Winter Garden attorney Leigh A. Kyer has been voluntarily disbarred following a Dec. 28 Florida Supreme Court order over allegations she improperly used client funds, according to a recent announcement by the Florida Bar.
The state high court granted Kyer's petition for a disciplinary revocation, tantamount to disbarment, with leave to seek readmission after five years. "A disciplinary matter pending against Kyer involved an allegation that she improperly used client funds for purposes other than for what they were intended," said the state bar's Jan. 29 announcement of the discipline and the Supreme Court's two-page order of disciplinary revocation.
Kyer's disbarment was effective 30 days from the date of the court's order to allow her time to close out her practice and protect existing clients' interests. Kyer also was ordered to pay almost $5,846 in costs.
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 Kyer's suspension.
Attorneys disbarred in the state may not reapply for admission for five years. Even then they must pass an extensive process that includes a rigorous background check and retaking the bar exam.
Kyer was admitted to the Florida bar Feb. 21, 2000, according to her profile at the state bar website. Kyer had no prior discipline before the state bar, according to her profile and petition for a disciplinary revocation.
A Florida Bar audit found shortages in Kyer's trust account from April 5, 2016, through April 14, 2017, ranging from $335.96 to $3,748.19, according to Kyer's petition. In March and April 2017, Kyer made deposits into the trust account to cover the shortage, according to her petition.
"Portions of earnest money deposits from real estate settlements were transferred to [Kyer]'s operating account prior to closings and were used for [Kyer]'s benefit or the benefit of her firm," the petition said. "However, because the funds were transferred prior to the closing, [Kyer] disbursed her fees prematurely."