Friday, January 15, 2021
The Florida Supreme Court has disbarred a lawyer who died over a year ago. Sabrina Starr Spradley, a 41-year-old attorney in Florida was disbarred in December, even though an official death certificate confirmed that she died in October 2019.
"The Florida Bar requests a dismissal of formal charges against an attorney if it is notified of their death, but the rules do not require another attorney or family member to share that news." Jennifer Krell Davis, deputy director of communications for the bar association, said, "We do have 108,000 lawyers in Florida. There are a lot of individuals we regulate. We rely on people to inform us."
Spradley had already been suspended in 2018 for failing to respond to a complaint filed against her. Spradley was suspended again in 2019 after she made statements that she knew were "made with reckless disregard as to their truth or falsity."
The third complaint came after Spradley failed to notify her clients, judges, and attorneys that the bar had suspended her license two times before, which resulted in a three-year suspension. After that, she was disbarred.
See Amanda Robert, Florida lawyer disbarred more than a year after her death, ABA Journal, January 5, 2021.