TALLAHASSEE – On May 13, the Florida Supreme Court found attorney Mirta Desir, who practices law in West Palm Beach, in contempt of the court after she allegedly failed to respond to a request from the Bar to show cause for a client complaint.
“The Florida Bar’s petition is granted and (Desir) is held in contempt of this court,” the official decision said. “As a sanction, (Desir) is suspended from the practice of law. (Desir) is currently suspended; therefore, this suspension is effective immediately.”
The court further stated that Desir must fully comply with Rule Regulating the Florida Bar 3-5.1(h) and will remain suspended until she fully responds in writing to the official Bar inquiries, and until further order of the court.
Inquiries from the Bar to Desir started because a Feb. 19, 2015, complaint was filed by Dexter Campbell against Desir, alleging that the she failed to timely execute services to submit summons/complaint to the defendants. When she responded to initial inquiries, the Bar explained that she offered unsupported factual arguments in an attempt to justify that the failure to timely serve the defendants.
The lower court explained that her unsupported arguments were a waste of the court’s time and lacked credibility.
“After repetitive requests by The Florida Bar, (Desir) on May 18, 2015, filed a response to the Feb. 19, 2015, complaint/inquiry,” the report said. “On May 27, 2015, The Florida Bar sent (Desir) a letter by regular U.S. Mail and by email to (Desir's) record Bar address requesting additional information concerning a complaint in this case.”
Desir was requested to respond by June 8, 2015, but she failed to respond. On June 15, 2015, Desir was sent another letter by certified U.S. Mail and by email to her record Bar address, and was requested to respond by June 25, 2015. The email was returned to The Florida Bar's Fort Lauderdale branch office stating that desirlaw.com is unknown. The June 15, 2015, certified letter to her was also returned to the Bar with a notation stating the letter was unable to be moved forward and to it return to sender as unclaimed.
On July 20 and July 24, 2015, Bar counsel's assistant telephoned Desir and left voice mails requesting she respond to The Florida Bar inquiry, which allegedly she failed to do.
The case went to the Grievance Committee, which found that Desir failed to show good cause for failing to respond to the official Bar inquiries.
“The noncompliance was willful,” the Grievance Committee said.
Because of her willful noncompliance, the Grievance Committee found Desir to be in contempt and requested The Florida Bar to file a petition for contempt and order to show cause with the Supreme Court.
The court also ordered Desir to pay a fine for the Bar’s time spent on trying to reach her.
“The other members of The Florida Bar should not have to pay for (Desir’s) failure to respond to an official bar inquiry and the initiation of the instant proceeding,” the Bar said. “Therefore, the Bar is requesting administrative costs of $1,250 against (Desir).”