On Thursday, February 1, 2024, the Supreme Court of Florida suspended attorney Guillermo Jose Farinas from the practice of law for 91 days for filing frivolous lawsuits and appeals.

The case is entitled “The Florida Bar v. Guillermo Jose Farinas,” with case no. SC2023-0774.

The case began in November 2018 when The Florida Bar filed a complaint against Farinas about a case he filed in 2016 in Palm Beach County Circuit Court seeking relief from a prior custody order issued in Broward County. Farinas was representing a plaintiff seeking to overturn the earlier order on the grounds of fraud and lack of jurisdiction. However, previous attempts by Farinas’ client to obtain relief from the same order had already been denied. Despite this, Farinas pursued the new case, which was ultimately dismissed in November 2016.

Farinas then appealed the dismissal, leading to further sanctions. In its November 2017 opinion, the Fourth District Court of Appeal found the appeal to be “completely without merit” and awarded the appellate attorney’s fees and costs against Farinas’ client and Farinas himself for filing a “frivolous appeal.” However, this was just the beginning of Farinas’ disciplinary issues related to this case.

As the Bar’s complaint investigation continued, Farinas repeatedly failed to appear for pre-trial conferences, case management hearings, and other proceedings related to the disciplinary matter. Due to Farinas’ lack of participation and failure to respond to the Bar’s complaint, the Referee granted a default judgment, deeming the allegations admitted.

In the Report of Referee, which summarized the case, the referee recommended Farinas be found guilty of violating several rules regulating conduct and be disciplined with a 91-day suspension and payment of costs. The referee based this recommendation on case law, standards for imposing sanctions, and Farinas’ aggravating prior disciplinary history spanning from 1981 through 1992.

Approving the referee’s uncontested report, the Supreme Court suspended Farinas’ law license for 91 days effective in one month, unless he closed his practice sooner, and ordered him to pay $2,222 in costs. With this suspension, the veteran attorney will be prohibited from taking new legal work until reinstated by the Court.

According to avvo.com, Mr. Guillermo Jose Farinas is a family attorney in Palm Beach, Florida. He attended the University of Florida, Fredric G. Levin College of Law, and was licensed to practice in Florida in 1979.

A copy of the original filing can be found here.