January 31, 2014
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The Florida Bar
Summaries of orders issued Nov. 13 – Dec. 13, 2013
The Florida Bar, the state’s guardian for the integrity of the legal profession, announces that the Florida Supreme Court in recent court orders disciplined 21 attorneys; disbarring one, suspending 17 and publicly reprimanding three. Three attorneys received more than one form of discipline. They were also placed on probation.
As an official arm of the Florida Supreme Court, The Florida Bar and its Department of Lawyer Regulation are charged with administering a statewide disciplinary system to enforce Supreme Court rules of professional conduct for the 98,000-plus lawyers admitted to practice law in Florida. Key discipline case files that are public record are posted to attorneys’ individual online Florida Bar profiles. To view discipline documents, follow these steps. Additional information on the discipline system and how to file a complaint are available at www.floridabar.org/
Court orders are not final until time expires to file a rehearing motion and, if filed, determined. The filing of such a motion does not alter the effective date of the discipline. Disbarred lawyers may not re-apply for admission for five years. They are required to go through an extensive process that rejects many who apply. It includes a rigorous background check and retaking the bar exam. Historically, less than five percent of disbarred lawyers seek readmission.
Patricia Ann Arango, 1800 N.W. 49th St., Suite 120, Fort Lauderdale, suspended for 30 days, effective Dec. 13, 2013, following a Dec. 5, 2013, court order. (Admitted to practice: 2001) As a non-supervisory and supervisory attorney, Arango did not identify, correct or manage an aspect of a fast-growing litigation division. That resulted in notaries notarizing signatures executed without the presence or active involvement of a lawyer. (Case No. SC13-1929)
Caryn Alina Graham, P.O. Box 654436, Miami, suspended for 60 days, effective Dec. 13, 2013, following a Dec. 5, 2013, court order. (Admitted to practice: 2001) As a supervising/managing attorney for a law firm, Graham failed to properly manage some aspects of the fast-growing company. It resulted in numerous problems, including: failure of some attorneys to appear in court before judges in approximately 22 cases; failure to timely cancel foreclosure sales and/or failure to file a publication notice and pay the clerks fees; failure to promptly notify the court or file a substitution of lead counsel for those cases assigned to attorneys who left the law firm, and notaries notarized signatures executed outside their presence. (Case No. SC13-1931)