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Florida Bar Public ReprimandsAs 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 its members. The Florida Bar accepts complaints against attorneys, investigates those complaints and prosecutes attorneys who engage in unethical conduct. The public reprimand is a Supreme Court-ordered form of public discipline that declares the conduct of the lawyer improper. Public reprimands are delivered before the 52-member Florida Bar Board of Governors and are public record.
for Publication by Florida Law Weekly
September, 2020Lawrence Paul Cartelli, Fla. Supreme Court Case No. SC20-702, May 28, 2020, Lawrence P. Cartelli, P.A., Tavares, FL 32778-1826. Respondent publicly reprimanded and required to complete Ethics School. Cartelli was admitted to practice on November 23, 2002. While representing a client in a divorce case, Cartelli discussed with the client and the client's girlfriend a dormant charity Cartelli created many years before for the stated purpose of assisting families in need. The client offered to pay monthly rent on the office space located adjacent to Cartelli's office, and the client's girlfriend offered to work toward re-invigorating the chcarity. Cartelli failed to advise the client of the potential conflict of interest in writing, and Cartelli did not obtain a waiver of any potential conflict of interest from his client. Additionally, the client loaned Cartelli money, at Cartelli's request. Cartelli failed to advise the client of the potential conflict of interest and failed to advise the client to consult with an independent attorney prior to making the loan. Cartelli also accepted a loan to the charity from a former client whose wife Cartelli was representing and charitable donations from other clients without written agreements and without advising those clients to seek independent legal counsel. Cartelli also failed to keep adequate financial records for the charity. Marcus Raymond Spagnoletti, Fla. Supreme Court Case No. SC19-1746, June 11, 2020, 401 Louisiana St., Fl. 8, Houston, TX 77002-1629. Public Reprimand followed by probation, set to terminate May 1, 2021. Respondent was admitted to practice on October 4, 2010. In two separate client matters, Respondent failed to properly communicate with his clients regarding their respective ongoing claims and cases involving the Deepwater Horizon Oil spill and British Petroleum. Respondent failed to advise his clients. William DeForest Thompson Jr., Fla. Supreme Court Case No. SC19-1820, May 7, 2020, 2030 McGregor Blvd., Ft. Myers, FL 33901. Respondent was admitted to practice on January 21, 1988. After a July 15, 2019 order suspending respondent, he failed to comply with the requirements of Rule 3-5.1(h) of the Rules Regulating The Florida Bar. Respondent failed to remove all indicia of attorney status from his website and social media platforms, and failed to notify individuals in three cases of his suspension.