Florida’s Standards for Imposing Lawyer Sanctions ?· Florida’s Standards for Imposing Lawyer Sanctions…

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  • Floridas Standards

    for Imposing Lawyer

    Sanctions

    Approved November 1986

    by The Florida Bars

    Board of Governors

    Updated May 2015

  • i

    TABLE OF CONTENTS

    I. PREFACE

    A. Background .....................................................................................................................1

    B. Methodology ...................................................................................................................3

    II. THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK .............................................................................................5

    III. STANDARDS FOR IMPOSING LAWYER SANCTIONS ANDBLACK LETTER RULES

    AND COMMENTARY ...................................................................................................................8

    A. PURPOSE AND NATURE OF SANCTIONS .......................................................8

    B. SANCTIONS .........................................................................................................11

    2.1 SCOPE .......................................................................................................11

    2.2 DISBARMENT..........................................................................................11

    2.3 SUSPENSION ...........................................................................................12

    2.4 EMERGENCY SUSPENSION .................................................................13

    2.5 PUBLIC REPRIMAND .............................................................................14

    2.6 ADMONISHMENT ...................................................................................14

    2.7 PROBATION .............................................................................................14

    2.8 OTHER SANCTIONS AND REMEDIES ................................................16

    2.9 RECIPROCAL DISCIPLINE ....................................................................16

    2.10 READMISSION AND REINSTATEMENT ............................................17

    C. FACTORS TO BE CONSIDERED IN IMPOSING SANCTIONS ......................17

    3.0 GENERALLY............................................................................................17

    4.0 VIOLATIONS OF DUTIES OWED TO CLIENTS .................................18

    4.1 FAILURE TO PRESERVE THE CLIENTS PROPERTY ......................18

    4.11 Disbarment .....................................................................................18

    4.12 Suspension .....................................................................................19

    4.13 Public reprimand ............................................................................20

    4.14 Admonishment ...............................................................................21

    4.2 FAILURE TO PRESERVE THE CLIENTS CONFIDENCES ...............21

    4.21 Disbarment .....................................................................................21

    4.22 Suspension .....................................................................................22

    4.23 Public reprimand ............................................................................22

    4.24 Admonishment ...............................................................................22

    4.3 FAILURE TO AVOID CONFLICTS OF INTEREST ..............................22

    4.31 Disbarment .....................................................................................22

    4.32 Suspension .....................................................................................24

    4.33 Public reprimand ............................................................................25

    4.34 Admonishment ...............................................................................26

  • ii

    4.4 LACK OF DILIGENCE ............................................................................26

    4.41 Disbarment .....................................................................................26

    4.42 Suspension .....................................................................................27

    4.43 Public reprimand ............................................................................27

    4.44 Admonishment ...............................................................................28

    4.5 LACK OF COMPETENCE .......................................................................28

    4.51 Disbarment .....................................................................................28

    4.52 Suspension .....................................................................................28

    4.53 Public reprimand ............................................................................29

    4.54 Admonishment ...............................................................................29

    4.6 LACK OF CANDOR .................................................................................29

    4.61 Disbarment .....................................................................................30

    4.62 Suspension .....................................................................................30

    4.63 Public reprimand ............................................................................30

    4.64 Admonishment ...............................................................................31

    5.0 VIOLATIONS OF DUTIES OWED TO THE PUBLIC ...........................31

    5.1 FAILURE TO MAINTAIN PERSONAL INTEGRITY ..........................31

    5.11 Disbarment .....................................................................................31

    5.12 Suspension .....................................................................................32

    5.13 Public reprimand ............................................................................32

    5.14 Admonishment ...............................................................................33

    5.2 FAILURE TO MAINTAIN THE PUBLIC TRUST .................................33

    5.21 Disbarment .....................................................................................33

    5.22 Suspension .....................................................................................33

    5.23 Public reprimand ............................................................................34

    5.24 Admonishment ...............................................................................34

    6.0 VIOLATIONS OF DUTIES OWED TO THE LEGAL SYSTEM ...........34

    6.1 FALSE STATEMENTS, FRAUD, AND MISREPRESENTATION .......34

    6.11 Disbarment .....................................................................................35

    6.12 Suspension .....................................................................................35

    6.13 Public reprimand ............................................................................35

    6.14 Admonishment ...............................................................................36

    6.2 ABUSE OF THE LEGAL PROCESS .......................................................36

    6.21 Disbarment .....................................................................................36

    6.22 Suspension .....................................................................................37

    6.23 Public reprimand ............................................................................37

    6.24 Admonishment ...............................................................................38

    6.3 IMPROPER COMMUNICATIONS WITH INDIVIDUALS IN THE

    LEGAL SYSTEM ......................................................................................38

  • iii

    6.31 Disbarment .....................................................................................38

    6.32 Suspension .....................................................................................38

    6.33 Public reprimand ............................................................................39

    6.34 Admonishment ...............................................................................39

    7.0 VIOLATIONS OF OTHER DUTIES OWED AS A PROFESSIONAL ..39

    7.1 Disbarment .....................................................................................39

    7.2 Suspension .....................................................................................40

    7.3 Public reprimand ............................................................................40

    7.4 Admonishment ...............................................................................41

    8.0 PRIOR DISCIPLINE ORDERS ................................................................41

    8.1 Disbarment .....................................................................................41

    8.2 Suspension .....................................................................................42

    8.3 Public reprimand ............................................................................42

    8.4 Admonishment ...............................................................................42

    9.0 AGGRAVATION AND MITIGATION ...................................................43

    9.1 Generally ........................................................................................43

    9.2 Aggravation....................................................................................43

    9.21 Definition .......................................................................................43

    9.22 Factors