TALLAHASSEE — Tampa attorney George John Francis Werner was publicly reprimanded by the Florida Supreme Court in response to his failure to comply with the terms of a prior reprimand and probation order.
Werner was publicly reprimanded and placed on a one-year probation.
According to the formal complaint, the attorney was arrested on April 8, 2013, in Hillsborough County under the suspicion of driving under the influence, a misdemeanor in the state. On Oct. 21, 2013, Werner pled no lo contendere to the charges. The attorney was placed on a 12-month probation and required to complete community service hours and DUI school and pay court costs for the criminal charges.
The Florida Bar also imposed a one-year probation and ordered Werner to enter into an agreement with the state’s lawyer assistance program that he would abstain from drinking during the probationary period, according to court records.
A Petition for Contempt and Order to Show Cause filed with the courts says that the attorney allegedly failed to return the signed contract stating he would adhere to the restrictions. In March 2016, the attorney claimed that he would not be entering into the agreement and would instead file a motion for a rehearing. The attorney’s motion was denied, and he attempted to circumvent the order with several other filings over time. The petition for contempt was filed in response to his inability to comply with the contract requirement.
Prior to the original probation order, the attorney had one additional instance of discipline, an admonishment in December 2008 for misconduct in a single client matter. He allegedly failed to communicate with his client, failed to file papers in a timely manner and failed to release client paperwork after his employment was terminated.
Werner was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1984 after graduating from the University of Florida Frederic G. Levin College of Law.