The Florida Bar, the state’s guardian for the integrity of the legal profession, announced that the Florida Supreme Court in recent court orders disciplined 20 attorneys — disbarring three, revoking the licenses of seven, suspending six and publicly reprimanding four.
Richard Michael Colbert, of Gulf Breeze, received a disciplinary revocation without leave to seek readmission, effective immediately, following a May 11 court order. A disciplinary revocation without leave to reapply is tantamount to permanent disbarment.
Colbert, who was admitted to practice in 1987, pleaded guilty in court to 13 federal felonies including theft, embezzlement and misappropriation of bank funds, money laundering, bank and mail fraud, and false statements to a financial institution.
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 104,000-plus members of The Florida Bar.
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.