Florida Bar Suspends Tampa Bay Area Attorneys
One did not perform work after accepting fees and the other misappropriated client funds, according to the Florida Bar.
TAMPA BAY – An attorney from Oldsmar and one from New Port Richey were suspended by the Florida Bar.
The Bar disciplined 21 attorneys across the state. One was disbarred, nine had their licenses revoked, nine were suspended and two were publicly reprimanded. Disciplinary revocation is tantamount to disbarment.
Allison Catherine Ridenhour of Oldsmar was suspended for 30 days, effective 30 days from a March 7 court order. In addition, Ridenhour is ordered into a two-year rehabilitation contract with FLA, Inc., fee arbitration, and payment of disciplinary costs.
In three separate client matters, the Bar said Ridenhour did not perform work after accepting fees and failed to respond to clients. She also failed to respond to official inquiries by Bar counsel and a grievance committee. She was admitted to practice in 1999.
The Bar emergency suspended Hugh Charles Umsted of New Port Richey, effective after a March 21 court order. Umstead appears to be causing great public harm based upon his misappropriation of at least $82,647 in client funds, the Bar said. He was admitted to practice in 1991.
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 the more than 106,000 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 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 re-apply 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.
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