Orlando attorney indefinitely suspended following allegations of misappropriating about $37,000

By Karen Kidd | Dec 2, 2018

TALLAHASSEE — Orlando attorney Elizabeth Jayne Anderson has been indefinitely suspended following an Oct. 8 Florida Supreme Court order over misappropriation allegations, according to a recent announcement by the Florida Bar.

"Anderson appeared to be causing great public harm by misappropriating client trust funds and neglecting client matters," the state bar said in its Nov. 30 announcement of the discipline and the Supreme Court's order. "While representing a homeowners' association, Anderson had a shortage of $37,000 in her trust account. She used the client trust funds for her own benefit or the benefit of her law firm, and she failed to maintain minimum required trust account records."

The high court approved the state bar's petition for emergency suspension and suspended Anderson until further court order.

Florida court orders are not final until time to file a rehearing motion expires. Filing such a motion does not alter the effective date of Anderson's suspension.

Anderson was admitted to the bar in Florida on April 14, 2003, according to her profile at the state bar website. No prior discipline before the state bar is listed on Anderson's state bar profile.

In its petition following a complaint filed by a Winter Garden housing development in November last year, the state bar alleged that Anderson had engaged "in a pattern of misappropriating client trust funds and neglecting client matters." A state bar audit of Anderson's trust accounts from December 2013 to this past April found that Anderson had allegedly failed to label the account she used for the homeowner's association as a trust account and to maintain the backs of canceled checks, according to the petition.

Entries on ledger cards for the trust account also did not consistently contain reasons for transactions and Anderson's reconciliations for the account during the audit period did not identify outstanding checks by date and check number, according to the petition.

The state bar's audit found a shortfall of about $37,000 in the trust account as of February 23, which was the amount belonging to the housing development that she was required to turn over to the development's new counsel, according to the petition.

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