Orlando attorney disbarred for failing to comply with suspension requirements

By Karen Kidd | Dec 6, 2017

Orlando attorney Michael Kevin Rathel has been disbarred following a Nov. 1 Florida Supreme Court order that found him in contempt for failing to comply with requirements of previous suspensions that stem from a Florida Bar Association inquiry into a second mortgage on his home.

The high court's two-page order in Rathel's disbarment followed a state bar petition for contempt filed with the court. The state bar's petition alleged Rathel failed to comply with requirements in his two suspensions earlier this year that he notify clients, opposing counsel and tribunals of his suspension and within 30 days provide the state bar with a list of those notified.

The state supreme court found Rathel in contempt and ordered him to pay $1,250 in costs. As Rathel already was suspended, the high court's disbarment was effective immediately, according to the order. The Florida State Bar announced Rathel's disbarment and the supreme court's order Nov. 21.

In Florida, court orders are not final until after time to file a rehearing motion expires. Rathel was admitted to the bar in Florida on March 31, 2000, according to his profile at the state bar website.

Rathel was twice suspended earlier this year, for one year following a state high court order in March and pending full compliance with a state bar subpoena for his client trust account records and until further court order following a state high court order in June. In those orders, Rathel was directed to pay $3,304 and $1,250 in costs respectively.

Rathel initially was suspended over allegations that included failure to repay a second mortgage contracted with a homeowner in 2005, according to a formal complaint filed by the state bar. Rathel was alleged to have purchased a house after persuading the seller to hold a second mortgage for $100,000 to make up a shortfall in the amount Rathel was able to finance in a first mortgage, according to the formal complaint.

Rathel also is alleged to have failed to file and pay his personal federal and corporate tax returns in a timely manner starting in or about 2010, according to the complaint.

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