TALLAHASSEE – The Florida Supreme Court has ordered a public reprimand of attorney David A. Fernandez of Bradenton. The court also ordered that he complete the Florida Bar’s ethics school.
The court order was in response to a conditional guilty plea for consent of judgment filed by Fernandez last May, pursuant to Rule 3-7.9 of the rules regulating the Florida Bar. At the time of the petition, Fernandez was being investigated by the Bar for misconduct. He waived the right to a probable cause hearing and stipulated probable cause in reference to complaints that he did not act diligently in representing several clients, did not adequately communicate and failed to file the necessary paperwork with the courts.
The disciplinary measures imposed by the Florida Bar included a public reprimand published in the Southern Reporter and completion of the Bar’s ethics school within six months of the June 23 court order. Fernandez is responsible for paying the $750 registration fee and any additional related costs.
Fernandez will, under supervision of the Bar’s diversion/discipline consultation service, undergo an office procedures and record-keeping analysis. He agreed to implement, at his own expense, all recommendations of the service, which will also conduct a final review prior to the end of his probation to confirm he complied with their guidelines. Fernandez is responsible for paying the fee for the service audit, which will cost a minimum of $2,000.
The agreement also required Fernandez to pay the costs associated with the disciplinary and court proceedings totaling $3,849.25, due within 30 days of the court order. If he fails to pay the costs, it would become part of any future disciplinary action.
In considering how to arrive at fair disciplinary measures, the Bar considered the following mitigating factors: Fernandez had no prior disciplinary record, his actions lacked dishonest or selfish motives, he cooperated with investigators, he is relatively inexperienced in practicing law and is remorseful for his conduct.
(Case No. SC 16-980)