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Florida Bar Reinstatement Proceedings


Whether you were suspended or disbarred, certain minimum conditions of character & fitness must be met before you can be reinstated to practice.  Even then reinstatement or readmission after suspension or disbarment is hardly a given.  This is especially the case for the disbarred attorney since the attitude of the Florida Supreme Court is becoming more and more a “zero tolerance” policy in readmitting attorneys. 

Prior to applying for reinstatement or readmission, prudence demands that thorough consideration be given to the underlying conduct and also to responses to issues that must be addressed in the reinstatement/readmission process.  This is where having an attorney, like Richard B. Marx, Esq., who has focused exclusively in this area of law for more than 25 years can make a difference.  In many instances it will be the difference between practicing law again and finding a new career.

Typically suspensions run from 10 days to 3 years.  A suspension of 90 days or less is known as a non-rehabilitative suspension and the suspended lawyer is automatically allowed to resume the practice of law once the time period has elapsed.  A suspension of more than 90 days requires that the suspended lawyer go through a reinstatement process with the Florida Bar. 

Lawyer Readmission / Reinstatement

If you have resigned or have been disbarred, typically you must wait a minimum of 5 years before you can seek readmission with the Florida Board of Bar Examiners.

In either case, completing the requirements set forth in the Rules Regulating the Florida Bar (Reinstatement) or the Rules of the Supreme Court Relating to Admissions to the Bar (Readmission) is not enough.  An attorney must convince the Florida Bar or the Florida Board of Bar Examiners of their ability to uphold high ethical standards and professional conduct in the legal profession and in their everyday lives.  This requires the applicant have significant guidance and preparation, in fact such guidance and preparation is crucial to being readmitted or reinstated.  It is extremely difficult to be reinstated without such guidance and preparation, and readmission without such guidance and preparation is almost impossible.

If you want to become a practicing lawyer again, speak with a competent and qualified Florida Bar admissions attorney like Richard B. Marx, Esq., and get the legal advice and representation you need to make that possible.  Richard B. Marx, Esq. can help you get started in the right direction and help you get your license back.

What should you do during your suspension period?

The Florida Supreme Court will enter an order that may include special conditions that the suspended attorney must follow in order to be eligible for reinstatement to the Florida Bar.  If there are special conditions they must be complied with before the suspended attorney can begin Florida Bar Reinstatement Proceedings.
The suspended attorney must file a petition for reinstatement to commence the Florida Bar Reinstatement Proceedings.  The petition for reinstatement may be filed after 80 percent of the suspension period has elapsed.
Florida Bar Reinstatement Proceedings are governed by the rules in effect at the time of application for reinstatement, unless the original discipline opinion otherwise provides.  Therefore it is almost always preferable to file as soon as you have completed 80 percent of your 
suspension.  If you delay your Florida Bar Reinstatement Proceedings you run the risk of a rule change occurring which may not be in your favor.
Before you initiate your Florida Bar Reinstatement Proceedings you should meet with an experienced bar defense attorney in order to make sure that you are able to establish the essential elements of proof for reinstatement as set forth in the Rules Regulating the Florida Bar.  
There are several factors that must be considered.  For instance a suspended attorney must engage in positive action showing rehabilitation by such things as a person’s community or civic service. Community or civic service is donated service or activity that is performed by someone or a group of people for the benefit of the public or its institutions.  You will benefit greatly if you dedicate a considerable amount of time accumulating community service hours during your suspension.