TALLAHASSEE (Florida Record) — Miami Beach attorney Robert Nickolas Ingham faces disbarment following a split Sept. 10 Florida Supreme Court order over allegations he mishandled bankruptcy cases, according to a recent announcement by The Florida Bar.
"Ingham made material misrepresentations to the bankruptcy court in one case and after having been suspended from practicing before the bankruptcy court, continued to file documents on behalf of a client," the state bar said in its Sept. 26 announcement of the discipline and the Supreme Court's order. "In other cases Ingham failed and refused to return earnest money deposits to buyers that he had accepted as the real estate broker and escrow agent, despite the short sales not being approved. He also made material misrepresentations to the court and the bar."
In its two-page majority opinion, the Supreme Court approved the referee's report and the referee's finding of fact in the matter, along with recommendations about guilt and findings in aggravation and mitigation but rejected the referee's recommendation that Horton be suspended 18 months.
Supreme Court Chief Justice Charles T. Canady and justices Ricky Polston, Jorge Labarga, Alan Lawson, and Barbara Lagoa voted in favor of disbarring Ingham. Justices Robert J. Luck and Carlos G. Muñiz dissented in part, saying they would have approved the referee's proposed sanction.
The court also ordered Ingham to pay about $14,402 in costs.
Ingham's disbarment will be effective 30 days from the date of the court's order to allow 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 Ingham'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.
Ingham was admitted to the bar in Florida on April 24, 2006, according to his profile at the state bar website. He has no prior discipline before the state bar, according to the referee's report.