George Castrataro has been held in contempt of court by the Florida Supreme Court, and suspended from the practice of law.
Castrataro's suspension not only bars him from taking new cases immediately, it also says it will "remain in effect until further order of this court."
Castrataro told SFGN that while he cannot comment on any of the specifics of the situation, "we intend to be proactive and are working to provide the requested details.”
He added that “We are optimistic the matter can be resolved!”
Regardless of his optimism, the state’s highest court gave him 30 days “to close out his practice and protect the interests of existing clients.”
Castrataro’s duty is now to find another lawyer in good standing to assume responsibility for all his cases, in order to protect the interests of his present clients. He is barred from taking new ones.
Besides holding him in contempt of court the Supreme Court also suspended him from the further practice of law, and ordered him to pay $1,250 in fines.
Castrataro has until May 6 to appeal the decision.
The disciplinary sanctions being imposed originated from at least two separate complaints filed against Castrataro by former clients. They remain confidential at this time.
According to public records the Florida Bar investigated the complaints and requested more information from Castrataro. When he failed to respond to the repeated directives, the Florida Bar asked the Supreme Court to impose administrative, disciplinary and financial sanctions against him. The Supreme Court did so claiming Castrataro did not "abide by the directives of the local Florida Bar grievance committee."
Castrataro’s Fort Lauderdale based law practice has been focused on bankruptcy and estate planning. He has distinguished himself in the LGBT community by serving on the board of directors of numerous charitable agencies, including Care Resource. He also launched an unsuccessful bid for city commission in Fort Lauderdale two years ago.
A New York native, prior to opening his law practice in 2006, he had previously worked extensively in the public health field with the Florida Department of Health and the American Red Cross.