New York attorney Stewart Meagher McGough will receive a public reprimand following a Sept. 14 Florida Supreme Court order over allegations he engaged in a conflict of interest, according to a Florida State Bar announcement.
McGough of Syracuse, New York, who is licensed to practice law in Florida and New York, allegedly provided dual representation of clients in connection with drafting their revised estate planning documents, according to the consent judgment filed with the court. The consent judgment also includes McGough's conditional guilty plea.
The public reprimand will be administered by the Florida Board of Governors on a date and location to be determined by the state bar and will be published in the Southern Reporter, according to the Supreme Court's single-page order.
In addition to the reprimand, McGrough must attend ethics school, a professionalism workshop and complete 10 additional hours of continuing legal education credits in estate planning, according to the order. The state high court also directed McGough to pay about $1,793 in costs.
The Florida State Bar announced the discipline and the state supreme court's order on Oct. 30.
McGough was admitted to the bar in Florida on Oct. 29, 1980, according to his profile at the state bar website. McGough has had no other disciplines before the state bar, according to his profile and the consent judgment.
In March 2011, McGough allegedly attempted to have two clients sign draft trust amendments and estate documents, despite a court order, allegations McGough denied, according to the consent judgment. McGough allegedly engaged in a conflict of interest in the dual representation of the two clients, an elderly married couple, in drafting their revised estate planning documents.
McGough also allegedly failed to advise both clients to seek advice from independent counsel about the proposed changes and to obtain a written conflict waiver.
McGough's substantial experience in the practice of law was considered an aggravating factor, according to the consent judgment. Mitigating factors included an absence of dishonest or selfish motive, a timely good faith effort to make restitution or to rectify the consequences of his alleged misconduct and a full and free disclosure to the state bar's disciplinary board.