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September 1, 2017

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 14 attorneys — disbarring three, revoking the license of one, suspending eight, and publicly reprimanding two. Two attorneys were also placed on probation.

Angela Marie Abell, 7950 N.W. 53rd St., Miami, suspended until further order, effective July 27, following a July 13 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1988) Abell was found in contempt for noncompliance. She failed to fully respond to a subpoena for trust account records. (Case No. SC17-753)

Tucker Skrocki Boyt, 617A Cleveland St., Suite 10, Clearwater, disbarred effective immediately, following a May 18 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2013) In at least three separate cases, Boyt failed to maintain communication with his clients and was not diligent in performing services. In one instance, Boyt ceased contact with a client and left her without counsel for a scheduled hearing. He abandoned his practice, and he failed to respond to The Florida Bar regarding the matters. (Case No. SC16-1742)

Richard Luther Bradford, P.O. Box 6999, Brandon, suspended until further order, effective 30 days from a May 31 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1995) Bradford was found in contempt for noncompliance. He failed to respond to an official Bar inquiry.
(Case SC17-412)

William Robert Cohen, 505 S. Orange Ave., Unit 503, Sarasota, was granted a disciplinary revocation with leave to seek readmission after five years, effective retroactive to September 22, 2016, following a June 22 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1997) Disciplinary revocation is tantamount to disbarment. Disciplinary matters pending against Cohen involved allegations of trust fund shortages and commingling funds. (Case No. SC17-696)

Thomas Stephen Heidkamp, 4208 N.E. 22nd Place, Cape Coral, disbarred effective retroactive to August 11, 2016, following a July 13 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1991) In several instances, after being retained, Heidkamp was not diligent in performing services. Heidkamp had trust account irregularities, neglected cases, and failed to communicate with clients regarding their cases, and he failed to sufficiently and timely respond to Bar inquiries. After charges were dismissed for a driving arrest, in a response to a Bar inquiry, Heidkamp said he was unaware his driver’s license was suspended, he admitted to using heroin, and he admitted to suffering from mental illness, and severe addiction to drugs. (Case Nos. SC16-1987 & SC17-570)

Christopher Steven Jones, 200 S. Biscayne Blvd., Suite 2790, Miami, suspended for three years effective immediately, following a June 2 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2000) Jones was found in contempt for failing to comply with the terms of a November 17 suspension order. Specifically, Jones was required to notify his clients, opposing counsel, and tribunals of his 90-day suspension, and provide the Bar within 30 days a sworn affidavit listing the names and addresses of all persons and entities that were furnished a copy of his suspension order. (Case Nos. SC17-673)

Philip Andrew McCormick, 2210 Central Ave., Suite 300, St. Petersburg, to be publicly reprimanded by publication in the Southern Reporter, following a June 15 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2007) Further, McCormick is placed on probation for two years, and ordered to sign a two-year contract with Florida Lawyers Assistance. Inc. McCormick pleaded no contest and adjudication was withheld on a charge of refusal to submit to a breath/blood/urine test, and the charge of DUI involving property damage/personal injury, both misdemeanor offenses. He had a prior adjudication of guilt for reckless driving (reduced from DUI), a misdemeanor. McCormick self-reported his adjudications to The Florida Bar and voluntarily entered into a rehabilitation contract with FLA. (Case No. SC17-1010)

John Pangallo, 13617 Wild Citrus Road, Sarasota, suspended for three years, effective immediately, following a May 25 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1991) Upon reinstatement, Pangallo is further placed on probation for three years and directed to attend ethics school. According to a petition for emergency suspension, Pangallo appeared to be causing great public harm, based on his misappropriation of at least $60,000 from his trust account. (Case No. SC16-2143)

Julie Ann Parker, 5513 61st Lane E., Bradenton, suspended until further order, effective 30 days from a May 31 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2001) According to a petition for emergency suspension, Parker appeared to be causing great public harm, based on her misappropriation of at least $7,340 from her trust account. (Case No. SC17-943)

Michael Kevin Rathel, 545 Delaney Ave., Suite 4, Orlando, suspended until further order, effective immediately, following a June 12 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2000) Rathel was found in contempt for noncompliance. He failed to fully comply with a subpoena for trust accounting records, and he failed to appear pursuant to a subpoena on two occasions for a duly noticed sworn statement. (Case No. SC17-459)

Armando Eduardo Rosal, 1490 Emerson Drive N.E., Palm Bay, to be publicly reprimanded by publication in the Southern Reporter, following a May 25 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1992) Further, Rosal is directed to attend ethics school. Rosal failed to diligently handle a probate matter. He was retained by a former client to file an amended petition on behalf of her relative, the decedent’s niece. Instead of contacting the client prior to filing, Rosal relied solely on information provided by the former client. The estate assets were subsequently distributed to the former client. (Case No. SC16-2215)

Cindy LoCicero Runyan, 1421 Meadowbrook Ave., Lakeland, suspended for 91 days, effective 30 days from a July 13 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1987) Further, Runyan shall pay monitoring fee arrearages of $1,600 prior to petitioning for reinstatement, and undergo a substance abuse evaluation. Runyan was found in contempt for violating the terms of a February 26, 2015, order, in which she was placed on probation for five years. She was required to sign a monthly rehabilitation contract with Florida Lawyers Assistance, Inc., and pay a $100 monthly monitoring fee to The Florida Bar’s headquarters. She was also required to refrain from mood-altering substances and submit to random drug/alcohol screenings. (Case No. SC17-918)

Sally Gayle Schmidt, 509 54th St., West Palm Beach, suspended for one year, effective immediately, following a June 29 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1984) Further, Schmidt is ordered to pay monitoring fee arrearages in the amount of $800. As a condition of reinstatement, she must undergo a substance abuse evaluation by an approved Florida Lawyers Assistance, Inc., provider and receive a recommendation from FLA in support of the reinstatement. Schmidt was found in contempt for violating the terms of a September 16, 2015, order, in which she was suspended for 91 days and ordered to continue to comply with her Florida Lawyers Assistance rehabilitation contract for an additional three years. She was required to participate in random urine testing and have monthly personal contact with someone from FLA. (Case No. SC17-786)

Robert Philip Tuerk, 50 N. Front St., Apt. 501, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, disbarred effective immediately, following a July 20 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2002) Tuerk was found in contempt for violating the terms of an August 31, 2016, order, in which he was suspended for three years. Specifically, Tuerk was required to notify his clients, opposing counsel, and tribunals of his suspension, and provide the Bar within 30 days a sworn affidavit listing the names and addresses of all persons and entities that were furnished a copy of his suspension order. (Case Nos. SC17-62)

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: 12-14-2017]