South Florida Lawyer Warns Other Legal Professionals Against Being “Too Trusting”
According to reporting from Law.com, a West Palm Beach, Florida attorney had her license to practice law suspended for three years. The disciplinary action came after her former bookkeeper allegedly stole more than $150,000 from her law firm.
In reviewing the proceedings, the Florida Supreme Court found that this attorney took immediate action to address the issue. Indeed, as soon as she found out that the bookkeeper misappropriated funds she called law enforcement, reported the issue, and tried to repay the money.
Beyond that, there was never any evidence or allegations that she, herself, benefited from the theft.
However, the Florida Bar Association also noted that this attorney failed to follow proper protocols when giving the bookkeeper access to funds being held in trust. She did not conduct any background check on this employee, which would have revealed, among other things, a history of prior criminal theft convictions.
Lawyers are Held to High Professional Standards
This case demonstrates how harsh the disciplinary system can be for attorneys. When lawyers are facing potential professionals sanctions, they must take immediate action to protect their rights. The Florida Bar Association has strict rules and regulations regarding conduct. Below, our Florida bar complaint defense lawyers highlight three key things that all attorneys should do if they are worried about facing a grievance or complaint.
- Take Immediate Action
First and foremost, legal professionals worried about facing disciplinary action should take immediate steps to protect their rights and their career. When facing any type of inquiry from the Attorney Consumer Assistance Program (ACAP) or the Florida Bar Association, it is imperative that you are timely in your response.
- Get Organized, Understand the Issue
One of the keys to dealing with disciplinary matters is careful, thorough organization. As stressful as it can be to face a grievance or complaint, this is not a time to panic. You need to clear your head, ensure that you understand exactly what you are facing and gather and organize all relevant documents, records, and other evidence.
- Speak to an Experienced Professional
Finally, attorneys facing a complaint, grievance, or other disciplinary issues should speak to an experienced Florida legal malpractice defense lawyer who has experience navigating these complex cases. You do not have to go through this process along. An experienced bar complaint defense lawyer will review the specific circumstances, and help you take the proper steps to solve the issue at the lowest possible level. If no complaint or grievance has yet been submitted, it is best to try to address that issue now.
Get Help From our Miami, FL Legal Malpractice Attorneys Right Away
At Pike & Lustig, LLP, our Florida bar complaints & grievances lawyers have strong experience handling bar complaints and grievances. We are proud to be the lawyers’ law firm. To arrange a fully confidential case evaluation with an experienced malpractice defense attorney, please call us now. We have office locations in Miami and in West Palm Beach.