TALLAHASSEE (Florida Record) — Beverly Hills attorney David Leonard Ross has been voluntarily disbarred following a Feb. 22 Florida Supreme Court order ahead of pending allegations that he practiced law while suspended, according to a recent announcement by The Florida Bar.

The high court granted Ross' petition for a disciplinary revocation, tantamount to disbarment, with leave to seek readmission after five years, according to the court's order. Ross already was suspended so his disbarment was effective immediately, according to the court's order. Ross also was ordered to pay almost $2,051 in costs. 

The state bar included Ross' discipline and the Supreme Court's order in its March 27 announcement of 19 attorneys practicing in Florida who have been disciplined. 

The state Supreme Court's two-page order is not final until time to file a rehearing motion expires. Filing such a motion would not alter the effective date of the Ross' disbarment.

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.

Ross was admitted to the bar in Florida on Feb. 9, 1982, according to his profile at the state bar website.

Ross was suspended for three years in May 2014 over allegations he forged another attorney's signature on a case filing and withheld money that belonged to a client, according to a state Supreme Court opinion handed down at the time. The high court handed down the multiyear suspension despite a referee's recommendation that Ross be suspended for six months, according to the opinion.

In his dissent to that opinion, Justice Charles T. Canady and Justice Jorge Labarga said they would have advocated an even harsher punishment, saying Ross should have been disbarred. 

"The egregiousness of Mr. Ross' conduct is found not only in his repeated efforts to evade his client, but in the protracted period of time over which this misconduct occurred," Labarga said in his dissent. "What is more, despite repeated requests, to this day, Mr. Ross has not provided the client with an accounting of the remaining $5000 that he did not reimburse." 

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