Mental or Physical Health Problems As a Defense to the Misuse of Client Money by An Attorney
In Florida Bar v. MacMillan, 600 So. 2d 457 (Fla. 1992), this Court imposed a two-year suspension on an attorney who:
(1) negligently lost client jewelry that had been entrusted to him;
(2) misappropriated funds;
(3) failed to report to the court a transfer of the client's funds from the guardianship account to his personal account. Id. at 458, 460.
This Court held that the suspension was warranted "even considering the significant mitigating factors present in this case." Id. at 460.
Ward, 599 So. 2d at 651, 653 (one-year suspension imposed for stealing money from law firm where referee found that attorney had good reputation in the community and act appeared to be "an aberration that was completely out of character");
Schiller, 537 So. 2d at 993 (attorney who misused client funds suspended for three years where clients were not injured by his misuse and attorney was "genuinely remorseful" and a good candidate for rehabilitation).
Further, this Court has held that mental or physical health problems are not a complete defense to the misuse of client funds.