The state high court issued its two-page order of disciplinary revocation, tantamount to disbarment, with leave to seek readmission after five years. The Florida State Bar announced the discipline and the supreme court's order Sept. 27.
Abell also was ordered to pay $3,457 in costs, according the high court's order.
In Florida court orders are not final until after time to file a rehearing motion expires. Attorneys disbarred in the state may not reapply for admission for five years. Even then they must pass through an extensive process that includes a rigorous background check and retaking the bar exam.
Abell was admitted to the bar in Florida on Jan. 22, 1988, according to her profile at the state bar website. Abell had no other discipline before the state bar for at least 10 years, according to his profile.
On June 21, the state bar filed a petition for emergency suspension against Abell regarding allegations concerning seven minor guardianship cases and two probate cases, all connected, that she was handling in Florida's 20th Judicial Circuit, according to a petition filed July 11 with the state high court. All of the guardianship cases stemmed from an automobile accident that left the children, ages 3 months to 8 years, severely injured, according to the petition. All of the cases began in 1997 and all of the children came of age with some of the cases remaining open, according to the petition.
Abell failed to terminate the open guardianship proceedings or convert the guardianships into adult proceedings and she allegedly "exhibited gross negligence in the execution of her duties and responsibilities as guardian," the petition said. A bar audit revealed at least $7,123 of misappropriated client funds and about $134,831 "of unsubstantiated transfers" from the client trust account to her checking account, according to the petition.
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Miami attorney disbarred following gross negligence allegations in guardianship cases