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January 15, 2013

Disciplinary Actions
Prepared by The Florida Bar’s Public Information and Bar Services Department
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The Florida Supreme Court in recent court orders disciplined five attorneys, disbarring one and suspending four.

The following lawyers have been disciplined:

Faye Esther Bennett, 252 3rd St., Neptune Beach, suspended for 91 days, effective 30 days from a November 28 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2011) Bennett was conditionally admitted to the Bar and placed on probation for three years because of alcohol dependence. She was found in contempt for failing to comply with the terms of the May 4, 2011, consent agreement with the Florida Board of Bar Examiners and her Florida Lawyers Assistance contract. Bennett was required by both to abstain from consuming alcohol. (Case No. SC11-1813)

Ryan Scott Hobby, P.O. Box 568, Minneola, suspended for three years, effective retroactive to October 6, 2011, following a November 28 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2005) Hobby misappropriated client trust funds and admitted to making improper online transfers from his trust account to his operating account totaling $14,250. Hobby replaced those funds using a loan from his parents. (Case No. SC11-2223)

Juan Antonio Sanchez, 10251 S.W. 72nd St. No. A106, Miami, suspended for 90 days, effective 30 days from a November 28 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1994) Sanchez served as closing agent for several real estate transactions in which individuals obtained mortgage loans in order to invest the proceeds in a sports/entertainment ticket resale enterprise. In one of the transactions, Sanchez failed to satisfy a previous mortgage, which ultimately resulted in the insurance company having to pay a significant claim. (Case No. SC11-1986)

John A. Stanton, P.O. Box 3062, DeLand, suspended for 15 days, effective 30 days from a November 28 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1985) A Bar investigation found that Stanton failed to maintain adequate accounting records in an estate matter. (Case No. SC12-1121)

Heather Joy Sykes, 9000 Sheridan St., Suite 150, Pembroke Pines, disbarred effective 30 days from July 26, following a November 28 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2005) Sykes was the subject of a pending disciplinary matter. Sykes was hired to collect rents and hold the monies in her trust account. She agreed to remit more than $26,000 to the client, but failed to do so despite repeated demands. Sykes subsequently admitted to misappropriating the funds for her own use. (Case No. SC12-1821)

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 rejects many who apply. It includes a rigorous background check and retaking the bar exam. Historically, less than 5 percent of disbarred lawyers seek readmission.

[Revised: 10-17-2014]