TALLAHASSEE – The Florida Bar filed a petition to the Florida Supreme
Court for contempt and order to show cause requesting a one-year suspension
against attorney George Joseph Charnota, who practices law in Coral Gables, for
alleged noncompliance to past Bar and court inquiries and orders.
In the Florida Supreme Court Case order dated July 27,
2015, Charnota was suspended from practicing law until he fully responded in
writing to Bar inquires and until further order of the court, effective Aug.
In the order of suspension, Charnota was supposed to notify
his clients, opposing counsel and tribunals of his suspension and provide the
Florida Bar within 30 days of his suspension a sworn affidavit listing the
names and addresses of all persons and entities that were furnished a copy of
his suspension order.
“The Florida Bar notified (Charnota) of the conditions
associated with his suspension by letter dated July 31, 2015, to his record Bar
address, specifically the requirement that he submit the sworn affidavit,” the
petition said. “On Oct. 27, 2015, The Florida Bar notified (Charnota) of his
noncompliance with the conditions of his suspension.”
The petition explained that Charnota did not submit the
required affidavit containing a list of persons and entities to which he gave
notice of his suspension and provide a copy of his order of suspension.
Because of his alleged lack of correspondence, the Florida Bar was unaware
of whether Charnota notified any clients, opposing counsel and tribunals of his
suspension. Due to his alleged noncompliance with the court’s order, the Florida Bar
was obligated to file this petition for contempt for noncompliance.
The Bar also took issue with the time and costs spent in
trying to contact Charnota.
“The other members of the Florida Bar should not have to pay
for (Charnota’s) noncompliance with this court’s order and the instant
proceeding,” the petition said. “Therefore, the Bar is requesting
administrative costs of $1,250 against (him).”
The Florida Supreme Court concurred with the Florida Bar, and
asked Charnota to show cause why he should not be held in contempt, suspended
for one year, and assessed the requested $1,250 because he did not comply
with the terms of the court’s prior order.
Because of Charnota’s lack of response, the Supreme Court
granted the requests of the Florida Bar's petition.
“(Charnota) is held in contempt of this court's order,” the
Supreme Court official April 12, document, said. “As a sanction, (Charnota)
is suspended from the practice of law for one year. (He) is currently
suspended; therefore, this suspension is effective immediately.”
The court further stressed that Charnota must fully comply
with Rule Regulating the Florida Bar 3-5.1(h). He was also directed to comply
with the terms of the court's order in SC15-1151 prior to petitioning for
reinstatement. Charnota must also pay the Bar $1,250, for time spent on the