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Brooksville lawyer disbarred; three others in Tampa Bay area disciplined

Published Nov. 3, 2015

A Brooksville lawyer has been disbarred after the Florida Bar said he botched a criminal case in which a client was forced to take a plea deal.

Anthony Harold Clifton never responded to the Bar's allegations, which began in 2013.

Three other Tampa Bay area attorneys were also disciplined last week by the Florida Supreme Court.

Phillip Harding Taylor of St. Petersburg, who has practiced since 1989, was suspended for three years.

Taylor did not comply with conditions of a suspension order, according to the Bar, and was ordered to notify his clients of the suspension.

James Franklin Lowy of Clearwater, who has practiced since 1996, was suspended until further notice.

The Bar said Lowy was causing great public harm after it was discovered that he accumulated trust account shortages in excess of $60,000.

Cherie A. Parker of Largo also was suspended until further order.

Clifton, who practiced in Hernando and Pinellas counties, lied about conducting a deposition, according to the Bar. As a result, his client, Eric Coward, had to take a plea he did not wish to accept.

The complaint was filed in 2013, and Clifton did not respond to multiple letters from the bar.