Florida Record

Friday, August 23, 2019

Yulee attorney receives concurrent suspension over allegations of failing to file a client's case


By Karen Kidd | Mar 4, 2019

TALLAHASSEE — Yulee attorney Laura H. Coggin has been suspended for 30 days, to run concurrent with an ongoing suspension, following a Feb. 7 Florida Supreme Court order for allegedly failing to file a client's case, according to a recent announcement by the Florida Bar.

"Coggin was retained to represent a client in 2015 but, in 2018, the client learned that she had never filed anything on his behalf," the state bar said in its Feb. 28 announcement of the discipline and the Supreme Court's order.  

In its two-page order, the high court approved the uncontested referee's report filed in the matter before handing down the concurrent suspension. The court also ordered Coggin to pay $1,700 in restitution to her client, in addition to almost $1,464 in costs.

The concurrent suspension was effective immediately, according to the 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 Coggin's concurrent suspension.

Coggin was admitted to the bar in Florida on Sept. 25, 2008, according to her profile at the state bar website.

Coggin was suspended for 18 months following a state Supreme Court amended order handed down in January of last year over allegations she made unauthorized charges to a client's credit card, according to a state bar announcement at the time.

Allegations against Coggin in her more recent discipline stem from a paternity and child support case for which a client hired her in December 2015, according to the consent judgment filed with the court. The consent judgment also includes Coggin's conditional guilty plea.

The client paid $400 at the time as an initial fee to the law firm for which Coggin was working. She subsequently left that firm to open her solo practice. Coggin continued to represent the client, including through the period of her hospitalization, and return to scaled-down practice in March 2017, but the client no longer heard from her after early last year, according to the consent judgment.

Coggin admitted to violating professional conduct rules, including those regarding diligence and keeping a client informed about fees and costs for legal services and declining or terminating representation.

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