Thursday, April 24, 2014
One issue that we do not often see addressed in court opinions concerning bar discipline is compliance with orders of suspension.
In a case decided today, the Florida Supreme Court held an attorney in contempt for failing to comply with an earlier order of suspension in a guardianship
Townsend’s argument that he was not the attorney in the guardianship case, and that he was not required to notify the guardianship court of his suspension, is unreasonable. It is apparent that Townsend was the attorney in the case, even if he never filed a formal notice of appearance. Accordingly, we conclude that Townsend was required to notify the guardianship court of his suspension in case number SC07-81, and he failed to do so. Thus, we hold Townsend in contempt.
The referee had rejected a contempt finding on three alleged counts. The court agreed with the referee on two out of three and remanded for a sanction analysis on the sustained count. (Mike Frisch)