Tampa attorney suspended after allegedly assisting non-attorney practice law

By Karen Kidd | Jan 5, 2018

Tampa attorney George John Francis Werner has been suspended for one year following a Nov. 16 Florida Supreme Court order over allegations he neglected a client matter and assisted another person to practice law without a license.

Tampa attorney George John Francis Werner has been suspended for one year following a Nov. 16 Florida Supreme Court order over allegations he neglected a client matter and assisted another person to practice law without a license.  

Werner's suspension was effective 30 days from the date of the order and he will have to provide proof of rehabilitation prior to being reinstated, according to the supreme court's two-page order. Werner also was ordered to pay more than $7,445 in costs.

A two-count complaint was filed against Werner, according to the Florida State Bar's Dec. 28 announcement of the discipline and the high court's order. Werner allegedly neglected one matter when he failed to provide quid pro quo services and also failed to "properly and timely communicate about the representation", the announcement said. "He also helped a non-lawyer commit unlicensed practice of law in several personal injury cases and made misrepresentations to others."

In Florida, court orders are not final until time to file a rehearing motion expires. Filing such a motion would not alter the effective date of the Werner's suspension. Werner was admitted to Florida bar Dec. 7, 1984, according to his profile at the state bar website.

Werner has been disciplined three times previously, including this past February when he was held in contempt and publicly reprimanded following a state supreme court order for failing to sign a Florida Lawyers Assistance (FLA) contact as required by a previous order.

In that previous order, handed down by the state high court in February 2016, Werner was publicly reprimanded by publication and placed on probation for one year after he failed to timely notify the state bar about a DUI conviction, according to that order and a formal complaint filed by the state bar. In addition to signing the FLA contract, Werner was required under the terms of his probation to remain completely free of alcohol, according to an amended referee's report filed in the matter.

In a previous discipline, Werner was admonished and ordered to pay more than $2,099 in costs following a December 2008 state supreme court order over a complaint of minor misconduct. The complaint stemmed from a personal injury case for which Werner had been hired in January 2000.

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