TALLAHASSEE — Plantation attorney David Laurence Prince has been suspended by the Florida Supreme Court after a petition for emergency suspension was reviewed.
The Florida Bar is investigating more than 50 claims against Prince for various acts of misconduct, including charging excessive fees and not protecting his clients. The complainants include the U.S. Bankruptcy Court.
The 651-page petition for emergency suspension outlines every open claim made against Prince and the Rules Regulating the Florida Bar of which he is allegedly in violation.
Many of the claims stem from similar client situations such as one beginning in February 2015 when the attorney was hired to represent a woman in her bankruptcy proceedings. Prince charged and collected more than 1,200 in fees and began preparing her case. However, two days later, the client decided not to proceed with filing and requested the funds be returned, according to court records. Prince allegedly refused to refund her money and had not paid the client back at the time of suspension.
In another matter, Prince was hired to represent another client in her bankruptcy filings. The agreement in December 2013 included a monthly payment of $250 for Prince’s services. The client made several attempts to contact Prince to ascertain the status of her filings between December 2013 and February 2016, to which the attorney allegedly never replied. He did, however, inform the client in February 2016 that he was closing his office and a new attorney would take over her case. According to court documents, the new attorney did not perform any work for the client.
Due to the number of complaints being investigated and the severity of the claims, Prince was placed on a one-year suspension retroactive to October 2016. The Florida Bar will continue the investigation into each claim to determine in further discipline is necessary.
Prince has been a member of the Florida Bar since his admission in 1996. He is a graduate of the University of Miami School of Law and had no prior record of discipline.