Florida Supreme Court Disciplines St. Petersburg Lawyers
They were two of the 26 attorneys the court disciplined from across Florida.
ST. PETERSBURG – The Florida Supreme Court disciplined two St. Petersburg lawyers, according to the Florida Bar.
The court granted a petition by attorney D. Jay Snyder for disciplinary revocation without leave to seek readmission, effective 30 days from an Aug. 16 court order. Disciplinary revocation is tantamount to disbarment. Disciplinary matters pending against Snyder included the alleged withdrawal of $1.5 million in advance fees without the client’s authorization. Snyder was admitted to practice in 1977.
Mark P. Stopa was suspended until further order, effective 30 days from a July 27 court order. According to a petition for emergency suspension, Stopa appeared to be causing great public harm by settling cases without the consent of clients, filing frivolous motions, and providing misleading information. Stopa was admitted to practice in 2002.
The disciplinary decisions were announced by the Florida Bar, the state’s guardian for the integrity of the legal profession. The St. Petersburg lawyers were two of 26 attorneys who were disciplined. The court issued orders disbarring five, revoking the licenses of two, suspending 11, publicly reprimanding seven, and placing one on probation. Three attorneys received more than one form of discipline. Two were ordered to pay restitution; another was also placed on probation.
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 105,935 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. Additional information on the discipline system and how to file a complaint are available at floridabar.org.
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 rejects many who apply. It includes a rigorous background check and retaking the Bar exam. Historically, less than 5 percent of disbarred lawyers seek readmission.
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