TALLAHASSEE – Fort Lauderdale attorney Jonathan Seth Morris was disbarred following a Florida Supreme Court order regarding allegations he misappropriated settlement funds, a recent announcement by The Florida Bar indicated.
"It is alleged that Morris settled a client's case without the client's approval," the state bar said in its July 26 announcement of the discipline and the Supreme Court's order. "Settlement funds in the amount of $21,500 were remitted to Morris and deposited by him in his trust account on Feb. 7, 2018. Morris thereafter misappropriated the settlement funds."
Morris repaid the allegedly misappropriated funds to his former client's subsequent counsel in December, according to the announcement.
In its two-page order, state Supreme Court approved Morris's uncontested petition for disciplinary revocation, tantamount to disbarment, with leave to seek readmission after five years.
Morris agreed to cease the practice of law in Florida within 30 days of tendering his petition, which meant his disbarment was effective immediately, according to the 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 Morris's disbarment.
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.
Morris was admitted to the bar in Florida on April 20, 2007, according to his profile at the state bar website. No prior discipline before the state bar is listed on Morris's state bar profile.
No other disciplinary charges and no criminal charges were pending against Morris when he filed his petition with the court in May.
Morris maintained in his petition that he "has never otherwise misappropriated or misused trust funds or other property delivered to him in trust."