Miami attorney Mark S. Gallegos has been suspended for 91 days following an Aug. 10 Florida Supreme Court order over allegations he failed to diligently and competently perform services in two immigration cases, one of which had been pro bono.
Gallegos allegedly failed to file documents, or did not timely file documents, and he failed to adequately communicate with clients, according to a consent judgment filed with the court. The judgment also includes Gallegos' unconditional guilty plea.
One of Gallegos' clients was unable to re-enter the U.S., was forced to leave his job and he and his family had to return to Venezuela, according to the consent judgment.
Gallegos' suspension was effective 30 days from the state court's two-page order. The Florida State Bar announced the discipline and the Supreme Court's order Sept. 27.
The high court also ordered Gallegos to pay $3,640 in costs.
In Florida, court orders are not final until after time to file a rehearing motion expires. Attorneys disbarred in the state may not reapply for admission for five years and must pass through an extensive process that includes a rigorous background check and retaking the bar exam.
Gallegos was admitted to the bar in Florida on May 27, 1983, according to his profile at the state bar website.
In a previous discipline, Gallegos was suspended for 90 days following a September 2011 state supreme court order. Allegations in that suspension followed Gallegos becoming a delinquent state bar member Sept. 14, 2009, after failing to comply with a fee arbitration award, according to a consent judgment filed at the time.
Gallegos allegedly failed to inform his clients in a Fair Labor Standards Act case that he was no longer allowed to practice law in Florida, according to that consent judgment. His delinquency was not cleared until the following month, according to that consent judgment. The high court also ordered Gallegos to pay $6,555 in costs in that suspension.
In May 2009, Gallegos was publicly reprimanded and placed on one year of probation following a state high court order. The discipline followed a formal state bar complaint that he failed to respond to a state bar inquiry. Gallegos also was ordered to pay $1,000 in restitution and $1,250 in costs.