A Tallahassee personal injury attorney who was already on emergency suspension for failing to turn over his trust account records while the Florida Bar investigated client grievances has decided, officially, to drop out.
Gus Soto, of the Soto Injury Law Firm, 65 and admitted to the bar in 1984, gave up his career seeking disciplinary dismissal without permission to seek readmission. Soto’s request, which was granted by the state Supreme Court, also says he will waive $396,931 in restitution to five clients who allege Soto misappropriated their settlement funds.
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As the state Supreme Court points out, “Disciplinary revocation is equivalent to striking off.The lawyer is asking for the action, either with leave to reapply in five years or without leave to reapply in five years. In matters of professional discipline, pending disciplinary cases disappear. Disciplinary removal, however, has no effect on civil or criminal matters arising from the attorney’s actions.
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The state Supreme Court suspended Soto in May after the Law Society’s subpoenas for records from January 1, 2018 through August 31, 2021 failed to produce “records for [Soto’s] Bank of Regions trust accountclosing statements, settlement agreements, customer records, and documentation evidencing the location of remaining customer settlement fund balances. »
A total of seven grievances were filed. Soto’s request and the state Supreme Court’s acceptance of that request indicates that, in 60 days, Soto must pay $86,500.00 to David Wofford; $20,000.00 to Tevin McCollough on behalf of the Estate of Velma Bickers; $146,189.63 to James Surber; $137,875.00 to Daniel Hirsh; and $6,367.00 to William Nealy.