ORLANDO, Fla. – An Orlando area attorney faces possible disbarment after clients claimed he took their money and stopped responding to them.
Justin Infurna did not show up for his own sanctions hearing Monday morning.
The hearing was ordered by the Florida Supreme Court in January after the Florida Bar asked for an emergency suspension of Infurna’s law license.
The organization submitted complaints from 37 clients and two former employees, and it accused him of violating 92 rules.
Bonnie Grillakis, who testified, Monday, said she was one of Infurna’s clients.
“This is a slam dunk,” she said Infurna told her. “Don’t worry about the other attorneys. I can take care of this.”
Grillakis said she paid Infurna $7,500 to help her with a medical malpractice case after her 9-year-old grandson died.
She said after she paid him, he stopped responding to her.
“Excuse after excuse after excuse. That’s all I ever got,” she said.
Shannon Johnson said he paid Infurna $15,000 to help him with a property issue.
“(He said) that it was a slam dunk case,” he also told a judge at the hearing.
He said Infurna did not file any paperwork in court over a two-year period, and when he wanted his money back, Infurna refused.
“I’m just a working guy. Fifteen-thousand dollars … that hurts,” he said.
Monday’s hearing was designed to see if there was enough evidence to warrant the state Supreme Court to disbar Infurna.
After three hours of testimony, Judge Michelle Naberhaus said she would recommend disbarment.
“Mr. Infurna’s behavior is truly shameful. He has harmed the public, and he has harmed the reputation of the legal system,” she said. “There’s absolutely no doubt about that.”
Naberhaus said clients who filed complaints with the Florida Bar Association and the Florida Supreme Court might be reimbursed out of the Client Security Fund. She also said she wants Infurna to reimburse the fund for any money it pays to his clients.
Her recommendations will be compiled into a report that is due in Tallahassee no later than April 5.
It will be up to the Supreme Court for a final decision.
News 6 contacted Infurna for comment, but he has not responded.