Atlantic Beach attorney indefinitely suspended after alleged failure to respond to official inquiries

By Karen Kidd | Apr 1, 2019

TALLAHASSEE — Atlantic Beach attorney Brett Allen Mearkle, suspended in December, has been suspended again following a March 19 Florida Supreme Court order over allegations he didn't cooperate in a state bar inquiry, according to a recent announcement by The Florida Bar.

"Mearkle failed to respond to two official Florida Bar inquiries," the state bar said in its March 29 announcement of the discipline and the Supreme Court's order.

In its two-page order, the high court granted the state bar's petition for contempt and order to show cause before indefinitely suspending Mearkle and ordered him to pay $1,250 in costs.

"As a sanction, [the] respondent is suspended from the practice of law," the court's order said. "[Mearkle] is currently suspended; therefore this suspension is 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 Mearkle's suspension.

Mearkle was admitted to the bar in Florida on June 18, 2003, according to his profile at the state bar website.

Mearkle was suspended for 90 days following a Dec. 20 state Supreme Court order over allegations he did very little or no work on three client cases, according to Jan. 31 state bar announcement.

In its December suspension, the high court allowed Mearkle 30 days from the date of its order to close his practice and protect his existing clients' interests.

A state bar grievance committee subsequently found Mearkle in noncompliance and contempt, according to the state bar's petition.

"As of the date of the service of this Petition, [Mearkle] has failed to respond to two official bar inquiries," the petition said.

The grievance committee also found Mearkle failed to show good cause for failing to respond to the official state bar inquiries and that his alleged noncompliance had been willful, according to the petition. The petition did not say what the inquiries were about.

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