson," the opinion stated. "The petition alleges that this was done 'with the obvious intent or objective that Mr. Font himself wanted to [have sexual relations with her].'"

READ: Third District Court of Appeal opinion

Raulerson complained to Andrew Barnard, who contacted Font and expressed his concern "about such abuse from an attorney against a young associate." Font, according to the opinion, told Barnard to "f--- off."

Font later told Raulerson that he "was having her watched by means of remote drones," the opinion stated.

It goes on to say that Raulerson became so concerned that she applied for and obtained a concealed weapons permit.

Raulerson's injunction for protection sought in the petition asked that Font be prohibited from going within 500 feet of any place where Raulerson lives or any place frequented by her family members or "individuals closely associated" with her.

The petition also sought to prevent Font from going within 500 feet of Raulerson's office or vehicle and from contacting her either by telephone, in person or in writing.

Font filed a 422-page motion to dismiss the petition, and Barnard filed a 174-page opposition to the motion.

"The trial judge conducted a lengthy, thorough and patient hearing on the motion to dismiss," the opinion stated. "The court granted the motion to dismiss, 'not necessarily with pleasure,' but 'because I think that's what I need to do under the law.'"

Just as the judge had ruled, the appellate court agreed that the petition more closely resembles a grievance complaint to the Florida Bar or a motion for sanctions in the 10 insurance lawsuits involving the parties.

Font's verbal threats to Raulerson "that he will cause her to lose her bar license and livelihood and reputation" could amount to conduct subject to discipline by the Florida Bar, the opinion stated, "but falls short of harassment under the statutory definition."

The opinion also notes the vagueness of Raulerson's claim that he was having her watched by remote drone "with no information regarding the date or actual observation by any drone."

Ultimately, the appellate court concluded that Barnard, "clearly frustrated by Mr. Font's 'filing of motions typically exceeding 500 pages in length' and 'filing the defamatory affidavit in over a dozen cases,' resorted to prose long on diagnosis and short on particular facts in drafting the petition."

Messages left for both law firms seeking comment were not returned.

A spokeswoman for the Florida Bar said no complaint involving Font has been filed at this time.

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