December 16, 2010
Payment Optional For Florida Lawyers Seeking Reinstatement
The Florida Supreme Court has approved a number of changes to rules for admission to the Bar. Justice Lewis concurred and dissented in part. The dissent involves what the justice characterized as a "standardless window for readmission...of wayward lawyers who have been found to have stolen from thier clients, convicted of crimes, and ordered to pay restitution."
Contrary to the proposal of the Bar, the new rule would allow readmission of attorneys who had failed to pay ordered restitution for "exceptional circumstances." Justice Lewis favors the approach that makes restitution a mandatory requirement for readmission:
In the past, disciplined lawyers have proferred all types of excuses in attempting to delay or avoid repayment...Members of The Florida Bar would be surprised, and the typical Florida citizen would be outraged, if the requests and proposals we have seen were approved.
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