Florida Record

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Disbarred attorney is permanently disbarred after alleged direct contact with clients


By Karen Kidd | Dec 2, 2019

TALLAHASSEE (Florida Record) — Tampa attorney Domenic L. Massari III, disbarred 17 years ago, is now voluntarily and permanently disbarred following an Oct. 31 Florida Supreme Court, according to a recent announcement by The Florida Bar.

"Despite being disbarred, he had direct contact with clients," the state bar said in its Nov. 26 announcement of the discipline and the Supreme Court's order.

In its two-page order, the state high court approved Massari's uncontested petition for disciplinary revocation, tantamount to disbarment, without leave to seek readmission. His permanent disbarment was effective immediately. The court also ordered Massari, 67, to pay $1,250 in costs.

No criminal charges are pending against Massari but allegations about him having direct contact with clients, a violation of professional conduct rules, was pending before a grievance committee, according to Massari's petition. Neither Massari's petition nor the court's order provided details about Massari's contact with clients, despite his disbarment.

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 Massari's permanent disbarment.

Massari was admitted to the bar in Florida on Nov. 18, 1977, according to his petition. His 2002 disbarment was his only other record of discipline before the Florida Bar.

In June 2003, Massari pleaded guilty in an Ohio federal court to a conspiracy charge in a scheme to conceal millions of dollars, and defraud creditors and the Internal Revenue Service, according to a U.S. Department of Justice news release at the time.

In October 2003, Massari, then 50, was sentenced 12 months in federal prison.

That same week as his guilty plea, Massari was charged by state prosecutors in Pinellas County with perjury related to his disbarment in October 2002, according to the DOJ news release.

Massari was disbarred for allegedly forging a client's signature, misappropriating client settlement funds for personal expenses, and creating a fraudulent document to conceal the misappropriation.

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