A Miami attorney has been suspended from practicing law for three years, according to unanimous ruling from the Florida Supreme Court Monday.
If he’s still practicing, John Faro has 30 days to shut down his law practice and begin the three-year suspension. He must also pay the Florida Bar $2,898 for its investigation costs, according to Monday’s ruling.
Faro was not available for comment Wednesday. His Florida Bar record shows his office on Brickell Ave., but other websites show him practicing in Naples and Boca Raton.
Court papers show he’s no stranger to discipline. Faro received a reprimand from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in 2013. The Florida Bar suspended him from practicing for 10 days in 1995 and reprimanded him in 2011.
The case for which Faro has been suspended for three years stems from a 2018 complaint from the Florida Bar, and based on the USPTO’s eight-month suspension of his right to petition the federal patent office. It’s been 20 years in the making, according to court papers.
It began when a California-based client contacted Faro in 2002 about filing an appeal of a rejected patent application with the USPTO for its electrotherapy device. Faro’s new application was rejected and the USPTO declared the case abandoned in 2004, papers show. Faro claimed he was never informed of that when he filed a petition to revive the patent application later that same year.
The application was again rejected, and, again, Faro did not take any further action on the case. He misled his clients about the status of the case, the complaint says.
The application received its third, final rejection and Faro was told of a two-month period to file an appeal. That notice went to his address on record with the Florida Bar, the complaint says.
Another notice about the application’s abandonment was issued in August 2009, but apparently the clients never heard about it.
“Beginning in 2010, (the client) contacted (Faro) several times to determine the status of the application,” the complaint reads. “(Faro) eventually emailed (the client), stating that he had ‘attempted to determine the status of the patent (applications) and have yet to hear back from my inquiries.’ In March 2011, (the client) contacted (Faro) by phone to discuss the application; however, he abruptly ended the call and did not answer when she immediately called him back.”
It wasn’t until the client got another attorney to ask Faro the status of the situation that the client heard the final application had been rejected, court papers say.
Last updated on March 30, 2022