August 1, 2022 Disciplinary Actions
The Florida Supreme Court in recent court orders disciplined six attorneys, suspending three and disbarring three.
Timmy W. Cox, Sr., 7401 S.W. 16th St., Plantation, suspended effective immediately following a July 13 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2014) Cox failed to respond to official Bar inquiries. The Bar filed its Petition for Contempt and Order to Show Cause on April 29. The Florida Supreme Court ordered Cox to show cause by May 18. Cox failed to file a response to the court’s Order to Show Cause. (Case No: SC22-598)
James F. Feuerstein III, 22724 Stallion Dr., Sorrento, disbarred effective immediately per a July 21 court order as Feuerstein is currently suspended for 91 days (by court order dated April 21). (Admitted to practice: 1987) Feuerstein failed to respond to official Bar inquiries in three separate Bar matters and failed to file a response to the Court’s Order to Show Cause. (Case No: SC22-618)
John Hadsall, 18198 3rd St. E., Redington Shores, disbarred, effective 30 days following a July 7 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1980) Hadsall was found to have improperly transferred assets from the estate of his mother for personal use. He failed to show by clear, satisfactory, and convincing evidence that he acted in good faith throughout the transactions and failed to show that his mother acted freely, intelligently, and voluntarily in gifting him funds from her accounts. Hadsall subsequently attempted to render himself judgment proof to thwart the estate’s attempt to recoup the funds. (Case No: SC21-1444)
Melanie L. Johnson, 4790 Longbow Dr., Titusville, disbarred effective immediately following a July 14 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2004) Johnson 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. (Case No: SC21-1675)
Bradley Nephase Laurent, 8615 Commodity Circle, Suite 6, Orlando, emergency suspended effective 30 days following a July 14 court order but to cease accepting new clients as of July 14. (Admitted to practice: 2005) Laurent misappropriated client funds from his law office trust account, some of which he repaid from the proceeds of a Paycheck Protection Program loan he obtained on behalf of his law firm for COVID-19 relief. (Case No: SC22-851)
James Santos Wilkie, 1333 S. Ocean Blvd., Suite 1323, Pompano Beach, emergency suspended effective immediately following a July 19 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2013) Wilkie misappropriated client settlement funds and made misrepresentations to the Bar during their investigation. (Case No: SC22-911)
The Florida Supreme Court, The Florida Bar and its Department of Lawyer Regulation are charged with administering a statewide disciplinary system to enforce Supreme Court rules of professional conduct for the more than 110,000 members of The Florida Bar. Key discipline case files that are public record are posted to attorneys’ individual online Florida Bar profiles. To view discipline documents, follow these steps. Information on the discipline system and how to file a complaint are available at www.floridabar.org/attorneydiscipline.
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 includes a rigorous background check and retaking the Bar exam. Attorneys suspended for periods of 91 days and longer must undergo a rigorous process to regain their law licenses including proving rehabilitation. Disciplinary revocation is tantamount to disbarment.