Florida Record

Friday, August 23, 2019

St. Augustine attorney suspended following false vendor invoices, settlement fund allegations

By Karen Kidd | Sep 12, 2017

St. Augustine attorney Christopher William Adamec has been suspended until further order following a June 28 Florida Supreme Court order over allegations he created false vendor invoices and converted settlement funds for his own personal use.

Adamec's suspension became effective 30 days from the state supreme court's order, which was announced by the Florida State Bar on Thursday, Aug. 31. The high court's order followed the state bar's petition for emergency suspension issued jointly with Adamec in May.

Adamec acknowledged he is suffering ongoing medical and mental health issues and his cooperation with the state bar, according to the 20-page petition for emergency suspension.

Adamec was admitted to the bar in Florida on May 5, 2003, according to his profile at the state bar website. Adamec has had no other discipline before the state bar for at least 10 years, according to his profile.

In Florida, court orders are not final until after time to file a rehearing motion expires.

The state bar's investigation that lead to Adamec's suspension was prompted following the attorney's representation of a client in a personal injury case when the client came top believe falsified invoices had been created for services never rendered, according to the petition for emergency suspension. The client contacted vendors, who informed the client that no work had been done for Adamec on the client's behalf and did not create invoices that the client had been shown, according to the petition for emergency suspension.

Adamec received a $50,000 check dated Dec. 15, 2016, on the client's behalf from an insurance company but the client "has not received any portion from that settlement," the petition for emergency suspension said. Those funds were subsequently deposited in the trust account of Adamec's counsel during the state bar's investigation, according to the petition for emergency suspension.

In addition to suspending Adamec, the petition for emergency suspension also recommended the attorney accept no new clients, that he alert all of his existing clients to his discipline and that he make no withdrawals or disbursements from his trust account. The petition for emergency suspension also recommended that Adamec be ordered to continue to cooperate with the state bar's investigation. The state court order accepted all of the petition's recommendations.

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Florida Bar The Florida Supreme Court