Florida Record

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Tampa attorney publicly reprimanded after failing to comply with court order, other allegations


By Karen Kidd | Oct 28, 2019

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St. Charles District Parish district attorney is refusing to recuse himself from the case against John Landry. | Photo by Brandon Bourdages, Shutterstock

TALLAHASSEE (Florida Record) — Longtime Tampa attorney Kevin Christopher Ambler has been publicly reprimanded following an Aug. 22 Florida Supreme Court order over allegations that included failing to comply with a court order, according to a recent announcement by The Florida Bar.

"Ambler, in representing clients in federal court, was negligent and failed to comply with a court order regarding discovery and made disparaging comments in rebuttal to opposing counsel's allegation of committing fraud upon the court," the state bar said in its Oct. 24 announcement of the discipline and the Supreme Court's order.

In its single-page order, the court approved the uncontested referee's report filed in the matter before reprimanding Ambler and ordered him to pay almost $8,728 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 Ambler's public reprimand.

Ambler was admitted to the bar in Florida on Feb. 12, 1991, according to his profile at the state bar website. Ambler also was admitted to the bar in Georgia in 1986 and he "has never been disciplined in any jurisdiction," the referee's report said.

The referee recommended the Supreme Court find Ambler "guilty of negligently, not intentionally, disobeying a court order and making disparaging comments in rebuttal to opposing counsel's allegations of committing fraud upon the court," the referee's report said.

Evidence against Ambler, introduced before the referee over objection, included a letter from U.S. District Court Judge Roy Bale "Skip" Dalton Jr., on the bench in Florida's Middle District.

"This referee has given Judge Dalton's letter the evidentiary consideration that it merits," the referee's report said but did not disclose the contents of the letter.

The letter was the only evidence the state bar offered during the sanction hearing against Ambler in April, according to the referee's report.

Neither the referee's report nor the Supreme Court's order provided details about the allegations against Ambler.

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The Florida BarFlorida Supreme CourtU.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida

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