Florida Record

Monday, September 23, 2019

Fort Myers attorney permanently disbarred following no contest plea to drug charge


By Karen Kidd | Mar 4, 2019

TALLAHASSEE — Fort Myers attorney Arthur P. Cohen has been voluntarily and permanently disbarred following a Feb. 7 Florida Supreme Court order after his conviction on a drug charge and allegations in a single client matter, according to a recent announcement by the Florida Bar.

"Cohen pleaded no contest to misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia," the state bar said in its Feb. 28 announcement of the discipline and the Supreme Court's order. "He also was charged with felony drug possession. In a criminal matter, Cohen represented a client, but failed to properly inform the client that his appearance was necessary for a court hearing. Finally, Cohen was alleged to have failed to timely file a notice of appeal in a client’s criminal matter while working for another attorney and failing to communicate with the client."

In its two-page order, the high court approved the uncontested referee's report filed in the matter before permanently disbarring Cohen.

Cohen "agreed to cease practicing law within 30 days of executing the permanent disbarment on consent; therefore this permanent disbarment is effective immediately," the order said.

The court also ordered Cohen to pay $1,751 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 Cohen's disbarment.

Cohen was admitted to the bar in Florida on May 17, 1984, according to his profile at the state bar website. Cohen was previously suspended in April 2014 and June 2011, according to information on his state bar profile.

Cohen was twice arrested in February of last year, first for misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia and next for felony cocaine possession, according to the permanent disbarment by consent agreement he reached with the state bar. The following month, Cohen pled no contest on the misdemeanor charge and was sentenced to time served, 31 days in jail. Cohen also entered a pre-trial diversion program for the felony charge.

The State Attorney's office notified the state bar about the drug charges against Cohen.

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