TALLAHASSEE — Panama City attorney John Leslie Gioiello has been suspended from practicing law.
The order from the Florida Supreme Court was issued after it was discovered the attorney had not complied with the terms set by a previous disciplinary order.
The attorney failed to obtain a quit claim deed from a former client, according to the Report of Minor Misconduct. The client received a $17,500 loan in which a property deeded to the client and another party secured the funds. The client allegedly failed to honor the promissory note, and the remaining party offered to pay the loan with the stipulation that the client would be unable claim the property. Gioiello agreed to have the lien on the property removed and to obtain the quit claim from the client, who was incarcerated at the time, according to court records. Gioiello was unable to get the client’s signature, alleging that when he went to have the client sign papers, he was informed his client had been released from prison early and was not able to not locate him.
Gioiello took responsibility for the matter and received an admonishment in February 2016. According to the Petition for Contempt and Order to Show Cause released with the suspension, as part of the admonishment, Gioiello was ordered to contact the Florida Lawyer’s Assistance Inc. (FLA Inc.) within 10 days of accepting the report of minor misconduct. Additionally, the attorney was required to provide proof of the FLA Inc. meeting to the Florida Bar within 60 days. Gioiello allegedly failed to do this, and the Supreme Court ordered his suspension 30 days from the issuance of the order and until he can comply with the terms of the original order.
The Bay County attorney has been a member of the Florida Bar since 1985. He is a graduate of the Samford University Cumberland School of Law and has only incurred one order of discipline prior to the admonishment, a public reprimand from 2011 for issues involving the safe keeping of client property, according to the Florida Bar.