Hollywood attorney suspended indefinitely for allegedly misappropriating almost $20,000

By Karen Kidd | Dec 1, 2017

Hollywood attorney Mizell Campbell Jr has been suspended indefinitely following an Oct. 12 Florida Supreme Court emergency suspension order over allegations he commingled trust funds and with his personal funds and misappropriated almost $20,000.

Campbell's suspension was effective 30 days from the state court's order, according to the Florida State Bar's Nov. 21 announcement of the discipline and the high court's order. The state bar sought Campbell's emergency suspension because the attorney "appears to be causing great public harm," according to the state bar's 48-page petition for emergency suspension.

The petition includes more than 900 pages of exhibits and other supporting documents.

Last month, the state supreme court denied Campbell's emergency motion to stay the proceedings. In Florida, court orders are not final until after time to file a rehearing motion expires. Filing such a motion would not alter the effective date of the Campbell's suspension.

Campbell was admitted to the bar in Florida on May 8, 2003, according to his profile at the state bar website. Campbell has had no other discipline before the state bar for at least ten years, according to his profile.

The state bar's allegations against Campbell include failing to account for client funds, to properly and timely disburse client trust funds and making misrepresentations to his clients about their trust funds, according to the state bar's petition. "The bar's investigation of this matter has indicated that [Campbell] has commingled trust funds with his own funds and that he has misappropriated at least $19,993.00 of client trust funds for his own benefit," the petition said.

Campbell allegedly used money that should have been held in trust for other clients to cover shortages in his trust account that Campbell created when he misappropriated from the sale of a dry cleaners on behalf of one of his client, according to the petition. The petition likened the Campbell's alleged use of other clients' funds to cover the shortage as "similar to a Ponzi scheme".

The state bar's lengthy description of Campbell's alleged misconduct includes violations of court rules, including those regulating trust accounts, engaging in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation and notifying the state bar of trust account shortages, according to the petition.

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