On Wednesday, November 22, 2023, the Supreme Court of Florida suspended Attorney Michael M. Stover from the practice of law for 60 days following his acceptance of prescription medication from a client as payment.
The case is entitled “The Florida Bar v. Michael M. Stover,” with case no. SC2023-1204.
According to court documents, Stover met with a confidential source who claimed to make money selling drugs on January 6, 2021. The source said they could obtain any type of drugs. Stover and the source then exchanged communications that led to a meeting on January 14, 2021.
At the meeting, which took place at a travel center in St. Johns County, Stover accepted 60 Adderall pills from the source. The source confirmed the pills were worth $5 each towards Stover’s legal fee. After the exchange, law enforcement arrested Stover for purchasing a controlled substance.
The State Attorney’s Office subsequently charged Stover with one felony count of purchasing or possessing a controlled substance. In September 2021, Stover entered into a pretrial intervention agreement that deferred prosecution for 24 months on the condition he complied with various requirements.
A referee’s report from November 2023 indicated Stover entered the pretrial program and completed it. As a result, the criminal charges against him were dropped. However, the report found Stover guilty of misconduct justifying disciplinary measures.
On November 22, 2023, the Florida Supreme Court approved the referee’s report and suspended Stover for 60 days. The court entered judgment against Stover for $1,360.66 in costs to The Florida Bar. Stover’s suspension will take effect in 30 days to allow him to close out his practice unless he notifies the court he no longer needs the time.
The court order requires Stover to comply with bar rules regarding suspended attorneys. He must not accept new clients and must remove indications of his attorney status. The suspension comes after over eight years of practicing law in Florida without prior discipline.
The Disposition states:
“The uncontested report of the referee is approved and Respondent is suspended from the practice of law for sixty days, effective thirty days from the date of this order so that Respondent can close out his practice and protect the interests of existing clients.”
According to avvo.com, Mr. Stover is a criminal defense attorney in Saint Augustine, Florida. He attended the University of Arkansas Little Rock, William H. Bowen School of Law, graduating in 2014. He acquired his law license in Florida in 2015.
A copy of the original filing can be found here.