Kissimmee attorney Talitha Marcine Leacock has been suspended following a Sept. 14 Florida Supreme Court order over allegations she failed to diligently represent clients after being retained.
In one client matter, Leacock allegedly failed to attend three hearings on behalf of her client, to timely respond to investigative inquiries from the Florida State Bar and to return unearned client fees, according to the consent judgment filed with the court. The consent judgment also includes Leacock's conditional guilty plea.
Leacock also was ordered by the high court in its two-page order to pay $300 in restitution to the personal representative of an estate she represented and $1,479 in costs.
The Florida State Bar announced the discipline and the state supreme court's order Oct. 30. In Florida, court orders are not final until the time to file a rehearing motion expires. Filing such a motion would not alter the effective date of the Leacock's suspension.
Leacock was admitted to the bar in Florida on Sept. 28, 1998, according to her profile at the state bar website.
In another of the five client matters from which allegations against Leacock arose, she was hired in March 2015 to represent a client in a criminal case and to file a motion to reinstate/modify bond, according to the consent judgment. Soon after it was determined that the assistant public defender in the case had filed a motion to set bail and a hearing was scheduled for early the following month, according to the judgment.
Leacock was informed the same day that her services were no longer needed and a fee refund was requested, the judgment said. "[Leacock] maintained that she had already prepared documents for filing when the representation was terminated," the judgment said. "[Leacock] however failed to timely respond to a follow up inquiry from the bar regarding the matter."
The high court's most recent order was not the first time Leacock had been disciplined. In December 2015, she was publicly reprimanded following a Florida Supreme Court order after the state bar filed a petition for contempt. The state bar alleged in its petition that Leacock failed to respond to official bar inquiries.