On Thursday, August 17, 2023, the Supreme Court of Florida issued an order disbarring Adres J. Jackson-Whyte from the practice of law. The court’s decision was based on an uncontested report from the referee, which found that attorney Jackson-Whyte had engaged in professional misconduct.

The case is entitled “In the Matter of Adres J. Jackson-Whyte,” with case no. SC2022-1565 & SC2022-1612.

The proceedings stemmed from two separate cases filed by the Florida Bar. Jackson-Whyte was initially suspended on an emergency basis after the Florida Bar filed a petition for emergency suspension in case no. SC22-1612 and a petition for contempt and order to show cause in case no. SC22-1565 on November 18, 2022.

The investigation began in October 2021. It revealed that Jackson-Whyte had mishandled client funds by depositing a settlement check into a trust account in 2018 and subsequently making disbursements from that account for unrelated clients. There were no deposits made for those clients during that period. Furthermore, Jackson-Whyte failed to comply with bar subpoenas for required records.

The report of the referee states:

“I find the respondent in contempt of court for failing to comply with two duly issued subpoenas for records which she was both required to maintain but did not, and which she also destroyed despite being on notice of the bar’s ongoing investigation.”

The referee overseeing the proceedings recommended disbarment retroactive to December 14, 2022, citing intentional conversion of client property, conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, and intentional violation of trust accounting rules as the basis for the decision.

The referee noted that despite a lack of prior disciplinary record, aggravating factors including a dishonest motive, pattern of misconduct, multiple offenses, and bad faith obstruction of the disciplinary process, among others, weighed heavily in the decision. Jackson-Whyte’s failure to maintain required trust account records and non-compliance with subpoenas were crucial elements in the case. The referee emphasized that such conduct seriously undermines the trust that clients place in their attorneys.

In its order, the Supreme Court accepted the undisputed findings of the referee, resulting in Jackson-Whyte’s disbarment.

The Disposition states:

“The uncontested report of the referee is approved and the respondent is disbarred. Respondent is currently suspended; therefore, this disbarment is effective, nunc pro tunc, December 14, 2022. Respondent shall fully comply with Rule Regulating The Florida Bar 3-5.1(h). Respondent shall also fully comply with Rule Regulating The Florida Bar 3-6.1, if applicable.”

According to avvo.com, Ms. Jackson-Whyte practiced in Miami, Florida prior to her disbarment. She acquired her law license in 2009. 

A copy of the original filing can be found here.