Florida Record

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Yulee attorney receives second suspension after allegedly overcharging client


By Karen Kidd | Jan 3, 2020

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TALLAHASSEE — Yulee attorney Laura Healan Coggin has been suspended for the second time in less than a year, following a Dec. 12 Florida Supreme Court order over allegations she overcharged a client in a criminal case, according to a recent announcement by The Florida Bar.

In its single-page order, the Supreme Court approved the uncontested referee's report filed in the matter before suspending Coggin and ordering him to pay a little less than $2,000 in recovery costs.

Coggin was already suspended, which meant this most recent suspension became effective immediately.

According to the Florida State Bar's Dec. 27 announcement of the discipline and the Supreme Court's order, Coggin was hired to represent her client's husband in a criminal matter quoting a total fee of $15,000 if the case went to trial. She said she would bring in co-counsel at no extra cost.

"The client ended up paying co-counsel $2,500 and an additional $12,100 without going to trial," the announcement said. "A year later Coggin asked for and received an additional $7,500 followed by $2,500."

A few months later the court informed the client's husband that Coggin would no longer be able to represent him.

"By this point, the client had paid Coggin $27,850 (including the payment to co-counsel)," the announcement said. "Before Coggin withdrew, she did complete various tasks for his case. However, the client alleged that Coggin stopped meeting with them and that her work devolved into only filing continuances."

Coggin subsequently refunded $18,500, according to the announcement.

This past February, Coggin was suspended for 30 days following a Supreme Court order for allegedly failing to file a client's case.

That suspension ran concurrently with a then ongoing 18-month suspension handed down by the Supreme Court in December 2017.

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 Coggin's suspension.

Coggin was admitted to the bar in Florida on Sept. 25, 2008, according to her profile on the state bar website.

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