Atlanta attorney Nishit Virendra Patel has been publicly reprimanded by publication in the Southern Reporter following an Aug. 24 Florida Supreme Court ruling after being convicted of DUI twice in two years.
Patel also allegedly neglected a client's case and failed to respond to Florida State Bar inquiries, according to the consent judgment filed with the court. The judgment also includes Patel's conditional guilty plea.
Patal also was placed on three years' probation and ordered to pay $1,403 in costs, according to the state supreme court's single-page order.
Patel agreed to enter a two-year rehabilitation contract with Florida Lawyer's Assistance and, as also a member of the George State Bar, will satisfy any responding requirements regarding the discipline, according to the consent judgment.
The Florida State Bar announced the discipline and the Supreme Court's order on Sept. 27. In Florida court orders are not final until after time to file a rehearing motion expires.
Patel was admitted to the bar in Florida on Oct. 17, 2007, according to his profile at the state bar website. Patel has had no other discipline before the state bar for at least 10 years, according to his profile.
On Oct. 10, 2014, Patel was arrested for DUI and refusal to submit to a breath test in Sarasota County, according to the consent judgment. On Oct. 5, 2016, Patel pleaded no contest on both counts and was sentenced to a year of probation, 100 public services hours and a five-year driver's license suspension.
Patel had also been adjudicated guilty for DUI in April 2014, according to the consent judgment.
In November following his 2014 DUI conviction, Patel was retained by a client to handle a family law relocation case, in which he failed to handle a parenting plan and child support modification, according to the consent judgment. The client later reported she was "very displeased" with Patel's representation and wanted Patel to negotiate a further modification of the parenting plan and child support following a court ruling against her, the consent judgment said.
Patel ceased contact with his client in about November 2015 and failed to communicate any further with her regarding the status of her case, according to the judgment.