Roy Gilbert

Attorney’s skulduggery nearly cost two women their homes. He’s been disbarred

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Fraud and obnoxiousness in court (when he showed up) are among the list of reasons St. Petersburg attorney Mark Stopa has been permanently disbarred, according to a Florida Bar discipline report.

But jumping out of the referee’s report on the batch of complaints that got Stopa disbarred: His deceitful actions nearly caused two women to lose their homes.

Stopa was admitted to the Bar in 2002 and got a public reprimand in 2014 for, among other things, impugning a judge’s integrity in a filing. The University of Florida School of Law graduate’s carelessness took an alligator chomp out of him when he dictated the motion, didn’t check it after it was typed and an associate signed it for him.

Just after that public reprimand, “loudly lecturing” Sarasota County Judge Nancy Donnellan and opposing counsel, “throwing his arms up” when Donnellan rules against him, arguing with Donnellan and other unprofessional behavior got Stopa ordered out of Donnellan’s court. Acting in a “disrespectful, disruptive and belligerent manner” during a hearing in front of Manatee County Judge Thomas Gallen got him tossed from that court and caused Gallen to remove himself from hearing Stopa’s cases.

The Tampa Bay Times reports that the Florida Department of Law Enforcement took computers and records out of Stopa’s office as they investigated accusations that he’d defrauded clients out of property many times over the years.

Similar behavior fills the referee’s report that preceded Stopa’s disbarment by the state Supreme Court. The Case of MGS

With Bank of America about to foreclose […]

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