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Even though attorneys who are arrested for alleged criminal offenses may be able to defend themselves, the truth is that is often far more beneficial for even experienced lawyers to hire legal counsel familiar with the Florida Bar disciplinary process. The Rules Regulating The Florida Bar establish the ethical standards for attorneys, and lawyers who violate the standards can be subject to discipline.
In disciplinary proceedings, disciplinary counsel has the burden of proving alleged misconduct by clear and convincing evidence. If there is a finding of misconduct, the court or disciplinary agency can impose a sanction—which may range from something as minor as an admonishment to potential disbarment and an inability to practice law in Florida.
If you are a licensed attorney who was arrested for an alleged criminal offense in north central Florida, it will be in your best interest to seek legal representation for assistance navigating the Florida Bar disciplinary process. Galigani Law Firm defends all kinds of licensed professionals in Alachua County, Marion County, Levy County, Gilchrist County, and many surrounding areas of Gainesville.
Our lawyers will provide a complete evaluation of your case during a free initial consultation as soon as you call (352) 375-0812 today.
The Florida Bar's disciplinary proceedings were established "to protect the public and the administration of justice from lawyers who have not discharged, will not discharge, or are unlikely to discharge their professional duties to clients, the public, the legal system, and the legal profession properly."
The Florida Bar and the Supreme Court of Florida regulate attorneys. The Board of Governors of The Florida Bar provided a format for Bar counsel, referees, and the Supreme Court of Florida to consider each of these questions before recommending or imposing appropriate discipline:
The Florida Bar Association has an office that is the investigatory and prosecutorial arm of the Supreme Court of Florida, and bar counsel reviews complaints filed in Florida to determine if violations have occurred.
If bar counsel determines that a rule was violated, the matter is referred to a judicial circuit bar committee that makes a determination on whether the attorney's conduct violated any professional rules. If the committee finds probable cause to support a finding that a violation occurred, bar counsel will file a formal complaint against the lawyer with the Supreme Court of Florida.
If the attorney contests the complaint, a circuit or county court judge is appointed as a referee to hold a trial on the complaint, make findings of fact, and file a report and recommendation with the Supreme Court of Florida.
Under Rule 3-4.4 of the Rules Regulating The Florida Bar, a determination or judgment of guilt of a member of The Florida Bar by a court of competent jurisdiction of any crime or offense that is a felony under the laws of such jurisdiction is cause for automatic suspension from the practice of law in Florida, unless the determination or judgment is modified or stayed by the Supreme Court of Florida. Types of discipline established under Rule 3-5.1 of the Rules Regulating The Florida Bar include:
Unless a court orders otherwise, an attorney who is served with an order of disbarment, disbarment on consent, disciplinary revocation, suspension, emergency suspension, emergency probation, or placement on the inactive list for incapacity not related to misconduct, the lawyer must, immediately furnish a copy of the order to:
Within 30 days after service of the order the attorney must furnish bar counsel with a sworn affidavit listing the names and addresses of all persons and entities that have been furnished copies of the order. Courts may also order disciplined lawyers to pay restitution and/or order forfeiture of certain fees.
Attorney Discipline | The Florida Bar — The Florida Bar and its Department of Lawyer Regulation are an official arm of the Florida Supreme Court charged with administering a statewide disciplinary system to enforce Supreme Court rules of professional conduct for its more than 104,000 members. Visit this section of the Florida Bar website to learn more about judicial conduct, complaint alternatives, and lawyer discipline statistics. Attorneys can also access podcasts, an ethics hotline, and a video of a public reprimand.
Florida’s Standards for Imposing Lawyer Sanctions — The Board of Governors of The Florida Bar adopted an amended version of the American Bar Association (ABA) Standards for Imposing Lawyer Sanctions that are used to determine recommended discipline to referees and the court and to determine acceptable pleas under Rule 3-7.9. View the full text of this guide establishing a list of the black letter rules relating to lawyer sanctions. Types of misconduct list when disbarment, suspension, public reprimand, or admonishment may be appropriate.
Are you a lawyer in north central Florida who is facing criminal charges? Contact Galigani Law Firm for help achieving the most favorable possible outcome of your case with the fewest fpenalties.
Our experienced criminal defense lawyers in Gainesville represent individuals all over the greater Gainesville area, including communities in Columbia County, Baker County, Bradford County, and Union County.
Call (352) 375-0812 or fill out an online contact form to have our attorneys review your case and help you understand all of your legal options during a free, confidential consultation.
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