Florida Record

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Atlanta lawyer voluntarily disbarred after suspension for alleged failure to supervise associate


By Karen Kidd | Dec 2, 2019

Power of attorney

TALLAHASSEE (Florida Record) — Suspended Atlanta attorney John Francis Meyers has been voluntarily disbarred following an Oct. 31 Florida Supreme Court order after he allegedly failed to adequately supervise an associate, according to a recent announcement by The Florida Bar.

"Meyers was the supervising attorney of a large law firm in Atlanta, where he failed to adequately supervise one of his associates who billed a client for work done on behalf of the in-house counsel," the state bar said in its Nov. 26 announcement of the discipline and the Supreme Court's order. "The in-house counsel hid the billings from the conglomerate client. Meyers should have known the billings were false and misleading."

In its two-page order, the state high court approved Meyers' uncontested petition for disciplinary revocation, tantamount to disbarment, with leave to seek readmission after five years. 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 Meyers' disbarment.

Meyers was admitted to the bar in Florida on Sept. 22, 2006, according to his profile at the state bar website. Meyers had no prior history of discipline, according to his petition.

Meyers is a former partner at Seyfarth Shaw.

The Florida Supreme Court's order comes almost two years after Meyers was suspended two years by the Georgia Supreme Court for allegedly submitting altered bills to a corporate client, which included work by an in-house attorney for personal clients.

The in-house counsel told Meyers that he was allowed to perform outside legal work so long as it was not on company time and did not create a conflicts of interest, according to the Georgia Supreme Court's December 2017 decision.

"When difficulties arose in collecting the fees for those services from the in-house counsel's personal clients, the amounts due were rolled into the bills sent to the law firm's corporate client, with the descriptions of the work that had been performed edited to eliminate information that would make clear that the work was not performed directly for the corporate client," the Georgia Supreme Court's decision said.

The corporate client discovered what was happening, fired the in-house counsel and initiated an inquiry.

Meyers immediately resigned from his law firm and stopped practicing law after he was suspended, according to his petition.

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