October 1, 2022 Disciplinary Actions
The Florida Supreme Court in recent court orders disciplined 13 attorneys, suspending three, reprimanding three, and revoking the licenses of seven.
Jeffrey Edward Appel, P.O. Box 6097, Lakeland, suspended for 90 days effective 30 days from September 14 order. (Admitted to practice: 1993) Appel failed to comply with the conditions of his report of minor misconduct as directed by the grievance committee. This included his failure to comply to abstain from the consumption of alcohol and failure to adhere to the required testing procedures in accordance with his contract with FLA, Inc. (Case No. SC22-833)
Richard Henry Albritton III, P.O. Box 519, Panama City, public reprimand by publication effective immediately following an August 25 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2008) Albritton pled to one misdemeanor for First Conviction for Driving While License Suspended, and the non-criminal Failure to Leave Information at the scene of an accident. (Case No: SC22-121)
Derek Michael Aronoff, 4538 S.W. Darlington St., Port St. Lucie, suspended for 91 days effective 30 days following a September 8 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2001) Aronoff failed to provide a client with diligent and competent representation in a post-dissolution of marriage case where the client was seeking payment of past due child support, and the former husband was seeking to reduce his child support obligation. Aronoff’s mishandling of the case resulted in the client losing all of her alimony and a reduction in the child support monthly payments owed by the former husband. (Case No: SC22-228)
Susan Jane Best, 1869 North Crystal Lake Dr., Lakeland, disciplinary revocation with leave to apply for readmission after five years, effective 30 days following a September 1 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1989) Best misappropriated funds from her law office trust account, failed to maintain the minimum required trust accounting records, and failed to follow the minimum required trust accounting procedures. (Court Case No: SC22-797)
Kelley Andrea Bosecker, 1400 Gandy Blvd. N., Unit 1504, St. Petersburg, disciplinary revocation without leave to apply for readmission, effective immediately following a September 1 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1984) At the time of the disciplinary revocation, charges pending against Bosecker involved her engagement in the unlicensed practice of law in contempt of the Supreme Court of Florida’s order of interim suspension in case number SC16-1387 that ultimately resulted in her disbarment. (Court Case No: SC22-891)
Robert B. Cook, 17 Bay Harbor Rd., Tequesta, disciplinary revocation without leave to seek readmission, effective immediately following a September 22 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1971) Cook had matters pending at the grievance committee level regarding the same civil case, establishing a pattern of neglect. Cook also had findings of contempt after he failed to appear at hearings and his client failed to appear for deposition. Additionally, the Bar filed a contempt matter in the Florida Supreme Court due to petitioner’s failure to comply with the conditions of his recent public reprimand. (Court Case No:SC22-977)
Aaryn April Fuller, 4302 Fox Hollow Circle, Casselberry, disciplinary revocation with leave to apply for readmission effective immediately following a September 1 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2003) At the time of the disciplinary revocation, charges pending against Fuller involved accusations of using client funds for purposes other than the specific purpose for which they were intended, failing to diligently pursue a client’s case, and failing to adequately communicate with a client. (Court Case No: SC22-751)
Ryan Scott Hobby, 3154 Glendale Blvd., #1048, Los Angeles, CA, disciplinary revocation with leave to apply for readmission effective 30 days following a September 15 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2005) At the time of the disciplinary revocation, charges pending against Hobby involved accusations of using client funds for purposes other than the specific purpose for which they were intended, failing to communicate with clients, and neglecting several client cases. (Court Case No: SC22-971)
Joshua David Neally, P.O. Box 8366, Springfield, MO, public reprimand and ethics school effective immediately following a September 22 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2006) Neally was a contract attorney for Relief Solutions International, a timeshare relief company. He was tasked with assisting clients in negotiating with timeshare companies to get out of their contracts. Neally received no fees directly from clients and was paid a flat fee, per case by RSI. Neally failed to adequately explain the parameters of his representation and failed to timely communicate with clients about the status of their matters. (Court Case No:SC22-637)
Robert Pereda, 1420 Celebration Blvd., Suite 200, Celebration, disciplinary revocation without leave to seek readmission effective immediately following a September 8 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2010) After Pereda received an emergency suspension, The Florida Bar submitted a petition for disciplinary revocation in response to allegations of misappropriation of several clients’ trust funds for his own benefit or the benefit of his firm. Pereda is believed to have abandoned his law practice, abused the legal process, and failed to respond to the Bar’s subpoena and requests for information. (Court Case No:SC22-896)
Joanne Marie Prescott, P.O. Box 3000, Orlando, public reprimand and three years of probation effective immediately following a September 15 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1996) In 2019, Prescott was cited for DUI in Georgia. She pled guilty to the reduced misdemeanor charge of failure to exercise due care. In 2021, Prescott was arrested for DUI – Unlawful Blood Alcohol – DUI Damage to Property or Person of Another in Orange County, Florida. Prescott pled nolo contendere to the first-degree misdemeanor charge of DUI with property damage and was sentenced to probation. Prescott timely self-reported the Florida plea and admitted that she had failed to timely report the 2019 Georgia plea. Prescott subsequently violated her probation in the Florida DUI case. (Court Case No: SC22-811)
Michael D. Stewart, 325 S. Biscayne Blvd., Apt. 3323, Miami, disciplinary revocation with leave to seek readmission after five years effective immediately following a September 22 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2005) Stewart is the subject of numerous grievances involving allegations including, but not limited to, client neglect, failure to communicate, failure to abide by client decisions, failure to supervise nonlawyer staff, and conflict of interest. The disciplinary revocation petition was tendered in order to resolve all pending cases against Stewart. (Court Case No: SC22-978)
Robert J. Telfer, Jr., 815 South Washington Avenue, Suite 201, Titusville, suspended for 30 days and ethics school effective 30 days from a September 1 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1971) Telfer contacted attorney Michael Saracco during the time period that Saracco was suspended from the practice of law and offered to assist Saracco with any pending client matters. Saracco accepted Telfer’s assistance. Telfer then entered his limited notice of appearance in several of Saracco’s pending cases. Telfer failed to communicate with the clients and failed to obtain the clients’ consent to enter the Notices of Limited Appearance on their behalf. Telfer allowed a paralegal to file pleadings with the trial courts that were drafted by Saracco, utilizing Telfer’s Florida Bar number. Telfer reviewed the pleadings prior to them being filed with the trial courts. Telfer advised the trial courts when appearing before them that Telfer entered notices of limited appearance in the cases due to Saracco’s suspension from the practice of law. (Court Case No: SC22-989)
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.