Florida Personal Injury Lawyer Takes Disciplinary Revocation

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A Tallahassee personal injury attorney already under emergency suspension for failing to turn over his trust account records while the Florida Bar investigated client complaints has decided to officially relinquish his license.

Attorney Gus Soto, 65, admitted to the Bar Association in 1984, resigned his career requesting disciplinary revocation without permission to apply for reinstatement. Soto’s request, which was accepted by the state Supreme Court, also says he will forfeit $396,931 in restitution to five clients who allege Soto misappropriated settlement funds from him.

As the state Supreme Court says, “disciplinary revocation is equivalent to disqualification.” The attorney requests the measure, either with permission to reapply in five years or without permission to reapply in five years. Regarding disciplinary action, pending disciplinary cases disappear. However, the disciplinary revocation has no effect on civil or criminal matters arising from the attorney’s actions.

The state Supreme Court suspended Soto in May after subpoenas from the Bar Association for records from Jan. 1, 2018 through Aug. 31, 2021 produced “no Regions Bank trust account records.” [de Soto]closing summaries, settlement agreements, customer accounting records, and documentation evidencing the whereabouts of remaining balances of customer settlement funds.”

A total of seven claims had been filed. Soto’s request and the State Supreme Court’s acceptance of said request say that within 60 days, Soto must pay $86,500 to David Wofford, $20,000 to Tevin McCollough on behalf of the estate of Velma Bickers; $146,189.63 to James Surber, $137,875.00 to Daniel Hirsh; and $6,367. to William Nealey.

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