While disbarment from the practice of law is not always permanent according to the Florida Bar, it does carry a minimum penalty length of five years before a disbarred lawyer can apply for readmission to the Bar Association. In cases where disbarment is permanent, no application for readmission can ever be made.
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Applying for Readmission to the Florida Bar
When a lawyer is disbarred from The Florida Bar, they are prohibited from practicing law. In order to begin practicing law in Florida again after a disbarment, they must take specific steps that include:
- Applying for reinstatement after a minimum of five years
- Proving they have successfully retaken the bar exam
- Proving they have taken steps to regain their fitness to practice law
Disbarment can happen in one of three ways—by consenting to disbarment, by resigning to avoid disbarment, or by reciprocal disbarment, meaning the lawyer is disbarred in one state or jurisdiction because he is disbarred in another.
Your professional reputation can play an enormous role in your practice of the law and your ability to obtain clients and maintain client relationships. When you are faced with potential disbarment, your legal career is in jeopardy. A lawyer familiar with Florida lawyer regulations can help guide you through the process of professional regulation.
What You Need to Know About the Process of Disbarment
The Florida Bar Association is charged with regulating the conduct and behavior of its lawyers, and states, “As an official arm of 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 its members. The Florida Bar accepts complaints against attorneys, investigates those complaints and prosecutes attorneys who engage in unethical conduct.”
The process of disbarment typically begins when a complaint is made against a lawyer either from a client, colleague, or judge. If the Bar Association’s investigation finds that the complaint against the lawyer is valid, they will notify the lawyer of the complaint and the alleged violation, and will request a reply from the lawyer in 15 days or less.
The Florida Bar counsel will then begin its own investigation. If it finds the complaint against the lawyer is valid, it will forward the case for disbarment to the judicial court, then on to the Florida Supreme Court where a trial will be held. A professional regulation lawyer can help you fight to maintain your good name, your professional reputation, and your career.
Fight for Your Professional Reputation as a Lawyer
When disbarment is permanent, more than your ability to practice law is affected. Your life, livelihood, and lifestyle are all permanently altered in the aftermath of disbarment. When you are ready to fight for your professional reputation, a lawyer from the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine may have the tools and resources to help you fight disbarment. Call 1-800-747-3733 to speak to a member of our team today.