TALLAHASSEE — West Palm Beach attorney Andrew David Stine was briefly suspended earlier this year following an April 12 Florida Supreme Court order over allegations he served an improper subpoena in a child abuse case, according to Florida Supreme Court documents.
In its two-page order, the high court approved the uncontested referee's report filed in the matter before suspending Stine for 10days and ordering him to pay about $1,315 in costs. Stine's suspension was effective 30 days from the date of the court's order.
"Stine represented a woman in a child abuse case at a daycare center," the state bar said in its May 29 announcement of the discipline and the Supreme Court's order. "He subsequently served a subpoena on the facility to obtain surveillance video. Although the subpoena appeared to be valid and enforceable, it had no force and effect because a civil action had not been filed at the time the subpoena was served."
In Florida, court orders are not final until after time to file a rehearing motion expires. Filing such a motion would not have altered the effective date of Stine's suspension.
Stine was admitted to the bar in Florida on June 27, 2003, according to his profile at the state bar website. No prior discipline before the state bar is listed on Stine's state bar profile.
In July 2015, Stine took on the civil case of a woman who claimed her child had been abused by a staff member at a Lake Worth daycare center, according to the consent judgment filed with the court. The consent judgment also includes Stine's conditional guilty plea.
After the child's mother informed Stine that that she'd been allowed by the daycare's manager to view "at least a portion of the surveillance video that captured the mistreatment of her daughter," Stine issued the subpoena, the consent judgment said. The civil action had not yet been filed, but the daycare center did provide the surveillance video.
"[Stine] asserts that he was mistaken regarding property subpoena procedures and believed that a pre-suit investigatory subpoena was permissible," the consent judgment said. "[Stine] adds that the nature of his practice was primarily criminal law, he had very limited experience in civil litigation and investigating civil claims."