On Tuesday, October 10, 2023, the Supreme Court of Florida issued an order suspending attorney Mariano Ramon Gonzalez, Jr. from the practice of law. The suspension comes after Gonzalez failed to respond to an official inquiry from The Florida Bar regarding a consumer complaint.
The case is entitled “In the Matter of Mariano Ramon Gonzalez, Jr.” with case no. SC2023-1049.
The case stems from a complaint filed by Anthony Diaz with the ACAP program of The Florida Bar. In his complaint, Diaz alleged that Gonzalez had allowed his lawsuit to be dismissed without informing him. Had Diaz not discovered this himself, the case would have been dismissed with prejudice on September 10, 2022, denying him the possibility of recovering any money. Diaz also said Gonzalez rarely returned his phone calls.
In response to the complaint, The Florida Bar sent Gonzalez letters on July 20, 2022, August 24, 2022, and September 14, 2022, requesting a written response. Gonzalez failed to respond to any of these inquiries. On September 7, 2022, Gonzalez emailed bar counsel requesting an extension to respond, citing a “hectic trial schedule.” However, he then failed to respond within the extended deadline as well.
On May 8, 2023, the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit Grievance Committee G held a hearing regarding Gonzalez’s failure to respond. Gonzalez did not appear at the hearing or provide any response. The committee found that Gonzalez failed to show good cause for not responding to the bar’s inquiries and that he was in contempt. The committee requested that The Florida Bar file a Petition for Contempt with the Florida Supreme Court.
The Florida Bar then filed the petition on June 13, 2023. The Supreme Court issued an Order to Show Cause, but Gonzalez again failed to file any response. As a result, in its October 10, 2023 order, the Supreme Court granted The Florida Bar’s petition and held Gonzalez in contempt. The Court suspended Gonzalez effective 30 days from the date of the order to allow him to wrap up his practice but said the suspension would remain in place until he responds to the bar inquiry in writing.
The order aims to encourage Gonzalez’s compliance with rules requiring attorney cooperation with bar investigations while protecting existing clients during the transition. It also assesses costs of $1,250 against Gonzalez payable to The Florida Bar.
According to avvo.com, Mr. Gonzalez Jr. is an attorney in Sunrise, Florida. He received his law degree from the University of Miami School of Law in 1993 and was licensed to practice law in Florida the same year.
A copy of the original filing can be found here.