TALLAHASSEE — Longtime Fort Myers attorney David Allen Brener has been indefinitely suspended following a Nov. 28 Florida Supreme Court order over allegations he abandoned his practice, according to a recent announcement by The Florida Bar.
"Brener abandoned his law practice without notice to his clients and without taking reasonable steps to protect their interests," the state bar said in its Jan. 31 announcement of the discipline and the Supreme Court's order. "Brener has consistently and continually failed to appear for court proceedings since about early October 2018 in at least three counties—Lee, Pinellas and Collier. He also failed to appear at the show cause hearing."
Brener's suspension under further court order was effective Dec. 28, which was 30 days from the date of the state Supreme Court's 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 Brener's suspension.
Brener was admitted to the bar in Florida on Jan. 22, 1988, according to his profile at the state bar website. No prior discipline before the state bar is listed on Brener's state bar profile.
In its petition for emergency suspension, the state bar claimed Brener "appears to be causing great public harm by failing to attend hearings and abandoning his clients' legal matters, and failing to protect his clients' interests."
The state bar's petition was backed up by affidavits by six judges about Brener's alleged failure to appear at numerous court proceedings, "most of which were hearings or trials in criminal cases" and abandoning his clients, the petition said.
"(Brener's) abandonment of his practice and failure to appear for multiple court hearings has caused harm to his clients and to the legal system by causing unnecessary prejudice and delay," the petition said.
Brener is a solo practitioner "in multiple circuits and counties in Florida" with the 20th Judicial Circuit being his "primary circuit," the petition said.