Florida Record

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Lakeland attorney suspended for probation violations

By Karen Kidd | Aug 22, 2017

Lakeland attorney Cindy LoCicero Runyan has been suspended for 91 days following a July 13 Florida Supreme Court order after she violated the terms of a 2015 order requiring, among other things, she "refrain from mood-altering substances", according to a recent Florida State Bar report.

Runyan failed to respond to a court-ordered show cause order, according to the state court's order. The high court also required Runyan to pay monitoring fee arrearages of $1,600 before she can petition for reinstatement and terminated a previous probationary period. As an additional reinstatement condition, Runyan was ordered by the court to undergo a substance abuse evaluation.

The high court also ordered Runyan to pay the state bar's costs of $1,250. Her suspension was set to become effective 30 after the July 13 court order.

The Florida State Bar announced the discipline and the state supreme court's order July 31. In Florida, court orders are not final until after time to file a rehearing motion expires.

Runyan was admitted to the bar in Florida on Dec. 31, 1987, according to her profile at the state bar website.

In February 2015, Runyan was placed on five years' probation following a state high court order that required she sign a monthly rehabilitation contract with Florida Lawyers Assistance and pay a $100 monthly monitoring fee to the state bar's headquarters. "She was also required to refrain from mood-altering substances and submit to random drug/alcohol screenings," the state bar's report said.

That order stemmed from her arrest in June 2014 on charges she misused the 911 system, according to details in her conditional guilty plea filed with the state supreme court's 2015 order. She also did not initially respond to the state bar's investigation but did respond when the matter was set for a probable cause vote, according to her conditional guilty plea. She voluntarily entered a six month in-patient treatment program and was evaluated by Florida Lawyers Assistance.

Runyan admitted she suffers from mental health issues and alcoholism and, by the time of the 2015 order, she had voluntarily taken steps to seek counseling and in-patient treatment and was then in full compliance with the conditions of her treatment program, according to her conditional guilty plea.

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