Tampa lawyers disciplined for excessive fees, ‘unintelligible’ motions

Published February 27
Updated February 27

Two Tampa lawyers face disciplinary action, one for charging excessive fees, the other for filing frivolous motions.

Natalie K. Khawam will be publicly reprimanded for charging excessive fees. After preparing and filing an initial brief and related documents, Khawam billed a client $95,000 and collected $65,000. The client terminated her services after the initial filing. She had charged $400 an hour for herself and for law clerks at her firm, who had not yet been admitted to the Florida Bar.

M. Lynn Pope was suspended for 60 days and ordered to undergo a mental health evaluation before reinstatement. A judge, citing 49 frivolous filings by Pope, also required her to pay more than $18,000 in attorney’s fees to opposing counsel. Pope blamed the judges, attorneys, CPAs and the Bar for issues she had: The Florida Supreme Court found that Pope filed non-meritorious and unintelligible motions with voluminous, unnecessary attachments. She also filed emergency motions that lacked urgency.