TALLAHASSEE — Oldsmar attorney Allison Catherine Ridenhour faces 30 days of suspension following a March 7 Florida Supreme Court order over allegations in three client matters, according to a recent announcement by The Florida Bar.
"In addition Ridenhour is ordered into a two-year rehabilitation contract with FLA Inc., fee arbitration and payment of disciplinary costs," the state bar said in its March 29 announcement of the discipline and the Supreme Court's order. "In three separate client matters, Ridenhour did not perform work after accepting fees and failed to respond to clients. She also failed to respond to official inquiries by bar counsel and a grievance committee."
In its two-page order, the state high court approved the consent judgment reached between Ridenhour and the state bar. The consent judgment also included Ridenhour's conditional guilty plea, according to the order.
The court also ordered Ridenhour to pay about $1,648 in costs.
Ridenhour's suspension was effective 30 days from the date of the court's order to allow her time to close her practice and protect her 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 Ridenhour's suspension.
Ridenhour was admitted to the bar in Florida on Sept. 17, 1999, according to her profile at the state bar website.
The suspension was Ridenhour's second in about a year. In February 2018 the state Supreme Court handed down an indefinite suspension as a sanction after the court found Ridenhour's in contempt after she failed to respond to a show cause order. Ridenhour would remain suspended until "she has fully responded in writing" to the state bar's inquiry, the order said.
That suspension followed a state bar petition for contempt and order to show cause that alleged Ridenhour failed to respond to an official bar inquiry. The petition did not say what the inquiry was about.
In August 2018 the court reinstated Ridenhour after the state bar notified the court the previous June that the attorney " has now fully responded to the official bar inquiry."