On Friday, December 1, 2023, the Florida Bar filed a Petition for Contempt and Order to Show Cause against Clearwater attorney Paul DeCailly following his failure to fully cooperate with a bar investigation into overdrafts on his client’s trust account.

The case is titled ‘The Florida Bar v. Paul Decailly,’ with case number 2024-10,319 (06D) OSC.

Key potential violations included failure to properly maintain his trust account which led to overdraft notices, and failure to respond timely to official Bar inquiries on a specified date as required by law.

Court records show the investigation began in April 2023 when The Florida Bar received notices from Chase Bank that Attorney DeCailly’s trust account had incurred overdrafts and insufficient funds on two separate occasions in February and March.

On April 26, 2023, Bar Counsel Lindsey Guinand sent Attorney DeCailly a letter requesting an explanation for the overdrafts and copies of supporting bank statements and records. Attorney DeCailly provided a partial response on May 11, claiming the overdrafts occurred due to incorrectly linking his trust account to the third-party payment app Venmo.

However, Guinand sent Attorney DeCailly another letter on May 1 notifying him of an additional overdraft in April and asking for documentation regarding deposits he received from clients through Venmo.

When Attorney DeCailly failed to fully respond to those initial inquiries, Guinand sent two more letters on June 20 and July 6 requesting bank statements from February through May 2023 and information about the nature of cost deposits received from clients via Venmo.

Attorney DeCailly apologized for the delay on July 6, citing a murder trial. He provided partial records on July 18, but did not include passwords to access unredacted versions.

Guinand sent two more letters in August and September pressing for complete documentation. After Attorney DeCailly missed another response deadline, the Sixth Judicial Circuit Grievance Committee “D” took up the matter at a November 14 hearing.

The committee found Attorney DeCailly in contempt for failing to fully cooperate or show good cause for non-compliance over the eight-month investigation. It requested The Florida Bar file a contempt petition with the Supreme Court.

Subsequently, the Florida Bar filed in the Supreme Court of Florida the Petition for Contempt and Order to Show Cause and requested the Court to suspend Attorney DeCailly. It also requested the administrative costs of $1,250.00 to be charged against Attorney DeCailly.

The petition reads:

“WHEREFORE, The Florida Bar requests that this Court suspend respondent pursuant to Rule 3-7.11(f), until such time as respondent fully responds in writing to the official bar inquiry contained in“Composite Exhibit 1” and until further order of this Court.”

According to Avvo, Attorney Paul DeCailly is a DUI and DWI attorney based in Tampa, Florida. He attended the Thomas M. Cooley Law School, graduating in 2000. He acquired his law license in Florida in 2004.

A copy of the original filing can be found here.