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 County.
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.