A lawyer came to court drunk, the Bar says. That was just the start of his problems.
BY DAVID J. NEAL – Miami Herald
A Florida lawyer with the name “Pickles” showed up in court pickled and found himself in a pickle with the Internal Revenue Service over years of unpaid income taxes, the Florida Bar said.
The state Supreme Court also found fault with this behavior, which is why Cocoa lawyer Timothy Pickles began serving a 91-day suspension on Jan. 27. Pickles, a University of Florida law graduate, has been a Florida Bar member since 1995 with a clean record.
According to the formal complaint by the Bar, Pickles represented the Hidden Cove Homeowners Association when he showed up to Brevard County Circuit Court 30 to 45 minutes late for a June 24, 2016, trial continuation. He also came back late from the lunch break.
Lack of promptness proved the lesser of Pickles’ problems.
Pickles “returned late from lunch recess in an impaired state,” the Bar’s formal complaint read. “(Pickles) was lethargic, slow, non-responsive, red-faced, and falling asleep. When (Pickles) stood up, he dropped papers and tripped when trying to walk.”
Judge David Dugan stopped the trial, the complaint said, and had Pickles’ law firm called so someone could come get him. Soon after picking him up that day, his firm dropped him.
In his answer to the formal complaint, filed Oct. 5, 2017, Pickles admitted to drinking before court and during lunch that day, but denied a tardy appearance, the depiction of being drunk or that the court needed to call a ride for him.
But, Pickles did also admit to not paying personal income taxes from 2008 through 2012, an inaction producing an IRS reaction of a tax lien for $155,917.70. That’s separate from the business income taxes for Timothy F. Pickles, P.A., which had a spotty income tax filing record from 2005 through 2014. The IRS went after $118, 414.31 from there.
He did plead guilty to all of it in the No. 15, 2017 consent judgment.
David J. Neal: 305-376-3559, @DavidJNeal