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Jax Daily Record Monday, Nov. 4, 201905:10 AM EST

Duval, St. Johns lawyers disciplined by state Supreme Court

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Scott Dupont, is suspended; Michael Winston Lanier disbarred.
by: Max Marbut Associate Editor

The Florida Supreme Court in recent court orders disciplined 11 attorneys, disbarring three, revoking the licenses of one, suspending one and reprimanding six.

One of the attorneys practices in Duval County and one in St. Johns County.

• Scott Dupont, P.O. Box 4184 in St. Augustine, is suspended for 91 days with proof of rehabilitation required for reinstatement, effective 30 days from an Oct. 10 court order.

DuPont, a former circuit judge, was ordered off the bench in the 7th Circuit in February 2018 after he was recommended for removal for campaign ethics violations by the Judicial Qualifications Commission.

According to the court, while a judge, Dupont engaged in multiple judicial campaign violations while running for re-election. Based upon information obtained from internet searches and without corroborating it, Dupont disseminated defamatory and inaccurate allegations about his opponent and his opponent’s family.

• Michael Winston Lanier, 4846 Cardinal Blvd. in Jacksonville, is disbarred, effective 30 days from an Oct. 15 court order.

In the first of three combined cases, Lanier’s direct mail advertisement did not comply with required rules, according to the court.

In a second case, following a trial initiated by the Federal Trade Commission, Lanier was shown to have engaged in numerous acts of solicitation to represent clients by creating a false network of out-of-state attorneys to serve out-of-state clients. Nonlawyers were running the business and Lanier attempted a cover-up by creating fictitious entities designed to hide the true nature of his operation.

In a third case, Lanier allowed a roofer to sign up clients for him in a scheme similar to the FTC case and for which he previously had been disciplined.

Court orders are not final until time expires to file a rehearing motion and, if filed, determined. Filing such a motion does not alter the effective date of the discipline. Disbarred lawyers may not reapply for admission for five years, when they are required to complete a process that includes a background check and retaking the Bar exam.

 

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