SARASOTA, FL — A Florida attorney was found guilty last week of creating a phony court order to help his twin brother get custody of his child.
"In an effort to usurp the judicial process, Christopher Brady served a fabricated and fictitious court order on the mother’s relatives," according to State Attorney Ed Brodsky's office, which prosecuted Brady.
"The court order allegedly came from Chief Judge Kimberly Bonner and contained a forged stamp from the clerk of court," the state attorney's office said.
Brady, who has been disbarred, was convicted of uttering a forged instrument following a jury trial presided over by Circuit Court Judge Charles Roberts.
The proceeding marked the first criminal trial in Sarasota County since the Florida Supreme Court suspended trials in response to the coronavirus back in March
“Fabricating a court order is a direct attack on the judicial system," prosecutor Andrew van Sickle said following the trial. "An attorney who acts in this manner violates the core principals of our profession, and the integrity of the judicial process. I am thankful that no harm came to the child as a result, and Mr. Brady was brought to justice.”
Christopher Brady attempted to use the phony order to have the child turned over to his brother, who was involved in a custody battle.
Prosecutor van Sickle said he had to introduce evidence to identify Christopher since he and his brother are identical twins. Masks were worn during the trial.
"Second, this was the first trial in which the court allowed the use of a web-based video conferencing tool. Thus, two witnesses who resided out of state were allowed to testify remotely," van Sickle said.
"Third, the court made every effort to comply with social distancing and safe practices. Instead of a hundred jurors being in the same room awaiting to be called for a panel, the court severely limited the number of people," the prosecutor explained. "After each witness testified, the area was cleaned. Overall, the court went to great lengths to ensure the safety of all those involved, and the precautions did not hinder the trial."