Supreme Court orders reprimand of Fort Myers attorney over defamatory remarks

By Karen Kidd | Feb 5, 2019

TALLAHASSEE — Fort Myers attorney Matthew Scott Toll was ordered to be publicly reprimanded following a Nov. 8 Florida Supreme Court order over defamatory remarks he allegedly made to an opposing party, according to a recent announcement by The Florida Bar.

"Toll made defamatory comments toward the opposing party, one of whom was also a lawyer, in a civil suit," the state bar said in its Jan. 31 announcement of the discipline and the Supreme Court's order. "In a letter attached as an exhibit in the civil complaint, Toll used unprofessional language, made unfounded allegations and threatened criminal and bar disciplinary investigations."

In its two-page order, the state Supreme Court also ordered Toll to pay $1,250 in costs.

In the consent judgment filed with the court, Toll agreed to the reprimand before The Florida Bar's Board of Governors at its next meeting following the state Supreme Court's approval of the reprimand.

It is not clear whether Toll has been reprimanded. The next meeting of the board of governors following the state Supreme Court's order was Dec. 12 to 15 at the Ritz Carlton in Naples, according to information on the state bar's website. The minutes of that meeting have not yet been posted to the state bar's website and Toll's reprimand does not appear on the agenda for the board's upcoming meeting at the DoubleTree in Tallahassee later this week.

Toll was admitted to the bar in Florida on Sept. 16, 2004, according to his profile at the state bar website. No prior discipline before the state bar is listed on Toll's state bar profile.

The defamatory remarks for which Toll's reprimand was order occurred in October 2017 while he was representing a client in a dispute with a neighbor, according to the consent judgment filed with the court. The consent judgment also includes Toll's conditional guilty plea.

Both Toll's client and the client's neighbor are attorneys, according to the consent judgment.

A letter Toll sent to the neighbor "contained unprofessional language and unfounded allegations" that the neighbor had committed crimes "including voyeurism and child pornography," the consent judgment said. The letter also "suggested" that the neighbor "violated his ethical and professional obligations as an attorney."

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