Niceville attorney receives public reprimand for lying under oath

By Olivia Olsen | May 30, 2017

TALLAHASSEE — John David Snell of Niceville was recently ordered to be publicly reprimanded by the Florida Supreme Court due to a false statement the attorney made under oath, saying that he had not practiced law while his license was inactive. 

The formal complaint filed with the Supreme Court details the incident, which stems from 2015. The attorney reportedly received a reminder from the Florida Bar to complete his Continuing Legal Education Requirements (CLER) by April 30, 2015. Snell, along with all Florida licensed attorneys, needed to complete a set amount of CLER hours in order to keep his license in good standing. Snell allegedly failed to complete his CLER hours and was marked as “CLER delinquent” June 10, 2015. The attorney was notified of his delinquency and informed that he was placed on administrative suspension until he could provide proof of completion of his CLER hours and petitioned the court for reinstatement. 

More than a month later, on July 28, 2015, the attorney filed a petition for dissolution of marriage for his client despite his status. On Aug. 6, 2015, he filed a motion regarding child custody on behalf of a separate client. It was not until Aug. 11, 2015, that the attorney submitted his request for reinstatement with a signed oath stating that he had not practiced law during the suspension period.

The attorney was also charged with two counts of failing to respond to a Florida Bar investigation. Two of Snell’s clients filed complaints against him with the Florida Bar in December 2014 and February 2015. The court documents do not detail the nature of the complaints, rather the timeline of attempting to obtain a response from Snell and his failure to comply. 

Snell will be publicly reprimanded via publication and will serve a two-year probation. The Okaloosa County attorney was admitted to the Florida Bar in 2002 and has no prior record of discipline. 

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