TALLAHASSEE (Florida Record) — Longtime Hollywood attorney Janet Peralta Lucente faces indefinite suspension following an Nov. 15 Florida Supreme Court order she allegedly failed to respond to an official inquiry, according to a recent announcement by The Florida Bar.
"Lucente failed to respond to an official Florida Bar inquiry and the bar filed a petition for contempt and request for order to show cause with the Florida Supreme Court," the state bar said in its Nov. 26 announcement of the discipline and the state Supreme Court's order. "The court issued an order to show cause and Lucente failed to respond."
In its two-page order, the state high court granted the state bar's petition and found Lucente in contempt. As a sanction, the court suspended her "until she has fully responded in writing to the official bar inquiry, and until further order of this court," the order said.
Lucente's suspension was effective 30 days from the date of the court's order to allow time to close her practice and protect her existing clients' interests, according to the high court's order. The court also ordered her to pay $1,250 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 Lucente's suspension.
Lucente was admitted to the bar in Florida on Sept. 26, 1997, according to her profile at the state bar website. No prior discipline before the state bar is listed on her bar profile.
The state bar issued its petition for contempt in October after a grievance committee found Lucente allegedly failed to respond to an official state bar inquiry. The grievance committee also found that Lucente's failure to respond had been willful and found her in contempt in September.
The grievance committee's findings followed a letter to Lucente from the state bar in February about a complaint filed against her.
The Supreme Court's order, the state bar's petition and the grievance committee's filings did not describe the nature of the complaint against Lucente.