The Florida Bar recently announced that the Florida Supreme Court has issued court orders seeking to
discipline 16 lawyers, two of which are practicing attorneys in Pinellas
In the statement
released by the Florida Bar, the organization named the lawyers who were facing
court mandated punishments from the Florida Supreme Court. The list included
six lawyers who were disbarred. The license of one attorney has been ordered
revoked while eight others were issued suspensions. One lawyer was publicly
reprimanded and two more were placed under probation.
Pinellas County lawyer
Kelly Anne McCabe has been named as the attorney who was publicly reprimanded
by the Florida Supreme Court. The punishment, which was announced in an order
on Sept. 1, would be carried out in the Southern Reporter. In addition to
the public reprimand, McCabe would be facing a probationary period of one year.
McCabe was punished by
the Florida Supreme Court following a complaint from the Florida Bar that pointed out her negligence in fulfilling her responsibilities to the court and
to her clients. A review of her performance found that
she failed to comply with court deadlines. She also miscarried the
instructions or court orders in the handling cases submitted to the
appellate courts. McCabe was admitted to the Florida Bar in 2004.
McCabe was found to
have a lack of understanding and competence so as to comply with the procedures
followed in the Court of Appeals. Her tardiness in providing responses to
complaints was also considered a factor in the punishment filed against her. Upon an audit review of her trust account, it was discovered McCabe
also failed to properly maintain her trust account records.
In the decision
regarding her case, McCabe entered a conditional guilty plea and a consent
judgment. Apart from the probationary period and the public reprimand, she is
also ordered to pay the recovery of costs in the amount of $1,828.20.
When a lawyer is
publicly reprimanded, he or she is still allowed to practice law. The Bar
aims to use the reprimand as a warning in an effort to remind the lawyers not
to repeat the same errors and behavior again. This would also mean that
conditions will be placed on the licenses of the lawyers.
Another Pinellas county
attorney, Stephen Proctor Tourtelot, was also part of the list of lawyers disciplined
by the Florida Supreme Court. Under an order released on Sept. 19, Tourtelot
would face a suspension effective 30 days after the announcement. The decision
came after the investigation revealed his failure to answer an official
inquiry from the Florida Bar regarding a complaint involving him. For this
issue, Tourtelot was cited in contempt.
Tourtelot has been
practicing law for almost 12 years. His areas of expertise include cases
linked to the Appellate Practice, Constitutional Law, and Criminal Appellate.
He is also an expert on Criminal Law and is a trial lawyer. He was admitted to the
Bar on March 24, 2005.