Miami-Dade County

Missing financial records and ignoring Bar orders gets two attorneys disciplined

Only two South Florida lawyers made this month’s Florida Bar discipline report
Only two South Florida lawyers made this month’s Florida Bar discipline report KRT

Everything’s in South Florida but the temperature lightened up July — population, traffic, even attorneys on the Florida Bar’s monthly report of those disciplined by the state Supreme Court.

A report that usually sees at least 20 attorneys from around the state included only 14 with a mere two from Miami-Dade and Broward counties. Which makes putting them in alphabetical order easy.

▪ Miami’s Angela Abell (Stetson University College of Law, 1987) went under suspension until further notice Thursday for contempt of court. Abell didn’t come across with all the trust account records subpeonaed by the Bar. That’s a problem because the Bar says she “misappropriated” $7,123.72 of client money from her trust account. The Bar also had some questions about $134,000 transferred from the trust account from Oct. 18, 2013 through Feb. 10, 2015.

“Respondent claims these transfers are earned fees from prior cases that she left in trust, but had provided no documentation to support her claim,” the Bar’s petition for emergency suspension says.

When the bar asked for client files in seven guardianship cases and all Abell’s trust account records from Sept. 1, 1997 through Feb. 17, 2017, Abell “produced incomplete trust account records to the Bar in March 2017, consisting of miscellaneous bank statements, copies of checks for some of the accounts, and client ledgers” for some guardianship cases.

▪ Miami’s Christopher Jones (Depaul College of Law ,1996) can’t legally practice law in Florida until June 2, 2020. Jones’ no contest plea in May 2016 to trespassing in a structure or conveyance with a deadly weapon got him two years probation from the court and, in July, a 90-day Bar suspension. The Bar told Jones to clear up his business before his suspension: tell clients, opposing counsel, give the Bar a sworn affidavit with all the names and addresses of those who got a copy of his suspension order.

Jones’ failure to do this got him suspended for until February 2018. Failing to do what the Bar asked after the second suspension got him the three-year hit.

Christopher Jones
Christopher Jones can’t be your lawyer until June 2, 2020. Miami-Dade Corrections

David J. Neal: 305-376-3559, @DavidJNeal