Florida Record

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Oviedo attorney publicly reprimanded for allegedly mishandling estate proceeding

Discipline

By Karen Kidd | Sep 12, 2019


TALLAHASSEE (Florida Record) — Oviedo attorney Michael Joseph Presutti has been publicly reprimanded following an Aug. 8 Florida Supreme Court order over allegations arising from his representation of an estate, according to a recent announcement by The Florida Bar.

"Presutti represented the personal representative in an estate proceeding involving considerable litigation," the state bar said in its Aug. 29 announcement of the discipline and the Supreme Court's order. "The probate court assessed the full amount of the opposing party's attorney fees and costs against Presutti personally but not his client."

Presutti subsequently appealed the probate court's assessment but included his client in the appeal without obtaining a waiver from the client, which created a conflict of interest, according to the announcement. 

"The appellate court granted the opposing party's motion for attorney’s fees against Presutti and his client," the announcement said.

In its single-page order, the state Supreme Court approved the consent judgment reached between Presutti and the state bar before reprimanding him. The judgment includes Presutti's conditional guilty plea. The court also ordered Presutti to pay a little more than $2,775 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 Presutti's reprimand.

Presutti was admitted to the bar in Florida on Nov. 27, 1989, according to his profile at the state bar website.

Presutti was ordered to pay more than $103,000 for the opposing party's attorney fees in the probate matter, according to the consent judgment. "Personal issues" that Presutti was suffering at the time of his alleged misconduct were considered a mitigating factor in the proceedings against him, the judgment said.

Presutti "suffered from a physical disability or impairment as he was undergoing chemotherapy at the time of his misconduct," according to the judgment.

Presutti had a prior "disciplinary sanction" that was "remote in time," in 1997, the judgment said. The consent judgment did not describe the prior disciplinary sanction and information about it is not included on his state bar profile.

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