Florida Record

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Suspended Atlantic Beach attorney disbarred following misconduct in bankruptcy case

Discipline

By Karen Kidd | Sep 9, 2019

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TALLAHASSEE (Florida Record) — Suspended Atlantic Beach attorney Brett Allen Mearkle has been disbarred following a July 25 Florida Supreme Court order over allegations that included mishandling a bankruptcy case, according to a recent announcement by The Florida Bar.

"Mearkle was hired and paid $2,500 to handle a business bankruptcy," the state bar said in its Aug. 29 announcement of the discipline and the Supreme Court's order. "He failed to file the case and communicate with the client. In another case, after appearing for a client in federal court, Mearkle subsequently failed to appear in court and did not communicate with his client." In both cases Mearkle did not respond to court inquiries and grievance complaints, according to the state bar's announcement.

Mearkle's disbarment was effective immediately and he was ordered to pay $2,500 restitution to one client, according to the state bar's announcement.

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 Mearkle'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.

Mearkle was admitted to the bar in Florida on June 18, 2003, according to his profile at the state bar website.

Mearkle was suspended in December following a Supreme Court order over allegations he did very little or no work on three client cases. Mearkle also was ordered to pay $2,500 in restitution to three clients.

Mearkle also was alleged to have failed to respond to state bar's inquiries.

Mearkle received further suspension in March following a Supreme Court order over allegations he failed to cooperate in a state bar inquiry.

In the March suspension, the state high court granted the state bar's petition for contempt and order to show cause before indefinitely suspending Mearkle. The court also ordered Mearkle to pay $1,250 in costs.

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