Coral Gables attorney suspended twice in two months for failing to cooperate with state bar inquiries

By Karen Kidd | Jul 19, 2017

Coral Gables attorney Aura Olivas, who is facing allegations she'd misappropriated more than $300,000, has been suspended until further order following a May 3 Florida Supreme Court order for not cooperating in a state bar investigation.

Olivas didn't respond to official Florida State Bar inquiries and a subpoena for trust account records, inquiries that date to August 2016, according to the state bar's petition for contempt filed with the state supreme court. Olivas already was suspended in a separate state supreme court order in April, making the latest suspension immediately effective, according to the latest order.

The state high court directed Olivas to "fully comply" and said she "shall remain suspended until she fully responds in writing to the official bar inquiry, and until further order of this court," the most recent order said. Olivas also was ordered to pay the state bar's costs of $1,250.

The state bar announced the latest discipline June 29. The emergency suspension was authorized by state bar Executive Director John "Jack" Harkness Jr., whose successor, former FBI special agent Joshua Doyle, was announced in early June.

Olivas' profile at the state bar website indicates she remains ineligible to practice law in Florida. Olivas was admitted to the bar Sept. 19, 2002.

In February, Olivas was notified of an 11th Judicial Circuit grievance committee hearing on a request for issuance of notice of non-compliance and finding of contempt in the case but she did not respond, according to the grievance committee finding filed with the bar's petition for contempt. The grievance committee subsequently found Olivas willfully failed to show good cause for not responding and to be in contempt.

Two weeks earlier, Olivas was placed under emergency suspension by the state supreme court. That suspension was handed down when Olivas failed to respond to state bar inquiries over allegations that Olivas misappropriated $305,305 from the sale of a gas station in late 2014. Olivas represented a seller in that sale, according to the bar's petition for emergency suspension filed with the state high court in the lead-up to the April 19 emergency suspension.

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