Florida: Cooper City attorney Melissa A. Heaton publicly reprimanded after found in contempt for noncompliance

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This situation is not going well for attorney Heaton. She has already been suspended and was COURT ORDERED to notify all clients - which she has refused to do. SHe is now facing DISBARMENT.

Florida: Cooper City attorney Melissa A. Heaton publicly reprimanded after found in contempt for noncompliance

TALLAHASSEE (Florida Record) — Cooper City attorney Melissa A. Heaton has been publicly reprimanded following a Feb. 1 Florida Supreme Court order after she was found in contempt for noncompliance, according to a recent announcement by The Florida Bar.

"She failed to comply in a timely manner with the terms of a July 5, 2017, suspension order," the state bar said in its March 27 announcement of the discipline and the Supreme Court's order. "Specifically, Heaton was required to notify her clients, opposing counsel and tribunals of her suspension, and provide the bar within 30 days a sworn affidavit listing the names and addresses of all persons and entities that were furnished a copy of her suspension order."

 

In its two-page order, the state Supreme Court also ordered Heaton to pay $1,250 in costs. "The court takes very seriously every attorney's obligation to completely and timely comply with the court’s orders," the high court said in its order. "Therefore, because [Heaton] did not respond to the inquiries in a timely manner, Melissa A. Heaton is hereby held in contempt and is hereby publicly reprimanded."

In Florida, court orders are not final until time to file a rehearing motion expires.

Heaton was admitted to the Florida bar July 6, 2007, according to her profile at the state bar website.

In October, Heaton was suspended for the fifth time in two years following a Supreme Court order that month and announced by the state bar in November. The October Supreme Court order followed her no contest plea to a drug possession charge.

That same month, the state Supreme Court issued a show cause order, directing Heaton "to show cause why she should not be held in contempt and disbarred," the high court's more recent order said.  

The Florida Bar subsequently filed a notice with the court that Heaton had complied with the order "albeit not in a timely manner," the high court's order said. Heaton's reprimand followed the state bar's notice of her compliance, according to the order.

Source: Florida Record