TALLAHASSEE — Longtime Silver Springs attorney Albert John Vidal faces voluntary disbarment following a March 7 Florida Supreme Court order over allegations in two separate client matters, according to a recent announcement by The Florida Bar.
"Vidal was alleged to have failed to provide two separate clients with diligent representation and failed to maintain adequate communication with them," the state bar said in its March 29 announcement of the discipline and the Supreme Court's order. "Vidal was further alleged to have failed to respond in a timely manner to the bar’s investigative inquiries."
In its two-page order, the state Supreme Court accepted Vidal's uncontested petition for disciplinary revocation, tantamount to disbarment, with leave to seek readmission after five years. The high court also ordered Vidal to pay about $2,836 in costs.
Vidal's disbarment was made effective 30 days from the date of the court's order to allow him time to close out his practice and protect his existing clients' interests, according to the high court's 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 Vidal's disbarment.
Attorneys disbarred in Florida generally cannot reapply for admission for five years and must pass an extensive process that includes a rigorous background check and retaking the bar exam.
Vidal was admitted to the bar in Florida on Sept. 4, 1986, according to his profile at the state bar website. Vidal has no prior history of discipline before the state bar, according to his petition.
Allegations against Vidal stem from two separate guardianship matters in which the attorney admitted to misconduct, according to his petition. In one, Vidal said in his petition that he "failed to provide his client with adequate communication and failed to timely respond to the bar's inquiries."
In the other, Vidal said in his petition that he "failed to provide his client with adequate communication and failed to timely respond to the bar's initial letter requiring a response."
"In mitigation, [Vidal] has shown remorse for his misconduct by accepting responsibility and cooperating with the bar," Vidal's petition continued. "At the time of the misconduct, [Vidal] was experiencing personal problems and health issues."