Florida Record

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Bonita Springs attorney faces suspension after allegedly using research company to draft motion


By Karen Kidd | Jun 27, 2019

TALLAHASSEE (Florida Record) — Longtime Bonita Springs attorney Charles A. Murray faces suspension following a May 30 Florida Supreme Court order after he allegedly used non-attorney resources to write a post-conviction relief motion, according to a recent announcement by The Florida Bar.

"Murray used the services of a non-lawyer legal research and writing company to draft a post-conviction relief motion for a client and failed to adequately supervise the company’s work or their communications with the client," the state bar said in its June 21 announcement of the discipline and the Supreme Court's order. "Upon filing, Murray signed the motion on the client’s behalf without authorization and without identifying to the court that it was Murray’s own signature on the motion and not the client’s. Murray also incorrectly calculated the deadline for the filing of the motion, failed to adequately communicate with the client, and improperly shared  fees with the non-lawyer entity."

In its two-page order, the Supreme Court approved the uncontested amended referee's report filed in the matter before suspending Murray for 180 days and ordered him to pay almost $6,417 in costs. 

Murray's suspension 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 Murray's suspension.

Murray was admitted to the bar in Florida on June 3, 1983, according to his profile at the state bar website. No prior discipline before the state bar is listed on Murray's state bar profile.

Murray is alleged to have violated four courts of professional conduct rules, according to the 51-page referee's report. Those rules include misconduct regarding communication, engaging in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation, candor toward the tribunal, arbitration disclosure and unlicensed practice of law, according to the referee's report.

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