Local attorney disciplined by Florida Supreme Court
The Florida Bar — the state’s guardian for the integrity of the legal profession — announced on Feb. 26 that the Florida Supreme Court in recent court orders disciplined 17 attorneys, disbarring three, revoking the licenses of one, suspending 10 and reprimanding three.
Among the 17 disciplined attorneys was:
– Charles Paul-Thomas Phoenix, P.O. Box 742, Sanibel, suspended for two years effective 30 days following a Jan. 28 court order. Phoenix was counsel for a vacation rental management company that was operating as a Ponzi scheme. Phoenix signed a non-prosecution agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office agreeing to cooperate in the prosecution of the company’s executives in exchange for not being prosecuted himself. In the agreement, Phoenix admitted to certain conduct constituting rule violations, including making false statements and failing to timely withdraw from his representation of the company despite his knowledge of its illegal activity. (Case No: SC17-585)
As an official arm of the Florida Supreme Court, The Florida Bar and its Department of Lawyer Regulation are charged with administering a statewide disciplinary system to enforce Supreme Court rules of professional conduct for the more than 108,000 members of The Florida Bar. Key discipline case files that are public record are posted to attorneys’ individual online Florida Bar profiles. To view discipline documents, visit https://www.floridabar.org/public/acap/instructions/. Information on the discipline system and how to file a complaint are available at www.floridabar.org/attorneydiscipline.
Court orders are not final until time expires to file a rehearing motion and, if filed, determined. The filing of such a motion does not alter the effective date of the discipline.
Disbarred lawyers may not re-apply for admission for five years. They are required to go through an extensive process that includes a rigorous background check and retaking the Bar exam. Attorneys suspended for periods of 91 days and longer must undergo a rigorous process to regain their law licenses including proving rehabilitation. Disciplinary revocation is tantamount to disbarment.