West Palm Beach attorney faces 10-day suspension over bungled title transfer

By Karen Kidd | Dec 2, 2018

TALLAHASSEE — West Palm Beach attorney Richard Brian Carey faces a 10-day suspension following a Nov. 15 Florida Supreme Court order over allegations he his mishandled a title transfer, according to a recent announcement by The Florida Bar.

"Carey failed to properly review a file before his title company handled a property closing," the state bar said in its Nov. 30 announcement of the discipline and the Supreme Court's order. "It resulted in the improper transfer of the title."

The high court also ordered Carey to pay $1,250 in costs.

Carey's suspension will be effective 30 days from the date of the court's order to allow him time to close out his practice and protect his existing clients' interests, according to the high court's two-page 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 Carey's suspension

Carey was admitted to the bar in Florida on Sept. 25, 2009, according to his profile at the state bar website.

Carey had been hired in March 2016 to represent the client in the title transfer matter over property in St. Petersburg following the death of the client's mother the previous year, according to the consent judgment filed with the court. The consent judgment also includes Carey's conditional guilty plea.

The client later alleged in the complaint filed with the state bar that Carey's title company handled the transaction in which the property was sold by the client's uncle "to a third party by fraudulent means," the consent judgment said. The uncle did not have the right to sell the property, according to the client's complaint.

Carey was on vacation during the St. Petersburg property's closing and admitted he did not review the file before the closing date and that a gap in the chain of title had been created that should have suspended the closing, the consent judgment said.

In a previous discipline, Carey was publicly reprimanded by publication following a March 2016 Supreme Court order for allegedly failing to adequately represent a client in lien negotiation settlement with a mortgage company. The client filed a complaint against Carey but subsequently was able to resolve the lien.

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