Attorney Brian Christopher Morris of Port Jefferson Station, New York, practicing in Florida almost seven years, has been disbarred following a Jan. 25 Florida Supreme Court order over allegations he commingled and misappropriated client trust funds, according to a recent announcement by The Florida Bar.
"During every month of a bar audit period, there were shortages in Morris' trust account ranging from $2,000 to more than $9,000," the state bar said in its Feb. 27 announcement of the discipline and the Supreme Court's order. "Morris admitted the shortages were caused by numerous online transfers to his operating and personal accounts unrelated to client matters. Morris was not entitled to take the funds as his fees or costs."
Morris has been on emergency suspension since May, so his disbarment was effective immediately, according to the state Supreme Court's single-page order. The state high court also ordered Morris to pay almost $13,398 in costs.
In a separate order, also issued Jan. 25, the Supreme Court order approved an uncontested referee report for the disbursement of almost $3,378 in frozen trust funds total to nine individuals and ordered Morris to pay a little more than $1,271 in costs.
In Florida court orders are not final until time to file a rehearing motion expires. Attorneys disbarred in the state cannot reapply for admission for five years. then they must pass an extensive process that includes a rigorous background check and retaking the bar exam.
Morris was admitted to the Florida bar March 25, 2011, according to his profile at the state bar website.
In May, Morris was placed on emergency suspension and ordered to stop disbursing or withdrawing any monies his law practice's trust accounts, following a Supreme Court order. The previous February, Morris was publicly reprimanded following a Supreme Court order
for failing to timely comply with a court order for his trust account records. Morris did eventually comply with the court order and he was required to pay $1,250 in costs, according to that order.