TALLAHASSEE – Fort Myers attorney Thomas R. Busatta Sr. has been suspended for six months following a Florida Supreme Court order issued this spring over allegations he mishandled multiple client matters, according to a recent announcement by The Florida Bar.
"In handling several cases, Busatta lacked diligence and competence," the state bar said in its May 29 announcement of the discipline and the Supreme Court's order. "Busatta failed to properly represent a client, which resulted in [an] over $6,000 attorney fee judgment against the client. In another matter, Busatta tasked inexperienced associates with representing clients in a civil case, which resulted in numerous errors and a more than $25,000 attorney fee judgment against the clients. In another matter, Busatta was dismissed due to a conflict of interest. He also failed to adequately communicate with clients and failed to timely respond in writing to official Bar inquiries."
Busatta's suspension was effective 30 days from the date of the court's two-page order and he also was ordered to pay almost $3,500 in costs.
Busatta refunded the client for the attorney fee judgment and he also "satisfied the judgment" that had been entered against a couple he represented, according to the consent judgment filed with the court. The consent judgment also includes Busatta's conditional guilty plea.
Busatta was admitted to the bar in Florida on May 22, 2009, according to his profile at the state bar website.
In a previous discipline, Busatta was suspended for 60 days following a May 2015 Supreme Court order over allegations he paid associate salaries from funds in his trust account and habitually appeared at hearings and trials late or not at all. Those allegations were detailed in the state bar's complaint filed at the time. In June of that year, Busatta informed the court that he was no longer practicing law.
Busatta was publicly reprimanded and placed on probation for two years following a July 2014 court order after the state bar alleged he lacked competence and didn't properly supervise his non-attorney assistants in several bankruptcy matters. He was suspended for 90 days following a July 2013 court order after state bar allegations against him in four client matters.