Miami attorney disbarred ahead of allegations he misappropriated more than $400K in client funds

By Karen Kidd | Mar 4, 2019

Florida Supreme Court chamber in Tallahassee   Nagel Photography / Shutterstock.com

TALLAHASSEE — Miami attorney David Philips has been voluntarily disbarred following a Feb. 25 Florida Supreme Court order ahead of disciplinary charges pending against him, according to a recent announcement by the Florida Bar.

"Charges pending against Philips involved the misappropriation of client trust funds," 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 accepted Philips' uncontested petition for disciplinary revocation, tantamount to disbarment, before disbarring Philips and ordering him to pay $4,659 in costs.

Philips "agreed to cease the practice of law within 30 days of tendering the petition for disciplinary revocation," the order said. "Therefore the disciplinary revocation shall be effective immediately."

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 Philips' suspension.

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.

Philips was admitted to the bar in Florida on Jan. 6, 1999, according to his profile at the state bar website.

Philips was suspended following a November 2015 following a Supreme Court order following felony drug charges against him, including cocaine possession and burglary of an unoccupied dwelling. No action was taken in the burglary charge and the cocaine charge was dismissed, according to Philips' petition.

Disciplinary charges currently pending against Philips are two counts of misappropriation that involved more than $400,000, according to the petition.

Philips "contends that granting this petition will not adversely affect the public interest, the integrity of the courts, or the confidence of the public in the legal profession," the petition said. "Further, [Philips] contends that granting this petition will not hinder the administration of justice."

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