Attorney David Campbell Sutton, of Clovis, California, practicing in Florida for more than 27 years, has been disbarred following a Jan. 24 Florida Supreme Court order after his 2014 suspension in North Carolina, according to a recent announcement by The Florida Bar.
"Sutton demonstrated a pattern of uncivil and indecent behavior toward the court, opposing counsel and parties, third parties and the general public," The Florida Bar said in its Feb. 27 announcement of the discipline and the Florida Supreme Court's order. "He repeatedly used intimidation and offensive words to achieve his or his clients' goals. He demonstrated on several occasions a failure to ensure that facts provided to the court are true and accurate."
The Florida Supreme Court, without comment, ordered Sutton's disbarment, disapproving a referee's recommendation that Sutton be suspended for two years, followed by two years' probation. Sutton's disbarment was effective 30 days from the date of the Florida Supreme Court's order to allow him time to close out his practice and protect his existing clients' interests. The Florida Supreme Court also ordered Sutton to pay almost $2,832 in costs.
In Florida, court orders are not final until time to file a rehearing motion expires. Attorneys disbarred in the state may not reapply for admission for five years. they then must pass an extensive process that includes a rigorous background check and retaking the bar exam.
Sutton was admitted to the Florida bar Nov. 21, 1990, according to his profile at The Florida Bar's website. Sutton had no prior discipline in Florida before the before The Florida Bar, according to his profile and the referee's report filed with the court.
In November 2014, Sutton was suspended for five years in North Carolina, according to an office of the North Carolina State Bar counsel report issued Oct. 28, 2016. His suspension followed a North Carolina disciplinary hearing commission finding "among other things, that Sutton routinely engaged in disruptive and abusive conduct toward the court, opposing counsel, and clients," the counsel report said.
An appeals court in North Carolina affirmed Sutton's suspension in October 2016, according to the counsel's report.
Last March the Florida Supreme Court denied without prejudice Sutton's amended motion to dismiss The Florida Bar's proceedings against him.