Florida Supreme Court disbars lawyer for looting mother’s estate
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His actions resulted in his disbarring, becoming one of three recently disbarred Florida lawyers the state Bar announced this week.

The Florida Supreme Court has disbarred a Redington Shores lawyer after discovering he had improperly transferred assets from his mother’s estate for personal use.

In a complaint filed last October, the Florida Bar accused John Hadsall, who started practicing law in 1980, of misappropriating funds from his mother’s estate. According to the complaint, Hadsall, who held the power of attorney for his mother, drafted amendments to his mother’s life estate plan and subsequently took funds.

The court ordered Hadsall to return $383,595 to his mother’s estate, to be paid back in November 2017, but Hadsall failed to do so. He also failed to show that he acted in good faith throughout the transactions, and that his mother acted freely, intelligently and voluntarily in gifting him funds from her accounts.

His actions resulted in his disbarring, becoming one of three recently disbarred Florida lawyers the state Bar announced this week.

Melanie Johnson, of Titusville, was disbarred following a July 14 court order. The Bar filed a complaint against Johnson, who has practiced law since 2004, for misappropriated client funds. In response to the Bar’s request for records needed to perform a compliance audit of her law office trust account, Johnson reconstructed her records and submitted records to the Bar that contained false and misleading information.

The Florida Supreme Court also disbarred James Feuerstein, of Sorrento, who started practicing law in 1987. Feuerstein failed to respond to official Bar inquiries in three separate matters. He also failed to file a response to the Court’s Order to show cause.

The Florida Bar also announced three lawyers will be facing disciplinary action, including Plantation lawyer Timmy Cox, who the bar suspended after failing to respond to official Bar inquiries.

Bradley Nephase Laurent, of Orlando, faces an emergency suspension after allegedly misappropriating client funds from his law office trust account, some of which he repaid from the proceeds of a Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) loan he obtained on behalf of his law firm for COVID-19 relief.

Pompano Beach lawyer James Santos Wilkie also faces an emergency suspension for misappropriating client settlement funds and making misrepresentations to the Bar during their investigation.

Kelly Hayes

Kelly Hayes studied journalism and political science at the University of Florida. Kelly was born and raised in Tampa Bay. A recent graduate, she enjoys government and legal reporting. She has experience covering the Florida Legislature as well as local government, and is a proud Alligator alum. You can reach Kelly at [email protected]

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