TALLAHASSEE (Florida Record) — Fort Lauderdale attorney Gerald W. Adams has been suspended for 91 days following a Jan. 4 Florida Supreme Court order over allegations that included commingling personal funds with trust funds, according to a recent announcement by The Florida Bar.
"Adams failed to diligently represent two clients," the state bar said in its March 27 announcement of the discipline and the Supreme Court's order. "He required one client to sign two separate fee agreements, he had memory lapses at trials, made misrepresentations to The Florida Bar, he commingled personal funds with trust funds, and he failed to appear for a hearing."
In its two-page order, the state high court approved an uncontested referee's report filed in the matter before suspending Adams and ordered him to pay more than $2,976 in costs. Adams' suspension was effective 30 days from the date of the order to allow him time to close out his practice and protect the interests of his existing clients, according to the order.
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 Adams' suspension.
Adams was admitted to the bar in Florida on May 24, 1984, according to his profile at the state bar website.
In its formal charges against Adams included lacks of diligence, competence and candor, making false statements and improper communication, according to the referee's report.
The report also referred to three prior disciplines against Adams, all of them more than a decade ago. In May 1994, Adams was admonished "for his conduct toward a witness during trial," the report said. In September 1998, he was again admonished for neglecting his client, according to the referee's report, and in October 2001, Adams received a public reprimand "for neglect."