The Florida Supreme Court has issued orders to discipline 12 attorneys for misconduct, including five whose law licenses will be revoked.
The Florida Bar announced the orders Monday as part of the latest round of disciplinary action from the Supreme Court, the Bar and its Department of Lawyer Regulation. The orders aren’t final until the windows close for appeals.
Revoking a law license is “tantamount to disbarment,” according to the Bar. The attorneys cannot reapply for five years and they must undergo a rigorous background check and retake the bar if they do.
The Court revoked the licenses of Gordon Thomas Nicol, of Jacksonville; Thomas Edward Stone, of Madison; Thomas Edmondson Whigham Jr., of Tampa; James Santos Wilkie, of Pompano Beach; and Calvin Carl Curtis, of Salt Lake City.
Nicol’s law firm failed to handle multiple client matters in a proper manner, and he failed to properly supervise non-lawyer staff and associates who were assigned to cases. Stone, an assistant public defender, admitted to having a sexual relationship with a client.
Whigham is accused of failing to comply with the terms of his rehabilitation contract with Florida Lawyer’s Assistance Inc. after his previous conditional suspension.
Those three orders became effective 30 days after Sept. 29, a window that has already passed.
Wilkes will have to wait five years from Oct. 27 to seek readmission in a case involving the misuse of client funds.
The Court revoked Curtis’ license immediately. He pleaded guilty to felony wire fraud and money laundering in a $12.7 million embezzlement case. He used some of the money to remodel a home he owned in Tampa, according to The Salt Lake Tribune.
The Court also announced five suspensions, one reprimand and one admonishment for minor misconduct. The Court suspended Brian Alfred Mangines, of Boca Raton, for two years; Scott Leonard Newman, of Jericho, New York, for one year; Vegina Trimetrice Hawkins, of West Park, for 90 days; Nah-Deh E. W. Simmons, of Jacksonville, for 90 days; and Timmy W. Cox Sr., of Plantation, until further notice.
Attorneys suspended for periods of 91 days and longer must undergo a rigorous process to regain their law licenses, including proving rehabilitation.
Robert Laurence Pelletier, of Jacksonville, received a public reprimand and was ordered to attend ethics school for six months after failing to pursue a client’s criminal cases. Steven Konstantinos Dimopoulos, of Las Vegas, was admonished following a reprimand by the Southern Nevada Disciplinary Board.