Florida’s “Grim Reaper” just showed that self-awareness is not his strength.
Daniel Uhlfelder is a lawyer from Florida’s Panhandle who made a name for himself last year by protesting Gov. Ron DeSantis’s decision to reopen beaches by traipsing through the sand dressed as the Grim Reaper.
Uhlfelder, like other DeSantis critics, was wrong by going full Faucista. Florida, despite remaining pretty much open throughout the pandemic, is no worse – and in some cases significantly better – than the blue states that went wholly for lockdowns and mask mandates.
So, on Friday, Uhlfelder thought he’d make political hay off of Republican U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, who is embroiled in a nasty scandal involving claims of sex with underage girls, and Gaetz’s own claims that he was being extorted.
“If Matt Gaetz is innocent of sex trafficking, why does he need an expensive criminal defense attorney from New York,” Uhlfedler tweeted.
As noted above, Uhlfeleder is a lawyer. One might think he’d understand better than most why someone with criminal allegations being hurled at him might want or need a lawyer, or that he’s heard the old adage that a anyone who represents himself has a fool for a client.
Then again, criminal law is not Uhlfelder’s domain.
According to his website, Uhlfelder has done some criminal work, but his main areas of practice are real estate law, divorce and family law, foreclosures and “litigation.”
Yet Uhlfelder understood criminal law well enough to hire his own lawyer when he faced being sanctioned by the Florida Bar.
As the News Service of Florida noted two months ago, “Days after asking The Florida Bar to consider sanctioning an attorney who made national headlines by dressing as the Grim Reaper to criticize Gov. Ron DeSantis’ response to the coronavirus pandemic, an appeals court took the rare step of ordering a state prosecutor to pursue discipline against” Uhlfelder.
Uhlfelder, who is from a beach town, sued DeSantis to force the governor to keep the beaches closed. When the case was tossed, Uhlfelder appealed.
In a ruling in February, according to the News Service, a state appellate court said his appeal seemed to be “frivolous and/or filed in bad faith.” Additionally, the court asserted Uhlfelder had “no good-faith basis” for filing his appeal, and that Uhlfelder and lawyers supporting him had used “this court merely as a stage from which to act out their version of political theater.”
Other News: EXCLUSIVE: Republican Attorneys General Plan To Create Legal Roadblocks For Biden Agenda
“It is almost unprecedented for a court to refer a matter to the state attorney’s office to seek discipline or other action against an attorney. I can’t say it’s never happened, but it’s almost unprecedented,” a Tallahassee lawyer said of the court’s ruling.
That lawyer’s quote, by the way, was by Richard Greenberg, whom the News Service said “represents Uhlfelder on the disciplinary issue.”
For what it’s worth, Uhlfelder deleted the tweet about Gaetz after being hammered on social media.
Other News: MSNBC Analyst Believes Biden Could Potentially Lead ‘A New Activist Progressive Era’