D.C. attorney, former Lewinsky co-counsel faces reciprocal suspension for allegedly mishandling cases

By Karen Kidd | May 3, 2019

TALLAHASSEE (Florida Record) — Longtime Washington attorney Nathaniel H. Speights, who represented Monica Lewinsky during the Clinton White House scandal, faces reciprocal suspension following an April 18 Florida Supreme Court order, according to a recent announcement by The Florida Bar.

Speights previously was suspended in at least two other legal jurisdictions over allegations he mishandled several cases.

"In one case, Speights failed to adequately investigate and file a proper personal injury claim," the state bar said in its April 30 announcement of the discipline and the state Supreme Court's order. "Although given multiple opportunities to amend his lawsuits, he failed to do so, and the case was dismissed with prejudice. In another case, Speights was appointed as a personal representative in a probate case.  Even though the case settled at mediation, he failed to timely disburse the estate's funds and attempted to charge the estate an excessive fee, which was denied by the court.  The court removed Speights as personal representative of the case."

In its two-page order, the court approved the uncontested referee's report before suspending Speights for three years and ordered him to pay $1,410 in costs.

Speights' suspension was effective 30 days from the date of the court's order to allow time to close his practice and protect his existing clients' interests, according to the state 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 Speights' suspension.

Speights was admitted to the bar in Florida on June 1, 1976, according to his profile at the state bar website. No prior discipline before the state bar is listed on Speights' state bar profile.

Speights was suspended for six months based on a board of professional responsibility recommendation in the D.C. jurisdiction in November 2017, which upheld a June 2015 recommendation by an ad hoc hearing committee, according to the Florida bar's formal complaint.

Speights also was reciprocally suspended in October following an Ohio Supreme Court order issued that month.

Speights was co-counsel with William H. Ginsburg defending Lewinsky after then President Bill Clinton admitted to an "inappropriate relationship" with her during her time as a White House intern from 1995 to 1996. Clinton was impeached but was acquitted by the Senate following allegations he had an affair with Lewinsky and lied about it.

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