THE FLORIDA BAR Complainant(s) v. STEWART ALAN MERKIN Respondent(s)
Upon consideration of the report of referee recommending a 30-day suspension, the brief of The Florida Bar urging a 91-day rehabilitative suspension, the Respondent's answer brief, and the record, the Court has determined that Respondent should receive at least a 91-day rehabilitative suspension. However, given the gravity of the uncontested findings of guilt, the Court hereby commands Stewart Alan Merkin to show cause on or before March 12, 2018, why the referee's recommended sanction should not be disapproved and a more severe sanction, up to and including disbarment, be imposed. The Florida Bar may serve its response, if any, on or before April 2, 2018.
Further, on the Court's own motion, and considering that the Court will impose no less than a 91-day suspension, Respondent is suspended from the practice of law until further order of this Court, effective thirty days from the date of this order so that Respondent can close out his practice and protect the interests of existing clients. If Respondent notifies this Court in writing that he is no longer practicing and does not need the thirty days to protect existing clients, this Court will enter an order making the suspension effective immediately. Respondent shall fully comply with Rule Regulating the Florida Bar 3-5.1(h). In addition, Respondent shall accept no new business from the date this order is filed until further order of the Court.
Not final until time expires to file motion for rehearing, and if filed, determined. The filing of a motion for rehearing shall not alter the effective date of this suspension.
A True Copy
John A. Tomasino Clerk, Supreme Court
PAUL B. KUNZ
JENNIFER R. FALCONE
ADRIA E. QUINTELA
HON. TANYA BRINKLEY, JUDGE
LABARGA, C.J., and PARIENTE, LEWIS, QUINCE, CANADY, POLSTON, and LAWSON, JJ., concur.