Florida Supreme Court Disciplines Two Tampa Bay Attorneys
They are two of 12 attorneys from across Florida that the state Supreme Court disciplined.
TALLAHASSEE – The Florida Bar, the state’s guardian for the integrity of the legal profession, announces that the Florida Supreme Court in recent court orders disciplined two Tampa Bay area attorneys.
The two were listed in the total of 12 attorneys the court disciplined – revoking the license of one, reprimanding five and suspending six. Three attorneys were also given probation. Attorneys suspended for periods of 91 days and longer must undergo a rigorous process to regain their law licenses including proving rehabilitation. Disciplinary revocation is tantamount to disbarment.
Howard Hunter Ellzey Jr., of New Port Richey, was issued a public reprimand with a three-year probation effective immediately following a Feb. 20 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2007) Ellzey was arrested in connection with a DUI offense and refusal to submit to testing. He was charged with felony driving under the influence of alcohol, his third offense within 10 years, and pleaded guilty to misdemeanor DUI and misdemeanor refusal to submit to testing and was adjudicated guilty of both charges. Ellzey completed the terms of his criminal probation, according to the Bar.
Herbert Walter Fiss Jr., of Tampa, was suspended for three years effective 30 days from March 12 (Admitted to Practice: 1991) The Bar said Fiss engaged in unprofessional behavior towards opposing counsel, witnesses and his client while representing the client in a probate adversary matter. Throughout the representation, Fiss billed and collected fees from his client in violation of the trust accounting rules. Further, while representing his client in the probate matter, Fiss engaged in a conflict of interest when he asked for, and received, two loans from his client, totaling $1.55 million.
Founded in 1949, The Florida Bar serves the legal profession for the protection and benefit of both the public and all Florida lawyers. As one of the nation’s largest mandatory bars, The Florida Bar fosters and upholds a high standard of integrity and competence within Florida’s legal profession as an official arm of the Florida Supreme Court. To learn more, go to FloridaBar.org.
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 108,000 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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