Philadelphia lawyer reciprocally disbarred after allegedly misappropriating funds for gambling debts

By Karen Kidd | Apr 1, 2019

TALLAHASSEE — Philadelphia attorney Frank Nathan Tobolsky has been reciprocally disbarred in Florida following a Feb. 28 Florida Supreme Court order after he allegedly misappropriated money to feed his gambling addiction, according to a recent announcement by The Florida Bar.

"Tobolsky misappropriated $32,500 of client funds held in trust to pay personal debts, including various gambling debts," the state bar said in its March 29 announcement of the discipline and the Supreme Court's order.

A New Jersey ethics committee rejected Tobolsky's defense "based on his gambling addiction and depression" the New Jersey Supreme Court said in its decision handed down in March 2018 to disbar Tobolsky in that state.

In its own two-page order, the Florida Supreme Court approved the uncontested referee's report filed in the matter before disbarring Tobolsky and ordered him to pay $1,330 in costs.

Tobolsky's disbarment was effective 30 days from the date of the court's order to allow him time to close 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 Tobolsky's suspension.

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.

Tobolsky was admitted to the bar in Florida on May 12, 1988, according to his profile at the state bar website. He was admitted to the bars in New Jersey and Pennsylvania in 1987, according to the New Jersey Supreme Court's decision.

"At the relevant times, he maintained an office for the practice of law in Merchantville [New Jersey] and Philadelphia," the New Jersey decision said. "Although the respondent has no disciplinary history, he is ineligible to practice law in all three states due to his failure to comply with mandatory continuing legal education requirements."

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Florida Supreme Court New Jersey Supreme Court The Florida Bar

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