TALLAHASSEE — Hollywood attorney Gregory Eric Schwartz faces voluntarily disbarment following a Nov. 21 Florida Supreme Court order over allegations of misappropriation, according to a recent announcement by The Florida Bar.
"Disciplinary charges pending against Schwartz involved the alleged misappropriation of funds belonging to a third party," the state bar said in its Dec. 27 announcement of the discipline and the Supreme Court's order. "Schwartz failed to confirm the purpose for which the funds were deposited into his trust account and his authority to disburse the money."
The state Supreme Court issued its two-page order of disciplinary revocation, tantamount to disbarment, and granted Schwartz leave to seek readmission after five years.
Schwartz's disbarment will be effective 60 days from the date of the court's order to allow time to close his practice and protect his existing clients' interests, according to the high court's order. The court also ordered Schwartz to pay $1,250 in costs.
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 Schwartz's disbarment.
Disbarred Florida attorneys who reapply for admission must pass an extensive process that includes a rigorous background check and retaking the bar exam.
Schwartz was admitted to the bar in Florida on Oct. 9, 1996, according to his profile at the state bar website. No prior discipline before the state bar is listed on Schwartz's state bar profile.
In his petition for disciplinary revocation, Schwartz admitted to following his client's instructions "that resulted in the alleged misappropriation of funds" that belonged to a Canadian investment and real estate firm.
"It is alleged that [Schwartz], as escrow agent, followed the directions of his client, co-respondent, rather than the directives of the third party owners of the funds, resulting in the alleged improper disbursement of the funds," Schwartz said in his petition.
No client "has suffered any loss," the petition said.