January 1, 2023 Disciplinary Actions
The Florida Supreme Court in recent court orders disciplined 13 attorneys, disbarring four, suspending seven, reprimanding one, and revoking the license of one.
Jeffrey Edward Appel, P.O. Box 6097, Lakeland, suspended for 90 days with a two-year probationary period with Florida Lawyers Assistance, Inc., effective nunc pro tunc September 14, 2022, the date of his existing suspension, following a December 22 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1993) Appel pled guilty to Driving Under the Influence and the court sentenced him to 10 days in the county jail to be served by weekend work release, with credit for time served, and 363 days of conditional probation. Appel had a prior arrest and conviction in 2017 for Driving Under the Influence. (Case No: SC22-1679)
Allison A. Belcher, 2541 Green Forest Ln., Suite 102, Lutz, suspended for 30 days and ordered to attend ethics school, effective 30 days following a December 22 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2000) Belcher agreed to privately represent a client that had approached the firm initially, and failed to inform the client that she was not providing representation on behalf of the firm and failed to inform the firm that she was representing the client privately. In addition, Belcher failed to diligently handle the client matter and failed to keep the client reasonably apprised of the status of the matter. Belcher failed to supervise an employee who engaged in impermissible solicitation via Facebook. Belcher believed in good faith that the firm was compliant with relevant ethics opinions and cooperated with the disciplinary proceeding. (Case No: SC22-1701)
Timmy W. Cox, Sr., 7401 SW 16th St., Plantation, disbarred immediately as of December 20 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2014) Cox is currently suspended from the practice of law for one year (by court order dated Nov. 10, 2021). Cox 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: SC22-1479)
Tracy N. Davis, 3601 SW Foremost Dr., Port St Lucie, suspended for 91 days as of December 15 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1998) Davis represented a client in his previously-filed civil case. Davis failed to file a timely response to a supplemental motion for summary judgment or ask for an extension to respond. As a result, the trial court granted the motion stating in its order that Davis failed to respond with admissible evidence as required under Rule 1.510 of the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure. (Case No: SC22-1673)
Brian Jay Glick, 54 SW 2nd Ave., Boca Raton, permanently disbarred effective November 29. (Admitted to practice: 1981) Glick attempted to disburse funds from his attorney trust account, violating his emergency suspension order and subsequent disciplinary revocation. (Case No: SC22-1197)
Donald Nathan Jacobson, 224 Datura St., Suite 211, West Palm Beach, disciplinary revocation without leave to seek readmission effective December 15. (Admitted: 1990) On November 2, 2022, Jacobson pled guilty to aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. He was sentenced to seven years of probation and other conditions. The events arose from his firing of a weapon at his fleeing girlfriend. (Case No: SC22-1344)
Michael Gray Moore, 206 Wellisford Way, Deland, public reprimand by publication effective December 8. (Admitted to practice: 1992) In December 2020, in Volusia County Case No. 2020-105768-MMDL, Moore was charged by Information with Battery, a misdemeanor of the first degree, alleged to have occurred on October 15, 2020. On May 24, 2022, Moore pled no contest and received a withhold of adjudication and six months of conditional probation. (Case No: SC22-1348)
Kevin Proulx, 406 Pursley Drive, DeLand, suspended effective 30 days from December 20 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2004) Proulx failed to respond in writing to the Bar’s investigative inquiries required under Rule 4-8.4(g). Proulx also failed to respond to the Order to Show Cause issued by the Supreme Court of Florida in the bar’s contempt proceeding against him. (Case No: SC22-1390)
Chris E. Ragano, 3619 Lithia Pinecrest Rd., Valrico, disbarred effective immediately as of a December 8 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1997) Respondent entered a plea of guilty to 33 counts of possession of child pornography and one count of out-of-state transmission of child pornography by electronic device. Adjudication of guilt was withheld, and respondent was sentenced to eight years of sex offender probation and five years of state probation, to run concurrently. (Case No: SC22-164)
Christopher Michael Reynolds, 11125 Park Blvd, Suite 104-226, Seminole, suspended effective immediately as of a December 15 court order granting his petition for emergency suspension. (Admitted to practice: 2008) Reynolds abandoned his law practice without notice and without taking steps to protect the interests of his clients. Reynolds failed to respond to the Bar’s investigative inquiries regarding alleged misappropriations of more than $200,000.00 of client funds. (Case No: SC22-1659)
Scot Strems, P.O. Box 145276, Coral Gables, disbarred effective immediately from a December 22 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2007) Strems engaged in a gross mismanagement of his law firm in a broad pattern of misconduct involving frivolous claims, lack of candor toward the tribunal, discovery violations, Kozel dismissals, conflict of interest, excessive fees, misrepresentation, and violation of supervisory lawyers’ duties. (Case No: SC20-842)
David Andrew Taylor III, 233 E. Bay St, Suite 1020, Jacksonville, suspended for 60 days, effective 30 days from a December 8 court order, and ordered to attend ethics school within 60 days of the December 8 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1997) A retainer agreement drafted by Taylor and signed by his client was not in compliance with ethical rules because Taylor did not advise the client in writing to seek the advice of independent counsel. Taylor also failed to properly supervise an attorney in his law firm who violated the advertising rules. (Case No: SC21-291 and SC21-724)
Erik David Wesoloski, 848 Brickell Ave, Suite 302, Miami, suspended for 90 days effective 30 days from December 22 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2001) Wesoloski failed to maintain electronic evidence substantial to litigation, produced incomplete documents, and opposed further efforts to obtain full disclosure of electronic data. (Case No: SC21-1725)
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 reapply 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.