TALLAHASSEE — Suspended New York attorney Dale James Morgado has been disbarred following a Feb. 7 Florida Supreme Court order over multiple misappropriation allegations, according to a recent announcement by the Florida Bar.
"In several instances, Morgado settled client cases and misappropriated the settlement proceeds," the state bar said in its Feb. 28 announcement of the discipline and the Supreme Court's order. "He also failed to adequately communicate with some clients and subsequently abandoned them."
In its single-page order, the high court approved the uncontested referee's report filed in the matter before disbarring Morgado, and ordered him to pay almost $1,750 in costs.
Morgado "is currently suspended, therefore this disbarment is effective immediately," the order said.
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 Morgado's disbarment.
Attorneys disbarred in Florida generally cannot reapply for admission for five years and must complete an extensive process that includes a rigorous background check and retaking the bar exam.
Morgado was admitted to the bar in Florida on April 16, 2009, according to his profile at the state bar website.
Allegations against Morgado stem from four client matters, according to the referee's report. In one, a civil rights case against a Miami-Dade college, Morgado failed to timely perfect service and the case ended up dismissed with prejudice. In another, he "mishandled litigation" that had been filed against his client's company by a former employee over alleged Fair Labor Standards Act violations.
The referee found Morgado violated professional conduct rules, including those regarding competence, diligence and safekeeping property. The referee also found aggravating factors that included a dishonest or selfish motive and a pattern of misconduct, and recommended Morgado be disbarred and required to pay costs.