TALLAHASSEE (Florida Record) — Longtime Plantation attorney Stuart Jared Starr faces suspension following an April 10 Florida Supreme Court order after being held in contempt for not complying with a previous order, according to a recent announcement by The Florida Bar.
"Starr was held in contempt of the court's May 24, 2018 order for failing to notify clients, opposing counsel and tribunals of his suspension," the state bar said in its April 30 announcement of the discipline and the court's order.
Starr's suspension was 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 Starr's suspension.
Starr was admitted to the bar in Florida on Dec. 11, 1970, according to his profile at the state bar website
Starr was suspended following the state Supreme Court's order in May 2018 over allegations stemming from a loan modification matter.
In its formal complaint against Starr, the state bar alleged that Starr is not exempt from requirements under the Federal Trade Commission's Federal Mortgage Assistance Relief Services Rule, which had been in effect about two years when Starr agreed in June 2013 to represent a client about a parcel of Tampa real estate. The complaint alleged, among other things, that Starr violated the rule's requirements for attorneys when charging upfront fees.
Starr never obtained a mortgage loan modification for his client and in June 2014 Starr admitted his firm never submitted complete mortgage loan modification loss mitigation to the client's mortgage lender, according to the complaint. The property was subsequently foreclosed, according to the complaint.
The complaint alleged that Starr violated professional conduct rules, including those that require an attorney explain a matter to the extent reasonably necessary to permit the client to make informed decisions and to not enter into an agreement for, charge or collect illegal, prohibited or clearly excessive fees.