TALLAHASSEE — Matthew Shane Englett, an attorney practicing in Orlando, was suspended by the Florida Supreme Court after the attorney was found culpable in sharing fees with nonattorneys for bringing in clients.
Englett is the managing partner of a firm, LawyersASAP, a corporation he began in October 2015 in Delaware and moved to Florida in March 2016 to provide bankruptcy services. Englett was the sole managing partner, and he hired several nonattorney employees who were responsible for conducting the first meetings and communications with potential clients. The nonattorney employees would then gather any pertinent information from the clients to give to Englett, who would then meet with the clients to determine what services would be best for them, according to court documents.
The nonattorney employees were paid via an hourly wage and bonuses. The bonuses were earned when the employees brought in a certain amount of clientele and adhered to other set professional conduct. Englett was the only party responsible for determining whether bonuses were warranted and therefore at fault for the misconduct. The state Bar found that providing nonattorney paralegal employees with bonuses was equivalent to sharing earned fees. Because impermissible fee sharing is against the Rules Regulating The Florida Bar 4-5.4(a)(4), discipline was warranted and ordered.
The attorney will serve a 90-day suspension effective 30 days from the order to provide Englett with adequate time to inform his current clients and any opposing counsel of the ruling, He will also be required to cover all court costs.
Englett was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1998 and is a graduate of the Mississippi College School of Law. The attorney has been disciplined by the state in two prior instances, a public reprimand in 2014 and an admonishment in 2010.