On Thursday, December 21, 2023, the Supreme Court of Florida dismissed a bar discipline case against St. Petersburg lawyer Michael B. Buckley, who had passed away in November.

The case is entitled “The Florida Bar v. Michael B. Buckley,” with case no. SC2023-1694.

The case originated on December 8, 2023, when The Florida Bar filed a complaint against Mr. Buckley. Referee Andrea Watt McHugh was assigned to the case on December 12, 2023. However, later that day the Bar was notified that Mr. Buckley had died on November 5, 2023.

In her report filed on an unspecified date in December, Referee McHugh summarized the procedural history and recommended the dismissal of the case due to Mr. Buckley’s death. The Bar filed a Notice of Filling Suggestion of Death on December 15th, conceding the case was moot due to the death of the accused lawyer.

In an order issued on December 21, 2023, the Supreme Court of Florida approved the referee’s report and formally dismissed the bar discipline case of The Florida Bar v. Michael B. Buckley. The court’s order marked the conclusion of disciplinary proceedings that did not advance past the initial complaint stage due to Mr. Buckley’s passing before they could be resolved on the merits.

The Disposition states:

“Upon consideration of the report of referee and The Florida Bar’s “Notice of Filing Suggestion of Death” of Respondent, the report of referee is approved and the above-styled case is hereby dismissed.”

According to avvo.com, Mr. Buckley was a litigation attorney in Saint Petersburg, Florida. He attended the New York Law School, graduating in 1982. He acquired his law license in Florida in 1983.

A copy of the original filing can be found here.