TALLAHASSEE (Florida Record) — Pensacola attorney Richard Duane Cserep has been publicly reprimanded by a judicial referee following a March 22 Florida Supreme Court order after he was sanction by an appeals court in 2016, according to a recent announcement by The Florida Bar.
Cserep's public reprimand, issued April 11, was handed down over alleged violation of professional conduct rules that refer to competence, diligence, expediting litigation and other matters. "Mr. Cserep, despite numerous attempts by the First District Court of Appeal to communicate with you regarding the status of your appellate cases, you failed to respond to their inquiries," said the reprimand signed by referee Judge Lucas N. Taylor. "As a result, the court sanctioned you for failure to comply with its appellate rules and orders to show cause in two appellate matters."
Cserep had been appointed to two First District Court appeals "but failed to timely comply with First DCA orders and appellate rules of court," the state bar said in its April 30 announcement of the discipline and the Supreme Court's order. "He also failed to timely file briefs, and at one point stopped communicating with the court."
The Supreme Court's order also required Cserep to pay about $1,444 in costs.
In Florida, court orders are not final until time to file a rehearing motion expires. Filing such a motion would not have altered the effective date of the Cserep's reprimand.
Cserep was admitted to the Florida bar Feb. 21, 1997, according to his profile at the state bar website. Cserep had no history of prior discipline, according to his state bar profile and the consent judgment filed with the court. The consent judgment also includes Cserep's conditional guilty plea.
Cserep agreed to the reprimand and said he also would attend the state bar's ethics schools, according to the consent judgment. Among mitigating factors in the case were personal and emotional problems Cserep said he was suffering at the time of his misconduct and that he "was overwhelmed by seven dependency [terminating parental rights] appeals that he had not been involved in at the trial level," the consent judgment said.
"[Cserep] also lost two of his experienced staff members and was not able to replace them until the beginning of 2017," the judgment said.