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Monday, September 23, 2019

Fort Lauderdale attorney voluntarily disbarred ahead of allegations of misappropriating client's trust fund


By Karen Kidd | Jul 5, 2019

TALLAHASSEE – Fort Lauderdale attorney Kirk Joseph Girrbach was voluntarily disbarred following a Florida Supreme Court order ahead of allegations involving his client trust account, according to a recent announcement by The Florida Bar.

"At the time of his disciplinary revocation, charges pending against Girrbach in a bar grievance involved misappropriation of client trust funds," the state bar said in its June 21 announcement of the discipline and the Supreme Court's June 20 order.

In its two-page order, the state Supreme Court approved Girrbach's uncontested petition for disciplinary revocation, tantamount to disbarment, with leave to seek readmission after five years.

Girrbach agreed to cease practicing law within 30 days of his petition for disciplinary revocation, which meant his disbarment was effective immediately, according to the court's order.

The court also ordered Girrbach to pay $1,810 in costs.

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 Girrbach's disbarment.

Attorneys disbarred in Florida generally cannot apply for readmission for five years and must pass an extensive process that includes a rigorous background check and retaking the bar exam.

Girrbach was admitted to the bar in Florida on July 13, 1990, according to his profile on the state bar website. No prior discipline before the state bar is listed on Girrbach's state bar profile.

Allegations against Girrbach stemmed from his "misuse of trust funds from a real estate closing" in which he "misrepresented the status of a lis pendens," or legal action, Girrbach's petition for disciplinary revocation said.

Girrbach was 61 when he signed his petition for disciplinary revocation on April 2.

Girrbach agreed to reimburse the complainant $70,000, plus interest, within 120 days of his petition for disciplinary revocation.

Girrbach also agreed to reimburse the client security fund for funds paid out for claims resulting from his alleged misconduct and the state bar for its costs in the disciplinary proceedings against him, according to his petition for disciplinary revocation.

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Florida Supreme Court The Florida Bar

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