Hollywood attorney Carol Lynn Benson Kendall has been disbarred following an Sept. 22 Florida Supreme Court order over allegations that included failing to adequately represent clients in two separate matters.
In one client matter, Kendall allegedly took little or no significant action and failed to keep the client properly informed or return calls, according to a formal Florida State Bar complaint filed with the court. In the second, Kendall allegedly withdrew from representation, forcing the client to hire new counsel, according to the complaint.
The Florida State Bar announced the discipline and the Supreme Court's two-page order on Oct. 30.
Kendal already was under suspension, so her disbarment was effective immediately, according to the high court's order, which also directed Kendal to pay $1,734 in costs and $1,075 in restitution to one client.
In Florida, court orders are not final until after time to file a rehearing motion expires. Attorneys disbarred in the state cannot reapply for admission for five years and even then they must pass through an extensive process that includes a rigorous background check and retaking the bar exam.
Kendall was admitted to the bar in Florida on April 10, 2002, according to her profile at the state bar website.
In one of the two client matters, Kendall was retained in June 2014 to represent a client in a child custody case, according to the state bar's complaint. Kendall allegedly took little or no significant action on her client's behalf, did not return inquiries for case status updates and did not keep her client informed, according to the complaint.
"In truth and in fact, the only pleading respondent ever filed was a notice of appearance entered in March 2015, nearly a year after she was hired," the complaint said.
In the other client matter, Kendall allegedly failed to inform her client of motions filed by the other side in the case, and the trial court accepted the motions in July 2015, according to the complaint. Kendall then withdrew from representing the client, who had to hire another attorney, according to the complaint. Due to Kendall's "complete abandonment" of her client and the client's cause of action, the client was unable to present a defense in the case, according to the complaint.