Article Courtesy of The
By Karen Kidd
Published September 17, 2019
TALLAHASSEE — Longtime Orlando attorney John Arthur
Leklem has been reprimanded, ordered to pay restitution and placed on
probation following an Aug. 15 Florida Supreme Court order after he
allegedly mishandled a homeowners' association's case, according to a
recent announcement by The Florida Bar.
"Leklem represented a homeowners' association and failed to diligently
handle the case and to maintain clear and adequate communication," the
state bar said in its Aug. 29 announcement of the discipline and the
Supreme Court's order. "In a second matter, The Florida Bar's audit of
his trust account revealed technical violations but no evidence of
misappropriation, and no client lost any money."
In its single-page order, the Supreme Court approved the uncontested
referee's report filed in the matter before reprimanding Leklem and
placing him on two years' probation. The high court also ordered Leklem
to pay about $3,930 in costs.
Florida court orders are not final until time to file a rehearing motion
expires. Filing such a motion does not alter the effective date of
Leklem was admitted to the bar in Florida on Nov. 19, 1976, according to
his profile at the state bar website. Leklem had no prior history of
discipline in more than 40 years of practice, according to the consent
judgment filed with the court.
The consent judgment also includes Leklem's conditional guilty plea.
Leklem represented himself throughout the disciplinary proceedings,
according to the consent judgment. In addition to agreeing to his
reprimand and other discipline, Leklem also agreed to repay $2,500 to
the homeowner's association.
Allegations against Leklem stem, in part, from a state bar audit of his
trust account, which "revealed he did not maintain the minimum required
trust accounting records and did not follow the minimum required trust
accounting procedures," the consent judgment said. "The audit was
initiated as a result of a dishonored check for [Leklem]'s fees. [Leklem]
immediately corrected the matter."
The state bar's audit did not find evidence of misappropriation, and no
client funds were endangered, according to the judgment.