Supreme Court of Florida

Supreme Court of Florida
TUESDAY, MAY 20, 2014
CASE NO.: SC13-957
Lower Tribunal No(s).: 2013-71,006(11K-MDR)
Before the Court is Petitioner Juan Carlos Parets’ petition for disciplinary
revocation filed with this Court on May 31, 2013. In lieu of challenging his
pending disciplinary proceedings, Petitioner requests a five-year disciplinary
revocation, with leave to apply for readmission. The Florida Bar supports the
If The Florida Bar is investigating the conduct of a lawyer, or if The Florida
Bar has recommended probable cause, a petition for disciplinary revocation may be
filed. R. Regulating Fla. Bar 3-7.12. Disciplinary revocation, which is tantamount
to disbarment, terminates an attorney’s status as a member of The Florida Bar and
dismisses all pending disciplinary cases. R. Regulating Fla. Bar 3-5.1(g), 3-7.12(d).
A petition for revocation must include:
a statement of all past and pending disciplinary actions and criminal
proceedings against the petitioner. The statement shall describe the
charges made or those under investigation for professional misconduct,
results of past proceedings, and the status of pending investigations and
proceedings. The petition shall state whether it is with or without leave to
apply for readmission to the bar.
R. Regulating Fla. Bar 3-7.12(a). Disciplinary revocation may be granted if the
petitioner shows that “the public interest will not be adversely affected by the
granting of the petition and that such will neither adversely affect the integrity of
the courts nor hinder the administration of justice nor the confidence of the public
in the legal profession.” R. Regulating Fla. Bar 3-7.12(b). No application for
readmission may be sought until the later of five years after the date of the order
granting the petition for disciplinary revocation, or such other time stated in the
order. R. Regulating Fla. Bar 3-5.1(g).
On October 19, 2012, we approved The Florida Bar’s petition for emergency
suspension of Petitioner pursuant to Rule 3-5.2 of the Rules Regulating the Florida
Bar. See Fla. Bar v. Parets, No. SC12-2122 (Fla. Oct. 19, 2012). The Florida Bar’s
CASE NO.: SC13-957
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staff auditor had reviewed the transactions in Petitioner’s bank accounts between
January 2011 and June 2012. See Fla. Bar No. 2012-70,880 (1IK). On June 30,
2012, there was a shortage of approximately $454,294.28 in Petitioner’s Total Bank
Trust Account, despite Petitioner depositing approximately $567,624.88 into the
account between January 2011 and June 2012. On May 11, 2012, there was a
shortage of $195,877.73 in Petitioner’s Popular Bank Trust Account, despite
Petitioner depositing approximately $618,261.40 between April 3, 2012 and May
11, 2012. The auditor concluded that Petitioner used recent deposits to satisfy
obligations incurred in other periods, similar to that of a Ponzi scheme. The Florida
Bar claimed in its petition for emergency suspension that Petitioner
misappropriated and/or diverted funds entrusted to him and that he was causing
great public harm.
In the instant petition, Petitioner maintains that there are six other pending
disciplinary cases involving complaints of his former clients seeking a release of
settlement proceeds: case nos. 2013-70,066(11K-MMO), 2013-70,473(11K-MMO),
2013-70,528(11K-MMO), 2013-70,583(11K-MMO), 2013-70,634(11K-MMO),
and 2013-70,653(11K-MMO). Petitioner agrees to reimburse The Florida Bar for
its costs incurred in his disciplinary case.
On June 18, 2013, this Court granted Petitioner’s motion to permit
disbursement of funds to the extent it is consistent with the referee’s report and to
be distributed as listed in the report. The referee identified thirteen individuals who
may receive their settlement funds, but that the fees and costs due to Petitioner must
be deposited into a specified account where it would not be disbursed absent an
order from this Court or until this case is closed.
In responding to an order to show cause issued in this case, The Florida Bar,
on October 2, 2013, stated that it decided to support the petition because it contains
a statement sufficiently describing the charges made or those under investigation in
accordance with the rules. Petitioner later stated on November 8, 2013, that “but
for two awaiting checks from insurance companies, it appears all payments have
been made [to his clients],” and on December 16, 2013, that counsel for Petitioner
“received [one of the two remaining individual’s] funds for disbursement to him.”
We grant the petition for disciplinary revocation. Petitioner is currently
suspended; therefore this disciplinary revocation is effective immediately.
Petitioner shall fully comply with Rule Regulating the Florida Bar 3-5.1(h). All
pending disciplinary cases involving the Petitioner are hereby dismissed.
CASE NO.: SC13-957
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Judgment is entered for The Florida Bar, 651 East Jefferson Street,
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-2300, for recovery of costs from Juan Carlos Parets in
the amount of $11,955.50, for which sum let execution issue.
Not final until time expires to file motion for rehearing, and if filed,
determined. The filing of a motion for rehearing shall not alter the effective date of
this disciplinary revocation.
It is so ordered.
PERRY, JJ., concur.
A True Copy