Florida Record

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Jacksonville Beach attorney disbarred after allegedly representing practice as 'New York City law firm'

Discipline

By Karen Kidd | Sep 27, 2019


TALLAHASSEE (Florida Record) — Jacksonville Beach attorney Jessica Marie McClean has been voluntarily disbarred following an Aug. 29 Florida Supreme Court order after she allegedly misrepresented where her law firm was located and other charges, according to a recent announcement by The Florida Bar.

McClean allegedly represented her firm, based in Jacksonville, as being "a New York City law firm," the state bar said in its Sept. 26 announcement of the discipline and the state high court's order.

"She used non-lawyers in Florida to improperly solicit clients," the announcement continued. "They also offered legal advice to those clients, throughout the United States, for foreclosure defense and bankruptcy. McClean’s firm would accept fees and either refer a client to a lawyer in the client’s locale without paying the lawyer or would accept the fees and abandon the client altogether."

The nonattorneys working for McClean filed pleadings and engaged in the unlicensed practice of law in those other states, according to the announcement.

"McClean’s firm failed to communicate with clients about the extent of the firm's representation or failed to communicate with the client altogether," the announcement said. "Her firm also failed to maintain minimum trust accounting procedures."

In its unanimous two-page order, the state Supreme Court approved McClean's uncontested petition for disciplinary revocation, tantamount to disbarment, with leave to seek readmission after five years. Granting the petition served to dismiss all pending disciplinary charges against McClean.

McClean voluntarily stopped practicing law in August 2017, which meant her disbarment was effective immediately, according to the order. The court also ordered McClean to pay nearly $7,733 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 McClean'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.

McClean was admitted to the bar in Florida on Feb. 19, 2015, according to her profile at the state bar website.

McClean also was admitted to the bar in New York on Jan. 16, 2014, according to her petition. She also faces disciplinary in that state, according to the petition.

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Florida Supreme Court The Florida Bar

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